January 7th, 2008
02:35 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama says Clinton campaign getting 'depressing'


Obama is taking issue with comments Clinton made at a recent Democratic debate. (Photo Credit: AP)

(CNN) - With only a day until the New Hampshire Democratic Primary, Barack Obama says the manner in which rival Hillary Clinton's campaign is being run is getting 'depressing."

In an interview that aired on ABC Monday morning, Obama said Clinton does not make him angry, but the Illinois senator took issue with how her campaign is being run.

"I find the manner in which they’ve been running their campaign sort of depressing lately," he said.

Obama specifically took issue with a comment Clinton made at a debate Saturday, when she suggested Obama and John Edwards were raising "false hopes."

"We don't need to be raising the false hopes of our country about what can be delivered," she said. "The best way to know what change I will produce is to look at the changes that I've already made."

Obama has derided Clinton on the campaign trail for the statement, and in the ABC interview, suggested it runs against the American "tradition."

"Sen. Clinton saying, 'don’t feed the American people false hopes. Get a reality check.' You know? I mean, you can picture JFK saying, 'We can’t go to the moon. It’s a false hope. Let’s get a reality check.' It’s not, sort of, I think what our tradition has been," he said.

Meanwhile, Clinton maintains she has a record of change, and said repeatedly over the weekend that she is a "doer" compared to Obama and Edwards who are "talkers."

The back and forth comes as several recent polls indicate Obama's win in the Iowa caucuses last Thursday has given him a bounce in the Granite State. A new CNN/WMUR poll released Sunday night shows Obama 10 points ahead of Clinton, 39 percent to 29 percent.

Related video: Clinton: 'I am a change agent'

soundoff (823 Responses)
  1. shmarie

    Believing in change bringing about change are two very different things. Obama inspires a belief that change is possible, but Clinton is the one who can make it happen. Now is not the time to take a gamble and leap blindly off a limb. America – this is our future, our security, our children, and our world. Are we really going to gamble on eloquent speeches, and talking points? Or are we going to vote for someone with a proven record and someone who is already thinking about strategy on day one in office?

    January 7, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  2. GaryO Virginia Beach

    Hillary is clearly the best choice for president of the United States. And yes, Barack Obama is, in fact, raising false hopes.

    He's already convinced a significant number of Americans that he can be an effective president purely because of his public relations ability. To hear Obama tell it, a president doesn't need experience, or political contacts, or even common sense. A president just needs to be loved by all of you . . .

    Come on Democrats. It's time to get real! Come to your senses, and don't let silly sentimentality dominate your lives. That won't take you very far. If Barack wins the Democratic nomination, the Republicans will win the presidency.

    We need a smart, experienced, and connected candidate who can stand up to the inevitable Republican spin machine.

    We need Hillary.

    January 7, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  3. Diane from NYC

    Did anyone hear Obama say in Saturdays's debate when it came to universal health insurance that he would only mandate it for children because alot of people can't afford it? When asked why, he said because children are the innocent and can't make these decisions for themselves. Then what happens to the rest of us? Why can't he mandate AFFORDABLE insurance for all Americans – children, the young and the old – and make it AFFORDABLE for everyone? I guess those that can't afford it are out of luck then, as usual. I mean has he really thought through that statement and how it polarizes everyone and the message it sends. Second, it's a bit contradictory, don't you think? You have to get it for your children, well, what if you can't afford it? Doesn't gel.

    January 7, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  4. Cynthia

    Vote for Hillary!

    If you want a change, why not a first women president of American?! Think about how lately women American were allowed to vote, think about how lately women American were allowed to study in college. If you want a change,you make the change! And you are the change!

    Hillary is the best who has the capability and dares to deliver her promises.

    January 7, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  5. George from Oregon

    Reading through this list of posts is an eye opening experience and full of revelations. Some I could not keep to myself:

    1. There is way too much cynical, quick to 'hate' discourse in this country.

    I suppose we have Reagan and the 'Contract with America' crowd to thank for that – their failed movement(s) gave permission to publicly espouse hate talk and call it political discourse.

    We can see some change coming if you listen to the discourse from Obama, Huckabee, Edwards and, to some extent, McCain.

    2. There is way, way too much inaccurate information, and too many conclusions and accusations based on that inaccurate information.

