January 6th, 2008
02:47 PM ET
15 years ago

Obama: 'They will try to Swiftboat me'

Obama is running neck-and-neck with Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire.

Obama is running neck-and-neck with Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire.

EXETER, New Hampshire (CNN) - Barack Obama’s starting to talk about his fall campaign as a matter of when, not if – and so are some of his potential general election opponents.

Obama may be running neck-and-neck with New York Sen. Hillary Clinton in most polls of New Hampshire’s Democratic voters, but "I know once I win this Democratic nomination that the folks on the other side will come after me with everything they've got,” he told an Exeter, New Hampshire crowd Saturday. “They will try to Swiftboat me," he said.

Obama was referring to the attacks faced by Sen. John Kerry after he captured the Democratic nomination in 2004.

Republican Mitt Romney, in a close race of his own in the Granite State’s GOP primary, is trying to use Obama’s momentum to make the case against rival John McCain. The former Massachusetts governor told voters this weekend that "It’s time for someone to stand up to Barack Obama, who I think has a good chance of becoming the nominee. He's running against two long serving senators who talk about their experience, and he blows them away.

"Are we going to do the same and put up another long serving senator as our nominee?"

Romney’s had one eye on his rivals, and another on Obama, for a while now - his campaign sent out press releases targeting the Illinois senator on taxes before he won Iowa’s Democratic caucuses.

–CNN's Jessica Yellin and Peter Hamby

soundoff (251 Responses)
  1. curiosityhasme

    If you want to know the REAL Obama, then check out his "Christian" church TUCC-Chicago. Why won't mainstream media take this racist church on? C'mon Lou! This is right up ther with hijacking our American society! A church with an African-centrist "Black Values System"? How many of the other presidential candidates are affiliated with ANY organization, religious or not, that promote "White Values Systems"? Huge double standard – propped up by mainstream media! Not only is Obama getting a free ride on his "no meaningful record" and short stint on the national scene, but he has all of media glorifying his every move. It's a big deal because he's "articulate" according to Jack Cafferty. Shouldn't ALL candidates be articulate? It's hard to believe that even reasonable people – Lou Dobbs and Jack Cafferty (my heroes) are helping to hand America the Southside of Chicago – and they think this black ghetto / gangsta mentality promoted on BET – where Obama ads are his groundswell. When I lose Lou Dobbs to this Pied Piper, all is lost, folks.

    January 6, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  2. Les

    The MOST hateful words I've ever read came from Obama supporters. They call Hillary Clinton Hitlery, Shillary, Bi*tch etc. etc. I haven't read any Clinton supporters calling Obama derogatory names.

    That's the reason a LOT of people with two brain cells are turned off with Obama. Not only he lack in SPECIFICS, full of PLATITUDES, his supporters are VICIOUS!

    January 6, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  3. Larry Buchas, New Britain, CT

    Funny, I don't see these type of questionable blogs regarding Hillary.

    CNN still appears to be siding with the queen of mean.

    January 6, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  4. nadeem

    See latest poll Obama up by 10 in NH.

    The bounce is continuing, bat news for Clinton.

    January 6, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  5. Kevin,FL


    January 6, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  6. PNNJ

    I hope people elect the person on the basis of analysis of the things that a person has been able to achieve rather than because media is anointing him/her.

    I wish somebody in the media did the analysis of the top three candidates of each party, and showed what they said before their previous sucvcessful election and what their voting record on the same issue was after they were elected. I am looking for real votes so I can make my decision. Since all of them are politicains, it should not be difficult if somebody in the media really did their job. It should be for all top candidates, soI that it is not biased. This is really the media's job. In a democracy that is how they can be informative so the choice is made soundly by voters.

    January 6, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  7. Peter

    Bella Girl, I need your help. Can you tell me the lies that you have caught Obama in? I really love objectivity, and I am absolutely positive that you can pinpoint each lie, and that you can also tell me all of the decisions that Hillary has made that resulted in change that helped us as Americans. I am sure that you will be able to demonstrate to us all of those things that show Hillary's experience being beneficail to us. I am confident that you are not interested in painting an erroneous picture of a candidate, but that instead you are interested in painting a fair, balanced, and accurate position of their accomplishments, and their goals. I look forward to your response, and I anticipate learning a great deal from it, Or not.

    January 6, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  8. Amy, IA

    Who ever knew Hillary would sink to GOP tactics so quickly? From last nights debate peformance she resembled an ogre with expensive make up and clothing. Just think of what Bill and Chelsea see , ugh.

    January 6, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Obama has more experience as an ELECTED OFFICIAL than Clinton

    he has held office since 1997, and Clinton since 2000; the experience she speaks of is her husband's; therefore he has more experience... Don't trust me, definately don't trust her, check out their websites.

    January 6, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  10. Eric

    Duncan, alot of people voted yea on the patriot act renewal. Including Clinton and Mccain. You fail to mention he voted nay on warrantless wiretaps, which was a major provison of the patriot act renewal. Yes he voted for renewal, but not the wiretaps. What is your problem with this vote? Is it just the fact that voting yea on the patriot act makes him a right winger? Well, lump Ms. Clinton in there too.

    January 6, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  11. Stop the Iraq war NOW

    Again I write this, and hope that THIS time it is posted--it wasn't the first time.

    I am from 3 hours south of Obama-land Chicago. When Presidential political candidates' previous experience/voting records were being searched by the press a few months ago, before the Iowa caucases, Clinton said that hers is in the Clinton library and she has no control over them being released. Well, here in Illinois a few weeks ago there was a published newspaper report that Obama's experience record from his Senatoral years (that is supposed to be archived in Springfield, Illinois) is not there, because it was "previously destroyed because it was of no use". This published article had the archiver of Political Records there stating that in all of his years at his position, he had never seen a politician destroy their previous political records. Now, if this published article is accurate, why did this happen? Shouldn't ALL candidates for olitical office have their previous experience scrutinized if they are seeking the job of the Presient of the United States?

