March 2nd, 2008
04:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Sunday Roundup: Democratic surrogates out in full force

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton hit the road in Ohio, relying on campaign surrogates to stump for them on the Sunday morning talk-shows.

The television appearances come at a critical time for both candidates as next Tuesday's key primaries in Texas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island loom on the horizon. On CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer," Clinton supporter Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, explained why he is supporting the senator from New York.

"I'm supporting Hillary Clinton because I know she knows, understands and cares about issues that affect border communities like the one I represent."

Obama surrogate Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, also spoke to Blitzer, and defended his candidate's foreign policy experience.

"The fact is that Barack Obama comes to this race with more experience than George Bush, Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton had in foreign policy at the national level. And the fact is that he has proven that it's his judgment that is correct," Kerry said.

On "Fox News Sunday," Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, and Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, debated the idea of Clinton bowing out. Durbin, the Senate's Democratic whip, supports fellow Illinoisian Obama and said his top priority is doing what is best for the Democratic Party.

"I hope that she can understand that we need to bring our party together and prepare for a victory in November, which is the ultimate goal," Durbin said.

But Feinstein rejected the notion that it is time for Clinton to step aside, remarking "I think she should stay in the race. Her candidacy is extraordinarily important. If ever a qualified woman could hold the presidency of the United States, this is the qualified woman."

And Clinton supporter Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Indiana, spoke on CBS's "Face the Nation," trumping up her experience on national security issues.

"There is no doubt in my mind that she is prepared to be commander-in-chief at this difficult moment for our country," he said.

Former presidential candidate Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Connecticut, who just announced his endorsement of Obama on Tuesday, was already thumping for him on Sunday.

"I believe that Barack Obama is bringing a unique set of qualities to his candidacy that go far behind how many years you've served in Congress, or served as the spouse in the White House," Dodd said.

Another former Democratic presidential candidate, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, said he is "legitimately torn" between the two candidates.

Richardson's endorsement is heavily coveted. He said he is primarily concerned with beating John McCain in the general election, and feels that the Democrats have a better chance if they choose a nominee sooner than later.

"The concern that I have is the bickering that took place between those two very fine senators is going on too long," he said. He added, "I'm just worried that the tone of this campaign has gotten excessively negative, and it's going to hurt us in November."

The most heated debate of the morning took place on ABC's "This Week," where senior staffers David Axelrod with the Obama campaign and Howard Wolfson with the Clinton camp attacked each other on issues that ranged from Obama's ties to indicted Chicago real-estate developer Tony Rezko to Clinton's unreleased tax records.

The most lively moment occurred when Wolfson challenged the Obama campaign to release all information related to Rezko, who goes on trial on corruption charges on Monday.

"They should put out all of the information regarding that real-estate transaction. All of the emails, all of the correspondence, all of the letters, every single piece of information so that the public can really look at this and say 'what's going on here?' " Wolfson charged.

Axelrod responded by saying those concerns had been put to rest in the media, and "There has not one bit of evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Senator Obama in this or any other matter."

–CNN's Peter Lanier

soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. edmond

    hope we get somebody new this time ,i dont care who the person is ,this country of over three hundred million people and we seem to have only two set of families to run this country for over twenty years,it's a shame america can do better

    March 2, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  2. Allison Marie

    Clinton should definately stay in the race. And I think all the Obama supporters should settle down and let the rest of the primaries take place. Right now, if Obama is not being asked to leave for plagiarism, Clinton should stay to get the nomination she deserves, regardless of what the media may think.

    March 2, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  3. ArtOfWar

    "They should put out all of the information regarding that real-estate transaction. All of the emails, all of the correspondence, all of the letters, every single piece of information so that the public can really look at this and say 'what's going on here?' " Wolfson charged.


    More smoke and mirrors, Wolfson is trying to create another distraction, another hot spot, another morphing of Sentor Clinton's ability.

    Look at how Clinton ran her campaign and from there enough should be said.

