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. Oscar Felts, NY, NY

    I listened to the New Hampshire debates and Obama had extreme difficulty enunciating words and forming coherant sentences. He also looked exhausted.

    Yet I see in the press how he 'won' the debate and many posters here claiming the same. No wonder America is so f–ked up.

    And as the earlier poster 'Les' stated the politician that sounds most like Obama to me is the post 9/11 President George Bush.

    Obama has stated he would attack a nuclear-armed Pakistan with missiles and has stated he wants to end pork-barrel legislation. Would the pork-barrel legislation that Obama wants to end be the same pork-barrel legislation he voted for and President George Bush vetoed?!

    Factor in the fact that Obama believes himself to be superiour to others (sound familiar?) and that he was caught in a bald-faced lie by Hillary Clinton (when Obama claimed his campaign manager was not working for Pfizer as a lobbiest) and you have to think liberals in America really are nihilistic fools.

    January 6, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  2. GaryO

    The Republican right will no-doubt swiftboat whoever wins the Democratic nomination, but the Democrats had better hope it is not Obama.

    Obama is easy pickin's, and can be legitimately attacked by Republicans for his lack of experience and other foibles. True, a lot of right wingers hate Hillary, but they can't really come up with any legitimate reasons to attack her. They will have to rely purely on lies and innuendo, and sooner or later, even the most gullible citizens will be able to see through that.

    Hillary, or even Edwards would have a much better chance at winning the Presidency. The Republican right would love to see Obama as the Democratic nominee.

    January 6, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  3. Someonewhocares

    Wake up people – this country is not going to put a black man into the white house. I have been a democrat all my life and now I'm seriously looking at the other party. I even hope that a third party might come out of this mess. This is just the beginning, not the end.

    January 6, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  4. Janina

    Frankly, NO ONE has a perfect match of experience for President until THEY ARE
    President. What I see in the "experience" issue, is that they mean "experience" with a BROKEN POLITICAL SYSTEM. And, if they, such as Hillary, are so EXPERIENCED, what of substance have they done to FIX IT???!!! This system has been broken for decades!!! Remember the REFORM PARTY's first candidate in 1992?? That was Ross Perot. The Reform Party attempted to fix corruption in the Washington political machine. DIDN'T HAPPEN. And 16 years since, IT"S STILL BROKEN with no sign of any change of anykind on the horizon - UNTIL NOW! Thanks very much to the PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN of BARACK OBAMA!!

    January 6, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  5. wishfulthinking

    what a joke america!

    obama hussein barack is a front runner in two states where the population is 98% white... comical relief... a vote for this man is a vote for the republicans... emotions are overcoming reason!

    hypocrisy is the trademark of politics.

    the divisive game is dangerous for america. this is merely a strategy to tilt the scales in favor of the republicans people, wake up! or we will pay dearly.

    talk is cheap.

    January 6, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  6. Joe Ossai, Bedford, NH

    Obama will be the next President of United States. This is so beautiful. Thank God for America and Americans. The beauty of the Presidency will now match the beauty of this fantastic land of ours.

    January 6, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  7. Gloria Devendittis

    Hillary Clinton's constant reference to her experience is becoming weary.
    First, NO PRESIDENT had prior experience as a president.
    Secondly, we need someone who is likeable and not divisive. Hillary is not a likeable person and is divisive and would divide the U.S. Hillary represents the establishment and the upper class interests. She had her opportunity, and is a great disappointment. I am a feminist and senior citizen. I will not vote for Hillary simply because she is a woman. Barack Obama is a breath of fresh air, intelligent, is a nice person, and
    offers hope.

    January 6, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  8. Marilyn, Ca

    Dave, I'm one of those voters who will not vote for Obama. He may be an eloquent speaker but he is absolutely unqualified for the presidency. I am an active senior now and have voted for the Democratic candidate in every election since I turned 21. It will be tough to vote Republican, but I will hold my nose and do it if my only other choice is a man of inexperience, empty words, who speaks in generalities, has accepted donations from plenty of lobbyists, and has lobbyists working on his campaign. I'm keeping in mind his comments how, when he's elected, lobbyists will not be allowed to influence the decisions in D.C. What a fraud!

    January 6, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  9. Dr Dele

    I believe America is truly ready for a new face, a new voice and a nw vision. Obama is the sea change that will truly usher in Amrica into the 2st century, defining his era as much as FDR in World World War 2 and JFK in the ealry 1960's. Moreover, the world loves and will welcome him, giving America a boost back into the fold of powerful and righteous nations after the darkness of the Bush years.

    January 6, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  10. Dee

    All you haters against OBAMA need to sit down and pay attention. The young generation will be the ones that speak this there time, it is a new day and change is what they want. So if you don't like it, don't vote. I wish these simple minded people would keep their comments to themselves. Hillary's experience as she says comes from being in the white house with Bill. Give me a break. Obama in 08 !

    January 6, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  11. Duke357

    Obama is not mature enough to run for president. During last nights debate when asked a question about what the GOP candidates were saying about him he seemed flustered and admitted on national television that he did not watch the previous debate he was watching a football game on TV! Was that more important than learning how to beat his rivals?
    I went to see him talk in Manning,SC. I sat next to some local police and security staff. They were talking amoungst themselves and were saying that Obama was joking backstage and had them in stitches. I want a president who is talking about local issues with local voters when he comes to visit SC, not joking to amuse himself. This does not seem like the actions of a mature individual who I want leading my country!

    January 6, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  12. Jerry

    GO OBAMA !!! We're with you.

