May 8th, 2008
04:35 PM ET
7 years ago

Obama: McCain is 'losing his bearings'

,
CNN

Watch portions of Obama's interview Thursday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Barack Obama chastised John McCain Thursday for engaging in “smear” politics, and defended himself from critics who question whether he is capable of being commander-in-chief, during a wide-ranging interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer - his first sit-down since the Indiana and North Carolina primaries.

“This is offensive, and I think it's disappointing,” Obama told Blitzer, when asked his thoughts about McCain’s comments that the terrorist organization Hamas wants Obama to be president. “Because John McCain always says ‘I am not going to run that kind of politics,’ and to engage in that kind of smear is unfortunate, particularly because my policy toward Hamas has been no different than his.

“I’ve said it’s a terrorist organization and we should not negotiate with them unless they recognize Israel, renounce violence, and unless they are willing to abide by previous accords between the Palestinians and the Israelis. So for him to toss out comments like that I think is an example of him losing his bearings as he pursues this nomination. We don’t need name calling in this debate.”

Blitzer’s interview with Obama can be seen in full at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET in The Situation Room. (Related: Obama: World wants to see U.S. lead)

On the topic of national security, Obama said that the American people are looking for a leader with “good judgment” - a trait the Democratic presidential hopeful said he possessed.

“Whether it’s my judgment on Iraq and recognizing that that was going to be a strategic blunder, to my insistence that we need to talk not just to countries we like, but countries we don’t, to my assessment in terms of how we had over-invested in the Musharraf government in Pakistan and that was going to be setting us up for failure later on,” Obama said. “I think I’ve consistently displayed the kind of judgment that the American people are looking for in the next president.”

Obama also talked in-depth about the Democratic nomination battle with Hillary Clinton, the Supreme Court, economic policy, and he spoke emotionally about his mother and wife.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (294 Responses)
  1. Southern view

    Here's the Hamas endorsement for Obama:
    "We like Mr. Obama, and we hope that he will win the elections," Ahmed Yousuf, Hamas' top political adviser in the Gaza Strip, said in an exclusive interview with WND and with the John Batchelor Show on WABC Radio in New York.

    "I hope Mr. Obama and the Democrats will change the political discourse. ... I do believe [Obama] is like John Kennedy, a great man with a great principal. And he has a vision to change America to make it in a position to lead the world community, but not with humiliation and arrogance," Yousuf said, speaking from Gaza.

    May 8, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. DISENFRANCHISED

    I CANT STAND THE WAY YOU ANTI HILARY VOTERS ARE SPEAKING ANYMORE. YOU ALL KEEP TRASH TALKING AND YOU ARE GOING TO LOSE THIS ELECTION. CAUSE ITS THE OBAMA PEOPLE WHO ARE HEATING THESE DISCUSSIONS, AND I FOR ONE AM NOT EVER GOING TO VOTE FOR HIM, NOT FOR THE GOOD OF THE PARTY AND NOT FOR THE GOOD OF YOU!

    May 8, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. shane

    I think one has to scrutinize Mccains pyschological disposition due to the trauma of being a POW. I mean come on he has to have to sort of PTSD?

    May 8, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  4. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Because–Mr. Obam–your strategy for the middle east has been as clear as mud.

    Bomb the pakistani's.
    Negotiate with terrorists.
    Stick to traditional israeli support.
    Leave Iraq.
    Negotiate with Iran...mabye.

    Where the hell do you stand on these issues?

    May 8, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  5. Jim

    Obama history. Teacher, running for State Senate. State Senator running for US Senate. US Senator running for President. Truth is, this guys never done anything but look for his next move, and talked talked talked....nothing more. His followers rest on hope, which is nothing more than crossing your fingers, and given his background you can't do anything else.

    May 8, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  6. TimeToUnite

    Obama IS acting presidential, Hillary on the other hand is still trying divide 'em' up into corners and pretend like only blacks are voting for Obama when they do not even make up 20% of the population in the US. She is just outrageous and slaps those Latinos and other minorities in the face who voted for her, since she didn't bother to mention them as being important to winning the nomination. Obama on the other hand is grateful and appreciative for every vote from every man and woman no matter what creed, or color or national origin and encourages us all to come together for the common good. Obama 08, united we will stand again for America.

    May 8, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  7. Let's Compare

    Obama – do-nothing, promise everything, pastor-excusing, Hamas-supported politician.

    McCain – bipartisan, no-earmark American Hero.

    After 8 years of GW – the frothing by anti-American liberals is rabid. When McCain wins in November – Howard Dean and the Clintons will be excoriated!!

    May 8, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  8. Rose

    McCain is only stating what Hamas said the same way Obama is using the incomplete term of 100 years, when the shoe is on the other foot he cries foul. He had better put on his suit of armor it is just the beginning.

    Wolf, you had better keep Cafferty away from Obama, he is so pro Obama he might just drool all over him.

    May 8, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  9. sinistar

    honkey white guy from cali -Yeah what you said!

    Pat –Are you saying that no Americans are bitter? Obama hit the nail on the head. After being lied into a war and having the economy ran into the ground, God help us now. What's Obama going to do worse than that?

    May 8, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  10. Panther

    Obama might do decent against McCain in a debate. He always looked like an idiot against Clinton.

    May 8, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  11. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    John McCain's remarks were un-American and scary. America doesn't turn own it's own and I pray that this will never happen.

