April 17th, 2008
03:13 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama brushes Clinton off his shoulders—literally

,
CNN

Listen to Obama’s remarks on Clinton Thursday.

RALEIGH, North Carolina (CNN)-–Democrat Barack Obama said Thursday that rival Hillary Clinton was "in her element" at Wednesday night's debate, telling a North Carolina crowd she "took every opportunity to get a dig in."

He used his hands to motion brushing his shoulders off. "That's her right to kind of twist the knife in a little bit," he said, before adding that he understands why she's using what he calls the tactics of the GOP.

"That’s the lesson that she learned when the Republicans were doing that same thing to her back in the 1990s. ...So, I understand it," Obama continued.

"When you're running for the presidency then you’ve gotta expect it and you know you’ve just gotta kinda let it—" He paused, brushing his shoulders off with his hands before doing the same to his knees and pant legs.

"You know, it's what you gotta do," he said, to wild cheers from the Raleigh audience.

Obama's attacks echo a theme his campaign has been hammering, as well.

In a conference call with reporters Thursday morning, campaign manager David Plouffe said Clinton's recent negative ads in Pennsylvania are part of a "relentlessly negative campaign."

But before Obama directly took on Clinton, the Illinois senator took a swipe at the debate itself, sarcastically calling the back-and-forths the two have been having lately "inspiring events." He added that Wednesday's set a new record in his book.

"It took us 45 minutes before we even started talking about a single issue that matters to the American people."

All this at a time when it remains unclear whether Obama will commit to an April 27 debate in North Carolina. Coincidentally, an audience member asked him why he hasn't committed to that one yet.

Obama, as he has in the past, downplayed the relevance of recent broadcasts.

"I’ll be honest with you," Obama started, "you know we now had 21, and look, I mean the previous three, you know, we did very well, so its not as if we don’t know how to do these things."

soundoff (431 Responses)
  1. Desiree

    If Obama can't handle this, he'll never be able to handle the republicans. He should just man up and just admit he had a bad night, no one is perfect, but to play this wounded victim role is really unattractive and unbecoming of a leader. Do your history, this is a picnic compare to the founding fathers. He's been off his game since Texas.

    April 17, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  2. The V-Child

    HAHAHA... Obama is obviously a Jay-Z fan. "Get...that...dirt of your shoulder!!!"

    OBAMA '08... YES WE CAN!!! SI SE PUEDE!!!

    April 17, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. I supported HRC because of Bill

    OBAMA all the way!

    April 17, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  4. Debby

    Oh he is just a sour grape because she used him for a mop last night. LOL

    April 17, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. Gabriela

    Shake them haters off, Obama.

    April 17, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. scbrown

    OBAMA CAN HAVE JIMMY CARTER ENDORSEMENT SINCE IS HE MEET WITH HAMAS.

    THE MEDIA WAS ALL OVER JIMMY CARTER HINTING HE WILL SUPPORT OBAMA NOW THEY ARE QUIET SINCE CARTER IS MEETING WITH HAMAS.

    IF THIS WAS HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER, MEDIA WOILD HAVE SLAM HER FOR THIS.

    ALSO ,OBAMA DIDN'T LIKE JIMMY CARTER MEETING WITH HAMAS,

    BUT IT'S OK FOR HIS FORMER PASTOR TO PRINT HAMAS MANIFESTO AND WRITE AN ARTICLE IN LA TIMES SUPPORTING HAMAS.

    April 17, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. Ca Native

    Obama brushes his shoulders indicating he's dismissing Hillary. Sounds a bit elitist to me!

    He goes on to say she "twists the knife in a little bite".

    Obama sounds like a pouting 12-year old girl. He's definitely not ready for prime-time.

    April 17, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  8. Amb from Indiana

    That's right!

    GET!
    THAT!
    DIRT OFF YA SHOULDERS!

    April 17, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  9. Brown

    I love this man! I'm donating $200 tonite.

    April 17, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. Helene

    You are right Obama. That woman is dirty, in mind, in spirit. She can only spew her venom. She actually made me feel ASHAMED of being a woman last night.
    Let her debate on her own with her lackeys, the Stephanopoulos, Gibson, Hannity of the media world. Feathers of the same bird.

    April 17, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. Alonzo Demetrius

    SO, HOW DOES BRUSHING HIS SHOULDERS OFF QUALIFY HIM TO BE PRESIDENT?

    April 17, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  12. Gloria

    Go Barack, GO!! Crash HER, boy, in Penn!!! We are with you!! Let's finish HRC...NOW is the moment...OUR MOMENT!!

    April 17, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. Wallace

    Shake it off Obama and keep campaigning. Go Obama 08'

    CNN please post my comments.

