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. NickNas

    Fear is only an effective tool on a weak uninformed mind. A tool abused by the powerhungry.

    " Fortunate for those of us in power that the people do not think for themselves".

    A. Hitler

    May 2, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  2. Jane

    Yes Joe needs to go sulk in the corner. 🙁

    May 2, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  3. Jed in Texas

    What you have to ask yourself is 'Do I want to live in fear of my own President for another four to eight years"?

    May 2, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  4. Xanadude of Velen

    Why does anyone with any common sense listen to this Greek, Media-Elitist Cow?

    May 2, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  5. Hill408

    Huffington needs to look at everything thats goiing on. They both are doing it. Every time something bad comes out on Obama its Hillary is a bad person. Huffington is blind to this as much as she was to her gay husband. She needs to s- up.

    May 2, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  6. Hms

    what's new...Huffington post has endorsed Obama and has always been severly anti Clinton...

    May 2, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  7. nav

    Smart people / real educated people like Barack Obama.
    onlt few not fair minded pepple like clinton.

    Look Sen.Paul (Presidential Candidate) Republican favors Sen. Barack Obama because of positions on foreign policy, instead of john mcccain.


    May 2, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  8. Rebecca

    Huffington is absolutely correct. If you take a step back and anyalyze how Hillary Clinton and her campaign have been strategizing it looks like a mirror of the tactics directly from the Republicans. I'm starting to wonder if she is truly a Republican hiding in Democratic pant suits. She is using fear tactics just like the Republicans, she constantly compliments John McCain, and the tone she uses sounds like soundbites right from the GOP itself. "I went everyone to go on record. Either you are with us or against us." Word for word something George Bush would say. Hillary was a staunch Republican for much of her life and for some reason switched over to the Democratic Party. I'm thinking, though, that she is a true Republican at heart. She was once quoted as saying, "can't I think like a Republican and feel like a Democrat." Which one is it Hillary, are you with us or against us? You may have many fooled but I can't tell which party you stand for.

    May 2, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  9. Syed Rahman

    We need a president who stands on inherent quality and believes in inherent quality . We don't need a president who borrows quality from other . HRC should have ovarian fortitude not testicular fortitude . If she relies on testosterone than she needs testosterone supplement . That will not be her innate quality .

    May 2, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  10. liz

    Why don't this idiot just shut up. She must be getting desperate. So move on and get a life.

    Clinton is a good and strong woman and she will be the next president despite all of your negatives remarks..

    May 2, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  11. Susan / PA

    Finally, someone with the guts to speak out. When Hillary used the Bin Laden commercial in PA...that about sewed it up for her....scared the bajeebees out of the elderly...the demographic she needed.

    Hillary will do anything to get elected and do nothing once she is there.....Just as New Yorkers....

    May 2, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  12. Jodie from Idaho

    Hillary makes me sick. That woman can not be trusted to have a power as high as the presidency. Who knows what she will do. She is not even elected and she is already threatening Iran. She spoke harshly towards China, and created anti American sentiment. She has been involved in various scandals, i.e. Whitewater, where she embezzled money from the government to make money off of her real estate investments and Peter Paul, where her and her husband are being sued for exchanging money for power when she got elected to the Senate. You are all complaining about Obama because of his pastor, these are things that they have done.

    May 2, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  13. Tom in Miami


    Wait, no I am not. I am not a lemming.

    Clinton '08, America needs fixin'.

    May 2, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  14. Barb

    I've gone to Huntington post, and you Arianna, have your own political agenda here! ............................................ You are so biased... you may as well be from another world!..............................The world isn't scared, and living in fear, because of Hillary's add, it's living in fear, because the world, esp the U.S. is in dire straights!........................................For anyone to complain that Hillary showed FEAR, when she showed several important moments in History, means you have low comprehension levels.............Bin Laden is an important person in history, he needs taken out, and Hillary says she will do that, by concentrating on the war where it should have been! Arianna, fact check should become your new friend!

    May 2, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  15. N.C.

    Why in the world would CNN interview a person who has this much hate for Hillary Clinton? Obama is toast in Indiana. Play all the basketball he wants and he will still lose. Why didn't he play all of that basketball in Pennsylvania. Political pandering at its best.

    May 2, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  16. Walt, Belton,TX

    Coming from such a sesspool of liberalism, it must be the truth if it is about Hillary. Right? It probably is, but Huffinkton has no preferences in this election that she's trying to further, does she? Either way, it is one more nail driven in on the Democratic Party's platform, if they've figured out one yet..............

    May 2, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  17. midwest08

    Arianna is the most disgusting person. She is using Karl Rove tactics to use any message or add against Hillary. Probably she is just jealous, she is not as smart.

    Arianna, your brain is as big as your 2 Priuses, that you are proudly announced you have, like you already changed the world.. Grow up

    May 2, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  18. Neutral

    Arianna Huffington was a REPUBLICAN for YEARS, until she was divorced from her husband. Can't stand it Arianna another woman like Hillary has more cajones than your Obama?

    May 2, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  19. Ed K.


    This women is one of the biggest nut cases in America !


    May 2, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  20. Paa Kwesi Richardson, Germany

    This woman is just thinking about the name CLINTON;doing whatever it takes to get elected even putting fear into voters by imaging Bin laden and co.
    Infact i place the volume of my tv set to zero anytime she appears on it.I´ve even lost respect for her husband monika clinton hey sorry Bill clinton.Greedy clitons.

    May 2, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  21. David PA

    People are tired of this negative, fear-driven political advertising. This is why so many of us have made small contributions to the Obama campaign which stays clear of such tactics. Unfortunately, while Barrack has taken the high road, the Clinton machine has taken the low road and scared up a considerable number of votes with it. There is a backlash to it, but it works: hence we have a paradox. I fear the fall campaigns will have much more of the same stuff directed at candidate Obama by Swift Boat groups. He is like an
    Energizer battery, he just keeps on running. Obama '08

    May 2, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  22. Jeff

    Well, I don't know about you folks, but if Elizabeth Taylor says to vote for Hillary, I'm forgetting about sniper fire, flip-flopping on Florida and Michigan, and whatever Arianna has to say. If Elizabeth Taylor endorses, that is the obvious way to go. Who could possibly question her intellect and wisdom? Why should I ever bother making my own informed decisions when actors can strongly suggest how I should vote? Thank goodness for Elizabeth Taylor showing me the light!

    May 2, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  23. Xanadude of Velen

    I guess Ms. Huffington has officially quit the California based John-Roger Spiritual Enlightenment Cult to join the Obama Cult.

    May 2, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  24. Rayvonn, NC

    I can promise you this, if she somehow wins this nomination she will let us down and disgrace the country. Just way to much baggage and more to come I'm definitely sure.

    May 2, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  25. Katharine

    Please explain to me why Huffington's remarks about why she supports Obama and Elizabeth Taylor's remarks about why she supports Clinton are so much more important than Maya Angelou's strong endoresments of Clinton. Angelou's endorsements have never make it on the news. The only mention of this endorsement, which is so much more important than Elizabeth Taylor's, was on day earlier this week when CNN showed an ad with Angelou endorsing Clinton, but it was at the bottom of a page so that the fewest posssilbe number of people would notice it.

    Anyone interested in Maya Angelou's lastest endorsement of Clinton should go to

    Katharine, Los Angeles

    May 2, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
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