July 1st, 2008
02:11 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama: Clark just 'somebody on a cable show'

ZANESVILLE, Ohio (CNN) – Barack Obama said Tuesday that he has not spoken with Gen. Wesley Clark regarding his controversial comments on John McCain's military service - and that a conversation with him is "not a priority" because he doesn't think the remarks are something voters are worried about.

"I'm happy to have all sorts of conversations about how we deal with Iraq and what happens with Iran," the presumptive Democratic nominee told reporters at a press conference in Zanesville, Ohio.

"But the fact that somebody on a cable show or on a news show like Gen. Clark said something that was inartful about Sen. McCain I don’t think is probably the thing that is keeping Ohioans up at night."

The Illinois senator refused to say whether or not he thinks Clark owes McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, an apology.

Obama also said that his comment yesterday that "no one should ever devalue" military service, including "supporters of both sides" was not a response to Clark.

"I think my staff will confirm that that was in a draft of that speech that I had written two months ago," he said.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. jg

    hey cnn just report the news dont interpet it to create drama. he didnt preface it with "just" .

    July 1, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  2. BIFF, BIFFINGTON...

    Rusty, Portland

    Clarke never criticized his pow experience. Actually he went out of his way to praise it. BUT.. what he said was that it does not QUALIFY him FOR the presidency.

    but i suspect you and those who post LIKE you already know that, but just want to keep a non-issue going

    (one of the right's greatest and sneakiest dirty tricks)

    July 1, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  3. Republican for Obama

    Obama, I don't agree with your judgement to distance yourself from Gen. Clarke. Heck, I think he would be a GREAT VP selection.

    He has said nothing wrong, he gave us the straight talk.

    You have my vote, but Gen. Clarke does too. Be careful about apologizing for statements that are true.

    Obama '08

    July 1, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  4. Christian Vreeland, Traverse City Mi

    How far out of context can you take somebody? Well ab out from saying that General Clark sayin g something less than tactful about McCain wasn't really important given the current state of things in the US all the way to saying Obama doesn't care about Clark.

    And I love the bus thing guys, you can take those way out of context too, welcome to the CNN news team.

    July 1, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  5. Eric

    CNN Please take a closer look at what Lieberman has been saying lately, it's outright disgusting. This station has acted as somewhat of a blanket over Lieberman protecting him from attack for whatever reason. Well he made a ridiculous statement that terrorists will attack in 2009 as if they were in a position to attack as they pleased and tried to link it to some crazy conspiracy agenda dating back to the Clinton era through the reference of two attacks. Do not give credibility to this guy, his comments on terrorism and nagging about Iran need careful disection for the fear and hate they contain.

    July 1, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  6. @HusseinIsAmerican2

    Clark is a straight up guy; more than mcshame....and guess what: he is telling the truth.

    john mcCain is not qualified for the job of president.

    mcbush=war

    July 1, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  7. saga for Obama

    Clark was right...
    WOW gary thanx for the laugh...needed it.

    Obama 08...now we (America) has a future

    July 1, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  8. saga for Obama

    ohhh. BTW does anyone think that Black owes America an apology? i do. and the fact that McCain still has him on staff is reason enough not to vote for McCain

    July 1, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  9. Shaik

    Why should a candidate tell someone else (helping the campaign or not) whether to apologize for a remark....Gen. Clark is a big boy...he can decide for himself what his intentions were....
    And, have we come to a point in this country that experience in the armed forces (no matter what role you play) is the prerequisite to *everything...*?? One can serve one's country in SO MANY different ways!

    July 1, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  10. TRUTH

    FOLKS please read the article before you comment.

    And get back to work...

    July 1, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  11. Deja Vu

    Wow – wasn't this the same attitude Obama took with his minister problem. Aft first he was nonchalant, comparing him to a "crazy" old uncle, nobody is taking it serious and then someone finally got through to him that yes, it was a big deal. And as usual, he gave a fluffy speech to make it go away only to have to finally end up throwing his minister under the bus. Guess Obama isn't a quick learner.

    I'm thinking tomorrow will be the day Clark meets the bus.

    July 1, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  12. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    Absolutely, unequivocally not. No one owes mccain an apology. I don't blame Obama, I would not get hung up in this mess and the media need to leave it alone.

    If anyone owes mccain an apology it is that tacky moderator on face the nation, trying to build points opposite 'Meet the Press'

    July 1, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  13. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    TO DEMS ARE DOPES:

    HOW ABOUT $10 TRILLION IN NATIONAL DEBT THANKS TO MCCAIN & BUSH LIES!

    HOW ABOUT 4099 DEAD, 30 THOUSAND MAIMED, 1000'S COMMITTING SUICID?!

    HOW ABOUT SPENDING $1.38 A DAY IN IRAQ?!

    HOW ABOUT THE THREAT TO ATTACK IRAN?!

    HOW IS "BOMB.....BOMB........BOMB.....IRAN!" SANE?

    July 1, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  14. Tammy - KCMO

    Obama, please do us all a favor and don't throw Clark under the bus. What he said is TRUE and it wasn't an insult. Stand up to the Republican party and their tiresome antics.
    I have yet to hear an apology from McCain for what he has said about President Carter and that came directly from him and not just a supporter.
    I would like to see Barack and the Democratic support Clark's statements and not back down for a change. Grow a pair!

    July 1, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  15. Proud American

    Clark nor Obama need to apologize for McCains short comings. No McCain!!!