    – When we complain about an ineffective government, we should look in the mirror for the cause.
    – When we complain about political 'games', we should look in the mirror for the ones who allow it to happen.
    – When we do choose to participate, we should have the personal integrity to confirm the accuracy of our message.
    – When we interact with our fellow citizens, we should speak to them as we would our grandmother.

    3. I originally was going to post a link to last week's NOW program on PBS as an eye-opening reference for the origin of the slanderous lie(s) about Obama. (refuse to use the words of the opposition). Here it is:

    Dirty Politics 2008

    In the process, I also found additional pieces relevant to the topic:

    Anatomy of a Smear
    Sorting Fact from Fiction in the 2008 Election Campaign

    The Misinformation Superhighway?

    > Nomad: what is your source for the supposed accusations of lazy? From the day after the 2004 convention until now, what I have heard from BOTH Republican and Democratic colleagues of Obama are about his hard work, intelligence and insight. Are you sure you're not confusing the reputation of Thompson?

    ### Commit to 30 days of watching CSPAN instead of 'entertainment' as a democratic duty for your country ##

    January 7, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  6. Claudia

    I would never ever vote for Obama, and if for some weird reason he is nominated as the democrat candidate I for one will vote as a Republican for the first time in my life in order to keep him out of office. I do not trust, or believe anything he says. Politics should not be only rhetoric, but also substance and he has NO substance at all and nothing to back him up as a doer which is what we need.
    AGAIN, my vote will be for a Republican if Obama gets nominated as a democratic nominee.

    January 7, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  7. John

    I am a Singaporean and a supporter of Hillary. I would like to say a few words about my Singapore experience.

    America is a rich country. A lot is at stake at election time. Choosing a leader is not like buying a shirt. If you had bought the wrong shirt you can buy another. If you chosse the wrong leader you will have to bear the consequences of your bad decision for four years. So everyone must vote responsibly.

    Choosing a leader is not about choosing one with charisma who can charm you. If you go for charm, you have to forego substance.

    The bottom line of choosing a leader is not about choosing one that can charm you or create hope in you. It is about choosing a leader who is experience enough to get the work done.

    What is the use of choosing one with charm and charisma and not having enough experience to get the work done. This is the risk of choosing an inexperienced.

    Vote wisely, your future and a lot of things are at stake. Better to be cautious than to be sorry.
    Hillary is more experienced and get things done. She doesn't have the charisma as Obama. But leaders are not judged by their charisma.

    Leaders are judged by the things they are able to get done. Vote for Hillary to get things done.

    January 7, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  8. Manuela

    who cares about Oprah? I guess millions of stupid fat people do. People can't you think for yourselves??? you need Oprah to tell you how to live your life?
    please wake up, exercise, lose some weight and look at how the rest of the civilized world is leaving their lives. America is heading in the wrong direction at the speed of life. people live their lives stuck to their television sets and allow the television and media to dictate their lives.
    Oprah is an idiot who forgot how hard it was for a woman to get to the power. I have no respect for her anylonger since she turned her back on Hillary. she should have sided with the women. but she is such a typical stupid woman, she sides with the men, typical women. instead of us smart women to unite together and be strong and unite against the hurt we got from men, we turn against each other and kiss us the guys who hurt us. or maybe Oprah couldn't stand the fact that there might be a woman out there more powerful than she is. I have no respect for Oprah what's so ever. she is an big time idiot.
    Obama stole all Hillary ideas and now he is turning into a major jerk. let's not forget that he put her down on national television many times. I don't like him and I don’t trust him. Hillary will make one good president, but I guess this country is way behind the rest of the world to allow a woman to lead. This country is pretty sexist so I am not surprised you will vote for a black guy who is inexperienced rather than vote for a perfectly good experienced candidate who is a woman. Well, I think you guys are making a big mistake for voting for Obama. On the day when you will have to vote for your president, the majority of people will vote for the white republican guy, and hence one more time there will be 8 years of long recession and republican, conservative and narrow-minded era.
    wake up and smell the coffee and vote for the right candidate who can bring the country back to the glory days of Clinton when the economy was booming and things were good.
    and one more thing, so what Bill cheated on Hilary, how many men out there cheat on their wives on daily basis? or how many physically abuse their wives? please wake up to reality. what's worse cheating on your wife or abusing her physically or emotionally??? please there is at least one case of abuse in every single relationship in this country. but how do you go on with your relationships?? you forgive and learn and go on, because you need each other for different reasons, money, children etc. so think straight before you vote for the wrong candidate just because stupid Oprah said so. Oprah please.. I have no respect for her what's so ever and I am a smart engineer and very educated and well traveled woman. but I know how this world turns and I hate to see smart women turning against themselves just because of jealousy. shame on Oprah. have no respect for her.

