December 18th, 2007
05:30 PM ET
14 years ago

Johnson: It's no time for a 'rookie'

Magic Johnson hit the campaign trail in Iowa Tuesday.

(CNN) - Basketball legend Magic Johnson hit the Hawkeye State campaign trail on behalf of Hillary Clinton Wednesday - and appeared to take a thinly-veiled shot at the New York senator's chief rival, Barack Obama.

"You don't want somebody in there that is young or a rookie at politics," Johnson said at a rally in Davenport, Iowa. "We want somebody in there that knows what they're doing, because this job is so huge."

The Clinton campaign has long sought to portray Obama, first elected to the Senate in 2004, as too inexperienced to be President of the United States. In response, Obama has cited his experience as a community organizer and Illinois state senator, and said his lack of Washington experience makes him better able to bring about change.

Asked at a separate campaign stop Tuesday why he decided to support Clinton over Obama, Johnson again cited the New York Democrat's experience.

"Thirty years experience right here," he said with Clinton at his side. "This country right now needs a leader with experience, because this is not going to be an easy job, this is not going to be an easy job. And the only person in this race on either side that has the experience, the knowledge, the wherewithal, the work ethic, is Sen. Clinton.”

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (154 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    Why is he talking? shouldn't he be taking his HIV medicine?

    December 19, 2007 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  2. JC, Ohio

    Bill Clinton: Hillary's WEAPON OF MASS ATTRACTION. But all is fair in love and politics...VOTE HILLARY 08!!!

    December 19, 2007 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  3. Rus, Whitburn

    Most experienced? That would be Joe Biden and Bill Richardson by a mile. Least experienced? Probably John Edwards, with Hillary and Barack not far ahead. Why would I vote for Obama? Vision, actual evidence of sound judgment and integrity.

    December 19, 2007 03:55 am at 3:55 am |
  4. GRACE

    ASK YOURSELF, EXPERIENCE AT WHAT?
    POOR JUDGMENT?? I DON'T WANT ANYONE
    IN THE WHITE HOUSE WHO VOTED FOR THIS
    WAR. IF SOMEONE HAS GOOD JUDGMENT
    WITH NO EXPERIENCE, THINK HOW GOOD
    THEIR JUDGMENT WILL BE WHEN THEY DO
    HAVE EXPERIENCE. WE DON'T NEED A
    PRESIDENT WHO THROWS THINGS AGAINST
    THE WALL TO SEE IF IT STICKS. YOU
    HAVE TO BE RIGHT IN TIME TO PREVENT
    MISTAKES. I WAS PLANNING TO VOTE FOR
    OBAMA UNTIL PAUL ANNOUNCED HIS RUN.
    I HAD JUST CHANGED MY REGISTRATION
    FROM LIBERTARIAN TO DEMOCRAT... THEN
    I HAD TO CHANGE IT TO REPUBLICAN TO
    VOTE IN THE FLORIDA PRIMARIES. IT
    IS EMBARRASSING TO BE REGISTERED TO
    THE PARTY OF BORROW AND SPEND BUT
    UNTIL FLORIDA JOINS THOSE STATES THAT
    ALLOW INDEPENDENTS TO VOTE IN EITHER
    PRIMARY, THERE'S NO OTHER WAY. IF
    YOU CARE ABOUT OUR CONSTITUTION AND
    WANT TO SEE IT DEFENDED... IF YOU
    WANT THE WAR ENDED....AND YOU WANT
    THE IMMIGRATION LAWS ENFORCED, VOTE
    FOR RON PAUL. CNN RULES!!!!!!!!

    December 19, 2007 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
  5. GRACE

    TO EVAN IN ARIZONA... I GUESS YOU
    DON'T DO A LOT OF READING. HIV DOESN'T
    CAUSE AIDS... TOXIC DRUGS CAUSE AIDS..
    RECREATIONAL DRUGS, AS WELL AS AZT.
    THEY ARE POISON TO THE IMMUNE SYSTEM.
    EDUCATE YOURSELF.. READ:
    JOHN LAURITSEN AND PETER DUESBERG.

    December 19, 2007 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  6. rob,nyc,ny

    just what we don't need. Magic go back to baseball!

    December 19, 2007 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  7. john,boston,ma

    CNN helping in rigging this election. This is non news. I am waiting for he obvious!!

    December 19, 2007 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  8. joe,kansas,mo

    How come we don't hear anything about Obama on these network nowadays. I just think this is getting rediculous!!!1

    December 19, 2007 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  9. Andrew, Evansville, IN

    And Hillary isn't a ROOKIE too? A ROOKIE is exactly what she is. I don't know what it is about Democrats that make them believe something if they hear it enough. Dems should be looking outside the top three on their primary slate for a non-rookie.

    December 19, 2007 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  10. Renee', Miami, FL

    Why is sooo much emphasis put on experience, when we've had a "so-called" experienced president in office for the past 7 years & look what "his experience" has done to our country??? Give-me-a-BREAK?! A president is ONLY as experienced as the people he/she surrounds themselves with...PERIOD! Whom-ever they fill in cabinet positions or have as "advisers" – makes them truly experienced (don't forget "Brownie-your-doing-a-heck-of-a-job" & others). All bets are off since GWB became president = thus experience NO-LONGER-MATTERS!!!!!!

