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. get real

    No angry old men, please.

    July 30, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  2. Tarrie

    Yawn...can anyone say, who cares?

    July 30, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  3. Canada for Obama

    The "straight talk express" has become a serpantine of lies and deception.

    John McCain is acting like a child these days. The cylce of life.

    July 30, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  4. Steve in Wyoming

    Talk about a non-story. I read the article waiting for some kind of gaffe from Obama, and it never came.

    July 30, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  5. Bryan

    Hmm....so the even McWar is impressed with this comment....cause I can't see anything wrong with it. And he didn't really make any criticisms of his own.

    The Republicans only seem to be able to attack their opponents. When it comes to highlightining their own strengths, they are pathetic. Too bad America is used to all this political negativity.

    July 30, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  6. Austin~Right

    hmm, lets see, do the republican have anything better than run after everything Obama is saying and doing. I don’t know what else they have to throw; they are seriously lacking a lot of ammunitions. By the way were the hell are the Clintons... They need to come out now and begin to fulfill the promise that they made. Hillary needs to realize that she will not get the VP spot but instead she might get another position, even most Americans know that she will not be chosen they are just too different and you heard the man and what he was looking for even though he mentioned her name the quality he listed she did not match those. Having said that, Please Hillary you still need to keep your words because we will still remember you come 2012 when you want to run for president, I will make it an effort to remind people.

    July 30, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  7. Jason

    First of all John McCain did not come out in support of Obama's 16 month plan for Iraq as "WeluvObama" suggests. He said it depends on the conditions on the ground. Whether it is one month or 16 months or 2 years or more. Unlike Obama, McCain is in agreement with General Petraus and the other commanders on the ground. As for Obama's comments Tuesday night, this is just another example of his extreme arrogance! This man actually thinks he can save the world and make the ocean levels fall etc. I am really starting to wonder what does he really think of himself as? The Messiah, the Chosen One? Who knows? But it sure is pretty scary to think about. I have confidence in the American people to see through this phony. Once the American people find out that B.H.O. spent all of 143 days in the Senate before annoucning his bid for the presidency they will realize just how inexperienced and unqualified this guy is!

    July 30, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  8. Bridgette-PA

    Can someone say.....S..C..A..R..E...D...
    Don't be afraid Repub's because it shows. For the past several weeks, John Mc no-one has been showing his fear to the world. He's so intimidated by Barack Obama. He will lose this race (which for now, seems like a close on) and if he keeps up these whining attacks at the rate he's doing it, he will lose by a LANDSLIDE 🙂

    OBAMA / SEBELIUS – 08!

    July 30, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  9. Darrel from Denver

    Won't happen since he will have forgotten Germany exists by this time next month. His memory is slipping daily.

    give it up...retire in peace

    July 30, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  10. Jeff

    Perhaps the headline should read, "Republicans Seize More Straws, Sink Further Into Pit of Despair."


    July 30, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  11. Elise Seraus

    Fail to see the big deal. It is the truth, the world IS waiting for some intelligent and thoughtful leadership. As my 10 year old would say: "DUH. . . "
    The fact that McCain and crew are critical of that comment shows how limited their offerings to the world are!
    OBAMA 08

    July 30, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  12. Andy J, NY

    he is snide and arrogant. period.

    not for larger government? really?

    we are spending money in iraq that we shouldn't be spending at all, but these morons are saying how they will spend the money in iraq right back here... well, the problem with that is: we don't have the money to spend. he wants to spend tax payer money to help irresponsible people, dead beats, and give another round of rebates printed on money that we don't have.

    Oh, the democrats will increase government size and spending. anything to the contrary is pure fiction, and i think we should all not kid ourselves about that.

    July 30, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  13. jack

    Is the news media that desperate for stuff on Obama that they actually give even the lamest of RNC talking points credibility? Shame.

    July 30, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |

    Mc Alzeimer and his friends finally have something to cry about.


    July 30, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  15. MRob

    Before this gets blown any further out of proportion, keep in mind:
    1) All politicians are arrogant. McCain no less than Obama, though he tries a little harder to hide it.
    2) Humility is nothing more than a campaign tool for any politician, like religion and intolerance.
    3) Pretending otherwise is nothing but an insult to the reader's intelligence.

    July 30, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  16. Robert

    It must be ratings time.

    July 30, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  17. check and checkmate

    This statement only confirms what I feel about Obama, and therefore I am sticking to my belief, check and checkmate. A Democratic Congress majority and a Moderate leaning Republican President will do just what they have been doing for two years. Keeping each other in check.

    Barack, you exposed yourself, as a true ultra liberal demogog, I can't vote for U at all now Hillary or no Hillary. Your finished to bad.

    July 30, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  18. John, Brooklyn, New York

    The Republicans really seem to be grasping at straws.

    Whether the Europeans were referring to the Obama campaign specifically or to the likely rise of the power of Democrats in Washington after this Fall's election – following a failed Bush administration – EITHER prospect (an Obama victory or the rise of Democrats to greater power) would be seen as a return to what the world expects and – yes, HOPES – for America.

    July 30, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  19. Cecil

    Didn't McCain Say Sen. Obama Wanted To Lose The War. Now That a "WOW". Perfer To Go To The Gym Then To Be With Our Service Man And Women, Now That's A "WOW". He's The Reason For High Gas Prices, Another "WOW"

    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." This Is Such A Stupid response, From Mr. I Know How To Win Wars! I Don't Know If Obama Wants To Win The War! I Know The Land!

    July 30, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  20. McCain's cousin

    Only braindead Republicans could find fault in what Obama said. Maybe if McCain visits enough grocery stores and German restaurants he'll win the hearts and minds of the people. P.S. I think he held hands with the Dalai Lama too long!

    July 30, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  21. David

    "Republicans seize on Obama comments" is not news. Wake me when he says something they *don't* pounce on.

    July 30, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  22. Kyle

    Are you SERIOUS? Is this really a valid point? COME ON!!

    July 30, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  23. alicia

    Please post this is an important point
    "Barack Obama audacity watch" is about Obama being uppity that’s all.. Why don’t the MSM types and RNC just say it. It’s the Southern Strategy 2.0.. I hear this stuff all the time as a professional black woman.. I wish you guys would have addressed this in your Black in America series..

    Btw, John McCain has said " I know how to win wars.." That sounds pretty arrogant to me as if only he has the answer to our problems.. Why didn’t you address this? My guess is that there is a double standard for people of color/ women and white MALES. Why is it when discussing a white MALE he is confident but if it’s a woman or a person of color they are arrogant, too strong, overbearing or have to wait their turn.. Four years ago John Edwards ran with less experience than Obama and I heard none of this.. Sadly, we heard the same thing about Hillary Clinton being too strong and presumptuous. When will the media recognize this.. Will this admission only happen when we have more people of color or women as producers or making editorial decisions.

    July 30, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  24. real dem

    Lol Northern lite, bush has had 8 years and the republicans 6 years and where still screwed. What do you say about that?

    July 30, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  25. Jan, Knoxville, TN

    America and the world wants the positive change Obama embodies. People are sick of war and violence and that is why Obama is so popular. McCain, on the other hand, seems to love war and military actions. I fear for us if McCain somehow gets elected. If anything, he might be worse than Bush!

    July 30, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
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