December 22nd, 2007
06:09 AM ET
8 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. Maryann

    This is the main reason I can't trust Obama. Let others fight for him, hecan take credit if it works. If it is not working, "it is not my fault"

    Obama's quality at this time of the situation will not and will never truly serve America. It is a huge danger. Another reason you have them help you because you don't know how to handle things, even some votes, ( Hi Chris, this is for you, 130 present, big number) Ha....
    He need them to help him to vote !!

    December 22, 2007 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  2. Davis NH

    A FOX News poll released Thursday shows Hillary Clinton continues to have a significant lead over Barack Obama in the race for the Democratic Party’s nomination, despite being seen as the main candidate practicing dirty politics. Democrats explicitly say Clinton has the right experience and is a strong leader, and twice as many say Clinton rather than Obama can bring about needed change.
    The national telephone poll was conducted for FOX News by Opinion Dynamics Corp. among 900 registered voters from Dec. 18 to 19. The poll has a 3-point error margin.
    Clinton receives the backing of 49 percent of Democrats, up from 44 percent last month, and Obama is at 20 percent today, down from 23 percent. John Edwards comes in third at 10 percent. All other Democratic contenders receive the support of 3 percent or less, and 12 percent are undecided.
    To put Clinton’s current 29-point edge in perspective, looking back at the past six months her lead over Obama has been as wide as 32 points.
    By 54 percent to 17 percent, Democrats are more likely to say Clinton is a "strong leader" over Obama, and she also gets the nod on having the "right experience" (67 percent to 8 percent). More than twice as many say Clinton can "bring about needed change," something Obama has been emphasizing for months and Clinton has more recently incorporated into her stump speech.

    December 22, 2007 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  3. Ginny, Byron, CA

    What is Obama's "vision of foreign policy"? Can he articulate it or is this just more empty rhetoric? We're listening, but we're not hearing much.

    December 22, 2007 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  4. Ed Simms, FL

    The republicans are salivating and praying that Hillary wins the nomination.

    It will be four years of Clinton lies and cover-ups and Ken Starr and Karl Rove attacks all over again.

    She is divisive, antagonistic, and a warhawk. She describes political fighting as 'fun'.

    We can't afford four years of Hillary vs the republicans 'fun'.

    Our children deserve a real future. Despite what the news media thinks, americans DO NOT enjoy watching politicians fight. It is not 'fun' to us.

    This is not a game to us average americans.

    December 22, 2007 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  5. Chuck, Miami Fl

    Is this change or more of the same? He cant change Washington if Washington doesn't want to be changed.

    December 22, 2007 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  6. Dorian, London, UK

    The list of foreign policy experts backing Obama goes way back to Kennedy star advisers and speech writers such as Brezinski and Sorensen. That's a coincidence of course. They are all avoiding Hilary to go back a moron who has no quality of his own, just for the sake of it. Most of you Hilary supporters are just pathetic.

    December 22, 2007 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  7. Jose Card

    Bill's former strategist, Prof. Robert Reich of U.C. Berkeley commented that Hillary lacks conviction of anything. And, that's what she is.

    Perhaps Bill's friends could not put up with Hillary even during his administration. She has to be so bad that these people had to jump the ship to Obama.

    If Hillary cannot even unite the core of her party, how can she unite the nation?

    Hillary is not electable. Bill discredits her more each time he calls her a world-class genius.

    December 22, 2007 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  8. Chris, IN

    It seems ridiculous to compare Clinton and Obama on trust issues. Clinton has repeatedly shown her 'dark side' by planting questions and more recently the news that she has campaign staff that are writing on blogs posing as undecided voters voicing concerns about Edwards, Obama, etc.

    It says a lot that the Clinton's staff does not want to support her. BIG Warning flag! Obama, on the other hand, even has REPUBLICANS supporting him from his IL gov days!

    December 22, 2007 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  9. Kevin, Landover, MD

    Obama can have Bill Clinton as an advisor and Obama would better handle keeping Bill in his place and out of trouble better then Hillary would. Hillary has proven she cannot control Bill.

    The race is tight in Iowa, NH and SC. The next poll that matters will be the exit poll/results for Iowa Jan 3. Touting polls every other day at this point is useless. To have a relatively unknown to the General public Candidate currently tied with an ex First Lady and Junior Senator of NY (the 911 Political Cash Cow City) is amazing.

    Obama did this by simply letting the Country know exactly what his vision for America is, tells the truth, willing to talk to foreign friends and enemy’s to get results, does not take Corporate PAC money and wants to give the people a voice back in our Government.

    This is a MAJOR accomplishment by Obama.

    December 22, 2007 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  10. Braxton Marcela, Charlotte, NC

    Clinton just needs to shut up about Obama's experience. Experience is not nearly as important as judgement. Bush may have used a lot of foriegn policy advisers, but that's no the reason that we have had the terrible foreign policy relations, the reason for that is because Bush refuses to work with foreign adversaries that disagree with him. Obama has the experience and the judgement to meet with foreign leaders, solve our issues across our borders, and unite this nation and bring us back to prosperity

    December 22, 2007 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  11. Robyn, San Diego

    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.

    December 22, 2007 10:08 am at 10:08 am |

    so obama what you are saying is that these former advisors supports makes experienced in foriegn affairs. YOur recent statements regarding banning chinese toys just tells us how dumb you are.

    December 22, 2007 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  13. Reggie, Germany

    Obama will have to surround himself with foreign policy advisers, that's exactly what Bush had to do. How'd that work out for us? I prefer a candidate who has their own knowledge and their own experience to make these important decisions.

    JH Every president has needed to surround themselves with qualified foreign policy advisors this was the case with Grant. Eisenhower, Kennedy, Carter and Bush 41. All of whom had exstensive international and or military experience.

