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. John Adkisson, Sacramento, California

    "Mrs. America" asks why Obama would rely on Clinton advisors if he wants to move forward and not backward to the 90's.

    The answer is that Obama's new approach is to be inclusive of all points of view, and to utilize experienced veterans, not to ignore them or select them with a political litmus test.

    The difference will be in the integrity and deliberation of the president himself in leading this new coalition. The reason so many seasoned foreign affairs and domestic (former) Clinton advisors are with Obama in this campaign, is that he will: (1) approach each issue with broad-minded rationality; (2) listen to all points of view; (3) find solutions that are most likely to be effective; and (4) inspire collaboration over his policies across all divisions national and international. This is evidenced throughout his twenty years in public life.

    The moment he is sworn in, the world will begin viewing America as a force for freedom and peace. The nation will sense a new common purpose. It can happen - I remember as a child the sense of unity we had around young John Kennedy. The day he died, the music in politics died with him.

    Obama, and not the Clintons, will have a better chance of achieving these lofty goals. There is no better evidence of this than that former Clinton advisors, disillusioned by the cynicism of the 90's, have turned to Obama in droves.

    December 22, 2007 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  2. Christian, Hampton, Virginia

    This has been a very interesting lead up to the Primary for Democratic politics as a whole. Senator Clinton and Senator Obama both in my opinion bring elements of validity to the trail that could very well work in the office of President of the United States.

    Problem is: they have now disrespected one another so much that neither would be willing to work together in the future on a Presidential/VP ticket.

    Things that stand out most to me:
    * Clinton has consistently played the wrong hand in terms of her support to a dying republican agenda. While this is the case, she still has the name that is powerful and respected around the world (which could be a very useful tool in the head office). I support Clintons push for Universal healthcare and think it can work with very little sacrafice from the american public. Businesses in this country should be all for such a change.

    * Obama.. well his ideas for foriegn policy are fresh and would work well in the political scene of the 21st century. Why people don't seem to get his point is beyond me. Simply put he has no set of rules for diplomatic enagement. Each situation requires some flexibility on the part of the president but his point is this.. stop sending the Secretary of State to represent US interest – stop pouting like children when other countries won't do as the US or the world suggest they should – stop refusing to play with them any longer by imposing sanctions against countries with opposing views. A strong leader is not afraid to try real diplomacy first. A strong leader is not afraid to meet face to face with those whose opinions differ. A strong leader does not take the "It's my way or no way" approach to politics because it does not serve the interest of them or us. As either president or vp I think Obama could be valuable in this regard. As for his healthcare strategy.. that my friends is just pure garbage but may be just what is needed to get republican support on board considering it keeps the US Healthcare System (if you can call it that) making money. And since many republicans probably own tons of stock and other interest in such that may very well be our best hope. (Truth is TRUTH)

    That's my take. Either way we have a tough road ahead. Neither candidate is all that great in regard to thir political record and in different areas each shine differently. Now that the Bush/Cheney admin has somewhat redefined the role of the Vice President, I think together they could possibly be the most complete team the US Executive branch has ever seen.

    Sorry about the typos earlier everyone.. I'm not very good at typing but I can spell quite well once I take the time to proof read.

    December 22, 2007 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  3. Walt, Belton, TX

    They're supporting you because they're currently unemployed!

    December 22, 2007 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  4. greg,new york

    Man there are a lot of Obama hater so ut there or some of these comments are being left By people who work for he clintons. most of these negative arguments make no sense.
    I want Obama to win because i reallywant to see our country get another shot at bieng great. There othe rpeople int he field that provide that like biden. but he will not win. Obama reprsents the best thing s about america.
    please people lets turn the pageIf ou can't see the forest because of the trees well take a step back.

    December 22, 2007 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  5. Ken,nebraska

    This simply shows he is ready to lead and ready to listen to experts on this area that he has less knowledge of.
    That is a wise president.
    I am Obama supporter.

