May 2nd, 2008
10:25 PM ET
15 years ago

Huffington: Clinton using Rove tactics against Obama


Watch Arianna Huffington assess the 2008 presidential race.

(CNN) – Arianna Huffington, Editor-in-Chief of the and author of a new book, didn’t pull any punches in assessing the 2008 presidential race.

Sen. Hillary Clinton “has really taken a page out of Karl Rove’s playbook when it comes to her advertising especially,” Huffington told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Friday.

Huffington compared Clinton’s “3 a.m.” ad to advertising against Sen. John Kerry orchestrated by Rove during President Bush’s 2004 re-election bid. “The assumption was that if people elected Obama they would not be as safe as if they elected her.” “Their children would not be as safe,” added Huffington.

“And then on the eve of the Pennsylvania primary, we had the Osama ad appear,” Huffington said, refererring to a Clinton campaign ad that contained an image of Osama bin Laden, the alleged mastermind of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

“It is a very powerful image in America,” Huffington said of the bin Laden image. “Every election after 9-11 is going to be a national security election and manipulating the electorate’s fear has been key to the re-election of George Bush,” she added.

Huffington, the founder of the popular liberal news and commentary website, also shared her views on Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama, on the way the media is covering the Iraq war, and on “the extreme right of the Republican Party.” “Right is Wrong,” Huffington’s new book, was released recently.

soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. Willy

    Air head speaks

    May 2, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  2. chris CA

    she's right. when you're right, you're right. except for when you're wrong. but she's right.

    May 2, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  3. Undecided Voter

    Thank God!!! We have someone that is consistent and gives (all) the media coverage of both candidates, good and bad.

    Thanks Arianna

    May 2, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  4. Audrey

    Give it a rest, Ariana. We all know Obama can do no wrong with you. Clinton is not pulling a Rove. Wait and see–if the Dems are stupid enough to pick him as the nominee, the Republicans will tear him to shreds with true Rovian tactics. And no amount of glib speaking will rescue him.

    May 2, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  5. Jacob

    But the Clintons are the biggest flaming liberals ever. Why is Obama the new King Liberal? Don't tell me you're letting yourself be manipulated by the racist stereotype that says all blacks are big flaming liberals. Ok, we've all had an active gag reflex for the last 8 years but let's not get carried away. Pick the better liberal.

    Gore 2008

    May 2, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  6. Adrian

    Arianna is just jealous because she wants to be president! I'd probably vote for her tho. Smart woman. Nonetheless, Hillary is smarter. To beat the Republicans you gotta play their game.

    May 2, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  7. Paulinus

    Truely Americans Live in FEAR

    In church, I listened to a Catholic priest preached about Hope Vs fear. It struck me that Obama is preaching Hope while Hillary is instilling fear into the minds of the American people.

    Hope Vs Fear

    Hope Factor => Obama
    Fear Factor => Hillary

    I followed the last two democratic primaries in Ohio and Pennsylvania and have deduced that most Americans live in fear. In realizing that, Sen. Hillary Clinton has embarked on the fear factor to secure her wins. She was able to instill fear into the minds of the undecided voters with her fear and negatives ads. What a way to win.

    From a spiritual perspective, people should leave in Hope and not fear. Does Hillary have any Religious affiliation? It is surprising to see that a high percentage of Catholics embrace Hillary. Are they being indoctrinated into Hillary’s spiritual beliefs? A true Christian should belief in Hope and not Fear.

    If people continue to live in fear, there will always be mistrust, divisiveness, and wars. Hope is what we need to counteract fear, which will bring people together and ultimately help Americans work together as a United Nation.

    May 2, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  8. Montana is Obama Country

    .....Huffington Post is a good resource to get information. ....

    May 2, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  9. Democrat, NC

    I am a democrat and I was about to support whoever the democratic nominee would be; however, after seeing Hillary Clinton using Rove's and the Republican Party's tactics, I pray that Obama will be the nominee.

