May 19th, 2008
10:34 AM ET
11 years ago

Obama to GOP: 'Lay off my wife'

 Obama said his wife should not be an issue in the campaign.

Obama said his wife should not be an issue in the campaign.

(CNN) - Barack Obama sent a direct message to the Tennessee Republican Party on Monday: “Lay off my wife.”

In an interview with Good Morning America, Michelle and Barack Obama responded to the Web video unveiled last week attacking Michelle Obama’s comment earlier this year saying she was proud of America "for the first time in my adult life."

"The GOP, should I be the nominee, can say whatever they want to say about me, my track record," Obama said on Monday. "If they think that they're going to try to make Michelle an issue in this campaign, they should be careful because that I find unacceptable, the notion that you start attacking my wife or my family."

The four-minute video posted on YouTube coincided with a visit to Tennessee by Michelle Obama for a Democratic Party event.

It features several Tennesseans saying why they are proud of America while repeatedly cutting to her comments.

The Illinois senator also said his wife "loves this country,” and for anyone to “distort” or play “snippets of her remarks in ways that are unflattering to her is, I think, just low class.”

"Whoever is in charge of the Tennessee GOP needs to think long and hard about the kind of campaign they want to run, and I think that's true for everybody, Democrat or Republican," Obama also said in the ABC interview, adding, "These folks should lay off my wife."

The Tennessee Republican Party took heat in early February when it used Obama's middle name, Hussein, in a news release that questioned the Illinois senator's support of Israel.

That statement also included a photograph of Obama from a 2006 trip to Kenya, in which he is dressed in traditional attire.

Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan later said of that news release, "The RNC rejects these kinds of campaign tactics."


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (259 Responses)
  1. Joe Reg

    Republicans are desperate.

    America is sick of the repubs.

    They are doomed.

    Leave her alone.

    May 19, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  2. James in Ohio

    Ps. so is Cindy McCain.

    May 19, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  3. bite your nose

    well said-Oh Boy....

    to all the so called democrats who will vote for McBush over Obama. Please NOT ONE WORD when you see McCain in your bedroom, removing your freedom of choice and sending more kids to die in a dumb war.
    for Obama to win from where he started must mean he's a smart fighter we can trust

    May 19, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  4. Party Crasher

    Goodcitizen,

    Do you think Hillary can stand up in front of the attackes that they already had waiting for Bill?

    Anti-Obama,

    Where did you get the idea that someone was stealing the nomination? Did he stuff the ballot boxes or did he have a better ground game and strategy?

    May 19, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  5. McCain-in-4, Clarksburg, MD

    There have been many shameful comments on these CNN comment boards over the past months which 1) demonize a fully engaged candidate; 2) misrepresent a candidate's position; and 3) extremely personal attacks on the candidate's character, age, and family. None of these have a place in this election!

    That was so 1900's

    It will be interesting to see how John McCain steps up to stop these character attacks on Mrs. Obama. But to the Limbots, O'Reillyigans and their ilk I will say – You Are The Weakest Link – Good Bye!

    May 19, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  6. Hillary 08

    Agreed, instead investigate his background, his families Anti American values and how he got his money. His wifes little comment is small compared to this. Barrack Hussein Obama for President, youve got to be kidding. Did the Dems have their heads in the sand when they chose him for a candidate. Vote for your country, not your party. Hillary 08, make the right choice.

    May 19, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  7. P.A. VOTER

    Hey Jesse – San Antonio TX

    When they did that to Hillary did that make is any more right? the fact is this kind of politics doesn't help you or I at the pump, pay or bill, or feel safer so what purpose does it actually serve beside spending contribution and tax money? That's the point we are all trying to make

    May 19, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. fairandstraight

    Anti-Obama, of course, everybody knows that you must be a republican, However, I would like to know how did Sen. Obama steal the nomination? If you don't vote for him, many will. It is enough sane people in America that understands what happen in MI & Fla to avoid another third Bush term.

    May 19, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. truefact1

    why treat him or his family any different then any other person running for office... Oh that's because he is elitist and selfish and he thinks he is special and should receive special treatment... give me a break you The Obama family and friends are nothing but American haters... They said it them selves .. she is fare game!!!

    May 19, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  10. rw md

    Correction, they attacked Bill and asked Chelsea some pretty
    personal question's about her dad so if Michell is going to stump
    for Barrack, she's fair game.
    What's he scared she will make anothe mistake like not liking
    America..
    I hope there's a troth at the White House because Michell look's
    like a horse.

    May 19, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. tlou

    I say if any candidate for any office wants their spuse "left out of it" then the spouse should KEEP OUT OF IT.

