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. David Hillman

    You really have to feel bad for Hillary. She was never the best Democratic candidate, those guys dropped out months ago, but to lose to the least qualified guy who stands for nothing has really got to be frustrating. And her comments were spot-on this time; Obama supporters all see something different in him, because they _need_ to see something in a politician. They completely ignore the obvious fact that he's a con-man, and no different from the politicians we have... maybe worse.

    Obama said this himself, in his own autobiography, as Hillary pointed out. And still, the Obama camp chants "Change Hope Change Hope" and ignores anything that resembles an analysis of their candidate.

    Can you imagine having your career, and legacy, decided by such a bunch of half-wits? That has to suck.

    February 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. William Terry, MD

    Some of us would rather take a chance with a blank screen than be condemned to watching the same old movie that we've seen many times before and that has been replayed for us, painfully, during the course of this campaign.

    February 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  3. jumpinugly

    See ya' Shrillary! The politics of Atwater are back firing. Oh, and by the way, I 'm having a hard time finding any of your crowning achievements on the congressional record. Face it, we simply don't want you. Especially after your miserable whining performance at the last debate.

    February 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. Mia, Stafford, VA

    Hillary doesn't get that putting Barack down doesn't help her cause. Her job is to try and convince us why we should vote for her. Should we vote for her because of her teams creativity in putting down Senator Obama – this doesn't fly with true Democrats who realize that this is the playoffs and we want to win the Superbowl (the Nov. election) and she is giving the opposing team ammunition.

    These tactics are not working because many people are tired of the fighting amongst Democrats within the party and Republicans, all of them have forgotten that their main job is to move forward the American Agenda. Do I think Senator Obama has all the answers -NO – but he is tasking those who are coming to see him at rallies, town hall meetings and voting for him to get involved, hold politicians accountable, the other candidates are not doing that.

    February 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  5. Dennis

    I'm a little tired of Clinton and her campaign labelling me as "an impressionable elite" or "delusional." I'm tired of them telling me, that my vote really doesn't matter if I voted for Obama in a state that Hillary didn't win. This is just another way of saying to me that I'm delusional and that Obama is all talk. I've reviewed the issues. I've reviewed each candidates' qualifications. It comes down to Hillary's experience vs. Barack's judgment. I find Hillary's experience to be lacking and overstated. Nobody has been able to explain to me the depth of her experience other than she has 35 years of it (at what remains a mystery). Hillary's campaign has demonstrated to me that her experience is not sufficient. It runs out of money. It fails to adequately plan ahead. It lacks vision. I find that I trust Obama's judgment, character, and vision. I'm voting for him.

    February 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  6. JB in NY

    He may be a blank screen, but he has run a far more successful and cost-effective campaign than Clinton. If Clinton is such a great leader and has so much valuable experience, then why is her campaign in shambles? Americans should give Obama a chance to run this country the way he is running his campaign!

    February 29, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  7. Sammy

    Will someone advise Hillary against these negative comments? Did being a first lady make her a co-president? So where is all this "my 35 years of experience" coming from? If organizing a campaign gives an insight into her organizational skills, then we know what she's capable of doing.

    February 29, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  8. HillarySupporter

    Clinton raised more than $35 million dollars in Feb. The race is far from over. We the people will elect the best qualified person for the most important job – Hillary Clinton!

    February 29, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  9. Hillary For Ohio

    OBAMA Talks about a "Change" we can "Belive" in, I don't belive a thing that comes outa his mouth!!!!!!!!

    Give Up OBAMA!!!!!!!

    February 29, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  10. Deb of RI

    Just look at Obama's face in the photo of this article..and it's not the first...there's a ton of photos where he looks arrogant and sneaky. I see something way different than Obama followers, I guess. Hillary didn't have to do a thing to make me fearful.

    Love the new ad! Thank you Hillary for continuing the fight!
    Hillary 08'!

    February 29, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  11. Denise Staten

    You can quote me and quote me good. Barrack Hussein Obama is not only a "BLANK SCREEN" but rather can be described as the "FRAME". So I challenge Senator Clinton to view the CHANGE as Senator Obama stops being the picture and starts to be the FRAME! She could learn a lot from this concept, by this I mean this is not about Senator OBAMA but rather about the issues that come before him with the American People in mind. Senator Clinton know nothing about this concept and when it is not her picture that she wants us to focus on it is that of her philandering husband ex-president BILL CLINTON!

    February 29, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. Marc

    I love all the Obamaniacs who keep wanting Hillary to bow out now. Can't stand the heat, eh? Obama IS a blank screen. Hey, it's great that he makes you all feel warm and fuzzy about yourselves. I, for one, don't need to some motivational speaker to get "inspired". You guys are weak.

    February 29, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  13. Maria Sandoval

    My old racist grandmother is stuck on Hillary but the rest of my family are ready for change. GO OBAMA.

    February 29, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  14. Curtis, Houston, TX

    She disgusts me. Every day it is something new, something else. She seems so desperate.

    February 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  15. PKC

    Obama is a man of integrity! The Clintons only know "dirty politics!" They will say and do anything to get elected. Obama is a breath of fresh air for America. YES WE CAN!!!

    February 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  16. Aussie Greg

    If Bush answering the red phone didn't scare you nothing will. Come on Hillary you really are getting on our nerves.

    At least if Obama is in the house, he will TALK with the rest of world not just dicate American foreign policy with force.

    The world needs you Obama.

    February 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  17. reality check

    All you hillary bashers are a joke. This 'blank screen' came out of Obama's mouth himself and you cry like spoiled children that Clinton's being very bad by reminding people what he said. Don't you have anything better to do with your time than to sit by your computers waiting to beat up on a woman? Apparently not.

    February 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  18. Tom

    is anyone there?
    who manages this board?

    February 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  19. Fundamental Question

    Change Question: What has Obama done will in Senate to bring the Democrats and Republicans together?

    February 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  20. Erin

    I believe HRC needs to sweep.......and we Obama supporters are not stupid or uninformed. Thanks HRC and Penn for insulting my intelligence once again.

    February 29, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  21. Brian

    It's 3 am and Chelsea's asleep, but where is Hillary?

    Deciding to authorize the invasion of Iraq.

    I never liked Hillary, but her campaign is absolutely disgusting. I've lost any shred of respect. She needs to bow out gracefully and realize this new generation of Americans needs a fresh face and voice; someone who really connects with voters.

    That voice is Barack Obama.

    February 29, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  22. JJ

    Please Hillary Clinton! Give me a break. Obama is everything you want to be! You wish you could be a blank screen dont you? LoL!

    February 29, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  23. JayBee, Germany

    Hillary is once again fanning Bush's politics of fear. Politics of HOPE sounds better and for her to say that a candidate that have won 11 straight victories is a blank screen amounts again to name calling., and labelling the voters albeit Americans follish and stupid.

    She is desperate and does not derserve to be there any longer. She has shown that she does not have the patience to be a CIC


    OBAMA 08

    February 29, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  24. dwight

    I would much rather have a blank screen than the four car garage filled with political bagage that comes with the Clintons.

    February 29, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  25. Tamara

    Hillary is showing her true colors. This is the time in politics when the Clintons show their ugly side. Hillary if you are going to fight... fight fair! So typical of so called seasoned politiicans! What are you seasoned with?

    February 29, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
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