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. Jill - VA

    I am a life long Republican and I cannot stand to watch the Hannity and Colmes Show on Fox. What I saw was Hillery acting like one of the guests on that show, talking and saying nothing so that Obama could not be heard. Could not stand her in the 90's and still cannot stand her.

    January 22, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  2. joe

    Hillary is tough but not as tough as Obama.

    I like Hillary but her problem, as Obama had pointed out, is that she is not charismatic and we need charisma in these times to get anything done.

    Hillary would make a lot of noise as President but I think unfortunately that it would be a "Lame Duck" presidency as Bill's was in his second term rightly or not.

    Fox and the republicans are so nasty that they actually have kept Hillary alive politically all these years in the hope that she runs because it just motivates their base. There are a HUGE number of anti-Hillary folks out there that would send HUGE money towards the Republicans and also mobilize many folks against her. The Republicans for sure would start off with 40% of the electorate. It's much less work for them and would certainly guarantee a McCain victory-then forget Healthcare.

    January 22, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  3. kathleen




    January 22, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. Matt

    Hillary Clinton has more than enough skeletons in her closet to dig up and use against her. Someone needs to bring these up and see how she reacts. What's good for the goose, Hillary!

    January 22, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  5. GU1239

    I'm sorry, if Hillary can't tell that her husband cheated on her which happened in her own household, she is not ready to be my president. Bill disgraced her so bad in front of the whole world to see and she still stuck by his side. She has remained in the marriage only for her own political agenda, I guess she's going to use Bill as much as she can.

    January 22, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  6. Chiman

    Go Hillary!! Obama has been throwing stones at other candidates picking on their votes but became a 'cry baby' when they picked on many of his 'votes' and inconsitencies. If Obama does not have enough guts to take 'firm' position on issues at 'illinois State' level and he is not 'strong enough' to stand up to the challenges thrown at him in the democratic primaries – how can you expect him to lead this great country at the 'international' level? lookin at the mess that President Bush will leave this country in we need a 'intelligent' and 'strong' person to lead this great country and Hillary has shown that she is the 'iron lady' with 'wisdom' and 'courage' to be the next President who will make history (in a good way).

    January 22, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  7. Sherri

    If a white person had made the comment about "dancing ability" like Obama made, the black audience would have been in an uproar! Seems a little unfair to me.

    January 22, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  8. aisha

    go hillary attack him go get him we know u r tough ,obama only showed his toughness yesterday . we have a saying *even a dog is a lion in his own neighborhood * so obama was yelling and yelling like alion just to win over more bill supporters but he lost my vote go hillary

    January 22, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  9. Steve, Landing, NJ

    It's funny what a difference watching a debate vs. reading a transcript can make. A lot of the people who watched the debate are talking about how rattled Obama seemed when Clinton attacked him on healthcare and such, but I've only read the transcript–and based on what the candidates *said*, not just how they said it, Obama and Edwards were both miles above Clinton. She seemed to flail for things to attack Obama on, but I thought he effectively made the case that she was engaging in underhanded distortions. It certainly seems that mot of her criticisms are dishonest, having researched them. Shame that her "tough" demeanor apparently disguises the fact that she doesn't have much worthwhile to say.

    I disagree with Edwards on a lot, but he clearly came off best in the debate as I read it, and Obama wasn't far behind.

    January 22, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  10. bob

    Yes, it's true that Hilary did not say Ronald Reagen; however, she referred to the administration in office during the 80s. So, who else would she been referring to? It's interesting that she is able to analyze Obama's emotion as frustrating. Why don't reporters challenge these types of negative comments? Also, there is not one candidate who has been an US president; therefore, everyone of the front-runners will enter the presidency at the same level. Each will have to learn the job from the get-go. The question is - who inspires and who hires the best staff? Hilary has too many people she's beholding to.

    January 22, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  11. Alex - Where are the good guys?

    I am a Republican, and I watched the debates last night. I am looking for hope. What I saw should disturb everyone. This seemed to be a replay of the Bill Clinton years with another face. Hillary's face. Spin, spin, spin and nothing really factual erupting from it. It worked before WWII when the German controlling parties will feed out a "Big Lie”, spin you to believe their version of the truth and do what they want. In what I will refer to as the "Clinton I regime” the same thing happened. Say it enough, spin it enough, and it will BECOME the truth. I saw this surface last night; the confrontation, the lie(s), the spin then the SMILE. – Unbelievable... Obama was just someone who happened to be in the target; the receiver of the SMILE. I thought it was horrible that he really had no chance to tell his side of the story, all we saw was someone scrambling from an attack and the sadistically SMILE from the Clinton II side, the attacker. And this is supposed to pull the Democratic party back together??? To side with the Clinton's, and I do say "Clinton's" as I really think this is turning into Bill's run at a third term, will do nothing but stifle the opportunity for the Democrats to evolve into a better, more respectable party. WE DON”T NEED CLINTON I AGAIN. Been there done that, we need new ideas, new faces. I am just disappointed.....

