June 25th, 2008
11:49 AM ET
6 years ago

Obama says Dobson 'making stuff up'

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(CNN)— Sen. Barack Obama said Tuesday night evangelical leader James Dobson was “making stuff up,” when he accused the Illinois senator of distorting the Bible and taking a "fruitcake interpretation" of the U.S. Constitution.

“Any notion that I was distorting the Bible in that speech, I think anyone would be hard pressed to make that argument,” Obama told reporters on board his press plane Tuesday night.

Obama's past comments came front and center Tuesday when Dobson criticized the presumptive Democratic nominee’s June 2006 speech on his Focus on the Family radio show.

Watch: Schneider reports on Obama v. Dobson

In the speech, Obama suggested that it would be impractical to govern based solely on the word of the Bible, noting that some passages suggest slavery is permissible and eating shellfish is disgraceful.

Earlier: Evangelist accuses Obama of 'distorting' Bible

"Which passages of scripture should guide our public policy?" Obama asked in the speech. "Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is OK and that eating shellfish is an abomination? Or we could go with Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount - a passage that is so radical that it's doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application?"

Obama responded Tuesday saying the speech underscored the notion he is a man of faith and highlighted the importance that people like him who find faith important “try to translate our concerns in a universal language so that we can have open and vigorous debate.”

UPDATE:
Responding to the comments, Tom Minnery, senior vice president of Focus Action, said "There is no need to 'make stuff up' as it relates to Sen. Obama's interpretation of Scripture and the role of religion in the public square."

"His statements and record make clear his questionable perception of both. To argue that the Sermon on the Mount invalidates the Defense Department - as if Jesus Himself didn't have anything to say about the existence of good and evil and the need to combat evil - is about as deep as anyone needs to go to understand where the senator is coming from," Minnery also said. "He is editing God's word to fit his liberal worldview, and the more exposure his views on these matters get, the more obvious this will become to American Christians."

soundoff (276 Responses)
  1. this isnt even a story

    Get that dirt off ya shoulder

    June 25, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  2. Ken Pittsburgh

    Dobson needs to stay out of politics while he ie not crazy about McCain this is a back door to give him some support

    June 25, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  3. Chelsea from Florida

    Dobson is a moron, nobody listens to him anymore anyway. Even the republican party is distancing themselves from him. Who cares what he says?

    June 25, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  4. LET IT GO

    Who cares about this idiot Dobson. His a big fat Loser, Please Obama is starting to be a big yawnnnnnnnnnnnn. Don't even waste your time and engry on this jerk.

    June 25, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  5. strong

    Why is Dobson getting all this publicity? He is another fat, old, gluttonous millionaire "Christian" who loves to shove his opinions down people's throats ad nauseum.

    Dobson reminds me of a "Gerry Falwell-lite".

    Go away Dobson !

    June 25, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  6. Tired of W, OH

    Obama should just ignore Dobson. Dobson is a kook and it's tought to win an argument with the irrational. Besides, it distracts from the important issues.

    June 25, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  7. Still . . .

    Dobson's comments will hurt Obama with the Evangelical vote. And that's a good thing!

    June 25, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  8. indpendent

    Dobson, shut your mouth!!!

    June 25, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  9. LET IT GO

    Who cares about this idiot Dobson. His a big fat Loser, Please Obama this starting to be a big yawnnnnnnnnnnnn. Don't even waste your time and engry on this jerk.

    June 25, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  10. Democrat

    Dobson is a hateful man who will embrace the parts of the bible that suit his wants and needs. He is a psycho that should be ignored.

    June 25, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  11. Frank

    Dobson is right! AND he has over 200 million followers. It would only take a small percentage of those 200 million to turn this election...

    June 25, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  12. June Ankenney

    Dr Dobson is a man of God. Obama is not a man of God. Now, who you going to believe?

    June 25, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  13. Northern Michigan

    James Dobson is a freaky zealot who thinks he speaks some inspired truth. Let's see him do as the Bible says and give his fortune to the poor - not as a convenient tax write-off but rather as an indication of his faith. I have no trust in "Christian" men who cast aspersions under the guise of religion - what about not judging, what about tolerance.... the guy doesn't practice what he preaches so write if off as another hyprocrite who gives Christianity a bad name. Let your life speak; not your words, money, or influence.

    June 25, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  14. NYC

    BOBSON IS A RACIST NUT THAT CANNOT TOLERATE ANY OTHER IDEA BUT HIS . THE FOOLS THAT FOLLOW HIM ARE THATS RIGHT NEOCONS THAT SOLD OUT THIS COUNTRY. HOW STUPID THEY SOUND BUT THAT HAS NEVER STOPPED THEM BEFORE.

    June 25, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  15. Will from NYC

    To reach back 2 years for a really old speech is called desperation. But hey if the right wing nuts want to play find the old tape.. McSame I'm sure has lot of winning comments that go way back....

    June 25, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  16. Bill in Virginia

    Obama's absolutely correct.

    In my opinion, Dobson's nothing but a freaking idiot!

    June 25, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  17. Shelly in IL

    Now bring out the religous fanatics.

    June 25, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  18. Jose Roman

    Politicians should stop talking about religion and focus on the important matters that our country need. Health, stopping the war, solar & air energy, etc. Keep your religion to your house, stop the insanity of relate everything to god.

    June 25, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  19. Jo

    Some of us still think that eating shellfish is an abomination!

    June 25, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  20. Ted

    And he is! Thank you, Barack, for making an idiot looks even dumber.

    June 25, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  21. Chipster

    The Constitution of the United States should guide our national policy. A person's faith should guide their personal conduct. People like Dobson cannot and must not be allowed to turn our nation into a theocracy. We must protect our right to freedom of religion because it protects us from the religious fanatics among us.

    June 25, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  22. Dobsons 15min are over…Go Home

    Dobson is a nut. Obama does not owe him any explanations, the speech was self explanatory. And the speech was 2yrs old, if it bothered him so much why not speak out back then.

    This man doesn’t even plan on voting in November so how about he shut up since he is opting to exercise his right to not be heard. If you don’t participate in the voting process then you loose the right to participate in the campaigning process and speaking out.

    June 25, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  23. Common Sense

    Dobson did have a valid point, however, regarding Obama's implication that if a proposal (being it based off of religious beliefs or otherwise) wasn't acceptable to everyone it should even be addressed according to the Constitution. The Constitution makes no reference to such qualifications what-so-ever. If that was the case, no issue would be addressed let alone resolved by our Government.

    June 25, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  24. Anonymous

    This guy is scary (Obama). How can you sit in a church all those years and still have this kind of understanding. It makes you wonder if the Muslim roots are stronger than reported.

    June 25, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  25. IAMWMD

    Here we go with the "Do as I say, Not as I do" bible toting rightwinger Dodson slandering Obama's name but sticking up for the racist Republican party.

    I'd pay to see Dodson, Rev Wright and Father Pfleger sit down and have a religious debate.

    Dodson, your chickens are coming home to roost...

    June 25, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
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