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. Dave

    This Obama character acts as if he is President already. Who does he think he is?

    Dallas, TX

    July 30, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  2. VA4Obama

    I can only speak for myself when I say that I have been waiting for over 7 years for this moment and I intend to vote for change that I can believe in.

    July 30, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  3. Indy for Obama

    ..............what's wrong with what he said?

    Are the Republicans running out of steam? What's next, counting the number of times he uses the word "and" and calling it excessive and wasteful?

    July 30, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  4. Shawn

    I'm sorry is there another part of this article I'm missing, that would contain anything to "seize" upon?

    July 30, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  5. LOL

    Are you kidding me? they are making a big deal about this? HAHAHHA it's actually funny poor republicans don't have anything else to grab on

    July 30, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  6. Puck

    This is like being in the other team's locker room
    while they get pumped up before the big game,
    and then telling the crowd that the other team
    thinks that they're going to win.

    Really? The other team thinks they're going to win?
    How DARE they think and act in a positive manner!
    Don't they KNOW that elections should be run on a
    platform of pessimism and negativity!

    The audacity of it all!!!
    *rolling eyes*

    July 30, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  7. Tony

    The Republicans have to seize on any and everything now that Good OLD Boy Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska has been indicted for receiving and NOT disclosing ovedr $250K in gifts.

    Stevens is up for re-election and chances are very good that he will be defeated by a Democrat and that will give the Dems the 60 vote majority in the Senate.

    Of course Stevens says he is innocent, but that is not news. Bush/Cheney and their cronies have been saying they are innocent for almost 8 years.

    I say if convicted, let him serve time and NOT in a couontry club prison.

    July 30, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  8. jimtranr in Oregon

    What U.S. voters have been waiting for is a presidential candidate who's qualified, competent, and trustworthy. Judging by the offerings available to us this November, we're going to have to wait at least another four years.

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

    Typical.. republicans shocked by truth. Can only say one word, McCain?

    July 30, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  10. Mr C

    I don't actually see what is wrong with any of the comments made by the DNC or Obama. RNC need to get their acts together. They seem confused.

    July 30, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  11. jiggles

    As a Brit, and a citizen of the world what Obama said was 100% correct-the rest of the world has been waiting 8 years for a change in the US- from a total moron, to someone we can finally talk to!

    (note to the Republicans- when Obama calls himself an American and citizen of the world- he is not being arrogant- the only qualification for being a citizen of the world is being on this planet- of course- I'm not suggesting the Republican leadership clear this hurdel),

    July 30, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  12. Larry WI

    This is one scary SOB, I mean that seriously. Are the people that support him that stupid that they can't see through him? If this bnut gets into the whitehouse it will be a disaster, I'm not not willing to chance it.

    July 30, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  13. Ms. RDS

    The McCain campaign is going so far into silly season its unbelievable. I'm sorry but I don't want a president to say "the odds of us winning arent good" or not show any confidence. Who would be inspired to follow someone who acts like Debbie Downer all the time. The McCain campaign is loosing so much ground they don't know what to do, even going so far as to say that MCCAIN does not speak for the campaign...HIS CAMPAIGN! Why would anyone want to vote for this candidate.

    July 30, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  14. Brennan - Seattle, WA

    And he is right. The world wants America to lead and they want an America that is not a bully around the world.

    July 30, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  15. Really?

    What exactly are the Republicans seizing on? It's funny . . . when Reagan was "optimistic" that was just great . . . when Obama is optimistic, it's pretensious. I just don't get it . . .

    July 30, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  16. Rose

    CNN how in the world can you and the GOP make something so negative out of this???

    How about some meaningful analysis of the gaffes and flip-flops of McCain. Is this the best you can do??

    It's no wonder that so many are turning to MSNBC and the Huffington Post for the news now.

    July 30, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  17. HAL

    AND ???

    July 30, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  18. Adam

    I never knew Old Europe had any electoral votes. Obama is a marxist and no wonder Old Europe is obsessed with him

    July 30, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  19. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Hey, did you know he's black?

    July 30, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  20. Kris in AL

    There is no doubt the world would vote for Obama. The question is ....Is Obama good for the United States, not the rest of the world?

    July 30, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  21. J.

    I don't see this as an issue, more of a 'Well Duhh!' Of course we are waiting to go back to 'America's best traditions'. Bush has destroyed our standing with the rest of the world...and this is coming from a REPUBLICAN!

    July 30, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  22. Hello!!!

    He needs Hillary big time. Close the deal and announce her as VP.

    July 30, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  23. Core

    I hear that he was either misquoted or taken out of context. But even if he wasn't, his statements are true. He has been made a symbol by voters. He has become a leader that many Americans want back in the White House. He is also a symbol of what any American can do if they work hard and take advantage of all the great opportunities this great country offers. I find it funny that others want to paint his confidence and intelligence as a NBA star's arrogance and naiveté. They want to say he caused oil prices or that he hates our troops and just wants to play basketball (with our troops mind you). It just laughable and reeks of old dirty politics. The same things that McCain said he was against.

    July 30, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  24. TiredofGOPWhining

    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 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  25. Walt Frazier

    If you have to continually explain what you meant when you say something, perhaps a Freudian slip is showing. The reason Congresses approval ratings are so low is that they never say what they mean, then try to explain what they said when they said it. Abbott and Costello would be proud of this "Whose on first" routine Obama continually recites and who the hell really cares what Europeans think about America? Everytime they get their rears in trouble, the good old USA rescues them. Perhaps it is time, way past time in fact, to worry about what middle America thinks instead of France, who would be speaking a German dialect now if not for us, or any either EU country thinks.

    July 30, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
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