    March 2, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |

    Is anyone ready for the democratic party to unite? We have all this negative stuff going back and forth. If it doesn't end soon, I am not sure how the party can unite. Some hurtful things even in these blogs may be more damaging in the long run. I am an Obama supporter but if Hillary had the momentum and the lead in delegates counts, I would support her for the party!

    March 2, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  5. linda

    im just wondering if its just me or if others have noticed that hillary seems to be modeling her appreance on a storekeepers daughter from grimthorbe in the north of england (margret thatcher).

    March 2, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  6. linda

    change is good,, but in this case i think that hillary isnt the change we want. with whats all goin on, i doubt she can handle the issues of today without getting cold feet.

    March 2, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  7. Mr. C

    We the Americans need for Senator Hillary Clinton to release her Tax returns and all those document relating to her while she was first lady. Why is she delaying them..... As for Obama ties with rezko, i think it is Old story because everything that should be known had been put out there a long time ago. Hillary Clinton is the one we are waiting on to release all those Documents.

    March 2, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  8. California Voter

    I find it interesting that black super delegates feel pressured to support Obama because of the vote of their constituency, but I've not heard anything about Kerry, Kennedy or Patrick feeling pressured to swing to the Clinton camp based on the vote of their state.

    Regarding the house sale that Axelrod refused to discuss, from what I've read, the doctor selling the property, that Obama ultimately bought had two properties next to one another and, did not want to sell the one without selling the other. So, Mr. Rezko's wife purchased the adjacent property and both properties closed on the same day. Later on, Obama purchased some portion of the property Rezko's wife purchased. Obama ended up paying $300,000 than asking price for his property while Rezko's wife paid a premium price. Worth checking into in my opinion.

    March 2, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  9. Hillary lost jobs in NY

    To explain if Hillary will do good for border states you must really look at how she did as NY senator. Hillary promised NY that she would help create 300,000 jobs if she gets elected as senator.

    So what happened on DAY 1, you ask?

    FACT: Hillary did NOT do what she PROMISED New York on Day 1 or any day after. Actually, since Hillary has been NY senator, NY has lost over 38,000 manufacturing and service jobs.

    March 2, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  10. La Raza

    All that should be said is Obama/Powell 2008! "Yes we've done it!"

    March 2, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  11. Vig

    Obviously, it's more socially acceptable to practice gender discrimination than race discrimination in this country by the way Hillary Clinton has been treated by the media. Everything she does and says is negatively interpreted, she has been marginalized and disrespected. Had this happened to Obama, would the Blacks sit back and say nothing? Hardly. It's up to Texas and Ohio to balance the distortions and favortism and put Hillary over the top so that this nominating process can go to the convention floor where it belongs and out of the hands of the biased, dispicable media.

    March 2, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  12. edp

    The Clintons blew it on 2 late night call, and dozens of Americans died, right here in the US, due to their mismanagement. Do a websearch on Waco, Tx and David Koresh. 74 died, mostly innocent women and children, with the Clintons giving the commands. I voted for them in 92, I am deeply sorry I did.

    March 2, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  13. edp

    The Clintons blew it on 2 late night call, and dozens of Americans died, right here in the US, due to their mismanagement. Do a websearch on Waco, Tx and David Koresh. 74 died, mostly innocent women and children, with the Clintons giving the commands. I voted for them in 92, I am deeply sorry I did.

    March 2, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  14. LaLainKCMO

    The main point is what Bill Richardson said ... We have to have a nominee sooner than later.

    United we stand to fight the Rep in Nov, divided we will fall.

    March 2, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  15. JR, Texas

    Barak Obama all along had been sketchy on alot of issues including his experience, political and personal life and agendas. I am so amazed how Americans continue to be fooled by Media and Barak Obama and never questioned about all the missing bits and pieces!
    Have the American voters, Media and the society in general abandoned their values, their conscience and loyalty to the constitution? Why can't the american people having a hard time distinguishing between what is RIGHT and WRONG? What has happened to AMERICA?

    March 2, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  16. david

    Hillary does just seem to have better knowledge on all issues, particularly the ECONOMY AND HEALTH CARE.

