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. Greg

    I enjoyed the debate last night and the fussing back in forth made it interesting, however Mrs. Clinton tried to spin what was said and paint it as if Barak was speaking about the whole republican party which he was not and she was corrected she tried to sneak it in and he sure cracked her face with the sitting on the board at wal-mart, why do we accuse of obama of being prepared aren't they all surely she didn't just read somewhere he worked for a firm that represented a slum lord she was prepared...he did what he had to do he is actually running against three people Bill,Hillary and John Edwards.

    January 22, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  2. dan, tx

    She is old politics. We need new politics.

    Edwards is going to accumulate 15%, maybe 20% of the delegates. That's 600 – 800 of the 2000 needed for the nomination. The super-delegates will be split. Edwards will be able to choose between Obama and Clinton. Who will he choose? What does he want in return?

    January 22, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  3. Mary

    Do we really want Hilary and Bill back in the White House? heading the news every day for the next four years? Please say NO!
    Barack, stay out of the muck. Don't let her suck you down. Go Obama!
    I'm a lifelong Democrat , but I will not vote for Hilary under any circumstances – despite my fervent desire for a woman president.

    January 22, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  4. Evelyn

    Hilary said last night that She and Bill were not attacking or lying about Obama. However, this statement seems to do just that. There are at least 3 statements that lifelong Democrats will not vote for her just in these comments. Make mine the 4th one. Lets go Obama/Edwards in 08. I'd even take Edwards/Obama if necessary. That would be one dream of a team. Someone in the Democratic National Committee must be monitoring these blogs and see how divisive she is. It doesn't look good for the party if she is the nominee.

    January 22, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  5. Tee

    Jim in orlando..Did you happen to fall asleep...lol Because OBAMA really was frustrated, nasty and not able to give a legitimate response as always. I am proud of Hillary (and Edwards) because OBAMA really has NO record to stand on, NO plan to move this country foward. He is just TALK. All he does is talk about how, yes the poor need help, yes, the middle class needs help, blah, blah...he sounds like a broken record..same talk, different day.


    January 22, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  6. Stephen

    What else does Bill and Hillary want the White House for? They had 8 years full of abandoned hope. If the performance of Bush is an indicator of what happens in American Dynasty, we do not need Hillary. I am voting Republican out of saying anybody but Hillary!!!

    January 22, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  7. john

    Hillary has to realize her campaign is causing frustration in the Obama camp. First for a former president to get involved in an attack campaign is unheard of. Second his attacks are not accurate. Third America is seeing it as the same old dirty tactics America has had to tolerate over the past sixteen years. The citizens of this great country deserve better from the former president than getting involved in a political process where he is not a participant.

    January 22, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  8. angelo

    obama needs to stop pandering and flip flopping his positions.last night he made references to political games,but when called on his votes and positions he stuttered and danced and basically attempted to play those political games,albeit badly,he had just accused the other candidates and their supporters of playing.obama comes across as having no plan,no principals,no direction,no platform,and absolutely no accountability.the answer for voting "present" over 130 times in the illinois state legislature,instead of voting yes or no,possibly exposing him to political flak, reeks of those"political games" he wants us to believe he does not play.flip flop flip flop flip flop.

    January 22, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  9. Russell, NC

    Yes Hillary, a lot of us are frustrated. Your husband is a liar and a cheat. Yet he acts like he is running for President.

    January 22, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  10. Deb

    At least Obama spoke directly to Hillary in confronting her...he didn't wait to hold a press conference labeling her performance the next day. Obama showed class, vision and inspiration. I noticed Hillary said the people she spoke to gave her hope and inspiration that she wanted to take to the White House - the people give to her. That's the real difference - Obama gives to the people hope and inspiration. By being present in the White House, he would inspire and instill hope in the American people again - what a President should do.

    I also noticed that no one from the Clinton camp talked (or accused) anyone's vote in the casino as counting "5 times as much" as other voters in Nevada after Hillary won 7 of the 9 casino caucus sites.

    And so far the biggest "fairy tale" I've heard is Bill's comment "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." We're looking to him for truth?? C'mon...

    As a lifelong Dem, I am deeply saddened by the Clinton's behavior in this race. I will vote for Obama in the primary, and in the general election in November. If he is not the party's nominee, I'll be writing in his name. After watching the way the Clinton's have run this campaign, I'd even consider voting McCain over Hillary - at least from him you get the truth.

    I think the really frustrated party here is Hillary...else why the morning after press conference to launch yet another attack on the person who is clearly the front-runner and best Democratic choice for nominee and President in November?

    GO OBAMA 2008!!!!!

    January 22, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  11. Karen

    Here come the Obama whiners. The guy bombed again, get over it. He can't debate. She is right. He is frustrated. He kept stammering. He kept saying, let me finish. He kept saying, that's not what I meant.

    I don't know who I'm voting for but the guy can't even remember the positions his handlers have developed for him. He told Clinton and Edwards he would send them his position. Good grief, just explain them and get it over with. He talks alot but never gets to the point. What is he talking about. I try to take notes on the debate to see if he actually answers, and he just goes on and on. I daze out every time he opens his mouth.

    I don't know who I'm voting for but that girl can debate.

    Independent, and proud of it.

    January 22, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  12. Bill, Buffalo NY

    When is Hillary going to take off the gloves and start talking about Osama's past drug abuse? Last night was the perfect opportunity to hit him with it instead of his affiliation with a Chicago slum lord.
    WAKE UP People! Do you really want an ex crack head running our country?