    As I said, I am a Republican but I am not happy with my party’s choices as well. I will go to my primary and vote on the Democratic side to try to prevent the Clinton II regime from occurring, as the country needs to move forward. We already have seen what CAN happen with a continuation of a "Family" term, and what it can do. Everyone wants to remember the “good times” from the first experience and expects that to grow 'greener". Not possible, as we have found out. Everyone paints a target on the second person and attacks them for what the first person didn’t do. We need to prevent that temptation, keep that temptation away from other countries, and other people on our supposed team. It is time for change, it is right for change, but not with Hillary or the Republican party. We need a new vision. We need for the United State to come back. We need help!!!!

    If Obama looses the Democratic nomination, I wish he would go to the Independent. I would vote for that in November. Of course I am just dreaming..... It’s all in a dream isn’t it?

    January 22, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  12. Kory

    I am still not quite sure what the infatuation with Hillary is, as a New York State taxpayer I am unsure of what she has done for our great state. I see a lot of posturing and yelling from her but I rarely see any substance when it comes to answering tough questions or claims made about her. Obama and Edwards continue to answer tough questions while Hillary just delivers more nonsense.

    Hillary would get some points in my book if former President Clinton released the documents about her role in the White House. Than we could really see in black and white what all this experience she speaks of says about her.

    January 22, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  13. Evan from Rhode Island

    I applaud Hillary Clinton. She has lived through alot of tough times and has outshined them all.

    Bill Clinton lead this nation with the BEST ECONOMIC TIMES ever.

    No one in the United States, who has any common sense would deny that.

    Obama is a fake carismatic speaker. Do not be fooled by his artificial calm way of talking.

    If Hillary is the only one that can let Americans know of Obamas fake presence, then more power to her.

    Why would Americans want a fake president with a Moslem name OBAMA sounds just like OSAMA. Obama is not the "I have a dream" person that he pretends to project. He is no Martin Luther King.

    GO HILLARY GO!!!!!!!

    January 22, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  14. Tom Unger

    The attacks on Obama by the Clintons disgust me. They are based on deliberate distortions. Bush and the Republicans lied their way into office, and our country into the Iraq war. We don’t need more lies from our leaders. Both Clintons should be ashamed of themselves.

    The Republican party is badly hurt in part because of the distortions and lies it presented over the last eight years. If Hillary wins, will the Democratic party follow a similar path to self destruction?

    January 22, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  15. Nalla

    Obama Before: Too nice and too soft, cannot stand up to dictators

    Obama Now: Frustrated and picking a fight?

    For Bill to come this low in the history of the presidential campaigns, is pathetic.

    Did Bush Sr. pony around Bush Jr? (Not that we would mind)

    Say NO to BUSH-CLINTON-BUSH-CLINTON aristocracy

    Obama '08

    January 22, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  16. Chris

    If the facts are to be stated then let them be accurate yes indeed Obama was frustrated as are the majority of the country. The Clintons are indeed running an unfair campaign in which Bill appears to be running for president we see just as much of him if not more than Hillary. Bill constantly makes negative statements and as we saw last night Hillary will say that was my husband not me. Hillary may very well end up winning the nomination but rest assured that the myself and any others will not support a candidate who does not appear to be honest.

    Edwars on the other hand had an awesome showing last night he attempted to fight the good fight but unfortunately was locked out due to the back and forth between Obama and Clinton.

    Lastly i would like to say KUDOS to Obama while i dont want to see a negatiave campaign i had started feeling that with all the attacks coming from Clinton that he needed to fight back to show the american people that he had it in him. And i believe that many people saw his attacks as a justifible responce.