    January 6, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  12. NObama

    Obama supporters are stuck in some sort of political wet dream. He hasn't got the experience, backbone, or fortitude to clean up the mess left in the wake of GWB. Sadly, the Obama bandwagon is growing longer by the minute, and by the time his supporters realize it's doomed, it will be moving too fast to get off, turn it around, or run it off a cliff.

    If you stand for real change and the ability to make it happen, cast a vote for Hillary Clinton. She's the experience candidate and the change candidate, rolled into one.

    January 6, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  13. james

    Ireally like Obama very much, but do not think America will elect a black president just yet...I truly believe alot of Democrats and Independents would actually vote for a Guliani or McCain, before wasting their vote on Obama....No, I'm not a Racist, I just feel that deep inside, alot of people will believe that their vote for Obama, might be a "Get on the bandwagon vote", and instead vote for a moderate Republican....

    January 6, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  14. Mo

    ABC – Anybody But Clinton

    January 6, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  15. arthur

    Obama has a monopoly on Hope and shares Change with Edwards. I sent the Obama camp this question: How much does your medical insurance cost? How would you finance your health care program when you say, "I want you to have the same health care that I have (as a Senator)? No answer, but they wanted me to join.
    I am looking for someone to vote for.

    January 6, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  16. jp/michigan

    Not many really know who you are. Is there reason to "swiftboat" are there things hiding. I have been a Democrat for 56years. This may be , if Obama is nominated, that I a many more will not vote Democratic. President Bush also said things would change and he didn't have much experience and depended on others in the White House and what did that get us. A debt my greatgrandchildren will be paying, a War built on oil greed and fabrication, a President who cares more about Iraq then American children and vetos bills that can help the American people. Obama until the 2004 democratic convention was not heard of . He has some type of agenda. Now Edwards and him have something going like President and vice president.

    January 6, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  17. jack, ny, ny

    I will be voting for republician if Obama is on the ballot

    January 6, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  18. Elizabeth


    EXPERIENCE... Actually, Obama has more experience as an ELECTED OFFICIAL than Hillary

    Obama has held office since 1997 (Illinois State Senator) & 2005 (U.S. Senator), and Clinton since 2000 (U.S. Senator) & prior to this (WIFE of the President...unelected position);

    the experience she speaks of is her husband's; therefore he has more experience...

    Don't trust me, definately don't trust her, CHECK OUT THIER WEBSITES!!

    January 6, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  19. Taylor

    Edwards or Clinton are the best people to run this country. Barack Obama seems like a great guy and has a lot of ideas that I like, but he is not ready to run this country yet. If he were to run in 8 years, I would consider voting for him, but right now I feel we need someone with more experience. A lot of stuff is going on in the world right now and I want someone with more experience running this country. It's too bad Iowa voters didn't get behind someone like Joe Biden or Chris Dodd. They are the people that this country needs right now. As others have said, I'm also a Democrat and I don't know if I will vote for him if he is the Democratic nominee.

    January 6, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  20. Thomas, Denver, CO

    I loved Obama's response on 'The Daily Show' when John Stewart asked him about the "experience" issue.

    He said, "No one is Washington has longer resumes than Dick Cheney or Don Rumsfeld and look where they got us".

    What really qualifies as experience anyway?

    Bush only served one term as governor of Texas before the GOP annointed him as their candidate in 2000.

    Republicans will be reminded of that if and when they question Obama's experience.

    Obama. on the other hand, won three elections to the Illinois state senate starting in 1996, before he successfully ran for the U.S. senate in 2004.

    As for the potential for swiftboating, I have no doubt that there will be pond scum out there who will try it but after the dirty politics of the 2004 election and with all the baggage of Bush's legacy of a still controversial and failed war, a foreign policy nightmare, the sinking dollar, a looming recession..any attempt to "swiftboat" him, or whoever is the democratic candidate for that matter, will be dead in the water.

    Good luck, Sen. Obama..you already have my vote.

    January 6, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  21. Dan, NJ

    Dems and Reps in Iowa rejected dirty politics (or "dumpster diving" and Huckabee says). Obama's comments are smart for two reasons: 1. he is showing he is comfortable as a front runner and reinforcing the poll data that he can win and 2. setting up the defense for any dirty attacks "we knew they would attack dirty, they've done, and we still want to focus on policy and bringing America together.

    January 6, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  22. Dee Ward Mena, AR

    Let's hope they not only swiftboat you, we can always hope they sink you. GO HILLARY...the most qualified person for the job. If you are the nominee, I will be voting Republican for the first time in my life...

    January 6, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  23. Mario

    Go Obuma No John Kerry to run around this time, thank heaven for that.

    January 6, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  24. OJC, PHX, AZ

    "IF Obama wins you will see the highest voter turnout of all time.
    And the voters will not be for him."

    I bet you are wrong. I would be willing to bet that 30 – 35% of the populous won't vote for him because he is so different(name, race, background, etc.). Approximately, 90% of that is republicans so people that wouldn't vote for him anyway. That leaves a huge part of the population that is open to the idea.

    Obama is going to be really tough for anyone to beat.

    January 6, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  25. Dennis

    With America heading for a recession due to all the big bankers giving out credit to NINJAs, America needs to forget about the world and look after the homefront. Republicans have messed the US up and it is time for change. Obama represents the best chance for change. Canadians generally like moderates and Obama is the man of the hour.

    No more Bushes.

    January 6, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
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