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. Tee

    Hiilary, keep up the AWESOME work on this OBAMA. You nailed him perfectly! When he has no script, he Falls flat on his face.

    January 22, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. mark lewis

    For The life of me I CAN;T see how people can support a man who has no expererence.second when clinton was presdent people had money,jobs were plentiful. Hillary clinton is by far the most qualifyed to be presdent in my opinon.She has comand of the facts and can work across the ile.

    January 22, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  3. Aidyn

    YOu are so right HILLARY!! obama needs to toughen up...

    January 22, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  4. Kris

    Obama supporters are just funny. Hillary was by far the most prepared, informed and spoke in detail about issues and policy. Once again Obama fumbled over hsi words and spoke in generalities. Some things never change. Though I must give Obama supporters credit – you are some of the most loyal people I've ever seen. No matter what Obama says or does you stand by him. Congrats.

    January 22, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. NewJersy

    Why can't Obama just say that EVERYONE has the right to health insurance? Why does he have this cockeyed scheme to "encourage" people to purchase their insurance? Sounds very Ronald Reagan to me...

    January 22, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  6. Dont Be Stupid

    Any why shouldn't Obama be frustrated? Every word out of the Billary's mouth over the last month has been a straight out lie when it comes to Obama's record. Am I the only one who remembers Bill's inability to tell the truth?

    If Billary gets the nomination you can count on a GOP win in November. Nothing else would motivate the Republican base more and turn off roughly 50% of the democratic base.

    January 22, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. DD, New York

    Actually, Hillary never mentioned Ronald Reagan, Obama did. And he did start last nights "fight." I am still a little stunned over his answer about Bill Clinton can't dance when asked if he thought Clinton was the "First Black" president. And then he told John Edwards that Edwards can have the white male vote!!! Hillary never ever talked along those lines. I am for Hillary. Go Girl!

    January 22, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  8. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    Come on sheep it is time to wake up and defend your queen (the rest of us have been up for hours, "you know" WORKING).

    Fot the last 4-6 weeks Billyboy, Shaheen, Cuomo, Penn and Johnson (to name a few surrogates) have been running around taking shots at Obama and they are either misleading, lying or stretching the facts.

    How many Clinton surrogates have been forced to apologize or quit??????

    Now he has the "audacity" to speak up and Democratic "leaders" and the media are calling for this to stop AFTER HILLARY has been allowed to get in her dirty points and now if he fights back he is "playing the card" or he is "frustrated".

    Part two of the ADMITTED plan by her CAMPAIGN was to make her "appear" softer and more likable by using phony tears, Mommy and daughter as props that are not ALLOWED to speak.

    Divide by gender and race and many of you fools are falling for it.

    I am a Republican that should be happy this is going on, but as an American FIRST, this is disgraceful and for anyone to say that the media is NOT PART AND PARCEL to helping her is as dumb as a Clintonista.

    Asian dishwashers
    Planted questions
    Planted people
    For illegal licenses – against illegal licenses
    Voted for the bankruptcy bill – was allowed to say she was "glad" it failed

    Her hubby attacking Obama and then is so exhausted coming up with the latest lie or excuse falls asleep at a black church (Where is that posted??????????)

    Get's weepy over "How do you do it" question right before NH, when on Tyra Banks show shows NO emotion when discussing hubby cheating on her.

    This is just some from this campaign, shall we discuss previous incidents?

    They have mastered the dumbing down of elections and remember you get what you deserve.

    January 22, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  9. RM

    Well Obomba, kinda sounds like you need to bend over and kiss your butt goodbye. You have as much of a chance of winning this race as a snake walking on all fours. Go away you idiot, you haven't heard what you have been saying about everyone, sounds like what goes around comes around, and this came with a full head of steam.

    January 22, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  10. Howard Hewlett Des Moines IA

    As much as I don't want to see a Republican president I would rather see a Republican president than Hillary. I am an independent who has voted almost entirely Democrat since I was 18. I will NOT vote for this lying horrible person! I would rather see American take, yet, another step backwards with a Republican president so we can see the error of our ways. Anyone But Clinton!

    January 22, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  11. king

    This Country needs restoration and effective leadership. Obama is not ready, Edwards shows great potential, Hillary is the best candidate. She will stand toe to toe with the republican candidate, and deliver on all the issues.

    January 22, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  12. George, Billerica, Mass.

