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. JJ

    I thought Obama was the, Candidate of Change.

    In a government of compromise, no one gets what they want and everyone has to execpt something less. The losers are usually the people.

    I know how government works but I was hoping for real change. Change for the benefit of the people and not the special interests.

    It sound like Mr. Obama is just offering more of the same, only in a different package.

    I appeal to everyone to make their choice based on what they believe is right for America.

    America First!

    August 18, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  2. What?

    CNN you have did it again...end your comments to early.................I understand McCain camp is whining....ops....complaining again, but I hope you will allow someone to answer these questions for us: McCain for 'rich' definition ” McCain responded that it should be defined by a home, a good job, education and “the ability to hand our children a safer and more prosperous world…”Weekend comment by John McCain that the minimum income for “rich” making $5 million a year.
    I hope those hundreds of workers hear or read your blog that lose their job at McCain’s millionaire wife company. If i’m not mistaken didn’t hundreds of them lose their jobs to save the company thousands and do anyone know if anyone at Cindy's company (of course excluding his self and her employment status), make this so call rich $5 million a year?

    Wake up McCain, you are so out of touch with the same voters you say you care about, We NEED a President that will be able to relate and care about the majority of us, that is the 98% of us that never made $5 million and with this negative financially and jobless economy ran by the present White House administration and you (voting 95% of the time with Bush) by continuing the direction of the Bush 3rd term, we will be blessed if we make $5 hr..........Must be nice to dream of that kind minimum income….....if only you wanted to be President for the RICH.


    August 18, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  3. Agree!!!

    To-Debby It was almost word for word what McCain said when questioned about the school system.That means they agree!!!

    August 18, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  4. 68 year old

    I have seen quite a few politicians ! All of you wanting change or an "anointed one" are in for a disappointment .They all tell you a fine line and then do as they please to retain their office and power ! Promises and ideals are cheap pawns for these people. Expect just another politician !

    August 18, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  5. Republican for Obama

    This country is consumed with the Veruca Salt attitude, "I want this and I want it NOW!" Obama understands that without compromise nothing happens. Guess what's happened in Congress over the last several decades? You got it, nothing!

    Half the country feels one way and half the other, without compromise we are at a stalemate. The same holds true for the hold out Clinton supporters. Half the Democrats wanted Clinton and slightly more than half wanted Obama, so now the Clinton supporters pull a Veruca Salt moment, "If I can't get my way then I'll show you and vote McCain!" Where does that land us? The same place we've been, and look how rosy our outlook is.

    PS for those not familiar, Veruca Salt is the spoiled girl in Willie Wonka that insists on getting what she wants when she wants it. We are better than this America, lets grow up and put the country before our selfish feelings.

    August 18, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  6. Nick

    All of you who buy Obama's "Change" – what has he changed in Illinois? He is a party guy, never rocked the boat, doesn't stand for anything that won't get him elected. Is too rich to relate to the poor and will say and do whatever he has to to get elected. Come on guys, Obama's a sham!

    August 18, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  7. Rave

    That supporter must be Rush Limbaugh's follower who believes Bush is the God until Nov 08 and McCain will be the god for next 4 years. On the other hand he will be close to loosing his job, home, wife, car...but he will continue to worship McCain – because God said so.
    Unbelievable, Unbelievable... Super idiots we have.
    The real God must be hating them.
    OBAMA (2008 -16)

    August 18, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  8. Brendan Lind

    Good Work!

    August 18, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  9. James

    Why haven't we seen any stories envolving McCain's children from his first marriage?

    Could it be that they don't respect him? Are they refusing to be interviewed or are McCain's koolaid sippers, the mainstream media, protecting him like they did Edwards by not bringing attention to his adulterous past? Did McCain threaten them not to make any public statements?

    Or that they are following the golden rule-

    If you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all. I think that lack of support says volumes about not only McCain's family values but also his morals and his ethics.

    August 18, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  10. What a cuttie!

    After Saturdays moral debate I finaly decided who to vote for John McCain. What a cuttie! Got to love this old man.

    August 18, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  11. RB

    RJ, the Obama Nation book has already been discredited as junk. Tell me you're more intelligent than to take it as gospel? Tell me you didn't spend your hard earned money on it? Tell me you're not dumb enough to think that we are dumb enough to spend our hard earned money on it?

    August 18, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  12. Peter

    Terrible. misogynistic, sexist, demeaning to small female persons with short hair!
    I can't believe he said that!
    This is typical of the MSM and their attacks on women – horrible. Its just another dig directed at Hillary. Will it never stop?

    If I sound nuts, its because I am trying to illustrate how these pretend Democrats that are actually hard right Republican shills and the so called PUMA Democrats sound. GROW UP and demostrate some integrity!

