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. john van der Blom

    no thank you

    August 2, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  2. The Independent One

    If I said it one I said it a thousand times to you numbskull Clinton supporters. If you vote for McCain to show your disdain to Obama you are a moron. i am not thrilled with Obama either, but while Obama is not the greatest candidate, McCain is a nightmare. Anyone who votes for McCain is doing a disgusting disservice for this country no matter what their motivation is. SENATOR CLINTON UNDERSTANDS THIS WHY CAN"T ALL YOU NUMBSKULLS GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEAD. I am no democrat or republican, but these Hillary supporters have got to be some of the stupidest voters I have ever heard or read on blogs. If McCain wins because of you idiots I am going to pull a Jay and Silent Bob, search all of you morons out, and beat the living crap out of you (not really but man i wish i could). I swear you people WAKE UP. Do you want our troops to stay in Iraq? Do you want a continuation of the worst policies the American republic has seen since Andrew Jackson forced the Cherookee indians on the trail of tears? Have all of you given up your sanity? WAKE UP. Your people's stupidity is just stunning and heartbreaking. With morons floating around the country like you, its no wonder we've been stuck with Bush for two consecutive terms.

    August 2, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  3. ED ORL


    August 2, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  4. mel

    It is very that the press and McCain keep doing the
    same old dirty politics and thats negative information
    against Obama and not any against McCain. McCain,
    promise to be negative doing the primary when Obama
    move to the general election,he lied. Thick to issues
    McCain and stop being negative. Even Bush on what
    Obama have said all the lone,get troops out of Iraq with
    a timeline. This will allow McVain to shift his veiws as well.

    August 2, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  5. Buddy

    Obama want have a job. He's thrown to many of his friends in Chicago under the bus. That will come back to him. You never out live your past.

    August 2, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  6. fellow Americans

    how about obama goes away now ... im done looking at him

    August 2, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  7. mel

    Kathleen should be your vp.

    August 2, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  8. RJ, CA

    I was looking at some old video clips, where Obama clearly stated:
    I will debate John McCain anytime, anywhere on U.S. foreign policy in Iraq"

    Now Obama backs away from Lincoln-Douglas style debates on ANY issue!

    More and more it becomes certain that it will be Obama's role to be the "loyal" opposition to John McCain, president - and I use the term "loyal" loosely.

    August 2, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  9. Denise Groves

    that ranks right up there with "time horizon."

    August 2, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  10. dee

    McCain ad linking Obama with Spears and Hilton is race baiting. This is an example of McCain's experience. LOL Linking the black man with the white women. All political commercials have hidden point.

    This was just a cheap shot. Obama was right calling it what it was…. race baiting.

    Give me Change

    Obama 08

    August 2, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  11. Blinded bythe light....

    Awh, Barack...come November it's "NO SOUP FOR YOU!!!"

    August 2, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  12. Dan, MA

    True that. Nothing like a little opposition to keep you remembering who you are and the things for which you stand.

    August 2, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  13. Janet

    I can't wait till they have the Debate!
    Please post when the first Debate is scheduled!

    August 2, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  14. Griff

    If your all that the USA, as to offer... They are in big trouble...
    They can't see the Damage, for the Huphoria...
    This is not the 4th of July...

    August 2, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  15. Vig

    Obama needs to get off that high horse of his or the voters will throw him off in November. His arrogance is offensive.

    August 2, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  16. joe m

    this response does not sound like a policy of inclusion at all. it is a little disturbing to hear this reaction. i for one would like to see from whoever wins an attempt to find a place for their opponent in their administration. too long our policts has employed a policy of winner take all. mccain can provide an important voice in an obama cabinet and vice versa. if obama trully wished to live up to his claims of bringing people together, he would consider bringing in mccain to his inner circle if he is elected. otherwise, all his talk will be proven to be nothing more than just that, talk.

    August 2, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  17. pa

    if mccain gets to yhe white house as president
    he should give obama a job in the white house
    maybe in the bathroom cleaning

    August 2, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  18. The Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    bobama says it's all about him. C'est moi, moi et moi

    Sort of makes one sick of him

    How 'bout him taking our flag off his aircraft and putting his expectancy seal of approval on it instead

    What an ego. But the truth is he is risky, inexperienced as the green corn in the field. Looks good but not ready for prime time.

    August 2, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  19. Just Curious

    The AP reported today Obama has reneged on town hall debates with McCain. If the cowardly Obama is afraid of an open town hall debate with McCain how is he going to deal with the likes of Ahmadinjad?

    August 2, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  20. gimme break!

    Yawn! How many more days to election day?

    August 2, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  21. newsnut

    B.Hussein O. is living up to his Audasity of being evasive and belegerant with the biggest smile you ever saw. Your ears. Naw, naw, naw.Don't talk about my ears! Your wife's sharp tongue. Naw, naw naw. Nobody better say antthing about my Wife! But i will tell you, if i hire McCain and his family, I will put them washing and shinning my tires, for me and my Family.

    August 2, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  22. Mickey, NY

    McCain would also serve well as the sideshow freak at the local fair. Lieberman should just shrivel up and blow away...Both are not doing any good for their respective parties, alothough it's hard to tell what party Lieberman belongs to this week.

    August 2, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  23. Meg

    Ahh... having trouble speaking when it's not scripted.

    August 2, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  24. Denise Groves

    that is right up there with "time horizon."

    August 2, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  25. Don Fitzgerald

    There is no ideal role for Senator McCain, not after this presidential election, in which he will lose by a landslide. I am surprised, from what I hear about Arizona politics, he is still lucky enough, to be representing them in the Senate, at this time. He has cheapened himself and the role of a Senator in this election, from distortion, lies and flippity- flops !! How he will get any votes,is beyond me, other than the Bush loyalists, who don' t know a WMD from a lie. Maybe Charles Keating can still give him a job, as his lobbyist !! He will not want for friend, in that crowd !!

    August 2, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
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