She said, he said

Clinton accuses Obama of saying that he "really liked" the Republicans' ideas. He didn't.

Topics: 2008 Elections, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama, War Room,

At Monday night’s contentious Democratic presidential debate in South Carolina, Hillary Clinton accused Barack Obama of saying that he “really liked the ideas of the Republicans over the last 10 to 15 years.”

“We can give you the exact quote,” Clinton said.

As it turns out, so can we. Here’s what Obama told the editorial board of the Reno Gazette-Journal on Jan. 14:



“I think we’re in one of those times right now where people feel like things as they are going aren’t working, that we’re bogged down in the same arguments we’ve been having, and they’re not useful. The Republican approach, I think, has played itself out. I mean, I think it’s fair to say that the Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time there for 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 [GOP] presidential candidates, it’s all tax cuts. You know, we’ve done that. We’ve tried it. That’s not really going to solve our energy problems, for example.”

During Monday night’s debate, Obama noted that he hadn’t said that the Republicans’ ideas were “good ones.” Clinton’s response: “Well, you can read the context of it … It certainly came across in the way that it was presented, as though the Republicans had been standing up against the conventional wisdom with their ideas. I’m just reacting to the fact, yes, they did have ideas, and they were bad ideas.”

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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