July 15th, 2008
05:10 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama: New Yorker cover fueled some misconceptions

CNN

Watch part of Obama's interview with Larry King. Catch the full interview with Obama on CNN's Larry King Live tonight, 9 p.m. ET.

(CNN) - Barack Obama on Tuesday called the controversial New Yorker cover that unflatteringly depicts him and his wife an unsuccessful attempt at satire that will likely fuel misconceptions he has long battled over the course of his presidential campaign.

But in an exclusive interview with CNN's Larry King, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate downplayed the impact of the illustration — which depicts him in Muslim attire in the Oval Office, with wife Michelle carrying a machine gun.

iReport.com: Satire or slander? Share your thoughts

"It's a cartoon…and that's why we've got the First Amendment," Obama said. "And I think the American people are probably spending a little more time worrying about what's happening with the banking system and the housing market, and what's happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, than a cartoon. So I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about it."

"I've seen and heard worse," he said. "I do think that, you know, in attempting to satirize something, they probably fueled some misconceptions about me instead. But, you know, that was their editorial judgment."

The cover, which also depicts a U.S. flag burning in the fireplace and a picture of Osama bin Laden on the wall, drew heavy criticism from both political parties after it first circulated the Internet over the weekend. Both presidential campaigns immediately condemned the magazine, calling the illustration "tasteless and offensive."

Earlier: New Yorker editor defends cover

David Remnick, the longtime editor of the highly-regarded publication, told CNN Monday that he believes the ironic intent of the illustration will be clear to most Americans.

Watch: Journalists debate the New Yorker Cover

In Obama’s wide ranging CNN interview Tuesday - the entirety of which is set to air tonight on Larry King Live at 9 p.m. ET - the Illinois senator seemed to give cautious approval of the government's response to the turmoil surrounding mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Full story

soundoff (285 Responses)
  1. Jeff Long

    David Remnick made Obama, his campaign, and all of his supporters look like fools!! LOL!! Obama is only saying this now because he looked like such an idiot for "WHINNING" and getting upset about it.

    Substance over Hype!! McCain '08!!!

    July 15, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  2. interesting

    So Obama admits the New Yorker Cover had the effect it wanted?

    Judgment?

    July 15, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  3. Chuck

    All politicians say what they think Americans want to hear. Being that most Americans are so stupid that they don't know what they want to hear unless the media tells them, we will be listening and reading the same ole crap for the next 100 years.

    July 15, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  4. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

    NEW MCCAIN VOTER: "i was going to vote for Barack but now after seeing that cover, I just cannot in good concious vote for a man who may be a musllim and also has a radial wife. You just never know. Better safe than sorry.
    I will vote McCain. I KNOW that he is American and besides he has served his country for years and years."

    thank you so much for proving my point about how clueless ad ignorant people can be!

    July 15, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. andy

    I've (tried to) say it before, and I'll say it again: the people who post comments on this website tend to be a tad less than insightful. Is there really any value to reading anything anyone here has to say (I guess that includes me...)?

    July 15, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  6. John

    jen July 15th, 2008 4:06 pm ET

    Tomorrow night McCain will be on Larry King to parse a few of Obama's words, and take credit for figuring out we need more troops in Afghanistan which obama figured out a year and a half ago.

    Seriously?

    Yes, and on the seventh day Obama did this and Obama did that, My lord you guy kiss up to the guy as if he is God.

    I have a theory: Non conservative blacks will vote for him because he is black. Conservative blacks will weigh their options. Spineless white people who think they will get called a racist for not supporting him, will vote for him, and all those that are naive, will vote for him because they don't see him for what he is: a socialist, old fashioned politician.

    wake up people, no one is perfect and no one should be treated like they walk on water.

    and for all those Bush haters out there, just think, Obama's campaign is running from the very exact campaign strategy of Karl Rove, except Obama is grossly transparent.

    July 15, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  7. Alex GOP

    HAHAHAHA

    July 15, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. i cant believe it

    to New Voter For McCain:
    Your comments, and the comments of people like yourself, who are willing to believe PROPAGANDA about Senator Obama simply because of a few thrown around facts, are truly terrifying.

    Instead of focusing on the fact that Obama's middle name isn't downright, down-home American, why don't we all focus on the real issues at hand in this presidential election?

    July 15, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. Independent in Iowa

    "It's a cartoon…and that's why we've got the First Amendment," Obama said. "And I think the American people are probably spending a little more time worrying about what's happening with the banking system and the housing market, and what's happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, than a cartoon. So I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about it."

    Well put. I'm glad you at least have a sense of humor.

    July 15, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. Saul Alinsky

    In the case of Barack Obama, a community organizer for ACORN means a leftist radical who is seeking to build support for a career in politics by any means necessary.

