February 15th, 2008
01:32 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama hits Clinton on lobbyist money

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/15/art.obama0215.ap.jpg caption="Obama returned to the trail Friday on the attack."] (CNN) - Barack Obama accused opponent Hillary Clinton Friday of “defending Washington lobbyists” and special interests.

“Yesterday, Sen. Clinton unveiled her latest in a long line of slogans, which argues that she’s proposed solutions while others have not,” said Obama, who returned to the campaign trail in Wisconsin after a one-day break.

He said both candidates had good ideas but that Washington was a place “where good ideas go to die. They’re the victim of petty, partisan politics, point-scoring, and special interest influence that’s out of control. …

“You know, after defending Washington lobbyists as people who ‘represent real Americans’ at a debate in August, Sen. Clinton said yesterday that she would take them on as president,” said Obama, who alleged the New York senator had taken almost twice as much money from lobbyists as any other presidential candidate this cycle.

“That’s not being a part of the solutions business. That’s being a part of business-as-usual in Washington,” said Obama.

The two candidates have been locked in an increasingly bitter war of words as they battle for pledged delegates awarded in primary and caucus votes, and superdelegates, who can shift their allegiance at any time.

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

soundoff (254 Responses)
  1. paolo

    Obama does not take money from lobbyist. This claim was refuted over and over again earlier in the campaign when edwards would not let it go and looked stupid every time obama had to explain it to him...clinton is in bad shape because she takes pharmaceutical dollars, but then comes back saying that she will fight against their interests....explain to me how this would happen?? I'm open to it. I understand the role of lobbyists and PAC donations in campaign politics, not many people are naive about this....but when you have a candidate like Obama running, its hard to want to favor the stale hypocrisy of most politicians.

    In the end this lobbying issue magnifies a desire to move beyond divisive politics that are endlessly fueled by special interests.

    February 15, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  2. TheLeftNut

    We need a one person, one vote democracy.

    Not a one dollar, one vote whorocracy.

    February 15, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. Casey

    Prove it, Chris!

    February 15, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. Darren

    Rather than throwing up this accusation, Chris, why don't you show where this is the case? He did say twice as much as any other candidate in the election, but he did not say that he took any lobbyist money.

    February 15, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  5. Yawn

    Please wok on your grammer and pluralize Lobbyist.

    Colbert '08

    Maybe you should wok on your spelling.

    February 15, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  6. Gregor

    I´m more and more disappointed by Hillary. She´s cheating the whole nation, she´s trying to win at any cost. People are not that stupid. I´m ashamed that I once supported her.

    February 15, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  7. ed

    Sorry Chris, you're wrong. He has not accepted a dime from anyone currently registered as a lobbyist. He may have taken money from folks who have lobbied at some time, but the difference is HRC is taking money from lobbyists currently on the payroll of a given corporation or special interest group. There's a big difference.

    February 15, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  8. Armand

    Im really getting sick and tired of Obama, he has no shame, he is just another wasington politician, prechers, speaches, motivation, hope, etc..... Well mr, thats not enough, Hillary will come out victorious of March 4th and you will be history. sorry mr green, maye in 8 years.

    February 15, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. Monty GOP Delaware


    He said she has taken twice as much as anyone else...... the person in second would be John McCain. It is known that you can say that someone is taking pac money if they get money from individuals who work for companies as opposed to the company it self. I think the distinction is that if you take money from a company/lobbyist then it may be contrued as having to perform favors at a later time for that company/industry. If you take money from individuals, that perception is less prominent.

    I think to a certain degree it really doesn't matter unless you have shown a habitual pattern that you lean more to big business as opposed to people.

    It is all smokescreen.... not a substantial issue as far as I am concern.

    February 15, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  10. SB

    Like people wouldn't remember what she said in a debate just a few weeks ago. She fell right into that one!

    February 15, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  11. Martin

    Obama, can you please talk about what yours plans are? Do you have any? Solutions are vital to solving problems. I have more interest in solutions. Remember Kerry was miles ahead of Bush at this stage 4 years ago. Lets get down to the solution business.