    December 22, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  6. JJ Monterey, CA

    "The list of foreign policy experts backing Obama goes way back to Kennedy star advisers" GEEZ do y'all suppose they even know HOW to turn on a computer? 😉

    Don't think I'd be touting the large number of foreign policy advisors I had on the payroll though, peeps might assume that he REALLY REALLY needs them!! Course most have the attention span of a nanosecond anyway.

    Somewhere over the rainbow... in Never Never Land with Peter Pan, Wendy, and Tinkerbell. Can't hardly wait

    December 22, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  7. JH, Iowa

    Mary in Vegas,
    I'm not sure if you totally understood my comment. Yes, I do "get it." When choosing which democrat I was going to support, I chose the issue that was most important to me; Foreign policy. I agree with you, no more cowboy-style, shoot first ask later. My point was, Bush had no foreign policy experience. He had to rely on others to tell him what to do. He got bad advice and here we are. We get to elect our leaders – not their advisers. I want somone who thoroughly "GET'S IT," and can make decisions based on their own knowledge and experience. All presidents need advisers, but when it comes to foriegn policy we need a leader, not a follower. Joe Biden has the answers and the qualifications.

    December 22, 2007 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  8. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Let me paraphrase RT's post (which was placed all over the blogs) – ignore the fact that Hillary has no concrete position on anything....ignore the fact that she never answers a question clearly....ignore her past....ignore her present....and everything will be fine....embrace socialism....let the government take care of you...socialism has proven to work....look at all the countries who have embraced it....(they come here for good healthcare...) Hillidiots baffle me....

    December 22, 2007 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  9. CE, Kenosha, WI

    I don't think candidates going back and forth about foreign policy advisors and who supports who should be considered an "Attack". That's all fair as far as I'm concerned.

    December 22, 2007 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  10. Brad Steinman, Chicago, Illinois

    Hey lets just leave out the fact that he's been in the senate foreign relations committee for 3 years, was an illinois state senator for many years, and before that worked in the chicago city government as a community organizer. this man has been serving the people his entire career. way to keep up the perception that this man is inexperienced. If you don't want Obama to be president its not your call to keep other people in the dark and not let people learn the facts about him you scumbag. This man is more qualified to be president than any other candidate, and you can't leave out important information that suits your own bias. Its stupefying.

    December 22, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  11. beth,ca

    John Adkisson, Sacramento, California

    I agree with you 100%. I can never wait to see this country come back to be lead by real Americans. No more cronies in the white house!!

    December 22, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  12. teddy orlando fl

    HRC can you not see the future any more

    Obama is coming and yyes america needs him.

    HRC if you really cared you would have 1. run for president in 2004
    2. or help Kerry win in 2004

    there fore this elecdtionis just about your personal ambitions not the american people.

    thisis why former cliton advisors are flocking to Obama he can make the changes necessary and untie this country behind a common purpose.

    I would never ask my kid to grow to be like your bill or bush jr.

    but i would tell them to eat their vegatables to be like OBAMA

    OBAMA 08

    December 22, 2007 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. vicky,boston,ma

    J wilson,
    I won't waste my time write all that but, write like an adult and know we live in America for you to lie on Obama's vote. I have credentials that make me feel I need to vote for him. With your long story short, you will not make me change my mind with faulted and misinformed article!!

    December 22, 2007 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. Andy, New York, New York

    Obama shouldn't lean too strongly on Bill's foreign policy stars now in his corner, cause under Bill Clinton, America had to serious foreign policy to talk about. The mess Bush had to clean up with Iraq, Iran, Libya and North Korea was created during Clinton's era. Now Iraq is coming around after we got rid of saddam and his two sons who cannot make a come-back to irritate us. Iran, after seeing our seriousness in blistering Iraq in 2003 halted its ware-based nuke program. Libya has fallen in line as a non-terrorist state. North Korea has finally decided to come clean and stop its nuke games. Bush is not a perfect man, but had he not stood up stubborly to these guys, America's foreign policy would have been doomed. America needs strong and courageous leadership; not necessarily perfect leadership. Bush, bruised but unbowed and unbroken, is a stand up guy for America!