    May 19, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. Peter

    LAY OFF MY WIFE – YOUR SUPPORTERS ARE RUNNING FROM THE BEGINNING AGAINST PRESIDENT CLINTON, YOUR WIFE IS PART OF YOUR CURRECULUM SHE CAMPAIGN FOR YOU AND SHE IS WILL NOT HAVE A FREE RIDE .
    ONE SPEECH
    A SECOND SPEECH THAT TRY TO EXCUSE REV. WRIGHT
    YES WE CAN
    CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE
    ALL OF THIS AND YOU GOT A MESSIAH
    DO NOT RUN THE TIME, LET THE PEOPLE CAST THEIR VOTE AND HAVE THE SUPER DELEGATES AFTER TAKEN IN CONTEXT THE ENTIRE PRO CON DECIDING WHO THE BEST THAT CAN WIN IN NOVEMBER IS.
    OBAMA GIVES UP THE STATES THAT HE THINKS HE CANNOT WIN. HE GOES TO FRIENDLY STATES. LET’S SAY THAT HE IS GOING TO BE THE PRESIDENT OF SOME STATES.
    YOU NEED A CANDIDATE THAT IS FIGHTER, PREPARED AND QUALIFIED
    HILLARY 08

    May 19, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  13. Comedy Central

    Barak you need to have a talk with your supporters. According to them, if you put yourself out there on the campaign trail, you are open for attacks. Hence, the attacks on Chelsea Clinton. Get a grip sweetie, you and your wife are not insulated by a bubble...this is real and anything goes. Also, your supporters are fired up about Ferraro's comment that she may not vote for you. Funny, that your wife said the same thing about not voting for the "other" Democrat if you did not win. Now you are supposed to be the "uniter" so show us your skills at accomplishing this. If you can't manage your wife, how will you manage the country? (That's another version of your supporters who claim that Hillary can't manage her husband so she is unfit to manage the country). Stop the hypocrisy!

    No Obama, No McCain...Write in Hillary '08

    May 19, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  14. James

    anti-obama needs to shut up and go away.Obama has the most delegates, popular votes and states how is that stealing. I hope cindy mc cain has her day soon with all her dirty ties.

    May 19, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  15. Debbie

    This country is on the verge of implosion. We've got bitter Democrats threatening to vote Republican even if it means the end of their children's future, we've got ministers joking about shooting the first black Democratic candidate, we've got Republicans and Democrats going after wives, and potentially children.
    But, in case anyone forgot, we've got gas prices going through the roof, a disappearing dollar, bankruptcies and foreclosures threatening to destroy our economy, two wars and a world full of people who despise us.
    We deserve it all because we are a country of greedy, spoiled, self-absorbed, fat, lazy, judgmental pigs. The fat lady is getting ready to sing. Keep fighting brats!

    May 19, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  16. very smart lady

    Ugly Michelle, deserves whatever she gets. What are you going to do about it, Obama. Cry baby. You leave my America alone. We are not mean people like Michelle says. You are going down, and you deserve it. You have no agenda, you big idiot

    May 19, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  17. Sol

    The GOP is certainly out of ideas. They should have saved the Jeremiah Wright's issue for the last week before election .

    May 19, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  18. Hillary Huckabee Romney McCain Rodham Clinton

    Why should the GOP be any different in respecting the boundaries of decency than Hillary? She was a Repug before she was a Dem and does it ever show! She's a guttersnipe who already set the tone of the campaign.

    May 19, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  19. Ray

    I think the campaign should be about how the candidates can help solve the americans issues. Not personal attacks on there family and shame on the people who agree to this type of foolishness. This is the very reason why we are in the shape we are in because of the foolishness we as american's accept from the media and government officials.

    May 19, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  20. Party Crasher

    Reality Check,

    You are completely insane if you think Mrs. McSame has aired all of her lundary. There is always more.

    And I for one have not been to dam proud of this county either. You can't claim to be above all others when there are homeless people in the streets, youths not learning in schools, and criminals allowed to continue to commit the same crimes multiple times.

    You can claim that you are proud, but complaining later proves other wise.

    May 19, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  21. 2 Cents

    Wife's are fair game.

    Cindy – where are your tax returns?
    why did you have an affair with a married man?
    ar eyou over your drug and alcohol addictions?

    May 19, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  22. Griff

    Get the Cream while you can, Obama. None for Christmas this year..

    May 19, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  23. Jen

    Why should we leave her alone? And really Obama? She should not be a factor in the campaign? If elected, she will be the First Lady of our nation! If she is not proud of America, go find another country to be First Lady of. I want a leader – and the family of that leader – who will stand for what America is. That will never be accomplished if the leader and his family are not full supporters of my country.

    May 19, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  24. ELawson

    This is why "Baby" Obama should not have the nomination. He can't handle something as this. Which is comments that his wife did in fact make, not something made up or hear-say. This man clearly does not have the experience or the ability to lead a party, let alone a nation.

    As Clinton stated, think of this as a "Hiring" decision. I vote for experience, should Obama get the nomination, for the first time I've been able to I will not vote at all. I will not vote against my party, nor will I cast a vote for someone that I see as "UNFIT" for the job such as Obama. As stated before if he was "white" we would not be having this conversations.

    Eli

    May 19, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  25. FNJ in Pa

    OBAMA 08' UNSTOPPABLE NO MATTER WHAT

    May 19, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
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