January 22nd, 2008
11:25 AM ET
14 years ago

Hillary Clinton: Obama is 'frustrated'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/22/art.clintonobamasc.ap.jpg caption="Hillary Clinton said Barack Obama came looking for a fight last night."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that Barack Obama came to Monday night’s CNN debate looking to spark a brawl.

“He telegraphed it, he talked about it – he clearly came last night looking for a fight, and was determined and launched right in,” she said at a Washington press conference on economic issues.

“I think what we saw last night was that he’s very frustrated – Sen. Obama is very frustrated. The events of the last 10 or so days, particularly the outcomes in New Hampshire and Nevada, have apparently convinced him to adopt a different strategy,” said the New York senator.

Obama’s comments last night, she said, “were so rehearsed that he kept on insisting that I had mentioned President Reagan in what I had said, when I didn't mention President Reagan.”

She also repeated allegations that Obama had said in 2004 he agreed with George Bush on the way the president was waging war. Obama disputes the claim, saying that the Clinton campaign is deliberately distorting his comments from that period.

Shortly after Clinton spoke, her campaign sent reporters a memo containing half a dozen unrelated charges against Obama, including the charge, based on a recent news report, that he “represented now-indicted influence peddler Tony Rezko in his efforts to develop government-subsidized slum housing.”

The Obama campaign has denied links to any illegal activities on the part of the Chicago businessman, and has said it would reject all contributions linked to him.

Related: Watch Sen. Clinton discuss Sen. Obama's debate demeanor

–CNN's Mike Roselli and Rebecca Sinderbrand

soundoff (390 Responses)
  1. Wendy Oliver-Pyatt

    Hillary is the one who is frustrated. The distortions and projections of Bill and Hillary point to the reality that they are politicians first, and individuals operating from honesty second. They have repeatedly distorted Barack Obama's statement and actions, in an effot to save Hillary's candidacy. Barack Obama has demonstrated authenticity. It is a shame to see Bill and Hillary going on the attack and distorting the facts. One would expect more from them. I once was behind Hillary, but observing her statements since Iowa has revealed that she is not operating from integrity.

    January 22, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  2. los angeles

    The Clinton’s low brow politicking makes me throw up a little in my mouth everytime I hear about it. It’s amazing that people are still willing to vote for her. You just can’t trust anything that comes out of her or Bill’s mouth. They are in the politics of getting elected- doing and saying anything to get in office. What a nightmare- voting for Obama

    January 22, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  3. Will

    Wow, I am losing respect for Hillary with every passing day. I used to like her so much. Why is she acting this way? She's playing to type on every lie the repulicans said about her for years. Now she's giving them all the ammunition they need to not only hold onto the whitehouse but take back the senate too. Hillary, you can win this thing without doing what you're doing. Stand by your principles. Stop dplaying the 'say anything to win' game.

    January 22, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. Alexandra

    I was turned off by the bickering between Obama and Clinton. However, i am proud of Obama for standing up to the Clinton machine for once.
    Obama started the campain with intergrity and respect. However the Clintons' panicked when he won Iowa and decided to do whatever they could to derail his chances. Hence, he has to defend himself as well as call her out on the holes in her record.
    I wish they didn't resort to cheap jabs, but for last night it was VERY neccessary for Obama to answer back to all the manipulative accusations the Clintons' have been shamelessly spreading since he won Iowa.
    I am proud of Edwards conduct – but lets be honest – he is just to boring..
    Obama '08

    January 22, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. Brian

    Wow. The Obama supporters posting on this thread must have been watching a different debate last night. Whenever Obama had to deviate from his script to produce some substance, he stuttered, shuffled, and then tried to "explain" his positions – typically just diverting attention and changing the subject to one of his prepared talking points.

    This is a major déjà vu. Obama is sounding and acting more and more like George W Bush every day. His attacks on the Clintons come straight out of the GWB script.

    "I'm a uniter – not a divider."

    January 22, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  6. aware

    I watched the whole debate and was amazed by Obama's ineptitude. His unity mantle evaporated with his angry attempts to hold the floor. "Wait a minute. This is important." he postulated several times while he continued with vacuous rhetoric that needlessly ate up the clock. Obama has essentially taken Bill's comments out of context to tell an inaccurate story. Newsweek has reported on this concerning Obama's adds.

    Obama does not accept accountability. He just spins his own faulty line. He does not come across as authentic or transparent. He does come across as arrogant, controlling and ego driven. Obviously, he is frustrated!

    Maybe voters will begin to realize that Obama used poor judgment with his premature run. Not this time for Obama! He is just not ready for 08!