    January 6, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  13. Pankaj Karan

    We have been surrounded by many politicians with many yrs of experience and thay are so entrencehd with corporations and lobbyists that thaey cane never bring about any chnagesPeople are tired of givinf chances to politicians with lots of experience and now they want somebody totally different and that is where Obama fits in where all historical facts and figures and polls and undits will be proven wrongs. He is the one who connecs with people. In yesterday's NH debate Hillary kept saying " i have chnaged so many things in last 30 yrs". Are we seeing those changes? are we talking about that kind of changes? She could not do much for healthcare in 1994 while she was in Whie House. She has experience but she is so polarizing that she can never get anythings done. We need somebody like Obama who can bring people together and that is what people want in 2008. Sorry Hillary.
    God Less Obama.

    January 6, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  14. Sunny

    HRC Analysis

    Positives for Hillary:

    1. Is a woman: Sends a +VE image to the world.
    2. Experience: Questionable? Nevertheless give her the credit.


    1. Too much baggage/history
    2. Clintons: Lied: I did not sleep with that woman. If HRC had any spunk she should have walked out of that marriage
    3. Clintons had 10 years- nothing was accomplished on Health Care. If she wanted to achieve something then she should have achieved it.
    3. Experience: Foreign trips don't count for much. You are treated as royalty, nothing to it. HRC did not even have a security clearance nor attended a security briefing.
    4. HRC took PAC money and has been corrupted by WASH DC. Too many people who are corrupt or have lied, including her husband.
    5. 10 years of Clinton, 10 years of Bush...... 5 years more..... God please no

    For me John or Obama. Preferably Obama.

    A man in VA

    January 6, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  15. Ayyub, Richmond, Va

    Actually, they will. It's the way you say it if Hillary wins. The GOP will be running out like on the movie 'The Head of State'. If this happens with Obama it will be just racist or hopeless individuals.

    January 6, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  16. Tyler in Raleigh, NC

    Hey Dave.... how may people do you think will show up to vote AGAINST Clinton?

    She has shown and will now show even more of her true nature. She is challeneged and she will make the "Republican attack machine" look pleasent in comparison.

    I am tired of the politics of hatred and fear. Let Clinton, Bush and the rest of them go off and fade away with the 60+ crowd. Its about time for a new generation to fix the mess that these greedy, corrupt boomers have brought. What a great legacy.....

    January 6, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  17. Barbara

    The prejudice and hatred that I'm reading in this blog is the very thing that Obama is fighting against. If he was a white man saying the very same words, would you think differently of him. Open up your hearts and minds people, he is only trying to give you something to believe in. Did you ever believe in Santa, or the tooth fairy?
    Remember how it felt when we no longer had them to look forward to for a visit. It leaves you numb inside. We need to believe again, why not give him a chance?

    January 6, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |

    Dave (above me)is correct.

    The Republicans are putting money up for Obama to win the nomination.
    That assures them of being a shoe-in for the next 4 years(ARGGGH)

    As far as Geny and the ridiculous charge that Hillary was paid off re Universal Health Care:check your facts.

    The last time we all yearned for a CHANGE..we got Carter.
    Lets be careful what we wish for.

    January 6, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  19. Alvin K

    I think voters ARE ready for a black president or a woman president. More than ready, in fact. Many of them don't really give ethnicity or gender a lot of thought in determining whether they support, like, trust or can believe in someone.

    It's called progress.

    Young voters are overwhelmingly liberal, progressive, open-minded, forward-looking and hopeful. That's why they're hewing to the Dems by a significant margin.

    And it's young voters who are going to make the difference this time.

    Oh, and "Concerned Citizen" - how long have you been concerned? Have the past eight years been just fine with you? If so, we have nothing to discuss.

    January 6, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  20. Kim, Dallas, TX

    Dave, I think you are mistaken. Iowa had the highest caucus turnout of all time and they WERE definitely for Obama. He appeals to a wide variety of people. I for one will be there voting for him. Phobic racist people will most likely come out in droves, but I have high hopes that our country can get beyond his skin color and see him for the man that he is. GO OBAMA!! I also believe that if a state that is less than 4% black supported him as Iowa did, then there is much hope for him to make it. Only time will tell....

    January 6, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  21. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    SKM in Boston wrote "The Republicans aren't half as well funded as Clinton's." .. but fails to mention that Republicans are 4 times as mean ... just ask John –
    not Kerry – McCain! Also be aware of the "scare" factor coming into play – hey – worked the last two times!

    The swifboating is already starting – watch curiosityhasme repetitive posts about Obama's church ... he's just quoting nasty, unproven rumors floating around on the internet.

    Pushy BIll O' whatever and his partner in grime Rush Limbaugh along with Faux News will copy Mitt's "mistaken" pronunciation of Obama by changing to to "Osama" and making sure his middle name is always mentioned.

    A lie goes around the world before truth has the time to tie her shoes. And the loyal 26% of Bush fans left will fall in line, blindly following along since rational dialog is not one of their strong points. That is what is truly scary.

    January 6, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  22. faceless

    This is how you know clinton campaign staffers and managers on this blog; they write what amounts to an essay trying to sway opionion on this board. they haven't learned from planting easy questions for their boss, hillary.

    January 6, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  23. faceless

    Michelle, which office of Hillary Clinton's campaign do you work at?

    January 6, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  24. stan pitts pa

    Dave January 6, 2008 6:26 pm ET

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

    well so far the American people, have done nothing but come out in droves to vote for obama, obama is inspiring the American people once more, no more politics of fear, its time for hope again, obama 08!

    January 6, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  25. Cudjoetech

    Bimmer, Les, Bella Girl and Sluggo, pleaes add some constructive comments.
    Thank you.

    January 6, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
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