April 21st, 2008
01:42 PM ET
14 years ago

Clinton campaign criticizes Obama for McCain comments

(CNN) - Top advisers to Hillary Clinton denied Monday that there was any contradiction between the New York senator’s criticism of Barack Obama for saying all three White House hopefuls would make better leaders than President Bush and her comment several weeks ago that she and John McCain, but not Barack Obama, were qualified to serve as commander-in-chief.

“There’s a difference in the context of how voters will look at a candidate in an election and how the person will govern,” said Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson on a conference call with reporters.

Shortly before the March 4 primaries, Clinton told reporters that on the question of who is best-equipped to deal with a crisis, “I think you'll be able to imagine many things Senator McCain will be able to say” in a general election fight. “He’s never been the president, but he will put forth his lifetime of experience. I will put forth my lifetime of experience. Senator Obama will put forth a speech he made in 2002.”

On Monday, Clinton’s advisers would not answer questions about what she thought of the decision by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, to commute the sentences of two members of the controversial group, Weather Underground. Both had been convicted of violent crimes.

Clinton criticized Obama at last Wednesday’s debate for his relationship with Weather Underground founder William Ayers.

They also dialed down expectations for results from tomorrow’s primary, arguing that Clinton does not have to win by a large margin to stay viable as a presidential candidate. They argued that the Obama campaign’s huge outlay in the state – it has spent more than double what Clinton has – did not come simply because his campaign has a significant cash advantage, but because he was hoping for a “knock-out blow.”

“If Sen. Obama can’t win a big swing state with that enormous spending advantage, just what will it take for him to win a large swing state?” said Wolfson.

soundoff (245 Responses)
  1. ratgurl

    Reading the responses by the readers over the past few days, I see an OVERWHELMING support for Obama. I, too, support Obama and have dug into my wallet 3 times to prove it. It seems what America is saying is "we're not gonna take it anymore!" We deserve a new option, and that option has made itself available through Obama.

    We don't expect perfection or miracles, we expect to have a say in how our government works. We expect accountability. We expect our Senators, Representatives, and even our President to be looking out for AMERICA FIRST, everyone else second.

    Americans are notorious for their generosity the world over, but with the country in its current state of disgrace, we can barely feed & house ourselves. We will lose our reputation as a generous donor because of the corruption of government over the past 20 years.

    So now we shout CHANGE. Now we demand change.

    Vote Obama

    April 21, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  2. Elizabeth

    I am so glad that other people are seeing how decivefull Obama is. Hillary You are going to win. We love you

    April 21, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  3. kristine

    i really hate how cnn...is always treating Hillary wrong..obama is a cry baby who couldn't even handle another debate he can't even handle questions coming at him..obama wake up you and wife really don't like our country you don't wear our pen....you deal with rev sharpon three times a week who is so racist....we don't need someone like you running our country

    April 21, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  4. Sean McM


    It had better be you and Mc Cain on the November ballot...at least we know NEITHER OF YOU will sell us out with a wink or the finger!!!
    What a low life Obama really is!

    April 21, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  5. Fred

    You go Hillary.. I do believe you are more then qualified to make the
    decisions that a president would make based on your experiences
    in the Senate and being involved in politics well before your Senatorial
    debut. My family and I truly believe that you can do the job for our nation.
    We also believe if for some reason , you should lose the Democratic nod
    for president that John McCain would be the candidate we would vote for
    to fill that void if you are not in the position to do so. It would be the first
    time in the history in our family and this family goes all the way up to my
    grandfather on down to my voting children that we would actually cross party lines and vote for a Republican for president, because other then you he is the only other one qualified to lead this nation in these dire times we are in.

    April 21, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  6. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    I think it admirable that Obama admitted this. It is no surprise to most Americans that all three candidates are better than our current president. As for me, Barack is my first choice, McCain a distant second choice, and Clinton. . .well, I'm hoping she won't be a candidate. What more can I say?

    April 21, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  7. Interesting

    Where is Advisor Rice from Obama Campaign when you need her? Wasn't she the one that Obama, nor Clinton or McCain has the ability to answer the 3 a.m. phone ad?

    April 21, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  8. Christian, Tampa FL

    At least Obama's telling the truth, AGAIN, and at least he's making an effort at unity.

    April 21, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  9. Interesting

    No, Hillary knows that there is more dirt on Obama that even his supporters have no clue about. She has been saying at the beginning that Democrats need to vett their candidates. What do Democrats do, give pillows and say let's just change, hope and inspire people.