    This was a very revealing debate! Hillary and Edwards 08 🙂

    January 22, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  7. Julianne

    I would be frustrated too, if someone with the stature of a former President had been distorting my words and my record for over a week. THAT'S why he brought up Reagan: she was directly referencing that exchange with the Reno gazette, and the media and Bill Clinton have been gushing and gooing about it since.

    And she was finally reduced to saying "You seem to be saying that they [the Republican party] were having...ideas".

    Which is exactly what he said.

    As he said, the only thing that's evolving is her characterization of his positions.

    Obama does not want to be in this fight. He said it himself, multiple times. He wants to continue discussing the issues.

    I joined the Democratic party recently. But I will never vote for a President with so base a character. If Hillary Clinton is the nominee I will not vote for her, and neither will over 50% of Americans.

    January 22, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  8. Alex, Omaha, NE

    I believe Hillary is an awesome choice for president, this country needs to be led in the correct direction... and as a democrate, I'm looking for experience. I don't believe Obama has experience, and I don't believe John Edwards has enough of a vote to be elected into the presidency. I'm for Hillary 100%.

    January 22, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  9. Sabrina - PA

    I am really tired of Hillary and Bill getting off the issues and bad mouthing Obama. I am ready for a change and I feel Obama is it!!

    Go Obama 2008!!!!!

    January 22, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  10. kris

    Colby & Karen – New York, NY- so please tell us how many votes did hillary missed??

    January 22, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  11. Petie

    Obama needs to quit worrying about the Clinton's and just move forward. If he can't take the heat of the Clinton's how will he ever take the INFERNO of the republicans? Part of me really wants Obama to win the nomination, but not if he can't take the criticisim of a real campaign! Bottom line to me is that we need a democrat in the White House! Their ideas are similar enough that the country will be better off with Obama, Clinton or Edwards in the there! They are all intelliegent and not conceited enough to believe that they have all the answers – they all are intellectually curious – a quality lacking in GWB! Plus they are all people of personal faith & again – intelligent enough to know that they don't have a pipeline to God.

    January 22, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  12. David, Idaho

    I would be frustrated too if I had the Dynamic Clinton Duo continually trying to fling mud and hope it sticks or repeatedly coordinating attacks that turn the minds of voters to a white/black mentality. Recently, one of the attacks by the Clinton machine referred to the movie "Guess who is coming to dinner." I find it amusing that they would compare Sen. Obama to Sidney Poitier's character. The character who told the older generation, "You think of yourself as a Colored man, I think of myseld as a man." This is indeed the difference between the Clintons and Sen. Obama. They see the differences and want a retaliatory war against the Republicans for the last 7 years. Obama wants to overcome these differences and heal the country. We don't need the stubborness of Bush in a democrat, we need to show we are better than the Bush types by forgiving, and moving on to the new world that we can see before us. If democrats nominate Sen. Hillary Clinton, we will have a huge uphill battle to prove that she can lead without Bill, especially when she has used him so heavily in this nomination campaign. Even if she is elected, her antagonistic attitude will keep the parties in a cold war in the capitol. Nominating Sen. Obama will show the rest of the country that we are more than anti-republicans, that we are truly the leaders that the nation should follow to the promise land, that we practice what we preach, and that we can indeed be the change that we wish to see in the world.

    January 22, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  13. David, Gilbert Arizona

    Please, please, please nominate Hillary Clinton as the democrat hopeful. It will ensure Mitt Romney becomes our next president.

    January 22, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  14. Heidi

    Hillary can back up everything she is saying. If Obama can not take the heat, then stay out of the race. Hillary has had to deal with Republican attacks, and she is strong enough to deal with them. If Obama is crying about Hillary, he is no man for the nominee because the Republicans will tear him apart.....GO Hillary!!!

    January 22, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  15. Kathryn

    This is a first for me. In all of the years I've watched CNN I have never felt so compelled to express my opinion. Of all of the debates this was the absolute worst. It was embarrassing for both Senator Clinton and Obama, and I think a travesty to the political process.

    The questions asked by the moderators were used to entice both of these candidates to attack each other rather than stay on point. As an African American I was embarrassed by the less than professional manner in which this debate took place. The moderators did a horrible job. Instead of asking questions to help the American voters make an informed decision, they engaged in what I liken to cheap talk shows tactics. They did not take the high ground or take control of this debate. I certainly expect more from CNN and the Congressional Black Congress.

    Democrats have got to understand that personal mudslinging in a time like this does nothing but help the Republican Party. Thank goodness John Edwards took the high road.

    Atlanta, GA

    January 22, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  16. apple orchard

    I think Edwards said it best during the debate that the petty bickering gets nowhere. That said, does anyone expect anything different with a return to a Clinton Whitehouse? We live in interesting times and will again by some people's demand.

