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. Tou

    Sad that Hillary Clinton has stooped down this low. Voting for the Presidency is about voting for hope, the hope that things will change and the country will be better than the last president. Clinton talks about being an agent for change, but what has she really done for America? Nothing that I can remember or that is note-worthy. If you do know of the great things she's done for Americans, please post and prove me wrong. As an American, I'm not siding with the politician with the most Washington experience, I'm siding with the citizen that has the most upside in making this country greater than it already is. Hillary, clearly is just trying to jump on the 'change' bandwagon to gain votes, but it's evident that she's the one that won't be able to truly deliver.

    January 7, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  2. anonymous

    President Barak Hussein Obama, how does that sound?

    January 7, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  3. Independent in IA

    Too bad he doesn't find it depressing enough to make him think about what he's saying.

    Kennedy didn't "hope' we could go to the moon....he KNEW we could.

    Obumble 'hopes' he can convince corporate America to listen to reason. Now, THAT is 'hope'. False, maybe, but still a 'hope'. He 'hopes' peace can be brought about in the middle-east. Hasn't been peace in several centuries, but he 'hopes' he can be the instruement to make it happen. My sides ache from laughing so hard.

    January 7, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  4. Betty Webster NY

    False Hopes? Does this mean we the people should not hope the next president will give us something better? Isn't all hope in a sense false, until its made a reality? Without hope what is there? No wonder Obama calls her campaign depressing......

    January 7, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  5. Wilberto Jimenez, Monmot, MD

    "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."

    I'm sorry – what are the changes Hillary Clinton has made ?

    January 7, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  6. Al, Sacramento Ca

    If Obama wins in N.H. it will be tough for Hillary to comeback. It seems the American people are ready for a big change and did so by voting democrats into the house and senate and they are willing to take make a bet on Obama. His words of inspiration give us hope. Hillary's past is coming back to haunt her, even thought I believe she can turn this country around just like Bill did when he took over after the first Bush's disaster.

    I am curious to see what Obama has to offer if he wins the primary and can he take on the GOP spin machine in November?

    January 7, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  7. Vic Novosad, Sugar Land, TX

    Why shouldn't one agree with Hillary that Obama is raising false hope? If a person is untested in political waters as he is, where can his/her true convictions lie? We read that he's already predicting the Republicans will "swiftboat" him, and according to some conservatives who practice such things, their modus operandi has already begun. If he thinks Hillary's campaign is "depressing," just wait for the Republican onslaught. He has almost no record in office to attack, so it's hoped that he and his supporters know the meaning of the word "personal."

    But hey, this thing is not over yet. Obama must be tested at least a couple more times in various primaries, so he'd best not let his speech-writers go. There's still time left for people to wake up and recall the last person sent to the White House to lead us was so very inexperienced that some believe we may never recover from his bumbling ways. Like Bush, Obama says he will rely on staff advisors to help him come online. Now, 7 years later, it's time to re-analyze how effective were Bush's advisers were and beware. Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzales, "Brownie" of the Katrina scandal
    not to mention the "slam dunk" director of the CIA, and on and on.

    January 7, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  8. forastrongeramerica

    Hillary has what it takes to change what has been messed up by Bush and his administration. I have yet to see anything concretly different and reasonable strategies offered by Obama to get us out of Iraq, to save our economy and health care, besides one anti-war vote. I am very puzzled by media, especially some Hillary detrackers, for not doing their job of matching candidate's records, what their strategies and policies to govern this nation with their words and promises. Change is not for change's sake, it has to be built on solid steps and right policies and strategies. Hillary's got them!

    January 7, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  9. Greg, NY

    You can tell who does not like Obama when the person just HAS to use his middle name when talking about him.

    If you really won't vote for Obama just because of his name, please don't vote at all in this election. Thanks.

    January 7, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  10. George

    Hillary Clinton should handle herself with more class. Watching the debate last night she came across as desperate. She will not win the nomination. At least she can lose with dignity and grace, something she has been lacking lately.

    January 7, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  11. Mike

    Barrack sounds like a Miss America candidate. If I win, I'll end poverty....Deliver world peace...and make sure that everyone is happy. If you challenge whether I can make this happen...then shame on you.

    January 7, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  12. Bill, Alabama

    This entire campaign todate, including both Democrat and Republican, has been depressing.

    None of the candidates are talking about the things that the American people are most concerned with ...... Iraq, immigration control, the economy, fuel prices, and the state of healthcare in America.

    If any one of them is elected, their speeches todate show that they are not even in tune with the concerns of the American public.

    They are only concerned with getting themselves elected.

    January 7, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  13. Sam, Dallas TX

    America is ready for an American President, not a CEO or a president who works for CEOs. I will vote for Obama for President if he gets the nomination he is the only candidate with a vision for change. I will never let my votes be based on anything other than a candidate that I feel is a representer of my views. I am tired of politics as usual and the Bush/Clinton dynasty in America. Lets make a decision based on the candidate, not his ethnicity. Many people of different races have given their lives for our country and continue to do so to this day. When you wear the U.S. flag on your shoulder no one cares what color you are, they only see an American. OBAMA 08!

