December 22nd, 2007
06:09 AM ET
11 years ago

Obama touts support of Bill Clinton's foreign policy officials

Obama said he has more support from Bill Clinton's foreign policy officials than Hillary Clinton does.

WASHINGTON, Iowa (CNN) – Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Friday that it "should raise some pretty interesting questions" that, according to him, more of former president Bill Clinton's foreign policy advisers are supporting Obama than Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

"Why is the national security adviser of Bill Clinton, the Secretary of the Navy of Bill Clinton, the Assistant Secretary of State for Bill Clinton—why are they all supporting me?" Obama asked rhetorically.

"They apparently believe that my vision of foreign policy is better suited for the 21st century."

Obama was responding to an audience question that pointed out the support he's received from the former Clinton officials.

The Clinton campaign was quick to respond, saying it's "false" to claim that more of President Clinton's foreign policy officials support Obama than Clinton.

In a statement, Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said, "Sen. Obama is attacking Sen. Clinton by making demonstrably false claims about his foreign policy credentials that only raise more questions about his own lack of experience."

-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Iowa
soundoff (119 Responses)
  1. TruthSeeker, Brooklyn, NY

    This is an interesting take on the controversy. It appears that Clinton is the one who hasn't been straightforward about this issue:

    December 22, 2007 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  2. DON, honululu, HI

    Doesn't Obama know that that his advisors are Hillary's rejects? It shows in Obama's speeches on foreign relations.

    December 22, 2007 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  3. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Mrs. America, you got a great point, Obama digged the hole and will fall into there. Matt A, Marieta, GA, if you don't count Hillary's experience, then you have Zero experience. Alan St. Louis, and Marcy Drewells, Iowa, Obama is the biggest liar in Presidential Campaign, you are misled by Obama. John Adkisson, your inconsistent idea is just same with Obama's.

    December 22, 2007 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  4. linda hemmingsen british columbia canada

    I think Hillary will win the nomination, because she is the best person for the job.She is known around the world and respected. Hillary is constantly taking backlash from republicans and democrats, and this political ticker gets bombed by everyone who does not want to see her win, it seems their is workings of the smear campaigns of the republicans saying if she wins that the republicans will win back everything and the white house.PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! is the american people really buying this haven't they learned yet what the republicans did to their country? even now bush is getting away with stuff. who is going to hold the republicans in the senate for voting against everything that the democrats pass for the good of the people and they turn it all down for politics to say the congress is no good.well if you people vote republican again or obamba then their is not hope your country will turn around. the world needs a stable usa and a person like hillary who will reach out to everyone and bring sanity and respect back. sincerely a canadian

    December 22, 2007 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  5. Dan, TX

    Why Obama will prevail.

    More intelligence, more wisdom, more humanity, more common sense, stronger moral values.

    Clinton will never be president. 10% of democrats will vote for the republicans before they vote for Clinton.

    10% of republicans will vote for Obama before voting for the republican nominee.

    December 22, 2007 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  6. Reggie, Germany

    I've got a news flash for all you Hillary lover MSNBC has just reported that Hillary's infamous list of 82 foreign policy adviser is PADDED with the names of lobbyist, bundlers and someone who experience amounts to writing about the French Open!!

    HA HA guess thats why she votes the way she does.

    BTW CNN where are you guys on this story???

    December 22, 2007 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  7. Celina, Norcross, GA

    Obama will be president of Hilary and Bill, and the rest of the Americans. He will listen to them too
    Go Barack

    December 22, 2007 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  8. Fair,Washington DC

    There he goes, attacking Hillary Clinton again. I wonder if the media and viewers will give him another pass at negative campaigning, while blasting Hillary for defending herself. On the substance of his c0mments: it's hypocritical for Obama to 1) insist he's the new "change" candidate and at the same time 2) boast that he's a friend of Clinton advisors from the 90s. Can't have it both ways, Barack. If the Clinton era of the 90s is so stale, why would you associate yourself with anyone from that administration? Obama is NOT authentic.

    Posted By Robyn, San Diego : December 22, 2007 10:08 am

    Robyn thanks for letting me know I'm not the only one who see's the Senator from Illinois talking out of both sides of his mouth..."change", new ideas, "getting away from the old way of doing things in Washington"...but using the same advisors from the Clinton camp, the same ones from that "washington esatablishment of old" that he snidely tries to put down when its convenient.

    December 23, 2007 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  9. GRACE


    December 23, 2007 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  10. G. Kerry

    Obama's Changing Views
    By The Associated Press –
    A comparison of some of Barack Obama's views over the years, based on candidate questionnaires in 1996 and 2004, interviews, presidential debates and other comments:
    _1996 (from a questionnaire for his state Senate run): Supported banning the sale and possession of handguns in Illinois.
    _2004 (questionnaire for his U.S. Senate run): A ban is "not politically practicable."
    _1996: Did not support capital punishment.
    _2007: Supports capital punishment for particularly heinous crimes.
    _2003: Would replace the "shoddy and dangerous" USA Patriot Act.
    _2006: Votes for updated Patriot Act he says contains only modest improvements.
    _1996: In principle, supports single-payer health plan at federal level.
    _2007: Says single-payer is not practical.
    _January 2004: Opposes repealing Defense of Marriage Act.
    _February 2004: Supports repealing Defense of Marriage Act.
    _2004: Normalizing relations would help the Cuban people.
    _2007: "I would not normalize relations."
    _1996: Opposes parental-notification laws.
    _2004: Opposes if they lack a bypass provision.

