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

Clinton targets Obama backer's botched interview

CNN

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. Linda

    I am wondering how many of these Obama supporters have been sitting on their couches and letting the rest of us fight these battles for the last 20 years with the bruises and battlescars to show for it. Now all of a sudden you are the experts on what is what. Well, you might be able to buy this election, but that doesn't mean you are right. If the only thing that can get you off your couch is a person and not your country it doesn't mean much, in my opinion.

    And health care coverage for children is just one accomplilshment of Hillary Clinton. If you don't know some of what she has accomplished by now, you haven't been paying attention for a long, long time.

    February 20, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  2. WK

    Soundbites, slogans, ideas, promises, etc. I think the American people deserve to see a televised poygraphing of both candidates around 5 – 10 questions polled from the voters. And, let's not leave out the Republicans on this one either.

    February 20, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  3. Frank

    Obama is as thin as paper. His entire campaign is nothing but a slogan.

    Obama supporters can't name anything about Obama besides his last name not being Clinton and "he gives a good speech".

    About what?

    What we are seeing is the Dems throwing away another Presidential election. This time, the Supreme Court will be lost for generations to come to right wing nonsense.

    If the Dems want to win, they will give Hillary the nom. No way Obama will win.

    February 20, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  4. Jenny, Rio Vista, CA

    Hilary supporters should stop whining. I thought the move to start his speech before she finished was brilliant. Why should Barack sit and wait while Hilary is blasting him. This was supposed to be a concession speech, she didn't concede, she didn't thank all her hard workers that hit the streets for her in Wisconsin, and she didn't acknowledge Barack. Instead she started giving her usual stump speech. Barack had every right not to keep his supporters waiting while she was the one being rude.

    February 20, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  5. steven

    Mike, first I'll give you a lesson in etiquette. If use caps it comes across as fanatical.

    As far as McCain being a war hero, tell me what he did to make him a hero. Heroes do something extraordinay, like saving a battalion or capturing a hill. Surviving 5 years in a prison camp is commendable, but here's a little tidbit; the military code states that your first objective upon getting captured is to escape. Escaping would be heroic, impressive, etc. I know this doesn't sound politcally correct but come on, hero? Name one thing he did that was heroic...

    I'll name one thing Obama has done. He has inspired a nation.

    February 20, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  6. Mille, NYC

    NOTE HILLARY: WE DON'T LIKE YOU. WE DON'T WANT YOU AS OUR NEXT PRESIDENT. WE DON'T CARE IF YOU HAVE MORE EXPERIENCE THAN OBAMA. JOE BIDEN HAS MORE EXPERIENCE THAN YOU. JOHN MCCAIN HAS MORE EXPERIENCE THAN YOU. AND YOU WON'T LISTEN BECAUSE YOU THINK THAT YOU ARE SO SMART. WELL MAYBE...THAT IS NOT SO SMART.

    February 20, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  7. IJ

    MY DEAR HILARY,

    YOU CAUSE YOU FAILURES. UNNECESSARY ATTACKS ON OBAMA.
    HIGHESTIMACY ABOUT YOURSELF. TOO MUCH RELIANCE ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING. NEGLIGENCE TO SOME VERY LITTLE BUT NECESSARY ISSUES. EASILY GETTING IRRITATED AND HURT BY THE ACTION OF THE NEXT PERSON.

    February 20, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  8. Streetjustiz

    Lol!! Can't she act dignified for once??? Just once!! Everybody knows at least one of Obama's acomplishment (Ethics Reform), so that guy was just not informed. But for hillary to jump on it and use it as an attack is just feeding into the perception that she's desperate! Common Hill, try to chill.

    February 20, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  9. Proud American

    I can't believe that after 8 years of Bush, the Democratic Party is even considering nominating Barack, who is just as unqualified.

    Dear Lord,

    Forgive them for they know not what they do with their false idolatry.

    –pa

    February 20, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  10. Cathy from Vermont

    Oh come on CNN enough with the moderation!!
    Hillary, Hillary, Hillary…We vote but you do not get it…Going negative is not going to get you more votes. It is more likely to lose votes.

    February 20, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  11. Mary

    I would like to see a list of Hillary's accomplishments (Not inluding Bill's)...Sometimes that's just not what it's about...Obama should be the nominee because of the hope he offers this country...Bill/Hill have had their chance.

    February 20, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. P Moore

    What did Ronald Reagan "accomplish" before he was in the White House? John Kennedy? And, oh, lest we forget, Bill Clinton????? Hilliary is a desperate mess and a sore loser, and if she wins (steals) the nomination, I will vote for John McCain, simply because he's the lesser of two evils, even though I'm a Democrat.

    And, by the way, what is it exactly that she has "accomplished"? She and her philandering husband (who, by the way, made our teenagers feel like it's "ok" to have oral sex, and we now have an epidemic on our hands). Think people, think. I don't know what Obama can do, but I'd like to try something different, because politics as usual AIN'T WORKIN"!

    February 20, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  13. Michael, Boston,Ma.