    January 22, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  13. Dan - Austin,TX

    Greg in NY , so you think all that MLK crap obama's supporters through at the clintons is ok though? Man , your using what Bush calls double talk. Obama is for the dems what Bush was for the Rep. eveyone though bush was the new kind of pres. Well he was , and that sucked.

    January 22, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  14. eddy

    I've watched most of the "debates." What Clinton is accusing Obama of is exactly what she is most guilty of. She's merely playing a turn the tables game. At this point I believe she is really a pathological liar. In which case she is in good company with her husband (or Daddy?) Bill who thought nothing of lying to the whole nation via televised media and in court under oath. I believe Obama is more likely to choose truth when it comes down to the bottome line than any Clinton. And anyway what has she really done for the working people of New York State? Nothing! Get real. And why is Dennis Kucinich constantly barred from the so called debates which are really nothing more than excercises in calumney? It is obvious that the corporate media has already chosen the candidates for us. This is not a democracy.

    January 22, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  15. W James

    According to Hillary, Obama has some connection to a Tony Rezko.
    What's this all about.? Is there something wrong with Mr Rezko?
    Hillary please explain.

    January 22, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  16. Kimberly

    Hillary and Bill are the frustrated ones...otherwise, why keep going on the attack with Obama instead of debating the issues and why isn't Edwards worthy of their interest?
    Well, because he is not considered a threat to the Clintons and their legacy.

    Bill, you've already served as President...give it a rest and let the candidates take it from here...please, try to keep what little dignity you have...

    Obama and/or Edwards 08 or whichever Republican is running...I WILL NEVER EVER AGAIN VOTE FOR ANOTHER CLINTON!

    January 22, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  17. Brian L Chicago

    Hillary and Bill are making Karl Rove proud. They have taken the tack that to say anything and do anything to get "them" elected will actually work. They constantly pander to the lowest common denominator. I was a Clinton supporter until halfway thru his second term. I defended Hillary up until the same time. I am ashamed and embarrased that I ever gave them the benefit of the doubt. Their behaviour is reprehensible and childish. She represents divisiveness, Mr Obama represents Unity. Its clear and simple, the Clinton's are out for themselves, not for the greater good of this country. People need to see them in this light.

    January 22, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  18. connie

    Hillary wants to make America a sinister country. All her plans and efforts are ridiculous. She needs to build up America! She needs to have great views for this country. Otherwise, America is in the road for communist. Obama is 100% right in the health care plan. We do not want a lazy America. We want a violent America a place where all of us understand the importance of this country. BE ALERT! Please dicern all the candidates before voting. We reach to point that we can not look in gender or color but we need to look over what is best for our country. BEWARE OF SINISTER GOVERNMENT!.

    January 22, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  19. BCNU purple state, usa

    Chris from Middletown

    Good point! She supported it achieving first in the nation status though. Just like she has 'advocated' all of these great things she plans on implementing!

    Look at the record in Arkansas, their education system ranks higher after Huckabee toyed with it than when Hill made the fix. Speaks volumes of her 'ability to bring change.'

    The only skills she would have for 'making change' is what you would get for every dollar you earn after paying for all of her pie in the sky social programs.

    January 22, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  20. Jay

    Time for Mr. Obama to own up on Rezko. Buying a house for under market value and then having Mrs. rezko buying an empty lot from the seller at market value and then selling 10% of the land adjacent to the house all on the same day do not ist well with man who is a beneficiary of the Chicago machine but claims he is for change.

    Common. Only one Democrat can lead the party is Hillary Clinton.
    Time for Mr. Obama to go back to representing the interest of his constituents LOL!

    January 22, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  21. Ande

    Why does Hillary feel the need to speak for Obama time and time again? She seems to get enjoyment from twisting his words. What a horrible person. I'd rather see another Bush in office than to see her dirty, devilish, deceitful and filthy lying self in there. Can't she speak for herself? Can't she open her mouth without saying Obama. I hope the world see's her for the snake that she is. No wonder Bill was looking at other women. What a terrible person she is. She will never, ever have my vote. EVER!!! What a low down treacherous woman

    January 22, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  22. Justin

    Clinton New Network is at it again.

    January 22, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  23. Aaron_Incongruity

    i can't believe this. i watched the debate, i've watched every debate, i've been frustrated since early 2007.

    Hillary looked very bad this debate. Obama brought his qualms with her to the table, rightly so. she handled them poorly, she muttered and stumbled, made crazy faces and backed out of inconvenient questions or accusations. Obama was poised and to the point, he attacked, yes, but he did it with substance not belligerence, he spoke intelligently of his plans, and defended his record. This process has forever drained any credibility that i ever held for the Clintons in my "benefit of the doubt" reservoir.

    i am a believer. Obama 08. please join us.

    January 22, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  24. Tyler

    Fred, Virginia January 22, 2008 12:39 pm ET

    I disagree completely with this posted article. Hillary Clinton came out on the attack, not Obama, and she continued disrupting his answers to questions with focuses personal attacks. I believe she was hoping to draw him out and make a mistake, but in my view, she showed how divisive and self serving she really is. I could not support her for president because of this, and if president she would so polarizing as to make progress impossible.

    Um if your saying she attacked him first in the debate last night then your so full of it. Did you not see the Walmart attack on her????? That was the first attack. Go read the transcript if you want more proof.

    January 22, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  25. A voter

    Corcodile tears and voter fraud before New hampshire, racist emails and a voter suppression lawsuit before Nevada, and more lies and twisted truths than you could stuff in a Cigar.

    Hillary is probably the most dishonest, dirty-playing politician I have ever sen. And because i beleive in integrity, i could never vote for someone so low-down and dishonest.


    January 22, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
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