February 19th, 2008
08:48 PM ET
10 years ago

Clinton camp hits Obama again on copying

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/19/art.bopatrick0219.gi.jpg caption="Massachusettes Gov. Deval Patrick looks on as Sen. Obama speaks in Boston."]
(CNN) – A day after Sen. Barack Obama admitted to borrowing language from a speech by ally Deval Patrick, a second instance of Obama lifting language from a past speech by the Massachusetts governor has been identified.

“But you see, I am not asking anyone to take a chance on me. I am asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations,” Obama is quoted as saying in a November 6, 2007 USA Today article.

A little more than a month later, ABC News reported that he used the same line at a Portsmouth, New Hampshire campaign event, crediting Deval Patrick as the author: "But you know in the end, don’t vote your fears,” Obama was quoted as saying. “I’m stealing this line from my buddy (Massachusetts Gov.) Deval Patrick who stole a whole bunch of lines from me when he ran for the governorship, but it’s the right one, don’t vote your fears, vote your aspirations. Vote what you believe."

Patrick had used the line when he spoke at the Massachusetts Democratic Convention in 2006, when he told the crowd: “Because I want you to understand, I am not asking anybody to take a chance on me. I’m asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations.”

A Boston Globe article in the spring of 2007 titled “Patrick, Obama campaigns share language of 'hope'” noted many similarities between their stump speeches, and said that the two men shared a “symbiotic friendship.”

Obama “is running on his powerful oratory and his promises,” Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson said in a conference call with reporters Tuesday as he pointed out the similar turns of phrase. “Therefore, it is appropriate when the oratory comes form someone else to point that out and for questions to be raised about it.”

The Obama campaign did not respond to CNN’s request for comment on the second instance of similar language identified Tuesday. In a statement to reporters, Bill Burton accused Clinton’s campaign of attempting to “fan the flames” around the allegations.

Related: Obama, Clinton camps point to borrowed rhetoric

–CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart

soundoff (120 Responses)
  1. Ann

    This whole thing on the speeches that Obama makes really makes him out to be a copy cat. Can't people see that it isn't him speaking but that it is someone else? How do we know if what he is saying is from his heart or someone else? He is a bit to good to be true, I am voting for someone who knows the ropes. Go Hillary!

    February 19, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  2. Susan

    This is why I hate Hillary Clinton and everything she stands for. She brings nothing to the table except divisive politics. This is from the crowd who couldn't decide what is..is..

    Obama gave credit..so what IS THE PROBLEM..


    OBAMA 2008

    February 19, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  3. Bill Clinton

    We might as well stop using English unless we stop and credit the people who were the pioneers of every word.

    February 19, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  4. Joe in Indy

    He used some lines from a friend's speech (and even thanked his friend!). This isn't a story.

    This is politics-as-usual from camp Clinton. She will do anything to get elected, including pushing this non-story.

    Besides, it's now coming out that while she claimed that the media has started and pushed the story, that in fact, the story originated with her campaign. She's lying again! Wake up America! It's time to throw these old-school politicians out the door!

    February 19, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  5. Marva Hardnett

    This "second instance of similar speech" is yet another example of the Clinton campaign desperation. If Senator Clinton is the nominee, I will definitely vote for McCain. I believe our country is better off left in the hands of the Republican Candidate than in the hands of the Clintons. Bill Clinton shamed our country with bad behavior during his presidency and Senator Clinton is shaming our country through "dirty/petty" politics. The Clintons are a cancer and I hope we can rid ourselves of their dirty politics during this election. I'm optimistic that she will be defeated.

    February 19, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  6. fs

    This is really the most ridiculous non-issue ever.

    February 19, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  7. Texasboo

    Hey Hillary, why don't you show us your tax and white house records? Why don't you own up to your full support of NAFTA that cost Ohioans their jobs?

    Good for Obama for being the bigger person and moving forward. Same with Michelle. There are more importang things to focus on, namely That is the sign of a true leader...staying on message.

    How many negative attacks has Hillary launched over the past 2 weeks, 4? Has anyone else noticed that no major network is following Sen. Clinton on the campaign trail like NBC Today is doing with OBama?

