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. HowDumbCanUB

    You can't complain that obama is a member of a Christian church and then pretend that he is an EVIL muslim. btw, what is so evil about being a muslim? Our country was alegedly founded on religious tollerance. Obviously some of us have forgotten this.

    January 7, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  2. Paul

    The youth and women supports Obama over Clinton, Just because he raised their confindence level, watching his speech makes one inspirational and feel good....... The right quality of a president, right?.. oh Obama the americans behind u go ahead

    January 7, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  3. Jim, Irmo, SC

    The lies have already begun about Obama. And he has been vetted. He is clear about where he stands, and he has the temperament to be president (as evidenced by his debate performance).

    January 7, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  4. Larry K, Greenville, SC

    This is the deal. There are very specific roles that the president plays. A lot of the positives that some of the candidates throw at you have no bearing on the role of president. Some of the platforms that have aren't even things that presidents do. Yeah, I back some of the things that Clinton and Edwards say too (as I have look at other Democractic candidates as well), but they could not do have of these things, because they aren't what a president does.

    I am visiting with my cousin at the moment who is a confirmed Obama backer. I have voted Republican since I could vote. I will now be voting for Obama. I was resistant at first, but after reading about his views, and evaluating what I believe he would be like as president, I am ready to commit my vote, both in primary and in general.

    January 7, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  5. Marj,Paso Robles, Cal

    obama is a complete idiot. Only a fool would vote for this moron. God help us if this nut job is elected.

    January 7, 2008 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  6. Rudy G.

    Did Romney really refer to Hillary and Edwards as long-serving Senators? One term for Edwards and less than a term and a half for Mrs. Clinton.... how is this the Democrats' A-team?

    January 7, 2008 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  7. Rob

    I can tell all you leftist chicks are having some fantasies about Obama-you white boys too.

    January 7, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  8. mail_larrym1

    All the credit in the world to George W. Bush! After 7 years of Bush "destroying" the country and creating world-wide havoc–even America is ready for "drastic" change! And what could be more drastic than electing a black man as president? On the other hand–WHO could screw things up any worst than Bush and Cheney? From Katrina to Iraq to Lebanon; from health care (including children) to medicare and education; from affordable energy and gas prices to "affordable" housing and foreclosures; from Veterans Care to the environment–the past 7-8 years have been a DISASTER! (and its not even over yet). I don't think Bin Laden could have "wished" for a more incompetent destructive force to hit America! From World opinion to U.S. Dollar–our respect and reputation has hit ROCK BOTTOM! From disregarding domestic and international law (breaking both at will); to LYING to the American people resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people (Iraqis and American Soldiers). From "so-called" Homeland Security to Immigration policies: How can an Administration "ENJOY" over six years of "UNCHALLENGED" policies, votes and legislation–and STILL manage to put our country BEHIND $9 trillion debt; a failing economy
    This has been a NIGHTMARE of momentous proportions. And for those FEW misguided souls who take comfort in saying, "At least we haven't had a terrorist attack in America for the past 7 years"; Well I will remind them that with the rapid growth of street gangs in our schools and communities throughout America–we DO HAVE DOMESTIC TERRORISM on American soil and (2) During the last 7 years of the Clinton Administration–there was no acts of international terrorism on American soil either–so your "Bush has protected us point is?"
    The ONLY good thing Bush has done in his (soon to be) 8 years; has been to make it POSSIBLE for Obama to become President. Yet, given the MESS he is leaving behind–even that is NOT a blessing. Clean-up may take a century.

    January 7, 2008 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  9. Ally Kendall

    Both Obama and Clinton are feeding at the AIPAC trough, and both can be expected to sell out the interests of their nation in favor of Israeli interests. It is warmongers like these who put us in this mess. Check out the money flow from investment banks to Obama in Q3.

    January 7, 2008 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  10. Robert M. Reidy N.Y.

    Do you remember Sean Connery as Officer Malone in the untouchables
    and his references to the Chicago way.

