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. The Media swiftboated Hillary

    whats the point of this article? That McCain's camp said "wow" to Obama's choice of words.

    Hmph, CNN....a slow day?? You really are trying to stick it to McCain and make the GOP look bad, aren't you. Oooohhhh, scary....McCain said "wow"! You degenerates swiftboated Hillary, and now you're trying to do the same to McCain. What a joke the main stream media has become. Ridic!

    July 30, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  2. RB from NH

    Obama IS a symbol of what we can become as a nation.

    We are NOT warmongering, fearbased selfservering old men.

    July 30, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  3. Kevin

    Republicans/Bushcans.. your days are numbered. And yes, the world is waiting.

    July 30, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  4. Robert

    Wow! This is news?

    July 30, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  5. Sarah

    CNN is becoming very similar to FOX news
    Watching CNN over the last month, you can tell the major shift in reporting in favor of McSame
    Some contributors known to support Obama (such as Ronald Martin) have completely disappeard. CNN is advancing its own agenda against Obama.
    I'm sure even this note will not appear. Biased CNN...
    If the GOP remain in the WH for another 4 years, then bye bye America, we will become a third wold country

    July 30, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  6. Jean

    Republicans need some new material.

    July 30, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  7. Connie

    How about alerting the American public to a McCain "stupidity watch?"
    So much for the pledge to take the high road during the campaign, Republicans! I guess you have to throw random stones when you don't have anything else of substance to say.

    Go, Barack!!

    July 30, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  8. CJ/PA

    Under Bush, the American image and standing in the world has suffered mightily, with his go-it-alone, anti-diplomacy, saber-rattling, smirking, self-serving, love-it-or-leave-it tactics, that Obama's presence to the world is refreshing and welcome. I, as an American, feel proud to have him representing me to the world and what he stands for. McCain can jump up and down, complain, whine and smirk (yes, him too) all he wants, and he just looks like the little jerk that he has become!

    July 30, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  9. Donna


    I love how FASCINATED they are with Obama while completely ignoring the MULTIPLE chances to discuss real issues...who cares what Obama said? It's the truth...maybe if McCain were a little more "arrogant" they would have more confidence in their own candidate....

    July 30, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  10. Pat

    This is the way the RNC is keeping the media busy on Obama so the reporting of ANOTHER corruptive Republican in Alaska may not get as much damaging attention. Mcsame 'o polictics.

    July 30, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  11. Brian

    The primary reason the Democratic Congress has struggled to achieve major change is the fact it is attempting to clean up the Bush Administration’s plethora of messes.

    Anyone who votes Republican in 08, aside from the oil tycoons or big business executives, is a moron.

    John McCain’s military record may be impressive, but his campaign strategies are pathetic.

    July 30, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  12. Melody

    It is amazing how the black man is always called arrogant. While the white man, it call confident and smart.

    July 30, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  13. lou

    Let the neocons play to there base of 25% who epitomize the meaning of the word arrogance.

    July 30, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  14. Kevin in Ohio

    Unbelievable audacity. Barack and Pelosi and Reed will ruin our economy and our world standing. God help us all.

    July 30, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  15. Whatever in Chicago

    Why does this matter? And enough with the Polls.....what matters is the first debate. McSame, McWar and McBush will crumble.....

    July 30, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  16. Watermann

    Attack # 165 or so.........

    July 30, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  17. Chris from San a

    its a looooonnnnnnggggg summer for the GOP.

    July 30, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  18. rr florida

    Obama is all ego..he would make a great actor.. Its to bad he is
    making the white house his stage!! And sadly the american people
    who love actors and media are quickly drawn in!

    OBAMA '08...You better hope not!

    July 30, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  19. William Spivey

    You are a symbol to me. You are what this country needs. To Hello with the GOP's comments. They honestly don't see the light. Just more of McBush Dementia. Keep up the good work.

    July 30, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  20. Kathy in Oregon

    So, after his international photo-op tour, Obama claims that "This is the moment... that the world has been waiting for.”

    He THINKS he has "become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions"???

    What a joke. This guy has such a HIGH opinion of himself that he can't see the facts - the AMERICAN people are not all drinking the kool-aid!

    The bigger they are (in this case Obama's head), the harder they fall...

    July 30, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  21. Ed Ward

    Seizing on what? The truth?

    You bet America wants change.

    Four more years of Bush-like policies and this placewill be a third-world country.

    July 30, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  22. Denise Groves

    I agree with everything that was said. He is going to win. This is a double standard, when a white wan does this he is "confident." When a black man does it, he is "arrogant." Republicans are some of the most racist people on the planet, judgig by comments I have read on the blogs, and the commentators and reporters on Faux News. If they want to know arrgance, just look at the current administration. Karl Rove, and Cheney especially.

    Why any African-American would ID themselves with the GOP is beyond me!

    July 30, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  23. carolflowery

    Bill Clinton said it best, "It's a fairytale...."
    i will not vote for a socialist, and if Nancy Pelosi thinks they can change how OUR government works in Washington DC she best
    take a really good look at the congressional ratings which are in single digits even lower than Bush's.
    A friend asked me the other day, what would you say Hillary Clinton's expertise is, I immediatley said healh care
    what is McCain's National Security and willing to dril for our own oil
    what is Obama's...."he's the preacher" that's all i could think of
    and by the way, can someone tell me what it is if they know

    July 30, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  24. Elizabeth

    I think Barack Obama has CHARACTER along with his many other attributes and that is why I am voting for him. No matter what he says, the voltures will be ready to cut him down. Politics is such a DIRTY BUSINESS! If I were him, I certainly would not trust the Clintons. The poor fellow is walking on a tightrope and I feel sorry for him.

    July 30, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  25. Dennis in MN

    How pathetic...my mind is truly boggled.

    July 30, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
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