March 26th, 2008
04:15 PM ET
14 years ago

Clinton, Obama take aim at John McCain


Watch Obama’s criticism of John McCain Wednesday

(CNN) – Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, engaged in an increasingly brutal war of words, directed some of their verbal fire power this week at presumptive Republican nominee John McCain – who immediately fought back.

On Wednesday, the Obama campaign took aim at both of McCain’s major policy speeches. At a campaign event in North Carolina, Obama said the McCain’s economic address “offered not one policy, not one idea, not one bit of relief… We’ve been down this road before. It’s the road that George Bush has taken for the last eight years.”

In a statement released later Wednesday afternoon, Obama spokesman Bill Burton said “John McCain is determined to carry out four more years of George Bush's failed policies, including an open-ended war in Iraq that has cost us thousands of lives and billions of dollars while making us less safe.”

Hillary Clinton has also spent the past two days tying McCain to Bush on foreign policy, telling a Pennsylvania audience that the Arizona senator’s policies represented “four more years of the same.”

The McCain campaign released a statement in response to Obama’s criticism of his economic policies, saying, “Senator Obama’s blatant mischaracterizations aren’t the new politics he’s promised America, they’re the old attack and smear tactics that Americans are tired of.”

McCain also took an indirect hit at the Democratic candidates in his foreign policy in Los Angeles, saying that withdrawal from Iraq – a position advocated by both of his potential fall opponents – would result in “horrendous violence, ethnic cleansing and possibly genocide.”

Related: Suzanne Malveaux reports on Obama's return to the campaign trail

–CNN’s Emily Sherman

soundoff (142 Responses)
  1. Greta

    Hillary should go away now. I just hate her and I'm a life-long Dem. I won't vote for her. She shames our party and our gender.

    March 26, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  2. cnn #1 fan

    People Race and Gender is playing a MAJOR ROLE here in this race... CNN has a point!!!

    If Barack Obama were a traditional, White American where would his ratings be???

    Or if Hillary were a Black woman, where would this all go????

    If you change views after these theories, then race and gender DOES in fact play a significant role in your selection...

    March 26, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  3. Ray

    MCain wins 40 states.

    March 26, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  4. Old Artillery Man

    Unlike Obama’s pastor, I ask for “God bless America” not “God dam America.”

    March 26, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  5. karen (hillary lies as usual)

    Obama will win the nomination. He will win because he is running a transparent campaign, he addressed the pastor wright issue, nafta, and rezko of which none are anything compared to Hillary's lies and deceit. I am not white or black but i can tell you there is a racial problem in this country and Obama understands that.

    Before speaking bad about obama read the senate record of both the candidates and you will see who has done more. He has also unified more people and has not sold out his party to win like Hillary. Hillary is a JUDAS !!!! And by the way he is not black he is mixed, get it through your brains.

    March 26, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  6. Very Concerned American

    Obama doesn't have a prayer with McCain.

    Hillary is definitely the toughest of both candidates.
    She has the experience and I tell you she WILL change the White House.
    We don't need hope, we need someone that knows how to do it.
    Go Girl!

    March 26, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  7. Bobby

    Hillary ! no she is miss speaking again well she did not leave bill,wait guns are firing allover she must stay.well we all better duck and run hillary is speaking again.

    March 26, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  8. Alex H

    Talimee: I'm just gonna come out and say it straight forward... you're ignorant. You just spit out all that you've heard from the media and clearly haven't done any research of your own.

    1. Obama is the chair of the SUB-committee for EUROPEAN affairs under the main committee that is the Foreign Relations Committee. Now if you think Afghanistan is in Europe then maybe you should go buy a map... nah you aren't that stupid you're just that uninformed.

    2. Have you ever studied finance or economics? When we invest in Iraq the money is gone. But when we invest in the US then it stays in the US and when the country turns around and can then get us out of debt. Not investing any money isn't going to do anything.

    3. Just because you haven't heard him talk about it (which btw, no candidate will give out the specifics of their plans because it will be picked apart and destroyed before it even has a chance) doesn't mean that he doesn't have any solutions.

    4. The only thing I agree with. But you can't hold that against ONLY him, that would be absurd. Bush and the rest of the right wingers won't allow any federal help with the housing crisis. It's too much of "big government" and saving the foolish for them, so to say that they're not trying isn't fair... there's nothing they can do, at least that isn't already being done.

    Conclusion: Do not JUST listen to speeches. That last part of your comment told me EXACTLY what I predicted in the first sentence of my comment, you are only getting your view of the candidates through the TV. Go look at their records, check out their histories, and read what they've said about the issues or what other people have said about their stances on the issues.

    March 26, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  9. Janet Mitchell, Las Vegas, NV

    McCain is probably a decent man and undeniably a true patriot.
    But, he's a terrible candidate for President.

    He's a long-term senator who has run multiple times for the highest office in our land. And, yet, in all that time, he has never bothered to become better informed and educated on serious issues that our President will need to take action on... namely the economy.

    It seems that McCain feels that he can run on a reasonably good record of bipartisan efforts and strong support for military action on our behalf. But, even on his pet issues, he's not impressing us lately. He clearly doesn't even understand the fundamental fight between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq. If he did,, he'd never have mistaken the fact that "Al Qaeda in Iraq" are NOT getting training from their RIVALS in Iran!
    I'm no US Senator, but I do try to keep up on what is going on in Iraq and the "war on terror". And, even regular ol' me knew that Iranians and Al Qaeda are not allied.

