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. JA Cook

    Here's some McCain arrogance via "I know" in his interview with Wolf Blitzer.

    McCain: "I know the area. I've been there."

    McCain: "I know wars, I know how to win wars "

    McCain: "I know how to improve our capabilities so that we will capture Osama bin Laden. We can do it. I know how to do it. "

    BLITZER: If Maliki persists and he says he wants U.S. troops out, what do you do? Do you just listen to the prime minister?

    MCCAIN: "He won't. He won't. "

    BLITZER: How do you know?

    MCCAIN: "Because he knows it has to be conditions-based."

    BLITZER: How do you know that?

    MCCAIN: "Because I know him. And I know him very well. And I know the other leaders. And I know - I've been there eight times, as you know. And I know them very, very well. "

    July 30, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  2. A CANUCK

    Obama had tha audacity to tell the truth......that's a good thing !!!!!

    July 30, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  3. Kim, Charlotte, NC

    So dumb.............still in attack mode. They (the Republicans) are trying so hard to destroy Obama. They still can not explain why McCain has not said anything about the gas tax holiday, why he is now going to put raising taxes back on the table, and why Phill Gramm said we are a nation of "whiners".

    Only thing they know how to do is react, divide, and lie.

    So sad.............you just lost my vote as of today. The Republicans are continuing to move this country backwords, and playing us like we are stupid (i.e. dumb commercials).

    July 30, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  4. Phil, San Jose, CA

    And, Northern, the Republicant's have had 6 years and what have they done? They've driven up the deficit, doubled gas prices (and as a result doubled the prices on anything that requires transportation), caused the deaths of 4200+ brave soldiers, decimated the Constitution, failed to find Bin Laden, tortured countless numbers of innocent people, illegally hired and fired federal judges, deregulated/destroyed the mortgage industry (and thousands of families in the process), continued to pander to the pharmaceutical companies while failing to improve health insurance coverage, filled the coffers of their "friends" (Haliburton, Blackhawk Security, Oil companies) – need I go on? Name ONE positive thing this administration has done in 8 years (and if you say "We got Saddam" or "They lowered taxes" I'll just laugh at your ignorance).

    July 30, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  5. Swift

    Republiscum are pathetic. The election already happened between Obama and Clinton.

    McInsane and his clueless, moronic, un-American ideas aren't wanted by reasonable Americans, so he and the American-hating right have to make up issues like they make up "facts" and drum up fear.

    Make America great again, purge our government of republiscum (except Hegel).

    July 30, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  6. Ilona Hussein Proud Canadian

    I would really like to know why the Dem. aide felt the urge to spread the words of the Democratic Nominee, which were clearly said in a Private Dem. Meeting? who was this person, and yes he/she should be stripped of his/her democratic privileges. Definitely this person should be FIRED FORTHWITH!

    In this case, THERE WAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH THE STATEMENTS MADE BY BARACK AND NANCY PELOSI! THE REPUBS. CAN TWIST THESE WORDS IN ANY WAY THEY WANT! THIS IS WHAT PEOPLE HAVE NOW COME TO EXPECT FROM THEM! THEY ARE GRASPING AT STRAWS AND EMPTY AIR! THEY CANNOT FIND ANYTHING SUBSTANTIAL THAT PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO LISTEN TO, SO THEY ATTACK THE DEMOCRATS. IT IS SAD, TO THINK THAT REPUBS HAVE SUNK THIS LOW!

    Getting back to the Aide with the big mouth! This could have been something that was SAID IN PRIVATE, THAT THE DEMS WANTED KEPT PRIVATE, and this BLABBERMOUTH would have SPILLED THE BEANS, yes, this PERSON SHOULD BE FIRED/REMOVED FROM THE DEM. CAMPAIGN FORTHWITH!

    July 30, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  7. Kris from AZ

    Obama represents the POEPLE

    July 30, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  8. Meneka

    Telling the truth is arrogant? Why they cant accept Obama is the next president...McSame his eyes light up when he talks about war. Everything Obama says is wrong yet he copied them. McBush is no leader.

    July 30, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  9. Jeffrey in MI

    So is there anyone out there who actually thinks the world ISN'T waiting for the moment when the criminal clown Bush will leave office? Sorry, I'm not seeing where the story is here...

    July 30, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  10. Phil

    Umm...what exactly is all this "change" I keep hearing about from the Obama camp? Higher taxes? More liberal social engineering? The Democrats haven't learned much since Gore was running for President. Acting superior, and acting like you've already won is not quite the same thing as actually winning.

