March 11th, 2008
10:11 AM ET
14 years ago

Obama camp hammers Clinton's foreign policy experience

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/03/11/art.obamamemo.gi.jpg caption=" Obama's campaign launched a fresh attack on Clinton's experience claim Tuesday."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Barack Obama's presidential campaign took some of its most pointed jabs to date at Hillary Clinton's claim of experience, circulating a memo to reporters Tuesday morning from former Clinton State Department official Greg Craig that suggests the New York senator uses "false charges and exaggerated claims to play politics with national security."

"When your entire campaign is based upon a claim of experience, it is important that you have evidence to support that claim," Craig, an Obama supporter, says in the memo. "Hillary Clinton's argument that she has passed 'the Commander- in-Chief test' is simply not supported by her record."

Craig served as director of policy planning at the State Department during former President Bill Clinton's second term.

The sharply worded memo follows similarly charged words from many Obama surrogates in recent days as the Illinois senator's presidential campaign appears to be seeking to alter the perception - shown in Ohio and Texas exit polls - that Clinton is more ready to be Commander-in-Chief.

The memo also references Clinton's now-famous 3 a.m. ad - increasingly viewed as keys to her wins in Texas and Ohio - and says the commercial and her claim to foreign policy credentials "consists of nothing more than making the assertion, repeating it frequently to the voters and hoping that they will believe it."

The memo was released ahead of an Obama campaign conference call with Iraq war veteran and Pennsylvania Rep. Patrick Murphy, as well as other Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans.

Reacting to the memo and campaign conference call, Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said, "It’s tough to see how Senator Obama can tout his commitment to the military when he couldn’t be bothered to hold a single policy hearing on Afghanistan. Considering that Senator Obama’s record is just words, it’s no wonder that voters are having doubts about his readiness to be commander-in-chief."

Full story 

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (389 Responses)
  1. Willis

    The American people are tired of corrupt and hypocritical politicians - Hillary go home! You know it is just a matter of time before Bill is busted!

    March 11, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  2. Hakeemsdad, Florida

    I think CNN needs to hire new people who are fair to everyone posting comments!

    What is next Hillary? Obama is not American! (probably coming on April 20th)

    March 11, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  3. Sharon

    And YOUR (obama) campaign is totally based on a vote the you NEVER HAD THE CHANCE TO CAST!!!!! AND LATER STATED THAT YOU "DIDN'T KNOW HOW YOU WOULD HAVE VOTED"!!!!!!!

    GET A NEW SONG.....THIS ONE IS BECOMING TIRESOME......AND A PRE-CONGRATS ON THE MISSISSIPPI WIN TODAY...YET ANOTHER STATE THAT WILL NEVER VOTE DEMOCRATIC IN NOVEMBER.....WAY TO KEEP "WINNING" THOSE RED STATES!

    GO HILLARY!!!!! THE MOST EXPERIENCED!!!!

    March 11, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. Against the Cult

    Political bickering is typical. It was worse in 2004. The problem now is having these blogs that follow them to the shower and toilet so you now hear every whine.

    March 11, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  5. Peter

    Even if Clintons claims are false then how does it make Obama any more qualified? he as less or no experience, or is he going to talk everyone in agreeing with him?

    March 11, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. Greg

    Just because Hillary's been co-habiting with Bill does not give her Commander in Chief experience.

    Tell the biggest lie loud enough and often enough and the people will believe you.

    Time for truth no fiction, please release your tax returns Hillary.

    March 11, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  7. LostFigs

    Craig is supporting Obama; that says it all.

    Hillary 08.

    March 11, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  8. David, Helsinki.

    SHE WAS ELECTED THE FIRST TIME IN 2000, OBAMA WAS, AT LEAST IN ILLINOIS SENATE IN 1996, AND THEN US SENATE. SHE WAS JUST THE "FIRST LADY", HOW COME SHE CLAIMS EXPERIENCE ON FOREIGN POLICY? WHEN,WHERE?

    AFTERALL, AFTER BLANDERS BY CHENEY, RUMSFELD, WOLFOWITZ AND POWELL ALL ADVISING BUSH, WHAT EXACTLY IS THE VALUE OF EXPERIENCE?

    March 11, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  9. fred

    Obama, you are the choice of the people. Clinton is desparate because her feels the Country becomes to the Clintons. I wouldn't be surprised if the Clintons are groming their Chesea for the job of Commander-in-Chief

    March 11, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  10. jfs Memhis, Tn

    Thanks Senator Obama. Enough said . Let these self destructing ninnies on Sen. Clinton's side continue with ther ole' time devisive democratic machine crap. The new politics of the well informed, computer proficent, inclusive Obama supporters are ready to help our nation get back on the right track. NO WE WILL NOT CONSIDER HILLARY FOR VP!!!! THOSE DAYS OF THAT OF ATTITUDES WILL SOON BE ENDING!!!!

