April 8th, 2008
09:39 AM ET
12 years ago

Clinton says Penn controversy won’t be damaging


Watch Clinton speak on CNN's American Morning.

(CNN) - Hillary Clinton predicted on Tuesday the recent controversy surrounding her top advisor's meeting with the Colombian government wouldn't prove damaging to her campaign, and suggested she dealt with the matter more definitively than Barack Obama did when he faced a similar situation.

"I don't think [it will hurt], because I think people want to know where I stand," Clinton said on CNN's American Morning, reiterating her opposition to a free trade agreement with the Colombians.

"I find it kind of curious, we took action, and I think it was appropriate," she continued. "Contrast that to Senator Obama's campaign where, as far as I know, nothing was ever done when one of his top economic advisers representing the campaign, unlike Mr. Penn who was not representing the campaign, but Mr. Obama's representative told the Canadian government basically not to pay any attention to what Senator Obama was saying about NAFTA."

The comments are in reference to her campaign's former chief strategist, Mark Penn, who resigned that post over the weekend after news surfaced he had met with the Colombian ambassador in his role as CEO of a P.R. firm to promote a free trade bill Clinton sharply criticizes.

The controversy was reminiscent of that which surrounded Obama shortly before the Ohio primary, when an economic advisor reportedly told a Canadian official Barack Obama wasn't as opposed to NAFTA as he was claiming to be. Clinton sharply criticized the Illinois senator at the time, suggesting he was being disingenuous about his opposition to free trade, and went on to win Ohio by double-digits.

Also in the CNN interview, Clinton made clear she thinks the party's nominee cannot be decided until the votes in Florida and Michigan are factored in.

"We have two major states who are in limbo despite the fact they voted and their votes were certified by their respective secretaries of state, and I was willing to do a re-vote in both states and Senator Obama was not," Clinton said. "I think that if we don't resolve those, then we'll be going forward to the convention."

soundoff (373 Responses)
  1. NoBodybeleivesyouHillaryEvil

    First of all The Canadian government was referring to someone in the clinton campaign not Obama . Hillary you need to getsthe facts straight and stop her lying. Second Penn is still working for you another lie when are going to stop lying. You are a habitual lier you must got for treatment before you get destroyed by you lie.

    April 8, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  2. BTW

    Letha, Sioux Falls, SD

    "I wish the Obamanation idiots could and would get the facts straight. Penn was not working for the campaign or the Clinton's at the time this took place. Read the facts idiots before you post."

    Now, this is ironic. This meeting took place LAST WEEK, because BUSH, yes, BUSH, is trying to push this trade agreement with Colombia through Congress now! If you read something besides HIllary's statements, you might be better informed.

    April 8, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  3. Felly

    Hillary is a pathological liar and turns me off. When you poo you blame it on Obama instead of taking responsibility. This is evident that you are not ready from day one. If you can't manage a primary campaign, how in the world are you going to lead and manage from the White House? Remember the famous slogan -"shame on you Barack Obama " you unleashed on him in Ohio for no just cause is coming back to hunt you. What goes around comes around. You are a very angry women and unfit for the Oval Office. At 3:00am you will be putting your make ups and looking for Bill instead of anwering the important call. Shame on you Hillary Clinton!

    April 8, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  4. Chief lagosboy, NJ

    Oh please, give me a break !! Hillary………oh lord, this lady is a pathological liar, she needs help! By the way Penn is still a senior advisor on your campaign and still getting paid by your campaign. Hillary you are becoming a joke! Honestly I don’t know who is worst between Grandpa McCain a “Warmonger” or Rambo Hillary a serial liar.The answer to all our problems: Obama!

    Our President Obama 08 & 12!

    April 8, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  5. Sharon

    CNN has become the open season for Hillary haters.......really pathetic....
    Can't wait for PA vote and exit polls.......GO Hillary!

    April 8, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  6. Amy in Iowa

    How is Hillary decisive? Penn has not left her campaign. He is still there working. How dumb does she think the voters are? It is insulting.

    April 8, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  7. Harriet Michel

    For all of you who insist that the media is so biased against Hilary...let's see how they pursue the story that despite her pronouncement , Mark Penn is still very much a part of her campaign. Example, he's preping her for the debate with Obama this weekend. Given her hysterical posture regarding Obama and NAFTA, she should be nailed on this hypocriscy by every major media outlet.

    April 8, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  8. Joe Green

    In order to fire someone, you have to actually FIRE them.

    Penn is still working for the campaign in the same capacity.

    He was fired in name only.

    Another example of Clinton "truth".

    Depends on what you definition of "is" is...

    If you elect Hillary, expect lots more lies like this!

    Haven't we had ENOUGH already with BUSH?

    Obama and McCain are both HONEST and TRUTHFUL. Either one would be a better choice for President.

    April 8, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  9. John Mc

    Now I understand how Hillary stayed with Bill after all his lying. Bill and Hillary are like two peas in a pod. Lying is just something they both do naturally!

    April 8, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  10. Gene

    Everything that comes out of your mouth is lies and lies....that is the reason my family and i will never vote for you...

    April 8, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  11. phil, philly

    had to believe bill cheated on her. she's such a lovely woman.