    Bill Clinton had absolutely NO foreign policy experience when elected and I'm still at a lose as to what experience Hillary has. Shaking hands and then going off to have tea with the spouse doesn't qualify as substanitive experience in my book.

    JH I agree tha Biden would make an excellent foriegn policy president and here we are talking about REAL EXPERIENCE, but the ills the country has to heal involve more than foreign policy. On those issues Biden doesn't inspire the same confidence. I still like him though and would welcome his judgement of Hillary's any day

    all her claims also has no more experience than Obama

    December 22, 2007 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  14. JJ Monterey, CA

    Ever notice the more he opens his mouth, the more he puts his foot into it?? Say maybe he's been having Bill advise him to!! 😉

    I think they both need to go home and take a nice long nap... through the rest of the winter.

    December 22, 2007 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  15. B. Jones

    why do they keep putting subliminal messages in the Oboma pictures? everyday they are doing something small that most people wont notice. This is pathetic? Obama's campaign should confront the person who is in charge of CNN postings and pictures. (notice the hang in the background).

    December 22, 2007 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  16. Harvey Parhar, Michigan

    I look at this as Obama fancies clintons political backgrounds, and hence hired their previous advisors. The million dollar question is: does this really mean change if you are taking clinton's old warriors? Now contrast that to Hillary's advisors – fresh and new team with new ideas while lessons learnt from the past. This is what's needed in the whitehouse. By the way, George Bush ran on authenticity, likeability and unitors agenda and you all know what we got so far. So it's important to put someone in the whitehouse who knows what they are doing.

    December 22, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  17. Anna,dallas,tx

    -By Emeka Chiakwelu, the founder of Afripol Organization. 02/09/07

    The waiting, the speculation, are over. Senator Barack Obama has finally declared his intention to seek the highest elective office in America – the presidency.
    He wants to the be the first among his peers, the post boomer generation to occupy the White House. This will make him the first African American president ever in America.
    Everybody acknowledges, his intellect and the kennedyesque quality, yet some are pointing to his so-called inexperience, by pointing to the number of years he has been national senator. But critics must look at the big picture, what they see as a weakness, is nothing but a great strength. Obama a brand new face on the national scene, with a fresh idea on problems confronting America in 21st century, has a enough experience.
    First of all, the premise that the junior senator from Chicago is inexperience is a fallacy, that has no legs to stand on.
    Well, we can say that Obama has not been in national position for a while, but he has engaged in politics and civic duties for a very long time. He was a state senator for seven years fighting for working families and less privilege. Before that, he was involved in civic duties, helping and defending the poor in their assertion of their rights and responsibilities in our polity. One thing for sure, he has been on the side of the masses and that is the most important experience and requirement for seeking both local and national offices.
    Long experience may look good on paper, but when experience is short in positive achievement and paucity in compassion, they can become a stumbling block.
    Social capital, the capacity to understand human predicament and to seek solution to alleviate them are essentially what voters are looking in their leaders.
    Senator Obama has the experience in dealing with people especially the neglected people on the grassroots; those that have no power and without the powerful interest group to speak and lobby for them.
    Senator Obama is for the people, the common people who he has been fighting for all this time. He is real, he is one of the people, he came from the working American people and when he get to the White House, he will continue fighting for them.
    Senator Obama will make a great president, because apart from having an electrifying charisma and personality, his compassing wisdom will enable him to close the partisan gap in Washington. He is truly the man of the people; during the 2004 Democratic party convention, he reminded Americans the most significant thing by uttering those hallow words:

    "Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation not because of the height of our skyscrapers, or the power of our military, or the size of our economy; our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”
    That is the true genius of America, a faith in simple dreams, an insistence on small miracles; that we can tuck in our children at night and know that they are fed and clothed and safe from harm; that we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door; that we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe; that we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution; and that our votes will be counted - or at least, most of the time.
    There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America."

    Senator Obama is ready to lead and all we can do is to support him, may he will be the one to transform our differences and bridge the gap by restoring America to a greater heights. Senator Obama is the one that can once again reaffirmed our belief in America as a beacon of hope and justice.

    December 22, 2007 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  18. mary,vegas,Nevada

    To JH,

    You still don't get it, do you?
    Americans are sick and tired of the Republicans "cowboy diplomacy", we don't want anymore of your "shoot first, ask questions later" foreign policy, Allardice.

    December 22, 2007 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  19. John E,charleston,S.C

    Barack Obama for President of the United States of America.

    Say no to nepotism.
    Say no to triangulated Iraq vote disasters.
    Say no to mud-sling machine politics.

    It's time for America to Rise and Shine again.

    December 22, 2007 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  20. Christine NJ

    He knows he is in dead end Street, and that is why he takes this none senses subject to attacking others and misleading American again, it just only shows his ability is zero. If he has knowledge, he should stay his position to learn more, and it might be possible for peoples considering the next term for him.

    December 22, 2007 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  21. beth,delaware


    Obama/Webb the ticket to greatness!

    December 22, 2007 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  22. george,fairfax,va

    Hillary is running against Bush. Compared to Bush, we all look like Gandhi. We should expect more than just "not Bush".

    December 22, 2007 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  23. Robyn, San Diego

    If you're boasting about having the support of old Pres. Clinton advisors, I guess the 90s were not so terrible afterall, right?

    December 22, 2007 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  24. vick,boston,ma

    Hillary I will ask your advice too ... when she started to laugh when he was asked "Why do you have so many Clinton Foreign policy advisers in des moines debate.
    This guy is brilliant. The media goes witch hunting him and he will never bend low! I just want him to be my president!

    December 22, 2007 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  25. Kathy,nashua,newhempshire

    If they really liked the Clintons administration, they could have gone to support him. To me looks like they want change too!

    December 22, 2007 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
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