    Well Barak Obama came up on the south side and he will counter their
    jabs harder and faster. They are in the arena with a modern prodigy
    as tough as Jimmy Braddock, as fast as Ali, and as strong as Marciano.

    It's going to be lights out for the Republican Candidate as we the home crowd
    cheer him on and we throw the bums out!

    Barak Obama a modern day CINDERELLA MAN !!!

    Barock the vote!

    January 7, 2008 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  11. Hope

    Clinton playing the race card? Now that is a joke. If anyone is playing that it would be Obama, Michelle and Oprah. How dare you say that about Ms.Clinton. This woman has been helping all minitories in this country unlike someone else that is basically just focusing on two. Black and white. But the United States has many shades of gray. I am looking forward to Obama mentioning each as he comes to our states. Word of advice? you should have mentioned us at the very beginning. Like when he mentioned slaves.

    January 7, 2008 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  12. George

    I can see by your dirty attack on Barack that you are either blogging from Clinton headquarters or as dirty as the Senator herself.

    First, let me just say that your notion that Barack is unelectable is ludicrous. A person who inspired that many people in Iowa, democrats, independents, and even some republicans is a force to be reconned with in November. People like you want to infer that his race will be an issue but remember, he doesn’t have to win the deep south, no democrat ever does. But if you think Barack can be stopped in PA, FL or OH, you are not following this race. I assure you he will be a better nominee for us than someone who enters w/ 50% negatives and his hated, yes HATED by almost every republican and many democrats, like myself.

    You also mentioned that all you get are weak answers to your question as to why we shouldn't give Hillary her anointed position as president, she's earned right?

    Please help me understand how exactly she has earned it? You'll have to excuse me if I don't consider the 16 years as first lady as experience. Just as I don't think my wife would be able to do the work I do as an engineer, or just as don't expect Laura Bush to be our president in 2016. I'm sure it was fun for hillary to meet foreign leader, but as far as what she's accomplished, I'm not impressed.

    Please notice that she doesn't really site any amazing accomplishments. That would be because there really aren't any. She would have to work with evil republicans or go against the drug, insurance or oil companies that have financed her campaigns.

    Here is what I do know about Hillary's foreign policy experience:
    – She voted for the war in Iraq because her polls told her that is what the public wanted at the time. And since every vote she has ever cast in the Senate was carefully planned for her inevitable Presidential run, she knew she had to be tough on terror if she was going to beat the republicans in seven years. (This is while Brack was an Illinois senator and was making poignant speeches against the war in the face of this same public sentiment). Think Dixie chicks if you're struggling to recall the pro war, pro bush mode of the country.
    – Hillary wasn't able to find the time to read the Iraq intelligence report. She was no doubt too busy discussing the political implications of her vote.
    – And most recently she had no clue that Musharraf was already the President of Pakistan, and that the upcoming elections were for Parliament. Not one major news provider has even mentioned this. It's only being discussed on blogs because Dodd and Biden have raised the issue. (http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0108/Biden_picks_up_on_Pakistan_misstep.html). Can you imagine if Barack made the same blunder. The press would crucify him.

    And to Hillary's ethics, that same little drug story you mention, the same on Barack wrote about in his book, was brought up by Hillary's people several times. They even asked what if the evil republicans ask if he is a drug dealer. Then the Clintons had their henchmen claim Barack went to Muslim school as a kid. Odd since he's a christian and has always been one.

    And lastly, 20/20 ran a piece this friday where they played a clinton push poll attacking both edwards and obama. Luckily an Iowa school teacher recorded the call. I guess the Clintons have learned a lot from Rove and the "evil republican machine" they bash so freely. For anyone not familiar with a push poll it's when you call registered voters and pretend to ask polling questions, but just ask about lies. Clinton must have liked how Bush stole the nomination from McCain in 2000 by asking voters if they'd be less likely to vote for McCain if they knew he fathered an illegitamate black child. (not true of course). But why should truth, honesty or integrity get in teh way of George W Bush or Hillary Clinton. (http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2007/12/whose-push-poll.html).

