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

Republicans seize on Obama comments to House Democrats

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. Kevin

    My fellow Democrats,

    There is a fine line that sits between confidence and arrogance. When you do things like put up a fake presidential seal and trot across Europe like you are the messiah, you cross that line.

    Obviously the brain wash tactics are working, because Obama can do no wrong, no matter what happens.

    July 30, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  2. We MUST elect OBAMA

    He is right on with his comments. If McCain gets elected, we are all in trouble.

    July 30, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  3. Obama- Next Stop.. White House

    Smear tactics do not carry any weight when ..We.. know the TRUTH!!!
    There is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with Confidence... If he wasn't confident the media & the Replubs would label it as if he was weak.

    Obama & his team runs circles around his opponent & his team!!! We cant afford 4 more years of the Replubs....

    Keep It 100
    Obama 08

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

    You have them running scarred Obama, keep it up, just wait the republicans will get worse, they will get dirty (the only way they can win an election)

    July 30, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  5. kenny, Tulsa OK

    Dang...So many people wanting tax increases...what gives??? How can you vote for someone who wants more of your hard earned wages? No seriously?? How...I am strugglin as it is....Why does the gov always think they can spend my money better than I can.

    July 30, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  6. Pat-Pittsburgh

    From the Book of Proverbs, "Pride goeth before a fall".

    Americans do not like arrogance!

    July 30, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  7. E for Obama

    This is FUN!!!

    I love seeing idiot republicans scatter ever time Obama oens his mouth, or better yet, whenever Obama makes sense.

    July 30, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  8. mark

    While Barack Hussein Obama may not have said anything (this time at least) that isn't an out and out lie, his statements go miles in showing his arrogance and presumptuivness. He considers himself to be the coming president of the WORLD. Prehaps he would be better served running for president of the EU. Then he could "talk the world into peace", while not running our economy into the ground with his tax increases on the very people who provide jobs.

    July 30, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  9. David, Silver Spring, MD

    John McCain isn't arrogant–he favors humbly imposing American will on other countries, and bombing them with humility and self-deprecation.

    July 30, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  10. Clarity

    I really hope that all you Obama supporters are not disappointed when your "King" lets you down. Please come off of your high and realise that he is a POLITITIAN. I get so sick of his ARROGANCE. He has not been elected yet, is he running for President of the world?????? Please don't underestimate the Republicans. They are just laying low. I am an independant so don't accuse me of being partisan. I just want the best PERSON to win. Obama is a nobody that got into office because someone else had to drop out because of a scandal. What kind of experience is that? Hillary would have been so much better, she has experience. People are just so sick of Bush that they want ANYTHING, anyone other than a Republican in office. Just be carefull of what you wish for.....

    July 30, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  11. Scott, PA

    I have never found Obama to be arrogant.

    McCain on the other hand... Refusing to answer questions from a reporter just because she has been critical of your campaign, attacking anyone who questions your credentials just because you are a veteran... How is that not arrogant?

    July 30, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  12. W. W.

    All!! We have had a do nothing Congress for the past 15 years (Dems & Reps & Independents are all to blame!). We need to get rid of the entire "tainted" lot and start anew.

    However, they did step on it when they included in the quote: "honest government that is LISTENING to the VOICES of the AMERICAN PEOPLE". Listening to the American people?? Absurd.... If Pelosi is listening to the American people (along with every other Congressman/woman in D.C., then why is she REFUSING to allow oil drilling to come to a vote in the HOUSE?? And then you have Reid!! I won't even go there! 70% of America wants to drill for oil to stop the reliance on the doggone Mid-East!!! 700 BILLION Dollars leaving this country every year for those who despise our way of life!! 70% of the American citizens want oil drilling..AND at the same time pursuing other means of energy. How dare she be so closed minded and arrogant as to NOT LISTEN to the American people and then have the audacity to say she listens to the American people!! B..S!!

    July 30, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  13. Alice Gentry

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, change we can believe in. How many times before have we heard this same old, tired promise??? You young people who have not been around our country's politics before, you just don't understand what you are signing up for.

