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. Billy corpuz

    We need a " CONSISTENT " presisdent

    HILLARY FOR PRESIDENT 2009!!

    January 22, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Obama hasn't done anything for Illinois since he's been elected to the Senate, except for run for president, have one of the worst attendance records, and sleep.

    January 22, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  3. PJ, New York

    Hillary Clinton and President Bill Clinton are doing nothing wrong. They are simply reporting facts that the media has not been reporting. Obama has been getting a free ride on the media train for far too long now. If it didn't come out now, it would eventually come out if her were to somehow manage to win the DEM nomination. If Obama thinks Bill and Hillary are being unfair to him, can you imagine what the Republican attack machine would do to him?? The Republican's would eat him alive!!

    Bill Clinton is Hillary's husband, who just happens to be a former president. Obama's wife is campaigning in different parts of the country for him just like Bill does for Hillary. Just because Bill is 'more popular' than Michelle Obama, why should he not campaign/defend his wife??

    The bottom line is that he is not ready. The debates totally prove this too. He's a great speaker when he has a pre-written speech in front of him. But as soon as he's confronted with questions about his record or specifics on his plans for the country he goes on the defensive and just starts stuttering, etc. He can never give a straight answer on anything. Hillary Clinton may not be the one that makes us all feel warm and fuzzy inside but at least she has a plan and has gone into detail time and time again.

    January 22, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  4. lorieB

    Obama always goes on the defensive and steers away from answering the question.
    Let's see all of the data on his health plan.
    Why does he not take a stand on an issue and votes present? wishy washy! be a man!

    January 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  5. Nora Spencer

    Obama is certainly frustrated that Clinton and Edwards are not giving him the free pass that the media seems to. When will Obama realize that he has to be responsible for both his votes and his words. I'm getting pretty sick of his "that's not what I meant line". He can't hide behind the claim that present votes are tactical and not showing up to vote in the Senate is acceptable. Votes show a candidate's position, he's shown us that he is too cowardly to take a position on many controversial matters, it's too bad for him that the oposing candidates are pointing this out.

    Obama started to believe that he was the "chosen one" anointed by the press as the savior of the Democratic party. Well he's not. If he wants the nomination he is going to have to prove that he deserves it and that he can handle the job if he wins.

    He's also going to have to prove he can go toe to toe with the Republican nominee, and so far he's showing us clearly that they will eat him alive and spit out the bones.

    He's not ready for either the heat of the campaign or the job of president. The more we see of him, the more obvious that becomes.

    Hillary 08!!!

    January 22, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. PJ, New York

    Also, for all those who are attacking Hillary Clinton for saying Obama is frustrated... First of all, he is. Secondly, Obama said the exact same thing about Clinton when he won Iowa!!!!!! Of course Obama must be REALLY frustrated now because Hillary Clinton has won two states in a row now. Well, 3, if you count Michigan. Of course all you Obama supporters don't want to admit that the 'uncommitted' slot was for Obama and Edwards.

    January 22, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. Collins

    Clearly, Senator Clinton is electable and the right person to defeat the republicans come November. The republicans obviously, would like to see Obama become the nominee so that they can walk over him. If the democrats do no wake up and realize what is about to happen again, what happened to them during the Al Gore White House campaign attempt, will repeat it self again. It is most regreatable that history is about to repeat itself. Certainly, I can understand the republicans position; but I cannot understand why the democrats are sabotaging their own chances of winning the White House, by backing someone who cannot make it to the finish line.

    "Go Hillary, you have my vote."

    January 22, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  8. Justin

    Why do people hate Bill Clinton so much? Do they not realize that when he left office the U.S. had a projected federal budget surplus for the first time since 1969.

    Morals, aside he obviously was doing something right.

    January 22, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  9. Nik T, Houston, TX

    Sorry, Obamanite. Hillary is right, Obama in the debate looked desperate, uncomfortable and couldn't answer questions regarding his record. His stumbled and mumbed, ummed and stuttered. He needs to grow up and needs to learn that if he's going to throw mud, mud wil be slung back. He obviously can't take it, and he will be pulverized by the republicans should he become the nominee.

    January 22, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  10. Kyle Williams

    Hillary is not accurate on her comment. It seems that Hillary and her husband are extremely frustrated, resorting to dirty tactics, false accusations, and trying to flip Obama's words around to use it against him; as a way to get ahead in the presidential race. As a former First Lady and President, I expect them to have some dignity, it appears that they have no dignity whatsoever. I once was a staunch Clinton supporter, but now I support Obama. Obama is a honorable dignified man, exactly how the President of the United States of America should be.

    January 22, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  11. Adam

    M. McKenzie - Regarding your "cutting of your nose to spite your face," I really respect your opinion and I used to think the same (with respect to voting for Nader especially), but I must disagree.

    At some point the ends don't justify the means. At some point morality comes into play. And what you're hearing from a lot of Obama supporters, Edwards supporters, independents/moderates, and from those who have yet to make a decision is that there's no way they'd vote for Clinton based upon her stretching the truth to meet her personal ends.

    One irony is that this is exactly what Democrats have been complaining about for the past 7 years - Bush and co. stretch the truth to meet their own personal ends. Now you're about to vote for it in a president? Democrat, Independent, or Republican, I just don't think it makes any sense.