    So you’ll have to excuse me if I plan to vote for a change in this corrupt system where regular people are not heard. The very system Hillary typifies.

    I hope you understand that I’ll be casting my history making vote for a black man and will wait patiently for a woman who isn’t willing to sabotage that very history with her below the belt tricks.

    January 7, 2008 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  13. Illinois, In Touch with your mind!

    Get with it, all these folks talking about someone who is trying to do something good for all of us. If they are so perfect, then why are they not running … I mean, running for anything. That is why we are as we are today. Forget the world, look into your own heart, look into the light, what are you looking for when it’s right before your every eyes. Can you tell me you do not understand what this man (Obama) is saying? Ya, we voted for someone who took us as idiots that we are, right to the slaughtering house and we still him his group today. When will you get up people? Do you still believe them today? If you do not understand who they are … then, its not for you! Now even the GOP’s are supporting for Hillary so they do not have to face Obama.

    Is it bad to have hope in yourself, is it bad to have a better life for yourself and children, is it bad to have at least the opportunity to work for what your have the right to? Is it? This is only for those who can THINK. Because someone is different so you hate them? Or is it because someone is achieving what YOU cannot accomplish, so you hate them?

    Ya, you are the ones who still believe that those people carry out 9/11. When the facts are right there before you. Come on, please open your eyes. Do you believe deep in your heart that you a free, is your mind free, really?

    Whoever you vote for, just vote. If you want change or a better world in your own heart, then vote or go out and do something that makes it better for everyone. You think about it!!!

    January 7, 2008 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  14. cantstoplafin

    Linda, that may be the least accurate entry I've ever read. I laughed for about 10 minutes thinking that someone actually believes that crap.

    January 7, 2008 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  15. stuart Jacobson

    i think the record speaks for itself. ms clinton is a bully whose style reminds me very much of another washington bully, donald rumsfeld. both know everything, excel at humiliating collegues, and obliterate those who oppose them. we know history will be very harsh to mr rumsfeld and i suspect the same will be true for ms. clinton.
    the very language she uses shows how bitter she is and how inept she is as a agent of change. she constantly refers to red and blue states, barely can get the word republican out of her mouth without a snide or cutting remark and then has the audacity to claim she practices the politics of inclusion? she is an inveterate liar, and david geffen was absolutely correct is his assessment of her. Even acknowledging that she and her husband are politicians, i think a psychiatrist would classify her as sociopathic. she is amoral, and i agree that obama and edwards dont have to worry about the republicans trying to do them in- ms clinton and her retread democratic team of wolfson, mcauliffe and pell are the real practitioners of swiftboating. the reason ms clinton gets so much grief has nothing to do with her gender or her message.... it is because she is mean spirited, manipulative and self-serving, qualities that also describe the since deposed rumsfeld. the tone of political business in this country has to change, and hillary clinton is unable and unwilling to do that. barack obama can and will and thats why we must elect him as our next president.

    January 7, 2008 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  16. Robert M. Reidy N.Y.

    Do you remember Sean Connery as Officer Malone in the untouchables
    and his references to the Chicago way?

    Well Barak Obama came up on the south side and he will counter their
    jabs harder and faster. They are in the arena with a modern prodigy
    as tough as Jimmy Braddock, as fast as Ali, and as strong as Marciano.

    It's going to be lights out for the Republican Candidate as we the home crowd
    cheer him on and we throw the bums out!

    Barak Obama a modern day CINDERELLA MAN !!!

    Barock the vote!

    January 7, 2008 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  17. Mike in Kentucky

    Mr. Obama:

    The Republican smear machine will indeed seek out and expose any and all opportunities they believe will hurt you, true or not.

    Every human being alive has skeletons in his or her closet. You have been in public office for many years and they will ferret out yours and beat you to death with them.

