February 20th, 2008
01:45 PM ET
13 years ago

Clinton targets Obama backer's botched interview


Watch portions of Clinton's speech Wednesday morning.

(CNN) - Hillary Clinton and her presidential campaign Wednesday pounced on a recent television interview with a surrogate of Barack Obama who was unable to identify a single accomplishment in the Illinois Democrat's Senate record.

"My good friend Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones from Ohio represented me on one of the TV programs in the last day or two— some of you may have seen her," Clinton said during a speech at Hunter College in New York City Wednesday. "And she was on against someone representing my opponent and for the first time, actually, the host, asked the representative of my opponent to name one accomplishment."

The interview in question was with Tubbs Jones and Texas State Sen. Kirk Watson on MSNBC Tuesday night. Host Chris Matthews asked Watson, a supporter of Obama, to name the Illinois senator's chief legislative accomplishments.

"Well, I am not going to be able to name you specific items of legislative accomplishment," Watson said.

Asked if it was a problem he was unable to name any of Obama's accomplishments, Watson said, "Well no I don't think it is. Because I think one of the things that Sen. Obama does is he inspires. He's able to lay out a vision, he's able to lay out solutions."

The Clinton campaign called the interview "Must See TV," and e-mailed a clip of it to reporters Wednesday morning - shortly before the New York Democrat mentioned it in her speech.

“That is all we’re asking," Clinton also said of the interview in her speech. "We’re asking to compare our records. We’re asking to compare our years of service. We’re asking to compare our ideas, our solutions."

Also in her speech Wednesday, Clinton maintained her campaign is moving forward.

“It is time to get real, “ Clinton continued, “to get real about how we actually win this election…It is time to move from good words to good works – from sound bites to sound solutions.”

Commenting on Obama's 10 straight victories, Clinton also conceded the Illinois senator "has had a couple of good weeks."

- CNN's Alexander Mooney and Mike Roselli

CNN Election Center: Check out the results from Wisconsin and Hawaii

soundoff (182 Responses)
  1. caywen

    Yeah, this is rich. As an Obama supporter, I do want to smack Watson upside the head for not doing his homework on Obama before doing the interview. I mean, how about hitting Wikipedia or something before interviewing?

    Not the best surrogate for the Obama camp.

    February 20, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  2. Mr. Neutral

    Can someone tell me the last president who ran on the strength of his legislative record? Or even the last president who could cite significant accomplishments as a legislator? Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Carter, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, Eisenhower, Truman, FDR? Means nothing.

    February 20, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  3. Kin

    Two of Hillary's accomplishments are a healthcare program tailored for millions of children and a healthcare initiative that actually put universal healthcare on the map.

    Man, though, she really needs to straighten up before March 4th. Talk about make or break...

    February 20, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  4. Bleuceruleum

    memorize memorize- geesh! lol

    February 20, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  5. Kyle

    Barack Obama has recently released his blue print for change. A detailed vision of all the specifics you could ever want. His website also lays out 11 years of his accomplishments for anyone to see.

    February 20, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  6. Ron

    People are supporting Obama blindly. As John McCain said, "He has ELOQUENT BUT EMPTY PROMISES FOR CHANGE". I am not denying Obama's inspirational qualities, but his promisises are empty. He will be a great dissapointment if he is elected President.

    February 20, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  7. Renee Va.

    Excuse me I saw the interview and she was allowed by Chris Matthews to sit there and spin on and on about Hillary's work on this and that. But she also included herself as working with Hillary and if this is the case she should be able to rattle off if they worked so closely together. Where is the other guy is a supporter of what he likes about Obama. This was mixing apples and oranges.

    February 20, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  8. AMW, Los Angeles

    And for those who think Senator Obama did a great Economic speech………may I please refer you to Senator Clintons Economic package proposals of August 2007 and December 2007 – eeeccckkksss and 'opps, he did it again'………

    took the stuff right from Senator Clinton! Playing 'follow the leader' again……..Senator Clinton is the leader!

    Anyone who does not believe me – go read it for yourselfs! Get informed – not just one sided! One sided always means that everyone has actually missed the other side. One sided means that no one has any basis to compare. One sided means that the choice to remain one sided is just plain dumb!

    February 20, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  9. mark, pittsburgh

    What has Hillary ever done? The only reason she is in the position she's in right now is because her husband was the President.