    January 7, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  9. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    Reading all the entries to date – I feel discouraged, especially when I read about Obama's campaign being attacked by Anti-abortion activists. Not that I disagree with their views, but I am wondering if they also made their voices heard at all the other candidate's rallys. Except for Mike Huckabee and Fred Thompson, all the candidates have supported Roe vs. Wade (with the exception of McCain and Romney who only support abortion in cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother). am an Obama supporter. Do I truly believe he has the experience to lead the greatest free country in the world? Not completely. . .but I believe he has the intellect, passion, desire, decency . .and the ability to bring in individuals (Republican, Democrat, and Independent) who will work with him to accomplish his goals. Obama has stated over and over . . .much as JFK. . .that he will depend upon Americans to help his goals come to fruition. There is no way any one individual . . .be it Obama, Clinton, Guiliani, Romney or McCain. . .can accomplish all that they are promising. Each of them are presenting their dreams. . .or "hopes" as Obama declares. And each of us as American citizens  have our own dreams and must work with whoever becomes president to make them a reality.I'm SO tired of Senator Clinton stating that, "I have 35 years experience," yet doesn't detail what that experience encompasses. Admittedly, she was in the White House for eight years, but some of her desires at that time didn't come to be, such as her health care initiative. I'd like to learn a bit more about the other experiences she touts.
    As for Obama, when writers state that he is "just talk," I urge them to go to http://www.barackobama.com to read about his "hopeful" vision.And as for me, II fervently want a change. While I admire many things about the various candidates, I am convinced the individual who can lead our country forward is Barack Obama. Unlike other candidates, Senator Obama has said repeatedly that he "doesn't have all the answers," and "I will make some mistakes." Senator Obama  has a vision. . .not unlike those of  FDR, JFK and Robert Kennedy. He has the charisma, the intelligence and ability to bring people together - throughout the world - to make us all proud once again to be Americans."Your own story and the American story are not separate–they are shared. And they will both be encirhced if we stand up together and answer a new call to service to meet the challenges of our new century... I won't just ask for your vote as a candidate: I will ask for your service and your active citizenship when I am president of the United States. This will not be a call issued in one speech or program; this will be a cause of my presidency." Barack Obama. Speech in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. December 5, 2007.

    January 7, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  10. Paul L

    I don't understand why people don't say Obama is specific enough. Just watch the debates and read the websites. It took me 10 minutes on Google. His ideas are really not much different than Hillary's, except less communist and "nanny state". No candidate is perfect. His primary strength will be foreign relations with our allies, which he will excel at due to his intelligence, cooperative spirit, and articulation. OUR job is to force Congress to be accountable and get beneficial legislation through. To tell Congress that we want our troops out and that we want our tax money spent to help US! Hilary’s elitism assumes we are too helpless to do it ourselves. Her fear of the Republicans is contagious and indeed depressing. “Mother Hilary will take care of us and protect us from the Big Bad Republican Conspiracy.”

    His message is not that he can go it alone and do everything himself. "Empty" speeches are meant to INSPIRE, not to tell his supporters what every technical issue is going to be. Watch any famous presidential speech "Nothing to fear but fear itself... , Ask not what your country can do for you..., etc." It is foolish to expect technical issues brought out during a SPEECH. Do you go to church, or listen to music, or read books to learn how to solve every specific mundane detail in your life, or do you learn ideas, concepts, and be inspired to be part of something greater and strong enough to meet various undefinable challenges?

    Obama is bringing PEOPLE into politics-that is the change. By bringing people into politics, that means a more educated voting base, which means CONGRESS, the real instrument of change, might actually be accountable for ONCE! Yes, we Obama supporters may end up being wrong if Obama is elected. Yet, we took a gamble to improve this country, we got involved, we had the courage to make a difference. I am tired of fear and I refuse to be afraid of the Republican machine anymore!