    December 22, 2007 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  15. jeff

    Just like Doctor king said, it will reach a time when we will elect our president,not because of the color or sex but because of the character.

    December 22, 2007 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  16. Vincent, Tamaqua, Pa

    this is the Obama campaign that has been continuously distorting the facts.

    inexperienced bush-like tactics.

    HILLARY 08!

    December 22, 2007 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  17. phemi, DC MD

    No way Hussein!!

    Too late now for Obama for VP.

    Hussein Obama should cut his teeth first as president of Kenya...his Father Land!

    December 22, 2007 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  18. Phemi, DC metro area

    Would you elect a rookie as captain of the team?

    Would a freshman be elected Head of Student Union Government?

    Would you choose a rookie cop as Chief of police?

    Change is just a word unless you have the backbone and experience to make it happen!

    December 22, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  19. JB Boston MA

    The fact is Bill's major foreign policy experts have decided to back Obama. The word "more" is a bit subjective in that you need to define who are "foreign policy advisers". Hillary's list inlcudes low level employees.

    By the way, another good article from If you haven't seen the site it worth going to.

    This is how Hillary rolls!! SHE LIES!!!!

    December 22, 2007 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  20. Steve, Lyons, CO

    Obama, you have no foreign policy vision. Shut the hell up and address the issues.

    Every time you say something I agree with, you turn around and whine like a child about Hillary.

    What about the Patriot Act? What about the illegal executive power amassed by Bush/Cheney? What about the Bush tax cuts that helped the rich and corporate, and no one else?

    Concentrate on the ISSUES. Your inexperience is showing.

    December 22, 2007 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  21. Sus

    Is anyone really listening to Obama? Have you ever heard a smart, slick teenager try to get out of admitting that they really didn't do the homework? There isn't enough content here. He's happy now that he can just stay simple and mudsling at Clinton because the primaries are around the corner. This is probably way more comfortable than answering tough questions and coming out with clear, detailed, feasible plans.


    December 22, 2007 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |


    December 22, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  23. Wyatt Medford,Oregon

    I thought Clinton was about experience and Obama was about change, well as a observer of politics I find both these claims questionable, first if I want experience I would say hands down Joe Biden is that candidate and if I want a candidate of change I wouldn't pick Obama he is using Clintons people that doesn't sound like change to me. The only change I want is a new President who knows what he is doing and that would be Joe Biden once again.

    December 22, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  24. Pope

    Love Obama, He gives us so much hope in the future of Our Great nation.


    I'm not suprised to see so many trying to shoot down this rare talent with their hateful, unthoughtful and fanatical spews.

    December 22, 2007 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  25. Trang, Fremont, CA

    Another possibility could be the advisors move the Obama team is because they are overshadowed by Bill in the Clinton camp and they are valued in the Obama camp.

    While Bill can be an asset, he could drive many people away. Biden said he is not interested in Vice President because Bill is there.

    I am going to give Obama an opportunity to go in and clean house. Many things that we have today are the results from somebody's dream yesterday put into reality.

    Obama is intelligent. He sees the interconnection of things, and that's important. For example, Edward might have a noble aspiration and his pain maybe real, but he doesn't know how to get there. Take things away from people is a form of 'stealing' and take it on the national scale, I don't think it's a good thing. Clinton says she's for diplomacy and yet she labeled the Iranian guards as terrorist, another disconnect. Good leadership is about inspire people to change, persuade people to change, a collective change that can move this country to a better place, yet put a smile on them while they are doing it.

    While many are afraid because of his youth, I feel he is a safest choice, a choice that can inspire many, a choice that can turn this country around.

    December 22, 2007 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
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