AnalysisJust three Democratic candidates took part in the scorching debate cosponsored by CNN and the Congressional Black Caucus in Myrtle Beach, S.C.: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards. It was the next-to-last such encounter scheduled for the Democrats prior to the Feb. 5 "Super Duper Tuesday" showdown when more than 20 states hold nominating contests. South Carolina Democrats go to the polls Saturday.
I Love the '80s!
Clinton attacked Obama for supposedly supporting Republican ideas, which she said included federal deficits and "privatizing" Social Security:
Clinton: [He] has said in the last week that he really liked the ideas of the Republicans over the last 10 to 15 years, and we can give you the exact quote. ... They were ideas like privatizing Social Security, like moving back from a balanced budget and a surplus to deficit and debt.Obama pushed back, saying he had never endorsed such notions:
Clinton: [You] talked about the Republicans having ideas over the last 10 to 15 years.We can’t speak to how things "came across" to Clinton, but we’ve listened to the entire interview and to our ears, it’s just flatly false that Obama said he "really liked the ideas of the Republicans." Clinton is referring to what Obama told the editorial board of the Reno Gazette-Journal. A video is available on the Internet.
Obama: I didn't say they were good ones.
Clinton: Well, you can read the context of it.
Obama: Well, I didn't say they were good ones. ...
Clinton: It certainly came across in the way that it was presented...
Here’s what Obama actually said in the portion to which Clinton referred:
Obama (Jan. 14, 2008): The Republican approach has played itself out. I think it’s fair to say that the Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time there over the last 10, 15 years, in the sense that they were challenging conventional wisdom. Now, you’ve heard it all before. You look at the economic policies when they’re being debated among the presidential candidates, it’s all tax cuts. Well, we know, we’ve done that; we’ve tried it. That’s not really going to solve our energy problems, for example.There’s a difference between praising someone for having ideas and praising the idea itself. Obama is doing the former – and just as clearly not doing the latter. He says the GOP approach has "played itself out," for example.
It’s also false to imply – as Clinton did – that Obama endorsed Republican proposals to set up private Social Security accounts or that he praised deficit spending. We listened to the entire 49-minute interview, and Obama said no such thing. (Source)
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