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)

    Before I clicked on the link I though he said something stupid or derogatory about McCain or did a Jesse Jackson, so I braced myself. THIS is the comment they're jumping on. All I hear is someone who is pumping up the party by saying we're on a roll, the country needs and wants us to make changes, and we need to start looking out for the people. I really hate to bring the race thing up because it's getting old, but I think the "ARROGANCE" thing goes back to a black man "not knowing his place." I really believe they're desparate so they're trying all they can to, subliminally, turn this into a race about race. CNN this article was a waste of time because there really is no news here.

    July 30, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  2. Yankee Air Pirate

    Eight years of waiting & the best the Dems can do is this fraud.After The Messiah gets smoked in November you'll have eight more years to find another arrogant troll.Losers.

    July 30, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  3. Ron L

    The REAL issue with this article is the title: THE REPUBLICANS SEIZE ON OBAMAS COMMENTS TO HOUSE DEMOCRATS" This is what I have said time and time again. The ROOT problem with American politics is not ONLY the partisian politicians, it is the EXAGGERATING news media. I don't care what station you turn to, or what paper you read the news media is constantly attempting to make SOMETHING out of NOTHING. It is really quite pathetic and annoying. An accurate title would have been..THE REPUBLICANS ATTEMPT TO MAKE THE HOUSE DEMOCRAT MEETING COMMENT INTO SOMETHING NEGATIVE. That would have been the truth. You see both sides and all the Media is guilty of this..IT NEEDS TO STOP!!! Don't any of you REALLY give a D**M about the country or is it all just a game???

    July 30, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  4. Joyce, Antioch, TN

    I see nothing wrong with the comment. Sen Obama is an example of "what the world has been waiting for" a President willing to listen before making any rash decisions or judgments.

    July 30, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  5. Minnesota Voter

    Obama and Pelosi are two of the most narcissistic politicians around. It's gone beyond arrogance, it is pure narcissism. Pelosi has been in office how long and what has she done? Nothing. If the Democrats want to change things, they could have done that on the last go around and did nothing. As distasteful as they all see Bill and Hillary, they are using every person the Clinton Administration employed; how original.

    We must appear to be the most dysfunctional county with our PRESUMPTIVE candidate making a speech to the German people as if he's running for President of the World. Can't we do anything right?

    I am a Hillary supporter voting for McCain whom can I trust.

    July 30, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  6. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    I guess pointing out that Obama is Black and has a Muslim middle name isn't enough?!

    Or, the "Obama – He's the Anti-Christ" bumper stickers here in Texas with the GOP elephant on them, isn't enough?

    July 30, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  7. Jeff

    That's it? That's all the Republicans have got? McCain is going to lose by a landslide.

    July 30, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  8. Mike T. Vaughn

    Arrogant!!!!??!??? Arrogant is the current Idiot in Office named Bush who lied to the Country, Keeps stating the Country is fine, does not listen to the Country, and Ran this Country into the Ground and has More Arrogance to wait until his last 8 months in office to show a concern for the Country, just to make himself look good on his exit!!! Now that's Arrogant!!!!!!! and McCain is just another Arrogant Bush in waiting............Strattling the fence with Lies...........Look up the definition of Arrogant in the dictionary. I sure is states See George Bush and the Republican Party.

    July 30, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |

    Republicans are crying wolf, better watch it.

    July 30, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  10. Walt

    McCain is a hypocrite and a liar. For all the talk about keeping the campaign about issues, all he has done is make personal, outrageous and misleading attacks on Obama. He's a typical Republican in the typical mold of Bush and Rove. The respect I once had for him is completely gone.

    And guess what Senator McCain, Obama IS what the world is waiting for because he represents something new and utterly different from the last 7 and a half year. And you represent exactly the same.

    July 30, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  11. Ron

    Audacious? I would hope so. I would hope that Obama believes he can change the perception of Americans with other countries. I would hope that Obama believes he can change American politics. I would hope that Obama believes he is the very best man for the job. I want that in any person I vote for to be president. Call it audacity if you want, I call it confidence, and it is much different than what is in the white house now. Obama is right, the world has been waiting for this for the last miserable 8 years.

    July 30, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  12. blue

    B O is such an arrogant, condescending, shallow empty suit that can't stop playing the race card.