    I'm from Texas. No one here understands how the caucus system works. I only found out this year and I've been voting for a couple of decades! It sucks and needs to be done away with. Anyway, I've informed about 20 HIllary voters of how it's done and they promise to hit the caucuses at 7 pm on Tuesday after they vote to vote again.


    March 2, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  17. True Democrat

    This Mar. 4 primary is so superheated, many of the voters aren't paying attention to the issues anymore... now they're just getting bombarded with sound bites, celebrity endorsements, media bombardment, smear/scare tactics, robocalls and talk show appearances.

    I hope all the voters have an opportunity to take a minute and think quietly about who the right choice for hope and change in America will be before making their important decision at the polls.

    March 2, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  18. Charlotte

    Kerry voted to go into Iraq?? If it was such a bad idea why did he vote to use force? Obama is not the right person to be President. His claim to fame, "I was against the war." Oh wait, I wasn't sure when I was supporting Kerry. I think Al Qaeda in Afghanastan was the real threat, why I did not hold any meetings while chairing that committee, well, I have been too busy campaigning for President for the past two years. The most important thing for me, is to be President. I will change the way Washington works. Every committee will be in name only. I will eliminate the Sec. of State position and meet with all foreign leaders, friends and foes. Obama must show the world we are not all that!

    March 2, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  19. Nathan

    John Kerry, Howard Dean and Ted Kennedy make the Obama campaign the Northeastern Liberal Elite + Effette Society.

    March 2, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  20. Jdona

    Where would Obama get foreign policy experience at in the Illinois State Senate? Lord knows he didn't get any in the US Senate, he volunteers to chair a committee to oversee Afghanistan to pad his resmume with, but doesn't bother to hold a single meeting. Too busy, he says. When we get hit again by terrorists, is he going to be be too busy to deal wtith that too?

    March 2, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  21. My reasons...

    First and foremost....all the candidates are US Senators and deserve respect for that.

    I will not support any candidate that:

    Is an advocate for nuclear weapons-

    Is an advocate of NAFTA – see news regarding letter to Canada

    Is an advocate of disenfranchising millions of democratic voters – that is NOT democratic

    Is an advocate of the 'haves' and 'have nots' for health care – that is devisive!

    Plays 'follow the leader' too well – what would this person do if there was no one to follow?

    Parrots responses all to often – or uses others words for speeches – is there an original thought in there?

    So lets turn off the telepromters!!!!!!!!! Vote for the leader, vote for the White House........Vote for Hillary Clinton!

    March 2, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  22. Mark

    Top of politics front page of CNN:
    Hot Topics » Election Center 2008 • The Political Ticker • Hillary Clinton • John McCain • more topics

    No Obama!!!!!!!!
    Guys, you are violating minimal equity in your coverage.
    For sure, you will crush my message. Anyway you should be ashamed of such practices.

    March 2, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  23. Independent Voter in Texas

    Let me see if I have this right? Obama is campaigning against Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, John McCain and George Bush. Did I get that right? Yep I sure did.

    Today I will even say he's having to fight against CNN's bias. Oh, I get it CNN. Hillary threatened you with a lawsuit like she did the state of Texas right? That's why you are flooding your blogs with her stories and stupid pictures.

    Wow, it will really be amazing when Obama wins the Texas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island primaries .

    March 2, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  24. Jen, Gainesville

    The Clinton campaign should be very thankful that the media nor the Obama campaign did not ask about the numerous scandals related to the Clintons. The recent one is Mr. Hsu.

    March 2, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  25. Jeff

    I keep hearing Obama say in his speaches .
    1) Hillary voted for the war in iraq when. She has bad judgment
    I also hear him say that the war in Iraq was wrong and Americans should have gone after Osama Bin Ladin in Afganistan instead.
    He then goes on to say that Alqada in Afganistan has gotten stronger in Afganistan.
    Is Obama not the chair on a commity over seeing the war in Afganistan. So is it safe to say that Alqada has gotten stronger in Afganistan on his watch

    March 2, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |