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. Amy Kathleen

    "Hillary = a lifetime of service to America" I don't think so.

    Sorry, what you will really get is:

    Hillary= a lifetime of service to herself.

    She lost me weeks ago when she told me that my state and my vote were not important and should not be considered. Every week since has been confirmation of that instinct.

    April 21, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  2. Willy

    Shut up Billary

    April 21, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  3. S.J.Y.

    Clinton is spinning down the drain and is desperate to grab on to anything or say anything to save her campaign. A persons character flaws are more evident in how they handle defeat than victory. Obama
    in 08.

    April 21, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. Merry

    With this most recent political ad (the one with all the ..oooohh so scary crap) I am wondering if a Hillary presidency might not resemble more of the same. She is looking an awful lot like a republican down there in the gutter.

    April 21, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  5. DFoster

    I Hillary had the money and Barack didn't, she would spend it. It's stupid to critisize someone for taking advantage of that situation. What will she say next?

    April 21, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  6. Jane

    Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

    Director Michael Moore is now endorsing Barack Obama over the "disgusting" Hillary Clinton!!

    Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

    Pennsylvanians wise up now!

    April 21, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  7. Cheri

    OMG this criticism coming from the queen of McCain love.Unbelievable.

    April 21, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  8. Clev

    Hillary has the audacity to criticize Obama for saying "that all three candidates would be better than Bush" and then she has the audacity to say that it's not the same thing when she several weeks ago said that Mccain would be a better Commander and Chief than Obama!!

    Come on Hillary supporters, are you telling me that she won't say anything as long as it swings her way. You have proof right there. Search the other titles when she said it.

    I am sooooo very tired of all this negativity that has Hillary has turned this campaign into. I was once really happy that we had two candidates that would debate the issues that are affecting us. Now I don't want to turn on the tv because Hillary has started this cat fight. Just like a female!!!

    Let's be real most supporters that are for Hillary either have a gender identification problem or race identification problem. Either way in their eyes Barack would never have had their support. Let's really be real people!!

    April 21, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  9. Tony Z- MD

    I used to think HRC would be President. Than she talked about her experience- I said ????. Than she told a few lies-??? Than she complained about the media and going first in debates???? Her campaign finances are in trouble???

    Now I think to myself who is this woman. She is not ready on Day 1. She is not ready for John McCain.

    April 21, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. Ben

    Some got caught with there hands in the cookie jar...mouth stuff with cookies and chocolate and crumbs all over her face and with a muffled voice saying something like.....what?! ....WHAT DID i DO??

    April 21, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. Paul

    Obama is right again.

    McCain doesn't see any problem with our occupation of Iraq. That makes him like Bush. But the difference is clear between Bush (who managed to avoid deployment to Vietnam) and McCain, who has seen the horrors of war first-hand. That's bound to give McCain better insights in approaching the war... just not as good as the Dems who have had enough of this war already.

    April 21, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  12. Ben

    Someone got caught with their hands in the cookie jar…mouth stuffed with cookies, face covered in melted chocolate and crumbs and with a muffled voice saying something like…..what?! ….WHAT DID i DO??

    April 21, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  13. Susan

    Hillary your absolute pandering is disgusting.I am voting for Obama. You are a disgrace to women everywhere and to anyone who appreciates honesty, integrity, transparency and courage. You have NONE! You are the most untrustworthy politican since Nixon.

    Your pantsuits look like they were designed by Mel Brooks from Spaceballs. Saddle up Annie and take I-95 right back to New York. Fellow Pennsylvanians let's send Hill the Shrill home.

    April 21, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  14. What about our Soldiers?

    Thanks John, McCain and Hillary Clinton

    For your part in the lie U.S. soldiers continue to commit suicides bidding farewell to their patriotism.

    US Soldiers 4000 + US Soldiers dead, 35,000 injuried, IRAQ's Civilians 120,000 civilian dead.

    April 21, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  15. Roots of Bitterness

    Stop the madness!!!

    April 21, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  16. joe

    I used to love Mrs. Clinton deeply because of her husband and i even felt sad for her at monica lewinskye scandle. Now I understand what Mr. Clinton had been through. Probably she stayed in the marrage to to use the name Clinton.

    April 21, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  17. J.T. Jackson in Michigan

    I can't seem to understand how some of Hillary Clinton's supporters will spin everything to be favorable for her. She made a derogatory statement in regards to McCain being a better candidate then Obama but when Obama says all three would be better then Bush that is somehow a worse statement then she made saying a Republican would be better then her Democratic rival. That is ridiculous. I am so sick of the double standards that her BROKE campaign keep using to attempt to discredit OBAMA. I support OBAMA but used to have respect for HRC now after following this campaign closely all respect has been lost for her. She can't keep her staff or finances in order but expect us to believe she can run the country better then him who has been successful in both of those areas. Give me a break she needs to quit now!!

    April 21, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  18. BROWN


    April 21, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  19. applecrispbetty

    Hillary, start using logic. Earlier, you said McCain was more qualified than Obama. In last Thursday's debate, you said Obama could be elected ("Yes, Yes, Yes"). So, obviously, you think all three of you are OK. This is exactly what Obama said. Your lack of logic fools certain demographics. It doesn't fool me.

    April 21, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. Molly Weasley

    The Clinton campaign is beyond desperation.

    April 21, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  21. Mark TX

    Hillary Stop it now !
    There is more at stake in this upcoming election than your ego.
    The only slim chance you will get the nomination is to destroy Obama. But the odds are heavy against you. What will happen to the Democratic party after your "Republican" style campaign falls short ?
    What about all the youth support for Democratic party if you steal the nomination by back room votes of Super Delegates? The youth are the future!
    To the Hillary supporters is getting your favorite candidate the nomination more important than a Democrat winning the White House, or the future of the Democratic Party ?

    April 21, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  22. Right on Day1

    Jay, we are your bosses. We type from inside our offices.

    April 21, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  23. Xavier, Saint Louis, Missouri

    Bottom-line: You will never get the truth out of the Clintons and Hillary will say anything and do anything to win. She has no honor, dignity or respect for the Democratic Party. She preys on the educated people of America because they do not have the knowledge or resources to find out just who Hillary Clinton is. She has to be the sorriest excuse for a politian I've ever seen!

    April 21, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  24. Xavier, Saint Louis, Missouri

    Bottom-line: You will never get the truth out of the Clintons and Hillary will say anything and do anything to win. She has no honor, dignity or respect for the Democratic Party. She preys on the uneducated people of America because they do not have the knowledge or resources to find out just who Hillary Clinton is. She has to be the sorriest excuse for a Politian I've ever seen!

    April 21, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  25. Dori in AZ

    Hillary is the worst kind of liar – very accomplished and sans conscience, a chameleon who can don the mask that best suits what that audience wants to see and hear. Quite the illusionist, but lacking truth and substance.

    She manages to continue to fool some people into supporting her.

    Amazing in this day and age of intelligent and readily available info, and our ability to verify facts and separate out fiction.

    Plain scary.

    April 21, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
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