April 26th, 2008
07:51 PM ET
7 years ago

Obama: 'I've been taking some hits'

CNN

Watch Obama explain why he sometimes takes political punches without firing back.

(CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama used a question during a campaign event Saturday to explain his unusual approach to politics.

“How do we get rid of that huge divisiveness in this country?,” a voter asked Obama in Anderson, Indiana.

“The president sets the tone,” the Illinois senator said before explaining the bipartisan approach he’d take if elected to the White House.

“But, I’m also going to try to show this during the course of the campaign,” he added. “Sometimes you take some hits. Even during this campaign, I’ve been taking some hits.”

“One of the things that I learned in the school yard was: the folks that are talking tough all the time, they’re not always that tough. If you’re really tough, you’re not always looking to try to start a fight. If you’re really tough, sometimes you just walk away. If you’re really tough, you just save it for when you really need it,” Obama said.

“I’m not interested in fighting people just for the sake of scoring political points.” “If I’m going to fight somebody it’s going to be fighting over the American people and what they need.”

Obama’s effort to explain his sometimes non-confrontational approach came on the same day that his rival Sen. Hillary Clinton proposed a Lincoln-Douglas style debate. Prior to Clinton’s challenge, Obama said in a television interview set to air Sunday that he would not agree to any more debates with Clinton before the May 6 primaries in North Carolina and Indiana. After learning of Clinton's proposal, the Obama campaign maintained that the Illinois senator would not participate in any more debates until after May 6.

Related: Clinton to Obama: Let's debate like Lincoln

soundoff (353 Responses)
  1. marlies

    wasn't serious enough for CNN?

    April 26, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  2. bill pike

    Lincoln never told a lie.

    April 26, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  3. don't worry

    Don't worry...
    Hamas will strike down your enemies.

    You never have to get your hands dirty... girly man

    April 26, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  4. Mary

    Woohoo! Stand up for what's right Obama, a true leader!

    OBAMA 08!

    April 26, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  5. united dems

    CNN please email me comments that I can post. as you never post mine. Do you have any canned comments I can use?
    My simiple comment was if the debates are about the issue's or is a debate now an issue?

    April 26, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  6. DEMOCRAT FOR THE WINNER OF THIS NEXT DEBATE !!!

    Obama Quit Making Cowardly Excuses !!! . If You're Scared , Just Say It !! . You're Coming Off As A Spineless Coward . Maybe You Need The Rev. Right To Hold Your Hand . For Gods Sakes Show Some Guts .

    Hillary 08"

    April 26, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  7. gene

    I don't blame him for not wanting another debate. He looked like a loser, spoke like a loser and has been crying like one ever since. Just imagine, that this is a person who is wanting to meet with world leaders, without pre-condition. They would "eat his lunch" and send him home to Michelle crying.

    April 26, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  8. Just American

    Did he not learn in the school yard... To be a Gandhi .. you need to have a lot of tolerance... you are no where close dude..

    There are no hits that you have taken that will make you a hero... nothing great about what you have accompalished.. far, very far from the right to say : “If I’m going to fight somebody it’s going to be fighting over the American people and what they need"

    Big talk from an ordinary person dude...

    April 26, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  9. sand

    Sure he wont participate in any debates because he cant answer normal questions without his script writer. He should go back to Ill., but he would rather cry...boohoo

    April 26, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  10. Vato

    Very selfish because she knows she can't win intead she conive with some media personnel to destroy Obama period.

    April 26, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  11. North Carolina Independant

    because he is a wimp..

    April 26, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  12. adulation

    You can not deal with even the slightest criticism.

    If you are not met with adulation, you wilt, cry foul and consider that as taking a hit.

    No. Hillary has taken all the beating and she keeps on ticking.

    April 26, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  13. Todd

    Obama is the change we need in are politics today. Chris Mathews said, it the best can you image a black man picking on a white women. He would be chase out of town with a pitchforks and torches.

    Let's change our politics America don't back down!

    April 26, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  14. lizzie

    why isn't the MSM bringing up the Peter Paul trial? Why can't somebody bring up any dirt on the Clintons? There is plenty there to dig through. How come none of it comes up. What about her interning in a communist lawyer's office? You'd think she'd get some of what's coming to her.

    April 26, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  15. Godwin

    This guy is exactly what America needs right now! He is indeed one in a life time kind of presidential candidate. We need a president that is not afraid to confront the special interests.

    April 26, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  16. David Boleto

    What a sissy this Obama is...like Bush was during the 9/11 bombings......dude you are cannot hit back heere...you have to respond....Obama is a baloon, and his air is running out.

    April 26, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  17. JO-Z

    Obama is a coward not to debate Hillary. What a phony.

    April 26, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  18. Mandy, California

    Good for you , Barrack. Let's go back to the high road and the issues.

    Hillary will have her own issues coming up soon enough.

    April 26, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  19. David, Charlotte, NC

    Now when has he not hit back? Is it that his is usually on the instigator side? What a pitiful hypocrite.

    April 26, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  20. jenny

    lolololololololollllllllll.....coward

    April 26, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  21. Ivee

    Now that's the person I want in the White House. Not the schoolyard bully. Bravo, Senator Obama!

    April 26, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  22. Michael

    Chicken! A Wuss, just as I expected. We need a man as president, we need Hillary Clinton

    April 26, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  23. asd@era.com

    Obama RUUUNNN!! Hillary's a comin" and you can't stop her!!!!!!

    April 26, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  24. Nadine

    Let the truth be known, "Americans are simply tired of mess in Washington". No more repeats in the White House!

    April 26, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  25. P. D.

    Has anyone else noticed King McCain fell off the radar? It seems CNN and the other MSM don't even know he's running. Oh wait, lets just focus on the evil Democrats. God, the bias is obvious.

    April 26, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15