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. Reese

    Everyone say Obama doesn't have experience but how do get experience ? Can he be any worse than Bush? The Clitons have a history of scandals all the way back when Bill was governor have we forgotten this ? Hillary was actually voted the top corrupt politician last year. Please google. Also check her record as far as voting and helping getting legislature passed.

    I won’t mention any of the ridiculous scandals that also plagued
    the last Clinton Administration. what has she gotten done in 35 years of "experience"? What has she succeeded at? Health care initiative was a complete failure. Hillary Clinton has sponsored 350 bills since Jan 22, 2001, of which 304 haven't made it out of committee. This is a poor success rate. Why won't She and Bill unseal her records of 35 yrs of experience ?

    Everyone who thinks she is the one needs to check the Clitons record and history and not listen to what spills out of their mouths !!!!!!

    January 22, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. Mike R

    Well, it certainly seems like the Clinton spin machine is busy today in the blogoshphere. They got their talking points and their posting points and we can see them all over the place.

    Unfortunately, none of this will change the ultimate outcome. The divisive, arrogant and conceited strategy by the Clintons has already started a rift in the Democratic party that will grow and grow. And, the independents are going to go against her too.

    What this means for the general election is obvious. A good portion of Democrats will sit it out as a protest vote against Hillary, independents will go to the Republicans and the Republicans will favor their own. Sorry Hillary, and your entourage, you will never be President. I would keep your sights set low, right where they are now, in the gutter of Rovian politics. If only you had some wisdom to go along with all your so-called experience. All you really had to do was to sit back and ride it out. But, the arrogance just had to come out. Too bad.

    January 22, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  3. Franklin

    Right now it would be a good time for Hillary not to react from or toward this chaotic drama. I would regroup from the petty talk and go forth with issues. It's not a good look for her now. The viewers are seeing it as bad publicity with how she's relaying this info. to the public. There's a better way to tattle tale then the way it's being done, it's so unprofessional for the characters, and it doesn't help either. America is about the business not who has the most foul stuff on their plate. i can admire her stand on having mudd slung at her but let's not prolong it.

    It's a cat and mouse game and frankly america doesn't want to hear it, unless it's relavant to ones ability to handle the president's position. I understand debating but lets stick to debate on who has the better plans for America,not who's past is dirty.

    January 22, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  4. Liam

    Isn't the one who is married to a guy who bangs every Bimbo in creation, to avoid banging her, the one that is truly frustrated!

    Hillary is the expert. She has been deeply frustrated for 35 years, and will be able to apply her long frustration experience from day one.

    January 22, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. Focus

    It must have hit a nerve with her when he said she was "frustrated" so now she's trying to use it. If this isn't a dog and pony show I don't know what is. It's a shame that they are doing all of the mudslinging but I hope he doesn't respond to her……..

    January 22, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. Dave, Milwaukee WI

    Fact: Obama can only benifit from high voter turnout.

    Fact: Obama needs to spend time talking about vision and policy initiatives since his last name is not "Clinton".

    So....will one of you rabid Hillary followers explain to me how it is in Barack's interest to attack Hillary?

    She is the one attacking him every hour so he has to spend his time responding to her falshoods.

    She also gets the added benifit of turning potential voters off to the process thus increasing her chances of winning. Doesn't it feel nice to support someone who wants to supress turnout?

    January 22, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  7. Senior Gal

    I watched the debate last night and thought Obama handled himself quite well................as did Edwards. I thought Hillary a little emotional, making sure she got in all the jabs she had been coached on...........coming back to them when everyone else was ready to move on.

    Seeing this rancor now only reminds me of the rancor between Republicans and Democrats all during Bill Clinton's eight years in the White House. Sorry, America, but half the people in the US would not vote for HIllary Clinton even if she was the only candidate running.

    The Clintons represent more of the same in Washington..............................NOT change. Find another candidate.

    January 22, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  8. PJ

    Hillary likes to claim that the Republicans have been after her for years and she is still here. Hmmm, haven't the democrats been after Bush for years and isn't he still here?

    January 22, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  9. Ito, Yokosuka Japan

    HRC the victim...there's a good one...

    If you believe Bill and Hillary are the victime, I have oceanfront property in Arizona for sale...

