July 30th, 2008
12:19 PM ET
6 years ago

Republicans seize on Obama comments to House Democrats

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Obama met with House Democratic leaders Tuesday.
Obama met with House Democratic leaders Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Republicans are attacking the "audacity" of recent comments Barack Obama reportedly made to Democratic congressional leaders Tuesday night in a closed-door meeting.

In comments first reported by the Washington Post and confirmed to CNN by a senior Democratic aide, while discussing his recent trip to Europe, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said, "This is the moment, as Nancy [Pelosi] noted, that the world has been waiting for.”

The Illinois senator, on Capitol Hill to give House Democrats a pep talk ahead of the November elections, also said he had "become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions."

The Democratic aide told CNN that comment was made in the context of "Americans struggling and demanding change." A House Democratic leadership aide who was in the room also told CNN Obama's point was the campaign is "NOT about him."

"The [Washington] Post left out the important first half of the sentence, which was something along the lines of: ‘It has become increasingly clear in my travel, the campaign, that the crowds, the enthusiasm, 200,000 people in Berlin, is not about me at all. It’s about America. I have just become a symbol…,'" the aide said.

The Republican National Committee circulated the comments to reporters under the banner, "Barack Obama audacity watch." John McCain's presidential campaign also forwarded the comments with the subject line, "wow."

Watch: Critics call Obama 'arrogant'

Obama and the Democratic leadership emerged from the meeting upbeat Tuesday evening after meeting behind closed doors for close to an hour. Speaking to reporters after the meeting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Obama has the ability to transform the way Washington does business.

"If we do what I know is possible then I think we can shake up Washington and actually deliver for the American people and that's an exciting prospect," she said.

Also speaking at the press conference, Obama predicted the November election could be a transformative one.

Watch: Obama: 'We can change Washington'

"If the Democrats can make clear our vision, which is not for larger government but is for a responsive, efficient, and honest government that is listening to the voices of the American people, if the American people can feel confident that the institutions here in Washington are working for them and not on behalf of special interests, then I think this can be an incredible election," he said.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • House • Popular Posts
soundoff (358 Responses)
  1. Rodney

    I don't see what the big deal is. Sen Obama did not say anything that isn't true. When did poise and self confidence become a bad thing???

    July 30, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  2. WeLuvObama

    The republicans are running scared and it is showing big time. My gosh they are taking everything out of context. All John McCain has been doing lately is criticizing Obama's every word. Where is the head line on his major flip flop of supporting Obama 's 16 month Iraq withdrawal plan?

    July 30, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  3. Jim Beam

    The world has been waiting for sane leadership.....so comments are completely on point.

    July 30, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  4. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    I'm glad the Republicans are helping to spread the word. "This IS the moment the world has been waiting for." After 8 years of Bush, the world is anxious to have a President that is inclusive rather than exclusive. And he has become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions. He gives us hope. McCain will give us more of the same.

    Keep it up Republicans and McCain Spread the hope.

    July 30, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  5. Phil, FL

    Typical Republican Hype, CNN.

    Number One – that Aide is a rascal and needs to be fired. No ethics, no integrity. Maybe the Aide could work for Senator Stevens – HA.

    July 30, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  6. Nikki

    And this is an issue because.......?

    July 30, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  7. S.M

    Of course the Republican party would take bits and pieces of what Obama said and put them into a loop; this is how they work. However, they certainly need to watch what they say and do because walls have ears and they never know when their own words or actions may come back to haunt them. In otherwords, clean out your own closet before you begin to clean out someone elses'.

    July 30, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  8. Ed

    The audacity of hubris. Arrogance. Cockiness. Chutzpah. Presumption. Self-aggrandization. Vanity. Ego.

    Wow. Just... wow.

    July 30, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  9. rumpusgoopus

    Uh, he has. Isn't this what all the "drinking the kool-aid" insults are about?

    July 30, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  10. jim

    Your leaving out the first half of his quote CNN just like the post...The media sucks

    July 30, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  11. pat C.

    can the republicans not come up with anything to bring to the news media except something obama has said or done? this is boring and tiresome. barack is having to work for both sides here just to have something for the republicans to talk about. obama is certainly leading the way. what would old man McCain have to do or talk about if obama had not decided to run for our president to get rid of old grumps like McCain and create a new and energetic way of being a super power nation that people all over the world can look up to and respect after years of being whiners and cowboys just looking for oil and more oil.

    July 30, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  12. Mattk

    He is the symbol of America Dreams, values, and tradition. He is what the world has been waiting for. The leader i've been waiting for my whole life as well.

    July 30, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  13. Fred

    This is Bad reporting by CNN. If they were to read an update of the actual meeting, the first half of that statement was Obama saying that this campaign seems to be all about him when it isnt.

    “His entire point of that riff was that the campaign IS NOT about him. The Post left out the important first half of the sentence, which was something along the lines of: ‘It has become increasingly clear in my travel, the campaign, that the crowds, the enthusiasm, 200,000 people in Berlin, is not about me at all. It’s about America. I have just become a symbol … .”

    Get it together CNN.

    July 30, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  14. Matt

    democrats and 'responsive, efficient and honest.' shouldn't be used on the same page, let alone in the same sentence.

    July 30, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  15. Obama '08

    The truth hurts.

    July 30, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  16. McCain goes with the platform flip-flops

    There is nothing there to 'seize' !? The RNC has nothing but jealously of Obama.

    July 30, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  17. northern lite

    Transform?

    Pelosi and the Dems have had 2 years to transform politics.

    Instead, we've had two years of slippery, vacuous, do-nothing politics as usual.

    Obama is more of the same, but with a smiley-face.

    July 30, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  18. mayahh

    The truth being told at it's best, " Who could Image, A KING... OBAMA 08

    July 30, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  19. Mark

    For Christ's Sake, why can't these Republicans not get an own message and talk about R E A L I S S U E S???

    This stupid attacking makes me sick!

    July 30, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  20. ls

    Obama has positive insights for American's future. He is going to make an excellent president.

    I wish someone would kick Bush out of the White House and retire McCain and the RNC on an island somewhere in the ocean, so that Obama can get to work turning this country around for the better.

    July 30, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  21. mwm

    jump on it all you want.he said nothing wrong.in fact he is 100% correct.find something else if you can.this is nothing,as usual.

    July 30, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  22. Texas trail puppy!

    CNN I know Sen. McSame is boring, preditable...etc but you are doing him a favor with this excessive coverage of Obama. McSame is getting away with a lot of flip flops and outright lies( his latest attack Ad about Obama not visiting the troops). Please do your work and hold him to thesame level of accountability that you seem to hold Obama if that is asking too much!!!!

    July 30, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  23. Maggie

    This man really has an ego. Watch his bubble burst in November. The media has allowed Obama to think that he will be the next president that he so believes that he is already. I hope he can handle the let down when he loses in November. I wonder what he will do and say then. He really thinks he is the best thing that has ever come into poilitics. Well I hope he knows how to handle disappointments. Obama is letting his campaign supporters make black people look like fools the way he is bragging about his chances. If he continues this way, he is definitely going to lose the elections and will make it more difficult for blacks running in future elections.

    Anyway, Clinton for president in November when Obama falls on his face.

    July 30, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  24. BR

    Look the kool aid drinkers are out. Hey, did you see who guarded the Messiah in Afghanistan?? The evil Blackwater....hmmm didn't the Messiah villainize these guys in the dem primary??? Shocking on this one.

    July 30, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  25. YINKA LAWAL

    Republicans party should go to hell, the comment is and was true.

    July 30, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
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