February 22nd, 2008
02:32 PM ET
14 years ago

Clinton faces claims of borrowed language

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/22/art.billcopy0222.gi.jpg caption="Since her campaign leveled allegations of copying at Sen. Obama, observers have pointed out similarity between some of Sen. Clinton's language and that of her husband."]
(CNN) - Hillary Clinton – whose campaign has spent the past several days pointing to instances of borrowed language in the speeches of rival Barack Obama – is being accused of lifting words from one very familiar politician: her own husband, former President Bill Clinton.

During Thursday night’s CNN Democratic debate, Clinton looked to highlight occasions when lines used by Obama have resembled those delivered by his friend and adviser, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

Clinton’s closing answer, which brought the audience to its feet, highlighted her personal struggles and the difficulties facing ordinary Americans: "You know, the hits I’ve taken in life are nothing compared to what goes on every single day in the lives of people across our country."

Shortly after she delivered her closing remark, a reader of Joshua Micah Marshall’s Talking Points Memo Web site noted that the line seemed to bear a resemblance to one her husband was quoted as delivering during his 1992 campaign.

"The hits that I took in this election are nothing compared to the hits the people of this state and this country have been taking for a long time," her husband was quoted as saying in an article by Anna Quindlen in the New York Times in that November of that year.

Last night, Hillary Clinton also said: “You know, whatever happens, we're going to be fine. You know, we have strong support from our families and our friends. I just hope that we'll be able to say the same thing about the American people. And that's what this election should be about.”

The Obama campaign immediately began circulating a similar comment delivered by former presidential candidate John Edwards. “What's not at stake are any of us. All of us are going to be just fine no matter what happens in this election. But what's at stake is whether America is going to be fine,” Edwards said during a December debate in Iowa.

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (384 Responses)
  1. Henry

    Hillary... Please remove the log in your eye before you try to remove the spec in someone else's eye... How can you persecute Obama and then turn around to do the same within minute.... Goes to show she is extremely vindictive and not trustworthy. You could see it in her eyes the whole time during the debate.

    February 22, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. CT

    it is escalating. And becoming dissecting ( can I say it this way?), nitpicking. I think that there is limitation of copying, if it is just word there and there, these are just words, but to copy whole speech -or big part of it is the issue, I guess. I would feel this way. Everyone in world talks and uses words, but several sentences in a row or so might be the problem.

    February 22, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  3. Abner Johnson

    Obama is expecting that his simple sugestion will be accepted as true. He seem to think that because he is being blindly followed, people cannot find things for themselves. Unbelievable.

    February 22, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  4. moto1

    Everybody in life takes a quote, statement or saying from family, friends or other influencial figures in life. Both candidates are no exception and this issue should be mute compared to the issues at stake in this election.

    February 22, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. Reality

    CNN=Current Nonsense Network

    February 22, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. BJ

    This whole thing is a non issue. Politicians do it all the time. It's funny how Mrs. Clinton brought it up like it was a HUGE deal and now is basically being found to have done the same... Her attempts to discredit Mr. Obama are akin to throwing tissues at a tank.

    February 22, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  7. Jenny

    Yeah just proves Hillary copies people too . I don't think it matters except that SHE made a HUGE deal out of Obama doing it .. then a few minutes later does it herself.

    February 22, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  8. Chelsea

    Call her out CNN, its about time someone from the mainstream media started calling this woman bluff.......now maybe you all at the ticker headquarters won't be afraid to start reporting some other truths about this woman.......hummm...maybe Peter Paul vs Clinton.........a lawsuit about illegally obtaining campaign funds....don't you think if you are really reporting the facts , the american people should know about this one.

    February 22, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  9. b

    Looks like the delusional Obama staffers forgot they are not part of the silly campaign–The sad truth that Obama keeps running from is the fact that he is, indeed, just another politican. He tries to hide behind great words and great oratory skills, but at the end of the day...he is a politican who wants to go to Washington DC where all the great ideas die–or do they just riffed into his speeches?

    February 22, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  10. DJJ

    Well what can we say? Actually I have nothing to say, it all speaks for itself.

    February 22, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |

    When Hillary went first on a topic, Obama repeated what she said, it was uncanny. The last statement Hillary made was because she spoke last. Hillary is so far ahead of Obama in detail and knowledge. VOTE FOR HILLARY

    February 22, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  12. Sly

    See... using other peoples lines is natural.. it happens. Hillary's camp was making a big deal of nothing, just trying to gain traction.

    OBAMA 08!

    February 22, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  13. Diane T

    JudyTex doesn't know what she's talking about. Get lost!

    February 22, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. J. Rochester

    This is so typical of Hillary Clinton. She will say anything to win; even if it is a hypocritical statement. I guess that is what to expect of a person who will consistently critize her opponents on both sides and the current administration when they breathe. I guess only the Clintons are above it all.

    February 22, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  15. Independent

    Emotion you can Xerox!!!!

    February 22, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  16. allen

    HA! Clinton finds out that its not easy to NOT quote someone. except in this case, she probably didn't have permission from edwards. This whole argument is ridiculous and it shows. Both are guilty of the same things...LET'S MOVE ON!

    February 22, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  17. Bradley Schaubs, Greeley, CO

    How hypocritical. What do you Clinton supporters have to say for yourselves now?

    February 22, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  18. Anna Sacramento, Ca

    maybe she asked John Edwards as well. No one cares about this.

    February 22, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  19. Jeff

    Wait just a minute...you mean to tell me that Hillary Clinton is a hippocrite? Next thing you know we'll find out she actually has less elected office experience than Obama!

    I cannot believe she made a big deal about words being borrowed from another in a speech, especially when she is doing the exact same thing. Or unfortunately, maybe I can.

    February 22, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  20. tammy, spartanburg, sc

    As a longtime, diehard Democrat, I would like to say that Democrats look stupid and it's not fun being one anymore.

    February 22, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  21. Ed, Santa Fe NM

    HA HA... the fishwife gets caught in her own net....

    GO OBAMA '08

    February 22, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  22. Marge Hibbing Mn

    obama obama obama obama heck we all know he owns the dictionary. After all his cult members say so, and that should shut us REAL AMERICANS up.

    February 22, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  23. Daisy De La Olivares

    Ok.. great! Everybody is lifting some words! Let's get back to the REAL issues! Dang!

    February 22, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  24. Russel

    This is very sad.

    February 22, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  25. Josh

    What goes around, comes around!

    Obama 08!

    February 22, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
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