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. Terry, College Station, TX

    HlLLARY CAN KEEP TALKING ABOUT HER EXPERIENCE, but she will keep failing if she doesn't not inspire people and preach unity. She thinks that Iowans and New Hampshire will be stupid enough to be enticed by her lame EXPERIENCE.
    CHECK THIS OUT, LINCOLN had little experience and yet he was one of the greatest presidents in U.S history.
    GEORGE W. BUSH had tremendous experience before running for the White House, and now he is considered one of the worst presidents in U.S history and he is living his final months in Washington D.C trying to save his presidency.

    Barack Obama is so succesful now because he is playing the LINCOLN game, not only preaching change, but also unity, as he said: "it's not blue state or red state, it's the United States of America", "it's not white America, black America, Asian America, ...it's the United States of America"
    And that's why people loves him and Hillary will keep slumping if she continues preaching divisive message.

    January 7, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  2. Fred Flinstone

    Actually, you are all so sure of yourselves, it's kind of funny when you step back and look at it!!

    PEOPLE!! America will be so much better off with ANY of these Democratic candidates than we are with George W. Bush!!

    Be GRATEful that you have the choice!!

    January 7, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  3. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX


    The GOP would like nothing better than Obama running.

    Why? Because, believe it or not, racism is alive, well and brewing in the GOP think tanks. This country is not mature enough to make a sound decision on a qualified, Black candidate. And Obama is that.

    At this point I support Hillary, because I think she's more experienced in Washington and more electable, and she has the benefit of the advisors Bill had.

    If Obama gets the nod, he will get my support.

    But, I can just see the campaigning in the trailer parks across the country, especially in Dixie......... ! ! !

    January 7, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. joe

    I have read most of what some people have written about mr. obama. I find it realy hard to swallow. Calling mr obama a muslim (which by the way he is christion) And if those people would look at his record in the IL. senate, you will find he is not a person that will not unite both sides to get a bill passed. He is an person of quality and ability. He is trustworthy and honest and wants to unite the country and take back the government from special interest to give us our country back. Hillary on the other hand will still take special interest money as she has always done and will continue to do. Yes she is a smart women but i dont trust this country with another clinton or bush again ever. So wake up America and smell the roses vote for a man who will unite this country like never before

    January 7, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  5. M

    Barack Obama should listen to what I heard Whoopi Goldberg say right before she took off in Hollywood. I quote: "Careful sucker, overconfidence can make you ugly!"

    January 7, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  6. lorraine

    Come on folks you have to give your head a good shake, DO NOT forget that Hillary Clinton has worked long and hard for the good of the ordinary people and children, I for one think she is very honest and a real person, we already know how hard she has worked and her views so don't be swayed by someone and their promises, actions speak louder than words.

    January 7, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  7. David, Tallahassee FL

    What is this?? A competition for The Ms. America Pageant?? Let's get real! Stop coming up with idiotic statements about "likability factor"... If that is what makes a great President, I could name alot of candidates who would fit that description! But that IS NOT what this country needs... Another person who you can imagine "having a beer with"!
    In this time of uncertainty and chaos, nothing is AS IMPORTANT as experience! Senator Clinton is the only one of the Democratic nominees with that much experience! Nothing against Obama and Edwards, but if "push comes to shove", I want Hillary watching my back!!
    I know there are alot of issues on the table right now, but NOTHING is more important right now than our national security!
    Let's get with the program and vote for the right person... CLINTON!!

    January 7, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  8. Dr.Cals

    Check out Obama's statement about Hillary. He is taking it totally out of the context of her statement. He is selling snake oil!

    January 7, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  9. Seth

    I am 27 years old, extremely liberal and strongly disagree with my generation's support for Obama. It is disheartening to see the democratic party make mistake after mistake in our strategy to reclaim America from the conservative zealots. As a person of color, I am insulted by Obama's claim that he is an "outsider" as if he grew up without privilege. His support by liberals smells of white guilt. His claim of "community activism" as experience is equivalent to a corporate lawyer citing his stint with the peace corps. The truth is, he captures people's imagination with his rhetoric and possibility of making history, but the truth is, people are naive about what it takes to lead this nation. We all saw first hand how voting for "likable" but inexperienced George Bush turned out. America's most important decision should not be a popularity contest. When will America stop falling for buzz words and buzz taglines like the ones Obama uses? Change? That is so abstract and misleading but people love these grandeur claims, remember "compassionate conservatism"? The truth is, elections are not won by the northern liberal states, they are decided in the red states and the swing states. If John McCain wins the nomination, we can kiss the White House goodbye for another decade because the truth is, I trust McCain more than I trust Obama since I value experience and don't see it as a negative aspect of a candidate's resume. Obama is not ready, he only entered the Senate to jump onto the Presidency, a claim people throw at Hillary all the time but refuse to hold Obama accountable for. If Obama wins the nomination, you can count me as an independent.

