March 11th, 2008
10:11 AM ET
13 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. Jane, College Park, MD

    I will accept Hillary's claim of 35 years (hostess) experience if any of you with cancer, agrees to see my cousin's wife, instead of my cousin who is an oncologist.

    March 11, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  2. Darryl

    Let's see so Phil Singer, is Hillary spend doctor who failing at this job.
    You can not give credit because lying before congress in support if her husband Impeachment trail. So, they trail out of the country to avoid the sex scandal that Bill Clinton was involve in state side.

    March 11, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  3. FORMER Obama Girl

    yeah been interesting to see the black communities criteria for president this year...........

    maybe we should do the same?

    March 11, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. Breka

    Yes, Hillary Clinton show us the resume of experience. Experience resume and your tax income papers.

    March 11, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  5. The Whole Truth

    Greg Craig is an advisor for the Obama campaign. Does it really come as a surprise that he trashes the opponent of the candidate that he supports? More manipulation by the media, as if it wasn't already obvious from the article headline. Why is it that Clinton attacks or goes negative and Obama hammers? It's not that the writers of these articles don't know the connotations of what they are writing, they are doing it deliberately to manipulate you. Unfortunately it appears that most of you are falling for it. Looks like another eight years just like the last eight years, because Americans don't know how to think for themselves.

    March 11, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  6. loren

    Hilary where's your experience and tax forms i still don't seen them..
    your hiding something so your not fooling anyone..

    GO OABAMA 08

    March 11, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. maggie mcnair

    the only experience that we really know hillary has is she is married to bill. it seems that he was giving her things to do so she would look like she has the experience she need. one thing is for sure obama is running against the clintons and not hillary clinton

    March 11, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. Let Me See

    Chris, what resume? The one as First Lady (twice), the one's where she voted for dedicating name sakes to monuments, or wait...the one where she said, she was involved in the Northern Ireland Peace Treaty, that was always repudiated, by someone who was actually in the process.

    Help me out!!!!!!!!

    March 11, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. Chatoma

    Hey s.b.,

    I sure hope Hillary isn't head of any sub-committee because she probably hasn't held any meetings either since last February.

    Obama '08

    March 11, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  10. Tracy

    The time has come for the Clintons to realize their day is done. She is behind in the polls and all this negitive politicing is ruining the Democratic party. She should admit defeat so Obama can focus on McCain. If she really wants to do what is best for our county, then she should exit gracefully and endourse Obama. Then he can choose Edwards as his running mate and waltz into the White House.

    Obama/Edwards '08

    March 11, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  11. rj

    Thank goodness finally she is being put to the test on this vast experience. And an answer should not be that she was married to a governor/president.

    March 11, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  12. Tre

    That's right! Fight Obama! Fight!

    Expose this fraud to the world!

    Expose her ignorant supporters to the world!

    Expose her bigots in the democratic party to the world!

    Expose her white arrogant to the world!

    Expose the changing of the rules in Florida and Michigan to help the white candidate to the world!

    March 11, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  13. RJ

    Get real super delegates. Hilliary cannot win the nomination. The longer you delay, the more you damage the party. End it now, simply come out and support OBama publically.

    March 11, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  14. JD, Pittsburgh, PA

    Say what you will but the fact, from a comparative standpoint, is that Hillary has "more" relevant foreign policy experience than Barack. How much weight one applies to that issue vs. others is up to the voter.

    March 11, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  15. Abe

    Republicans gave Hillary Texas and Ohio because they know she's easier to beat in the general election.

    Obama/Richardson '08

    March 11, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  16. Barry, IL

    Senator Clinton's foreign policy experience claim suffers from too much exaggeration. She is literally claiming a foreign policy experience for all foreign countries she visited as the first lady. But her direct involvement in foreign policy issues is very limited.

    March 11, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  17. Pat Sexton/Michigan

    Cnn has had no problem discussing the Governor of New York, the cancer of a movie star disclosed by the Enquirer, why is Cnn quiet about the allegations about Obama's past discussed by the Enquirer as well. Only Fox News has had the courage to at least present the report. Why the bias?

    March 11, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  18. Rick, Maryland

    For democrat's, Hillery need's to stay in this until they re-do,
    if they do Michigan and Florida which will prove she's the the only
    one who deserves the nonination.
    Her quitting before the convention is the only way Obama can win.
    Go Hillery 08

    March 11, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  19. Ivan, Chicago, Illinois

    Whatever experience Hillary has, it out weights Obama's experience.

    March 11, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  20. Westy

    Well Obama would be able to hold hearings on Afganistan if Hillary would just give it up and let him have the nomination. Then he could get back to his job. He is ahead in deligate count any way you look at it. Even if you add in Michigan and Florida results with no reprocussions to the voters in those states. There is no way the DNC will disenfranchise so many voters by blindly choosing clinton over the popular vote.

    I just want to state one more thing. You staunch democrates on both sides that say you are going to vote for McCain if your candidate does not win are just being terrorists. There is no way the american people are going to respond to your comments with votes for your candidate. When the election comes around you WILL be voting for the democratic candidate, whoever they are.

    March 11, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  21. Michael

    Hillary can no longer win this election. It's the math stupid.

    March 11, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  22. AP

    Hillary Clinton showed she has no grasp of history or global impact when it comes to U.S. involvement in a war. A leader who claims to have such insight should have known that going into war with an enemy you don't truly understand, a culture with very different values and goals than yours, and no definition of victory is at best reckless and at worst idiotic. The fact that Clinton could not see that a U.S. invasion of Iraq would throw the region into extreme turmoil and that we would essentially become stuck there simply proves that she is short-sighted and incapable of seeing our actions in a global context. She admitted not reading intelligence reports and buying into what Bush told the world. Hillary Clinton had her 3 a.m. call - and she made the wrong choice.

    March 11, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  23. Mike

    Obama is right, Hillary lacks the experience he does. Hillary lacks the experience in telling people in debates that NAFTA is evil and needs to be stopped while staff members tell Canada to ignore the rhetoric of the debates and NAFTA is secure. Obama has the experience to tell the American public one thing and do something else on foreign policy. The list goes on and on and on. However Obama supporters will never listen to it because they are too busy making history to look at who they are trying to put in office.

    Yes that is experience I can believe in.

    March 11, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  24. kp

    Obama is chair of a subcomittee. Its not like if they don't meet its the end of the world. Subcommitees do the work of Congress but they are not permanent. Commitees are the true work horses.

    March 11, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  25. LC

    OBAMA SHOULD CONTINUE TO TEAR DOWN CLINTONS LIES ON BEING MORE EXPERIENCED.

    TRUTH: OBAMA HAS MORE LEGISLATIVE EXPERIENCE.

    TRUTH: CLITNONS EXPERIENCE HAS LED US INTO A WAR THAT HAS DEVESTATED OUR ECONOMY

    TRUTH: CLINTON'S MILITARY SUPPORTERS ARE LOYAL TO BILL AND THUS POLITICS AS USUAL.

    TRUTH: IF CLINTON WAS ALWAYS AGAINST NAFTA, WHY DID SHE NOT DO ANYTHING TO STOP AMERICANS FROM LOSING THEIR JOBS? (and what was Bill recently doing in Canada?)

    OBAMA CAN DO WELL IN PA IF HE STICKS TO THESE TRUTHS AND
    USES HIS SURROGATES TO FIGHT HER LIES!!

    Perhaps PA will not be hoodwinked by her deceit as in Ohio.

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!

    March 11, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
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