    December 19, 2007 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  11. Seam, Philly PA

    Magic Johnson is the last person to say "it's no time for a rookie." Magic, do you remember your rookie year when you had one of the best seasons of your pro career? How soon we forget how great one can become. Obama will only be great!

    December 19, 2007 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  12. Michael Arnaud-Glen Burnie, Maryland

    Let's take a look at what the "pros" in DC have gotten us, shall we? A Congress and President who sspend so much time sniping at each other, the budget that should have been passed in October didn't get done till December because everybody had to put their favorite pork project in it first, then each side had to sit there and say our the budget sponsored by the other side was hurting America and that their budget was the best choice.

    A $6,000,000,000,000 dollar plus deficit that no one in DC even really tries to fix, they just pass it on to the next President and Congress.

    Not to mention that in the last twenty years, Congress spends most of its time trying to "investigate" the President for supposed wrongdoings while at the same time trying to hide all the wrongdoings that Congress does everyday.

    Sorry, Magic. What we really need is for all the "pros" to be elected out and let some "rookies" come in and actually try and fix what's been screwed up.

    December 19, 2007 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  13. LILLY,NY,NY

    The last person I would listen too is "Magic" Johnson.

    Posted By Grace, Atlanta, Ga : December 19, 2007 12:33 am

    __________________________________________

    It is alright I stopped watching Oprah after stump for Obama.

    December 19, 2007 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  14. RightyTighty

    Magic Johnson also needs to be segregated from society to put an end to this epidemic. Evidently from more than just AIDS..

    December 19, 2007 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  15. Randy S. Lawton, OK

    You think that with him suffering with AIDS

    Posted By Willie-New Orleans : December 18, 2007 11:43 pm

    He is not suffering from AIDS, he is HIV positive and has been since 1991. They are NOT the same thing.

    Each of the 43 Presidents in our illustrious history was a ROOKIE when they took office.
    As for experience, 4 of our last 5 president's were former governors, with a ton of 'executive' experience. Well, folks, look where we are today.

    December 19, 2007 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  16. demwit

    I wonder how many people got AIDS from Magic??

    December 19, 2007 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  17. Judy, Ellwood City PA

    And so where is the expertise of Johnson's decision? Seems he understands Bill's escapades if nothing else. Obama is the man, he says it like it is and will give us a different White House that is necessary in this day and age. So much needs to be repaired with foreign countries and we cannot continue to have another Clinton or any Republican in the White House at this time!

    December 19, 2007 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  18. The Great William Wallace is Ten Feet Tall

    Would someone please tell me what Magic Johnson could honestly and with any authority comment upon, other than bouncing a ball?

    What the hell does this buffoon know about politics? Hey Magic, stick to what you know, like commenting incomprehensibly about basketball, for instance.

    December 19, 2007 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  19. Pete, Cleveland, OH

    wow Magic, are you that dumb?? Obama > Clinton. not a rookie. he has more years in elected office than Hillary. maybe stick to basketball.

    December 19, 2007 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  20. Dalton, Detroit, MI

    I like Magic Johnson as an athlete and what hehas done in his post NBA career is great but I don't want him or Jordan or Oprah or anyone for that matter advising me on what the country needs. Until Magic is a struggling working class stiff trying to make ends meet he can;t speak to whats needed to revitalize a country that is being run by corporate shills like Hillary Clinton and G.W. Bush

    December 19, 2007 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  21. David Columbus, OH

    Dalton in Detriot. Excellant post. Why do celebrity endoresments matter? Judging by this thread, they don't. When you are a multi-millionare by age 20, I don't want to hear it Magic. Try working for $11/hour trying to afford health care, rent/mortage, car payment, car insurance, etc. Your a rookie in life experience, so if I shouldn't vote for Obama, why should I listen to you?

    Obama vs. Paul '08

    December 19, 2007 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  22. RightyTighty

    A wife that you can cheat on is every sports stars endorsement, hey Magic...

    December 19, 2007 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  23. TJ, California, MD

    Time and time again we say we would like someone that has experience. Guess what experience has not gotten us any further then the individual who doesn't have any experience. Give the experience ploy a rest. It's starting to get old and has not produced any notable results.

    December 19, 2007 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  24. Craig Indianapolis, IN

    These celebrity endorsements are ridiculous! Sadly, many of the people here will vote for her because of this. I'm voting Ron Paul, the only honest cadidate out there. He also brings experience, knowledge, and did not vote for the Iraq war. In comparison to the other candidates, he is the only one with a consistent voting record and genuine desire to follow the Constitution. Im confused why this is not more important to the citizens of this country.

    December 19, 2007 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  25. qp

    Magic is an idiot! A rich idiot and wonderful basketball player who was given a chance as a rookie and succeeded, now he wants to hold other blacks back in an arena where blacks have been held back. As a man that contracted a virus from sleeping around on his wife, why does he not just shut the hell up and count his profits from selling pop corn.

    December 19, 2007 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
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