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. Jeffrey, Douglas, MI

    What exactly IS Hillary's "35 years" of experience???? I know that 8 of them consisted of serving tea to the wives of heads of state...and if indeed she WAS peforming more duties than those of First Lady, it would have been utterly inappropriate.

    February 20, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. Dave Iowa City, IA

    Hillary keeps saying that Obama is all talk and NO action. I think winning 10 states in a row is A LOT of action. Hillary is getting very desperate and it is only going to get worse. She is just grasping at straws. Soon she will realize that Obama is the choice of the nation and not just a couple of large states.

    February 20, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. Obamacan

    Obama lead in create free healthcare for low incoome famalies in Illinios. Got something else?

    February 20, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. Ashamed

    Petty politics – I am ashamed that the world has to see this. When will she go?

    February 20, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  5. Can't wait to vote in Ohio

    Can someone name me an accomplishment of Senator Clinton's beyond getting earmarks for the state she carpetbagged into electing her to the senate? She may have ideas and plans but the only thing she ever tried to push through (health care) bombed horrifically. What makes her think she can push it through if she's elected?

    February 20, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  6. Bob

    Senator Clinton is no longer a viable candidate. Her only way to the nomination now is by attacks on Senator Obama that will make it impossible for her to reunite the party and beat Senator McCain in the fall. She will probably still not get the nomination and her attacks are already helping Senator McCain in his probable race with Senator Obama. I doubt she will back down and she is now being encouraged by the republicans who want to have her to run against to rally their base behind Senator McCain. Perhaps the super-delegates will wake up and prevent the train crash. One can hope!

    February 20, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  7. A. Harrison

    Obama supporters, instead of answering the question, you pose it to Clinton. Clearly she's in a league above OBama in accomplishments, you know this. However, you refuse to question your own candidate.

    This race for the whitehouse is not about fixing issue to me anymore, it's about "who we LIKE", and that's the stupidest thing one can ever do to make a decision, based on feelings.

    Facts are facts, the Clintons where it's at Good or Bad, they make things happen and our 7 years of hell will "CHANGE" under them.

    Hillary 2008!

    OBAMA .....I don't think so anymore until you can say your own words, help your wife be proud of her country, and actually do something in Washington BUT TALK.

    February 20, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  8. Oliver

    McCain will be the next president.

    February 20, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  9. Rob

    Why is it generally the conservatives who misspell multiple words in their posts? Hmmm.

    Hillary continues to speak of her time as First Lady as though she had been President. As mentioned, can someone name ONE accomplishment she's had in public office? There was, of course, wrecking the chance for health-care reform when she was (physically, at least) in the White House, through her refusal to compromise or work in a bipartisan manner...just like GWB.

    I find the tactics of the Clinton campaign to be disheartening and tacky...they're like annoying little terriers nipping at Obama's heels.

    February 20, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  10. nh supporter

    Great job, Obama! Obama stole something from McCain during his speech in Houston last night. He showed a bracelet worn by a soldier who got killed in Iraq. Obama claimed that it's given to him by the soldier's mom.. How touching?!
    It's funny. I remember clearly that few days ago, McCain was showing a bracelet he's wearing during a speech and said that it was given to him by a deceased soldier's mom and said how proud he was to the soldiers who died for our country..
    Obama did it again, borrowed something from other people speech again!! He is so good at borrowing from other people. How inspiring!!

    February 20, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  11. Mary Jo in Illinois

    Way to go Chris Mathews! Stephanie Tubbs Jones did a terrific job of naming several of Hillary's accomplishments. Obama's surrogate was at a loss for words each time Mathews asked him to name one of Obama's major accomplishments. All he could eventually say was that Obama is inspiring. That about sums it up!!

    February 20, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  12. Thimbletack

    Go Hillary and Obama,nothing will ever make me vote for McCain even though I dont like either one.The subversive Limburger nuts are doing their best to swift boat the Dems.

    February 20, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  13. Faizan Ali

    Here's what Obama has done and will continue to do: kick Hillary's...

