April 21st, 2008
01:42 PM ET
13 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. Tolu

    Like, seriously...? It's official, the Clinton campaign thinks this is a nation of idiots. Prove them wrong please.

    April 21, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  2. Mark Cross Junction VA

    I love the story about 32 people shot in Osama Obama hometown city of Chicago. He can't even run or control a city and he wants to be a President. What a laughing joke.

    April 21, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  3. SPQR753

    John McCain better than G. W. Bush??

    What a DUMB statement, from a WANNA-BE President!!!!

    GOD HELP US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 21, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. Marie

    Hillary, Go away..

    Take Bill with you.

    April 21, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. From DC

    Sick of you cult people for Obama who made friend with a terrorist.

    April 21, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  6. Tamika

    I especially loved the part of Micheal Moore's (who just endorsed Barak) letter where he pointed out that Barak was too decent you respond to the Pastor Chaos with the fact that when She and Bill where going through "Monica issues".. they called none other than Reverend Wright(as a spiritual advisor no less)..this kind of irony has been going on all primary season and has not been media-plugged or jumped on by the OBAMA camp... so who really is the hypocryt.?.. and who's best at negative antics.. i really hate for this to be a tit-for-tat situation or a nah nah nah nah... but at this point i could care less about Obama's chivalry and promises for a clean campaign..she is using it against him and will certainly steal this nomination just as sure as u can say "I've always been opposed to Nafta!!"//////////LIAR

    Can i get just one post in today please?
    awaiting moderation is a lonely place

    April 21, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  7. Lethalfacts

    Hillary Clinton does not have a lifetime, 35 years of experience, nor does she have good judgement of choosing the people around her. Bill Clinton has cheated on her the entire marriage, she probably has cheated on him (to be continued), and if the proper research is done her hands will be caught in many dirty places

    April 21, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  8. Frank

    Pennsylvania, we need a double digit win for Hillary or McCain will be president!

    April 21, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  9. Bill

    Hillary will present to the voters a lifetime of experience dodging imaginary sniper fire and making imaginary contributions to real world diplomacy. Obama will present a lifetime of experience in helping ordinary citizens live better lives. Yes, we live in a dangerous world and I don't want someone answering that 3 AM phone call to possibly send people into harm's way who have made up stories about being under fire and then joked about it.

    April 21, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. Leigh for Obama

    I am Canadian but follow this presidential race every single day, the next president has to potential to influence the entire world not just the USA

    How I wish my country could have the opportunity for someone like Barack Obama to lead us, now I know how you guys felt when JFK came on the scene, It pains me sometimes to see what the "old school" does to Barack with spin and smear. He is trying to unseat a political machine that has been rife with special interests, lobbyists and good 'ol boys (or women) for many many years. And I see all you people getting behind him and by all of you standing up...you will change history.

    It is awe inspiring to watch you the people , stand up, demand change and realize your true power as a nation.

    Watching you stand with Obama '08

    April 21, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  11. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah


    April 21, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  12. truth

    When Hillary said true positive things about McCain- the media and the Obama supporters were all over her. Claiming she was making it harder for democrats to win in Nov.

    When Obama concedes the same, he is praised by his dim with supporters for his "honesty".

    Well then, Hillary was honest first- even if you found it unpopular.

    Fact is- Obama has alienated almost all the lifelong democrats; Now it is this voting priority:
    Write in Hillary
    Never Obama.

    April 21, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. Wayne

    It's 3am..and you're confronted with a decision. Do you continue to pursue Osama Bin Laden or do you invade Iraq, a country that never attacked us.

    Clinton made a decision. Obama made a decision. OBama made the RIGHT choice.

    Are PA voters stupid? We shouldnt promote leaders who make 1 trillion dollar mistakes.

    April 21, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  14. gdouglas

    I agee you do not have to like a person in order for that person to make a good President. No one will ever disagree with you or say you did things wrong if you never do anything in the first place. mrs Clinton may not be the most likeable person but SHE IS THE MOST QUALIFIED FOR THE ROLE OF PRESIDENT. ISNTIT TIME FOR AMERICA TO WAKE UP AND VOTE WITH THEIR BRAIN NOT THEIR HEART. mRS cLINTON HAS WHAT IT TAKES TO MAKE THE TOUGH DESCISIONS I DONT THNK MR OBAMA IS THE PERSON FOR THE JOB I SAY IF YOU WANT A LEADER OF ACTION AND A LEADER TO LEAD YOUR COUNTRY VOTE CLINTON IF YOU WANT HUFF AND PUFF THEN OBAMA IS YOUR MAN

    April 21, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  15. Derrick

    “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?” The arguement is so lame.
    Because most true Democrats that voted for Clinton would vote for Obama.
    And what is worng with saying that McCain would be better than Bush? That is not saying much at all. It is like your child getting a "F" on a report card first grading period and then bring a "D" home on the next. Better but still crappy.

    April 21, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  16. Mack

    Hillary and McCain are more qualified to be president then Obama.

    April 21, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. enomisa

    Dim wits

    You criticized hillary for her positives on McCain.

    Now you praise Obama for being "honest" in doing likewise.

    You are as silly and hypocritical as Obama that you all blindly support.

    April 21, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  18. democracynow2008

    Hillary did say that Her or John McCain would be better then Obama not that long ago .

    Clinton supporters have selective memory.

    Hillary is a two faced liar and I hope all Pennsylvanians vote for Obama and we force Clintion to drop out.

    Hillary is really desperate and out of control.

    Obama will be the Democratic party nominee.

    April 21, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  19. Randy

    Clear definition between trying to be all inclusive as opposed to one who likes to fight along party lines.....

    April 21, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  20. Thinking Clear



    By the way, HILLARY - We WANT TO SEE YOUR 2007 TAXES, PLEASE!!!!

    Hillary is the only presidential candidate who STILL HAS NOT DISCLOSED 2007 TAX RETURNS & FILED FOR AN EXTENSION.

    Cannot manage her budget, cannot file her taxes in time.

    What kind of leadership is this?

    April 21, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  21. Primary Colors

    WHO CARES....this is what our campaign has become to.....man this is becoming an insult to continue my support of her race.

    April 21, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  22. April in Texas

    To Jay... In answer to your question Obama supporters do have jobs and work... You just notice us because there are more of us out there...

    Clinton has always been good at critisizing and complaining as I would guess she has gotten alot of practice doing that in the mirror will looking at her own campaign and how its being ran.....

    Obama 08

    April 21, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  23. funny

    The Obama dimwits went crazy when Hillary said positives about McCain. They accused her of sabotaging the democrats.

    Now Obama- always several brain cells behind Hillary- copies her lead and likewise gives McCain justified positives. The Obama folks are all gushing with praise for his "honesty".

    Hillary was a traitor but Obama is honest.

    You are all as silly and hypocritical as Obama. He has easily obamaboozeled you and I can see why.

    April 21, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  24. jim in pennsylvania


    April 21, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  25. Matt

    Clinton is a FEARMONGER!

    April 21, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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