    Fact is, Hillary can play the nasty political game that the Democratic nominee will have to engage in this November. The way Barack performs now, the Republicans will crucify Obama. Note how many times you here "uh" when he defends himself against attacks; he's just not sure of himself...yet. He's too young and inexperienced, not to be President, but to be an effective nominee against the Republican machine. It will be cross-your-fingers if Obama is the nominee and we hope that he can learn quickly how to campaign in a general election. I'm no fan of the Clinton tactics, but they are a politically brilliant duo and know exactly what to do come September. I'm still giving Edwards my vote because I like him better and to keep him above 15% on Super Tuesday to get as many delegates as he can, especially if the Barack campaign crumbles after Feb. 5.

    January 22, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  13. Karen

    If President, will Hillary continue to "hide" behind hubby Bill? Her denial of mentioning Ronald Reagan and remarking that "he"s not here" are kind of disturbing.....is that how a new Clinton White House will function? I have been a Hillary supporter (partly because of my support of Bill) for a long time but am definitely shifting my support to Obama in light of the last few weeks of bickering. Bill and Hillary - you have embarrassed me for the last time.

    January 22, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  14. mark

    Wow. I hate to say it but, as a democrat (life long) if it's between Hillary and John Mcain, I'll vote republican. I think Obama is truly the agent of change he claims to be and I support him all the way but, it seems very clear to me that the Clinton's are just more of the same....

    If anyone out there thinks that electing Bill and Hillary Clinton back to the White House does anything but satisfy their own desire to "get back" at republicans, you are deluding yourselves.

    Could you really take 4 more years of this bickering between parties?

    I can't.....The Clintons don't have the political will of the people to move the ball forward like Obama does.

    My god – the man has the cohones to compliment Ronald Reagan during a Democratic Primary!! I think his comments were correct too! I disliked Reagan's policies but he was a force for change and crossed the isle to get things done.

    Clinton only represents more of the same junk we've seen for the past decade...

    January 22, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  15. Andrew

    What is really surprising here is that this is the same stuff that Obama refuted and took her to taks for in the SC debate.

    The classy thing to do when you have been caught in a lie is to shut up about it. Not to repeat it in a statement to the news.

    This just shows that she is in major damage control mode.

    January 22, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  16. venus in California

    Obama showed passion and a fighting spirit that never denied his intellect. He responded to each attack explained what are complex issues to drill down to 30 second sound bytes. He answered all the questions and his positions are clear. He went on the offense to defend himself against previous attacks and still gave more clarity to his records than has been mentioned before now. I for one, did not know about his work reforming the death penalty in Illinois.

    What's funny to me is that Obama has several key legislation that he's either inititated or been a key partner in, HRC never has an answer. What has she done with her time in the Senate except complain that the Republicans are holding her back? All I know about is a failed attempt at health care. Now I'm starting to see why it failed. If this is the "real" Hillary, I'm not too crazy about her. The Clinton's ego to win at any cost, will deeply mar the Democratic party. It's sad that they can't see pass their own noses to realize what's good for the country is not necessarily them. But they're completely self-interested, perhaps drunk with power.

    I've voted Democrat all my life. I even thought I'd vote for Hillary, before all this. If she wins the nomination, this woman will not support her. Her leadership style is divisive and I can't believe a word she says. AND I've not forgotten that her husband is a proven liar and the months spent on the definition of "is". Our country can't afford to be lost in the Clinton's personal need for legacy and power.

    January 22, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  17. roger, conway sc

    If you watched the debate you can say that Hillary is right on about Obama being frustrated it showed from the begining. When he started the attack & she responded he became more & more frustrated....Keep in mind Obama & Edwards started the attacks on Clinton several months back & she started responding since then Edwards has backed off but Obama has continued and the fight is on...He acted like a high school bully, if he thinks his fellow dems were hard on him just wait & if he is the nominee the GOP will tear him apart...When Edwards put him on the spot about the cr card interest rates I flipped out, I thought Obama was going to freak...Obama is not ready for the big stage, I'll bet he & Jim Clyburn are "CHILLING" together just waiting for the opportunity to scream race card again like they have been doing the last couple of weeks along with the media...this man is a uniter just like the last uniter that was put into the white house ole GW...When Obama speaks it is all talk there is no substance he goes on about nothing...I hope that the people are smart enough to see that this man is a phony....Edwards done a very good job in the debate as well as Clinton

    January 22, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  18. R Jackson Mi

    I am sick and tied of the attacks on each other so get to the issues. When Hillary talks about Obama and versa no one is talking issues.

    January 22, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  19. Hillary did too

    Hillary's comments on health-care and the economy were also word for word, not even mentioning how her plan added an additional 40 billion dollars in relief once Obama came out with his own package that included immediate economic stimulus in the terms of tax rebates.