    August 18, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  13. Marni Parker

    After all these months, I still don't know what Obama is really for. Just as soon as I think I have it figured out, he flips, flops, or compromises. Above all, he is a politician and excellent speaker but trustworthy?

    I don't like McCain either and am forced, once again, to pick the least of two evils rather than voting FOR someone.

    Anybody out there have another choice?

    August 18, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  14. Another grumpy old white woman for Obama

    We live in an ever changing world. Even the planet is changing. As events unravel what would have worked yesterday may not work today.
    Obstinacy is not a virtue. We have had enough stubborn ignorance.
    Any issue deserves full consideration before making a decision.
    In order to know the situation you have to look at it from all sides.
    Had this been done we would not be in debt up to our eyebrows to China for a war based on lies. Had the Congress and the Senate informed themselves rather than listening to a despotic moron and making an easy decision our country would not be broken, we would not be disrespected by the rest of the world and maybe Osama would have been history. Shooting first and asking questions later might be fun in a cowboy movie but not in todays world.
    Think about it.
    Obama does.

    August 18, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  15. GG

    "Feisty." Par for the course. Glad he likes 'em feisty. Those uppity women...

    August 18, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  16. gaytexanexile

    I don't know about being wrong or right, but America trust yourselves again and help one another, not the banks. Why bail out the big boys, but so seldom solve the myriad problems daily plaguing the poor? Ever notice that in Henry Ford's day's a worker got $5 per day for 8 hours work, but he could buy one of his cars for $200 and build a house without banks at all for $1000. How come today everyone just pays pays pays and so many work work work and end up with nothing?
    best wishes America,

    August 18, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  17. lot

    John mcain will turn 72 years old later this month. He is almost dead. Why do think young people would put a dead body in the white hose?
    Give up you crazy repbubs and execpt change!!!!!!!

    August 18, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  18. p0s3r

    "Imma chameleon and I change my spots on demand, and you're gonna like it, Sweetie!"

    August 18, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  19. Bob

    I'm humored to read some of these responses. Obama was an instructor on the Constitution, but why did he sell it up the river so quickly by giving Bush the right to spy on any American without oversight from FISA? Simple. He's a hypocrite. He'll sell our rights up the river the second he needs a vote. He does not truly care about anything other than his own grasp for power. Yet, why is this bad for a politician? It isn't. What is bad is that Mr. Obama has made it his goal to say he is nothing like that, and yet he acts just like that. He's a hypocrite who painted a great former president as nothing more than a card-carrying member of the KKK just so he could win. That is why Mr. Obama will never, ever get my vote - because he is the dirtiest politician you could ever meet. He will kiss your hand and stab your back in the same motion.

    August 18, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  20. Mike

    Aren't all of Obama's supporters "left-of-center"? He's got the most liberal voting record of any U.S. Senator, for goodness sakes! Look it up. For all of you moderates out there, McCain is your man. He's far too liberal for my taste, but it comes down to the lesser of two weasels.

    August 18, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  21. gaytexanexile

    I've got a compromise. Set a limit for two terms for EVERY OFFICE and those long-sinecured fusspots of bailing out the banks to the tune of trillions of dollars while leaving american homebuyers holding properties not worth even the house valuations of 6 months ago with repayment debts far beyond all recoverable equity. Set up cooperatives and focus on local sustainability of communities, not distant profits to be had but sustained on the practice of local production and consumption, that'd save heaps of wasted fuels moving things afar that are needed close at hand. Make a war on making high technology that will enrich every life by solving the switch to clean energy systems NOW, and stop keeping the US and world dependent on OIL. Or set an absolute int. price and fix those prices for anyone wanting to import into the country. Charity should be more than TV show self-congratulations 24/7...the real problems of poverty and hunger are growing, not lessening. Til every person is fed today and every homeless housed and every sick and disabled and elderly person put to bed and comforted every night and everyday, how can any claim to have done God's work so much so that they have time to tell everyone else about sin.

    August 18, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  22. A from beaverton

    tripe (from buck12), isn't that pig organs or innards used in in cooking some latin and asian dishes?

    maybe it's....trite?

    August 18, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  23. Rocky

    This is thing I have to agree with Bo on, you have to compromise unfortunately the hardliners on both sides make this hard to do.

    August 18, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  24. Not This Time

    If that was McCain he would have had that guy dragged out of the room while saying this is what is great about america freedom of speech.

    August 18, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  25. HM

    To Dave (referring to your post on August 18th, 2008 8:22 pm ET):


    Yours is by far the most intelligent message I've read here.

    August 18, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
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