    Perhaps if Hilary had not acted as if we owed her the nomination or that she earned it she would not be in the position she is in.
    As a longtime Democrat and Clinton supporter I have been quite angry with Bill Clinton for his lowering his stature as a former president to be the attack dog for Hilary! I think that Hilary should step aside and maintain her Senate seat she has been a good senator but we owe her nothing!
    I do not know about my fellow democrats but I do not want to go back I want something new, different and cooperative. YES WE CAN!

    February 20, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  14. ALECO NOKOMIS, FLORIDA

    HILLARY CLITON WILL NEVER BECOME PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES-SHE IS TO HATEFULL. IF SHE WINS THE NOMINATION, MOST DEMOCRATES WILL VOTE FOR McCAIN.

    February 20, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  15. Joe nyc

    Desperate Hillay.. I hope you get knocked out soon because I am really getting sick of your crap.. please go away... let this country turn the page.. we desperately need an overhaul of Washington.. this overhaul is long overdue and only the power of the people can achieve it.. the people are ready now thanks to Obama.. The process has begun and it will go way beyond November.. we must stick together and take our cues from this fresh leadership.. yes we can... we shall prevail..

    February 20, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  16. Ken, Highland, Illinois

    Let's not forget that she protected the credit card industry by supporting the republican bankruptcy laws. Who cares if most people decaring bankruptcy are trying to pay off medical bills. Actually, Hillary has a republican leaning legislative legacy as far as I'm concerned. It's a little late for her to change into a populist even if that is what your polls tell you.

    February 20, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  17. California Independent

    I find it odd the campaign is just doing this now. The inability of supporters to say an accomplishment been going on in exit polls, interviews and focus groups. It has been in print and on cable news for months.

    The 'NAME ONE ACCOMPLISHMENT' has been an ongoing joke on Fox and in the blogosphere for months and they just now catch on.

    Obama supporters then follow up with a list of the legislation he has signed on to. Which again is another little giggle for the rest of us. This is yet another case where he tries to take credit for someone else's work without citing them.

    If it isn't Clinton......... McCain '08

    February 20, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  18. KMAN

    His most important accomplishement ... has been mounting the most effective presidential primary campaign in recent history and beating the pants(pantsuits) off her royal highness who didn't have the foresight to look beyond february 5th.

    Bring on that WARMONGER MCCAIN ... he can't even get his oun party behind him ... the republicans couldn't have picked a more suitable candidate to represent the PAST than this relic!

    February 20, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. ben

    Well, I didn't expect to vote for Kirk Watson for president anyway,nor did I plan on voting for Obama's wife. I am going to vote for Obama.

    February 20, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  20. Billiam NYC

    Wow...she speaks of her experience as if she was the U.S. President back in the 90s instead of Bill. I honestly can't think of anything significant shes done herself. Was Bill or Hilary the president?

    I like both HRC and Obama, but if she keeps up with these desperate, groundless attacks...i just don't know. Alternatively, I'm frustrated with Obama for not aggressively putting forth any of the well-detailed plans he has on his own website. That can at least help his credibility a little.

    They are both starting to give the same empty rhetoric in their own ways, and its annoying.

    February 20, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  21. Al

    I'm a bit confused. The Clinton campaign points out an interview where a state senator and supporter of Obama could not list a single one of his accomplishments. Instead of giving some thought as to why that might be, everyone here instantly trashes Clinton and accuses her of dirty tricks. Does anyone care that a state senator and supporter is not able to name a single Obama accomplishment?? Is electability the only reason to vote for someone?? Does experience mean nothing at all?? These are some of the questions I'm asking myself before jumping on any candidate's bandwagon. This is a very important election so I'm going to educate myself on all the candidates records (good and bad) before making my decision. I hope that at least some of you have done the same.

    February 20, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  22. James

    So what if Obama does not have a list of accomplishments. He has a vision...something we have not seen for awhile. W. had a list of accomplishments and look where he took us as a nation. Give Obama a break!

    February 20, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  23. ObamaSUPPORTER

    That is so cheap. If you want to attack - attack a policy; attack something that would affect me as a citizen, that would affect my life. Why should I care about someone who couldn't think of any single accomplishment. This individual was asked on the spot, so she couldn't think about it. Why is that such a big deal???

    February 20, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  24. Bobby

    here's 1 thing:

    Obama sponsored legislation blocking overtime restrictions instituted by the Bush administration, a move that buffeted the wages of union workers in Illinois. He also sponsored a law that extended the reach of the Earned Income Tax Credit to the working poor…

    No go away Hillary.

    February 20, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  25. D.

    I saw the interview. It was really embarssed. Senator Watson (Obama's backer) was asked the question, and given time and several opportunities (not just once) to answer it. He could not name one!!!!

    Voters, please wake. It's your fate and our country's fate in the next 4 years. Thing about, someone who could not complish anything yet in past, and he's given the chance and time, - several years in the senator. Suddenly, he can now? he's not 4 years old, and he's 46 years old. I don't see he could change from complishing nothing to changing everything? Give me a break.

    February 20, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
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