    January 7, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  11. John

    Choose a leader who can gets work done NOT a leader who can talk.

    January 7, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  12. Kiloki

    Vote for Hilary Clinton '08!! We need her. We desperately, depressingly, tragically need her. We should be happy to hear her offer us STRATEGIC, REALISTIC promises, things that we can definitely do to get back in the right direction, rather than follow the sweet meaningless nothings of a man who has absolutely no experience! She is real, she's a true American, and she has Bill supporting her! Whether or not she has any uptight personality qualities, I am positive Bill can more than make up the charisma! Vote for Hilary Clinton '08! (Oh and YEAH, why ISN'T ANYONE MENTIONING OBAMA'S TRUE RELIGIOUS BACKGROUND????)

    January 7, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  13. AJ, IL

    Obama is right. Hillary and her campaign behavior over the last month and half is depressing. When she was leading in public opinion polls during the summer and in the early primary states, she was dubbed by mainstream media as the inevitable Democratic nominee and riding on CLOUD NINE. Anything anyone said about her did not phase her. Now with a 3rd place finish in Iowa and potentially another 3rd place finish in New Hampshire, Hillary has gone from positive to negative.

    Hillary just doesn't get it! She may have answers to national healthcare (which she has been involved in over the past 14 years with no success) she totally one dimensional. She can't geniunely answer any other important national issues.

    When Chris Matthews (attending a Hillary pep rally) asked Hillary, what specifically is the difference between her plan for exiting Iraq and Obama's plan? Hillary didn't answer his question. Hillary got defensive and then tried to play nice after the Q&Q with Chris Matthews. Sorry Hillary, you need to answer questions straightforwardly and specifically. Without the Clinton name (Bill Clinton that is), Hillary would be placing 3rd place to last in most of the primaries.

    OBAMA in '08!

    January 7, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  14. Jim, Okla.

    How can anyone know wheather he is a muslum or not. He very well could be a plant from Kenya. He is racist, you can tell by his church. Of coarse he is not showing it at the present, but wait tell he gets in office. It will divide our nation again. Blacks aganist Whites. The Clintons have worked for years to tear down that wall. It is only going to take a few months to destroy what they built. Their is already people arguing about his comment about being Black enough. Then to have Oprah go to S.C and cite Martin Luther King. Obama is a divider. The Repbulicans and Karl Rove are playing him.

    January 8, 2008 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  15. Marissa

    Anyone who thinks that Obama can clean up the mess Bush has left through reaching across the aisle and bringing people together – hmm, why, I have a sense of deja vu. Wasn't someone promising to do the same exact thing in 2000? And didn't that turn out especially well. I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell those people.

    I'm 25; and I'm disgusted that I'm part of a demographic that's being distracted by something shiny and can't see that there's what's there resembles vapor.

    I like that the Clintons are ruthless. I think we need people who are going to know exactly where the chess pieces are in Washington, and how to move them. I think they'll actually be playing for the greater good this go-'round. I think they're in a position to fix some things that need fixing, and they learned what went wrong and how before. This country needs that for 8 years to get back on track, and then I want to end this sad dynasty crap we've got going on and welcome in some fresh faces.

    I want someone who can go in there with a clear picture of what to do and how to make things *work*. I want healthcare fixed. I want to not be afraid of my President. I want to strengthen the education of our children so that they can compete in this ever-changing global market.

    It doesn't matter if Obama wins New Hampshire. The rest of this country needs to band together and not let two states who can't see real substance dictate another 4 years of a mediocre presidency. Let him win NH – then Hillary can be the comeback story; and we all know how you media types love a comeback.

    January 8, 2008 03:51 am at 3:51 am |
  16. Isaiah

    This picture is priceless! Look at her face! is that a smile?! What the hell is she doing! I wonder how Bill is handling that TYEMPER!

    January 8, 2008 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  17. George

    Unfortunately people have figured Hillary out. Too bad for me since I'm a Republican and would have loved to have her as the Democratic nominee.

    January 8, 2008 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  18. Beatriz Rosado

    I can not believe how some americans discuss politics based on how good or bad a candidate looks. Have you realized what is happening to our currency, our economy, our education . Ovidio used to said that everybody was rich in promises. Words like change, new ideas, freedom, the future, optimism, a new way of doing things mean nothing without action.