    Though I am an Obama supporter, I think Edwards did well last night. I will be very upset if he starts teaming up with Clinton. He tried to paint her as the status quo and Obama and him as the true agents of change. If it's Clinton/Edwards I will vote for McCain. If it's Edwards and anyone else, I would happily vote for him.

    If Edwards talks so much about fighting the interests, he should be the one violently against Clinton. She has more favors to pay out than anyone else on Capitol Hill. She's received millions from lobbyists and foreign countries, and I would strongly lose my respect for Edwards if he continues this inadequate picture of Obama as the status quo and Clinton as this great being to public life.

    Obama merely defended himself against remarks she has been constantly making against him. I like how she says she didn't mention Ronald Reagan, which she didn't, it was implied. Much like she "implied" that "ideas against conventional wisdom" meant that Republicans had great ideas.

    This is more of the two headed politics Hillary is about. And for those Hillary supporters out there that are bashing Obama on his performance last night, I dare you to look back at past debates and the candidate of which you support. You complain Obama can't dish and take heat, yet last night he strongly proved he could. Take the comments for what they are, and move on from there.

    And to those yelling for people to talk about issues, they're almost all exactly identical on policy. Read their websites if you need details. The squabbles over policy are so small that congress would be the ones truely deciding, since they have to initially pass the legislation for even the President to sign in. Hillary has no more experience in public life that is ACCOUNTABLE to the people than Obama or Edwards, and she has no more substance to her. This is something the media wanted you to fall into, along with her political machine, and most of you have fallen for it.

    As for the present votes which many of you are bashing Obama for, go see how many times Edwards missed votes in the Senate. Go see how many times Hillary missed votes in the Senate. Edwards and Clinton have missed a much larger percentage of votes than the over 4,000 Obama did vote on, not to mention the fact that present is an indicator vote, basically saying no and there was something in the bill that needs to be revised first.

    All in all, Edwards came out on top last night, but if he continues this alliance with Clinton, I will have lost all my respect for the Democratic Party and will jump to McCain for simple leadership qualities

    January 22, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  20. Disappointed

    Don't say you are a feminist and then have your husband fight all you battles. Sister!

    January 22, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  21. don / miami

    if this is the way mrs.clinton runs a campaign, i would hate to see how
    she would run a nation. is she going to sic her pit bull on our enemies
    just as she did to obama?

    January 22, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  22. Oren Ovadia, California

    I am an undecided voter and I am trying to lean towards Senator Clinton. She seems taugher and stronger than Obama. I am looking for a President that will be able to take care of Biz on the first day on the job. and start healing the economy. I stongly believe that every nominee stands for change. So for me change is not the deciding point here. I more care about our bleading economy, and the recession we are in. I love my country, and I strongly believe now, after watching the debate last night, that Hillary is the perfect person for the job. I am looking for a leader, not a spiritual leader!!!! And Obama starts to become a Preacher rather than a Leader of The Free World. If he wants to stay in the race, he needs to focus on the Economy and the war in Iraq, and stop acting like a minister. I think he will make a fine VP rather than a President.

    January 22, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  23. joe

    Hillary lost the debate and now these attacks by the Clinton Campaign proves it!

    He looked very presidential last night and successfully fended of two attackers with class.

    Hillary was just nagging him to death. The problem with "nagging" is that most of the time no one listens.

    January 22, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  24. JSM

    Hillary your "old school" dirty tricks and dirty politics will blow up in your face. The only "Booo"s I heard were at you. If you would have just stuck to the issues the civility would have continued. I agree with the "truth squad" idea, but that would not be needed if everyone just stayed on message and presented how they propose to change America. I could not help but laugh last night about the "economic stimulus plan(s)" presented when the next president will not take office until a year from now and by that time we will have a whole new pile of issues. I get the feeling that because of all of the debates you are out of talking points and are left to jab and weave and hope that some punch will stick on Obama. Oh and it is your husband that is "Frustrated" I think he needs a vacation.

    January 22, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. Peggy Ledbetter

    Since 1989, the White House has been occupied by two family dynasties, the Bushes and the Clintons. I was 45 years old when the senior George Bush became President. This year I will be 65. If Hillary gets elected President and serves two terms, I will be 73. If one was 20 years old in 1989, they would be 48 years old by the end of the Bush/Clinton dynasties. The time has come to reexamine what this country needs and evaluate it apart and separate from the political machinery represented by these two dynasties.

    January 22, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
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