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. Blake

    "GO ON BRUSH YA SHOULDAS OFF!"

    Yes! I see a music video on the horizon.

    April 17, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. questions in PA

    He’s so arrogant... what you Obama kool aid drinkers see in this man I do not understand... We have learned anything from George W? Another failure president that America can't afford... no way, no how... just say no!!!

    April 17, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. Grif

    You're shoulders need to be Broad, to carry the Load.... Elite???
    Who's going to carry you're excess Baggage?.. After November!!

    April 17, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  4. EDW

    If you're feeling like a PIMP!

    HAIL TO THE CHIEF

    April 17, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. arrogant OBAMA

    He’s so arrogant... what you Obama kool aid drinkers see in this man I do not understand... We have learned anything from George W? Another failure president that America can't afford...

    April 17, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. Jan

    Keep brushing Obama, everything Clinton said was true.

    Obama supporters are soooo upset because their golden boy got alittle taste of what the bias has been doing to Clinton for months now
    and they cannot handle the truth.

    Every question that was asked to Obama last night was a question
    America has been waiting for , but still didn't get the truth.

    No Flag
    Will not put his hand over his heart when the National Anthum is played
    Rev, Wright...No matter how much good that church does, it does not
    alter the fact that those people sat there and came back after the anti
    american sermon he gave week after week..NO EXCUSE OBAMA you
    stuck with him for 20 years, and in your book you said he was you
    mentor and last night you denied it.

    April 17, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  7. PA Feminist for Hillary

    YOU GOT BEAT !!!
    -NICE TRY AT SPINNING THIS ONE...
    THE MAN CANT TAKE THE HEAT!!!

    TAKE YOUR BEATING LIKE A MAN INSTEAD OF CRYING ABOUT IT

    YOU WILL LOSE BC THE TELEPROCTOR WONT ALWAYS BE THERE FOR YOU TO READ.

    HILLARY IS STRONGER THAN YOU COULD EVER BE

    Hillary- McCain '08

    April 17, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  8. Matthew, Philadelphia, PA

    What a loser!

    April 17, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. fred

    Cry baby Obama!!

    Just wait the fun is about to begin if you get the nomination!!

    April 17, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  10. The saint ofvenus

    It's been really hard on him lately.

    April 17, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. sailersun

    HOVVVVvvvvvv....Obama 08'
    Never mind the politics of the old, we need to get on and stop wasting time, energy, money and Bitter words on another DEM because 'someone' cant see the writing on the wall!
    Btw does anyone know what the REP do if they were in a close-tie situation b/c I dont believe they have SupaDelgs to keep a candidate's hope alive...jus wondering

    April 17, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. R

    he would do the same thing if he was behind

    April 17, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. dlr

    He' right! Old school politics is of the past and the American people, besides the baby boomers, are ready for a change.

    The baby boomers had their chance and blew it big time.....

    April 17, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. Another debate

    If the debates are with ABC no....I prefer Russert or Cnn or even Fox...but ABC is done with debates. Also, what can they say that I haven't heard from the last 21 debates....besides these debates aren't even talking about the issues anymore.

    April 17, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  15. Obamacrat

    Can Obama beat McCain? YES! YES! YES!

    April 17, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  16. disgruntled in CA

    Obama is trying to focus on Hillary being negative because he has yet to give solid answers on Wright (who this past week said white supremecy is in the DNA of this country (apparently missed that and all the other comments), Rezko, Ayers(who held a fundraiser for him before which is much more than being on a board together), comments on religion/guns/bitterness, typical white people, various other connections...

    what does it take for people to really see them for who he is?

    Hillary '08 and if not her....McCain.

    April 17, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  17. Alex in San Antonio

    Hey CNN....look up the definition of literally. Or was Hillary Clinton literally sitting on Barack's shoulders?

    April 17, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  18. Sharon

    He's so afraid of everything...the only thing he can do is write a good speech using mostly OTHER people's words....cracks me up....

    April 17, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  19. Pete

    Hell, I had to brush that dirt off my shoulders and I am 1,000 miles away.

    Texans for Obama

    April 17, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  20. Goutten

    When you attack the truth it make you the lair. HRC exit stage left and let the real President through.

    Chicago

    April 17, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  21. Hopeful voter

    Thats right Obama: Take a lickin and keep on tickin!

    April 17, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  22. Davkat

    ABC and Charles Gibson should be ashamed for last night's debate. I just wasted 45 minutes of my life listening to "he said, she said" crap! No one cares (anymore) about the Rev Wright, Hillary in Bosnia, and some bomb maker Obama knows that was blowing stuff up in protest when he was 4 years old. C'mon now! Is this the best you guys can do? ABC should never do another debate. Just leave it to the pros on Cable (CNN or MSNBC!! But not FOX. We all know where they stand...lol)

    April 17, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  23. Dee

    Good for him!!!

    April 17, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  24. David

    Obama 08!

    The debates were a joke. Why did Stephanoplous get to be a moderator when he worked for Bill Clinton's white house as the press secretary? Seems odd.

    And why was Chelsea in a literal spot light and no one was spot lighted for Obama?

    And why no questions about Mark Penn, Bill's foriegn income, the Ohio story (the girl had insurance), etc....

    Hmm....something wierd about that.

    But Obama did very well. Forceful, to the point, clear, and yet calm and a gentlemen. A real leader and frankly refreshing.

    Obama 08!

    April 17, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  25. Sharon

    The digs must have hurt because you are still crying about them today :)

    April 17, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
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