    February 15, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  12. colorblind

    hey Chris, check the facts.... he was not taken money from Lobbyist this campaign or election cycle.... and even with alll the money she's collecting..... she still can't manage it right... she can't balance her own budget.... why trust her with the countries budget..... i guess she plans to keep lending her own money when things don't add up.... she's a gem

    February 15, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  13. Jude


    Do you not know how to read English? You can quote me "Obama has never taken money from lobbyists and never will". His twice as much comment is in reference to those other candidates that take lobbyist money not himself. We need a president who will not take money from lobbyists. You know why? Because when they do and they get in the office they agenda is no longer for the people but for those lobbyists. Just look at the current President as an example. We need someone who has morals, who will stand for fairness, who will stand for the American people not just the rich or the lobbyists. Only Barack can do that!!! Go Obama 08!!!

    February 15, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  14. Mani, NJ

    I agree with you Chris....Obama is so quick to point his finger at Hillary when he is guilty of the same thing. No matter how good or bad one is as a person and a politican, they need the lobbyist money to fund the campaign to a certain extent. So Obama, have you heard of the saying about throwing stones at people."

    February 15, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  15. manny james marietta ga

    Well don't wait for Cnn, Msnbc and other news outlet to bring up the fact that he too takes money from lobbyist.. I hate fox news. However, Hillary has been getting better coverage from them than the other networks..Step up cnn!!!

    February 15, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  16. Armand

    oh Amy, what an innocent girl you are, im sure you are a first time voter and been brainwashed by Obama, just another case...

    February 15, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. Robbie

    84% of the people responding to Lou Dobbs yesterday said that they did not believe a politician could take money from lobbyists and then not be influenced by those same lobbyists. If that is true, then who is making the decisions – who is really running the country?

    February 15, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  18. Mara

    Mr. Obama does have a much shorter list of slogans, but they are repeated over and over. Hasn't he been part of Washington politics for the last 2 years? And exactly what does he plan on doing to clean it up? Plus I've never heard Mrs. Clinton feel the need to apologize for for putting substance in a speech.

    February 15, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  19. Tyler

    It is my understanding that Obama has made a point to not take money from lobbyist. Either way, Hillary is the poster child self interest and corruption that we are trying to get away from. Thats the beauty of electing someone younger; the longer your in politics the more favors you owe.

    February 15, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  20. Bill, NY, NY

    It's the truth. Sorry Clinton supporters. She burned through $100 million of lobbyist money in ONE MONTH on the campaign trail. We don't know how much of the new $14 million that she's raised has come from lobbyists and what portion came from Bill's coffers (which have been inflated by his deals like the one with the Kazakh strip miner that the NY Times reported).

    Why don't we know? Because she'll never tell. Why? Because she won't release her tax returns. Why? It usually means she's got something to hide. She's hoping that there are enough gullible voters in Texas and Ohio that she can put her train back on the track.

    Keep hammering this Obama. Democrats deserve to know the answers.

    February 15, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  21. Kemic

    His quote was the Clinton has taken twice as much money from lobbyists as any other candidate this cycle. How does that equate to an admission of taking lobbyist money, Chris in Austin? It's funny how you MIS-interpret that to suit your needs. This is why politics is what it is.

    OBAMA '08

    February 15, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  22. Eric Austin TX

    Correct Amy. Chris, check your facts next time - Obama has not taken any donations from lobbyists or special interest groups.

    February 15, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  23. hey allons,tn

    hey Barack Obama has black power and Karl ROVE Bush's closest Adviser on his side the (REPUBLICANS) are loving IT

    February 15, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. Becky in Indiana

    I'm glad the Obama is defending himself and pointing out the contradicting statment Hillary repeats again and again. I would like to see if anyone can give names of lobbyists that have donated to either campaign. Somehow, I have a feeling that Clinton's true colors would be revealed and she would have to find a real issue to try to use against Obama...

    February 15, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. George from Minneapolis

    Hillary will say ANYTHING to get the nomination.

    First, she was ready on day 1. Then, she had the most experience. Now, she is in the "solutions business"

    She has so many messages its hard to keep up. None of the slogans will work because we the people see that she is not sincere and will do and say anything to win.

    We currently have a president with low character, we dont want another one.

    Obama's message is the same when he is up and when he is down.

    Hillary can't say the same.

    February 15, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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