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. bob in L.A.

    Arrogant or elitist- you choose the word. The man actions show thinks he's better than most and last night it really came through.
    His answers were civil, his demeanor calm but he seemed as though every question and the whole act of being there was something of an imposition.
    GWB had a bit of that before he was elected and it came out even stronger when he was sworn in. We can only wait and see how far Obama's ego will expand should he win. At least with Hillary Mccain we know where there personality defects are.

    April 17, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  2. Moombay

    Definitely not a gentleman or a statesman! Sen. Obama likes to pretend that he's above it all while making all the "digs" that he can – in his arrogant, condescending, elitist way! No hope for the democrats if he's on the ticket in November.

    Former democrat

    April 17, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  3. d'Andrea

    This is the reason people like Obama.......This is the type of things parents tell their children to do when being pushed around by bullies.

    GO OBAMA '08

    April 17, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  4. Shawn from Kansas

    Watching her expressions last night, while she described her growing up, and the way she looked up and kept doing that thing with her eyes -- anybody else see it. Wow. Too bad it was more like a court room than a debate.

    I think they should have another debate, but allow the Democratic Party to pick the mediators from undecided Super D's. They'll hit on the issues that matter. Let's talk politics – I'm for Obama, but I thought HRC did quite well answering "political" questions (better than BO), and was only hurt by them going hard at Obama.

    Hated it when Jerky one mediator apologized for not giving equal time, and she giggled and smiled her cheesy smile, "I was wondering too"....Bull Butter !!! She was loving it!

    Anybody else getting drained !!!!! Best reality TV on cable these last 6 months !!!!!

    April 17, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  5. david

    he is right. He is the front runner and needs votes of all democrats. he doesnt need to attack Clinton and let her attack him. anyway, after two months she is stepping down. but with rupublicnas he has to roar like a lion.

    April 17, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  6. love it

    Way to go Obama. Just dust her and her lies off. She is nothing but a dirty little pest. Keep on going..Ameiica loves you and wants you in the Whitehouse

    April 17, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  7. John

    Obama being glib again. Style over substance. Don't address tough topics...just do something slick.
    This guy isn't ready to be leader of our county.

    April 17, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  8. Sharon

    "The person that can't dance says the band can't play".....Obama in a nutshell.....
    Hillary has been treated worse for the entire campaign....he can't take ONE night of tough questions about HIS OWN ACTIONS? And he wants to be president? Can someone explain how he would handle the job if he can't handle questions without getting upset?
    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 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  9. NickNas

    HEAR HEAR!!

    That excuse for a Debate last night turned us all off and once again proved that integrity and fairness has gone by the wayside.

    If those Moderators were sitting right NEXT to Hillary it would have been more obvious whos side they were on.

    ABC has lost me for Life. I need to Trust my news source to be just that INFORMATION. Obama DID come out of this with alot. I see Thousands of poepl who say it the same way saying how well he dealt with it. How is does it I don't know , I would have said something right there on the stage.

    BUT Hillary shot herself ( Again) and She had to admit he CAN win.

    April 17, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. jyh1920

    LOL!!!! Love it!!!

    April 17, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. Ken, LA California

    Fantastic Speech in NC today, we are very proud of you Barack.

    April 17, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. Alex from IL

    No kidding. When will the MSM realize that people don't care about this stupid stuff? What The People care about is the Constitution, torture, Iraq, and the worst situation any president in recent history has ever had to face.

    April 17, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. Paris

    You must love and believe in the American dream to claim it.
    You Obama lack both.
    How arrogant of him.

    April 17, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. Let Freedom Ring

    That's right, Barack. Brush it off, keep it movin, address the issues. That's why you're the best candidate BY FAR!

    Obama '08

    April 17, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  15. Dust of your Shoulder

    V Child,

    When I saw the clip...I thought that Jay-Z called him on last nights debate. It was a funny cool clip of Barack being chill.

    April 17, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  16. radster

    CNN, stop twisting facts. He was "brushing off" smears and "gotcha" politics. The headline is deceiving.

    April 17, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. Cherie

    That is why I love Obama so much. How can anyone be so willing to go on and not retaliate. I would have but he has so much character. PS I would not care if he did retaliate at this point and put her down.
    Go OBAMA!

    April 17, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  18. Penn State

    I saw the video. He looked so stiff when he tried to do it. He is not a good dancer. Well Barack, "Ladies is pimps too, gone brush your shoulders off" because Hillary pimped you throughout the debate!!! LMBAO!!!

    April 17, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  19. Ken, LA California

    He's become so numb and rightly so, remove the dirt from your shoulder.

    April 17, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. MMASH in NC

    He's amazing! Shows Clinton up for the petty and spiteful person that she is. We need a President that we can respect.

    Obama 08

    April 17, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  21. Sharon

    "The person that can't dance says the band can't play".....Obama in a nutshell....
    Why is he soooo mad? I loved the person in his audience who asked him how he could stand up to the republicans when he got creamed last night :)

    Hillary has been treated worse for the entire campaign....he can't take ONE night of tough questions about HIS OWN ACTIONS? And he wants to be president? Can someone explain how he would handle the job if he can't handle questions without getting upset?
    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 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  22. Obama Supporter

    Good for Obama! And he is right the debate was a disgrace. I know I wasn't interested in rehashing Hillary's Bosnia lie or who was on the board with a former terrorist-turned-literature-professor!!

    April 17, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  23. Lee WV

    I hope he doesn't go overboard with the negativity,it's still 2 months til she concedes.

    April 17, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. bill pike

    we need to brush off the entire clinton clan and start thinking about the mess our country is in. the clintons can go back to arkansas and raise pigs,or is that raise money from pigs, or is it be pigish on money from NAFTA–i get confused in my old age. Who was that being shot at while winner the Medal Of HONOR-HONOR-now that's rich.

    April 17, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. Jess

    hahahahaha......... OMG....... All that hillary's work last night and last couple of weeks goes down the drain in one sentence......... Boy, this guy is talented!

    I want this guy as my president!

    April 17, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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