    January 22, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  17. Andre

    I watched the debate and it further pushed me to a strongly oppose Hillary Clinton for President. Don't get me wrong, I want a democrat in the White House so if she wins she will get my vote. I could be wrong but I thought in one of her earlier debates she said that you should be voting "for" someone and not "against" someone. i guess I really can't understand her position on that when she spends so much time issuing statements on Barack's record. Now Barack has to spend time defending himself and less time debating the issues. What is she for? I would really like to hear more press statements about that.
    And I think this county needs "change" and a new direction. Barack is the best suited candidate who can unite both sides. The last election should remind us that we can not accomplish very much if we are so divided along party lines.

    January 22, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  18. Nick

    Last night was simply the most horrid spectacle of misinterpreting actual facts by the Clinton Campaign. This constant smearing of Obama's record is completely like the Clinton machine to do. Look, all of these candidates have significant prior issues, but I really don't care about his "present votes" I would rather a politician say maybe to a bill, rather to than a solid yes or no at times. Many bills and laws have many things in them that need to be looked at very closely, and can cause an important law to be voted down if there is one thing out of context.

    Just because one thing is hindering a bill from being passed, is every reason to question the dramatic impact of Yes or No on a very important or questionable bill.

    Lets think what happens when we vote without thinking.

    Iraq? Patriot Act? No Child Left Behind? Seems like all we have to do to get a Yes vote on some of these issues, is to make a vote for something with the name "Patriot Act" and make it almost "anti American" to vote against it!

    Congrats BILLARY , your mission to disband the Democratic party is in well in progress.

    January 22, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  19. Phyllis Austin

    Rehearsed or consistent. Let's stay on track.

    When my family identify themselves, they identity is OF GOD. OF GOD is our standard. And, people of GOD must act with wisdom to unite all and move people forward.

    Unfortunately, America put people in groups for devisive reasons. Therefore, under America's classification, I would be considered an African American Women.

    My first choice and consistent choice was John Edwards, he spoke to middle class issues. I was taken aback with the racial under and overtones. I was glad when Barak tried to stay on the issues.

    I really use to admire Mr. Clinton. Altough, I do have questions about Ron Brown's death and his foreign policy.

    There's an old African proverb: The Lion does not turn to the small barking dog (s).

    The Lion must stay focus. Obama is focused, plus he knows what he is talking about and I am beginning to understand his vision. I will not vote for the small barking dog(s).

    January 22, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  20. Lida

    Hillary puts all women to shame. She lies, twists words, plays the race card and when she thought she was losing in N.H., plays the sympathy card by crying. One day it might be nice to have a woman president, but not this one. We don't need to return to the scandal days before Bush. Obama brings a breath of fresh air to a country that really needs one now. His message of inclusion goes beyond gender and race, which the Clintons have tried to play. When you get down in the mud and muck with Hillary and Bill, you can't stay on message. It's a ploy to take our eyes off the issues that are hitting our country hard. CNN let her slide by not answering the question of universal healthcare for illegal immigrants. The other candidates were forced to answer the question. Hillary is hardly the best candidate; when she says she's ready to run the White House on day 1, we all know it's Bill who'll be running the White House. Enough already! Let's move on to someone like Obama who can bridge the gaps and take on the Republicans. If Hillary becomes the Democratic nominee, I'll vote Republican. She is not a change agent but represents a return to the status quo.

    January 22, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  21. Lisa Jacob

    Clintons are the biggest liars in the world. Time to retire you greedy Hillary. You know well who lied under oath. Don't think that Americas have amnesia..

    January 22, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  22. Denis, NJ

    f Obama cannot stand up to the Clintons NOW, I do not see how he will survive the Republican machine come November. We should THANK the Clintons for giving Obama a work-out. If he can work through this and come out victorious, then maybe he can handle himself in November.

    John Edwards is the man.

    January 22, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  23. Ann

    Hillary needs to grow up. Bill Clinton should be ashamed of himself for talking the way he does about a fellow Democrat. As an ex-president, he should be really careful about what he says about any candidate. I don't care that his wife is a Candidate. He needs to take the high road and rise above the low blow comments he has been saying.

    If Hillary wins the nom, she will lose the general election. I don't know how people can't see that. Even some democrats don't like her. She does not appeal to independents and some Republicans.

    January 22, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  24. JMS

    You all need to get your stories straight!! Obama was the one clearly in attack mode last night. Hillary was standing up for herself and obviously Edwards was tired of watching Obama attack Hillary.
    Not to mention YET AGAIN.....Obama was playing the RACE CARD BIG TIME last night. What a joke.


    January 22, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  25. Cesar

    Reminder to all that Hillary won 2 states already with majority of the votes. Let us listen to the majority vote. That is important. Hillary is very competent.

    January 22, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
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