    February 20, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  10. joywinnebago

    Cindy...don't be naive. Your candidate knew she was speaking and knew she would be preempted. He has staffers who track media reports. He chose to go on in the middle of her speech. That's politics - the kind your candidate says he doesn't adhere to.

    February 20, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  11. Philip, Elkhart IN

    Just because some people can't name the accomplishments does not mean they don't exist. Just like someone might not know Hungary is a country... it's still there.

    How about these: Earned Income Tax Credit, getting vets paid, what about travelling to Russia to make sure the Cold War stays dead, and to head off terrorism?

    I vote for Obama for sure. But I wouldn't be too upset if Hillary keeps this up, because I think McCain would make a fine President too.

    February 20, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  12. HD - Kentucky

    What has Hillary accoplished? I honestly have no idea if she has accomplished anything that helped me and my community. I don't think being married to a former President is an accomplishment and that is the only thing I can think of that she has done because that has won her a seat in the Senate and connections with Superdelegates.

    Let's focus on the real news which is that Obama has won 10 contests in a row! And Hawaii, Wisconsin, Maryland, Virginia and DC were blow out victories in favor of Obama. If the tables were turned and the Clintons would have won the past 10 primaries, the networks and DNC would be asking Obama to step aside like the republicans are doing to Huckabee. However, Obama has won those and no one is asking her to step aside. Instead, the reports we see are pointless and meaningless.

    Thank you Wisconsin and Hawaii.

    February 20, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  13. Eli

    No its not just that some Senator can not name something he has done, IT IS ABOUT Obama being all talk and no substance. ITS ABOUT the news media not asking Obama these kind of questions already. ITS ABOUT if we dont get this right today the Republicans will eat Obama up and spit him out within a couple of weeks if he gets the nomination. ITS ABOUT that this election has gotten off track of who can actually get the economy going and has plans and knows what they are doing, to lets vote for the cunning spirit since he can speak well and inspire people. If an inspirational person could be PRESIDENT, then we have quiet a few TEACHERS and PREACHERS that we need to give the job to. IM SORRY BUT I DO NOT WANT MICHELLE OBAMA (not an inspiration) ANYWHERE NEAR THE WHITE HOUSE.

    February 20, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  14. Mani Venkatesh

    On the neutral side, it does become a logical question to ask during the upcoming debate to both candidates... not just top achievements but also top failures.

    Obama does frequently raise his voting record on Iraq and Clinton's supporter did put across all her good deeds quite eloquently.

    February 20, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  15. Marymel HART


    February 20, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  16. Closely Watching

    I have asked before and will ask once again: Who here can list one thing that Hillary has accomplished for the American people?

    February 20, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. American People

    We can now project Hillary Rodman Clinton the loser she is. Post that Clinton News Network.

    February 20, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  18. Lana L. Baysinger

    Obama has done nothing and has no plans for results. His speeches are pie in the sky speeches. Was'nt it Bush who told us he was the unitier in 2000? That worked out well, HA! Michelle Obama has no business in the white house if she has not been proud of America until now. The republicans will tear Obama in millions of pieces. They do not want to run against Hillary. Why are people so stupid?

    February 20, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  19. Mike (Atlanta, GA)

    So this is how low the Clinton campaign has sank???? Pathetic!

    February 20, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  20. BobW Rochester, NY

    Chris Matthews interviewing Titanic survivor:

    Chris, "How many people were on board the Titanic?"

    Survivor, "535"

    Chris, "Name them!"

    February 20, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  21. Steve

    Back to the "Let's get real" theme? The theme that's synonamous with "Don't Get Your Hopes Up"? That a-way to inspire the country, Hillary.

    February 20, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  22. joseph

    i'm happy that everyone is begining to see the real hillary clinton.She's taking this race as if it's a war. She can never impose herself to the Amerian people.Americans are too smart and intelligent to know the type of president they want.Americans need a leader and not a ruler.Madam Experience.

    February 20, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  23. bakersfield

    he follows her lead even in rallies

    February 20, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  24. Mark N

    Since she seems intent on taking credit for everything her husband did while he was in office maybe Senator Clinton should be disqualified to run due to the two term limit on the Presidency.

    February 20, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  25. Becky In Indiana

    Should our judgement of Obama be based upon one supporter? Please don't think we are that stupid.

    February 20, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
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