    May 8, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  12. Rick from NJ

    Mr. Change has decided that he is the winner whether the US wants him or not.
    He just announced on another news station that on May 20, 2008 he would announce his presidency. I will not consider Michigan and Florida.

    May 8, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  13. Robert NYC & Miami

    THE REPUBLICANS ARE GOING TO EAT HIM ALIVE, SKIN AND ALL, LIKE A CHICKEN WING.

    May 8, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  14. Patrick

    Hey Obama drones; McCain has a far more bi-partisan voting record then Obama. You claim you want to unite the country but you are supporting a candidate who only sides with the democrats on everything. You can't build a coalition without both parties and indepedents and this is what McCain has done throughout his career. You should all do yourself a favor and actually read about McCain's past before you smear him.

    May 8, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  15. Tom

    Very Good Obama – Show who is in touch –
    Please do not consider Hillary as your VP – Do not trust the Clintons – If she is VP – One nevers knows what they will do to make Hillary Pres. ......

    May 8, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  16. RICARDO PHILLIPS OF D.C

    HILLARY THROW IN THE TOWEL. YOU ARE DONE. FIGHT WELL FOUGHT. KITCHEN SINK TACTICS DID NOT WORK. TIME TO MOVE ON AND UNIFY AGAINST THE REPUBLICANS. IT IS TIME FOR CHANGE. TIME TO BE REAL TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. ENJOY THE BBQ'S THAT WILL BE GIVEN ON THE WHITE HOUSE LAWN."LMAO".NOW YOU NEED TO GET YOUR SUPPORTERS TO RALLY BEHIND OBAMA. NO NEED IN ANOTHER 8 YEARS OF BUSH POLITRICKS. LET US FORGET ABOUT RACE, AND GENDER. TIME TO TAKE IT TO MCAIN. YOU WERE YESTERDAYS NEWS. OBAMA IS TODAY'S.

    C-COMPROMISE
    H-HEALTHCARE
    A-AMERICA
    N-NO BUSH
    G-GOD
    E-ENVIRONMENT

    May 8, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  17. Unified Democratic Party 2008

    Hillary Clinton supporters:

    Please stop with the threats and insults. I realize many Obama supporters are gloating and taunting you, which is disappointing and wrong. However, it's important that you rise above the petty taunts and stop threatening to vote against the well-being of our nation just because your preferred candidate will not be in the race. Voting for a Democrat, regardless of who he/she is, is absolutely critical this fall. We're all depending on Clinton supporters everywhere to see the big picture and help the Democratic party take back the White House, and get the ball rolling on our recovery from Bush's mistakes and blunders. We need you, there's no denying it. Please, please, please unite behind Obama and help the cause. We're in this together.

    May 8, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  18. Kevin in Hanover, PA

    Maybe McCain looked at your voting record Senator Obama! You consistently vote against the military and our intelligence services. Look it up yourself.

    NoBama!

    May 8, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  19. Isaac

    When did Hillary supporters lose their democratic principals. Vote McCain? Is it so personal that you people suddenly don't care about health care and the war. You will sentence more of our young people to death in Iraq because your candidate didn't get the nomination? You will all have blood on your hands. Do you really want Supreme Court justices put in place pushing conservative agendas. All because YOUR candidate isn't going to get the nomination. Quit making emotional decisions and really look at the situation. I caucused for Obama, but will vote Hillary if she wins the nomination because I want what is best for this nation, a DEMOCRAT in the White House.

    May 8, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  20. NoMoreBillorHillaryClintonInWhiteHouse

    We salute you President Barack Obama. You will one of the greatest president this country ever had. I do not have any dout you will follow the foot steps all the great presidents this country had with the exeption of Bush and Clinton. Go President this country needs to heal we want Our country back. Again thank you for standing for us all democrats, republicans, independents etc.

    May 8, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  21. Marge Hibbing Mn

    My goodness the guy who wrote a work of fiction about his father is saying someone else lost touch...after all when he lies about his bigamist and alcoholic father calling him a fighter for African rights, when he got fired for getting drunk one two many times. When he married five women never divorcing his first wife and left them when they had children so he didn't have to support them...WHAT AN "INSPIRATION" HE WAS TO OBAMA, AS OBAMA CALLED HIM. Do you people that kiss his butt think that's what he means when he says he wants to inspire people...JUST THINK THE BOOK WAS ALL LIES AND HE GOT 2 MILLION FOR WRITING IT...Don't you all wish you could do that.

    May 8, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  22. cindy

    Get this man out of the running!!!!!!!!

    May 8, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  23. DGH

    Obama manages to sound all moderate and above the fray, when at the same time he's dancing away from all the negative spotlight and anything that highlights his lack of a plan, lack of experience, lack of a cohesive, all-inclusive policy. Just because he smiles a big smile and has a calm voice doesn't mean he is right, electable or qualified.

    Hillary has demonstrated again and again her readiness for the position under tremendous duress. Too bad a bunch of hysterical, mysogynistic men can't imagine a woman in charge and have sabotaged her campaign.

    May 8, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  24. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I have to wonder if McCain's campaign is going to get nasty as soon as the Democrat's convention is over. Why do we listen to anything Hamas says. They might think he is a Muslim because of his name despite what he has said a number of times including on Meet the Press the last time he was on that he is a Christian.

    I haven't heard what McCain thinks of Israel. If I have, it hasn't been recently or it was a clear statement. What does McCain think of the only active democracy in the Middle East - Israel?

    May 8, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  25. TKB from DC

    How could Hillary lead a nation when she cannot get her lie straight about Bosnia?

    May 8, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
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