The YouTube video title:

CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360’s transcript for January 24, 2008 is below the fold:



[Susan’s Note: THIS FOLLOWING STATEMENT about what he says he said about Reagan IS A LIE, which I pointed out in “Barack, You’re Lying, and I’m Calling You On It.”]

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What I said was is that Ronald Reagan was a transformative political figure because he was able to get Democrats to vote against their economic interests to form a majority to push through their agenda, an agenda that I objected to, because while I was working on those streets watching those folks see their jobs shift overseas, you were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board of Wal-Mart.

I was fighting these fights. I was fighting these fights.



COOPER: That was one of the more heated moments in Monday’s Democratic debate on CNN, Barack Obama criticizing Hillary Clinton, saying he was working for his community, while she was on a corporate payroll.

Now, if you were watching that night, then you know that Hillary Clinton returned Obama’s shot, bringing up an alleged association with a controversial figure in Chicago politics.

So, we asked CNN’s Drew Griffin to separate the facts from the fiction. And, tonight, he is “Keeping Them Honest.” (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GRIFFIN (voice-over): She could have held back, but instead Hillary Clinton hit back.

SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: and I was fighting against those ideas when you were practicing law and representing your contributor, Rezko, in his slum landlord business in inner city Chicago.


OBAMA: Oh, no, no, no.

I’m happy to respond.

GRIFFIN: Senator Obama explained it was just legal work on a low-income housing project and Tony Rezko, just another client.

OBAMA: I did about five hours’ worth of work on this joint project. That’s what she’s referring to.

GRIFFIN: But “Keeping Them Honest,” there is a lot more to it than that. Tony Rezko has pleaded not guilty to federal charges of conspiracy, influence peddling and demanding kickbacks from companies seeking Illinois state business. He’s given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Illinois political power brokers. He’s done multiple real estate deals with politicians, even their wives.

And his indictment has Illinois politicians nervous, including officials in the administration of Illinois’ Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Think of Tony Rezko as the Jack Abramoff of Chicago politics.

JAY STEWART, BETTER GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION: That’s a pretty close analog, yes. He wasn’t a registered lobbyist, as Jack Abramoff was, but in terms of a wheeler and dealer who had influence over the Blagojevich administration.

GRIFFIN: The investigation has reached closer and closer to Illinois’ governor, who has not been charged with a crime. There has been nothing linking Illinois’ senator to anything illegal.

So, what’s this all about? Money, of course. Rezko has been a major money raiser in Chicago Palestinians, and he saw a star before the nation took notice.

STEWART: Tony Rezko was his first significant campaign contributor. So, you know, that certainly helped start Senator Obama’s career.

GRIFFIN: But the federal indictment alleges Rezko was given tainted cash, some illegal, some just unsavory.

(on camera): So, you guys made the decision that he was a slumlord. (CROSSTALK)


GRIFFIN (voice-over): “Chicago Sun-Times” investigation reporter Tim Novak helped label Tony Rezko a slumlord. One of Rezko’s businesses got government loans to develop low-income housing. Barack Obama worked on some deals as a lawyer and wrote letters supporting some deals as a state senator. “The Sun-Times” found two-thirds of the buildings were foreclosed upon, boarded up, or both.

NOVAK: The city and the state had told us they never had any other low-income developer go that bad that quick that much.

GRIFFIN (on camera): This is one of those buildings. And it does seem to fit the description. At the same time tenants in this building were complaining about the heat being turned off, the building’s owner, Rezko, was actually giving money to the Obama campaign.

NOVAK: Now, the senator says he doesn’t not know, he didn’t know any of this stuff.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): Now that he does know, the senator is donating Rezko’s donations to charity, $86,000 so far.

But the bigger embarrassment for Obama was his own land deal with Rezko. Shortly after his election to the U.S. Senate, Obama bought this house at $300,000 below the asking price. Perhaps not coincidentally, the very same day, Rezko’s wife bought the lot next door for full price. Months later, Barack Obama would buy a sliver of the Rezko land to expand his own yard.

(on camera): There was nothing illegal about the deal and nobody is alleging that there was anything illegal. But the deal happened at the same time that Rezko was knowingly under investigation. And, for that, the senator says, whatever the deal was, was boneheaded.

(voice-over): His campaign declined to talk about this story. Senator Obama may regret ever getting involved with Tony Rezko.

STEWART: The problem with Chicago politics is it’s hard to stay 110 percent perfectly clean.


COOPER: Well, Drew is in a very cold Chicago tonight. We’re glad he joins us.

Senator Obama is not obviously the only one who’s been criticized for having relations with people in trouble with the law. It happens to a lot of politicians. Senator Clinton has also come under fire for I guess what some see as improper ties.

GRIFFIN: Yes. Anderson, this is the kind of tit for tat that, quite frankly, a lot of people are scratching their head why Senator Clinton brought this up. She of course has her own fuzzy land deal from the past in Whitewater.

