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. Bram

    hahahahah.....there is simply nothing to say........does anyone care or even listen to her anymore

    February 29, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  2. Orlando

    Hillary, we don't want to hear about Barack being a blank screen. We want you to show us you TAXES. Mrs. Want-A-Be President. Show your taxes, show your taxes. show your taxes. Stop hiding behind your Brother George Bush administration.

    February 29, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. B. Smart

    The screens sure weren't blank when the Clintons were in office. They
    were constantly airing Bill Clinton's impeachment hearings.

    Obama 08.

    February 29, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  4. Reco, Atlanta

    If Obama is a blank screen, Hillary is a fuzzy screen with the abstract tendency of allowing you to see whatever you want to see...

    Obama '08

    February 29, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. San Antonio

    Hillary, Hillary all you need now to be ahead is a blunder. Is your measure equal to Obama less a blunder.

    Experience? What counts is the people that you can convince to work with you. A job like that is not a one man's job, it is team work. Not the old team that have been around Senator Clinton for 35 years now. Once someone has been nominated, (s)he will have all the Democratic party resouces behind him. What then counts is the ability to unify the party and have everyone work hard in the same direction.

    February 29, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. Frank, Dayton, Ohio

    Let's see, Hillary has gone through every emotion in the book: overconfident, afraid, tearful, borderline racist, denying she was borderline racist, combative, mad as ****, and conciliatory. All the while, Barack has been confident, even-toned and ( dare I say it), statesmanlike in his response.

    Is it not clear to everyone that she will do anything to win while Barack manages to remain above the fray?

    February 29, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  7. Terry, Rochester, MN

    Better a 'blank screen' then the 'Blue Screen of Death' that Hillary & Bill will bring with them. Its time for this country to move on from the 'old school' politics and bring in a fresh perspective.

    February 29, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  8. Roger

    Hillary is on target when she says that Obama is blank screen. Have you seen him debate with her? "Oh yeah I agree with what Senator Clinton says..."

    Please. Not only is he a blank screen, he's also a tape recorder.

    I am so glad everyone is pointing him out. He's been on easy road for way too long.

    February 29, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. Acc

    Hillary need to grow up and shut up. People are tired listening to her negative attacts. She is so played out!! Talk about a reality check. I think it is time she had one.

    February 29, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  10. Khepura

    I would of voted to invade Iraq if I was presented with the fabricated information that Bush used to convince the country that we needed to invade. Why is it that no one mentions that the republican white house used lies and fear mongering to get what they wanted? Hilary Clinton is a good senator and I'm sure she would make a great president.

    February 29, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. willi

    Hillary,s new ad is a joke. If she is going to answer the phone for us at 3;00 AM , then please .don,t let it ring so long. When she finally answered she was completely dressed with make up and jewlery. Is that what took so long. I'm sure Obama would have answered on atleast the second ring!

    February 29, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  12. La Raza

    I can't wait til this thing is over. Hillary is crazy. And please no more debates. It just makes her look worse. She is reaching for straws and gets weaker as this goes own versus Obama gets stronger.

    February 29, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  13. Ryno

    She is questioning his one term as a Senator, interesting....She is currently in her second term.....if she is counting her time in office with her husband, the American voters should make note and critically analyze her failed policy attempts. I am a New York state voter, and she has not delivered for us.....she is a perfect politician, one that tries to make herself shine in times of need. Shame on you Hilary Clinton, shame on you.

    February 29, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  14. Alex Pegnato

    Obama wants the same powers for himself as president that he rejects senators for giving Bush. The Senate gave Bush a package of options. Obama says they were wrong for doing that. Now Obama says he needs all those options if he feels he needs to go back into Iraq. This is the same two talking stance of an any old same old politician. There is no change here, same old say what every then contradict that when expedient.

    He said he was to be listen too because he was always against giving war powers to the President. I guess he really means he was against giving them to that President. There no trust in his flip flopping.

    February 29, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  15. josh

    Problem for Hillary is that people actually want a clean slate–no Slick Willy and Hillary Rodham, no evil Bush Administration–this is the change people are looking for. But it is not necessarily a policy change that people seek. Having Obama as Commander in Chief is frankly terrifying, and even Angelina Jolie now supports the surge (for whatever that's worth). Thankfully, we have a "maverick" non-Clinton, non-Bush in the race who nevertheless is not likely to lead us to defeat in the GWOT–introducing President McCain!!

    February 29, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. Nick, Rochester, NY

    I don't know if he is a "blank screen" but apparantly he has become "he whose middle name cannot be mentioned" What kind of nonesense is that?!

    February 29, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  17. lee23444

    "I am sick and tired of hearing the Obama campaign go on and on about how Barack Obama had nothing to do with declaring war on Iraq. If he were in the Senate when the vote happened, I guarantee you that he would have said yes to going in. I believe it is silly to continue spreading such notions."

    Judging from how many posters have said this very same message, in various forms, throughout the internet today (and even on this very blog), it's apparent that the email went out this morning from Clinton Headquarters that this would be the internet message of the day.

    Once again, tactics instead of issues from the Clinton campaign.

    It hasn't worked yet...I wonder why they think it will now.

    Perhaps it's all they have left.

    February 29, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  18. John Kay

    I think this is a clear reason why this campaign for the norminee of the democrats should end sooner than later. If not, Hillary is going to divide the party and they will loose the election come November.

    Remember desperation leads to destruction. Voters should be aware of this polarization.

    I know this message will be on moderation forever.

    February 29, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  19. Bobby

    I wonder how many people who are now ragging on Hillary for voting for the war were among those who thought Bush was the greatest thing since sliced bread when he stood atop the rubble in NY shortly after 9/11?

    February 29, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  20. Sean

    Hillary is very, very desperate.

    Seems like she's hurting her own chances instead of Obama's. Why would she want to do that? This race is getting waaaay out of hand and the attacks by Clinton are very, very unnecessary. I guess when you lose you have to start attacking? (Question mark?)

    Well at least one candidate is taking the high road. And strangely enough, that candidate seems to be winning this race. Wow. Who would have thought?!?!

    February 29, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  21. Justin

    Hillary, President Johnson called, he wants his ad back, you plagiarist.

    February 29, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  22. Former Clinton supporter...

    I am so sick of all the negative campaigning I am now voting for Obama too.

    February 29, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. anonymous

    Way to go Hillary!!! I am amazed with all of the information. Finally CNN are saying something to support you. HILLARY!! HILLARY!! HILLARY!!

    February 29, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  24. Xtina, Chicago, IL

    Senator Obama's response to Hillary's ad just pwn'd her..

    February 29, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  25. Jose'

    Hillary is scared!! She is pushing the leftists away!

    Communists for Obama '08!!

    February 29, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
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