    December 23, 2007 - Barack Obama has been flip-flopping like a carp on a boat deck, changing his position over the years on everything from the death penalty to the Patriot Act to Cuba, a review of his record shows.
    The Illinois senator's views became markedly more conservative as he drew close to running for president.
    On the death penalty, for instance, the Oprah heartthrob was a strong foe back in 1996 when he ran for the Illinois state Senate, according to a questionnaire from a political activist group that he filled out at the time. The answers were reviewed by The Associated Press.
    But this year, he's been throwing some red meat to pro-execution voters around the country by saying he supports pulling the switch on those who commit particularly heinous crimes.
    On gun control, Obama changed direction since 1996, when he called for a ban on all handgun possession and sales in Illinois.
    In 2004, on another questionnaire, he backed off, saying a ban is "not politically practicable."
    Taken together, the shifts could suggest a liberal, inexperienced lawmaker gradually adjusting to the realities of what could be accomplished, first in the Illinois Legislature and then in the US Senate.
    On the other hand, political rivals could accuse him of abandoning potentially unpopular views or of trying to disguise his real positions. Many of the old views came from answers he gave to a list of questions submitted to him in 1996 by an Illinois good-government group known as the IVI-IPO.
    Aides claim Obama did not fill out the questionnaire, and instead it was handled by a staffer who misrepresented his views on gun control, the death penalty and more.
    "Barack Obama has a consistent record on the key issues facing our country," spokesman Ben LaBolt told the AP. "Even conservative columnists have said they'd scoured Obama's record for inconsistencies and found there were virtually none."
    A spokesman for the Illinois group said the excuse is ridiculous because they interviewed him in person.
    Some of the candidate's other changing views include a marked shift on health care, from supporting a single-payer, government-run health system, to opposing such a "socialized medicine" plan.
    He also has changed many views in just the past few years.
    He went from calling the anti-terrorism Patriot Act a "shoddy and dangerous" law to voting to continue an updated version of the law in 2006. He also said he would normalize relations with Cuba, but on the campaign trail has opposed such rapprochement with the Communist regime there.

    December 23, 2007 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  11. Patrick, Bethlehem,PA

    The difference between Bush and Obama surrounding themselves with expereinced advicers is that, Bush had no ideas of his own and relied on his advicers to come up with them, and when they did he did not have the ability to debate those ideas, thus leaving it to Cheney and Rumsfeld to decide for him. In Obama's case, time and time again, we have heard people from both sides of the aile, from Illinois to Washington to Wall Street, talk about Obama's intelligence,creativity, his ability to express his ideas clearly and intelligently. Now, that is man who can throw out his ideas to his pool of advicers and debate with them, and have the ability to make the decision on his own. Remember, the man was also a professor.
    In Hillary's case from what i have heard about her, she comes across as someone who will do things her own way without allowing others to fully participate.

    December 23, 2007 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  12. Patrick, Bethlehem, PA

    Phemi! Phem!! Phemi!!!. Be careful your lack of knowledge is showing.

    Would you elect a rookie as captain of the team? Tennesse Titans – Vince Young.

    December 23, 2007 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  13. Alice, Seattle, WA

    Many posters are missing a subtle point here. Why aren't former Clinton advisors and Cabinet members supporting Hillary? Could it be that they know her all too well, and they do not feel she is quaulified nor has the character for the Office? Maybe her true personna turns them off to her. If she is as qualified as she says she is and has warm and cuddly as her ad paint her out to be, they should be flocking behind her.

    December 23, 2007 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  14. Mrs. America

    You should have cropped this photo differently, CNN. The word you made is unacceptable.

    December 23, 2007 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  15. Ken,kansas

    Posted By G. Kerry : December 23, 2007 8:11 am

    Two words for you,
    Oprah winfrey!

    December 23, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  16. Ajay Jain

    "Why is the national security adviser of Bill Clinton, the Secretary of the Navy of Bill Clinton, the Assistant Secretary of State for Bill Clinton—why are they all supporting me?" Obama asked rhetorically.

    Because you hired them DUMMY for your campaign 2008!

    Go Hillary44 08!

    December 23, 2007 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  17. The Grinch in America Searching for Truth

    🙂 Uh joze46 you wrote a very insightful comment about Obama – but whoops it posted in the wrong topic (on Ron Paul – GOP contender will not rule out third-party run)

    does that sometimes...

    BTB: lots of speculation that if Senator Obama doesn't get the Dem nod that he will simply declare himself an Independent and run with Bloomberg!!

    December 24, 2007 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  18. Fair,Washington DC

    Why Obama will prevail.

    More intelligence, more wisdom, more humanity, more common sense, stronger moral values.

    Clinton will never be president. 10% of democrats will vote for the republicans before they vote for Clinton.

    10% of republicans will vote for Obama before voting for the republican nominee.

    Posted By Dan, TX : December 22, 2007 9:39 pm

    Its funny you post these numbers like they are fact. Fact is you, me or anybody else don't know how people are gonna vote when it gets right down to it. Anyway, I'm taking my chances with Hillary.

    December 25, 2007 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  19. Ajay Jain

    Obama is proud of Bill Clinton's appointees! But he can not claim Bill Clinton's support can he. Appointees came from Bill Clinton and they will come again in 2009 from Bill Clinton's help in a Hillary Administration.

    Go Hillary44 08!

    December 26, 2007 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
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