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. Chris

    Can I*

    January 7, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  2. Ryan, Los Angeles CA

    I think Hillary was the strongest of all the Democrats during the NH debate - did you see how they all backed off when she started talking? Did you hear how quickly Obama's eloquence turned to babbling after he was called out on flip-flopping? Of all the candidates, I'd rather have a strong personality like Clinton negotiating with world leaders and pushing change throughout Washington than Obama or Edwards who just seem to weak compared to her.

    Obama talks the talk, but I doubt he can deliver even a fraction of what he promises. Clinton can deliver – that's what we need in our next president.

    January 7, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  3. Claude, Calgary

    Great picture, that says many thing.
    There are three men in the Democratic party who understand the issues.
    There is one women who was extrodinary in the past.
    There is a new Leader who wants to bring in new people and make there issues and views count from Coast to Coast.

    Keep Going Obama!!!! Hillary thought she was the only one to compete against the Republicans but, its evident , the Republican Leaders understand the impact that Obama is having on there campaign aswell.

    Obama and Edwards!!!! are energizing the potential electoriate.
    Obama in 08!!!!!

    January 7, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  4. Mindy Chatsworth, California

    If I hear anyone compare Obama to JFK anymore, I think I will just lose it. I was a young girl when JFK was elected, and it's an insult to his memory and what he represented to those of us who remember him and suffered through the horror of his assassination, to make this comparison. He has a special place in my heart and those of many Americans. I still miss him and wish desperately that he had lived.

    Obama seems to be a good and decent man, but let's have a reality check here. Does he really have the experience to do the job? Can he govern if elected? These are legitimate questions that Democratic voters have a right to ask. Obama's win in Iowa does not anoint him as the front runner in this race. We haven't even had our first primary, not a single vote has been cast at the ballot box, yet many are already declaring him the winner. That is patently ridiculous.

    I have real concerns about Obama's ability to stand up to the Republican attack machine in the general election. Make no mistake, they will come after him and he needs to be ready. Already there are some here who have used his middle name to show how the Republicans will come after him. They don't have to even attack him directly. They can do it subliminally by just saying his full name. They've done it on Fox News already.

    Why don't we let the process go forward and then determine which of these two candidates is the better person to be the Democratic standard bearer. For now, Obama has the momentum from his win in the Iowa caucus. If Hillary does lose to him by a large margin, as the polls indicate, the media seems ready to pronounce her dead in the water. Why don't we wait until the primaries on February 5th when the majority of delegates will be awarded in the big states. That's the way it should be done.

    January 7, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  5. Marge Hibbing Mn

    Darn it depends on which way you look at it. Obama has the most sickening campaign I have ever seen. But then you really don't know what all the heck he is doing because the press doesn't post anything. You have to go to the internet to get the news articles that are out there.

    He calls Ted Kennedy too old to be in the senate and tells him to quit. Well if there hadn't have been a Ted Kennedy in the senate where would Obama be today instead of strutting around and patting his subjects on the head. Ted Kennedy has done more for supporting and promoting civil rights for all then any one in the congress. So now Obama thinks he doesn't need real senators so he tells them to leave. Ted Kennedy's record in the senate makes the little Obama has done look sick. He has missed 150 of the last voting records. You haven't heard a peep out of the press about that. And by the way how does he get off telling the country Al Gore and John Kerry divided this country. So....trying to promote the fact that global warming is ruining the planet is dividing us. And against war and wanting to bring the troops home is dividing the country. We see were Obama is right on bush's bandwagon if he is aginst these two men trying to save the planet.

    But then of course bringing the troops home, giving them more vacation time and more funding for health benefits are just three of the things Obama didn't think it worth while to show up to vote on. And all he does is rant and rave he is for change. Change to what HIM getting all the benefits that bush and cheney are getting.


    January 7, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  6. Teddy, ND, IN

    Obama is a Christian, I don't think that needs any explaining and the democratic party is not full of bigots that think white, heterosexual, evangelicals are the only great things on earth and everyone else is her to serve them. Barack Obama has the experience needed, and Clinton's experience as first lady is not the type of experience we need. Sure it has been easy for Clinton to get her names on legislation because she is married to the most powerful Democrat. Obama is a mix of King and Kennedy and when we get the support of Ted Kennedy we will have this locked. OBAMA '08.

    January 7, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. Malcolm

    George W Bush ran against his father, Hillary R Clinton is running against her husband.

    January 7, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  8. Donna

    Obama reminds me of Jimmy Carter. Jimmy Carter is a wonderful, honest and decent man who wanted to become President for all the right reasons. However in the end he is considered one of our worst Presidents. Not because he didn't try but because he didn't have the experience to make the difference. Obama and Edwards keep using the word "Change". That sounds great. Gives people hope. But what do they plan on changing? How do they plan on making changes? Clinton and Richardson are right. You need experience. You have to know how the system works in order to change it. Here is the question I would ask every voter out there. If someone you loved needed a operation, who would you want performing it? The person who's done it a 1000 times or the person who says I think I know a better way of doing it?

