August 2nd, 2008
04:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama's ideal role for McCain? Loyal Opposition

Sen. Barack Obama speaks at a town hall rally in Titusville, Florida, Saturday.

Sen. Barack Obama speaks at a town hall rally in Titusville, Florida, Saturday.

TITUSVILLE, Florida (CNN) –- The last week has left little doubt that the presidential campaign has taken a turn for the negative though John McCain and Barack Obama still insist they respect each other. But would McCain have a role in an Obama administration?

“You're setting me up to get in trouble,” Obama told a Florida supporter who asked him during a townhall meeting if McCain and his stalwart surrogate, Democrat-turned-Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, would gets jobs in a Democratic White House.

“I would have [McCain] serve in the role of loyal opposition, in the minority,” Obama told the crowd after initially stumbling over a few words, searching for an appropriate answer.

“There's an important function to be served there,” he added, “I mean it's important to have an opposition that is keeping you on your toes and giving you a hard time and calling you out if you're not doing what you say you’re going to do. That's part of what is good about democracy.”

Obama declined to mention whether he sees former Democratic colleague Lieberman as part of the opposition as well.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (194 Responses)
  1. EBC

    HELL NO!!! John McCain's and his entire surrogate campaign staff have done nothing but started the NEGATIVE Ad ball rolling. The FACT that he's sitting by claiming he's "PROUD OF HIS ADs is just disgraceful!!

    The FACTS clearly proved that it's was Sen. McCain who has gone 80% more negative than Sen. Obama. The facts don't lie. Sen. McCain has done nothing but lied about his role in the matter. How convenient for him. He plays innocent while all his BUSH surrogates does his dirty work.

    Sen. McCain and Joe Liberman are nothing but BITTER OLD MEN. McCain needs to take his butt back to Arizona and stay out of the sun until winter.

    August 2, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. LeMonton

    McCain gave us the ad "The One". In response, I dedicate to McCain the Metallica song "One".


    I can't remember anything
    can't tell if this is true or dream
    deep down inside I feel to scream
    this terrible silence stops me

    now that the war is through with me
    I'm waking up, I cannot see
    that there's not much left of me
    nothing is real but pain now

    hold my breath as I wish for death
    oh please God, wake me

    back in the womb it's much too real
    in pumps life that I must feel
    but can't look forward to reveal
    look to the time when I'll live

    fed through the tube that sticks in me
    just like a wartime novelty
    tied to machines that make me be
    cut this life off from me

    hold my breath as I wish for death
    oh please God, wake me

    now the world is gone I'm just one
    oh God, help me hold my breath as I wish for death

    darkness imprisoning me
    all that I see
    absolute horror
    I cannot live
    I cannot die
    trapped in myself
    body my holding cell

    landmine has taken my sight
    taken my speech
    taken my hearing
    taken my arms
    taken my legs
    taken my soul
    left me with life in hell

    August 2, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. Tejano

    What Obama Administration. This Fake is going down in November.
    The Gun Toting, Bible thumping, hard working Americans of all Races will not vote for a newbie whose ideals and goals are at odds with our heritage and culture.

    No Obama in our Whitehouse.

    August 2, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  4. marty from Indiana

    The best place for Liebermann is "out the door" and send him home unemployed. He is no Democrat and should hold no position of authority and power. I hope he enjoys his "30 pieces of silver."

    August 2, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  5. Bayou Joe

    If McCain and Lieberman are the loyal opposition does this make
    0bama the disloyal opposition?

    August 2, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  6. Mike - Texas

    Lieberman can help out the janitors with the cleaning of the toilets, in an obama administration.

    August 2, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  7. GoHillary

    What's the difference between GOD and Obama?

    GOD doesn't walk down the street thinking he is OBAMA!

    August 2, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. Gunar

    Obama must realize they elect him for a reason, to stand AGAINST people like McCain and Company. Making them part of his White House would send a confusing message to everyone. Be smart Barack-

    August 2, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  9. a southern bell for OBAMA







    August 2, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  10. anonymous

    Yet another glaringly arrogant
    comment–Good God–McCain has an entire lifetime of experience
    and OBama is cocky enough to say "well maybe i'll give you a job
    in my office McCain." OMG that is really low. And as to these "attacks"
    McCain is being blamed for–the ads and such. Obama you have
    asked for every one of them. You and Michelle have moments where
    you say the silliest things. Expect more of them if you can't control
    your mouths=-=just think what that will be like when you are our
    president. Late night comedy will never be the same.

    August 2, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. Monte

    So what else is new? Obama always stumbles over his words when he has to speak without a teleprompter. Every word has to be written down for him, can't think on his feet and this is what the media thinks we want in the White House? Fat chance of that happening.

