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. Dan

    How anyone could want another business-as-usual Clinton/Bush in the White House is beyond me. Hillary is the most disingenuous, aristocratic, hypocritical millionaire in the race, and that's saying something. Vote Obama.

    February 15, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. D G

    One can always tell the Clinton supporters on these blogs.

    They’re the ones whose comments contain frequent misspells, horrible grammar and absolutely no logic.

    Not surprising, considering the fact that they’re in her demographics…the uneducated.

    February 15, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  3. Sean

    What does Obama have to hide? Why is he so scard to debate Hillary before the Wisconsin? He is all rhetoric and no solutions!

    February 15, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  4. nazirmo

    All talk and not much on specifics. That is Obama.
    This is the same guy who said that his biggest fear was losing an important piece of document unless his aides handed it over to him not prior to 2 mins.
    This is the same fellow who would not fold his arms when the national anthem was played.
    He even said that he was not a chief operating officer and that being a President did not mean that he was required to delegate tasks.
    And now as for money from lobbyist he is not squeaky clean either.
    Although all politicians take money from them including Hillary.
    But with Hillary atleast from day 1 she has been talking at length about issues and what she would do from day 1 of her Presidency.
    Obama has also spoken but sort of when I listen to him in debates it is kinda with less enthusiasm. I give him credit for being a forceful speaker and he can get people moving. He has been quite good at delivering his message of inspiration and hope. However Presidency requires much more than that. Hillary has travelled the world and knows the world leaders. She has been the first woman on the Senate Armed Services Committee and has been to Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama keeps saying that he did not vote for the war as if that is heroism. When the commander in chief ( Bush ) at that time along with his generals came up with the WMD what was one expected to do ? He has to be trusted. At that time anyone who spoke against the war and Bush was seen as unpatriotic. Remember Dixie Chicks -what happened to them when they spoke up against the war ?
    Hillary did what was right then. And there is no reason for her to apologize for Bush's lying. People should go after Bush and you know that is not going to happen. The only way to resolve this is to get them republicans out of the White House and put Hillary who is slightly more experienced in there. I have no doubt that she will turn around the economy. I have some reservation about the universal health care program.

    February 15, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  5. KMAN

    If Obama's detractors are going to accuse him of wrong doing or being a hypocrtie regarding lobbyist money ... perhaps they should provide the evidence that supports their case. The CLINTONS represent everything that is and has been wrong with Washington for decades ... they for better or worse are as polarizing and devisive as two politicians can get! I don't often agree with Republicans, but I do want to see a Democratic President capable of working with them ... NOT fighting them as Hillary so often rants that she will do. I couldn't help but cringe at the sight of a 60 year old woman of modest stature holding up a pair of boxing gloves ... my God, she looked like a clown at a high school pep rally!

    February 15, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  6. HC

    stop the needless atacks. Focus on the facts and issues!!

    February 15, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  7. Frank


    February 15, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  8. Jess Parker

    Vote for Clinton and see the nation go to the Chinese. Our economy is in shambles thanks to her lying, cheating husband. The Clinton's are evil, all you have to do is see what has happened to their close friends. Barak is not perfect, if Clinton wins the nomination, I am voting for McCain, at least he is not going to sell my country to the Chinese.

    February 15, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  9. Dan

    Hey, Martin:

    Exactly what solutions is Clinton offering in HER speeches? As far as I can tell all she is doing is spouting, "I'm the candidate with solutions. Obama is all talk I'm all action. We need solutions for x, y, and z, and I have them," but her speeches never tell you what any of these solutions are either. Just because you define yourself as a candidate with solutions doesn't mean it's true.
    These candidates all manipulate rhetoric to fire up their crowds while refusing to really offer anything of substance. I wish the American people would demand more of them, but it seems we're more interested in having a popularity contest. Guess it's our "American Idol" syndrome rearing its ugly head.

    February 15, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  10. owl

    HERE COMES OBAMARA EXPRESS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 15, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. Karen

    I am sorry to disappoint you obama folks, but the 14 million that Hillary has raised since super tuesday has been from everyday folks......many of us gave small donations and eschewed our valentine day gifts. so get off your high horse....she is supported by the little ones, unfortunately they are not the wired ones, so you dont hear them screaming and rabid here like you. Whether he takes money from lobbyists or not, we KNOW he bought land at a below market value from some one currently facing trial.

    February 15, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  12. Edd

    See how 2 yrs in Senate can bring something to the table? Nothing, a rehash of CLINTONS Economic Plan. PEOPLE, wake up, Obama needs more training, he needs to attend Senate hearings and take a stand, not just voting present. He needs to create the lobbyist accusations again since he wants to veer away from his unpopular economic plan.

    HILLARY is ready, she has more knowledge in fiscal policy, vote for her, you'll feel better.

    February 15, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  13. Robert

    When will Americans wake up. Hillary has dismissed every state she has not won as unimportant. If she's elected, she'll dismiss the whole country as nothing more than fodder for her cannon. She supports NAFTA, she supports GAT. Since Bill made his trade deals with China, our negative trade balance is over ONE TRILLION DOLLARS. That's money that could be spent right here.

    Hillary is not in the solutions business; she's in the clinton business, nothing more.

    February 15, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  14. OBAMA 08

    That's where and why her health care initiative died.

    February 15, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  15. Coby Austin, Tx.


    Im surprised at your ignorance in politics. Most of us Austinites are not falling for Hillary's politics. Wake up bro! Youre going to be real disappointed when Barack wins.

