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. HILLARYLOVER NY NY

    Why is it that HIllary Clinton's record is allowed to forensically examined from top to bottom and she is allowed to be held accountable but Barack Obama is not? This is the fundamental question that I am trying to get an answer to. Hillary last night finally let it out and brought him to the table to face responsibility for his record. He answers back by saying she will say anything to get elected!!! If this is not dirty politics I don't know what is! People have to be held accountable for their records. I just can't believe how the sheep in the masses will allow their hatred for another candidate to allow themselves to be fooled by the real wolf in sheeps clothing. Anyone who will not explain their reasoning for their positions when confronted with it is not someone who should and can be trusted. There is no distortion on Obama's record. It is what it is. He just thought that this phoney message of change would stick and no one would bring it up so he wouldn't have to be held accountable for it. THE MEDIA IS 100% TO BLAME FOR THIS.

    I'm voting for Hillary because she is who she is–a very skilled politician who really wants to be President so she can bring about her agenda and vision for the country. All of the Hillary haters are not comfortable with her no matter what she does. That's fine this is the country we live in. However I really just want people really examine Obama and truly look at what you are getting. We can't afford to have another person going to the helm of the Presidency that is not prepared. We all know what happens when you do this. If you don't–you must have just been born in the last 7 years.

    i personally am glad that Hillary finally stepped up and started to directly confront him on his blatant attempt to annoint himself as an outside agent of change. She should have done this a long time ago.

    HILLARY '08 AND BEYOND!

    January 22, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. Butch Dillon

    She calls Obama frustrated and yet of all the candidates running for the nomination of both parties, Hillary is the only one to actually cry when asked a hair-do question. If Obama is frustrated, Hillary is surely imbalanced.

    January 22, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  3. toni

    Hillary,
    Run home and cry and let Bill fight your battes!!!

    January 22, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  4. Sandon

    Hillary,

    I'm glad Barack showed his "frustration" with your dirty politics as usual. Its out countries future at stake and frustration is the catalyst for change.

    If Hillary is elected – she will lose. I hope the party realizes this. She is deeply resented and will help tear this country further apart.

    January 22, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  5. Allison, NH

    Linda –

    Obama's "rehersed" statements. PLEASE.....Anytime I hear Hillary she talks about her 35 years of service...blah blah blah. She is like a broken record. One that I'd like to throw out for good!

    January 22, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  6. Sunny - Charlotte

    Hillary, I think you hit the nail on the head, when you said that Obama was frustrated, he appeared to be very combative when asked about why does he say one thing and then say something else, constantly changing his answer.

    January 22, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  7. brenda

    Hillary may not be perfect, but I believe she has the experience and the fire to be president. If she is the nominee I will vote for her. Obama has little or no experience. At this point in our history, I believe he would be the worst possible choice.

    Best of the lot, Hillary, president and John, vp. Obama, I guess I will switch parties.

    January 22, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  8. Matt

    If you watch the debate closely – Obama started the bickering....this after his campaign announced earlier in the week that he would come out swinging against the Clintons.

    January 22, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  9. antonio edgers

    Senator Clinton needs to stop lying to thepublic,get some other career,because she is upset that obama is still in the race,and as far as bill he can go to h*ll,for 8 years blacks supported him and his lying,cheating self now he wants to go to sleep at a DR.Martin Luther king,jr ceremony he is tired as his wife.both are sheep in wolves clothing.

    January 22, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  10. Mary

    I just can't stand the Clintons and I voted for Bill twice.
    Obama needs to ask Hillary, "Why are you the most experiened to run the country"
    Is it because she was first Lady for 8 years. Well then I say, let's get Laura Bush and Nancy Reagan out there running for president or maybe even Barbara Bush or Betty Ford, why not, let's get them all.
    Keep on fighting Obama!

    January 22, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  11. Tired

    Hillary aka Clinton's-You either love her/them or you hate her/them.

    I would love to see a few more people researching the candidates and thinking for themselves rather than thinking what is popular or what the media says. Lay out the records shuffle them up and hire the person who qualifies best for the job.

    Fact is, if you elect a president or any other offical because they are popular or polished and not because they are the best person for the job and who can best l get this country back on track.. God help us all.

    I think even the people who voted a second time for Bush, still believe they were right. We know how well that worked out.

    January 22, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  12. larry from Minnesota

    Hillary's accusations against Barak regarding his "representing slum land lord" Tony Rezko are so ugly. Providing housing for the poor has been Barak's passion–his reason for getting into politics. As a person who has done some work with the poor, I understand with Barak that the first thing was has to do to provide some stability for the poor is to get them into a place of their own. That means working with the people who own the places where the poor can live.
    What an ugly, ugly accusation by Hillary.

    January 22, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  13. Maurice, Cleveland, OH

    I am an Obama supporter and I admit that he was frustrated. But after weeks of being attacked constantly by Hillary and Bill Clinton's lies, who wouldn't be? Hillary keeps bringing up the fact that Obama voted "present" 130 times out of 4,000 votes. In case she didn't know, the Illinois State Legislature works differently than the U.S. Senate. Hillary can't seem to understand that and keeps bringing it up. And at the same time Hillary passed up important votes too. She can't even deliver a straight answer. The Clintons will do ANYTHING to get back into the White House. This is really hurting the Democratic Party. We need somebody who can bring everybody together whether their Democrat, Republican, or Independent to get things done and Hillary or John can not do that.

    "OBAMA 08"

    January 22, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. Poppy Sorrels

    I think now would be a good time to re-visit the whole "dynasty" issue. It appears to me that the Clinton's think they've been chosen to carry on the dynasty legacy, and they don't want to be challenged in that regard.
    It also appears that former Pres. Clinton's success and great influence in the private sector have made him impatient with the political process and beuracratic (sp?) wheels that turn so slowly. His vigorous "advocacy" for Hillary also make her look like a submissive, manipulative, "wife" who uses her husband as armour against the attacks of the rest of the world, which she should be willing to face and answer head on. Not good for the first woman presidential candidate.

