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. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I like Hillary and I'm sorry she's behind in the polls. I said it before and I'll say it again, Hillary needs an attitude adjustment now that she's had a reality check. Hillary is stunned and angry at her outcome but she needs to snap out of it and stop pouncing on Obama which ain't helping her at all. If she is not listening to her political strategist she needs to. But personally I believe Hillary has the mentallity that she can go it alone and is not willing to listen to anyone. Not good for Hillary.

    January 7, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  2. HC

    Leave her be, Barack. She's quickly losing any possible remnant of coolness. Refrain from making cutting remarks; that's exactly what she wants you to do. Don't stoop to her level. You're doing nicely. Play it cool...

    January 7, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  3. James, NY

    OverTheRainbow, KS: you are an immature child. Go away. Far away. And take your juvenile put-downs with you. It's okay to dislike a candidate, but please, come back whe you can talk like a grown-up.

    January 7, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  4. Eileen

    I think that Hillary Clinton would make a better president than Obama. He seems to have no real answers to the major problems of our nation. Obama has that same say nothing good ol boy approach that George W Bush had when he ran for president. I do not want to drink beer with my president. I want to see someone elected that will do more than say a bunch of fluffed over dung and never give us anything more than a headache and a hand shake. Where is he really from any way?

    January 7, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  5. Steven Hiatt

    And so, Hillary, exactly what changes have you made? None that I can think of. Your "35 years of experience" consist of 17 or so as a lawyer and lobbyist/advocate in Arkansas–not so different from Obama's years as a community organizer and Edwards' years as a trial lawyer taking on insurance companies. Then you went to Washington and set back the cause of healthcare reform twenty years with a plan carefully crafted to appeal to the large healthcare insurers, who even so were not appeased. And then you traveled around as First Lady and advocated some more. And since 2001 you've been a DLC, business-oriented senator. In fact, you have very little experience and few achievements to run on. Your problem is that you and Bill have been for change–but only the two cents' worth of change that the fat cats and corporate establishment would tolerate. Your record is one of smiley-faced opportunism, of accommodation to Power and its interests. So it's laughable that you're now trying to turn around and sell yourself as an agent of change.

    January 7, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  6. Hope A

    I am DEPRESSED by the effectiveness of the old "divide and conquer" technique used by those who best benefit from ultra-conservative politics. I truly believe that the focus on one another,rather than the issues at hand, defeats both the Clinton and the Obama campaigns. 2008 voters are wise enough and determined enough to identify the candidate that will successfully promote their political needs and actually address their social concerns. As an African-American Woman, I would take pride in the election of the first African-American or the first female president, but such is not the driving force behind my vote. I long for an Administration that is knowledgeable, ethical, inclusive, diverse, and compassionate. I am hopeful that Obama will outline his plans and promote his ideas more effectively. He needs to be more specific and more assertive regarding his political experience. I am hopeful that Hillary Clinton will develop a sense of humility and open-mindedness. She is coming across rigid and arrogant and while some may be wary of Obama's experience, most voters crave a service-oriented approach and positive attitude. What about the candidate's CHARACTER? Names, genders, ethnicities, and other personal factors should not be the motivating factor for one's electoral decision. Examine the candidate's AGENDA, EXPERIENCE, ETHICS, TACTICS AND APPROACH.
    And vote your conscience (and your character).
    And if you are a DEMOCRAT, don't believe the Republican hype that Obama can't win the White House. It's a scare tactic. And not even an original one, at that! Obama, Clinton, and Edwards are all excellent candidates and no matter who receives the nomination...A Democrat is moving into the White House next January. THAT is my DREAM!

    January 7, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  7. tillzen

    It is thrilling to see Hillary un-masked by Obama's success. Had we nominated her, we would have repeated the mistakes of the past 8 years and handed the Republicans another election. Hillary IS the Stepford Wife and nobody wants to see the twisted robot underneath. I don't blame her for her nature as 40 years with Bill could not have been empowering but she is lacking in not only the qualities I seek in a President, but also those I seek in a human being. I've no idea what is wrong with her, but I also have no desire to find out. Barack is not perfect and may be equally unelectable, but he inspires me and most importantly, he inspires our youth. Without them, we are just a nation of tired white males, with little chance of recalling what America is supposed to mean.

