May 16th, 2008
03:55 PM ET
7 years ago

Blitzer: Obama's learned - 'attack right back'

Blitzer: Obama hit back a day after Bush's speech.
Blitzer: Obama hit back a day after Bush's speech.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Barack Obama came out swinging against both President Bush and John McCain. At issue: the allegation that those who are willing to sit down with terrorists are no different than those who sought to appease Adolph Hitler in the lead-up to World War II. A day after President Bush’s speech in Jerusalem, Obama gave a tough speech of his own defending his record and then followed up with a lengthy news conference.

Obama’s political strategy is clearly designed to prevent the accusation from gaining credibility. Republicans have successfully raised questions about Democrats national security credibility over the years. Obama and his supporters who fanned out across the television networks want to make sure that those charges don’t have time to resonate.

I remember covering the 1988 presidential race between then-Vice President George H.W. Bush and Mike Dukakis. The Democratic nominee was branded as weak on national security. He was ridiculed for wearing a helmet while on a tank. The picture clearly made him look silly. Even though he had emerged from the Democratic convention that summer way ahead of Bush in the national polls, he eventually lost the election in November.

Many Democrats learned an important lesson in the process. Once attacked, attack right back and don’t wait. Bill Clinton learned that lesson in 1992. It’s seems Obama has learned that lesson as well.


Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (209 Responses)
  1. Docb

    Obama seems to be have a great appreciation for history…he promised last year he would not be 'swiftboated' and has been true to form when the attacks have come both sides.
    McCain has not a leg to stand on in the day of a President with a 27% approval rating and a war that is very unpopular with the voter.

    Go Obama.

    May 16, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  2. Justin

    Bush was refering to Jimmy Carter talking with Hamas.

    May 16, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  3. Momma for Obama

    Even if one is the kindest person in the world, one has to defend one self, from the attacks of GOP they are pure evil, and will use tactics of fear, hate, division, racism, you name it..........

    look where their tactics have us now...........

    ruined economy
    totally impossible to afford university/college
    house foreclosure
    hate from all over the world
    division
    oil dependency fully
    jobs going abroad
    poor schooling
    more jails
    more crime
    more terroristic attack
    food costs going up

    on and on and on...........
    so GO Obama

    May 16, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  4. leon

    OBAMA is not qualified to be president he has based his campaign in false ideas and dreams of hopes. he is just an average politician who is playing with voters dreams because he only cares about his political ambitions.

    He said that he will talk to dictators without preconditions it is on tape so what is the big deal? is he flip-floping now?

    I will vote for Hllay in Novemer, I will write down her name on the ballot.

    This coming weekend there are several rallies in Florida to protest the decision of Obama's campaing to refuse to allow a new round of primaries in FL and Michigan. This is the president we will have someone that recognize the rights of people ony when it is not against his will. he is antidemocratic.

    May 16, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  5. Celine

    Senator Obama has always known how to attack. The reason he has been cordial towards Hillary is because he doesn't want to damage his party (unlike Hillary). Sit back and enjoy the show when it is the Republicans who are unfairly attacking him. Now don't be too presumptuous Wolf :p!

    May 16, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  6. Spider

    If the Republicans know what they're doing, they will hit him with this kinda stuff all through the campaign. Get him mad. Make him call a press conference.

    "I...er....uh....think that the best....um...thing..uh..in the world....is...uh...change. It....uh....er...is my....uh...fervent hope...that...uh...we can...uh...change."

    This man can give a prepared speech in such a way that there will not be a dry eye in the house. Everyone listening walks away with a spring in their step and a smile on their face, if he reads it all off a teleprompter. But, let him talk on the fly, and he sounds like he learned the English language last week. Barack Obama should continue to avoid debates with McCain as he has with Clinton. He cannot debate and "I agree with John" won't work. After he's elected he should probably not allow questions after he gives a prepared Presidential statement. Makes him look like an idiot.

    May 16, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  7. errrr

    I had never imagined before that there would be one day I support GOP. However, although I don't know if I will support Democratic Party in the future, I am pretty sure that I will support GOP in this fall if Obama is nominated.

    May 16, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. ruby

    Obama is feeling guilty.. My prayer is that America will see him for who he truly is....

    May 16, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  9. Tim Lovell

    If President Bush, and Sen. McCain was able to go back to the days of Christ, would they have bad mouthed him for sitting down and talking to the enemies?, I don't think so!! I think Obama shows character, has a level head on his shoulder, and would like to be known as a person that would take any step possible to make it one step closer towards World peace. If his stratigies didn't work, at least it would be a step in the right direction. How does that expression go? "What woud Jesus do?" Do not judge lest you should be judged. Who cares if you are Republican or if you are a Democrat, quit the mud slinging and get to the real issues to help mankind.

