January 22nd, 2008
12:38 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama: Hillary Clinton 'fudges the truth'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/22/art.obama0122.ap.jpg caption="Obama said Hillary Clinton is ‘fudging the truth.’"](CNN) - Hours after they tangled on-stage in one of the fiercest debate matchups yet, Barack Obama accused Hillary Clinton Tuesday of “fudging the truth.”

“If you get the kind of looseness with the facts that Sen. Clinton displayed, and you’re willing to say anything to get a political or tactical advantage, that erodes people’s trust in government. It makes them cynical,” Obama told reporters on conference call announcing the endorsement of Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson – an African-American legislator from a red state where more than a third of the electorate is black.

Thompson is the chairman of the House’s Homeland Security Committee.

“When it comes to Sen. Clinton’s remarks: look, I think it’s very clear that Sen. Clinton has - and President Clinton has - been spending the last month attacking me in ways that are not accurate. The news outlets that have looked at these attacks have indicated that they’re not accurate and at some point it was important for us to answer them,” said Obama.

“Sen. Clinton announced while we were still in Iowa that this was gonna be her strategy and called it the 'fun part of campaigning.' I don’t think it’s the fun part to fudge the truth,” said Obama. “…The key issue here is, how are we going to move this country forward?”

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.

The two sides also fought over Obama’s position on single-payer health care this morning, with Clinton’s campaign releasing a YouTube video of 2003 remarks by then-state Rep. Obama which they said contradicted his debate statement that he had never been in favor of the idea. The Obama campaign immediately responded, saying that the Illinois senator’s approach on the issue had been consistent.

Related: Watch Sen. Obama fire back at Sen. Clinton on her economic plan

–CNN's Chris Welch and Rebecca Sinderbrand

soundoff (156 Responses)
  1. Julie

    People if you are going to site facts please make sure you know what you are talking about!

    Although the impeachment process succeeded at the level of the House of Representatives, without the Senate's confirming action in this matter, no further action was taken.

    January 23, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  2. Vic

    I was a republican one month ago, but after watching the media and everyone else beating up on Hillary, from calling an old Hag (while most Republican candidates are much older than her), and stating that they dont want to see a women grow old in the white house and all the remarks I heard after her voice cracked, saying maybe it's that time of the month. Hillary showed me she is tough and she could take it and she will get my vote.

    January 23, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  3. Nicholas, SC black voter NOT voting on RACE

    I really respected Barack Obama's campaign and politics, but I have to say I cannot stand watching him during these debates. He really never does answer a single question. He constantly says the other candidates are distorting his facts, but does not support any evidence about what the truth is. I realize hope and eloquent speeches are important, but seriously that is not enough. Like John Edwards said point blank so all you Anti-Hillary people cannot blame her: Barack Obama has been tearing apart their voting records but claims that he didn't mean what he said or voted for the second either one of them questions him. Taking the moral high ground so that voters won't question you isn't going to work anymore. THIS IS an election for the PRESIDENT people, not some town councilman. I respect Sen. Obama's wonderful speeches of home, but it is simply not enough. Our country has very real and immediate problems and he can't even answer questions in a debate? I just don't get the blind support. I really don't. This is not an endorsement of any of the other candidates, but simply a glance at what I feel about Sen. Obama. One more point that may be kind of moot and a low-blow, but something I have noticed. For all this talk about eloquence, am I the only one who gets annoyed by his stuttering and inability to form a sentence during debates where he must be extemporaneous and not read from a teleprompter? Also. Definitely check out this website which offers what I consider to be an unbiased fact-check. All of them are guilty!

    January 23, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  4. james smith


    January 23, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  5. Gloria

    Well, well, well. We now are confronted with the real Clintons.....backstabbing, conniving, do anything say anything to get the office that they both think she so justly deserves.

    If I had any notion to vote for this heifer, all bets are off. She appears greatly annoyed that a Black man (of all people) has the gall to run against her. In her and Bill's world, the only worth Black people have, is to vote and hold them in high esteem. In other words, kiss their butts.

    For my money, they both can go to hell. And all those hankerchief head Black politicians and so called leaders who plan to benefit at the Clinton monetary trough, you to can go to hell.

    The days of Black allegiance to the Clintons are over. What have they ever done for Black people....or Hispanic people. NOTHING AT ALL. FAce it, our economic plight hasn't changed. We're getting poorer.....the Clintons richer.

    Justice may be blind.....but I'm not.

    January 24, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  6. Dana in Maryland

    Since the Clintons were first in office, they were a capable team, they were masters at making the other side look bad when their own arguments came up short. They did accomplish some things and other things like the state of the economy during Bill's reign were a lucky break for him he liked to take credit for even though few presidents have ever had that sort of economic clout. But from the beginning despite any high minded goals they had, it has always been about Bill and Hillary, Mostly Bill , something you can still see in the current campaign. It was never really about the country and what it needed, just about who got the credit. Hillary tried to give the credit for civil rights to President Johnson instead of the people who put their bodies on the line, and she did it to make the point that Hillary should be president because only she could get things done. The way Bill and Hillary got things done though was through political back stabbing and carefully timed deceit that could be apologized for after it had already done it's damage. Now they are at it again true to form. It may be typical dirty politics. Maybe we shouldn't expect anything different, but I do expect different of anyone who dares call themselves President. Obama seems to remember that the power should come from the people and is willing to remind us that if the country is going to change for the better, it will be through our efforts, not from someone dictating from on high. Leaders empower the people they lead, not themselves.

    January 27, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
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