    I am a Clinton supporter. In 2004 I voted for Edwards in the primary. But he has turned me off this time around. My second choice this year was Joe Biden. There was a man who knew what he was talking about and who could have gotten things done. I am so sorry more people didn't take the time to listen to Biden. Sometimes being around for 30 years is a asset. You get to know all the players here and around the world.

    Wasn't George Bush voted in because he was suppose to make a change. Well he did. But are we better off? I would say no.

    I am a lifelong Democrat but I don't see myself voting for Obama. Edwards, maybe. Only because he does have some experience. If its Obama versus McCain, then I think I'll have to vote for McCain.

    January 7, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. JJ Jax, Fl

    Paul, even IF Obama was a muslim(he is christian), that wouldn't make him an 'Anti-American', my best friend is a muslim and probably has more patriotism in his left pinky than you do in your whole body! Keep your racist/xenophobic thoughts to yourself!

    January 7, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  10. AC

    This country needs change..from the top to the bottom!

    January 7, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  11. Carole

    Dear god, I hope Obama keeps up the momentum. Kucinich is my first choice but I'm going to be voting for someone who I think has a realistic chance of beating Hillary. I was torn between Edwards and Obama but once Kucinich made his comment about how his supporters should vote for Obama if Kucinich couldn't hit the 15% threshold, that sold me permanently on Obama. If Kucinich says Obama's good to go, I'm not going to argue.

    The Clinton time is over! We CAN NOT keep switching back and forth between Bushes and Clintons; the American presidency isn't supposed to a vehicle by which to uphold elitist dynasties. Enough with pandering to Conservatives by being centrist one moment and being progressive the next. Make up your mind Hillary! At least her husband was consistently centrist and made no bones about it. I can respect that. That's why I'd rather vote for Obama. Like Bill Clinton, he at least is more consistent in his position in the political spectrum. And why not try for something a bit more left and have a bit of hope for change, as Obama said. I'm not satisfied with always playing it safe. We NEED to just go for it balls out at some point instead of always being so freakin' TIMID. People WANT CHANGE.

    Also, as a 20-something young voter, I feel Obama is far more in touch with my generation, which often times gets ignored and passed over. That's why so many of my peers refrain from voting (I ALWAYS vote, just for the record): They feel none of the candidates have anything to offer them. I think Obama at least recognizes that we're here and we are important. Let us young people give it a shot for once, seeing as how the older generations of leaders haven't managed to do jack s***. In many ways, it's OUR future at stake and we're going to have our say whether people like it or not.

    January 7, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  12. Anonymous


    January 7, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  13. Nell Kidd

    WE are so deep in a horrible pit dug by Bush that we MUST elect someone with experence that knows how our system works in order to know how to start doing anything at all. Obama does not give us any idea of how he plans to do any of the things that we all "hope" for.

    If you need surgury, surely you don't get someone to operate on you just because he/she says they "hope" there will be no scars and you can go dancing that night and this is what you want to happen. I would think a person would find an experenced surgeon.

    January 7, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  14. Jeff

    When I heard HC utter those words, I could only think that she is the anti-MLK:

    "I don't have a dream" for this country and you shouldn't either!

    Moreover it indicates a complacency with the status quo - the same status quo that Bill started 16 years ago by making sure that two-party bickering paralyzed Washington. Who can blame Bush for riding that trajectory - it was in place, it was easy; to be stand up guy and recover America would have been way too hard and unprofitable for big corporations. Moreover, do you think the guys behind the RNC curtain would have let him reign in the pork barrel spending.

    January 7, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  15. Virginia

    My friends first of all let's us leave the calling of names aside (emotional agenda) and vote for the best person you believe is "skilled/experienced" to run our county. I am a California independant for the last 17 or so years and was undecided until recently. I have listened to all the candidates. I agree the Sentor Obama has the gift/skill as an "inspirational speaker" though where is the "meat". I was originally willing to pass up his lack of experience though after the issue with Butto it is clear to me that we need a leader who "has experiences" with "internationally issues" as that will be a major problem and the senator lacks in this area badly. I have heard many "inspirational speakers" since the 60's when I first voted at the age of 18 so his speech is not news to me. It is new for the young generation so I can see why this group feels excited and energized by Senator Obama and has gotten the more mature folks off their behinds (shame on you). As a first generation US born citizen I have always be involved through it all and at times through the ugly. I also wish to mention that I am very disappointed in the media when referring to Senator Obama as a black man as he is not "just" a black man as he was raised by his mother a white female and born to a black father so he ought to be considered "biracial".
    I am tired of elections being mostly a black/white issue when US is made of multiracial folks. What happen to the rest of us? Native Americans, Latinos, Asians, Pacific Islands, etc. After all this I have decided to vote someone who I know will get things done, has a track records and has the experiences as a leader therefore I will be voting for Senator Clinton. Senator Obama what will you do for me besides giving an "inspirational speech about change" as I have "always believed in change" way before this campaign. If this campaign is to be held between Senator Obama and Senator McCain I would vote for McCain as I trust his experience around internationally issues and has a track record I can rely on for the future of our country.