    May 16, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. Whiskey

    “Why do Clinton supporters feel so ENTITLED?”

    To all the

    "If not Hillary then McCain" and “write Hillary in” fools...yes fools. You obviously are not Democrats in any way , shape, or form and must be a gluton for punishment under the failed Republican rule.

    and, even dumber.......
    "Hillary in 2012" morons

    You think that she will be entitled the nomination once again. WRONG. I hear many people write how they are bitter and will not support Obama and that he can not beat McCain w/o your support. Well, there is a possibility that the statement may be true. But to think that people will support Hillary in 2012 after many of you plan on turning your back on the Democratic party because your candidate lost, YES LOST, are greatly mistaken.

    Smarten up and grow as an enlightened person.

    -57 female, white, lesbian, veteran, farmer from WV

    May 16, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  11. Thomas

    I see Wolf has now resigned himself to Hillary losing.

    May 16, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  12. leon

    DEMOCRATS UNITED FOR HILLARY!!!!

    LET'S WRITE HER NAME IN THE BALLOT ON NOVEMBER, WE WILL SHOW HOW STRONG OUR WILL IS,

    WE WILL CREATE A BLOCK AGAINST OBAMA THE ANTI-DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY.

    THE CONVENTION IN DENVER SHOULD AGREE ON CHANGING THE NAME OF THE PARTY

    I HOPE THEY SELECT A NEW CHAIRMAN AND CHANGE THE RULES

    ABAJO OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!

    OBAMA GO BACK TO CHICAGO WITH YOUR FAMILY!!!!!!!

    May 16, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  13. kaduke

    This is so funny. If this goes on, the election will be over in July. Keep throwing those softballs over the middle of the plate, and we'll see the mercy rule go into effect. At least make Obama earn it. This is too easy. People around the world are just shaking their heads in disbelief that we have this moron in the white house. Boy, what a great day lies ahead. Ya gotta love it!

    May 16, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  14. Venus

    Wolf – when Obama attacks back – it will be with full force from the Democrat party and all supporters!

    We are not taking this crap this year!

    May 16, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  15. Adrian

    Obama supporters will defend him no matter what he does. It seems that once people take a stand, their pride prevents them from admitting they're wrong.

    Barack is a FAKE. You know why he plays the "change" card ad nauseum? Because it's the only one he has. He is weak on substance, weak on analysis, weak on applicable knowledge–so he tries to distract from this by appealing to voters' emotions. Anybody who can't see that isn't looking hard enough.

    Whoever honestly believes that Barack will bring about a substantial change in the U.S. political system: I have a bridge to sell you.

    May 16, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  16. leon

    DEMOCRATS UNITED FOR HILLARY AGAINST OBAMA.

    WE WILL TURN A STOLEN VICTORY INTO JUSTICE!!!!!!

    May 16, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  17. David Goldman for OBAMA

    BUSH & MCSHAME HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO CREDIBILITY

    OF ANY KIND, NOT TO MENTION INTEGRITY & INTELLIGENCE.

    May 16, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  18. Whiskey

    P Smith

    Your bitterness is destroying you. SORE LOSER

    May 16, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  19. enoch needles

    Gotta love the Shrill Hill Shills – even in the face of certain defeat, they never fail to post their "I'll vote for McCain" nonsense.

    May 16, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  20. leon

    ELITIST, AFRICAN-AMERICAN, STUDENTS THIS IS OBAMA B ASE WHO HAVE BEEN BRAIN WASHED BY THE OBAMA RETHORIC OF THE EXTREME LEFT BY POPULIST AND COMMUNIST IDEAS

    WE WANT REAL SOLUTIONS

    May 16, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  21. Jim

    He'll never make it, Obama! Hillary will have to step in the Edwards did and pick up the pieces!

    Help us save the Dems chances! Superdelegates stand up and be counted on Hillary's side or it's over for all of us!

    May 16, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  22. George

    Folks, unfortunately CNN has long lost it's ethic's of journalism.

    Please don't get caught up with the paradigms it is depicting and it's distorted and twisted depiction of news. Lets find more fertile and ethical sources. (NPR, Democracy Now, MSNBC, etc..).

    May 16, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  23. leon

    OBAMA WIL L BE DEFEATED IN NOVEMBER

    HIS IDEAS (STOLEN ONES FROM OTHERS) DO NOT REPRESENT WHAT THE CORE PATRIOTIC VOTERS OF THIS COUNTRY WANT AND FIGHT FOR

    May 16, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  24. Bill

    Obama continues "politics as usual" while decrying "politics as usual".

    We call it hypocrisy and we'll get lots more from Obama.

    Hillary is Presidential material: never Obama.

    May 16, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  25. leon

    HILLARY SUPPORTERS UNITED TO DEFEAT OBAMA

    May 16, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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