She has also got an indicted fund-raiser, Norman Hsu, who just went to prison for fraud. In fact, the Clinton campaign has had to return or divest $850,000 in Hsu-related funds from her political campaign. So, you really have to scratch your head on, what is the strategy here? And I think we leave that best to people like Carl Bernstein and some of your other guests, who have been telling you the strategy.

COOPER: Drew Griffin, “Keeping Them Honest” — thanks, Drew.

Full transcript.

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  • Matt


  • Ron Cowin

    Susan, although I agree with you most of the time, I believe the proper suffix in such matters is -gate. As in Slumgate. (Remember Watergate?) As for Herr Krauthammer, he is a noted conservative columnist with his own agenda. If he said that he sun rises in the east, I would want independent verification.

    I would like to take a moment and step back from Donner Party politics and point out:
    (1) my 86 year old Jewish mother is convinced that Obama is a Muslim. The Trinity United Church of Christ is an odd name for a Mosque.
    (2) People who sit on corporate boards are figureheads with a large bloc of stock or celebrity status. The CEO’s make all the business decisions.
    (3) Elizabeth Edwards is great. She should be the candidate.

    We now return to the next installment of Democrats Eating their Own.

    Hasn’t anyone else noticed that Barack was born in 1961 and would have been 20 years old when Reagan was inaugurated. That means he would have been leading the counterrevolution against Reagan while a 20 year-old, taking pre-law at Columbia and attending Harvard Law School. Quite a busy schedule for one so young. As for Edwards, the major Republican talking point is that he made a lot of money as a TRIAL LAWYER (Republican dirty word), lives in a big house and is an advocate for the poor. Considering that most Republicans are rich and don’t care a lick about the poor, I can see their confusion. Oh, and he spent $400 for a haircut. There aren’t that many hair stylists or barbers that make housecalls. He must be very good.

  • Pingback: BREAKING: ABC News Reports $100,000 From Rezko That Obama Hasn’t Returned/Given Away : NO QUARTER()

  • justsomeone

    LuigiDaMan, you wish only Kucinich & justy & Oprah could luv him. A few elevator rides in the ole Kabrini Greens projects & surrounding Windy City hoods might give you some insight.

  • LuigiDaMan

    Hey justy,

    ou’re right! We should only have big fat Republican fat cats sitting on all the corporate boards in America. That way, we’d know those corporate types are all bastards! No sense trying to change thinbgs from within! Hell, our collective head beating against the gates has worked so well for so many years!

    And while we’re talking Punjab, I don’t recall Senator Slumlord holding hearings after he returned from his travels to Europe to see how they were handling outsourcing and immigration problems — Oh Wait! As Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on European Affairs, he has never traveled to Europe or even held hearings!

    This is a guy only Dennis Kucinich could love.

    • norris morris

      Also, to add to his votes in US SENATE, Obama voted AGAINST a bill to KILL loan guarantees to Nuclear Energy Plant Operators. Hillary voted FOR this bill..

      Exelon is the country’s largest Nuclear Plant Operator. Exelon donated $74,350.00 to Barack Obama. Exelon is situated in Illinois,

      • TeakWoodKite

        I believe it was an amendment to the bill, not the bill itself. And it finally passed this time around.

  • justsomeone

    Dalia, Charles Krauthhammer (sic) did a run down of Edward’s voting record today. Check it out. It was a real eye opener.

    • Sometime-CIA-Defender

      It’s here.

      In a nutshell:

      As senator, he voted in 2001 for a bankruptcy bill that he now denounces.

      As senator, he voted for storing nuclear waste in Nevada’s Yucca Mountain. Twice. He is now fiercely opposed.

      As senator, he voted for the Bush-Kennedy No Child Left Behind education reform. He now campaigns against it, promising to have it “radically overhauled.”

      As senator, he voted for the Patriot Act, calling it “a good bill . . . and I am pleased to support it.” He now attacks it.

      As senator, he voted to give China normalized trade relations. Need I say? He now campaigns against liberalized trade with China as a sellout of the middle class to the great multinational agents of greed, etc.

      At least he acknowledges his mistakes! Something suspiciously missing from the last seven years of WH crap. 🙂

      • Sometime-CIA-Defender

        And if all Krauthammer can come up with is 5, Edwards is waaay ahead of Clinton and Obama.

      • Gloria

        The Yucca Mtn. vote was taken based on fraudulent documents that were available at the time. Edwards has pointed that out….

      • norris morris

        Those votes tell a story whether he likes it or not, as Edwards runs on an uber-populist postition . He has shrieked about Hillary’s vote on Iarq, but Edwards did ditto, plus all of the above.

        His record in the Senate was to the right of Hillary’s.

        Ditto for Obama as some of his votes are totally against all of democrat’s positions on a whole group of bills, and…….

