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. Matt

    Obama creeps me out!

    I dont want to livein socialist country.

    I don't want someone who have 7 kids and live on unemployment $ (that I pay for) to have free health care (that I will pay for).

    I don't want illegal immigrants to have rights and the son of my best friend to wait for legal visa 6 years already! And those are just a few of the "don't"'s!

    We all have to PRAY that Obama is not elected. Or it will be scary...

    July 30, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  2. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Audacity is violating your oath of office by shredding the Bill of Rights, letting some minion out a CIA agent and sanctioning torture. Getting rid of these punks permanently and putting them on trial at the Hague like Karadzic is the moment both the citizens of the United States and the world have been waiting for...

    July 30, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  3. MJ

    I just hope all of the people out there holding their breath for Obama realize that the kind of "change" he is offering is nothing more than a thinly disguised form of socialism. The Investor's Business Daily had a great article yesterday discussing all of the proposed programs of his, along with quotes taken directly from his books, and some background on the men mentioned in his books that formed him in his early years. It's very scary stuff. The Obamanites are so swooned by him though, that they don't even realize they're being taken for a ride. America made need some changes made, but putting in THE SENATOR WITH THE MOST LIBERAL VOTING RECORD isn't it.

    July 30, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  4. Mike Dallas

    The world has begun to take notice that there will not be another 4 years of the Republican agenda of BOMB, BOMB, SURGE, SURGE,...

    The world notices and acknowledges that the American public is again considering a candidate with both vision and the ability to envision more than one talking point at a time. All McCrypt and Crew can do is attack, attack...

    Pity the poor driver of the "Straight Talk Express", his head must be spinning, as the bus circles endlessly in search of a way to forward.

    July 30, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  5. vicki

    Great job Barack. Agreed!

    July 30, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  6. NewAmericancitizeninWashington,DC

    Fire the aide. Republicans and mcsurge crowd – thank you for spreading the word, – audacity is alive and kicking.

    July 30, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  7. X in Ann Arbor

    Yeah, sorry, I don't get what the fuss is about. Something like 82% of Americans are concerned with the direction of the country. Pointing out that we can do better is nearly a unanimous thought.

    July 30, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  8. Informed Voter

    I haven't heard one of Mc Cain and the GOP polices .... are they do is attack ...... why are people voting for them ........ what are Mc Cain's solution to the economy, etc???

    Democrats 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  9. Beth from Virginia

    Wait a minute! Comments from a "closed door" meeting? What are the Republicans doing making comments on something that was said in a closed-door meeting? Why are we hearing about something that was said in a closed-door meeting? Does anybody understand the meaning of "closed-door"??

    July 30, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  10. Carole, CA

    So. . .this is what he means by the "Audacity of Hope"?

    July 30, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  11. Mike Obama

    In 2006 Democrats promised the american people that they will bring about change in the congress. In fact their approval rating fell to single digit after 2 years of empty promise blaming the republicans for their failure. now they again promise us that they which change washington. Do we need to trust them now?

    July 30, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  12. JfromNC

    Watch the Washington Post for a correction to the article – coming soon. Senator Obama's comments were taken out of context according to others in the meeting. Before Obama said he had "become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions.", he said this race is not about him. They say he was very humble. The republican spin is NOT going to work this time.

    July 30, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  13. Georgia Peach, Atlanta, GA

    First, I don't see what the big deal is. Second, what about Gramm, McCain's #1 economic advisor, calling Americans a "nation of whiners?" That is outrageous and that shows how out of touch the GOP is with everyday people who are struggling to pay their bills. Why don't the Democrats hammer that over and over and over? That's what the press needs to focus on!!

    July 30, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  14. michael, Gladstone, MO

    Okay, so Obama is confident about himself and his campaign. And the McCain "President McCain" ad WASN'T arrogant how...?

    Seriously, CNN, I have to echo an above comment. Quit coddling McCain and actually vet him as a candidate, warts and all. You have no reason to make amends for the 2000 Republican race.

    Please post this CNN or is freedom of the press truly the freedom to print what you want.

    July 30, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  15. First Time voter

    Everytime the Republicans come out with one of these stupid attacks, it just makes me want to vote for Obama even more.

    July 30, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  16. Frank O.

    did I miss something?
    what did Sen Obama (President of USA 2008-2016) say wrong?
    what is next? Sen Obama went to the rest room and did not wash his hands? i mean come on RNC. please come up with something fresh and at least make this race interesting.

    July 30, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  17. M. Winners, Mesa, AZ

    As is always the case Grandpa McCain and the Republicans at large cannot stand it when truth is spoken.
    Lets face it, Obama is pasting Grandpa and his repub gang of "head in sand" neocons in the prez campaign and the only response they can think of is feigned outrage, criticism and smear tactics. Maybe a little rebup outrage and criticism over Dubya ignoring the Bill of Rights, a war launched under false pretense and the 4,300+ resulting deaths of some of America's finest should be offered up instead.
    Obama's vision is for the country – not Obama himself. That's what his comments and his campaign are all about and the Rebugs just don't get it, there stuck in 50's...

    July 30, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  18. Sam

    Umm...did I miss something here? What did Obama say in those quotes that was so terrible?

    July 30, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  19. Jay

    McCain said he knows how to catch Bin laden and I did not hear anyone say "What?" If he know how to catch him why in the world has he not told the commanders on the ground?

    July 30, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  20. Mike

    I just do not understand most of you here. Why are you so pro Obama?? The man has done nothing! He is a closet racist who has changed every position that he has for political gain. He claims to be the great uniter, the one who is going to make it all happen. But he has never united anyone, not does he have any record of making anything happen. Please wake up!!!! This man has no credentials and is all talk. He will say anything to get elected!!!! McCain is not Bush, do not let your hate for Bush cloud your reason!!!! McCain has a well established record of trying to work with both parties. He is a great american and worthy of the position of President!! Every one wake up, your under the Obama spell!!!!

    July 30, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  21. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California


    The world doesn't care about McCain-and he and the GOP know it.

    July 30, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  22. TSAH

    THE AUDACITY of those REPUBLICANS!!! I am truly learning what the Republicans are all about. I used to NOT pay attention because to me it did not matter. BUT NOW!!! It is "impossible" to not notice.

    The Republicans need to find their OWN issues and talk about them – I guess they HAVE NONE because they keep "dipping" in Obama's and trying to find FAULT.... I am soooo glad the Repubs – along with McSAME – are helping Obama to WIN!!!...................... OBAMA 08!!

    July 30, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  23. wilma

    With his words, Obama is becoming his own worst enemy. Someone in his camp, needs to print "humble" on both of his hands, before all public speaking events. After Bush, the last thing americans want in a President is an arrogant, cockey man, who refuses to admit, that even he, can make mistakes.

    July 30, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  24. Sarah, 23, FL

    OOOOOOOOOOOOOK....what was SOOO BAD about those comments??? Oh The Republicans are running dry on their attacks....they are realizing that OBAMA will win this year.

    OBAMA '08

    July 30, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  25. Patriot

    If the democrats truly listened to the American people, then you would lift the ban on offshore drilling.

    July 30, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
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