    January 7, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  14. Nick A

    Clinton is right in a sense. She has done things that has brought about significant change in peoples' lives. I like Obama but I've noticed that he never attacks Clinton on anything of any substance. Either he agrees with her positions or he lacks the gravitas to truly understand them. He says he would not have voted for the war. Really? How does he know that? His future VP pick Edwards did and he sharesmany of the same sensibilities that Obama does. The reality is that anyone can easily say what he or she would or wouldn't have done. Clinton boasts a record of achievment, she doesn't just talk about it. She offers specific plans to address our nations challenges, she doesn't just demagogue the issues. She offers reality to Obama's rhetoric, experience to hi ideology.
    We let the easily impressed media pick our last president. I am encouraging people to look at the candidates' records and make their own choice. We let a smooth talker in in 2000. Let's not make the same mistake again.

    January 7, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  15. Ivelisse

    I prefer a woman who stands for what she beileves in and take the hit when is due, than a guy who lies through his teeth.....

    let's see: what does he stands for??? we don't know, becasue everytime he had to take a position on something, he voted "present" and did not took sides....

    can he show any piece of legislation that he worked for in the US Senate that actualy have 'changed' something???? the only different thing he has done in the Senate was to swear in as Senator using a Koran instead of a Bible.......

    Obama's policy of hope sound a heck of a lot like the "I'm a uniter" speech used by Mr. Bush 8 years ago.....and we know how that ended.....

    January 7, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  16. Karen, NYC

    I researched Hillary's 35 years of change and couldn't find one thing.

    It looks like Hillary fans are really upset where they are now taking low blows on the CNN website LOL! WOW! how sad…….

    I'm glad Obama hasn't asked Hillary about her 35 years of 'experience' it gives voters the opportunity to research her past themselves... and from the looks of it... upon research her numbers are shrinking.

    I guess her laying her rods down didn't work... Obama's rods ate her rods UP!

    Truth always prevails!

    GOOOOOOO OBAMA 08 !!!!!

    January 7, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  17. Madge

    ANY of the Democrats in the White House will be a change so I don't understand the Change v. Experience argument. What we need is experience, stability and someone who knows how to work within the system, not try to figure it out. The Independents will decide this election and I hope they change their minds and go with Clinton.

    January 7, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  18. LeftyLoosey

    Oh boy, another phrase by meathead, lets add it to the collection:

    Clinton: 'I am a change agent'

    "Renew the promise of America"
    "In to win"
    "Working for change, working for you"
    "Strength and experience," then "Strength and experience to make change happen"
    "The change we need"
    "Ready for change, ready to lead"
    "The Hillary I know"
    "Turn up the heat... Turn America around'
    "A New beginning"

    Sorry Hillary, America needs someone with honesty as a defining quality not a defining political phrase..

    January 7, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  19. Jim, Carbondale, IL

    Can anyone tell me how Clinton trying to make Obama look like a flip-flopper and making unfair and unethical attacks against him makes her strategy any different than Bush's strategy against Kerry?
    Why can't we focus on the issues? We don't need manipulative attacks by anyone. I am personally offended by Clinton saying that talk isn't action and dividing rhetoric and reality. She does not have a monopoly on reality and Obama is not just talk.. Talk IS action, and no one is saying that we should only rely on talk and no action. Action has defined Sen. Obama's life as well as Clinton's, and in my opinion Obama deserves even more credit because his work was done for less pay and recognition. He organized on the streets of Chicago, working to make change in the neighborhoods there. That's not "just talk." He didn't pull up to Chicago in a car and make a speech. He went door to door, for little pay and little praise. That shows the importance of both talk and action.
    Clinton is attempting to speak as if she is beyond rhetoric, but her mere act of positioning herself in such a way is inherently rhetorical. It is shameful that she doesn't accept that change requires both talk and action, both play off of each other. Her mischaracterization of Obama is ethical and nonsensical. Does she really want to win through slander, false accusations and innuendo? If it were to work, it would be a sad day for democrats, and I would have a hard time supporting her. I supported Gore and Kerry even though they were the uninspiring party elites, and progressives didn't slander them in the process. It is time for the party elites to step aside and welcome in a new era, not go out kicking and screaming by way of vicious attack.

    January 7, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  20. Anonymous guy, Austin, TX

    What is up with the "experience" thing? It is brought up when talking about Obama, but nobody brings it up with Hillary, who has even less experience than Obama as an elected official.

    Carreer Democrat supporters out there, you need to realize that Hillary is a liability to the party, and her nomination will secure a defeat for Democrats and put Huckabee or Romney in the office. She will galvanize the Republican voting masses. they do not like her, and would rather see Obama in office simply because he is not partisan, but wants to work with both parties.

    You mention America not being ready for a Black President, however you think that if America is not ready for a Black President, that it may be ready for a woman president? You are sorely wrong if you believe that.