    March 11, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  11. SAM - CommonSense

    Vote OBAMA 08! Hillary has been lying to herself and her followers... We all know even in her capacity as a first lady, she failed the president so woefully that he had to seek consolace in other women and get impeached for it. She might be experienced in something because of her age but definately not any experience to lead the free world in this new age! WE WANT CHANGE! YES WE CAN!

    March 11, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  12. Mike Brian TX

    Yes Senator Clinton’s campaign is based on experience.

    It’s way better than Obama’s campaign which is based on -- NOTHING!

    March 11, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  13. Florida loves HILL

    He is full of HOT air. What happened to his politics of HOPE?
    Hillary 08

    March 11, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  14. Mary

    I think you are missing the point. Hiliary is not claiming she has a vast level of experience, she is simply reflecting the popular view that Obama lacks experience. When Obama makes broad claims about foreign policy like "I will meet with Cuba," when he claims what he is going to do and what is off the table, it reveals how naive his is about international politics. This is something I am sure Hiliary would not do, because she is not so naive. She has at least got some idea of how international diplomacy works and how foolish it would be to speculate what you would do, before being in the position and before being fully breifed on a specific international situation. Obama should be her VP because he needs more of this kind of experience before taking the helm. His own words reveal his lack of experience.

    March 11, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  15. J.C.T.

    OBAMA DON'T HAVE INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE,HE IGNORE LATIN AMERICAN TRADE TREATIES,HE DON'T FOR SURE NOT EVEN HAW MANY LATIN AMERICANS COUNTRIES EXIST..
    HE DOESN'T KENOW HOW TO FIX OUR ECONOMY,HE IS ONLY EXPENDING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN ADVERTIZING BELONG TO NAIVE DONATORS...IN PENSILVANIA HE WILL BE OUT OF THE RACE,OBAMA TOGETHER WITH KENNEDY AND KERRY..THEY NEVER WILL ABLE TO DEFEAT THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE..
    HILLARY YES SHE CAN.

    March 11, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  16. Rick, Maryland

    Rep. George Michell said she was actually involved in the Northern
    Ireland talk's with Bill and Gerry Adam's and that she really got the
    women over there involved which really helped get an aggreement
    worked out.
    They got into detail on CNN last week so she has been involved in
    a few thing's in foreign policy so Obama should just keep his big mouth shut.
    The Northern Ireland piece agreement was one the greatest
    accomplishment's of out time.

    March 11, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  17. Jacqueline Samms

    I am glad he is fighting back intelligently and not sinking to her dirty politics level. If anything, I will vote for him because he has common sense something that is lacking in the Clinton campaign.

    March 11, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  18. Anonymous

    Somebody ought to give a map to the Clinton campaign. Obama headed a SUB-committee on European affairs. Last I checked, Afghanistan is not in Europe. Since NATO is not simply a European club, no hearings that Obama could have held would have any influence on NATO's involvement in Afghanistan. Hard to claim experience in foreign policy when you can't name the countries in Europe or NATO.

    March 11, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  19. Marty

    Finally, the truth is coming out. I hope you Hillary supporters see the real Hillary. She's a lier, minipulator and a divider.

    My vote goes to Obama.

    Obama '08 '12

    March 11, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  20. Lizp

    The full memo is available on tpmelectioncentral.com. I'm impressed. The memo hits back hard and remains level headed and straightforward throughout. The full memo is worth the read.

    March 11, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  21. OMG

    THANK YOU! It's about time someone questioned the 'experience' of Hillary Clinton in many areas. Let's see the proof. Frankly, if the way she is running her campaign is any indication of her 'experience' I don't want it! She has repeatedly used very poor judgement in what she has said and how she has conducted herself.

    She is using Bush tactics by saying something so many times that it begins to be believed even though there is nothing to back it up.

    I'll take sound judgment over experience any day...........look at Cheney and Rumsfeld....two of the most experienced political and administrative people alive today.......and what a mess!

    March 11, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  22. Superdelegate

    That's right, if Obama wasn't Obama, and Hillary wasn't Hillary, things would be totaly different.

    March 11, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  23. Independent

    YOU CAN SEE THE FULL MEMO ON POLITICO IN BEN SMITH'S BLOG

    March 11, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  24. Deedee

    It breaks my heart to see Americans disrespect Hillary after all she has done for this country. I am very dissapointed.

    Barack is too full of himself. His arrogance lets me see what Americans will be in for if he becomes the nominee. But I pray not.

    March 11, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  25. RJ

    Hillary its time to step aside. You selfish and destructive. End your run with some diginity now!

    March 11, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
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