    April 8, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  12. Joyce in Florida

    I can just see and read above all the hate coming from Obama supporters. What is the matter with you people? And you want Obama to run this country? I THINK NOT. He is so arrogant and thinks everything should be handed to him on a platter. Not going to happen!! Senator Clinton is the most qualified candidate for President. I will fully support her until she becomes our nominee. You Clinton bashers out there should be ashamed. But maybe you have no conscience either. You are the ones who keep this garbage flying around. Time for Obama to concede. GO HILLARY 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 8, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  13. Anybody but McCain

    Obama supporters are so completely media influenced and hypnotized by Obama's campaign, that they do not even have their own minds. It is scary to me, very.
    When G. Bush went with his war strike on Iraq and the American people followed him like sheep, I get the similar feeling about how they are following the Obama mob mentality.
    It is impossible to say anything in this forum that is good about Clinton, and the Clinton supporters seemingly have given up trying to show you her good points. What is the use? You Obama people have made up your minds that Obama is some kind of spiritual leader. What a joke!
    Obama's posturing to be what he pretends to be to the American people is a lie, and this will show itself if he is actually elected president, or while he is debating with the Republicans after being nominated. It will all come out way too late for anything to stop him from being nominated, if he is nominated, because Hillary might just be nominated instead.
    I support Hillary, because in spite of her foibles, she is far the better candidate in world traveled experience, being able to back up factually what she says, and she is not a complete phony of which Obama is. She is a quality person who knows what she says. I distrust him and his motives, his history about himself, his ability to do anything new whatsoever other then be the biggest fake that any person has ever been running for president.
    Recently I have found out so many more lies that Obama has told that if he is nominated that I am not sure that I will vote for him, and I have been a voting democrat all of my life. I won't vote for McCain that's for sure, but perhaps due to my own sense of ethics I won't vote at all.

    April 8, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  14. Deborah

    Hillary is decisive! She is a decisive Liar!

    America does not want Hillary.

    Hillary go shopping for a new pantsuit and give Americans a break from you and your lies. Just sit this one out for the good of all Americans.

    April 8, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  15. dlr

    Sen. Clinton.....keep it real please. In your stump speeches, you say he's gone, but in fact he is still a member of your staff, attending conference meetings on your campaigns behalf and still doing the strategic polling for your campaign. You play with words so much with less action that is why you untrusting rating is so high. You're no different that the current President that we have in office. You give women trying to be promoted in this world a bad reputation! Take lessons from the International Women Leadership 101 course.

    April 8, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  16. MD

    Hillary should stop whining. It makes her look so desparate. She promotes self-serving ideas that ultimately hurt the Democratic Party.

    If Florida and Michigan votes count, and she wins, I will vote for McCain.

    April 8, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  17. JC

    We are only humans. Negativity invites negativity.
    Hillary has more negativity in stock so Penn's resignation is not damaging. She has got more lobbyists working for her, not for you.

    April 8, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  18. shirley

    Hillary has the nerve to lie to voter's about this issue when her own campaign confirmed that Penn is still on her payroll , working for her as an advisor 'behind the scenes'. She has no shame.

    April 8, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  19. Sarah

    He is still working on her campaign. This is not a "decisive" action.

    April 8, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  20. CB in Florida

    Not damaging , Huh? Penn is still on the team as a valued advisor. The fact, that Penn and Wolfson, two of Hillary Clinton's most senior campaign advisers, also work for lobbying firms that are promoting Free Trade with Colombia, with all Colombia's terrible anti-labor laws and practices, should serve as an insight into the type of corrupt and "government-as-usually", that the Hillary Clinton administration would be, if you vote her into office. Pennsylvanians are lucky to hear the news before the primary. They won't get fooled like the voters in Ohio and Texas did with Hillary's NAFTA tomfoolery.

    April 8, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  21. dlr

    Also, your NAFTA claim is untrue. The Canadian government has vidicated Sen. Obama from your claim. Can you please get the facts correct!!! But then, you can't tell the truth, so why would I ask that question.

    April 8, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  22. Karl

    More importantly, Obama did not distance himself from rev Wright. I believe his statements are far more damaging to this country than the media is talking about. Big deal he gave a speech on race, words are words. He needs to take action. I would not attend a church that was spewing hatred through sermons that are anti-American. If Rev Wright is so disgusted with this country that gives us all the freedom we try and bring to the rest of the world, why doesn't he just find another country to call home. DISGUSTING


    April 8, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  23. Nancy in Fort Myers FL

    Isn't it interesting how all the comments that are negative about Hillary are always on the board but if there is a comment in her favor it doesn't show up. I have commented a numberof times and it never goes on the board. What is up with CNN
    get your act together and stop being so one sided


    April 8, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  24. mama4obama

    Voting another Clinton into office is like asking for a knife in the back. Americans are on a slippery slope. The only one that can save this country now is Obama. Anything less would be uncivilized.

    OBAMA 2008

    April 8, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  25. lol

    barack's list of lies keeps growing, and cnn doesn't report them. why dosen't cnn report on the domestic terrorist group the weather underground that bombed the pentagon, capital, and a police headquarters in the 1970's, and obama's friendship with the leader of this group. how about rezkos ties to the iraqi who was a money launderer for saddam hussein, his name was auchi. how about his church lending a sympathetic ear to hamas. how about the nation of islam followers that barack employs on the campaign, and there are several of them. obamas list of "boneheaded mistakes" is growing. he sure does like to keep company with terrorist, and hate mongers.

    April 8, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
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