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. xx11

    that's the kind of president we need not 4 more years of the same!!!!!!!.
    people wake up. 8 years was terrible if we elect another 4 more years ,then we got what we deserve.


    August 2, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  2. Carl Justus

    Obama is dumber than I think he is if he has Lieberman serve in any capacity in his administration if he is elected.
    I would leave lieberman to his own devices and he can rise or fall according to his own ability. I think the man is nothing more than an Israeli appoligist and or an agent for the Israeli government.

    August 2, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  3. Put them in the dog house

    I am always amazed at the swift humorous responses Obama gives on these town hall meetings.
    Go Obama.

    August 2, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  4. Wendy

    Loyal Opposition, yea I like that. Good that Obama consider all sides. It's not his way or the highway. That's why we can trust his judgement to be thoughtful and precise.

    August 2, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  5. gerald

    hi the poles are they way they are because the media wants it that way other wise they have nothing to do with this election and that is really a sad day for the country because the people used to have a say so now we are controled buy the media and if it isnt that way tell me how you go from 12 points up to 4 points down in one day hello media wanted it that way . i find it sad that the richest and most productive country in the world is like this . just me talking .

    August 2, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  6. Bill

    Won't Obama have the same role in a McCain administration?

    August 2, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  7. Obama is following

    It was okay for Job to question God too, after all God did for him.
    All those boils were really keeping Job on his toes.

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

    August 2, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. James

    I could see McCain as Seceretary of Veterans Affairs in a Obama Administration...

    August 2, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. Linda in Ruther Glen, Va

    McCain's ambition runs wild, he needs to retire and enjoy his life, wife and family. We need to get rid of every and any one that has served multiple years. There needs to be term limits on all government offices. Corruption needs to be eliminated and those that serve need to be serving and not self serving.

    August 2, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. Georges

    This is a good job for McCain. President Obama gave the best answer.

    President Obama is too smart.

    August 2, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  11. Godson

    First we need to call John McCain to order, John McCain is trying to paint Moses as being arrogant for splitting the Red Sea, that's why he's trying to compare him to Obama, just like in the celebrity ad. this is enough insult to Jews and Christians, he has tried hard enough to distance himself from Christian conservatives and even aligned with those that insults the Catholic church, this is freedom of speech without responsibility. Any prophet of whichever religion is not fair game for insults. Enough is Enough

    August 2, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  12. bulldog

    Lieberman can do whatever he wants. But I highly doubt he will get reelected in his next go round with his recent behavior. The people did not vote for him so he could travel with McCain and help him with his campaign. The voted for Lieberman to get things accomplished. Lieberman has proved that he cannot be trusted.

    August 2, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  13. John G

    Remember when Hillary offered Obama the VP spot on her ticket a few weeks before she lost? This sounds eerily similar...

    August 2, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  14. pedro

    Sen Obama mantra CHANGE he best pay attention to the folks a MAJORETY to open drilling sites off the land area lets see if he is for CHANGE?

    August 2, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  15. Sylvi a Johnsen

    I think the Dems convention should select a democrate to be their nominee!

    PUMA 08!

    August 2, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  16. {elman Blackshear, Jr

    Senator Obama gave the perfect answer concerning Senator McCain.

    Now, concerning Senator Joe Lieberman, he has decided on which side his bread is buttered. SO NO, HE SHOULD NOT HAVE ANY INPUT OR POSITION IN AN OBAMA ADMINISTRATION.

    August 2, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  17. Phantom of the Oprah

    So much for the simplistic strategy: divide and conquer.

    Eliminate the only qualified candidate- Hillary Clinton- and the rest is easy.

    With the best candidate out of the picture, even the one-eyed man can be king- this year, in this climate, with the Nation is the sorry state that it is in.

    Obama can sleep walk his way to the presidency.
    Yeah right.

    In this all important year- swiftboat your best to install your worst- and then force all democrats to vote for the one they do not trust or believe in.

    Great strategy. Way to go DNC. At least African Americans are happy. That's what counts after all.

    August 2, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  18. Senior female

    Here we go again, Obama is not an aisle crosser by any means, I bet a donut to a dollar he does not even think much of his fellow Dem's. He is a very arrogant man with a firm belief that he knows what is best for us all.......a daddy complex? We don't need any more patriarchal
    minds in places of power, we have quite enough.

    August 2, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  19. AOA Seattle

    Lisa & puma of SC...did you miss your cue? Quit sleeping on the job.....your attacks begin in ..5..4..3..2..

    August 2, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  20. Christopher Mathis

    Good Answer!

    Obama never takes the bait to go on the negative. A refreshing change for a politician!

    August 2, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  21. Media darling

    Here's a thought: Obama could NOT run on merits (he has yet to DO anything in any office he's been elected to)… so he ran on his color.

    Race is always a safe bet… you can always allege racism.

    August 2, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. PG

    McCain can mow the Whute House lawn over the week-end. Opps, I forgot he doesn't work on week-ends. Oh, well.

    August 2, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  23. JIM...TX

    The short answer should have been....HELL NO!

    August 2, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  24. voter

    This sucks!

    August 2, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  25. noclue

    Lieberman Just stay exactly where he is "No Where" where Obama is concern. Lieberman is a bigot and very prejudice. he is not be trusted in any way where Obama is concern. Not a good person to be near Obama.

    August 2, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
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