    America is ready for either. Don't vote for Hillary based on fear, vote for Obama based on ethics and leadership ability.

    January 7, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  21. Samantha Klein

    Obama's campaign is going to get very depressing if he actually wins the nomination and runs against a Republican. Democrats rally around the left-wing candidate in the nomination process, and then we wind up with McGovern, Mondale, Stevenson, Carter II and Kerry who are unelectable. Why? Because, in the end, the national electorate is more concerned about national security than the Democratic primary voters, and the Republicans convince voters every time that Democrats are not to be trusted with national security. Other issues bothering voters...immigration...taxes...decline of America's status in the world...Islamic Jihadism....fiscal responsibility.

    Nobody likes the war in Iraq and that won Democrats the last Congressional elections. But many other issues have arisen aside from Iraq and, wait a minute.. what did Iran do today in the Persian Gulf?

    I am a registered Democrat and I have watched them lose elections over and over again because they nominate wishy washy candidates or yes, dreamers who lose in the general election and give us X more years of conservative
    Republicans who bleed more and more money from the middle class in order to give it to the rich.

    Obama should be very depressed when he looks at the track record of left-wing Democratic Presidential candidates and he should start taking Paxil immediately. Only two Democrats – John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton projected a different "aura" – one of confidence, power, intellect, patriotism, grasp of foreign affairs and the importance and supreme responsibility of America as the leading world power - they won.

    January 7, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  22. pam

    ladies, does this picture say anything. look at the men together. does this remind anyone of the good old boy attitude that has put our country in the shape it is in. i believe in hope and change but so far none of these men have done anything to change my life. as many women will agree we are the ones that take care of the children, many of us are the mainstay of the households, many of us work for less money than our male counterparts. ladies, there are many good men but don't turn over your future just because they talk a good game. how many of us fell into a relationship because he talked a good game, many women now govern other countries yet we can not get past this. just because you don't like someone does not mean they don't have the qualifcations to make this country better. i am unsure of how i will vote but i know as a wife, mother i will take a hard look at qualification. i am tired of the media with their bias opinions for one person over another, don't let another year go by where you don't have a say.

    January 7, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  23. Mike

    Specifically, what has she done. I want Hillary to take me through the gory details rather than talking in generalities.

    January 7, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  24. Monte Brown, New York, NY

    New Hampshire Democrats and Independents, when was the last time a Democrat won Iowa in a general election? Are we really falling for Obama or Edwards? What are we doing with our Democracy? I must congratulate Hillary for weathering the storm of right wing attacks, but for Democrats to give her the same scrutiny is plain wrong. Are the Democrats shooting themselves in the foot again? If Obama or Edwards win the nomination you can kiss the prospects of change goodbye. We are only fooling ourselves if we believe that just because someone campaigns on stopping lobbyists that they will change anything. The Republicans will win the general election. Neither Obama nor Edwards have a clue of how to bring about change because they have not changed anything before. Obama is just another George W. Bush.

    Other countries must be laughing at America right now. The right-wingers have successfully got Independent voters to believe that being liberal is wrong and progressive policies are ineffective. The Democrats can’t win general elections because America does not have real Democrats anymore. We have opportunistic egomaniac politicians who say anything to pacify voters, but when the crap hits the fan they do nothing. Many American Democrats lack the understanding of how to woo Independents. The Republicans are better at getting Independent voters. There is no party for liberal Americans anymore. We might as well move to Canada. What in the world are we doing with our party in this country? We’ve already been taken for a ride by the right wing. Now we are about to give the right wing another shot by nominating a person who will surely punt the ball back to the reactionaries.

    I just don’t understand anymore. Are Americans feeling sympathetic for Obama because he is black? Please. We don’t need to have a first black president. We need a president who will right the wrongs of the last 7 years. Come on “Live Free or Die”, New Hampshire Democrats and Independents. Hillary has put forth clear comprehensible ideas that are ascertainable. Obama has put forth nothing, but he speaks well and he has a nice smile. What are we doing with our democracy? New Hampshire Democrats, please, please vote for Hillary Clinton. We can’t afford another 4 years of blood, carnage or whatever it is Obama and Edwards are trying to put forth.

    January 7, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  25. BM

    Obama is spot on.

    This man LEADS and Hillary is a good example of a bad politician. She wants it too much and is starting to look, not depressing, but manic.

    I find the message of change from Obama believable.

    10 points ahead in NH? By tomorrow, it could be 15 points. Clinton won't give up though, and sour grapes will run deep I suspect. Will she bow out and work for a Democratic victory in November, OR will there be long term sniping which will prove to everyone that we dodged a bullet when she did not get the nomination. Then, NY will figure it out and remove her from the Senate. Then what?

    If you care about your legacy, pull out after tommorow Hillary R. Clinton and work hard for a Democratic candidate for president. John Edwards and Bill Richardson already see the writing on the wall. Apparently, you need to as well.

    January 7, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
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