    I am going to the Dallas rally for OBama tomorrow and I will be there bright and early!! I am so excited!


    February 19, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  8. Ruby marshall

    How would America be proud of a President who uses somebody's
    words/speeches? How would Obama run his Presidency with imitation and reliance on advisers' help, with a wife, who can't decide to vote whoever the nominee is (in their own party), and for the first time in her adult life, she felt really proud of her country because of their hope of change,( regardless of what the country had contributed to her successes)??? Is Obama the kind of President America has ever long for? Do you think he can solve our economic problems by imitation? Do you think he can manage our country well?

    February 19, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  9. Mary

    Clinton is obviously getting desperate...the sad part is that the media is jumping on this and reporting it as a huge story...I bet if you looked at any speech...you could find language that has been used before. Barack will win because he is the better candidate and there is nothing that Clinton can do to stop it.

    February 19, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  10. Carrie

    If this is the only thing that Clinton has against Obama, it's time to concede Sen. Clinton.

    February 19, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  11. Ab

    Let me ask this one simple question to Mrs Clinton. Why you changed your main slogan from "Experience to Change". Because she copied OBAMA. OBAMA was the first to talk about change then everyone followed. End of discussion.

    February 19, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  12. Marcy

    Joe – If you knew anything about Hillary, you would know that she disagreed with her husband on the NAFTA agreement.
    Clearly, this is not CNN; it must be moveon.org or an Obama site.
    As a woman I find Obama's comments regarding Senator Clinton to be misogynistic and condescending – when was the last time a woman said to a man something about his claws coming out.
    As an American, I'm offended that Mrs. Obama who may well be the next first lady said she has never been proud to be an American until now. The idea that she wouldn't vote for Hillary if Barak didn't win tells me she is either a sore loser or not a Democrat but regardless she is no patriot.

    February 19, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  13. True Democrat

    Hillary, you are pathetic and your campaign is in shambles. This is even more juvenile than when you were attacking Obama over his kindergarten papers. Give it up, you're done.

    God bless Obama for being the bigger candidate in this contest and continuing to stay above this kind of petty politics.

    Obama '08!!!

    February 19, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  14. HD

    The Clinton campaign needs to focus on the issues and see who is the best man at the end of the day. This only divides and damages the democratic party as she will do anything to win (even destroy the democratic party).

    February 19, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  15. Aniti Obama Revivals

    Obama's religious revival tactics are disgusting.

    Is Obama talking to his church congregation?

    He sounds like a preacher. This tone is scarry.

    Are we electing a preacher or a president?

    February 19, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  16. Aloha

    Let's talk about the guy that was on FOX the other night and told about Bill Clinton getting drunk and physically attacking him several years ago!!!! How about that???

    Also, I love the fact that every time they put a microphone in from of Bill, he says something really asinine!

    In the words of James Carville "She's Done!"

    February 19, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  17. Steven L

    The Clinton camp must be getting pretty desperate if they are trying to turn this non-issue into a "scandal". So Obama used some words first spoken by a good friend of his. Big deal. Hillary has done the same thing. In fact she has even used Obama's words in her speeches!!! These types of negative attacks are a perfect example of why Hillary should NOT be President.

    February 19, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  18. Patrick

    I think plagiarism is a serious issue, regardless if it's a friend or not. Perhaps you'd need to have a college education in order to understand.

    February 19, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  19. V

    Pure desperation by the Clinton camp. I guess they will do anything to win huh? What a shame!

    February 19, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |

    The very fact that this has even become news is further proof of the pathetic lengths the Clinton campaign will go to win this thing at any cost. The fact is, if Obama is a "plagairizer" then Mrs. Clinton is a ventriloquist dummy. She is to Barack Obama, what Pat Boone is to "Little" Richard. There isn't a genuine cell in her body. 35 years of experience and she has yet to get an authentic and consistant stomp speech.

    These are the kind of politics that sour many regarding the political process, and will inevitably cause voters to elect the fresh faced Barack Obama in what I strongly predict will be one of the greatest land slides in American history.

    February 19, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
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