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. S Alexander

    Folks, watch the tape!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    It was oh so innocent Obama who began the low blows with the Walmart comment.
    We are in such a crisis with our economy now and we need an experienced knowledgable person. And it doesn't hurt to have Bill nearby to help with our economic crisis.
    Like it or not Obama is a rookie who lacks experience. That was clearly seen last night.
    Like her or not I rather see Hillary in the White house to get us out of this mess we are in. She is brillant, experienced, skilled, and will stand up for herself AND US.
    I would love to see him try again in a few years but certainly not now.

    January 22, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  2. Surrealist, FT Myers, FL

    Deception, diversion, division-the three "D"'s of any Clinton campaign.

    Obama took it hook, line, and sinker!! What a Geek.

    How will he fair tallying with:

    V. Putin, Russia
    "Madman" Ahmadinejad, Iran
    Wen Jiabao, China Premier/President

    The only candidate who clearly demonstrated he is capable of taking heat–while maintaining his cool–and remaining consistent and on message: John Edwards.

    Will Hillary be any less "shrieking, vicious, and argumentative"on the world stage?
    Who do you want negotiating with these leaders?

    We need a President who not only with vision, plans, and action–but one who can effectively represent our nation as a proud example of American values.

    Lets restore some genuine credibility to the White House....

    John Edwards–2008

    January 22, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. Brian

    From the New York Times (Hillary's 'home state' paper)
    "The strategic shift intensifies a new dynamic in the race: Mrs. Clinton’s campaign this week in South Carolina is essentially running Mr. Clinton against Mr. Obama."

    The Clintons are taking a page straight out of the George W. Bush campaign handbook and are waging war in the form of attacks against their party rival. This seems very familiar to Dubya's handling of McCain in 2000.

    Bush, Clinton, Bush...Clinton?? Doesn't America deserve a change from politics as usual?

    January 22, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  4. Glenn

    She is losing. She isn't going to help her case by staying on Bush & Obama. She is not the choice of the people, she doesn't do anything but point out what others haven't done. 16 yrs of spinning her story and nothing has gotten done with the Clinton's. Just are not leaders.

    January 22, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. Jay

    How any democrats could vote for Hillary over Obama is just beyond me. Never in my life have I seen a politician so rehearsed, dirty, and hipocritical as that woman. She has the gall to come out and say in the debate that Obama "like Republican ideas," when the entire intelligent world knows she is referring to the Reagan interview, and then when Obama responds and actually addresses the issue openly and frankly, referring to Reagan himself, she comes out and denies she never mentioned Ronald Reagan.

    Why is Hillary still leading in the polls after things like this? Don't people realize how slimy her comments are? Obama NEVER said he "liked Republican ideas," she simply made it up! She's knowingly distorting the truth and then when Obama responds, she says "he's getting frustrated."

    After all that's going on with the Bush Administration, the last thing we need is another politician who will rely on her political machine to script her mud-throwing words. Everything Hillary has done over the last 10 years, starting with her Senate run in her beloved state of New York (that's sarcasm), has been scripted to run for President. And if she wins, what then? What does she stand for? Who is she? She is whatever gets the most votes, and nothing more. Wake up people, Obama and Edwards are the only real candidates in this race.

    January 22, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  6. Fran

    He's not just frustrated, he's PO'd. He looked so lost at Monday night's debate.

    January 22, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  7. Allison

    Hillary is a lying mess! I used to like Bill a lot but have lost all respect for him.

    Obama is my guy. And I think that Edwards did a good job last night too. I hope that Edwards stays in a little longer so that we can hear a real progressive agenda. And I hope that Obama keeps his dukes up.

    Hillary and Bill are so 90s. It's time to move on, America.

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

    billary is a sleeve bag i don't like her tacic she just lost my family vote,vote for change

    January 22, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  9. Omar Norfolk VA

    I laugh at these Clintonites that think if someone stands toe to toe with the GOP that something will get done. LOL! Boys and Girls, that is politics as usual and with that NOTHING changes. We must have a leader that is willing to for the better of our country cast aside the labels and party and at least attempt to unify.

    Clinton is furstarted because she thought she was going to clearly sail into the White House and now this Obama has come along and she feels this ego trip power grab falling away from her friends. She is like a trapped rabid dog that has been cornered. It is actually hilarious.

    January 22, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  10. Adam

    I think the important thing to understand is that the attacks started by Hillary are going to hurt the Democratic party in the long run. All independent voters are seeing right now is a debate in which the two leading candidates attacked each other, instead of the issue and the opposing parties values. I am a young democrat, currently getting my law school education, and personally reading and hearing all the cheap attacks on Obama is starting to embarass me. I will never vote for Mrs. Clinton, her lies are just too rampant for endorsement. I am a big Edwards fan, and I would love to see Edwards/Obama, or even Obama/Edwards 08.

    January 22, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  11. Jessica, arlington, VA

    i dont blame the guy for being frustrated. i would be too if i had to deal with you and your psycho husband.

    January 22, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  12. ssg

    This is the Clinton's attempt at spin. She was on the attack last night- misrepresenting the statement by Obama that Republican's were the party of ideas. She's a smart candidate, and in past debates I've thought that she made a strong case for herself. Last night she looked spiteful, petty and weak. I though Obama looked far more presidential, and his answers seemed more nuanced and thoughtful.

    January 22, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  13. Mirta

    You have lost respect for the Clintons? Are you serious? Obama came into this thing last night with an obvious chip on his shoulder and picked a fight early on. I think he was shocked by what he got back. He was slinging mud big time! So much for a change, huh?

