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. Sammy

    ...How is he [Obama] going to handle meeting with world leaders who will disagree with him?... he will piss in his pants!

    May 3, 2008 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  2. Frank

    Just Say No To The Clinton/Bush Dynasties !

    May 3, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  3. cleareyes

    Arianna, go back to your country or find another powerful rich man to support you!!!

    May 3, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  4. Carrie

    Clinton has been borrowing heavily from the neocon playbook, with the fear tactic, 'your either with us or against us', and of course the parsing of phrases for attack ads. It's very tiresome, her old style of politics.

    May 3, 2008 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  5. A Voter

    Huffington is an odd case. She seems to delight in sticking the knife in and turning it. Sorry for her.

    Hillary will win the upcoming primaries; she will win the nomination; and she will win the White House. Twice.

    And life will be good again... 🙂

    May 3, 2008 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  6. BJ

    Ms. Huffington, it is liberal press/media such as yourself that have given Obama a free ride throughout this race.

    This race is for the presidency of the US, the most powerful position in the world, and you expect Obama to get power-puff treatment?

    It is quite obvious your man either can't stand the heat, or has much more to hide. We have no idea who this man is, other than what he has written and said about himself. Puh-leese!

    He rose out of nowhere, from the seedy politics of Chicago, and we're supposed to embrace him like he descended from heaven? You need to examine your conscience if you expect to impose your opinions on people. What we have found out to date is not a pretty picture.

    May 3, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  7. Joe

    Wow, so I'm not the only one who thinks this.

    May 3, 2008 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  8. Lora B.

    Why would Obama have to go negative since he has the press and Ms. full-of-hot-air Huffington to do it for him?

    Hillary will win and she has my vote!

    May 3, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  9. Former Obama Supporter

    Yeah, like I'm really going to listen to the Huffington Post. They have been anti-Hillary from the very start.

    May 3, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  10. Shirley

    Hillary's statement that she would 'obliterate' Iran and Iran's response to the United Nations should have been front page news. CNN is making every effort to elect the Democratic nominee with selective reporting.

    May 3, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  11. Jesse


    Clinton makes me sick!

    May 3, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  12. Jane

    She is so tough to listen to... but underneith the jabber she really has some good points. I usually see her on Bill Maher.

    May 3, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  13. Steve

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

    Yes. We MUST stop speech we don't agree with! Good thing this country doesn't have a law that protects speech.

    Oh, wait.

    May 3, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  14. Win at Any Cost

    This race tells that politicians believe in " Win at Any Cost" Philosophy.

    May 3, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  15. KAT

    Look-fact is fact. Obama just does not have the experience to be president of the most powerful nation on the face of the earth-We live in very dangerous times, and the economy is in the dumper, we need someone with experience-time is ticking away and we need to turn this mess around soon. I will take Clinton-even with her faults as the person best suited to do the job.

    May 3, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  16. ED

    What does the outcome of paul vs clinton 1 million campaign fraud trial mean for Hillary?

    May 3, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  17. Richard Kelton

    Obama has been too gentlemanly toward Hillary Clinton. If she were to be the nominee the Republicans would Rove her into a big defeat bringing up:

    A. HER LACK OF TRANSPARENCY: 1. Who and and how much were contributors to the $135, 617,368 contributed to the Clinton Charities, 2. Who and how much were paid to the over $51,855,599 received by the Clintons for "speeches", 3.What were the details of the $6,145,000 income received by the Clintons from foreign sources, including the participation of Dubai and China sources for funds in Yucaipa Global Holdings.

    B. HER PARTICIPATION IN THE CLINTON PARDONS which even the Democrats have condemned including: 1. those given to some people who paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to Hillary's younger brother.(later returned only after the payments became public knowledge), (2) given to Marc Rich whose ex wife contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars in total to the Clinton Foundation and Hillary's campaign, (3) after a normally Republican Hasadic community voted 99% for Hillary in her senate race, commutations were granted to 4 members of the community who had been convicted of defrauding the federal government of $40,000,000, and (4) pardons given to four individuals whose names included "Ray" after Robert Ray, an "Indepentent" prosecutor, reported that Hillary gave "factually false testimony" under oath in the Travelgate matter, but that he would not prosecute her, and (5) commutations offered to 16 members of the FALN terrorist group who had set off 120 bombs in the US which Hillary supported until the members reaffirmed that they would not renounce the use of force.

    May 3, 2008 01:06 am at 1:06 am |

    Arianna Huffington is like Jeremiah Wright , Always Wanting To Get People To Dislike Or Hate Somebody Or Something .

    May 3, 2008 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  19. Al

    Clinton makes me sick too. My comments never go online here, but what I can do, how can I rephrase this softer: she is a president's wife, and we just had a president's son, leading this country to a few disasters in a row. Why not reduce to just one royal family?..
    Hillary shares guilt in Iraq war and should not be in this race at all. I will stop my dem membership if she is by some dark magic becomes the nominee. She had her '3am call' and her judgement was extremely bad. As for her 'experience' of being president's wife – I don't know, I don't like to go into private family experiences or into sniper fire imagination flashes.

    Obama 2008

    May 3, 2008 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  20. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    Wow! I've not been impressed and, in fact, have become very depressed by Senator Clinton's campaign.

    But now. . .with Elizabeth Taylor supporting her, perhaps I should reconsider. . . .NOT!!!

    May 3, 2008 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  21. Judy

    Okay, so Clinton is negative ala Rove but Obama can distribute falsehoods about Clinton's health insurance proposals, scaring them into believing she is out to get them, but hey, thats okay.

    Obama can deny knowing Wright's extreme views over a period of 20 years and after disinviting him from his public announcement of candidancy, but again, thats okay.


    May 3, 2008 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  22. A.M.

    I can't believe that people can't understand such a clear tricky ads by Clinton. No matter what she does media never ask the question. If it was 'Obama' CNN will go after him for days. It is this media which is really supporting 'Hillary' blinded. Why? Who knows, why.

    Houston, Texas

    May 3, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  23. Madtown

    Hillary Clinton will Not win the election in November. Nobody can energize the republicans like Hillary!!! They are hoping/wishing to run against her! Why do people not see this?!? Hello, 'Operation Chaos' anyone??? Hmmm.....Really, who do the republicans want to run against!?! It is so Clear the republicans want Hillary to win, it is blinding!!! Senator Obama will bring this country together!!!

    May 3, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  24. Cora

    She's detestable.

    May 3, 2008 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  25. mona

    Just the other day, I was telling my coworkers the number one journalist, I wouldn't mind spitting in his face is Keith Olbermann and now I know who number 2 is.

    President Hillary 08

    May 3, 2008 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
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