    Unbelievable. You have Ayers, Rev. Wright, Rezko, Hamas, and all these other connections that have been funding Obama to act as a "revolutionary" and destroy America.

    Well Obama will be the result of Nat Turner and Spartacus very soon.

    April 21, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  10. Penn State

    Awaiting Moderation for eternity because I do not support Obama.

    April 21st, 2008 4:06 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    "Senator Obama will put forth a speech he made in 2002."

    LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!! Now that is funny!!!!

    April 21st, 2008 4:08 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Its weird that Obama has fans while Clinton has supporters. The Obamaniacs are really sprung on Obama. It is really cult like.

    April 21, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  11. Older White Female

    Hillary wants McCain to win in the general. She knows she can’t catch up with Obama now and she’s too old to wait 8 more years if Obama wins. She wants to run against McCain in 2012. She doesn’t seem to care if it means four more years of Republicans as long as she can be President and feed her ego.

    April 21, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  12. cash doesn't matter

    It's proven that spending more money does NOT influence the outcome of a vote. There are numerous examples of being outspent and still winning. Voters aren't looking at who has the most money. Voters are looking at a person's character. No matter how much money you have you can not buy charactrer. Barack is winning this election because of his character. Period.

    April 21, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  13. Vicky

    I am a Pennsylvanian and will be voting for Obama tomorrow, as will my husband. None of us know how the voting will turn out, but it is pretty certain that it will be close. People are starting to open their eyes to Hillary and for some, unfortunately, it's too late to change their votes. I think the ONE thing PA voters should REALLY think about...the fact that Hillary made the statement that John McCain would be more qualified to be president than Obama. So...among other things, she is a traitor to all of us Democrats. There is absolutely no excuse whatsoever to justify the statements she made. That should speak volumes to her true character. Both she and Obama have very similar views regarding the issues. And it's expected that dirty politics will be played by anyone running. She has taken that to a whole new level and people need to realize that. I think we can all agree that we need a change, and a change in Washington. Obama can bring that change....let's give him the chance. I truly believe that if elected, he will be remembered as one of the greatest presidents this country has ever had. Not that it matters, but I am a white 52 year old woman. I have had more financial woes in these past 7 years than I care to mention. I live paycheck to paycheck. My son cannot get medical insurance due to a pre-existing condition. I almost faint at the gas pump when I see how much I have to pay to fill up my tank. I'd say that that puts me in the same category as most folks. Lets give a better life a chance tomorrow!!

    April 21, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  14. Ralph V.

    Hillary needs to get over the speech comment and her so-called experience. The only experience that she has is the experience that she makes up!

    Watch out for them snipers!!!

    Is that the best she could come up with?

    Don't believe her false promises! Remeber she promissed to create 300,000 jobs in New York, but ended up with -65,000 jobs lost.

    She is just saying anything to get elected. Come on PA's, I hope you are smarter than you appear.

    Go Obama!!

    April 21, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  15. Vig

    Clinton is our girl Friday (and Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) That phone is ringing at 3 am and it's destiny calling.

    April 21, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  16. Lucas Hart

    Penn voters will cling their votes and kill this Obama failure!

    April 21, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  17. nitro

    I get the idea that Sen. Clinton is the one that is the elitist, by impling that the small states dont count. Every state count around here. If not then just campain in the large states and see what happens. Just like the 3 a.m. add implies that nothing bad happens in the other 23 hours of the day. Hillary get a life.

    April 21, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  18. Sam

    Hillary is mad because Obama beat her to the punch. That's her job to stick it to Obama. Now she know how it feels.

    Obama 08!!!

    April 21, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Was it not Hillary who complained about the treatment she was getting from the media? All of her supporters were all over the blogs making comments about how the media supported Obama and were pushing him down their throats. I wish someone had told them "if you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen". Hillary and her supporters have done nothing but whine. Crying on T.V. complaining on SNL...Get over it! You guys twist everything Obama says around when everytime Hillary opens her mouth she proves she is a bigger hypocrite. For all of you that keep saying that you will vote for McCain before voting for Obama, please do it and & shut up already! We raised more money with out you and if you combine Hillary's negative balance to McCain's, we will still be ahead. There are more of us than there are of you and still more coming.

    April 21, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  20. Josiah in Providence

    Sister, I am sure you can see the handwriting on the wall. Why don't you end this gracefully? Fighting to the end won't be gracious. Be a good sport. End this campaign.

    April 21, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
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