    I hope you have a shell like a turtle sir...or a skin as tough as Hillary Clinton's!

    She has survived their attacks and you have yet to experience them.

    I hope you are ready sir, in more ways than one!

    January 7, 2008 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  18. Tim

    Oh, here we go playing the victim when the truth of the matter is you have been Swiftboating Hillary and the rest of the country to boot. You are a phony Obama and a lot of us have already figured that out. The rest of the country will too but it will probably take them 7 years like it did for Bush.

    January 7, 2008 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  19. Ann

    Obama, you poor boy! The Republicans think you're the greatest. It's the Democrats you've got to worry about Swiftboating you.

    January 7, 2008 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  20. Mike in Kentucky

    It's 2:30 am on the 7th of January and I'm listening to a Republican commentator on NBC extolling the virtues of Barack Obama. Do you think he wants Obama to win the nomination because he likes him? No it's because he thinks they can beat him!!

    Wake up Democrats..The Republican machine is telling you who should really be the nominee, the one they fear will beat them.

    Don't let the talking heads tell you what to think.

    Imagine...any of the Republicans in power for the next 4 years!

    Vote for Obama and that's what we will have.

    They will eat him. He has not been tested. He's from Chicago, famous for "creative politics", and I mean that in the most unflattering way.

    No one in national politics is squeeky clean.

    What skeletons do we not know about yet?

    You can be assured that the smear machine is hard at work to ferret out the dirt, and they will find it, if it's there and beat him to death with it!

    Think carefully before you vote.

    January 7, 2008 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  21. Lee Egg Harbor NJ

    Mitt Romney versus Obama?

    That's a great match-up. If both win their nominations, it would be great. I did prefer Huckabee versus Edwards, but this match-up of the candidates of "change" (Mitt changes every day) would also be a clear and distinct choice.

    January 7, 2008 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  22. Skip

    Obama is a superficial "Image" candidate with too little experience, a poor voting record and a past drug problem. Hillary is a Clinton, and we've had enough of the Bush/Clintons. I don't hear anything from either of them which compels me to back them in an election. Edwards is the least offensive of the three, but he's not as good at building a hype machine as the others, so no one hears him.

    I agree with the previous poster who said that the election will be a record-breaker; it will be so because people will vote AGAINST the Democratic nominee, including myself. I have always voted Democratic since I was able to vote, but I will vote Republican if Huckabee wins the Republican nomination – because I cannot bring myself to vote for Obama or Clinton. I think I may have a lot of company in November.

    January 7, 2008 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  23. Tim Calhoun '08, Moreno Valley, CA

    smart January 6, 2008 8:35 pm ET

    Who truly represents America? Hillary!!! Obama comes from a mixed black and white family, his mom is a white, and his dad is a black. Yes, I read an article that claimed Obama represents the black because he chose a black wife. But, his black origin is so different from his wife’s. Yes, he decides to choose a black wife, because his white mum abandoned him early, because he felt being abandoned by the white. If Freud says childhood affects adulthood, how would you expect him having healthy feelings to represent America, where most middle class are white?


    This is possibly the most ridiculous Obama related comment I have ever read on this website. And that's saying a lot.

    January 7, 2008 03:12 am at 3:12 am |
  24. Jess

    are you old enough to tell me how JFK handled his presidency
    with so many years in congress and having little kids at home?


    ~ Jess

    January 7, 2008 03:20 am at 3:20 am |
  25. Tim Calhoun '08, Moreno Valley, CA

    Also, this conspiracy theory that Republicans and Indpendents are flocking to Obama because they are intentionally trying to get an unelectable Democrat nominated is just that...a conspiracy theory (and not a very good one). If you believe that, you probably also believe the slanderous (and racist) tripe that he's a closet Muslim intent on overthrowing the American government. Come back down to Earth, please.

    January 7, 2008 03:20 am at 3:20 am |
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