    April 17, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. scbrown

    OBAMA IS THE BIG LIAR AND DAMAGING COMMENTS:

    'BABY BEING PUNISHMENT'

    BITTERGATE

    ATTACKING MAREEN DOWD FOR MAKING FUN OF HIS BIG EARS-IT'S OWN TAPE

    AMERICAN SOLDIERS LIVES ARE BEING WASTED IN IRAQ. JOHN MCCAIN MADE SIMILAR COMMENT BUT HE IS 5 YEAR POW.

    OBAMA LIED ABOUT HANDGUN QUESTIONAIRE- HE PESONALLY WROTE THE ANSWER

    OBAMA LIED ABOUT BEING RACIALLY AMBUSH AND MADE UP A LIFE MAGAZINE STORY IN HIS BOOK "DREAMS FROM MY FATHER"– THE MEDIA DIDN'T COVER THIS.

    OBAMA LIED ABOUT BEING BORN DURING SELMA MARCH

    OBAMA LIED ABOUT HIS PARENTS RECEIVING SCHOLARSHIP FROM THE KENNEDYS

    OBAMA LIED ABOUT BEING A CONSTITIONAL PROFESSOR

    OBAMA LIED ABOUT NOT SITTING IN HIS CHURCH

    OBAMA LIED ABOUT NAFTA

    OBAMA LIED ABOUT RELATIONSHIP WITH REZKO

    OBAMA LIED ABOUT MEETING AUCHI

    OBAMA HAD THE AUDACITY TO ATTACKED HILLARY FOR HAVING A BEER,

    WHEN OBAMA INVITED THE MEDIA TO SEE HIM MILK A COW, HAVE A BEER, BOWL AND HAVE A GOAT CHEEZE SANDWICH.

    OBAMA HAD THE AUDACITY TO ATTACKED HILLARY FOR HER BOSNIA STORY,

    WHEN OBAMA LIED AND MADE UP A STORY ABOUT BEING RACIALLY AMBUSH WHEN SEEING A LIFE MAGAZINE ARTICLE.

    THIS IS JUST A FEW OF HIS LIES!!!!

    April 17, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  15. Dinesh

    He didn't do poorly in this debate. She didn't do well in this debate. The vast majority of people would say he won. Why? Because she has attacked him on the scale that Fox News attacks democrats. Her words were destructive, and she will eventually implode from these statements.

    April 17, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. Jasmyne

    Just keep on brushing her off, she is completely insignificant!

    PS. If you think it sounds arrogant thats because you know its true. If I were on a losing team I would be hating too

    OBAMA 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 17, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  17. alice2

    Barack you are right on. She was using the OLD way of politics as usual. We are MOVING ON WITH CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN. I LOVE IT.!!!!!!!!!

    April 17, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. Lisa

    Which part of the debate did Hillary attack him? She said she would not attend that church, and I wouldn't either.

    April 17, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  19. Kevin

    I saw that...he was funny..

    The crowd enjoyed the show

    Will this help him?
    Time will say.....

    April 17, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  20. May

    Ohh CNN! Your title is WRONG! Obama did not bruch Clinton off his shoulders. He was referring to the negative attacks (note he used 'it") and not HIllary. Read it again:
    "When you're running for the presidency then you’ve gotta expect it and you know you’ve just gotta kinda let it—"

    April 17, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. jj

    yea brush off your mentor, sorry, I can not brush it off so easily. You went for 20 years, you must have agreed to keep going BY CHOICE for 20 years. Your choices on a number of things are not so easily brushed off for some people but that's your answer, just ignore it because you have no good answer for it, just blame others for being racist.

    April 17, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  22. AZM

    I have no side in this primary... but would say that Hillary did better in that debate than Obama...
    That being said... I don't see any point in having anymore... it was just a mud slinging fest... but not as one sided as he lets it out to be.

    At any rate... I hope she doesn't give up... this is democracy in action and they should take it the distance!

    Never give up... Never surrender!

    April 17, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  23. Antonio

    yeah he also forgot wipe his face and place the ice back on his black eye. Fool was handed his butt last night.

    April 17, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  24. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    The Clintons, GOP and McCain still live in the past. They think and know most Americans are stupid! However, Obama knows what the American Public is feeling! This is what is going to make it happen for him, he knows how you feel!

    God Bless You Obama Only The Strong Survive.

    Obama 08/12

    April 17, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  25. Isaac

    I am starting to be disgusted by Obama and his remarks. Yes he had tough questions thrown his way, but this was the first debate since Wright and Bitter and all that and these are things that, for better or worse, have been the focus of much speculation this last month or so. I think this was a wake-up call to what the fight will probably be like for him in the general election should he get the nomination.

    Clinton was in her element because she knows how to stand up to the attacks. Obama does not and it shows, and now he complains.

    April 17, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
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