    January 22, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  12. Joe

    It's funny when these candidates (and their supporters) talk about who won which State. Let's face it, Obama and Clinton are basically splitting votes (and delegates) across the board. This thing is going down to the wire and Edwards may well be the deciding factor. If he drops out prior to Super Tuesday (and perhaps endorses Obama), that's all-she-wrote for Clinton. If he stays in the race, Clinton probably wins. I just hope that this thing doesn't come down to superdelegates deciding the election, because that will really damage the Democratic Party.

    January 22, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  13. checkthisout

    FRUSTRATED ? I suspect he is more in a state of perpetual DENIAL.
    Obama is.

    He constantly claims that the accusations against him are " Factually Untrue"
    But he FAILS to provide us with the Actual Facts.
    Perhaps he is unable to provide the facts because there are none.
    In which case he should stop whinning.

    January 22, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  14. Funny

    The Obama supporters are funny.

    January 22, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  15. Jon Beckley

    Que? I think it's pretty clear the republicans want Hillary to be the nominee and I can see why. Her experience trump card is going to be revealed for the joke it really is if she faces McCain and she is the only democrat that can chase a hard core liberal like me from voting democrat in November. I don't like ugly political tactics and I don't like American dynasties. If she wins this, I'm going Bloomberg.

    The fact of the matter is Barack is the only candidate out there that can end this nasty partisanship. Hillary could very well make it worse. She begins as a more divisive candidate then GWB did. I'm tired of partisan bickering and even though I agree mostly with the Democrats, I would rather see a consensus builder. That's what our country needs. Not another narrowminded deaf partisan President.

    I should add that I have lost all admiration for Bill Clinton as well, for he has shown his self-serving willingness to hurt this country so that he may once again share the oval office.

    January 22, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  16. Tim

    As a republican and watching my first Demo debate, I was quite surprised to see how fluffy Obama really is. The guy seems to have no substance at all. Obama fired the first shot and Clinton absolutely consumed him with her responses. Obama is very good at sliding in and out of issues, but doesnt have quite the political skills as Hillary.

    I want a viable candiate in '08, but both fields are just so darn weak!!

    January 22, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  17. Karen

    Go Hillary! I'm tired of Obama's whining. If he can't even hold his own in a primary after only three states, he has no business running for President. Hillary is smart and has a firm grap of the issues. She stands up for herself and isn't afraid to speak out.

    Obama has gotten away with not saying anything about his record or the issues for far too long, and I am glad Hillary called him out. Furthermore, if Bill Clitnon wants to campaign for Hillary, so what! That's his right as an American. Obama thinks he can control what everybody else says and does. When Obama said that he doesn't know who he's running against, that told me that he's easily fooled and distracted.

    And Obama started all this when he played the race card after New Hampshire. It backfired on him big time.

    January 22, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  18. Jayson

    As always Hilary takes a swing at someone else and lands a punch right on her own head. She talks about the other candidates being this or that but as always she more accurately describes her own feelings by projecting them on others.

    January 22, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  19. Iowa dem

    I am absolutely sick and tired of Hillary Clinton- She is pathetic! However,
    let's face it...she is likely to receive the democratic nomination thanks to skewed media coverage, millions of dollars, and the use of underhanded campaign tactics. I am equally sick of hearing her pound us with claims of 35 years of experience – Making her ready on day one, bla,bla,bla....What experience?
    And for pitys sake what elected office(s) has she held other than that of New York senator? What makes up the majority of those 35 years? Does being first lady count in some way? If she is nominated, we are getting the shaft, -A bum deal. Neither one of the Clintons can be trusted. Together, Bill and Hillary Clinton are ruthless. During the course of this campaign they have created conflict between democrats- They are dividing their own party members in an effort to get what they want. Together they would further degrade the office of the presidency . One thing is for sure, there are many who will absolutely not support this Hillary -I certainly will not.

    January 22, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  20. Stacy Clarks, Texas

    OBAMA/EDWARDS 08!!!!!

    January 22, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  21. RT

    To hear Billary supporters say someone else's comments were rehearsed is comical. Everything out of her mouth is contrived. Funny how she went from the experience candidate who got killed in Iowa, to the crybaby change candidate in New Hampshire and now friend to the Black voter in SC. The Clintons are absolutely no different then the Republicans with their Roveian style politics. You are all so uninformed it's sick.

    January 22, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  22. Michael

    Great job, Hillary! Let the truth be known. Blind loyalty is ignorance. Facts are facts. Best PERSON for the job, Hillary Clinton – our next President.

    January 22, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  23. ralph

    Wow! I never thought that I'd see the day where I'd see Bill Clinton in this light. He is looking less elegant every day he's on the trail. It seems to me, that what I've been told all along is coming to light. I was such a big Bill and Hillary Clinton fan that I would surf the cable box just to hear them speak of their ideas.

    The last couple of days has been a revelation. The Clintons, through their desire to win the nomination, have evolved into something that I never wanted to see. I can't believe how low they have gone to distort Barack Obama's views. It's just unreal.

    Without getting into how this mess has started, The Clintons have scooped up the ball and have run with it beyond the end zone. To anyone who has been keeping up with the nomination process, it's clear to see the unscrupulous tag team spreading deliberate lies. I'm very disappointed.

    January 22, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  24. Paul, NJ

    I also think it was pretty telling that Edwards took some major swipes at Obama but only contrasted himself with Hillary. I think if he drops, he'll endorse Hillary.

    January 22, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  25. GaryO Virginia Beach

    Obama came out swinging, and Hillary hit back.

    Of course Obama is frustrated. He isn't used to fighting his own fights. Maybe Clyburn will intercede on his behalf again.

    We don't want little Barack to get his feeling hurt . . .

    January 22, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
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