April 15th, 2008
03:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama: I'm no elitist

 Obama laughed off charges he is an elitist.

Obama laughed off charges he is an elitist.

WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Barack Obama said Tuesday he was "amused" by accusations he is an "elitist" in the wake of the 'bitter-gate' controversy.

"It is true I am amused about this notion of elitist," Obama said, citing the fact that he was raised by a single mother, lived off food stamps, earned scholarships, and had to finance his own law school education.

"[Michelle and I] lived for the first 13 years of marriage up until three years ago, in a three bedroom condo without a garage," the White House hopeful said. "So if you live in Chicago, that means you are scraping ice every morning."

Hillary Clinton has called Obama "elitist" and "out of touch" for remarks he made at a fundraiser where he referred to some Pennsylvanians as "bitter" people who "cling to guns and religion."

During a veterans town hall near Pittsburgh, one man said that the way the word "elitist" had been used against Obama.

"As a white person, this term [elitist] the way that it is being used against you, it isn't far from uppity and I think the Clintons are getting away with something that they must be called on," the man said, adding that he thought the controversy would continue until someone told Clinton she was "close to prejudice here, this is wrong..."

The Illinois senator responded by blaming politics and the "silly season" for the controversy, but told the questioner he did not believe there were "racial overtones" to the recent attacks.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (309 Responses)
  1. Ana

    Obama is an elitist. And a liar, too. Anyone read about him being at the Rezko party...???

    April 15, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  2. chris

    yes you are your a rich racist black man that goes to a black power teaching church your not fit to be an american much less president

    April 15, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  3. Thall999

    This just shows you how bad the Hillary Clinton Campaign has been.

    To stoop to calling a man a elitist when she and Bill earned over 109 million dollars (not even counting 2007) is a campaign gone MAD s-t-u-p-i-d!

    True Hillary supporters have to even shake their heads in disgust over this one. Bill and Mark is selling out American Union jobs to the highest foreign bidder and ther is Hillary pointing at Obama as being the culprit.

    If that isn't a VERY BAD magic trick than what is? We can even see Hillary MOUTH and the JOBS move as she speaks. lol

    April 15, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  4. carmen

    Looks like the gun used for duck hunting is pointing at her feet now and is also backfiring. In any case an elitist, which he is not, would be much more preferable than an opportunist, a panderer, a hypocrite and a liar.

    April 15, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  5. Mike

    Can we have a bitter president? Yes we can! Yes wan can! Yes we can!

    Go Bitter 08!

    April 15, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  6. Can't Understand

    Why Hillary is still in the race?

    She has the most Delegates? No
    She has more of the popular vote? Not at all
    She has won more states? Nope
    Based on the states we have left she has the possibility of leading in any one of those categories? . . . Not Possible

    You Need to Go, Girl!!!

    April 15, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  7. Jane

    How come if anyone says anything against hillary, you are sexist??

    April 15, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  8. one nation under god!!!!

    I have news for you obama your an elitist and your mindless robots a.k.a.supporters are too

    April 15, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. Carl from Pa

    I think John Stewart said it best, "doesn't elitist mean good?" However, if being able to go to college and get good grades to then be able to get a good job and live the american dream makes you an elitist then well shouldn't we all be so lucky? The absurdity of this all and the hypocracy is just amazing. Maybe we should get them both some boxing gloves and sell tickets.

    Angry and maybe bitter voter in Pa – voting for Obama

    April 15, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  10. Ivar

    Hillary and Bill made 109 million in a gap of 7 years....Hmmmmm and whom did hillary call elitist......Should i say more.?

    April 15, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  11. Time4Change

    Had John McCain or Hillary Clinton made that statement, it wouldn't even be a topic of discussion. But because the media tries to dictate to us whats what we should be bothered by, people seem to fall right into the trap. People keep saying Obama is fake, but of all 3 candidates, he's words on what his policies as president remain the same. He hasn't changed at all to win an extra vote. Hillary and McCain continue to change their positions as they view the polls. And Hillary will say and do anything for a vote. If she thinks she's going to win the electing fighting dirty, she's going to end up handing it over to the Republicans on a platter. And at this point, I wouldn't be surprised if the Clintons weren't on the Rebuplicans payroll.

