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. MR. T

    MR. OBAMA WAS TOO SOFT DURING THE DEBATE LAST NIGHT IN SOUTH CAROLINA. I THINK HE WILL LOSE SOME VOTES FROM AFRICAN-AMERICAN VOTERS THROUGH MRS. CLINTON

    THANKS

    January 22, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  2. slinkymalinky

    70% of the black community is frustrated too..

    January 22, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  3. Tim, DC

    Clinton made some assertion about Obama with every comment she made last night, forcing him to respond and defend himself. Then after the debate calls him frustrated? I used to be a Clinton supporter, but now I am going Obama. It is becoming clear that Clinton is running a very dirty campaign.

    January 22, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  4. Vince

    "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 Clinton Mud-Slinging campaign is now in full swing, this is why I cannot vote for Hillary even though I'm a life long Democrat and voted for Bill. She seems to feel she't entitled to the Presidency and she's willing to pull any dirty trick it takes to get it. She's used Bill as her attack dog, launching angry emotional attacks at Obama before each primary. Is this realy what we want for the next four years.

    Let's elect someone willing to reach across party lines, Obama can unite the country which is what is needed to solve our problems.

    January 22, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  5. Wen

    Clinton is the best choice.

    Are you sure you want to get Obama (no experience) the most important job for the country? He could not explain his positions when comes to the important issues that matter to the country. He is almost speechless when Edward confronted him.

    January 22, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  6. Jesse, Burnsville, MN

    Add me to the list of lifelong Democrats who would never vote for Hillary in the general election. I have always supported the Democratic Party, been an Officer in a local Democratic Party, and volunteered for multiple campaigns.

    If Hillary wins the nomination, my allegiance to the Democratic Party is OVER. Will I still fight for what I believe are the core principles of the Democratic Party? YES. My hope was that the politics of fear and hatred would end with Bush, but if Clinton wins the nomination, Democrats will only perpetuating what they have longed to end.

    January 22, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  7. HILLARYLOVER NY NY

    Here is the exact quote. Obama supporters please tell me where Hillary was wrong for calling him out on this. And also tell me how he can give Ronald Reagan praise but diss Bill Clinton in the same sentence.

    Barack Obama

    "I don't want to present myself as some sort of singular figure. I think part of what's different are the times...I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like with all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s and government had grown and grown but there wasn't much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think people, he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was we want clarity we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing."

    January 22, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  8. Leo, TX

    They're both making themselves look like school children in a playground fight...if I were a Democrat I'd only vote for Edwards. Al least he has some self-respect and class.

    January 22, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  9. Kirt

    After watching the debate it was clear to me which candidate is qualified to serve as President of the United States. Crying foul because of campaign tactics that distract you from your message/plans concerns me. If you are not able to stay focus during a campaign, how can you run a country?

    January 22, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  10. tmd

    Of course he's frustrated. He is wasting a lot of time rebutting the "distorted truth" coming from the Clinton camp. The Clintons will stop at nothing to move back to the White House.

    January 22, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  11. Tony, Tulsa, OK

    It's silly for Democrats to be slamming Clinton for not playing nice. You think the Republicans will play nice with Obama? Don't you want to win this time?

    January 22, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  12. Jess

    We are in a democracy. If you want a voice then let the Clintons know that many of us are sick of her dirty tactics. We had enough of this with Karl Roves.

    PetitionOnline dot com/runrite/petition

    January 22, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  13. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Hillary talks down and over people and claims she is the only one that listens to voters needs. Hillary is no different than GWB and will create the worst fiasco in the White House than GWB. If you think GWB is power hungry, you haven't seen anything yet because if voters don't see Hillary for what she is really about it will be too late. Hillary will divide Washington like you've never seen and nothing will be accomplished because she will not have the support. She lies about her success in her health plan which failed when Bill was in office. She doesn't have a solid plan to end the war in Iraq because she voted for the war and attempts to distort that truth when it's on record. She claims to understand womens wage differences when she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth like GWB and never had to walk a mile in our shoes. Wake up people, she is not your best friend and Bill ain't your brother.

    January 22, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  14. d

    I am sorry, BOTH Hillary and Obama are to blame. Neither of them GETS IT!!! With all their spouting about change, I hear and see ZERO CHANGE with the exception of this country being drug down by these socialists. Yes thats right, SOCIALISTS. It's a sad sad era for our Country if these are the only clowns who can/do run for the Presidential position for the Democratic Party. Heaven help us if we do not vote in a Presidential Candidate that actually brings this country up from its depths. Alls I see is pandering to whomever they speak to, giving away every right and freedom to those who do not actually belong in this country, driving up TAXES, bringing down WAGES, and with all the hype of going after business, no wonder THEY STILL GO OVER SEAS. Shame on you all.

    January 22, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  15. Mama R

    Hilary Clinton says, "Obama is frustrated" Obama has good reason to be annoyed.

    1) He is caught up in a web with a former President, who violated his marriage vows while in office, and his wife whose life is a hidden agenda.

    2) He is having to spend most of the debate, discussing items that is irrelevent to the issues, at hand, because Hilary has no merits or her own on which to stand, therefore is using Smear tactics, against Obama in an attempt to tunr him into her ladder to the White House.

