March 15th, 2008
10:49 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama backer takes aim at Clinton's experience

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Craig had some sharp words for Hillary Clinton Friday."](CNN) - Former Clinton State Department official Greg Craig continued to take aim at Hillary Clinton's foreign policy claims Friday, telling the National Journal that the former first lady has "grossly exaggerated the nature of her experience."

"If you're running for president on the basis of your claims of experience, when you then cite examples, you should be careful to be accurate," Craig said. "The evidence should be accurate. And my point is that Senator Clinton and her supporters have in serious ways overstated, if not grossly exaggerated, the nature of her experience."

"I think she is misleading the American public on the nature of her experience," he also said.Craig, a supporter of Barack Obama, was the director of policy planning at the State Department under former President Clinton.

He was a top adviser to former Secretary of State Madeline Albright and served as counsel to former President Clinton during the impeachment hearings.

His comments come days after he penned a strongly worded memo on behalf of the Obama campaign that appeared to suggest the New York senator was not ready to be commander in chief."Hillary Clinton's argument that she has passed 'the commander-in-chief test' is simply not supported by her record," he wrote in that memo.

The Clinton campaign called the memo a "false and misleading attack."Pressed about those comments Friday, Craig appeared to dial back, saying, "I think she would be a capable commander in chief.

I think Barack Obama, who is my candidate, would also be a capable commander in chief. I'm not denigrating that."But Craig specifically took issue with Clinton's claim of having a role in the Northern Ireland peace process."

It's a little bit presumptuous for the first lady, who would meet people and support people to take credit away from the Irish themselves who did it," he said.Pressed about her role in the process, Clinton told NPR earlier this week, "I wasn't sitting at the negotiating table, but the role I played was instrumental."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. missy, nashville, tn

    ;Maybe Craig needs to consult with Jeremiah Wright and find out to how best consult and council the Clintons aat this time in their life and campain.

    March 14, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. Obama Fan From CA

    The fact is that Obama has been in elected office longer than Hillary has. And being first lady of the United States and Arkansas doesn't really give her any relevant experience. Nobody calls the first lady when there's a problem at 3AM.

    March 14, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  3. franklahai

    Some people are celebrating an old video from Obama's previous pastor.

    The Dems should realize that the Republicans are watching these games that the Dems are now playing.

    Will anyone supporter of this video blame the Republicans in the general election when Clinton's impechment video starts playing on the internet? Please do not cry foul when this starts to happen, the Republicans learn a lot from the Dems. Recently, CNN played just a brief segment of "I did not .... to that woman..." Let us expect to see more. The Dems started this joke and will catch up to them soon!

    March 14, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  4. Hillary The True Winner!

    Obama is nothing but a Big Talker Looser!!!!!!!!

    March 14, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  5. gary

    HRC is the only one that can stand up to the republicans. They will eat Obama.Why do you think the Super Delegates are waiting until Nov. They know America needs HRC. Obama has nothing to bring except ,smooth talk, empty promises and dreams of change ,that he cant deliver.You Clinton haters will have everything you did to her ,backfire in your faces.HRC is our only chance for real changes. Nobody knew this Obama before he came in this race.All he has done is divided our countrie's people.There is so much racial hate and it shows in the news and out of all of these comments.No one can say a word against him or your labeled racist. Give me a break.The media has not been any help .only on Obama's side. They are a big problem why HRC is being set up. America better wake up before its to late.

    March 14, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. Desiree

    Why doesn't Sen. Obama talk about his foreign policy insyead of always attacking Sen. Clinton on hers, oh I forgot he doesn't have any. Is this the policy of hope, tearing down your competitor? Why doesn't he just stick to the issues that the American people are concerned about.

    March 14, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  7. Nathan

    The Clintons? Misleading the American people? I'm shocked!

    March 14, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  8. Brandon - WY

    Thank you, it is about time that this has been a story. she was the first lady NOT the president!

    March 14, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  9. Sam

    For shame. Hillary is lying on her resume for President. Just like it was said before, the Clintons just can't be trusted.

    March 14, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  10. Lu

    Obama just lost my vote becasue of his paster's absurd mentality.

    And after all, Hillary has more experience in foreign and domestic issues than Obama!

    March 14, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  11. Tim

    I was wrong. Obama has a great deal of leadership ability and character. Hilary Clinton does not.

    March 14, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  12. Jennifer

    Finally, someone is speaking up. Can you imagine her claiming 35yrs of experience ? From where ? Having done what ?

    Shameless. I am ashamed of her !

    March 14, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  13. Joe

    I'd think Hillary would have the atypical experience of an insider considering she's the only candidate ever married to a President. Other than a Vice-President, what other candidate running now or in the past has had that advantage?

    March 14, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  14. Michigan uncommitted voter

    You are right; the republicans are waiting in the background. CR has loads of memo’s, secret tapes, receipts and etc.

    If people would just stop and think, the first lady has never function as a negotiator in any capacity. I am certain she has over stated her experience. At the most she accompanied President Clinton to meet and greet the wife’s, period.

    March 14, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  15. Edgar

    Tm & Indep/CA – good comments lets see how many entries we get from the fanatical/cult Obama supporters!!!

    March 14, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  16. Matt

    This whole thing is getting a lot less fun to watch.

    March 14, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  17. Cee

    I fully support Obama, but wonder what sort of personal history Craig has with the Clintons having been director of policy planning at the State Department under former President Clinton.

    March 14, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  18. James

    Obama not Hillary needs to be concerned about Republicans. She has been there and done that. Obama will be eaten alive.

    March 14, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  19. citizen_c


    Apparently Hillary as NONE either ... that's the whole point that Craig is trying to make. She is running on her First Lady experience, but I and many others have always questioned what exactly this entails. Now someone from her husband's administration is also raising questions. Frankly, I'm surprised CNN hasn't pushed the Clinton Campaign harder to release her records from the White House. How else are we to know if her claims hold any merit ... take the Clinton's at their word?

    March 14, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  20. CW in Dixie

    Well, at least the extent of her foriegn policy isn't dressing up in the homeland.

    Why is everyone that didn't get special treatment in the Bill Clinton Whitehouse attacking Hillary? This is just more of the "silly politics."

    Talk to me about ISSUES!!!!

    March 14, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  21. Ryan

    8 years as first lady doesn't give you any experience. As a wise man once said, "Is Brett Favre's wife going to be the next Packer quarterback now that he is retired?"

    March 14, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  22. josh

    i think it's incredibly telling that the title of this article says "obama backer", not "former clinton counsel". good job CNN.

    March 14, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  23. Mike

    See what happens when you lie?...... you get you business put out in the open.
    OBAMA 08

    March 14, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  24. Allie

    So glad someone is finally taking this liar to task. Hillary, saying a lie often, does not make it fact.

    March 14, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  25. Jason Willis

    People will point out that Obama has no experience either, but the difference is Hillary is campaigning on the basis of her false experience, while Obama is campaigning on his judgement and ability to inspire and bring people together. Case in point when Hillary attacked Obama for using other people's words.

    March 14, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
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