August 18th, 2008
05:30 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama tells supporter: 'You're wrong,' defends compromise

CNN

Watch Sen. Obama respond to veiled criticism from a supporter in New Mexico Monday.

(CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, took the opportunity Monday to answer many critiques leveled at him by his own supporters.

“As president, you set the agenda for this country,” Dallas Timmons, a local Democratic Party ward chair said to Obama in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “Are you going to set an agenda of change or one of compromise with what the Republican minority is going to allow you to do in the Congress?“ Timmons asked Obama after specifically mentioning Obama’s support for a surveillance bill disliked by some of Obama left-of-center supporters.

“You’re feisty and I like that, but you’re wrong,” Obama responded to Timmons.

The Illinois senator gave Timmons and other supporters gathered at the New Mexico town hall event a detailed defense of his positions on Afghanistan and Iraq, on the compromise surveillance bill he recently supported, and on his approach to compromising with political adversaries more generally.

“Iraq was a fundamental error. I have never wavered from that. I have never wavered from the idea that we have to get our troops out of Iraq,” Obama told the crowd.

After explaining his vote on a compromise version of the surveillance bill, Obama told supporters, “I’m not going to be elected as monarch; I’m going to be elected as president. And, I’m going to have a Congress that’s I’ve got to deal with.”

“Even if we do well,” Obama continued, “there’s still gonna be almost half the country that votes for somebody else.”

“There’s nothing wrong with compromise as long as you understand what your core principles,” the presumptive Democratic nominee said. “And I will never waver from those principles even if I compromise on some issues.”


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (185 Responses)
  1. Tejano

    In other words get lost buddy, I want to win this thing and I will do whatever it takes to win it. Thank you for getting me by Hillary sucker.

    August 18, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  2. Shaking my head

    He has to talk down to her and call her feisty like that instead of taking her question seriously as he should have? Wait, is he going to say we weren't listening again? He says it so often it's becoming telling about his character, "You just weren't listening"... Why does he act like this so often? He could have answered her serious question in much better form, but then, that's who he is.

    August 18, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  3. Todd Bronson

    COMMON SENSE!!

    It's about time...

    August 18, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  4. Obama supporter:White, 60 year old woman

    Now that's a straight talker!!!!

    August 18, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  5. Ex-Republican for Obama

    In one paragraph, Obama delivered more straight talk then McCain has been able to muster in an entire lifetime, let alone this whole presidential campaign.

    Johnny, Please mail your bus to Obama, it's obvious which candidate will actually DELIVER the straight talk rather then just have it painted on a bus.

    August 18, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  6. Raymond Duke

    If you believe Obama I got some ocean side property I want to sell you in Missouri. For all you Obama people Missouri is in the middle of the united states.

    August 18, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  7. Sherry, Atlanta

    Watched it all. Apparently, the lady doesn't understand-NEGOATING!

    August 18, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  8. well well now

    “I’m not going to be elected as monarch; I’m going to be elected as president..”- Barack Obama....after the last 8 years of this dictatorship, thats just what we need a man who understands that the power of the presidency is in the people who s/he represents. we do not need another W talking about war with no cause other than oil

    August 18, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  9. FlaDem

    I heard this speech today. I loved the way he responded. He was respectful, and still got his point across. If this were McCain, he would have yelled at the person, and called them a jerk. Good for you Obama!

    August 18, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  10. Peter (CA)

    A thoughtful pragmatic approach!
    How refreshing!
    OK...Mike (Syracuse), Mike (TX), Matt, Lisa, Joe S, Fred, and Jan in Boca Raton, tell us how this is bad blah blah blah.

    August 18, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  11. Brian

    “There’s nothing wrong with compromise as long as you understand what your core principles,” the presumptive Democratic nominee said. “And I will never waver from those principles even if I compromise on some issues.”

    That sounds Presidential!

    August 18, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  12. eye's of the wise

    That's just common sense, something lacking in Washinton

    August 18, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  13. Mav 81

    Flip Flopper... what core principles.

    August 18, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  14. Texas

    That is a president and a leader we can believe in! somebody with clarity and honesty on issues and NOT a Cheater like Mcshame with no big ideas,no platform, no humor, and just a follower!!

    August 18, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  15. Anita from Arizona

    Haven't you had enough of a rigid president, Timmon? I know I have.

    August 18, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  16. Debby

    I listened to that New Mexico Q&A and it was pretty good. The only thing Obama did though is take a page out of what John McCain said on Sat. about bad teachers getting other professions. It was almost word for word what McCain said when questioned about the school system.

    August 18, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  17. Bobby

    I dont think the Democratic chair audience member was wrong at all, I think he was right on! Great question, not so great answer from Obama. We have another Democratic Alli in that region now, that is always important to Americans. The less dictator ran regions the better off we are, dictator society's are cruel and evil, we have another Alli in that region who is now a Democratic society, one less Hamas to deal with in the Middle East.

    Bobby in California

    August 18, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  18. Jacie - San Leandro, Ca

    Senator Obama again had to inform someone who was misguided on his stance on this issue. If they were paying attention in the primaries they would know that Senator Obama was against the war in Iraq. I think if Senator Obama attacks McCain this firmly and get straight to the point they polls turn in his favor in higher numbers.

    August 18, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  19. Jim

    Obama is a constitutional lawyer who understands much better than McCain or Bush the checks and balances of our precious Constitution. Obama will not be "elected as monarch," but as a consensus president who will deal with Congress. He may even appoint GOP members to his cabinet, as J.F. Kennedy and F.D. Roosevelt and A. Lincoln did. His answer was what I look for in our next president – leadership, not partisan ideology!

    August 18, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  20. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

    "For all you Obama people Missouri is in the middle of the united states."

    hee hee, that's funny, see, cuz you're implying we obamabots are dumb. that is just soo dang HI-LARIOUS!!!!

    i thought we were a bunch of latte-drinking, volvo-driving, college-educated elitists?!?!?!!?

    i'm so confused, i dont even know who i AM anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 18, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  21. Brian

    "NO, OBAMA, YOU WILL N – O – T WIN! Because everyone is now reading "The Obama Nation" and finding out what kind of a shyster you really are!"

    LOL...... I'm sure the author has some houses he wants to sell you at 2006 prices!

    August 18, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    "...as long as you understand what your core principles"

    It's funny to hear Obama mention 'Core Principles' considering he has none except for raising tax and being against the war in Iraq.

    August 18, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  23. JMV, NY

    It's funny how everyone likes the idea of reaching across the aisle until it's put into practice. Like it or not, Senator Obama told you EXACTLY how he plans on governing. If you want a government that's responsible to its citizens, vote Obama. If you want a president who never waivers from his party's dogma (whether or not it's good for the country), vote for the other guy.

    August 18, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  24. Matt from L.A.

    NEGOATING is a popular form of racing in Nebraska where human "goat jockeys" ride goats. Nice bit of obscure knowledge, Sherry from Atalanta!

    August 18, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  25. Sacto Joe

    Why is "compromise" a dirty word? Because George W. and Senator McCain won't?

    Well, look where that's gotten us!

    It's time to put someone in office who can GET THINGS DONE!

    August 18, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
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