    3) If Hilary, is running on her own Experience, why don't she make these experiences known, as Obama has done throughout his Campaign?

    Bill Clinton has refused to open the Clinton Library that would show what Hilary has done in her days as First Lady of the White house and as First Lady when she was Governor. Why? What is there to hide in those documents? There is the fact that Hilary did not hold a legislative job till she became a senator. Being a First lady is NOT legislative.

    I have not heard one person in the audience ask Obama about his do's and don't in the White House. Thses types of concerns are injected in the debates because In Hilary's Experiences, she failed to learn the difference between a debate and confrontaion, and its because of her inablility to stick to any given question or subject that annoys Obama.

    January 22, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  16. I love CNN

    "And I really commend Senator Obama for the very graceful way that he has navigated this campaign."

    -Hillary Clinton, as quoted in last week's Newsweek magazine.

    January 22, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  17. CHARLIE Toon

    What does obama stand for???? Feal good speaches will not get my vote!!!!!!!! CNN should tell the truth about obama.

    January 22, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  18. Ilene

    More like Hillary is frustrated that so many of us want Obama instead of her lying.
    Sorry Hillary, some of us are smarted then that

    January 22, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  19. joel

    Hillary is an amazing politician and astute debater. Yeah, she's attacking Obama, and getting him frustrated, and maybe even distorting his record. That's what great debaters do.

    Welcome to politics.

    If Kerry or Gore had half as much fire as her, they'd have won their respective campaigns. If Pelosi had her guts, the Democratic congress wouldn't be receiving such low ratings.

    As far as Clinton being 'so 90's'... isn't that a good thing? I mean, no war, a budget surplus, protecting the environment, trying to fix the healthcare mess, a great economy, great foreign relations... what's wrong with any of that?

    If you think the Republicans are going to go easy on Obama, you're crazy. Rove is already on record as calling 'lazy'... an obvious stab at his race without sounding overtly racist. They'll do all the things Clinton is doing and a LOT worse.

    January 22, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  20. Gerri

    I only have this to say: If you watch Hillary's looks and body language towards Obama, you would know who was frustrated. Obama had every right to defend himself, now that we that Edwards secretly met with Hillary before the debate and heaven only knows what was discussed. But it became apparent when the debate started. Obama looked as though Edwards speared him. Edwards is looking for spot on anybody's ticket and he doesn't care how he gets it.

    It is obvious that both Hillary and Edwards teamed up on Obama for selfish reasons. Don't get me wrong, Obama handled himself with poise and you didn't see him sweat. On one hand, it was good to see Obama defend himself, because John Kerry(Edwards running mate) did not.

    If you go back to listen to Bill in the primaries, it was suggested that he didn't have enough experience and Bill stated that it was about experience, it was about changing the direction of the country(the same argument that Obama is making).

    Hillary and other white candidates that tout their dedication to the African American community are okay if they are asking the African American community for their vote, but don't let a young, experienced, black visionary get in their way and you will see the daggers, lies, exaggerations and mud slinging. Hillary feels entitled to win as the first white women running for president, where as Obama feels privileged to serve his country.

    If the white women of New Hampshire voted for Hillary because she is an experienced politician(so they say), then why is there such an uprorar because I am voting for Obama because he is a black, experienced politician.

    This is for the black politicians in Wash, DC who have decided to vote for Hillary. When will you be able to think for yourselves and stop depending on the Clintons to give you crumbs from their table. If the truth be told, I believe the black politicians that won't voice their support for Obama are green with envy and back-biting cowards.

    GO OBAMA!!!!!!!!!

    January 22, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  21. Carl L.

    Whats the difference between the Clintons' politics and Karl Rove's ?

    Do we really need another Bushies disciple in the White House? For all her posturing she will be much worse than G.W. Bush !!!

    January 22, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  22. Toni

    How much lower can we go then discussing Hillary for president. She would be the worst choice for the Democrats. She is taking credit from Bill's experience, MLK's work, and who knows what else.

    January 22, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  23. Jeff an Independent

    So who is this woman to characterize him?

    Just more divisive, polarizing wretch from the source we've come to expect.

    If Obama was to accurately characterize HER, it would be to point to the "Nasty Lady" who for her own gain will divide not only a party, but a country with her half-truth invectives.

    ANYONE but this witch, absolutely anyone.

    January 22, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  24. Terry

    here's the reality, people. If Clinton is saying Obama looked frustrated-then clearly the debate touch an angry nerve with Sen.Clinton. She look flustered and annoyed in last night's debate and that is why she has left SC today and is conceding South Carolina to Obama and edwards.

    January 22, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  25. JE NY

    Posters should go back and re-watch the debate. He didn't really even answer the moderator's question, he just started his rehersed tyrade, waiting for her to say something close to what he had a canned response for, not even realizing she never even said Regan's name when she brought up republican ideas he spoke about. Also, too many debates. How many of the same questions can you ask on 'what will you do about Iraq, Healthcare, Economy?' It's the same response every time, if not they get accused of fip/flopping. There is a truism "Familiarity breeds contempt". I think with this over-exposure of all the candidates, and then the news coverage that follows (and follows, and follows) , we are indeed becoming too familiar, and so are they.

    January 22, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
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