    April 15, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. Mama for Obama

    Um, don't worry about us in Pennsylvania. I wasn't offended by Sen. Obama's remarks in the least. Remember, the truth shall set ye free.

    And Porter, as for your comment, "the self made ones are the worst" – exactly what do you mean by ones? One of what?

    I really thought we'd gotten somewhere in this country but obviously, some people are just insistent on dragging us all down with them. Those of you who want to stay mired in the politics of the past – please, go find an island where everyone looks and thinks the way you do and allow this country to progress to where it should be. What will it take for people to realize we have more in common than that which separates us and that politicians like Bush, Rove, Cheney et al love it when we're divided.

    The politics of destruction is going to destroy us if we don't stop buying into this poision.

    April 15, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  13. JERRY

    I'm not an elitist, I'm not selling snake oil, I don't lie, I said that but I meant this....go away Obama. You're a joke.

    April 15, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  14. Jen DFW

    hillary had to fund her own schooling too.

    April 15, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  15. George from Minneapolis

    Obama is the most normal person to run for president in my lifetime. The elitist label wont stick. Whoever is advising Hillary should never be allowed to work on a campaign of any kind again. They are totally incompetent.

    Calling Obama an elitist when you have had a silver spoon in your mouth your whole life makes you look like an idiot. The people around Hillary are not doing her any good.

    How many millions of dollars do you have McCain ??

    April 15, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  16. T D Trent Supports Change!




    April 15, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  17. MULU

    Hillary ppl, I hope you see now there is no evidence left for you to keep supporting her. She lies and says anything to win. But if that is not possible, she will take the one who is winning to the gutter with herself. If a Dem is going to win this presidency, it can only be her and nobody else how intelligent and genuine they are.

    April 15, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  18. James M, Tacoma WA

    Go away, please, Hillary. You've poisoned the well enough. Either drop it and start playing like a Democrat not a Republican, or my vote WILL go elsewhere. You're no Democrat, you're just a Zell Miller and Joe Lieberman who will sell us down the river to the Republians.

    April 15, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  19. Diane

    Even before the primary started I was asked what I thought of Obama. I do not have a college degree and not a political junkie, but just by my own instincts and judgement I did not like Obama from the beginning. I think it is the way that he presents himself and his body language, there is just something about the guy that I do not like nor do I trust. This whole talk of change and hope is nice, but I do think that it is all just rhetoric, its just talk to get us all full of hope only to find out that he is just another politician in it for himself. And from my own opinion I do not think that he has shown very good judgement with the people that he surrounds himself with.

    April 15, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  20. kathleen for Obama

    Obama connects with voters everywhere because for the very
    first time, we have a candidate that is not afraid to tell the truth.
    He speaks of "feelings" like "bitter" that 'elitists" cannot identify
    with. Obama will win the general election because he is starting
    to get mad. The truth hurts when you have to did down into your
    hearts and souls and admit that at one time or another, you have
    "felt" bitter. If not, you are either rich are havn't lived that long. Look
    into your parents lives and wonder have they ever "felt" bitter.
    We Americans are wonderful strong people but we cannot
    deny our feelings forever!!!! I don't want a liar to be President.

    April 15, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  21. Ellie in Aurora, CO

    In the words of Winston Churchill, "The best argument against democracy is spending 5 min with a typical voter." I love how the willfully ignorant bring up Rezco, or "rich" grandparents. For heavens sake, pick up a book once in awhile and stop spewing hate! If you'd read Obama's books, you would get it, which, btw, is how he paid off his student loans and bought a nice house. He WORKED for it!

    April 15, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  22. Obama is making history

    In the midst of all the attacks and racist comments, Obama has handled it all very gracefully. Very elegant man and someone that makes me proud to be an American. Please stay graceful- it sends a positive, calming message to America.

    Heal the divide! Obama '08

    April 15, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  23. Dee

    Obama will be our next President!!!!!!!!

    Go OBAMA!!!!!!!!! GO!!!

    April 15, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  24. mitch from ark.

    there's no time to discuss this,right now,haven't you people seen the news?a guy dressed like GOD,just landed on an airplane,in the usa!........i hope he's not mad.

    April 15, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  25. barry

    what he is ...is not tested....not proven....the media has given him a free ride...that will surely implode in a general election.......

    April 15, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
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