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. Elariia

    The Tindall report found that more than 70 percent of coverage concerning Obama is negative. Is CNN going for 100 percent?

    July 30, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  2. marty from Indiana

    The Bible says: "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." Obama spoke the truth. The world IS wait to be set free from the Bush repressive era. Obama.... a clear alternative.....

    Say no to McCain's 4 more years of Bush politics.

    Vote Obama.

    July 30, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  3. Jim CO

    When will you get to the real issues? You guys have turned into nothing but tabloid news.

    July 30, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  4. Chris L.

    What exactly are they "seizing" on here? That Barack said that the rest of the world is longing for a United States they can look up to again? That they're as tired of the arrogance of the Bush administration as we are? Republicans are pretending this is NEWS? They are in full on panic mode right now, as well they should be.

    July 30, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  5. Texas Voter

    Obama is a fake, I will never vote for him.

    July 30, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  6. James Hussein, SC

    If you can't beat them, call them names.

    Vote for McSurge
    Vote for McSurge
    Vote for McSurge
    Vote for McSurge
    Vote for McSurge

    And you will get the same old government that you have loved soooo much.

    Barack Obama really believes there is hope in Amercia and the world. Don't vote for him because he wants us all to live better lives.

    Vote for McSame
    Vote for McSame
    Vote for McSame
    Vote for McSame

    July 30, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  7. The World

    Obama you ARE the symbol of our best interests, and we HAVE been waiting for this moment for 7 years!

    July 30, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  8. Andrew

    It is fine to confident, but the election has not happened yet and one should think you are going to win because everyone is telling you that you will win. I think the past super bowel is a great example. Also, in the past when a single party had control of congress and the Whitehouse they did not always deliver on what they promised.

    Still deciding on who to vote for.

    July 30, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  9. Michael

    The Republican party desperately needs new blood and it is becoming painfully obvious. McCain is now calling for a withdrawl within 16-20 months just a week after he said the exact opposite. I am not really sure he can even remember last week.

    July 30, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  10. P. D.

    Do I smell desperation? Good Lord, the Republicans are running scared. Between McCain's gaffes and Obama's message of hope. I think I'll choose the latter.

    July 30, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  11. Joe (WI)

    Totally agree. This story is just something CNN put on her to stir the pot. Big dam deal, I'd be a little worried if he didn't have confidence.

    July 30, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  12. mollygonz

    Personally...I don't even get it. The GOP has become so strange.

    July 30, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  13. John from LA

    Arrogant SOB-I hope this man NEVER gets elected!!!

    July 30, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  14. TRW

    Wow, is he ever arrogant.

    The world IS waiting for this moment, to weaken the US. An Obama Presidency coupled with control of Congress would be the worst thing to ever happen to the United States.

    America rejected this uber liberalism decades ago and they should again.

    If youre old enough to remember Jimmy Carter, you'll know why.

    July 30, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  15. Sir Geshko

    ... And this is news?
    Obama's been saying these things for months! In public!
    The McCain campaign seems to be gasping for air, flailing about for anything they can use to turn the tide against Obama and the Hope Machine.
    Hasn't anyone told them that you should try to relax when you're drowning? Thrashing about just makes you more tired!

    July 30, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  16. mary

    Does the McCain camp have any other platform other than finding a way to mud sling every word Senator Obama says? If this is how hey plan to get another republican in the White house we may as well start calling Barack President Obama right now.

    July 30, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  17. Michael

    Why is this even news? Are the Republican's upset because he thinks the Dem's can do it better? Didn't the GOP's contract with America purport the same thing. Another example of all the news that fits, print it!

    July 30, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  18. jara

    This Bush and McCain gangsters are so desperate and shallow..and what was EXACTLY are they "seizing"?

    July 30, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  19. Tom

    CNN – check your facts – are you a news outfit or a rumor mill?

    But, don't worry, Marc Halperin did your work for you. Here is the quote in context (according to his better researched, more up to date site): “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 … .”

    July 30, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  20. Informed Voter

    Desperation Alert!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  21. Mike from Canada

    Continue on Barack. This is what we have been waiting for! An America that works to make the WORLD better, and not just to try and serve their own interests.

    July 30, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  22. Fitz

    You know what? there are still plenty of morons out there that will still vote for the Republicans this November even though they have basically ruined the lives of so many ordinary citizens with their policies. Citizens who are democrats, republicans, independents, and other's. Doesn't matter the affiliation, giving the reins to the Republicans for 4 more years is 4 more years of disaster.

    Count on it

    July 30, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  23. Abby

    "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.

    Thank you, Republicans, for helping spread the word!

    OBAMA 08!

    July 30, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  24. Canada for Obama

    It seems to me that the Republicans and John McCain spend about 90% of their time and energy taking shots at Barack Obama and the DNC. They seem to spend less than 10% of their time and energy telling the American people what they plan to do if elected.

    The Politics of FEAR and corruption = THE GOP and John McCain.

    July 30, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  25. wycliffe, NJ

    Silly politics by republicans.

    July 30, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
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