    August 2, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  12. RJ, CA

    If you watched this, you'd see again that Obama bumbles and um's his way through anything that's "live" and not telepromptered. In fact, he sounds like a "guy from the hood" with his smirking, "brutha" black-rap body language. VERY different from the Obama in front of a teleprompter with a PREPARED speech. Very different – and very scary!

    August 2, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  13. aware

    Get off the Obama kick CNN. I am so sick of this guy that I only watch Fox these days.

    The over-exposed egomaniac is just plain tiresome! 😦

    August 2, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  14. Shannon

    If you look at how he is faring in his state compared to Obama it is easy to say I would be surprised if Arizona would vote for John McCain to serve another term as their Senator. He has done nothing for the state lately and instead focused on his own political ambition. So much for him being a loyal opposition leader.

    August 2, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  15. victorhill

    MoeCain and his other two Stooges, need to take there circus act some where else!
    Sen. Bozo The Clown MoeCain
    Since Obama doesn't want to say it, I will.
    What A Bunch Of Clowns.
    Where Just Getting OurFunny On America!

    August 2, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  16. Hanky

    Excellent Point! If you look at the best administrations in US history, they were all frought with differences of opinion or downright opposition groups, even within the same party.
    Abraham Lincoln won during a sectionally divisive time politically,
    Thomas Jefferson won when the nation was still trying to find its way with his agrarian republican politics.
    Woodrow Wilson won when Congress opposed his League of Nations idea, but later the United Nations came about.
    FDR had widespread opposition even within his party but became arguably the best president we ever had.
    Harry Truman had Republican opposition during one of the most important periods in US History.
    WIlliam Clinton had to go to the center and bipartisanship with the Republicans and had the good fortune to experience the most economically sound period in US History, so having people around to oppose you does a PResident a lot of good.
    Look at the presidents whose party controlled congress and you normally have a quagmire presidency (GW Bush for example).

    August 2, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  17. Ron democrat turned independent

    if obama is willing to have McCain keep him on his toes and call him out if he's not doing what he is suppose to do in the white house, why is he whining and complaining about him now for doing the same thing. typical obama I'm sure if the media picks up on this he will have another press conference to explain that what he meant to say was ,er ah eh the news media misquoted him ect

    August 2, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. William, from Cali!

    "Loyal opposition, in the minority" from Republicans? How can that be? That could only happen in a "perfect World", with totally un-bias Republican and Democratic thinking prefects;from both sides of the issue . And we know, this world is far from perfect................

    August 2, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  19. jason, tx

    Ah, refreshing. A president that doesn't want Yes People around them!

    August 2, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  20. hillaryclinton4barackobama

    Funny ... I see McDino in a Retirement Home Administration ...

    August 2, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  21. Jess

    It would have been so easy for him to answer that in a positive way, but he never does, i can't believe he succeeded in selling this idea that he is new politics.

    but other than that, this part made me lol. "...Obama told the crowd after initially stumbling over a few words, searching for an appropriate answer."

    Without a teleprompter he can barely form a coherent sentence. I wish i had a video of the clip his answer.

    August 2, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  22. Auntie Coosa, Blairsville, Georgia, USofA

    Barry Obama hasn't proved to us that he is a US Citizen yet and he's deciding what job John McCain would have in 'his' administration? What happened to the DNC and then the elections in November? Is Barry O going to just ignore them and set up his junta? Or is it his Caliphate? You know the one; it has 57 States and lasts 8 to 10 years. Per previous statements by Barry O.

    Barry Obama, we need to see your official certified birth certificate to verify if you're even a Natural Born US Citizen. Where were you born? Hawaii or Indonesia or some other place? Why did Lolo Soetoro register you in two different Primary Schools in Jakarta as "Barry Soetoro, Indonesian Citizen, Islam Religion?"

    Doesn't the phrase "loyal opposition" have to do with Monarchies? Is Barry O running for President or King of the USofA? Barry O is not just the "presumptive" candidate, he's the "presumptuous" candidate as well. The nerve of some politicians is appalling!

    Vote for John S McCain for President. The USofA decided in 1776 that we did not want or need a Monarchy.

    August 2, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  23. Chris

    Lieberman in a Democratic administration? Funny joke.

    August 2, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  24. David Okafor

    That's a good answer to a cunny question.

    August 2, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  25. Marc PDX

    Obama stumbled over his words initially (at the bottom of this article) because he can't operate off script. If it isn't a pre-rehearsed speech or sound bite he fumbles. Anything new and unexpected cause the pretty veneer to fall right off. It happened in the final three debates with Hillary and it will happen more and more as we get into the DEBATES. Let's get those going so we can find out who is more prepared to lead the nation (and who is just a celebrity working from a script).


    August 2, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
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