    McCain ain't great, but he's not the most liberal person in the Senate (like Obama is) either. Look it up – Obama has the most liberal voting record in the entire Senate.

    July 30, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  11. Adam

    Obama is SO going to Screw this up!

    HILLARY – 2012!!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  12. Linda K.

    Grow up, Republicans. It's because of your antics that we're in such desperate shape and, yes, the world is waiting for the U.S. to shrug off all the harm you've done and become a great power once again.

    July 30, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  13. ProudToBeDemocrat

    Repubicans in disarray. What is the issue with Obama's comment.
    CNN the republicans are spinning you head trying to cover Mccain's Flip Flop please report the truth do not be baiased. Here is what you should report.

    MCCAIN FLIP FLOP

    No taxes –> Now everything is on the table he will increase taxes
    No withdrawal From Iraq.-> Now he supports 16 month time table
    No Offshore Drilling --> he supports it
    He wanted Obama to visit Iraq -> Now he is angry about it
    Against Afirmative action -> No he is for Afirative action
    I can go on and on, but for now reports this CNN

    July 30, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  14. R.I.F.

    But Politico is reporting that that wasn’t the entire quote. Per a Democratic source, “[The Post] left out the important first half of the sentence, which was 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…”

    WOW... this is just like the faux fist bump rejection. The media is trying so hard to write negative stuff on Obama that they are now playing very loose with the facts. If I were the Obama camp I would demand an apology from the Post.

    July 30, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  15. John McShame, Obama Is Going to Tax You & Cindy, but Not Me & 95% Americans Making < $250,000/Yr

    big deal!................this republicans have NOTHING to talk about, seriously. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH OBAMA'S COMMENTS..........He said it like a true stateman: Obama has "become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions."

    RIGHTFULLY SO INDEED – SPREAD THE WORD McSAME!!!!!!!!!!!!! – this will be better said thaN the 'surge, surge, surge' crap you've been spouting all week!

    "This is the moment, that the world has been waiting for.” I AGREE!!!!!!!!

    President Barack Obama – '08/'12!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  16. Jamaal kansas

    the Republicans and the New media is eager to get any glimse of some Obama dirt and it is funny How they spin nothing so the media can run it Obama is the truth and the Media or the Republican party will not deprive the American people a True Leader not This time. Obama 08

    July 30, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  17. v.a.

    this is the lamest attack i've ever heard. mccain is a dipstick and he's leading a campaign full of dipsticks. they either don't grasp the idea of context, or they do grasp it and are purposely twisting it so all the dipstick supporters will write more phoney e-mails under fake names in order to smear b.o.

    aren't elections supposed to be about ISSUES? let's put obama's policies next to mcfloppy's policies/70 flip flops and see what the public decides.

    July 30, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  18. OhioBama

    The Republicans are being sneaky again. They are going to try to paint Obama as arrogant to get the haters upset thus, mobilizing the haters to vote against their own best interest.

    July 30, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  19. Wisconsin Vet

    Here you go GOP. There is the straw you've been grasping for..

    July 30, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  20. Michael

    Wouldn't it be wonderful for once to hear a positive vision for our future coming from the RNC and McCain, rather than smear and slander. No wonder the GOP is a dying breed. Yeah, to think that in 2000 I was an avid McCain supporter; but back then he hadn't bought into McBushism. Cheney and Rove had not yet hypnotized millions and turned society into a sci-fi nightmare.

    July 30, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  21. Jay

    CNN reports this without Obama's full statement. But let's the McCain camp get away with saying that John McCain doesn't speak for the campaign.

    John McCain doesn't speak for the McCain campaign. Wow.

    July 30, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  22. abn71

    The time has not yet come, but we're so close to it that we can't miss it. Lucky are those who will walk through. Go Obama/Nancy 08

    July 30, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  23. Tim

    We have too many issues which by the way have been caused primarily by the current corrupt Republican administration for he said she said. Maybe John McCain should be talking more about how he can fix the problem that his comrad GW Bush has caused

    July 30, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  24. Eric in Ca

    Let's all tune in for another episode of: "The Silly As* Republicans" in todays episode, rather than present any substance as to what they will do for this country... they continue with yet another feeble attack on Barak Obama. Once again taking words of of context... Tune in tomorrow as McCain and his Republican minion...use the same old rhetoric to attack Obama...without EVER laying out their plans for the American people.
    Just 4 more years of Bush!

    July 30, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  25. Kris from AZ

    Obama represents the POEPLE, there is not mistake on what he is saying. WE WANT CHANGE. Obama will listen to the poeple unlike MCcain who will not.

    July 30, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
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