    July 15, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. interesting

    Obama's father is Kenyan and was a muslim. Under islamic law, he is recognized as a muslim as he would take the religion of his father. Obama's step father was a muslim.

    Obama claims he is a Christian for 20 years, that means he would be considered an "apostate" muslim.

    If you are a muslim by birth, and then another type of muslim, guess what kids, you are a muslim.

    July 15, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. Tim, Seattle

    Chuck said "He responds to a cartoon by saying "we should illegally violate Pakistani territory and kill Osama bin Laden?
    ------–
    Chuck, whats wrong with that? Isnt one of the goals to kill Osama? And where is he likely at?
    The answer (from our own military analysts no less) is the tribal areas of Pakistan.

    So, what is your point again?

    July 15, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  13. Nick - Arlington, VA

    New Voter for McCain July 15th, 2008 4:04 pm ET

    I was going to vote for Barack but now after seeing that cover, I just cannot in good concious vote for a man who may be a musllim and also has a radial wife. You just never know. Better safe than sorry.
    I will vote McCain. I KNOW that he is American and besides he has served his country for years and years.
    I am still trying to wrap my head around what the hell a community organizer is. ??
    ------------------------------------
    -This is the lame attempt of a McCain (or PUMA) backer trying to show that the public will not vote for Obama because of a cartoon..FAIL.

    July 15, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. Freida, NYC

    I absolutely can't trust this guy. It is not becuase of his name, Muslim background, militant wife, terrorist friends... It is simply because, I don't know him well enough. I am sure this the main reason why many of us don't feel we can trust our beautiful country in the hands of a stranger, unexperienced, less than one term senator Period.

    July 15, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  15. HAM

    You make a picture of me...

    I'll invade an ally...

    What about (flip) that strong diplomacy (flop)....

    This dude (or dud) is getting worse daily... no wonder he won't debate... he can't even think for himself... I guess that's why Hillary ate his lunch everytime they did.

    By By Obama... somewhere there is a village looking for you

    July 15, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  16. James , Houston, TX.

    Well lets SEE, Murdoch owns the Magazine, Bill Kristol its V.P and David Remnick its editor; sounds like the PNAC all over again! Dejavue!

    July 15, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    When a joke must be explained in such detail, to illustrate the point of the joke, then the joke was in bad taste. Joke do not require explanation, they are self-evident.

    The fact is that most people did not see it as claimed to be intended, satire. Most people say it as exposure of a fact, which the article did not address at all.

    July 15, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  18. Don

    I can't stand this nonsense. This is so calculated first Bill Burton calls this tasteless and offensive. Such strong words. Then Obama waiting on how people would respond to it before coming out to make a statemnt, comes out and says people have better things to worry about. Yes people have better things to worry about, but they also want a leader who does not claim to be the victim everytime. He thought people were goin to overreact, but most people found it to be satirical.

    July 15, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. Nick - Arlington, VA

    The Truth That Shall Not Be Spoken July 15th, 2008 4:11 pm ET

    Why we are not permitted to speak of Obama's Muslim background?
    ------------------------------------
    -IDK...PROBABLY BECAUSE HE IS NOT MUSLIM......o btw...you're pathetic.

    July 15, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  20. Vi

    What is ironically beautiful about the NYer cover is that it gives to Obama a dose of what the left-leaning media gave Hillary. There is a power above looking after us, after all!

    July 15, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  21. J

    If you don't vote for change, you don't deserve change.

    July 15, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. Cindy NC

    Obama 08. He is not whining about the cover like you folks are saying. And I believe he is right. I am sure he has seen and heard worse.

    Those of you with that nonsense beleiving he is a Muslim because of the cover are truley ignorant. That just show how truley stupid you must believe a picture, not even a picture a cartoon.

    AND ONE THING ABOUT AMERICA... If he was a real MUSLIM, no offense to those that are... HE WOULD HAVE NEVER MADE IT THIS FAR and supported by republicans and democrats. And just because his father was one doesn't make him one. I know plenty of christians who are now jewish and buddas and jewish folks who are now christians and catholics.

    You people are just mad because OBAMA is not falling for all the same old Washington politics. He has not been tainted by Washington and that scares a whole lot of people especially big corporations because he can't be bought...

    July 15, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  23. Matthew

    "And I think the American people are probably spending a little more time worrying about what's happening with the banking system and the housing market, and what's happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, than a cartoon. So I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about it."

    You haven't spent a lot of time thinking about it???? You've addressed it about 5 times already and are planning a major speech in Berlin on the darn thing!

    He really should get some cheese to go with that whine of his!

    July 15, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  24. Tarla

    Someone needs to ask Bush about that kid down in gitmo.

    July 15, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  25. Walter, Long Beach

    It's a measure of how far down the Republicans have dragged this country that satire isn't even possible anymore.

    July 15, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
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