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. gildthelilly

    Snore. Are the Repubs really this desperate? Watching the world's reaction to Obama gives me hope for the first time in years.

    July 30, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  2. Notice something?

    Notice that the republicans are bashing Obama more than they are speaking about what they will do for the country. What else are they going to talk about? How McCain intends to make the Bush tax cuts permanent and privatize social security?

    July 30, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  3. CP-Texas

    OBAMA 08!

    July 30, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  4. Special K

    Don't believe the hype!!!

    July 30, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  5. Unshrub

    All the republicans are doing this year, (and most other elections) is to lie around without a single idea of their own and wait until they can find something about Obama where they can go negative. McCain says he won't raise taxes but how are they going to fix the 1/2 TRILLION dollar deficit? It's impossible to cut other government spending by 1/2 trillion dollars but all they are interested in is trying to make a big deal of nothing. People who support that type of rhetoric should be explaining how they can fix the economy with deficits like this. If cutting taxes all the time helps stimulate the economy as they claim how come the economy is in such bad shape? They have been cutting taxes since Reagan and our economy keeps getting worse all of the time. What have they to show for these deficits? TEN TRILLION dollars in debt with over 200 BILLION dollars of interest paid out every year. IT”S THE DEFICITS STUPID…

    July 30, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  6. Thomas

    I reread this article three or four times looking for what the repugs were so up in arms about. Still don't see it.

    The world IS ready for change.

    That is why the citizens of our allied nations OVERWHELMING support Obama over McCain.

    July 30, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  7. Olegringo, NM

    I would like to buy Obama for what he is worth, and sell him for what he thinks he is worth.

    July 30, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  8. RJ, CA

    Well, now we know that Obama was really born in a little stable in Bethlehem, that there was a star in the East at his birth, and that wise men from all over the world are now "seeking" him out.

    Bad movie!

    The last time I had to endure such arrogance, its name was George Bush. Ye gad!

    July 30, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  9. James

    The way the press has jumped on this, taking the comment out of context as they have, and then reporting –at McCain's (like Hillary's) urging– that they have been overly positive in its coverage of Barack...it just illustrates again the press's intent to keep this a close race.

    They know: close race = ratings = $$.

    Like BO v. Hillary, MSM will play the innuendoes as much as possible to keep people interested.

    My suggestion: Think, be critical and read the candidates books. It's much more insightful.

    July 30, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  10. Philly Abe

    Phil Gramm, on behalf of McCain says working people are whiners.

    Obama says that his party will win this election and the result will be a different agenda.

    Which is arrogant?

    July 30, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  11. Morgan

    Obama is right. Never in my lifetime did I hope there could be a President I believed in. Scoundrels like Bush have been in power. Privileged simpletons. Reagan was obviously no mental giant either. Even Clinton for whom I had the greatest expectations didn't really leave us proud to be Americans. Not just because of his womanizing, but there was always this slick quality.

    With Obama we do have someone who seems honorable, and, thank God, intelligent and thoughtful.

    The Republicans will find fault with anything he does. That only emphasizes how corrupted their outlook has become.

    July 30, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  12. Usual tactics

    What else do you expect from Republican attack machine?

    You were expecting policies?

    July 30, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  13. Mark G

    So the world is waiting for America to finally start doing the right thing again...Wow...what a shocker. Now is the time for America to start acting like a super power and leader of nations and not a bully who is after whatever we can get. Good Morning...welcome to the party...I for one can't wait to see real change.

    July 30, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  14. bernadette

    I wish just once the republicans would get it right – and care about getting it right – they have taken Obama's comments completely out of context and even cut off the beginning of the sentence/thought to make it appear something it was not. Aren't we all tired of these deceptive and lying tactics? Didn't the last 7 years teach us something?

    July 30, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  15. Eyes

    The Republicans have thrown so much unnecessary garbage at the Obama campaign – no flag pin, no hand over heart during Pledge of Allegiance, he doesn't address the troops (he is not commander in chief yet and has to follow formal protocol),his father is "Muslim" so Obama is Muslim and on and on...

    At this point, it isn't even funny anymore. It is simply indicative of what the American voting public is so very tired. And that is why Obama will win the presidency in November. Obama is the only candidate with true presidential grace and the world is waiting for him to take the reins in the USA.

    What other dirty tricks will the Republicans do when he takes the presidency? They are like barking dogs. Obama didn't say that – I did.

    July 30, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  16. anton

    The man IS arrogant, One of the main reasons not to vote for him...but then aren't all polliticans arrogant. Obama is counting the chickens before they hatch, and watch the Bradley effect take place in November...

    July 30, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  17. Carrie Goodeagle Hayden, Idaho

    The republicans are laughable. It is so great to see that the rest of the world wants very much to respect our country. Bush destroyed our credibility and it will take time to earn the trust of our world neighbors. Good Job Obama, God Bless you and your family.

    July 30, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  18. lanray

    I'm beginning to feel that he is MORE arrogant than Bush and Cheney and I didn't think their attitudes could be topped. Real scarey!

    July 30, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  19. BKaye

    I don't see anything wrong this his comments. They are valid and speak truth.

    July 30, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  20. Mike

    I'm confused...

    July 30, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  21. TheOtherSide


    July 30, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  22. Special K

    Actions, speaks louder than word. Experiance is what got us in the mess were in. Experiance is the hype, Don't believe the hype!!!

    July 30, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  23. Penn

    This is not news. Obama has been arrogant from day one. Ask the residents of Pennsylvania who he labeled bitter because we cling to our guns and religion. I cling to my religion because it is important in my life.
    After hearing about the church that Obama and his family have attended for 20 years, I hope they do not take that hatred to heart.

    July 30, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  24. Brian

    Desperate Republicans.. the moment Barack Chooses his VP.. the polls gonna spike and it will be 10% lead until November..

    Go away McCain..

    Obama/???(want Hillary or Biden :)) 2008

    July 30, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  25. Michael, an independent Canadian

    Obama makes comments that are absolutely true......and the Republicans try to find some way to twist the context of the comments into some negative......same old politics.

    This reaction by the Republicans proves one thing.....

    that the Republicans are in denial about the reality of what is really going on in this world......

    July 30, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
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