    January 7, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  8. Leo, Mesa Arizona

    That is a funny picture. Without sounding sexist or negative in any way I would like to present an angle for those who believe in Hillary. Hillary says she has more experience. That's her strongest asset right now. Let's examine this. Find a dictionary and look up the basic definition for politics. One definition goes something like this: The use of intrigue or skill to obtain a position of power... Ok, which person I ask, is so far best using their skill to obtain a position of power? Convincing the American people to vote for them is in itself a part of politics. Let's take this a step further. Look at foreign affairs. Which person do you honestly believe would have a better chance of convincing a foreign leader to do something our way? The skills Hillary has can be learned by Barack Obama rather quickly (if he hasn't already). The skill Mr. Obama has is very special and cannot be learned by just anyone. This looks to me like a high school tennis player going up against Andre Agassi. Hillary is over matched and doesn't know what to do. This is just the beginning and who knows how things will turn out, but please everyone, take a long close look at this man. He is something special. This man has a unique talent and can help our country. GO OBAMA!!!

    January 7, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  9. localjim, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl

    For those of you who want to know how Barak Hussein Obama for president sounds. it sounds like this;
    bəˈrɑːk huːˈseɪn oʊˈbɑːmə.
    try saying it slowly letter by letter. then syllable by syllable.
    use it in a sentence like;
    In todays news President Barak Obama pulled another 5,000 troops out of Iraq. or you could try;
    In todays new, President Barak Obama signed a clean air bill that is is the most aggressive in history to reduce global warming.
    President Obama improves funding and structure in the failed no child left behind program.
    President Obama is met with cheers at United Nations as world leaders unite.
    I suggest you get use to it. I know how difficult of a pill that must be for you to swallow but I promise you will be better for it.

    January 7, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  10. Jr., California

    I am a George Bush supporter. I must ask you Dems. (2) questions.

    1. Can you substantiate H.C. 35 years of experience? What did she do?

    2. What makes Clinton, Edwards, Richardson, and Kucinich more experienced than Obama? Hell, Bush wasn't experienced either.

    January 7, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  11. Lynne

    I am stunned that Obama is doing so well. I am an African-American woman and while I think Obama is charismatic, I don't think that is what we need to get this country back on track. He gives zero specifics and seems to be running on the rhetoric of "hope" and "change." While I think it's great that Obam is fulfilling his personal destiny and I love that America has evolved to allow for the possiblity of a black man winning the nomination, the most important thing to me is electing a Democrat (or progressive) to the White House in November. There is no way Obama (once he gets specific on his policies, which will be required in a general election campaign) can win in November. This election is too critical to go with feel good rhetoric, we need action. I will vote for whoever gets the Democratic nomination, but I'm currently leaning toward Edwards. I'm a Hillary girl at heart, but her campaign is not handling the Iowa setback very well. With Obama, it seems like the less-specific he is, the more America eats it up. He's like cotton candy, airy and wispy and lovely, but no sustenance. I want to win in November and I want a president in the WHite House who has more experience than the Illinois legislature and 2 seconds in the senate.

    January 7, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. HC

    Experience? White House luncheons and sex scandals don't count, Hills. Maybe you should be more specific about exactly what constitutes "experience", and why you feel your negative, ornery presence has any place in the White House.

    January 7, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  13. jstipich

    I think they're talking (in the picture) about how she flipped out for a few minutes at the debate.

    Go Obama !

    January 7, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  14. B, Atlanta

    It is a valid question from HRC. How are you going to bring change? I was in IA during caucus. Lots of 17 to 21 year old don;t have a clue why they are voting for Obama. Some of the answers were, like he will be the first black president to he brings change. When asked, what change, they dont have a clue. I think, the same thing happens in NH too, matured voters will not vote for him, where are younger genertion will vote for him. Whatsoever, he will win NH.
    I will not vote for him in GE.

    January 7, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  15. Jim, Carbondale, IL

    Guess what: Cater WON the first time, he just did not have a successful first term. Obama is not Carter, and Clinton is not Kennedy. Obama is the person who can bring in Independent votes that Clinton cannot.

    January 7, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  16. kP

    Bush – Clinton – Bush – Clinton.....

    Not a dynasty I'm interested in seeing extended. H. says she is about change, but she is not.

    January 7, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  17. Chris

    Can a Clinton supporter please write a response with appropriate grammar.

    All I see is ignorant attacks on Barack from the uneducated
    (albeit, there are a few exceptions that raise substantive points)

    January 7, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  18. Jim, Carbondale, IL

    What is this "your comment is awaiting moderation" stuff? All I have seen are a bunch of pro-Hillary comments and you aren't posting the pro-Obama comments. Typical of CNN: The Clinton News Network, at it once again!