    "Look at me, I'm the black man". "I'm a SYMBOL of change". "I say anything, because it's a means to get ME elected". Then accuse anyone who sees him for what he is and doesn't support him as Racist. Wow, there's some originallity.


    July 30, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  13. not an obamabot, thank GOD

    europe is ready to be back on top, that is why they are sooooo excited about barry. Dont care about change, I dont want govt health care, and more govt programs, they cant run the programs they have now effectivly, but like most typical americans now a days they need a security blanket and someone taking care of them, telling them what to do, abuch of sheep looking for govt to help them instead of helping themselves.

    July 30, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  14. Terri

    It doesn't matter what Obama does. Either way the Republicans will find something to say about him. If he is confident then he is arrogant. If he is not confident and un-sure of the issues and his campaign then he is weak. So let's not stress about the Republicans. Instead of focusing on their own campaign they are putting thier energy into Obama's campaign.

    I want my President to be confident about his abilities and the change he can effect in our America.

    Obama did not say anything that was not true . So to the Republicans in your short sightedness you are once again spreading the word for our Candidate. Thank you Republicans.


    July 30, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  15. Mike

    Well so much for that clean campaign McCain was going to run. Telling right out lies, and attacking Obama's patriotism is just tasteless. McCain has become Bush 2.0 in my opinion, he offers nothing to the oridnary man, he can not call on his National Security credentials anymore, giving all of mistakes in that arena lately. He has already said that he does not understand the economy, so what is left for McCain. " Attack Attack Attack". Stay focused Go Obama

    July 30, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  16. Cindy Hussein McCain

    This is really sickening. The Republicans are sooo racist. They are basically calling Obama an Upity Black.

    Why can't a black man be confident and sure of himself. The truth is they think a black person should "stay in his place". Well those days are over and it is time for black America to stop being separate and stand up and be proud AMERICANS.

    They should not have to walk some line to not offend the white folk, which is what the Republicans are suggesting that Obama do.

    July 30, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  17. Marty

    Here is a democrat that does not think Obama is able to lead the country. Do I vote McCain or write in Hillary? That is my question.

    July 30, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  18. Bulldog

    Republicans voted against two bills last week to help lower gas prices. All because they couldn't add in their offshore drilling admentments. They will block and stall any energy bill unless they can get their offshore drilling. That is there strategy at the expense of the American consumer. Get as much land freed up for the oil companies before the Bush term is over even though the oil companies currently have over 80 million acres of federal land they won't even touch. They wouldn't be leasing this land if there wasn't oil under it. Republicans have no right to be talking smack about the other side. They would rather bow to the big oil and Wall Street coorporations than help out the hard working Americans.

    July 30, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  19. Issano

    Same Old silly Republican rhetoric...the public are tired of the criticism. Time for a change.

    July 30, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  20. Mike from Cleveland

    Well Obama is right, the world has been waiting for a US president they can walk all over.

    July 30, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  21. Rob

    Obama is right. This is the moment the world is waiting for. The moment when Bush and his Republican war criminals are kicked to the streets and hopefully behind bars (Rove, Cheney, Gonzales anyone?)

    The Republicans better start coming up with real solutions if they want any chance of winning this Fall.

    The only way I see Obama losing is if more people are racist in this country than are letting on.

    July 30, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  22. Rob

    This is almost comical.

    "Republican Desperation Alert!" . . . . WOW

    Breaking news:

    People do not like George Bush!

    July 30, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  23. Bob in Baton Rouge

    IF he is elected, then he will have a chance to perform and be judged, just like George Bush. We shall see.

    July 30, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  24. John

    boy its a good thing the whole country has their BS filters removed, the GOP doesn't yet get that the people almost all of us DO NOT BELIVE A WORD THEY SAY. They are liars and twisters of the truth GOP your Roven politics won't work they time. By the way has anyone noticed we are kicking their butts and I haven't heard our side have to say anything negitive at all. Hummm... what does that tell you. I like Baracks positive campaign and McSame udders poison. Obama 08'12. DONE DEAL.

    July 30, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  25. Scott, Phoenix

    Why doesn't Obama run for President of the World? It might fit his ego.

    July 30, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15