    January 8, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  19. v

    For the first time in American history, a women has the opportunity to become president–that is until this "american idol" nonsense started to invade peoples minds, albeit because of Oprah–only she could pull this one off. Whats happened to you women out there who changed in mid stream....what a shame this has been a long fight. For so many years Oprah has been empowering women (white women) to be great...but when it come to her black roots all the women have now taken a back seat. She's not for you and never will be. Remember her TV specail honoring all the women she admired–they were black. That is what she wants–thanks to all of you african american women who still support Hillary–there are many of you that Oprah doesnt fool. Not only do we have the opportunity to have a woman president but Hillary is also prepared to lead this country. Her roots have always been for the middle class and unfortunate. It not too late NH women–take a stand for all the women and children of the world. Elect Hillary....lets get this slick passive aggressive male Obama out of the race–he doesnt belong in it. He's been groomed by Oprah for along time now–its all fixed.................STAND UP AND FIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 8, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  20. Chris

    Clearly some Democrats are fearful that an 'inexperienced' candidate may endanger their chances in a general election, particularly in an election where, after 8 years of Bush, there needs to be a Democrat in the White House.

    That's understandable, but lets have a quick look at experience.

    What experience do people want? My guess would be experience in elected public office. That's where decisions are made, that's were you represent an electorate; but then again you might say (with perfectly sound argument) that 'time served' doesn't give a detailed enough picture, although many articles seem to be centred on the numbers game.

    JFK is a good example to pick (after all some have made comparisons between him and Obama recently)
    Congressman: 6 years
    US Senator: 7 years
    That's 13 years of experience in Elected Public Office before he was elected President.

    By contrast lets look at Obama;
    Illinois State Senator: 7 years
    US Senator: 3 years
    That's 10 years in Elected Public Office.

    And Hillary Rodham Clinton;
    US Senator: 6 years
    (and 8 years as First Lady)
    That's 6 years in Elected Public Office.

    By that assessment, JFK was twice as experienced as Hillary Clinton, as an elected public representative. The degree to which you weight 'time served' is, of course, a moot point and entirely up to you.

    Although to make one personal point, I think Obama's time in State Senate shouldn't be discounted as much as it is. That experience is important too, in fact its an experience that Hillary doesn't have. I don't think experience as 'First Lady' counts for nearly as much as State Senator, certainly if I was voting.

    But I can't, I live in the UK!

    January 8, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  21. Rmeoses

    Look people its like this Hillary has won nh I dont see Obama smilling now .
    Dont see him calling Hillerys campain depressing now.Athe speach that he gave on health care did you really here what he said?He said health care for the children and the adults would have to get it on their own .wow talking about the two headed snake there you go he has no platform to compain on.he uses double standard words.and John Edwards he nothing more than an Obma back licker trying to gaing up on Hillary.wow dont look like its working to well.The more they talk their fals words the more Hillary will win a good and fair campain .and not all democrats wants Obama and Back Licker John Edwards.
    Wake up america listen to what is truly being said at the Obama campain words and false hopes.The media has done nothing but slam Hillary and They should appoligise with the trash they have printed .Wake up american do be persaded by media hipe or by false words.

    January 9, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  22. josh

    It's an outrage that the media refuses & the last debate refused to demand all candidates get on the record about “illegal” immigration! Towns & cities across America are being left to fend for themselves. An exact, detailed recorded stance Must be on the record!

    All this crap about gender & racial Nonsense Must stop, OR only allow white males to be candidates. White males are the "only species" the media has given "open season" hunting rights against! Women & blacks are given approval for unlimited attacks about ANYTHING against them. BUT, one attack, even justified, against a black or woman, Bam! The race or gender card is played! Obama belongs to a church believing in “The Black Value System” How is that belief “NOT RACIST”? Make the campaigns fair to ALL or our voting system will be destroyed!

    Equality? The Law states No Discrimination based on race, gender or nationality. Enforce the law Equally or Not At All. Sharpton, Jackson or woman’s rights groups cannot be allowed to yell “racism” or “gender attack” whenever a tough, valid criticism or question about a past candidate’s actions or voting record is asked. If not, it is time for white candidates to start screaming “Foul Too”, after all, that’s true equality “For All”!

    January 14, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  23. andy

    I wounder why Sen Obama is on the defensive ? maybe he feels he is slipping?

    January 31, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
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