        He absented himelf as running for president as it takes time away from DC.

        When Obama stayed absent on “dicey” bills.
        When he donates [$4200] to pal Joe Lieberman’s campaign to defeat Lamont in Conn who ran as a

      • Delia

        Ted Kennedy co-sponsored No Child Left Behind. That was way back in the early days before anyone realized how little this gang could be trusted. A lot of people were suckered on that one. The question is, when did people wake up.

  • GOPmurderedconscience

    Here is Rezko’s entire donor’s list via Talk Left:

    TLC links to the entire list:

    Anyone with the name Clinton is missing.

  • justsomeone

    Re: the heated nowv famous exchange between Hillary & Obama. He reminds her he was out on Chicago streets fighting for the community etc while folks “were watchin their jobs get shipped over seas,” while she was a corporate lawyer sittin on the board of Walmart & she counters with how she was fighting for “ideas” while he was gettin a leg up from Rezko, etc. Please explain to me how you think she protected jobs in the USA by being on Walmart’s board? Or do you just like to pick apples & leave oranges on the ground? When Obama called her Senator Punjab, don’t you think the title fits? Goo gooing over her hair & makeup…Whoahhhhh! Please this is important stuff. Outsourcing & immigration are very important issues.

    • BernieO

      Actually, she pushed women’s issues when she was on the board and also pushed hard on environmental issues. As a result of the advisory committee she chaired, she fought for things like recycling of motor oil, reduced packaging, and energy saving features in stores, much of which was implemented according to the NY Times. They even opened an experimental “eco-store” in Kansas.
      In addition, Hillary used her connections to executives like Sam Walton to get them to sign on to a CORPORATE TAX PROGRAM that financed a major overhaul of the education system in Arkansas.

      As for jobs going oversees, if I recall correctly, during the time she was on Walmart’s board, that was not a big issue because we were not importing large amounts of goods at that time.

      • Taters

        Sam Walton was still around then. Then again, that’s a bit too complicated for Obambi’s followers.

  • I inserted an update towards the top of the transcript.

  • Delia

    I spent a year in Chicago way back when the original Richard Daly was still alive and kicking. I learned that the Democratic Party in Chicago is very different than it is elsewhere. Don’t know how much things have changed. It’s possible you can’t get anywhere in Chicago politics without playing the machine, like in old-time Boston. I don’t know.

    I’ll say this. I’m still an Edwards supporter, and will be as long as he’s in the race. As a second choice, I had been leaning toward Hillary because she’s more specific in her programs than Obama. But I have to say, I’m very unimpressed with the negative campaigning the Clintons and their surrogates have been doing recently. This pattern is very quickly building up their negatives with me, and she’s not really disavowing it.

    • simon

      This “vetting” of Obama has confirmed to me Hillary is much better qualified to be President, experience does matter.

      Obama, or his people, severely miscalculated, no matter what his political future, the man has no more credibility.

      I am voting for Edwards, though.

      As to a lack of experience, I see Edwards, like JFK, as having an empathetic intellect, capable of absorbing information and applying it accurately.

      Obama lacks empathy, period, and I’m not sure how people without empathy function in terms of understanding and resolving very high stress situational vectors. I think we’re seeing that now, from Obama, the fumbling, and such. And if this is difficult for him, how would he handle the Presidency?

      The faster, and more accurately, you assess a situation, the better and more appropriately you can respond, all things being equal. Empathy, combined with logic, comprise TRUE comprehension, give a truly accurate assessment, say, as opposed to only reading statistics from the most recent poll, and asking yourself “what would Karl do?”

  • Time-Warner gave
    and Time-Warner hath taken away.
    (If there’s a buck in it.)
    ………….Second Book of Jimbo 1:20

  • Nellie

    WOW! This story just keeps growing and growing….

    Up here we say “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire”

  • Sometime-CIA-Defender

    So who’s Edwards’ Rezko or Hsu? :p

    • Snort!

      I tell you, I’m getting an education in how Chicago is run. And Mr. Obama is deep in the muck there.

      Wish I’d seen that CNN report last night / luckily, someone sent me the YouTube link.

      • Nellie

        Ya all thought Al Capone didnt leave any relatives behind in the windy city!

      • simon

        You know, though, Daley, the old one, got the trash picked up, and the streets plowed.

        Those who idolize Daley’s methods always miss that part…

    • So who’s Edwards’ Rezko or Hsu?

      “Only his hairdresser knows for sure…”

      (Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Grew up watching 60’s TV.)

      • Very cute. Especially from an Edwards supporter 🙂

        Tell ya, I’d kill for Hillary’s hairdresser — the style and the coloring are gorgeous. The makeup artist would be great too!

        • That’s the truth. (Gotta say, though, my guy does a great job on highlighting. If you feel like getting your hair done when you’re in Seattle next time…)

    • Easy does it pilgrim, he may be your next VP