    He is not ready for this. It shows. I can't believe more isn't being said about his huge blunder on the 30% Credit card cap. He blew it big time – acted like he had no idea what was going on. He obviously rattles easily. This is a LACK OF EXPERIENCE.
    Can you see him in a difficult conversation with a hostile world leader? He won't have his cult to bail him out and defend him.

    Hillary all the way! Clinton/Edwards "08

    January 22, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  14. James

    Greg, NY is correct.

    She didn't explicitly mention Reagan, but she so explicitly implied it to anyone with have a braincell. When she denied it when Obama called he out on it...I actually yelled at the TV "Oh come on!".

    Everyone seem to be missing the point of what Hillary and the Clinton's are trying to do. Since the media has truly given Obama an almost free pass...really think of the last time they have done any critical analysis of his weaknesses or record....compare that to the Hillary/Clinton attacks. I am just including during the election...not the many years of Clinton attacks.

    So Hillary and the Clinton's decided to start pushing and doing what will be done to Obama if he gets the nomination anyways by the Republican machine to prove their point and show how his inexperience is not ready to deal with it...esp. at a Debate were he is pushed off his cue card message.

    Frustrated or rattled...Obama was totally thrown off his game in the debate and the most telling stuff was inbetween his comments when he paused, stuttered, stammered, etc...and his speeches never sound like that. This was Obama on defense...unscripted.

    The real risk Clinton runs is pissing off all the Obama and new democrat voters that he has been bringing in, but some of them are delusionaly in believing he has no faults and are need of an Obama education anyways. I really wish Edwards would win, but I don't think that is likely...he really shined as the most Presidential on the stage.

    January 22, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  15. Scott Myers

    It deeply saddens me that people are even considering Hillary Clinton as a candidate for president. I hope that people aren't getting infatuated with the idea of making history with the first woman president. I would love to see that day where we finally have a woman as president, but it should go to not just a person that happens to be female but to the person best for the job of POTUS. How is Clinton change? She is more of the same two dynasties. We are now under the reign of kings. Different Woman, at a Different Time.

    January 22, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  16. kj227

    Sen. Clinton intentionally took what Sen. Obama said about Reagan out of context (I'm sure you can find his comments regarding this matter anywhere on the internet). She's a liar and cannot be trusted. She and her husband failed at healthcare reform back in the 90's so why should I believe that if she's elected, she can reform it now??? AND, give me a break Bill Clinton all of a sudden has an epiphany and realizes he is a married man who loves, cares, and comes to the defense of his wife after he totally humiliated her when he was president??? Can we say disfunctional??? I don't think I can stomach them again. I say end the Bush and Clinton reign now!

    OBAMA, 2008!

    January 22, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  17. MattB

    Any woman who is going to go up against the Republican establishment must show that she is strong and a fighter. Obama attacked her first, and Hillary did what she had to do. In 2004, John Kerry did not fight back or defend himself, and look at where being passive got him.

    January 22, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  18. Brian

    Bill Clintons indiscretion gave us 8 years of Republican rule. He feels if he can somehow help his wife get elected, he can redeem himself. He is obviously but understandably taking this very personally. On the issues Obama is more moderate than Edwards or Clinton. I think Edwards won the debate. But there bickering had somewhat of an alure to it that I think the media missed..


    January 22, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  19. Bryan

    The Republicans best Alliance is Hillary and Obama. If the Democrats were smart, they would try to figure how to get Edwards to being the front runner.

    Many Thanks,

    January 22, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  20. Chandler McGrew

    I have a hard time believing that the American people are as easy to fool as Hil and Bill and their propaganda staff appear to believe. It insults my intelligence to watch a debate such as the one reported and then have one of the candidates put a spin on it that is simply untrue and expect ME to fall for it. The action reeks of the old Nazi notion of telling a big lie and telling it often. A year ago I would have voted for Hillary, but every time I saw her in action I respected her less. She would have done better to lock herself and Bill in a bunker a year ago and just hire a PR staff to run her campaign. If she is the Democratic nominee I may have to break a lifelong rule and sit out this election as I cannot vote for her, and I strongly suspect that is going to be true for a large number of hardcore Dems. She is unelectable.

    January 22, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  21. Wayne

    Obama and Rezko have a lot longer history than the "5 hours" Obama mentioned. Try a 17 year history (including loads of dirty cash political donations). Obama tries to act like he is Martin Luther King Jr., and yet he has profitted from the misery of poor African Americans in the inner city projects of Chicago. I'm sure MLK would be proud.

    January 22, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  22. Tyler

    Obama supporters could be less likely to support him if he would let people know the truth about his record. He's not untouchable and its time he and the media realizes that. Hold him accountable!

    January 22, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  23. Chris

    One possible stupid question – If Obama won more delegates in Nevada than Billary Clinton, why does the press insist on following her lead in saying that she won? Last I understood the convention process you win by getting delegates committed to vote for you. Obama got more in Nevada and Michigan didn't even count becuase their votes were stripped. She can claim victry in MI and NV but the fact is that Obama got more delegates commited to him than she did. Plus she threw her ego in against the Democratic leadership by actually running in a state with no voting power at the convention. Obama came out ahead last week.

    January 22, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  24. David

    C'Mon Hilary, You are trying everything in the book to throw at somebody, you need to live in a GLASS house, I honestly was a Bill Clinton supporter, however seeing the way Bill has been acting, WHO IS GOING TO BE PRESIDENT, YOU OR BILL?

    January 22, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  25. FrenchKing

    As I said before ...this is THE election right NOW.....the Clintons would have had a clear run to the White House if it wasn't for Obama.... they feel it slipping away and are lashing out. If Obama stays cool he'll win ..it's too late for the Clintons to stay cool.. the danger is with all their lashing out the Clintons will pull down the entire Democratic house with them as they slip away.

    January 22, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
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