    There's no way our government can make everyone happy. It is up to each one of us individually to provide for ourselves and work to better outselves throughout our lives. That's the American way. The government way is socialism or worse, which will destroy the freedoms so many of us have sacrificed for for centuries.

    July 30, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |

    He is the hope that I have been waiting for, they certainly are not! I have never seen so much jealousy and hatred. Don't hate the player, hate the game. Obama you are the first person to give me hope since President John Kennedy, in my lifetime.

    July 30, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  15. MMN-Milwaukee WI

    if you spit into the wind, it will blow back on your face

    Bush has 175 days left in the White House and that is not good for McCain or the GOP but its good for America and that’s all that matters.

    Let’s all help GWB countdown to his exit of the WH
    and counting…

    July 30, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  16. Susan

    What they fail to mention is that this is a second hande conversation with no back up. Nothing like the Republicans trying to distort everything the Dems say or do. wake up America!! OBAMA 08!

    July 30, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  17. Joseph

    Has McCain said anything of substance since the beginning of the general election? If he keeps this up he's going to fail in November. And he'll have no one to blame but himself. Its funny how his campaign attacked Obama for not going overseas, and when he does he attacks him saying he went over seas. I laughed hysterically when McCain and his supporters attacked Obama for visiting Germany and other European countries, when they said why campaign over there they don't vote, okay why did McCain campaign in Canada and Mexico, they don't vote either. Way to go McCain make my job as who to vote for so much easier.

    July 30, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  18. Suraki

    How about the full quote:

    "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 ..."

    July 30, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  19. Jesse, St. Louis Park, MN

    Have the Republicans and McSame come out with any press release or advertisement in the past month that is not just meant to be something negative against Obama?

    I guess when there is not much positive to say about your own candidate, it's the only way to go. Losers!!

    July 30, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  20. Change NOW

    we have become a miserable disappointment and utter failure...Republicans are a huge vile spewing bigoted backwards d o u c h e bags....they can all go to h e l l!!!!!!!!!!!!

    the rest of the world are united in getting a president we are not ashamed of FOR ONCE.....and 90% of Europeans in a recent poll support Obama; only 10% for McSame......

    CNN needs to post all mcbush flip flops; hard to keep up with them, most recently in an interview on affirmative action...if cnn continues this bias, I am just cutting and pasting to ten more sites.....screw biased MSM.......it is sickening and ANOTHER reason we need to change FAST......this is brainwashing of gullible people..............your journalistic integrity is long gone.....

    July 30, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  21. grandma in minnesota

    Apparently if you're Barack Obama, confidence is considered elitism. In reality, you only need to look at the track record of the current occupant of the White House and the congressional Republicans to see who are elitists.
    I still have hope and I too will vote for a change that I can believe in.

    Obama in 08!

    July 30, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  22. The Watcher

    Watch this guy. He is always worried about what the rest of the world wants. McCain and the Repubs are laying down on purpose. It's a scam. We are like lambs being led to the slaughter.

    July 30, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  23. Windy1

    Rather than a pro-McCain campaign, the McCain's Campaign = Anti-Obama Campaign. This is the same old Republican tactics that have gotten this nation into the current rut that it is in, and we are slipping as a national power because of it. Republicans focus on their opponent's message, and find petty, irrelevant issues that distract the American people from solving real problems that their policies have caused – government debt, trade deficit, weak dollar, energy crisis, economy, housing, mortgages. More importantly, a needless war we cannot afford (contributing to gov't debt, deficit, weak dollar, energy crisis and economy). Truth is, the McCain camp has no real plan to move America forward and the world knows it. So instead of crafting a plan of action and message that resonates with America and the world, the McCain camp has developed a narrow Anti-Obama campaign strategy, and every day the Amercican public is bombarded with Anti-Obama quotes. I used to like McCain, but if this is his strategy, then he will never get my vote.

    July 30, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |

    now this is what I call "SILLY SEASON"

    July 30, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  25. rlp-politcal

    who isn't arrogant....

    was slave owners arrogant?
    is george bush arrogant – when he sent your kids to war?

    white folks please... is this all you have

    July 30, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
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