    January 7, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  10. Joe Brown

    I agree with Hillary... Obama is a windbag full of false hopes. He is even more of a fake than Edwards. Obama cannot be president. He will be another Kerry.. who polls high against Republicans until the General election comes.. then he gets beat. There is a reason why the Republicans are scared of Hillary... She can actually win. The polls in my state (a southern state) shows her ahead of all the Republicans except McCain.

    January 7, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  11. J

    I believe our nation needs a strong, experienced and capable leader. Obama is too inexperienced - I can't imagine him having the sophistication and winning any real respect of the Chinese leaders, for example. Obama seems like the shiny boy genius who did well in school and a political pop star, not tested in real life crisis and situations. I think he was very disrespectful of the changes that Hillary did make - for one thing, she gave the next capable, intelligent woman anywhere in the world a role model, and her survival over the years itself means change and inspires change. Can't say that about Obama. What's his take on Kenya? What's his take on the tons of poor struggling blacks in America (how about New Orleans? How about Chicago?) If we put a white face on him and look at what he's done, I doubt people would see him as any change agent (yet) at all.

    January 7, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  12. Andrew, NC

    Hillary's "experience" does not equate rational judgment on the issues. Look at her past political and personal disasters.... there's quite a lot of them. And what change has she brought besides expanding health care to more children? All of the change she's done so far is covered in Obama's health care plan. It seems as though Hillary's supporters are more gullible than Obama's.

    January 7, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  13. Cheryl Craig

    The entire campaign, from all the candidates, is depressing.
    It's the same old formula –
    "She says, he says. Here let me make him or her wrong with another attack."

    I understand what both Clinton and Obama are saying. He wants to have hope and she knows how Washington is really run.
    The fact is – the reality of Washington DC is depressing!

    Here's a thought- Instead of talking about HOPE so much why don't the candidates start talking about exactly HOW they will make these changes they all dangle in front of us.

    Peace for All! Cheryl

    January 7, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  14. karen

    I see a judgmental and arrogant Obama in this statement about the opposition.
    Don't you? I think he is promising far more than he can deliver.

    January 7, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  15. Marriah

    Clinton Depressing! Come on! I am so sick and tired of the media taking a story and running with it. It is not up to the voters to determine the election, not the media. Doesn't anyone notice all the negative press coverage they are giving her since Iowa. Wether or not they like to admit it, the media has an effect on the campaign. Has anyone ever seen "wag the dog?" Mrs. Clinton has been through a lot and deserves this chance. I love Obama's approach, but Mrs. Clinton has proven that she knows what she is doing.

    January 7, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  16. Harry Long, MD

    Obama is making many promises but does not tell how he will pay the bill for all that he proposes. He obviously is making empty promises or plans a massive increase in taxes. Edwards continues to rail at the Washington Lobbyists, but a President has no power to limit the activities of the Lobbyists except in the Whitehouse. Hillary is the only Democratic Candidate who realistically can bring about change and not deliver a bunch of empty promises.

    January 7, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  17. J Williamson Buffalo, NY

    Re Hillary's free-fall: No one is gnasing their teeth more than the Repubs – and that even includes Hillary herself. Their plan of attacking her and getting the Dems to rally round has back-fired. Carl, you can't re-run the 2004 election – people will (and do) catch on. Come up with plan B now, if you even have one. Looks like the Repubs might be re-running 1996 (Bob Dole) nominate another candidate whom many see as too old for the office. If John McCain were to win a second term he'd be well past 80 at its close – sorry, but that's not a good idea. Ronald Reagan, you'll recall, was in the early stages of demetia near the end of his second term (and possibly sooner than that).

    January 7, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  18. Gbryant

    Why would anyone even dare compare Obama to Jack Kennedy. I did not see anything cocky about Jack Kennedy.