    January 22, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  17. Leonardo

    The next time Hillary attempts to engage John Edwards over special interest money, He needs to tell her that He is quite certain that neither He or Obama will ever open the Lincoln Bedroom to lobbyists.

    January 22, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  18. MAR

    Clearly, it is only about POWER to the Clintons. As they have said many times, it's a game. There are 3 teams in this game. The press is one of them. Only it's a game with our lives. This whole process is disgusting.

    January 22, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  19. J.P.

    Hillary Clinton contradicts herself enough to makes voters heads spin.

    In New Hampshire, when she got teary-eyed, she said campaigns shouldn't be about "who's up and who's down."

    Now she's bragging about her two point victory in NH and her dubious "victory" in Nevada, where she got fewer delegates than Obama.

    She apparently thinks that her "spouse" should be able to lie about her opponent and she shouldn't be held accountable for it, while at the same time she claims his experience as her own and openly says she and Bill are a team.

    I don't think she is going to win the nomination, because voters are starting to catch on.

    January 22, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  20. Mary Ann Rose

    It is time Democrats quit using race and poverty in the same sentence. You never hear Republicans referring to African Americans and poverty – instead you hear them referred to as "future business owners, participants in today's economy". There is a growing middle and upper-middle-class Black America – wake up and see that the default for "Black" is not always "Poor Black."

    January 22, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. Rick, Maryland

    Obama started the dirt again as usual.
    I'm for Hillery but if the party is stupid enough to nominate Obama,
    I'd, for the first time in my life vote for the GOP because we need
    someone with some kind of experiance to get this country back
    on track.
    Go Hillery.

    January 22, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  22. Brad

    You people need to get a grip. When have you ever known politics not to be dirty no matter what party it is. No one plays nice, it's always about putting someone down to make you look like the better candidate. Of course they should be talking about the issues and they do. Edwards might as well give up, he'll never make it. He's tried time and time again and never gets anywhere. Obama isn't ready to lead this country. Hillary is the only one with clear plans and can face anything and anyone head on. She clearly won last nights debate. And for the people that didn't like Bill think of how stable the country was, national debt was at an all time low, unemployment was low. So what was so bad? A little lying? Big deal, I don't see you running for president, it's not a job I would want. I think it should be Hillary for president and Bill for vice president. The Clinton ticket!

    Go Hillary!!

    January 22, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  23. Enough said.

    I want to add one more thing. I cant get over the fact all these FOOLS think this is about petty backstabbing.

    Its about CAMPAIGNS.

    Its about one guy running on change and hope, pegging the other one 'status quo' who used to live in the white house.

    So its about the status quo person showing the world that the change and hope guy is nothing but a bunch of HYPE.

    So the hope guy has to somehow make the status quo guy look like they are mean. The status quo guy then states that they can ACTUALLY do the job and the hope guy is spewing rhetoric.

    The hope guy tries to make the status quo guy look ridiculous and negative by trying to stay on the hope topic. Its all a game.

    It goes back and forth, and back and forth. Its the way the campaigns are playing out.

    Surrogates making up lies for each side. The whole nine yards.

    I cant believe people on here REALLY think its some kind of petty squabble and name calling in a school yard. Its got nothing to do with it.

    These people dont bust their butts 20 hours a day campaigning and flying all over the place all so they can whine about eachother. Its a long hard fight, and its all gamesmanship.

    January 22, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  24. Keri-Texas

    Does anyone really know if Obama is telling the truth or lying. I mean everybody here jumps to the conclusion that Hillary and Bill are being dirty, mainly because you all must buy into all of the dirty Republican accusations from the Clinton years...which by the way they came out of with flying colors. But Obama, everybody just takes what he says for face value, that he's so honest and not the "typical" politician. Why, because there's no history to base judgement on. Has anyone stopped to think that maybe he's actually better at pulling the wool over our eyes because we don't have alot of info about his past. The media sure is picking him apart like they are Hillary. He seems very rehearsed and very calculated and there is just something that I don't trust about his true intentions. I know where we stand with Hillary. You can read her like a book, good and bad. But Obama, that's the manchurian candidate, the wolf in sheep's clothing. And will he hold up in the general election, I don't think so.

    Hillary in 08, stop the Republican stupidity!

    January 22, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  25. Gina

    One of the underlying issues here regards the double standards that exist for women. If Hillary was a male, she would be congratulated for her sternness, but being a women she is lableled the "B" word. Iff she takes a "softer" approach she is considered emotionally weak or post-menopausal. People talk about race being the issue but the gender problem continues to play havoc on female candidates.

    January 22, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
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