    January 22, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  10. Robbie

    So if Obama doesn't fight he's weak...and if he does fight he's frustrated? The Clintons will say and do anything to get back in the Whitehouse. We don't need another Clinton term!

    January 22, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  11. Mike M

    Clinton supporters: Shame on you. She and her campaign will stoop to low levels just to get your vote. I could never give my vote to someone knowing that they are twisting words, making up false allegations, and just playing the campaign game dirty. First, she steals the idea of change and yet she uses old, dirty, rhetoric policital strategies to win your vote. Not much change in politics there. What makes you think she can unite this country when she and her campaign is already dividing the Democratic party? Shame on you.

    January 22, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  12. Lisa, Texas

    I think everyone was watching the same debate. Clearly the Clintons are pulling the oldest trick in the book......bating Obama in to look incompetent, unable to hold himself together, unruly, aggressive.....and so on.

    Hillary has no respect for herself or the institution which she feels she is capable of running. I am outraged that anyone would want to vote for her when she behaves this way. There are times when a "yes" or "no" will come up in the Oval Office but, never a time when there is no choice. She is an idiot.

    I cannot believe any woman would want to vote for her. The stuff she is demonstrating is school yard behavior..Take a "time out" Hillary......actually you are expelled.

    Obama has got to stay focused. Keep the campaign clean! Do not let the Clintons back in office.

    Bill Clinton has shown his true colors in the past weeks. America needs to take a hard look at that. The Clintons are just what I always claimed.....ruthless, un-American and ignorant.

    January 22, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  13. Ito, Yokosuka Japan

    Would HRC be anything without Bill?

    January 22, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  14. RuthieM

    Instead of Obama campaign defending Clintons false charges why is it they don't throw Hsu and all her and Bills corrupt charges since this campaign started? There have been allegations about donors, their past, all of that needs to be thrown into the pot since they are on the constant Obama attack. Isn't Hsu in jail and shouldn't Hillary and Bill be in there with him? Also why doesn't Obama campaign mention the 4 or 5 Clinton campaign people who she recently fired after discovering they were the ones behind the Obama smears. And that bigwig she recently fired too, and all the apologies they've had to do. Obama has not had to fire anyone or apologize, it's all coming from the Clintons and Obama himself should ignore these losers and let his surrogates fight these battles while he stays on his message that's all about being for the American people, not politics, like the Clintons.

    January 22, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  15. Brian

    I think it is a sad situation when the best attack on Hillary is that she is "a lying mess", but the claim is never substantiated by any evidence of this. We may not like the seemingly low-blows, but she, nor Bill (though I agree he is being a bit over the top and less statesmanlike than he should) haven't said anything that is untrue. Obama HAS made the statements that he is being accused of making. Obama DID not vote in 30+% of the possible votes.

    His current job as senator is to pass legislation and carry the voice of his constituents. I cannot believe that Illinois is a silent portion of this country. If I didn't show up for 30% of my job, I wouldn't have one. I can't imagine why we would support someone who doesn't fulfill their duties as the leader of the "free-world".

    Obama has done a great job of refining his debating skills. He is a consumate orator, and is inspiring to listen to regarding change, hope, and the future. Yet as we are continually taught as grammer school students, "You have to learn from the past". Obama's record doesn't inspire confidence in the future. It doesn't lead me to believe he has a workable plan for change (keep in mind, change for the sake of change doesn't make it good). And the prior two goals don't compel much hope in a successful presidency.

    The Clinton dynasty is a bit difficult to chew. We've had one President Clinton for 8 years. That is not a dynasty. (for that matter the Bush dynasty isn't either). We voted for Bill for a second term because our economy was strong, our social services were improving, our foreign policy (with a few blunders I cannot condone) was not making us the most hated country in the world. Although, Hillary is not Bill, and they don't always agree on policy either, I would still rather have that world, then one that is based on "hope" rather than real change.

    Hillary's track record is strong. Her experience is public record. Her "attacks" aren't false, though maybe harsh. Obama seems to always attempt to side-step and "clarify" what he said. I don't want to have to re-interpret our president. I don't think our Allies nor our Enemies should have to either. And I want a president who is present AND VOTING (or in the case of the president leading), not just present.