    January 7, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  16. Uffe Bang

    I have noticed a difference in attitude. Hillary say "I", Obama say "We". Hillary say, she is a "Doer", but a president don't need to be a doer. His job is to attract people, who can do things. Obama´s strength is, that he can attract people from different places and with different skills, create a "Comfort Zone" where things can happen. He is a "Teambuilder". I am from Sweden and we need you guys as part of a bigger team. As a matter of fact – "Team Spirit" is not the same as communism.

    January 7, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  17. Efonemchi A

    Senator Obama does not need 35 years of experience in politics to lead America as a president neither does Senator Clinton need to borrow Obama`s slogan of "Change" to win the hearts of democrats.
    Senator Clinton is wounded, Obama is elated and Americans are watching.It is now experience against change.Actually America needs both but at this point in time, America needs the big C more to correct the ills that characterize the Bush administration. Mrs Clinton has got the experience but she represents the status quo. Obama has the zeal and the charisma but these alone do not make a president.
    Americans may go for Mrs Clinton but this time they need someone like senator Obama or senator Edward.

    January 7, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  18. Cherylann

    She is not hateful ... She has a tremendous amount of experience to back up her persistence for change. If she was a man, some of the things that are said about her in a negative way would not even be part of the discussion.

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

    Obama, what are you winning about your on top; I thought you liked Hillary???
    The one thing I did like about you is that I thought you were a gentelman, I am not sure anymore.

    We need Hillary, we need experience, your young and smart you could run again in the next election. This is a serious war, in some ways worse the vietnam because its global. We need experience....and we need it now.

    If you win, I wont be sad. If Hillary wins I will be Happy.

    January 7, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  20. Andy

    "Hillary is History and History (35 yrs) is Hillary" I hope u dig me! Obama you represent the Dawn of a New Era!

    "America Barack the Votes"

    January 7, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  21. Paul, Iowa

    Clinton is getting desperate. She is jealeous of Obama because he inspires the American people.

    January 7, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  22. Claudette, TX

    What has Obama done in his term in the Senate that amounts to a hill of beans? Nothing. What did he "change" as a Senator except maybe his underwear? He still has the same smug, hypocritical, "I smell a fart" look to him he has always had. Only he is still blaming the dog for the smell instead of stepping up.

    He keeps rattling on about change...just shut up. Obama has done nothing to prove that he can change anything. All I see is a campaign of smoke and mirrors. Obama has NO experience for the office of President.

    You can bet that I will be voting for someone OTHER than Obama in the election. If my vote only cancels out that vote of some reality challenged individual that votes for him thinking that he can get America on track; I'm voting! Hillary's comment wasn't about not having hope; it was about being realistic. Yes, America needs a change, but a vote for Obama seems to be a step in a direction that I am not willing to follow. There are TOO many unknowns about him for me to be comfortable with him.

    NObama '08

    January 7, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  23. Randolph Monroe, Chicago

    I didn't know Horatio Sanz from SNL was running for Prez, he'd make a better Prez than Hillary.

    January 7, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  24. John

    Gotta love that picture though. It looks like a Democratic version of Gladys Knight and the Pips. The only thing missing is a microphone stand between the three guys.

    Well I heard it thruuuu the graaaape vine......!!

    January 7, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  25. Tyler in Raleigh, NC

    Hillary should stick to telling kids there is no Santa Clause or Tooth Fairy and stop telling us what we can and cannot accomplish.

    America has done great things and taken huge risks in its time.... now we are a nation of weak and fearful people. People voted Bush out of fear of terrorism, he could be our Father and protect us from those meanies. Now Clinton wants to be our mother and tell us we need to do our homework, buy insurance and stay in our rooms until allowed to come to the dinner table.

    Its time we stop listening to what we can not do and get back to being a world leader. Not with bombs and fear but with pride, hope and leadership. What happened to America being the nation of freedom and not an invading force?

    For those that say Bill Clinton was respected around the world, you must have not left the US. Most of Europe was LAUGHING at us through the 90s. All the news stories were on our stupid president sleeping around and trying to li about it to his wife and country. We were a joke in the 90s and are still a joke with Bush.

    Voting Clinton in will not change who we are.... we need someone else, be it Ron Paul or Barack Obama, who can bring in fresh ideas. They might fail, sure.... but I would rather say we took this chance to try and fail then say we gave up.

    Why is America so afraid of failure that we decide not to even try anymore? No risk is too small for America to hide under the covers.

    January 7, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
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