    March 26, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  10. Roger Burrows, Canada

    All this infighting is just symptomatic of the country at this time. Invading Iraq was a mistake pure and simple and getting out should be a priority for any candidate regardless of their politics. The soldiers who are bearing the brunt of it in an area of the world that has been plagued by ethnic violence for centuries deserve that.

    On a more general point, if Americans would just stop and look at themselves they would see that ending a reliance on coal and oil and worship of the almighty automobile might just stop the rapid fall into depression that is obvious to anyone living outside the country.

    March 26, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  11. Ryan

    All the clinton people who have said that Obama doesn't have an economic plan need to start doing some research. Obama's plan is pretty detailed and can be found on his website and a host of other places.

    March 26, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  12. CJ

    Hey Jack, I am a little confused. Is it possible for the remaining Super Delegates to just cast their votes right noe instead of waiting to see the inevitable? By them sitting on the side lines is not that a "SURE" way to loose the final prize? It seems to me that Howard Dean is giving the Clinton's all the chances to try to get close but all that is doing is destroying the party. By them NOT pulling the trigger right NOW they are playing exactly into Bill and Hillary's hand is by making sure that the Democratic chances with Barack Obama gets destroyed and blown out of the water. Can not they see this?? Are they that blind?

    March 26, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  13. Paul

    How about the eight years of failed Clinton policy, namely revolutionizing health care and overhauling Social Security, both of which were key election promises which neither Clinton had any clue how to get done.
    Go Obama,
    Go John, and ...
    go AWAY Hillary.

    March 26, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  14. KE

    Hillary needs to stay focus on engaging with voters but not so much on her opponent and those who tells her to quit. The reason for this long campaign season is that candidates has time to convince all the voters. And also to prove how they can stand the heat.

    Go, Hillary. Women have endurance and toughness as well.

    March 26, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  15. mary

    Wasn't Obama's supporters threating the black superdelegates is they didn't go with Obama?

    March 26, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  16. An American in Canada

    Hillary R. Clinton will win the Democratic nomination and she will win the general election and

    become the next president of America in 2009.

    This is how she will win:

    The pledge delegates won in the primaries are not bound, by their splitting by percentages, won

    by either Clinton or Obama.

    Thus the true voices of the people will be heard, i.e. the great state of New York voted that they

    wanted Hillary R. Clinton to be the Democratic party leader. But according to the rules of DNC

    (RULES ARE RULES) she had to split her state's delegates and give a large percentage of these

    delegates to Obama.

    One of the other rules of DNC (RULES ARE RULES) Pledge delegates won in the primary are not

    bound by that commitment.

    We will not get into the dumb rules in some states; such as even if you win the state by voters

    count, you can still end up with less delegates, because you won the caucus, which can wipe out

    the votes of the citizen of that state. SAY WHAT???


    March 26, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  17. Go Obama

    Hillary is pitiful. She won't give up even though she is losing. She is ruining the chances for the DEMS to win. Shame on you, HRC!!!!

    March 26, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  18. ted

    Just wanted to say that if Hillary loses as the nomine I will for the first time in my life vote for a republican. I don't trust obama with the little experience he has, maybe in another 8 years he will get my support.Thank you

    March 26, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  19. An American in Canada





    March 26, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  20. fair tax in la.


    March 26, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  21. gary

    At least HRC was in a war zone.Done more than Obama has ever done.Obama has done ZERO. HRC was told that they might have sniper fire over there. It was told by someone that was on CNN ,who was on the trip.So thats what she remembered. Not like Obama that straight out lied about hate sermons, than gets caught so he has to cover it up with a speech.You Clinton haters dont have no reality.Thats why you live in your fantasy world with Obama. Wake up out of your dream before its to late.Dont put the cart before the horse.This race isnt over until the Super Deligates pick the most qualified canidate to be our Leader.The U.S. Military officials even endorse HRC, because they know she will make our best Leader. Our country will not give a greenhorn with no qualifications to be our Leader.He has more experience by his speeches and unity of young ,to be a preacher.Twenty yrs. of it. This is not a game they are playing.Our lives depend on this race for our Leader. Dont be foolish and vote for stardom quality and speeches of hope and changes ,that cant be delivered. Just remember HRC is our only real hope to beat the republicans. If she looses election ,the Dems are done for another 4 to 8 yrs. Obama will be demolished going against them.Obama whines in the race and plays the card .What is going to happen if he gets elected. Give me a break. HRC is the fighter and will fight until the end,like she will for us. HRC stands for issues, plans.and solutions. GO HRC

    March 26, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  22. Ralph

    Hillary, did you ever return all the items your family stole from the White House when we thought we were finally rid of the two of you? Don't lie. You know how trailer trash it was to do that.

    March 26, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  23. Understand This

    Hillary lost.
    Obama 08

    Hillary lost.
    Obama 08

    Hillary lost.
    Obama 08

    Hillary lost.
    Obama 08

    March 26, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  24. Honesty In Government (The All Three Clintons Lies)

    Clintons have master the art of lying. HRC said she will attempt to still Obama's pledge delegates and I can never look at the Clintons the same way ever again.

    Obama has been open to the American people.

    Can Hillary be honest?

    March 26, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  25. Peter

    And I thought the Hillary/Bill bashers would take a moment off to spend time bashing John! They didn't miss a beat. The New Politics marches on. Hillary or McCain or Nader or Bill in '08.

    March 26, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
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