    Obama '08

    May 2, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  10. Lynn D

    I used to love listening to this woman but no more. It strikes me quite funny that all of Senator Clinton's ads are negative and like Karl Rove while Senator Obama's ads are never considered negative. I believe that Senator Clinton has to be permitted to defend herself without being labeled as negative. Arianna Huffington is an Obama supporter so I guess her comments her going to bias.

    May 2, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  11. Jeff

    It's a predictable pattern now. She hits Obama with an ugly nasty to make people afraid and demean him personally, in the last days before big state primary, and then gloats afterward about how he "can't close the deal in big states." It's old policitics, ugly politics. It may even still work. If so, another generation will walk away from political involvement.

    May 2, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  12. Roy P

    She is fighting a candidate that has not won a major demoractic state. The DNC and the so called party elders do not want her to win. The republicans would love to have Obama win. A vote for him is a vote for McCain. I think she should use any tactic to prevent this CNN or Onn push to get Obama the McCain elected.

    May 2, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  13. David, Paducah, Kentucky

    Smart woman! It sounds like she has Hillary pegged correctly. Nothing like a mother using another mother's fear for political gain.

    May 2, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  14. angelina

    Hillary will do anything to win even sellingher soul to d devil.She thinks she is entitled to d presidency...the tonya harding strategy she is doing to Sen.Obama will fail.

    May 2, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  15. Yes Joe

    This woman is disgusting. She runs a site that allows hatred to be spewed against Hillary. She needs to be stopped.

    May 2, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  16. lb

    Arianna, I'm dissappointed that you didn't take the opportunity to highlight the media's bias against Obama. It was three weeks worth of Obama's "bitter" equals "elitist" and it was a blip on the radar screen for Clinton's "obliterate Iran" equals,,,,,,ah, murder. I guess the public is far more threatened by a grammatical error than a vote for war and a threat to obliterate a country .

    May 2, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  17. Big Al

    Is she one of the Gabor sister, she sound so much like ZaZa..

    With her high pitch, whinnng voice...

    I hope no one buy her book because she is so Wrong, Right?

    May 2, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  18. Incoming Sniper Fire

    Yes are totally making all of that up aren't you?...for who doesn't believe me, go to and see that only the TRUTH is there. If Hillary was behaving like Barack, she would be supporting Hillary...if Hillary was a better person and honest, more people would be supporting her...tell her to stop PULLING THE FREAKIN' GENDER CARD...IT'S AN INSULT TO WOMEN WITH BRAINS!

    May 2, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  19. bill pike

    can we get clinton/bush out of DC so we can change DC??? the power driven billarny and the bush/clinton royalty has put this country in danger and 9/11 came as billarny was leaving the white house. call at 3:00am, we all know where billie was playing. interesting that billarny says you choose where you go to church and can leave but look at her marriage and what was going on UNDER THE SAME ROOF and did she leave??? is molesting a young girl by the president better than what a person says??? billarny says it is not about words??? IF YOU THINK THE COMMENT ABOUT IRAN WAS BY ACCIDENT YOU DON'T KNOW BILLIARY. THINK WWIII, THINK NAPTA, THINK AND GET THEM OUT OF DC NOW.

    May 2, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  20. Politically Speaking

    I honestly believe America (generalizing, of course) will take what Hillary is doing to Obama because they really do not want a black man to win the presidency. I truely feel that America is in fear of a black man having that much power.

    It's sick and disgusting, but I've read comments on so many websites from people who will not vote for Barack simply because he is black. Then people wonder where viewpoints such as Rev. Wright's come from. Simple, America helped creat those opinions.

    May 2, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  21. less media more issues

    And who do you compare whoever's using the War Room lies to? Get real. It works both ways.

    May 2, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  22. stephen

    Her book was awful. No substance. I recommend reading a text book over this crap she writes.

    May 2, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  23. George

    I used to be quite fond of the Clintons, but this campaign has exposed their character or lack of it.

    May 2, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  24. Linned

    I just hope that irrparable damage has not been done to the Democratic Party.

    May 2, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  25. Paulinus

    Lots of Americans are blind to the Clintons wrong doing or they just turn a blind eye. I saw a utube video on "Paul Vs Clinton" landmark civil fraud case. Enough there to discourage people from voting for Hillary.

    May 2, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
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