    January 7, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  19. James

    Hillary has been waiting for this since Nov. 3rd, 1992. She is not going to let this young upstart snatch it from her. The claws will come out... Watch for the Clinton Mafia (lot of people besides Bill & Hill) to start backstabbing Obama... It's going to get real ugly real quick.... As a Republican, I will sit back and enjoy the show!

    January 7, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  20. Chris

    Obama never swore into elected office on the Koran/Q'uaran

    He swore on the Bible

    you are thinking of Ellison from Minnesota.
    –but it shouldn't matter if he was Muslim anyway (Obama is Christian)....not all Muslims are terrorists...and the fact that some people think that is incredibly ignorant

    January 7, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  21. Jen, Gainesville, FL

    Obama is always calm no matter what mud is being thrown at him, because he is confident and knows who he is and what his positions are. What we see from Hillary is the opposite. His campaign has not beeing revolving, but has been changing to use whatever slogans that seem to get the polls and votes.

    This is what Hillary has been following Obama in using these terms:
    Turn up the heat From Obama's "turn the page"
    overcome fear From Mrs. Obama's famous speech in SC about fear
    Ready From Obama's "Fired up? Ready to go!"
    Agent of change From Obama's main theme of the his campaign "Change"

    So far, Hillary has used his husband, mother, and daughter and has used dirty tricks even going back to Obama's kindegarten. That did not work.

    The next thing in the Washington textbook is 'flip-flop." Now she is questioning Obama's consistency. It takes a lot of imagination to see what Hillary is doing: the last thing one should question about Obama is his consistency. Obama and McCain are the two candidates with a reputation for their characters and consistency. Consistency is Hillary's own weakness.

    Now Hillary is calling "false hopes." If this trick does not work. I bet she will adopt "hope" herself.

    She is not a leader. She is a follower - a clumsy, mean, and angry follower.

    January 7, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  22. Guy

    I am 52 years old and a registered Republican. I consider myself an independent voter, and have voted for Dems for non-presidential positions. For the first time in my voting experience I am ready to vote for for a Democratic nominee...if it happens to be John Edwards. His passionate pledge to rid the polital process of special interest lobbyists had me hook, line, and sinker.

    January 7, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  23. Fred Flinstone

    Terry, from College Station TX cracks me up: "George W. Bush has tremendous experience"...before becoming Pretzel-dent.

    Ha! "Tremendous experience"???!! Uh-duh-uh, nope don't think so. Before he was made governor of Texas by Karl Rove's anti-gay smear campagin against Anne Richards, he only had experience snorting cocaine, driving drunk, running businesses into the ground, and getting tail, paying for his girlfriend's abortion.

    By the way, George Burns may have lived to be 101 and smoked all his adult life, but it's not logical to infer that smoking doesn't matter to health. Inexperience is not a good formula for success, no matter how you judge Abraham Lincoln's case.

    January 7, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  24. localjim, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl

    I am so much more scared of radical Christians* than radical Muslims all of a sudden.

    The way you have a hate for someone because of a name. I am sure there are a lot of Bills, Georges, Jimmys and Ronalds that are in jail for unspeakable crimes. Do we prevent a person from becoming president because of that. The world is to never speak of that name again mentality.

    i care less of the diarrhea that spills out your mouth when someone like you speaks but hate to think of the time you waste people listening to it.
    Scared to think you might attack my church like recently in CO. or previously in PA. or like they did back in AL. remember the fires last year
    I know its not me scared either but you. Scared of a different skin color, scared of different sounding name, scared of the thought of another religion thrown into your bowl of soup. scared for so many other reasons i know cant be mentioned here.

    *And I am sorry to just say radical Christian. you could be a radical Catholic or Protestant extremist or none of the above. Just hell bent on death to a melting pot that has made us what we are today Americans.
    Seek help for yourself, seriously.

    January 7, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  25. peter kempf

    I agree with Senator Obama. As soon as I heard her say that about "false hopes" I thought it was such a defeatist attitude. If the Founding Fathers had that attitude we probably wouldn't have a country. The world looks to America to set high ideals and strive to meet them. In the past several years it seems as though we are going backwards – not advancing democracy – not advancing ideals. I joined the Peace Corps after hearing JFK speak. Now, for the first time in many many years, I have that feeling of hope and ideals in my gut. Am I too hopeful? Maybe, but that isn't going to stop me from trying to find out.
    I love the passion he has for America's ability to dream big. And, you know what? This country has done amazing things when we've had high ideals!

    January 7, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
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