    July 1, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  16. DAN

    Obama is flip flopping again

    July 1, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  17. Dwayne L, OH

    Great Job Clark! Way to go! You couldn't have said it any better. The Swift Boat guys went after J. Kerry in the worst way over his military service record. They even included things that they knew were not true. Rip him to shreds. The republicans are greedy and will stop at nothing to make their bank accounts fatter. That's why we can afford to do nothing. Therefore, McSame's record is open for criticism as was Kerry. GO CLARK. Speak your mind dude. We love you. Don't stop now.

    July 1, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  18. EUROPE FOR OBAMA

    Intelligent guy,knows when to drop the the blows and when not to,this is why we love him in europe,the world today needs a leader who is intelligent ,cunny,and a step ahead of his opponents.The republicans are afraid of obama because he is not like the regular politician with the regular modis operandi so they dont know how to really handle him,so they send their hate maschine to work only to find out that he is not going to banther with them but wants to stick to the issues affecting america.the truth is that a lot of people can now see through republicans scare tactics,false attacks etc.and i wonder why some people would think that mccain is better in terms of foreign policy than obama because as far as i am concerned it is easier for a president to stand up and cry war than for a president to seek other options while also keeping war on the table as a last resort.i think that americans should not let themselves be fooled again by republicans who have put maccain there as their puppet to carry on from where bush stopped.

    July 1, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  19. aware

    This is too funny! You are guilty of poor judgement again Obama! Now you are just digging the hole deeper! :)

    The obfuscating Obama who lacks judgment in friends, pastors, follow-up on his original Iraq war speech, his voting record, his primary debates, his flip-flops, his pandering…and his surrogates keeps adding to the score!

    McCain 08 – the only wise choice! :)

    July 1, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  20. Robbie

    Come on, Barack, stand up for yourself and your friend. McCain has surrendered his principles, don't be afraid to say it just because he's a POW. POW's deserve our respect, but not a carte blanche.

    July 1, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  21. manubi

    General Clark is absolutely correct. I am not sure why Senator Obama apologized. It is absolutely unnecessary. Being a POW does not mean that you have the experience as a commander.

    July 1, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  22. MIKE

    TO: RUSTY FROM PORTLAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    YOU OWE EVERYONE WHO POSTS HERE AN APOLOGY!!!!
    YOU NEED TO APOLOGIZE FOR BEING SUCH A STUPID PERSON.
    CLARK WAS JUST TELLING THE TRUTH. MCSAME KEEPS TALKING ABOUT HIS "EXPERIENCE" AND CLARK JUST SAID HIS "MILITARY" EXPERIENCE DOES NOT MEAN HE IS READY TO BE COMMANDER IN CHIEF.
    1. HE SAYS HE WAS TORTURED – NOW HE SAYS THE SAME THINGS DONE TO HIM BY THE NVA WHICH WERE TORTURE ARE NOT TORTURE WHEN WE DO THEM TO MUSLIMS.
    2. I HAVE READ ARTICLES THAT SAY HE BROKE WHILE A POW AND GAVE OUT INFORMATION. HAVE NO IDEA IF IT IS TRUE OR NOT – AND DON'T CARE AND IT HAS NO BEARING ON HIM BEING PRESIDENT. EVERYONE HAS A BREAKING POINT. BUT HE DID HE HAS LIED ALL THESE YEARS ABOUT IT – WHICH HAS A BEARING.
    3. WHY WAS HE THE MAIN SPONSOR OF A BILL THAT MAKES IT UNLAWFUL FOR ANYONE TO SEE OR LOOK AT A POW'S RECORDS???
    4. CLARK HAS EXPERIENCED GROUND COMBAT – MCSAME HAS NOT. THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING A PILOT AND BEING ON THE GROUND HETTING SHOT AT DAY AFTER DAY. IF YOU WERE A COMBAT VETERAN YOU WOULD KNOW THE DIFFERENCE.
    5. CLARK WAS A GENERAL AND NATO COMMANDER – MCSAME WAS A PEACE TIME FIGHTER SQUADRON COMMANDER – A BIG TIME DIFFERENCE. MCSAME NEVER HAD INVOLVEMENT IN COMMAND DECISIONS IN HIS POSITION.
    NEITHER OBAMA OR MCSAME HAVE THE EXPERIENCE TO BECOME COMMANDER IN CHIEF. PROBABLY THE ONLY PRESIDENTS WITH THAT TYPE EXPERIENCE WERE GRANT AND EISENHOWER. IN MY LIFETIME NO PRESIDENT EXCEPT IKE HAS THAT EXPERIENCE. BUT YOU PROBABLY THINK YOUR FUEHRER'S DESERTION FROM THE NATIONAL GUARD IS ENOUGH EXPERIENCE TOO TO BE PRESIDENT.

    July 1, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  23. Gary Chandler in Canada

    It's more than funny all the McCain bloggers and surrogates on TV keeping stressing Obama is a normal, "bad", politician like all the rest of them "McCain".
    Obama might not be the 'best' America can come up with, but McCain is the 'worst'.
    SOMEBODY has to call him out on his Russia and China comments, ot does the Media want to keep the polls close for more excitement.
    After you poll Britain, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, and Italy, the other G8 Nations on his stupid ideas, you will see how dangerous his thinking is. Of course, oh ya, he can just flop flip on what he proposed. The list flip flop list is so long now his 'stances' are beyond the radar.
    Obama's flip flops 3; McCain's 30.
    Obama is the least worst choice.
    Obama should have supported Clark for telling the truth.

    July 1, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  24. cyrus

    CNN please correct the context because half the people read the title and say there goes arrogant Obama , when you are misqouting the man ,please correct asap .
    smh ,
    matchpoint Obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 1, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
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