April 21st, 2008
01:42 PM ET
12 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. No Obama

    Obama is exposed- for the hypocritical, smug, cocky and dirty politician that he is.

    April 21, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  2. Eric

    Well of course, the Clinton's spin what was said because if they just admitted they were wrong and hypocrits every time they were, then they would just be apologizing all day.

    April 21, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. Ready for Change

    Ok that's pretty funny Hillary lmao.

    April 21, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  4. Mona Luv

    I am very disappointed with Hillary Clinton. I use to highly admire her for her strength and determination. These last few months I have seen a side of her that makes me cringe. I thinks it's unfortunate that she got desperate and decided to go on the severe negative side. It is unbecoming of her and I believe in the long run she would have done much better. Out of her desperation she has made mistakes regarding her own experiences to the point you don't know when the truth or a lie is going to come out. I wish I could take my vote back but I cant. She would definitely be my last alternative to vote in the general election if it wasn't for McCain.

    April 21, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  5. hopeful uniter

    Annie Oakley- please shoot Obama off his high horse.

    Americans do not like cocky, smug, demeaning leaders.

    April 21, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  6. Kevin

    If McCain is qualified to be president, according to Hillary, then it follows that McCain would be better than Bush.

    Clinton-logic is always fuzzy....but it makes sense to them, I guess.

    April 21, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. Dood

    Informed people already know that Obama is a wimp.

    Whether you support Clinton or McCain, they're not wimps. The Obama crowd is in for a tough Summer considering the whining they're doing already.

    It's not like it's going to get any easier, folks. You're just proving the pioint on how Obama isn't ready to play on this level.

    April 21, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  8. Ready for Change

    Obama just doesn't seem to be able to win a big state no matter how much money he has to spend. Tough problems need tough solutions, not whining or throwing money at the problem.

    April 21, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  9. Robert in Toronto,ON

    So let me get this straight....

    * Clinton supporters are denying any contradiction in Obama's saying all three are better than Bush, but when Clinton said that her OR John McCain are better qualified because "it's in a different context"

    * And Obama can't answer the tough questions on William Ayers, but when asked about pardons by Bill Clinton to Weather Underground they pull a "no comment"

    UH HUH.

    I mean...honestly – how on Earth do you justify or try to spin comments like this?

    Any Hillary Clinton supporter is ridiculous. You cannot be serious if you think for one second that she would do a good job being President of the United States.

    April 21, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. Shyla

    Honestly, the only people that care about this stuff are the campaign managers.

    April 21, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. Elisa, PA

    Hipocracy... is the word that suits you and your campaign best Hillary.

    April 21, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  12. Six gun

    Annie Oakley please save America- shoot the smug, cocky, hypocritical Obama off his high horse.

    We need a leader who practices what they preach. Obama does one thing while pretending he is doing another.

    False, fake demagogue.

    April 21, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  13. david goldmen for OBAMA






    April 21, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  14. Pennsylvania for Obama

    Hillary Clinton and John McCain cannot do anything for America right now. They've been in the Washington Bubble for too long. Their judgment is off. Obama is able to see the big picture. He's fresh, untarnished and without guile. That's what America needs right now. America is in for a downhill slide if McClinton gets in.

    April 21, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  15. ForObama

    So, let's tear down the other Democrat, and lift up the Republican for Comander-in-Chief, but remind voters that this comment had context. Can you twist a comment anymore than that?

    April 21, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  16. Mick

    I wonder how many random pointless comments the CNN monkeys... errr... interns will approve instead of this one. They're young and gullible so they're all behind Obama, especially since CNN has all but endorsed him for the nomination. Only 1 out of 5 reader comments are allowed to benefit the competition. How's that for an unbiased media.

    April 21, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  17. seektruth

    She is disgraceful !
    she can't be trusted!
    1.Bosnia snipper fire(lied three times)
    2.Nafta(lied to win Ohio, she said she oppse Naft consistantly, then vido shows she support Nafta)
    3.Colomibiea trade( Bill recieves $800,000 from the goveerment to promot the trade , their money is funding their campaign! Mark Penn who is CEO of lobbyst firm working with the goverment for free trade deal, he still works on her campaign as advicer!)

    4. the Clinton impleachment

    April 21, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  18. SayNoToHillaryBillaryCheslary

    Stop crying Hillary Mccain is better than you and Obama is better than both of you. Shut up and drop of the race.

    April 21, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  19. Bill

    Hillary said,"Yes, yes, yes, Barack Obama is qualified to be President." Hillary said earlier that barack isn't, but he'd be a good Vice president. Did that comment mean that he was qualified, but not in her lifetime would she support him? or is she just crazy? Hillary needs to stop counterdicting herself. Write a statement, look at it, let a few of your staff read it. See if it makes sense, look at past statements and make sure that this statement does not couterdict and prior statements, than make your statement. Hillary's campaign keeps saying that they don't have to win, or don't have to win by wide margins to remain in the race. Does she know that she is not leading the race? Does she remember that a large win in Pennsylvania was going to show the super delegates that she was viable as a candidate? Her finances, her train wreck comments, and her arguements about winning more electoral votes make her look dillusional. The Democratic states will take the Democratic candidate and elect them. Barack is carrying non traditional states. Hillary is behind in the money department, behind in the delegate count, left tying in imperialism, the cold war, and terrorism in an ad, to what avail? Her opponent has over 1 million people who took their money out of their pockets during a recession and financed a campaign. I believe that America has spoken with their pocket book.

    : )

    April 21, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. Fran Says

    Lifetime of experience . . . Hillary??

    WHAT A JOKE!!!

    Uhh . . . does that includes changing the White House China pattern??

    April 21, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  21. obama 08

    Isn't Hillary the one that said that she and McCain were ready to be president but not Obama? She's such a liar and a hypocrite. Please Penn., put us out of our misery and vote for Obama.

    April 21, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  22. Open your eyes!

    No Hillary, that's where you're wrong. As you mentioned, you and McCain may have the experience, but so did Bush and look at what old Washington politics have brought us to? Obama will have something to bring to the general election that neither of you have, he’s bringing this whole new movement of every American young and old, of all races and walks of life, (even folks from other countries), for the first time in the longest time taking back their right to have a government that puts them first – not lobbyist or their own interest. Obama will bring change – a refreshing look at the way a country UNITED will run – out with the old corruption Hillary and McCain and in with the new hope Obama!

    OBAMA 08, 12!!!!

    April 21, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  23. rumpusgoopus

    Yet again, Clinton criticizes Obama for being honest with people. How horrible it would be should we ever elect an honest politician, and Clinton is making sure that will not happen.

    April 21, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  24. yeswewill

    She is right. Seems like he is interviewing for the VP gig on the McCain ticket. He is a true flip flop.......I see John kerry all over agian

    Hillary for president. She has a clear vision.

    April 21, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. MD

    Whatever Hillary Clinton says now will not change the fact that her lies and negatives ran her out of the race. She can blame her failure on yet another "consipracy" if she wants, but the truth is that she is her own worst enemy.

    April 21, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
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