    February 20, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  14. Nic

    Hillary its not your record, it's you! Don't you see you are doing the same old thing. Let Barack tell you his accomplishments, and then you all can compare Capitol Hill voting records. And your voting record on Capitol Hill (where everything truly matters) contradicts half of your campaign. You are gasping for air Hillary, and still not learning anything from your mistakes. Hillary you are still spending your time attacking your opponent as he continually brushes you off and lays out his plan for the future to the nation. I was a supporter of you as well Hillary, but now i can't even look at you on television. I fear you will divide the party terribly after you lose. Let's hope your greed for power doesn't overflow into the Democratic Party and divide it.

    February 20, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  15. ACFX

    I think it's the mandate for heathcare coverage with the threat of garnished wages that is turning people off.
    If she was my employer, I'd have to give in or quit, but I think she's forgetting she works for US, and that aspect turned me off bigtime!

    February 20, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. Mike

    I'm an Obama supporter and I think it was a mistake by Mr. Watson to not be able to name at least one of Obama's legislative achievements (Ethic/Lobby Reform). However, Mr. Watson is a state senator and Ms. Tubbs is a US Senator, a bit unmatched. Nontheless, he should have been prepared.

    February 20, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  17. Obama's Bandwagon and its Delusions

    Wake up you all!

    Obama's rethoric and empty speeches (as even McCain recognized this point last night) have led to a delusional bandwagon, which so many democratic voters are following! Can't you see?

    In addition, can't you understand that the Obama votes from "independents and republicans" are, if anything, a republican strategy to give Obama victories and take Hillary out? The republicans would have a much harder time dealing with Hillary - but not Obama!

    If Obama gets the nomination, in part due to the "help" of the republican vote, he will then be grilled and terminated by the conservatives. And, again, this country will have to endure four more years of political sameness... Haven't you all realized that the conservatives have not targeted Obama yet? They're just waiting for the right moment.

    Wake up, democrats, while there is still some hope, and VOTE FOR HILLARY! Vote for solutions, not delusions!

    February 20, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  18. Robbie

    After the fool that Bill has made of himself, I would think that Hillary's camp would be very hesitant to attack surrogates. And really, how can a supporter who appears before a camera for his own political benefits reflect badly on a candidate who has no control over that supporter's learning curve? I am beginning to think that the media is trying to stoke the fires of this campaign by working to generate issues. Face it, CNN has not had this kind of audience since 9/11.

    February 20, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  19. Plymouth Jim

    The Clinton Campaign, and the McCain campaign it seems, will spend the next weeks spending money, time, and TV exposure trying any and all tactics to discredit Obama. Much of it, like this discussion of legislative "where's the beef?" has merit. The problem for them is that the electorate has had it with them.

    Much like the early public perception of candidate Ronald Reagan as a former b-level actor, spouting only platitudes...But the public wanted CHANGE, and they were willing to suspend their disbeilief of his intellect to embrace his "message" of a return of American pride during a recession and hostage crisis. Obama represents this kind of spirit and change, and it seems, increasingly, that the old style politics of trying to discredit him by Clinton and McCain cannot stop this train.

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

    Clinton likes to say "it's about picking a president" well sunshine...I think the American People have picked a president...well at least a nominee for president. Just because you choose to ignore the pick doesn't mean the pick gets changed.

    February 20, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  21. James Moore

    How about 10 STRAIGHT primary/caucus VICTORIES!

    February 20, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  22. jessafina

    i'm guessing that 99% of the people in this country don't even know what senators even DO. In terms of Clinton's record, most of what she's done in the senate include things like :
    • Name post office after Sergeant Riayan A. Tejeda
    • Honor the life and legacy of Alexander Hamilton on the bicentennial of his death
    • Name post office after John A. O'Shea
    Very little substance in her record. Seriously, folks. More important than these things are qualities like:
    exhibiting good judgement, transparency in our government (and in our official's personal lives... um, may we see your tax returns, Hil? Oh... and who funded the Clinton LIbrary?)
    Barack Obama is not perfect, but he has what it takes to get this country off their behinds and moving in a new and positive direction. No more Clintons. They are tainted. They are ego maniacs. They are old news. Wake up, people. Aim Higher. VOTE OBAMA.

    February 20, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. angelica

    Ay que Hilary, you need to move aside and put your energy in helping beat those republicans. I keep sticking up for you saying what a tough and smart lady you are but you have now turned me off.

    February 20, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  24. Philip

    I can name an accomplishment:
    Senator Obama released his tax returns.

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

    Obama should run for Priest not for President.

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