    February 15, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  16. bplaster

    Senator Obama seems to be a man of integrity. I would love to be carried away by his charismatic speeches with their message of change and hope along with so many others. But his naivity about how he can change things in Washington just proves to me how ineffective he will be. There was no more honorable president than Jimmy Carter and remember how the country suffered. So I can not in good conscience vote for Senator Obama, even if he is destined to win the nomination. The road ahead is too dangerous and full of obstacles for the inexperienced. Senator Obama has only 4 years experience in the Senate, that's just not enough to be able to complete the great mission of the Democratic party . If he really wants to be a great president, someone remembered 100 years from now, not just for the color of his skin, but for his accomplishments. He needs to go back to IL, run for govenor, and get some experience deal with running a state and working with the state legislature. When he has that experience, I will vote for him because then he will know how to get the job done. Until then, just like I would not give the keys to an inexperienced driver on an unknown and treachorous road (no matter how eloquently he pleaded for them), my vote goes to Clinton.

    February 15, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  17. Cecil

    Hello America

    Lets Not Forget;

    By Robert Parry

    Now, the Clintons are battling for a new lease on the White House – and they are applying lessons learned from the win-at-all-cost Republicans to discredit Barack Obama.

    Though Obama had the foresight to oppose George W. Bush’s Iraq invasion, the Clintons accuse Obama of lacking consistency in his anti-war positions. Bill Clinton called the story of Obama’s war opposition a “fairy tale,” ignoring the fact that Hillary Clinton was a war supporter from 2002 almost until the day she jumped into the Democratic race.

    The Clintons have sought to make an issue, too, out of Obama’s links to low-income housing developer Tony Rezko, who is under federal indictment in an Illinois corruption probe. [For some background, see Chicago Sun-Times article, Nov. 5, 2006.]

    However, the Clintons have had their own difficulties in similar areas, from their ties to the swindler Jim McDougal during their Arkansas days, to the Marc Rich pardon while in the White House, to donations from fugitive Norman Hsu in Campaign 2008.

    Most audacious of all, however, the Clintons are making an issue out of Obama’s mild praise of Ronald Reagan, when they have spent years not only complimenting Reagan but protecting his dubious legacy.

    Just a reminder!

    Obama 08

    February 15, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  18. Leilani SF

    for anyone do you have a list of Hilary lobbyists that have donated to her campagin. i would like to really know. Obama of course has lobbyist that contribute to, but Hilary campagin donation largely comes from lobbyist. So if you are her supporter request the list and post it so that you know who she owes in the end. I would like her list to be posted just so we can she who is donating to her campgain

    February 15, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  19. Laura

    Do you really expect me to believe that the unions who are endorsing him are not contributing to his campaign? How is this different?

    February 15, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  20. leah

    clintonistas are in DENIAL DENIAL DENIAL. they can't stand the fact that OBAMA has NOT taken any money from lobbyists for his campaign while their precious candidate has taken most money from PACs out of all the presidential candidates. i feel sorry for them because they've invested so much in Mrs. Clinton only to realize she's being steamrolled by the Obama Express.

    OBAMA 2008

    February 15, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. LatinoNation

    Well Maybe we should continue to let Obama buy his super the super delegates he has spent $900,000 dol;lars on them compared to Hillary who has spent $250,000 hmmmmmm !

    February 15, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  22. Greg Minneapolis

    Let's be honest with ourselves no candidate is above the fray. For those Obama supporters who adamant about is no money from lobbyists take a gander at this.

    1996 to 2004: "almost two-thirds of the money he raised for his campaigns - $296,000 of $461,000 - came from PACs, corporate contributions, or unions, according to Illinois Board of Elections records. He tapped financial services firms, real estate developers, healthcare providers, oil companies, and many other corporate interests, the records show."[1]
    Starting in 2004, Obama "has collected $128,000 from lobbyists and $1.3 million from PACs, according to the Center for Responsive Politics." Obama's "$1.3 million from PACs represents 8 percent of what he has raised overall. Clinton's Senate committee, by comparison, has raised $3 million from PACs, 4 percent of her total amount raised, the group said."[1]
    "Obama's own federal PAC, Hopefund, took in $115,000 from 56 PACs in the 2005-2006 election cycle out of $4.4 million the PAC raised, according to CQ MoneyLine, which collects Federal Election Commission data. Obama then used those PAC contributions - including thousands from defense contractors, law firms, and the securities and insurance industries - to build support for his presidential run by making donations to Democratic Party organizations and candidates around the country."[1]

    February 15, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  23. P.Y.California

    To Susan:
    First: try not to scream,it's rude.
    Second: If he has honesty,integrity,morals he woud never be a senator.
    And everybody know this.

    February 15, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  24. David, NJ

    I have some change that you can belive in. Its Hillary changing her stance when the cards are stacked against her. For all you Hillay lovers, where were you when she had the lead! Also, If you dont know Obama's stances you should go to his web page and read and stop waiting for the sound bites.

    "I am the inevitable candidate"

    "I have 35 years of experience"

    "I can win the blue states in a general election"

    "Solutions not Speeches"

    Hillary fans, thats CHANGE you cant BELIEVE!

    February 15, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  25. Si Se Puede Texas

    I love how people....like to use everyone elses lines and say where is your politics.....those are people who are not looking at the facts. If you listen to what they have to offer from a health, economic, federal and evniromnent town hall....you will no. So all Hillary people will say is where is the beef. Lets stop making excuses if you don't know by now..you are ignorant and cannot read or hear. Stop making excuses as to why people are voting. 40% of his voters are educated college graduates from the age of 18-29. How can ove 8-10 million educated people be so Naive....opps I forgot.Hillary is going after undeducated people. So stop the childesh games and go to both sites to get your reading and no he doesn't take lobby money...anyone who has given from a lobby has been donated to so charity. Those who cannot get FACTS right don't deserve to vote.

    PS every politician does have some negative...Obama isn't perfect. We are not electing Jesus..we are electing a better candidate who we think will be a better benefit to the american people.

    February 15, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
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