February 29th, 2008
12:13 PM ET
14 years ago

Clinton: Obama a 'blank screen'


(CNN) - Hillary Clinton Thursday jabbed at Sen. Barack Obama for being a first term senator and called her rival for the Democratic presidential nomination a "blank screen."

In an interview on ABC's Nightline Thursday night, Clinton dismissed notion's Barack Obama voters are uninformed, but said the Democratic presidential front-runner aptly described himself in his 2006 book, "The Audacity of Hope."

"I think the best description, actually, is in Barack's own book, the last book he wrote, 'Audacity of Hope,' where he said that he's a blank screen," she said in the interview. "And people of widely differing views project what they want to believe onto him. And then he went on to say, 'I am bound to disappoint some, if not all of them.'"

"He was in the state Senate, what, three years ago, four years ago?" Clinton said in continued jabs. "It's hard to know exactly what his positions are because they have changed rather rapidly in that four-year period. But there is something very appealing, and people have a right to vote for whomever they want."

The comments came a day before the Clinton campaign launched a tough new ad in Texas that aims to portray Clinton as considerably more prepared to handle a foreign policy crises than Obama. Over scenes of sleeping children, the ads narrator asks, "Who do you want answering the phone the phone?" at 3 in the morning.

Obama Campaign Manager David Plouffe forcefully responded to that ad in a conference call with reporters Friday morning."We don't think the ads are going to be effective at all, because Senator Clinton has already had her red phone moment. It was a decision whether to allow George Bush to invade Iraq, and she answered affirmatively," Plouffe said.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (338 Responses)
  1. Kathy Buzek

    I am a 50 year old women that has never voted Democratic until
    this election. I think Hillary Clinton is pathetic the way she tries
    to promote such negative fearful advertising. I was leaning her way but not now. I will be voting for Barack Obama

    February 29, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  2. Moira

    She cannot even speak about Obama in a bad light and you people are screaming. Ahh... have you heard what is saying about her. Obama is much like his supporters: windbags who can dish out dirt, but cannot take it.

    February 29, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. dan

    Somebody calling,i bet you its the millitary guys and they got news, what did the president do? on 911 took some time because he had no idea of what to do.the same guy clinton supported for the war in iraq. judgement will always stand out not who can dash and grab the phone.

    February 29, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. sheila

    Americans are so use to divide and conquer. When will you wake up. Stop listening to the lies. If we don't work together we will never get out of this mess Bush has gotten us into. I have never heard so much name calling from a candidate running for President. Hillary Clinton says one thing when she's in the debate and another when she's not debating. She should go into acting not politics.

    February 29, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. April Garlow

    Hillary is right. Where were you Obama when we marched on Washington before the resolution was signed?, Where were you Obama, when the resolution was all the discussion on tv? Where were you Obama, when we were writting to our Congress people in Washington? Where were you when you could have swayed opinions in Washington? Were you voting present? Were you pushing the wrong button. Other than one small speech, you were silent. Hillary will be a leader , I'll go to my faith and my church for inspiration, thank you.

    February 29, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  6. mjc

    you know, the close comments for the obama "negative" threads way early.. the let the clinton threads stay open so the obamabots can come out and attack.. its ridiculous.

    HILL 08

    February 29, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  7. Linda

    The Sleeping Children ad sounds eerily familiar. It reminds me of the Goldwater ad that ran in 1964. Of course, Hillary's first presidentail campaign work was that year when she was a committed Republican dedicated to getting Goldwater into the White House. Thank God the American people didn't fall for the fear-mongering then. Are we smart enough to see through it today?

    February 29, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  8. Richard Jones

    If experience is really what your looking for to answer the phone at three in the morning, you better ask for John McCain. He has more experience than any of the candidates. IF experience doesn't matter, then pick one of the others. He's also shown to be a bi-partisan Senator....the others?? Not likely.

    February 29, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. Spirit of America

    Hello, Hillary, this is a thank you call from the children of America. Thanks for all the money for our education. Thanks for trying to get rid of childhood poverty. Thanks for not only seeing us, but hearing and helping us.

    February 29, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  10. Anne

    A blank screen??? Gee, how terrible. That just means Obama comes without preconditioned responses, predetermined opinions, an ability to integrate the information given him by wise counsel, and a willingness to actually listen to the people he would govern and maybe, dare I hope, address himself to OUR needs rather than his own.

    February 29, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  11. Deb

    I didn't read his book.

    I said the same thing to my daughter who voted early for Obama; she used the argument, “They are so much a like, I voted in the end for Obama because I think he has the best chance of beating McCain"

    I said to her "He is such a Nothing you can project whatever you want into what he says. It is very clever but he doesn't have the experience or energy to follow through with Anything!

    We're in for another 4 years of Nothing which will be the end of us as a great nation.

    My vote for Hillary will even out my daughters for Obama that is all I can do, along with praying for Devine Intervention.

    February 29, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  12. Larry Buchas

    I agree, Hillary.

    We have the right to vote for whomever we want. I already have.


    February 29, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  13. Peter Canada Obama 08

    I have compare the numbers of respondant to the ad from Hillary it is 3.00 Am phone ran who will you like to answer the call.

    Judging from the responds to the ad, Its amazing that Obama's supporters are 75% and Hillary's are 25%.

    CNN polls might not be right unless its same people that are always responding to CNN blogs.

    February 29, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
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