    January 22, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. Victor

    It seems like both Clinton and Obama are frustrated.
    But Obama looked pretty nervous during debate and you just have to wonder if there is some truth in Hilary's allegations.
    Anyway debate is not one of Obama's strengths.

    January 22, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  16. Stephen in Orlando

    I like Clinton as a President and to some degree Hillary as a candidate. I don't agree that Obama appeared frustrated, per se. If someone (Hilllary or Bill) comes at you saying that you thought the Republicans had good ideas (I saw the video clip and that's not what I got from the comment) and that he worked for a slum lord then you should address those comments and across time if those type of comments are made in your direction I would not be odd at all to become frustrated.

    HIllary and Bill seem to be attacking Obama like he was a Republican, and that is simply not good. After the debate last night I lost a little respect for her and her candidacy. Edwards came across the best of the three; he stayed above the fray for the most part. Obama did ok because we was on the defensive most of the night, from Hillary.

    January 22, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  17. George - Dallas Texas

    Quite honestly I have lost a lot of respect for the Clintons. I have never seen Bill Clinton talking the way he is towards Obama. Seriously, he was this way during any of his debates, campaigns or when the Republicans were trying to boot him out of the White House. Hillary is riding her husbands positive track record or lack thereof and she should try to win on her own merits or lack thereof....

    January 22, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  18. Unbelievable

    I can't believe that people buy the lies and falsehoods of the Clintons. Hillary says she has years of experience in the Whitehouse? Would you want the spouse of an Army General leading our soldiers into war because she says she has experience being married to a General Officer? Is that not the same type of experience Hillary is espousing being the First Lady? People say that comments are rehearsed? What do you think, that they go into a debate without prepping prepared comments, and without having a certain message they want to deliver, all their comments are rehearsed, don't you think Edwards had the line planned that there are 3 candidates int he race, don't you think Ronald Reagan had his line rehearsed that when asked about age in the election, he said that he would not let his competitors youth be an issue, yes things are rehearsed, get real. Also, don't' you think things are rehearsed and planned when one Clinton attacks Obama, then the other says she is playing nice. lets get real America, lets have a fresh start, lets get some new blood into the Whitehouse, and get rid of these pseudo aristocratic families (Bush, Clinton) that are trying to control our lives and futures.

    January 22, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  19. Bobby T.

    Hillary is clearly calling the kettle black (no pun intended). Frankly, I've seen numerous hints of anger and frustration from her throughout the debates. Accusations are typically flying from her camp first. Guess who I'm NOT voting for.

    January 22, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  20. Suraj

    The desperation in the Clinton camp makes me wonder why are they so desparate to get back in the White House? Wasn't 8 years enough? Never before has an ex-President gone all out on the attack mode in a primary. What is Bill Clinton so desparate for? Another White House Intern?

    January 22, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  21. Roseanne

    Isn't it amazing how six men in the comments listed above, find Hilary to be dishonest, untruthful, and inaccurate. She is literally one of the most intelligent candidates we have. Lets take a close at the Bush Admninistration, and see if dishonest, untruthful, and inaccurate apply to that administration. Which of the candidates on either side is actually telling the truth about any issue. They all make promises they never keep.

    January 22, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  22. Frank

    Regardless of how you look at it. They both acted out of character and very unprofessional. The personal attacks only proved that the forum was not properly handled and a true debate never really occured. The candidates need to be clear on what they want to do and present those facts. I want a democrat in the office in 2008 and I want them to discuss the issues not swap insults. Grow up and grow some backbone Obama and Hillary tell your husband to stick to the issues and stop insulting Obama. Wolf Blitzer don't be afraid to tell them to shut up and behave next time they act like children.

    January 22, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  23. Len

    If the Clintons' go back to the White House all I can see you will get what you vote for. More devisive angry politics.Hillary shows no ability to unite her own party.

    January 22, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  24. Jason C.

    I think Hillary was the aggressive one in the debate. She and her husband have been running a dirty campaign to try and counter Obama's strong showing in the primary. It is unfortunate because I like and have a lot of respect for Bill Clinton. My opinion of him has been challenged in recent weeks as he has emerged as the pit bull for Hillary's campaign.

    Also, I am tired of Hillary claiming to have 35 years of "experience". She was an active First Lady and I respect that. However, that isn't the same thing as holding political office. In my opinion, she has the same level of political experience as Obama.

    January 22, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  25. Heide

    Wow, surprising comments from Hillary, or maybe not so surprising... The only person(s) who seems to be on the attack and frustrated are Hillary and Bill, although they do have a way with words, don't they. When the debate first started, Hillary did first allude to the comment about Reagan and everyone knew who she meant whether she said the word "Reagan" or not. What a cheap trick. We heard last week that Bill has a list of more than 80 things and then they come out to the press after the debate with a list of additional list of charges. The last 2 weeks of hearing both Bill and Hillary on TV have reminded me a lot of what it was like the last 2 years of their stay in the White House and frankly, I don't want to go there again. They keep trying to frame Obama as a black candidate when in fact, he IS a PRESIDENTIAL candidate. Based on John Kerry's experience with the swiftboating, they all now feel they have to respond back to every comment - that that was a fatal flaw in Kerry's campaign because he didn't respond to false charges right away; but honestly it would be great to just turn away and start talking about an issue and ignore her. And telegraphing as she says; if anyone was telegraphing, her eyes were from the get go except for when she was looking out to the audience or into the camera. I'm really disappointed.

    January 22, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
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