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. Its True

    Brush her off Obama. In fact, give me a broom and I'll sweep her out the back door! The video was awesome!

    We need more Teflon!

    Obama 2008

    April 17, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  2. Myra

    LOVE IT ! !

    April 17, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  3. HEIDI

    We'll take last night debate as a lost without complaining. But what it does for the supporters of Obama is make us work harder....harder at registering new voters, harder at campaigning door to door, harder at putting our money where our future lies.

    PA-April 22nd

    but then ON TO THE BEAUTIFUL STATES OF NC & IN

    May 6th.

    FIRE IT UP AND YES WE ARE READY TO GO

    April 17, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  4. Terry Williams

    I think its time for the rest of Obama's dirt to come out and have him destroyed by the GOP. I'll love to watch him be the nominee so all of my fellow HIllary supporters can go vote for John McCain and watch him lose in shame.

    April 17, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  5. Katie

    When are his supporters going to see how arrogant Senator Obama is! But worse than his condescending arrogance, is his whinny, everybody's ganging up on me attitude. Is he really that naive? I don't think so. My real concern is that he NEVER takes responsibility for anything! He is constantly placing blame on other people, circumstances, etc. I'm waiting to hear that the reason he bowled so badly is that Hillary was placing the pins wrong.

    April 17, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. Sig, Los Angeles CA

    Where's the video, I gotta see this!

    OBAMA '08

    April 17, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  7. L. Tran, TX

    Should have done that at the debate – Wake up, Obama. Rough ride ahead.

    April 17, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. Get Real

    The Clintons (and yes, Bill is deep in the dung) are truly more of the same.

    April 17, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. Sue

    Just shake her dirt off yourself and keep on going Obama!

    April 17, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. Andrew

    I love it..."We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us"

    April 17, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. Ben

    Obama for a better American and a better kind of politics.

    Thank you Barack. Thank you for restoring my faith in America, politicians and the Democratic party.

    Now...Hillary... Take your millions and retire. Pretty please!

    April 17, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. oswanegan

    Obama is great... love his sense of humor in times that would have many politicians looking for a dark corner. The footage indeed is very funny, what a contrast he and McCain will make to one another when they debate. He is quite frankly an amazing American story that has still to be written!

    April 17, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  13. Sharon

    Boy, he is really pathetic.....what a baby....
    There had NOT been a debate since his pastor and the bigot remarks came to be....The questions needed to be asked in the debate forum. He was weak and irritated....he really looked bad. I guess that's why he doesn't want any more debates...how funny :)

    April 17, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  14. H. Churchill

    . . . .Senator Obama should not lower himself to another debate with
    Hillary Clinton.

    April 17, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. OBAMA '08

    HAHAHAHAHA... OMG this man gotta be my president!!

    yea Obama get her off your shoulders... soon!!! Pennsylvania its in you to end this up and let democrats finally concentrate on John McSame

    April 17, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  16. melvin

    HOLLA....LOL

    April 17, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  17. Mia

    Oh I wish I could have seen that. I agree he needs to brush it off, because what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

    April 17, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  18. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Obama knows Hillary is a tough opponent and understands her tactics well, it's good to have a laugh.

    April 17, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  19. Sharon

    Hillary has been treated worse for the entire campaign....he can't take ONE night of tough questions about HIS OWN ACTION? And he wants to be president? Can someone explain how he would handle the job?
    Boy, he is really pathetic.....what a baby....
    There had NOT been a debate since his pastor and the bigot remarks came to be....The questions needed to be asked in the debate forum. He was weak and irritated....he really looked bad. I guess that's why he doesn't want any more debates...how funny :)
    GO HILLARY!!!

    April 17, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  20. Yves larochelle

    Shge should save the time for duck hunting with Dick Cheney or maybe she could warm up with fishing.
    She is just pathetic and not fit to lead. How can she tell so many time a false Bosnia story and not realize that it was not accurate? Is she smoking special things? Why did her clown and cheater of husband not correct her? He would for sure have known if there were really any snipes that day. That' s not something you forget, or did Hillary also erase any memories of Monica Lewinski? Very possible, maybe as a result of a special treatment.

    April 17, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  21. david

    More Educated Men should be employed into journalism. For a journalist to think that Americans are Dumb by playing Gotcha politics at this Economic turmoil means a lot of journalist cheat to graduate

    April 17, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  22. Quinn - PA

    He talks big now, but was a total looser in the fight last night. He stumbled, fumbled and was down for the count.

    Just kept patting Wright and Ayers on the back. Totally danced around his BITTER speech. He plays the same old politics, COOKIEGATE?
    That happened over 15 years ago. All his issues are recent and just wait till the Sinclair and Resko fallout happens.

    He did not even respond coherently to social security or the tax questions. I guess that's because today he has a script in front of him. The republicians will destroy his inexperienced, car salesman self.

    April 17, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  23. Hillary - Liar

    Hillary is a BITTER old sow, and it shows.

    April 17, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  24. King of NJ

    thats right!!! BRUSH IT OFF!!!

    thanks for the love taps Billary!!!

    OBAMA 08!!

    April 17, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  25. Geez....

    Wow, Hillary is being blamed for Obama's wounded ego! His brushing of the shoulders looks really school yard. She did not ask the questions. It is about time that Obama learn what it is like to be hardballed. He is not a victim...he is a presidential candidate. He's starting to look really wimpy, especially against a woman who can hold her own! Why doesn't he just rejoice in all the money his campaign will receive because he was so abused!!!!

    April 17, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
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