    January 7, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  19. SH

    Most of you are forgetting that there are super delegates to the Democratic Convention and Hilary Clinton has about 3 to 1 against the other candidates. Mr. Obama is winning now, but I am afraid that she will overtake him.
    These caucuses and primaries are for delegates to the convention. The only hope either Obama or Edwards have is that they can keep her from getting the needed number of delegates and then they can have a brokered convention. My hope is that this is what happens. Maybe, just maybe, we will then get a ticket that all Democrats can get behind and get a victory in November.

    January 7, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  20. Kngston, NH

    As soon as John Edwards aligned with Obama, my decision was made. I think Edwards is slimy and he truly bothers me.

    Obama may talk change but give me some specifics. People may not like Clinton but you do not have to like the person, you just have to believe that the person will get things done. Clinton has a record and a plan. I am still waiting to see what Obama has done or what he specifically plans to do.

    January 7, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  21. david Klaboe

    Barak Obama has been getting into negativatism in his anti Hillary rhetoric. But he does it in such a clever way, no one seems to notice or mind.
    Left wing darling John Edwards is like a small shark who smells blood and is following the the big shark (Obama) hoping to chew some red-meat left over when Obama strikes. We all know there are a lot of behind the scene advisors who are giving these guys advice on how to destroy Clinton, and so far it seems to be working. Once Hillary is out of his way, Edwards will go after Obama, but for now he is content to suck up. He uses his wife to get the sympathy and keeps reiterating how he co-wrote the patients bill of rights, (which hasn't passed) as his biggest achievement in the senate.
    And how the woman with insurance got denied coverage for a liver transplant and died. Am I missing something? One wonders what his second biggest achievement was. Seems like Edwards has nothing to lose by spinning things 180 degrees. But he is a lawyer after all.
    I was a Joe Biden supporter and am sorry he fared so poorly— partly because he did not go negative and I now see Richardson as the best alternative. He has the most character. I like Hillary and will vote for her if she pulls it off. I think Obama is smart but very far to the left and too inexperienced. He is slick and that is not a good quality. So whoever wins this "getting ugly" campaign will have to stop all this nastiness to get my vote. If Edwards should pull it off, I may even go republican.

    January 7, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  22. Ann S.

    Hillary does not deserve to be president. She had her 8 years in the White House. Isn't it a bit selfish to demand another 4, maybe 8 years there? American politics has moved beyond the Clintons and I swear, if I have to go back to more of that drama/philandering/Hillary-scheming in the White House, I'd shoot myself! Get a look at the excerpts from the new book on the Hill-Bill years–it's excerpted in Vanity Fair and National Register, I believe. Anyway, I am voting for Obama all the way.

    January 7, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  23. Steele NYC

    Several bloggers on this page have scoffed at the youth element in Barack's support network. As if "our young people", as one person puts it, are being led down the primrose path by some kind of charlatan. To those scoffers I ask: are these the same brave young people you have watched march off to war in Iraq for the past five years? The same brilliant young people who created the Google empire? The same hardworking young people who hold down two jobs so they can afford to take college courses at night? The same motivated young people who had enough spirit to get off their butts and hit the campaign trail with a candidate they believe in? Do you really doubt their experience? They may have a much clearer view of today's world than anyone fifty, sixty or older sitting comfortably in their decently appointed ranch house in the suburbs, no? When you speak of the young people who support Barack Obama, consider carefully that you are not speaking of a derelict pack of eighteen year old rebels thumbing their noses at the world (although if these kids want to vote they should definitely vote for Obama, and we'll take them.) When you speak of the young people who support Obama you are speaking of the soldiers, the entry level workers, the college graduates, the young doctors and lawyers, the young executives and teachers and artists, the newlyweds, the new mothers and fathers, the fresh thinkers and brash innovators who are shaping your world – you are speaking of the lifeblood of our nation and our nation's very future. It is their voices that are leading us forward. Now is the time to listen to them. Now is the time to join with them. Now is the time for Hope. Does that word make you uncomfortable?

    January 7, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  24. Eric, California

    Lets get real and vote for JOHN EDWARDS! Wake up people!!!

    January 7, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  25. wisconsin

    I think everyone here is missing the point. A Kennedy did not have to know how to build a rocket, only to know how to inspire and motivate America to a goal. IF Obama does win the election as president he needs to make good choices based on his character. He will have ideas and seek out experts in each field to present options. The president is never an expert on every issue. He is the person who we trust to take the time to review the options, take in every opinion and then make the best choices in the interest of the people.

    January 7, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
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