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. Bob

    McCain will make 10 worse "gaffes" before breakfast, but you wouldn't know that from watching CNN.

    July 30, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  2. Bean

    Seriously? That's it? That's the best the republicans can find?

    Sometimes I suspect John McCain is purposely trying to throw the election so that Obama can deal with all the problems that Bush caused.

    3rd party 08!

    July 30, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  3. Hojo

    What's wrong with having an intelligent president in the oval office for a change? "This is the time". I trust that the American voters will be smart enough not to let the Republicans try to hijack this election through their lies and distortations.

    July 30, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  4. susie

    I voted for "change" with Jimmy Carter. He was going to change everything. It did. Hostages in Iran, dobule digit inflation and high taxes, double digit interest rates. He said everyone would "love" America. LOL.

    July 30, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  5. TiredofGOPWhining

    Is there a problem with my comment below?

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    All candidates says "when I'm President, I will…" what's the big deal? He is confident. What is he supposed to say – "If, maybe, I am president?" The world IS waiting for a well rounded, elegant, sane, reasonable and diplomatic and FRESH looking President/Administration.

    July 30, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  6. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Obama is not arrogant.This campaign is about trying to fix and make this country well again. We have suffered greatly under the tyranny of the Bush administration, and it will take a man of strong conviction to turn things around. I don't want a pasty faced wishy-washy Bush wannabe running this country. We have gone through enough in the past 8 years, and we do need CHANGE. That is what republicans fear the most.......change. They want more of the same. I just hope that everyone who is questioning whether Obama can be a leader will simply think about how Bush has put us in such a deep hole. Do they really want Bush revisited? I hear everyone bemoaning how bad things are. Just who do these people think is the cause of this mess?Do they actually believe that McCain will truly be any different? If they do, then by all means vote for him. But be warned......I hope you can live with your vote.Be very careful what you wish for.

    July 30, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  7. Jane Republican

    MCCain and others Republicans should be very careful on what to say and do about obama. Mccain and Republicans are going negative if they do I will not vote for tham.
    Mccain should stop all those attack and say what he can do for USA.
    I will vote for OBAMA if mCcain keep going negative.

    July 30, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  8. proud army and navy mom

    Awesome I cant wait for the government to control every portion of my life.......And my taxes to be raised to 57%(including SS) I have wanted to pay more for years. This is awesome so the lazy please continue to be lazy while the rest of us support you......

    That is the Liberal way

    July 30, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  9. nina

    I think that Obama is being over-glorified. Some common sense is needed. Not this blind worship attitude. He is only one of us.

    and, yes, he does appear arrogant.

    July 30, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  10. Reggie

    The Republicans are still trying to run a Karl Rove campaign without Karl Rove. How can a party that is clearly and blatantly choosing big business over the American people talk about anyone being audatious? McCain keeps talking about being able to work across party lines, but if this campaign is any indication about how he will govern, you would be a fool to vote for him.

    July 30, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  11. Terri, Independent Thinker from Texas

    Thanks to Sen Obama for saying the very thing that needs to be said. The "whiners" on the other side are simply running scared. Funny how the truth hurts isn't it?

    July 30, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  12. ANGIE

    Attack Attack seems now a days thats the mccain campaign is to do nothing but attack obama, The republicans are becoming very DESPERATE!!!!!! Well so much for mccain saying he wanted to run a clean campaign HE LIED!!!! HE CANT BE TRUSTED TO RUN OUR COUNTRY!!!! OBAMA/HAGEL 08

    July 30, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  13. keesa

    NOW IM LOOKING AT MSNBC AN NOW THEIR SAYING THE COMMENT WAS WRONG. NOW THERE PUTTING OUT THE CORRECT STATEMENT THAT OBAMA SAID. NOW YOU KNOW THIS IS A SHAME THIS THE SECOND DAY SOMEONE THEN FLAT OUT IN LIED ABOUT THIS MAN. I DONT KNOW WHAT THE NEWS MEDIA HAVE AGAINST THIS MAN BUT I THINK ITS A SHAME TO TELL FLAT OUT LIES ABOUT OBAMA. I BELEIVE THIS CAMPAIGN IS ABOUT TO GET REAL NASTY ABOUT OBAMA FIRST MCCAIN LIES ABOUT HIM NOT GOING SEE TROOPS NOW THIS. WHEN THEIR SOMEBODY NEW ON THE SCENE ITS EASY TO TELL LIES ABOUT THAT PERSON.

    July 30, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  14. Candy West Virginia

    Hey repugs, jealous much? You can't fault him for telling the truth.

    July 30, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  15. Republican_for_Barack

    Even as a republican , i thing not only the world but the us is waiting for this moment ! John McFlip-flop's only activity those last weeks seems to be : "I 'm running after each word out of BO". Thats not a change i can count on !. I want real change and this time, I'm going for THIS democrat !

    July 30, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  16. WA

    This is what the world has been waiting for. Please. REPUBs, get a life, clue or something. This is just pathetic, adult folk like this.

    Obama is right. The world is waiting for a change for the better. They sure didn't see that with Bush over 8 years....things got worse.

    Give it up. You are scared and fear is your only weapon. I hope it backfires. Yes, I hope it slaps them right back in the face.

    Someone comes along and gives people hope and speaks of hope, you are ready to lamblast him. Just party poopers.

    July 30, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  17. Kevin

    Going negative didn't work for Hilary. It won't work for McCain.

    July 30, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  18. Tommy

    Take things IN CONTEXT! Compare what was said and what is TRUE. Then make up your mind. Don't just take things that the RNC and McClueless go around saying as the truth. Usually it is just more B.S. because they are desperate. McBush has nothing else to stand on.

    July 30, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  19. icon

    these republicans are on big-time MENTAL RECESSION. they need some long break of about eight years (of obama administration) before THINKING OF running presidential elections again. goodbye bush, goodbye mc cain, goodbye RNC.

    July 30, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  20. BeHumble

    He needs to cool it! He does not have this huge lead over McCain, he has not won over Hispanic and other ethnic groups other than Black Americans (and yes I'm a Black American) and he has not won over White Women.

    The only change we will see is a new President because politics is still politics and he's a sly politician.

    July 30, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  21. Gramma Faye /Idaho

    This is the attitude tn has had since he first started. This desire for such global power and the ego and the fast, smooth talking is part of what scares the Hell out of this old lady.
    We do not need a one world org. like so many politicians are trying to sneak us into. They are starting with the Mexico to Canada corridor and this man is backing that.
    also anyone that Pelosi thinks is so great you better look at twice, She is so power hungry she is selling out this country so we will always be oil dependent to forgein countries and never be oil independent for our Nation Security and economy. God willing she won't be speaker for ever. People in CA are going to smarten up and vote her out one of these days.

    July 30, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  22. MD in GA

    According to the Republicans, Senator Obama can't say anything right but "The Truth is the Light." All I can say is, Senator, keep on shining....

    July 30, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  23. Alex in MA

    Is CNN an advisor to the McCain campaign? From the rubbish you publish here it would appear so!

    July 30, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  24. JohnLee

    Arrogant – the republicans say he is? Or maybe he is just realistic! Gawd, I hope war monger hate filled McBush doesn't win because the world is going to give up on us! We need someone besides the war mongers in office!

    July 30, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  25. jb

    The republicans would be better served to attack the dems on the issues. People can see right through this lame attempt. And most people are savvy enough to investigate on their own and find the full text of the 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 … .” More of what he always says.

    Maybe this election can be transformitive.

    July 30, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
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