    Obama just ins't ready. I'd pick him over any republican, and though many may not like the fact that Hillary is a polished politician (though someone who has worked hard to understand the system and has successfully been part of the system doesn't make it a bad thing to me, most of the people we hire from our company have experience in the field as well), her experience, skills as a negotiator, and her policies make her the best candidate.

    January 22, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  16. concerned citizen

    Yes Hillary is an awesom chgoice for president....and for the rest of you people who commented....where you watching the same debate I was watching where Obama stuttered and was absolutley frustrated with Hillary and Hillary kept her kool and just smiled....jesus christ!!!!!!!!!

    Major Renday
    USMC

    January 22, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  17. St. Jeff

    Hopefully the president elected this year is a Democrat, whether it be a left-centrist (good), or a true progressive (better). In actuality, any of the 5 Democratic candidates would be at least 1776 times better than any of the rather pathetic Republican candidates, none of whom seem to truly understand the problems America and this world faces. With all the debate between Obama & Hillary and sadly looming in our minds....who will John Edwards eventually be forced to support as the new Dem candidate..... it's comforting to know at least one candidate has always been right 1st and has voted like he talks. Unfortunately, this REAL leader, who was the only candidate that voted against the illegal invasion of Iraq and ongoing occupation thereof and voted to protect YOUR rights by voting against the patriot act and vs. the bankruptcy bill, many people don't even know exists, By finding ways to keep Representative Kucininch out of debates (4 in a row and counting) the Corporate Media has decided that YOU should not now what America COULD be with a just and righteous President who has the courage to finally break free from special interest groups and transform America as he would. We would have to stop being the world police though, among other things.

    January 22, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  18. John

    Just as the Fireworks of this debate distracted the Voters the Clinton campaign said it had cut it's ties and funding from a Dubia Bank. What did this Arab front Bank for Al Quaeda ask of the Clintons for their money???????

    January 22, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  19. Jack

    Actually, it is Hillary who is frustrated. How many times was she booed in the debate last night?

    Why is she avoiding South Carolina? Her Campaign's Talking Point has already become that SC doesn't matter because of the large Black Vote.

    She is already trying to hype Florida as counting for something. Yesterday she attempted to extricate herself from the Early-State pledge so that she could campaign in Florida.

    She hopes to split this party along racial lines and get nominated on people's prejudices.

    Her tactics are straight out of the Republican playbook.

    January 22, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  20. John M

    He may be frustrated but at least he didn't cry. The last thing I want is my president crying at a G8 summit.

    January 22, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  21. p. vogel

    In reviewing your political page, it is noteworthy to me that you have Obama's Walmart jab at Hilary, but you failed to provide her return salvo. In fairness to both shouldn't you have the entire exchange that you are repeatedly commenting on today, or are you promoting one candidate over the other. Paint the entire picture!

    January 22, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  22. Eli Levi, San Francisco

    I loved Obama's line last night when he said to Hilary , "who am I running against, YOU or your husband!" Hil is using Bill as her attack dog, but in the long term, I think this will backfire. Bill, thanks your big mouth only reinforces Clinton fatigue syndrome that much of the country is suffering from. Bill, we had 8 years of you......OK????

    Hillary and Bill are so 90s. It's time to MOVE ON, America.
    Obama/Edwars 2008

    January 22, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  23. Jay

    Bottom line............By putting Bill Clinton in the white house to be second opinioned on everything Hillary says is going backwards not forward. FACT....his bully pulpit is much larger than hers will ever be!!!!

    January 22, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  24. Your Daddy

    Nice spin, Hill. I think your camp is the one frustrated. You play cool and calm while your high profile attack dog tries to put Obama on the defensive. Many of the 'points' you brought up during the debate were lies and Obama called you on it. Were they sourced to the National Equirer?

    January 22, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  25. Monique - Cleveland, OH

    The typical game of politics. Hillary Clinton is so smug. She is not sincere. She is one well rehearsed woman. Just remember a lot of people fell for George Bush and his polished act. Barack Obama may be frustrated and is flying under the radar because of his inexperience but it is still very early on, he will improve.

    January 22, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
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