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. E Matos

    Did we forgot the little comment that Hillary said about Obama? Something along the lines of: McCain and Clinton have experience, but Obama has a speech?

    Hillary keeps running the Karl Rowe campaign and when she gets tagged, she cries fowl.
    Hillary... the real republican....

    April 21, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  2. Sister-sister

    This is one thing you'd better know Hillary, Billary, Dock. No matter who comes out as the party's candidate–You Will Never Be Prez!

    April 21, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  3. jim in pennsylvania


    April 21, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. Jos/TN

    Bin Laden is no scarier than this currrent Bush administration, we Hillary scare us to the polls. how will she bring fuel, food prices to level that is affordable. Bin Laden is no real threat, stop misleading America.

    April 21, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. Wisconsin

    If the voters of Pennsylvania are STUPID enough to fall for this crap, then they deserve her. How is she going to handle Bin Laden when she couldn't handle her cheating husband Bill. This has become so ridiculous.

    April 21, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  6. mama for obama

    clinton you sound desperate and look awful at it..

    April 21, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  7. The American People

    At least he didn't smack the other democratic candidate while doing so. Hillary be gone!!!

    April 21, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  8. Jose

    No offense, but I personally think that's taking the high road if Obama can say that any 3 candidates would do a better job than Bush and it's a little petty of Hillary trying to make something out of the comment. I know it's everyone's last ditch effort but come on now........

    April 21, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. Mark, Tampa

    Hillary KNOWS this is not the same as her comment, yet she LIES and claims that it is the same, just for the sake of a few votes. Hillary basically said "McCain is better than Obama, but not better than me." Barack simply said "McCain is nowhere near as good as either me or Hillary, but at least he's better than Bush." Completely different. Hillary did the Tanya Harding move. She intentionally took a position that will hurt Obama if he wins the nomination, and that is just not acceptable. Obama did NOT do that to Hillary, and he never would, because he represents a new kind of politics. Hillary represents the same old BS and lies.

    April 21, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. Concerned Mother

    Intelligent, well informed voters don't vote for Clinton. Shouldn't that tell you something? Don't vote based on the brand name Clinton! She can't win unless the superdelegates overturn the will of the voters.... also... why is anyone still donating to her campaign at all? She has 109 million she can use if she really wants the job, but she knows she has no chance and its not a good investment anymore. She's just hoping she can use the republican attack machine she used to despise to destroy Barack. They would be attacking her, but they want her to win to help their chances in November!

    April 21, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  11. Jay Shah

    wow, I hate this women. obama is correct to say mccain is better than bush. It is pretty obvious that Mccain is against tax breaks for the wealthy and he is against earmarks. Two huge differences between him and bush.

    again, this women is a witch. She's rude, obnoxious, overbearing, and only out their for her own ambition. I hope this primary ends sooner because I am getting sick just at the mere mention of Hillary Clinton. It just makes me gag.

    Obama 2008

    April 21, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. Antoinette

    My pet dog would be a better president than Bush

    So in that case, Obama is right. Anyone of them would better, but he is the best for the job

    April 21, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  13. Olivia

    Well, Obama is at it again......jitterbugging again. Must miss the Ellen show I guess. He thinks it's funny to ridicule and make fun of Hillary on stage to entertain the folks. He's too long-winded and too much of the orator to have run out of words. I think he's just a natural born entertainer. I KNEW IT!

    The joker, the pied piper, the new man on the block!

    April 21, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. Carol from PA

    I will be voting for Hillary!

    April 21, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  15. Alice

    I have to hand it to her - when it comes to the old-style dirty politics, no one does it better than the Clintons.

    April 21, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  16. natalie

    Hillary fans please wake up. Please end this misery and vote for Obama tomorrow. She is not going to win the nomination. She has too many problems and frankly I am tired of her, Bill, and little Ms. Chelsey. I am ready for change. I want a new approach. I am tired of the same ole game. Hillary has had her chance in the White house. She has failed to run a respectful campaign. She has attempted to drag Obama through the mud and he is still ahead. It has taking the American people several years but Clinton's we are on to your dirty tricks.

    I can't wait to see Obama's beautiful daughters walking across the lawn of the white house.

    Obama for 08!

    April 21, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  17. Feron

    How funny. This coming from the same woman that said "John McCain and I would make excellent Commanders in Chief, the only thing Obama has going for him is his 2004 speech." These words from only about a month ago. Seriously, how could people actually support this woman?

    April 21, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  18. Zeka-jones - Ontario,Canada

    Hillary is FLAT BROKE, she owes too much, when is it enough – i wouldn't vote for someone who cannot balance her campaign budget, how would she balance the Coutrys budget? speak of being experienced, it's a disgarce for this woman.

    April 21, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  19. Chicken Hawk

    Wake up people and smell reality. If you really want to determine who would make the best commander-in-chief, examine the campaigns and resumes of Senators Clinton and Obama. Her campaign is in debt, and he has a surplus. (Good management I'd say.) He has more experience as a legislator than she does. (11 years compared to 8) While she was "working" as first lady, he was working directly with the poor trying to lift communities out of poverty. There's a reason Obama has been so successful in such as short time - he's brilliant, charismatic, articulate, and astute. How refreshing these characteristics will be after 8 years of Bush.

    April 21, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  20. jimmy vekmen


    April 21, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  21. Jared

    Shameless. Once this is all over, Hillary can write a best seller on "How Not to Run a Campaign".

    April 21, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  22. CT Chriss

    Well, he didn't say McInsane would be better than Her Royal Clintoness like when HRC said McInsane would be better than Obama – she must have been making a commercial for the Rs.

    April 21, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  23. EagleNation1961

    Stop my brain can't take much more of this please PA end this now

    April 21, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  24. Fear Tactic Again When Will It End....

    who in the heck cares at this point?? i seriously don't see how there are any undecided PA voters. With 6 weeks of campaigning, i would have thought everyone would have already made up their minds by now!

    this fear tactic of Hillary is just another distraction! Hillary shouldn't have to fear people into voting for her! really sad!

    April 21, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  25. Shelley, NJ

    First and foremost........fire Wolfson! He is an idiot!

    April 21, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
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