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

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


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. Erika, KS

    You can bet that if Obama does win, everyone will be wrong but him. Kind of reminds me of GW Bush with all that arrogance and how he knows what "right" for the rest of us.

    I hope the ego driven fool crashes and burns come November.

    August 18, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  2. Lesley

    Obama didn't suggest that the lady wasn't listening. He said she was feisty and that he liked that, it was a compliment for the forceful way she expressed herself. Please stop shaking your head. Your brains are getting rattled.

    August 18, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  3. James

    McCain is a liar. He "borrowed" the cross story and he had information on the so called forum before he took stage.

    Obama is the straight talker.

    The problem is that too many in the Republican base don't actively follow politics and go with the guy who makes it simple for them (synonym for direct answer and straight talk) and sticks to waving the flag.

    August 18, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  4. Matt from L.A.

    oh, man, I tried to be a smart alack and then misspelled Atlanta!

    August 18, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  5. Tennessee Mike

    Of course she was wrong. Obama knows EVERYHING! – LMAO

    August 18, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  6. Sue

    I grew up in a blue state. Went to graduate school in Missouri, and live in a red state. I am blue through and through, and a 100% supporter of Obama. The only straight talker running for office.

    August 18, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  7. Hypocrits for Obama

    This is for the campaign debt blog.

    To those who blog that Obama has asked his supporters to help pay off Hillary's debt but you just are not listening to him.

    How grown up...

    Hillary has asked her supporters to back Obama... we are just not listening to her... we want our efforts to go towards putting a true and qualified leader in the white house.

    Do you like that attitude? Then stop with your silly childish intra-party hatred. You obama supporters are such childish tit for taters...

    And... the loser's debt... well it is basically the party debt- all for one, one for all that sort of thinking. I guess not for the "new" democrats

    August 18, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  8. BRAD


    August 18, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  9. DR. YES

    raymond duke.arent you related to david duke?i can tell by your comments, that have little to do with the topic of the thread.

    August 18, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  10. Bayou Joe

    Will the real Barak Obama please stand up. Which one do you like
    the Socialist/Marxist candidate in the primary or the Moderate Patriotic
    candidate emerging now that Hillary is out of the picture.

    Thank you Hillary for the Expose'. Thank you Howard Dean for destroying the Democratic Party. I hope you rot in hell.

    August 18, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  11. Denise from Brooklyn, New York, USA

    Obama's condescending response if offensive. He has a tendency to beat around the bush instead of answering the question. His responses are unsatisfactory and his platform empty.

    August 18, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  12. Necie in OKC

    Tell me the Truth! Plain, Simple without all the schmoozing,spin and sugar coating. Even if I don't like the answer, I will always respect you for being straight with me.

    Thanks Sen Obama!!!

    August 18, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  13. Corwin7

    Yeah that's him...Barak Obama...the candidate of "change you can negotiate" I suppose. Funny how he is willing to "compromise" with the Republican party thats trashed our country for 8 years but can't find it in his capability to compromise with the half of the democratic party that would "vote for somebody else" isn't it? Anyone else here seeing the bilge water rising on Barak Obama's presidency?

    August 18, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  14. Grandma

    Obama fpr 2008 we need change and we need you

    August 18, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  15. hilodave

    shaking my head
    Where in his statement didn't he answer the women's question. I got it why didn't you. If you are to to left of Obama you better realize he is the only hope this country has to salvage the last eight years and move forward towards real change and yes, compromise is part of the equation. If you are to the right of Obama time to take the blinders off and realize that finally their is a candidate who is more forthright and less scripted and less controlled by special interests for the first time in 30 years.

    August 18, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  16. Dana

    The CNN moderator of this blog is biased and Pro-Obama, will not post my comments. Socialistic behavior, stamping out the voices of Americans who value their freedom of speech.

    Democrat for McCain

    P.S. Moderator, we can prove this and it may mean your job!

    August 18, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  17. Hypocrits for Obama

    Every one is always wrong- except Obama.

    He sees himself and all his lies, hypocrisy and flip-flops as perfect and with perfect vision and perfect judgement. He can justify all things in a very sincere way.

    Some of us are not convinced or taken.

    Obamabots... you defended Obama as he defended his loyalty to Wright... and then you all blindly defended Obama as he denounced Wright when Wright became a political liability to him.

    Same thing with his Church and FISA and campaign finance reform... and he won't admit he was wrong about the surge...

    Is there any time you will concede that Obama is wrong... or do you buy his hype hook, line and sinker?

    August 18, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  18. Rick

    Hey Raymond Duke:

    It's the United States...a proper noun, for you Republicans.

    August 18, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  19. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    I think it's great that he's willing to compromise. That's what it takes to get things done some times. Versus our current administration that doesn't care what America thinks. And McCain will be four more years of the same. McCain's stubborness and arrogance is so obviously. He doesn't even try to hide it. Drill, drill, drill. War, war, war.

    August 18, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  20. Blind loyalty to a demagogue

    Obama is always right.

    He can do no wrong.

    He never changes his position... just refines it according to what polls well.

    August 18, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  21. Matt from L.A.

    and then I misspelled smart alec!

    I'm fired.

    Anyway, I'm fine with what Obama had to say. It could come off as a bit condescending or sexist though if he was addressing a woman and said "I like me a feisty gal!"

    August 18, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  22. Phil Newton Murphy, Oregon

    Right on.

    We gotta cross the aisle.

    OBAMA 08!

    August 18, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  23. Chuck

    You can tell fairy tells to children about growing up and marrying a prince too, but, that doesn't mean you can make it happen for them.

    This man is selling fairy tales, he doesn't even have the political clout to control the party and convention and you think he's going to work "miracles" in Washington?

    Wake up and stop drinking the kool aide.

    August 18, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  24. Hitler youth for Obama

    Another staged event to make Obama appear to have a backbone and to pretend that his supporters are not just stooges for the dictator.

    But insisting that he is always right... well it is kinda making the point of his belief of his own omnipotence.

    August 18, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  25. Buck12

    Once again Obama proves that we have NO CLUE as to the type of president he'd be or principles he'll stand for if he goes in vague and tripe his position always is. He's all about image.

    August 18, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
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