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. gaytexanexile

    When Obama is ready to take on the megachurches' taxfree statuses, rather than cosy up to these monsters of mediocrity, and when he's ready to take on big business and big banks who regularly inflate prices for services and use accountancy tools that would make a warrior blush, and thus year to year hold defacto ownership of America's citizens homes, and no one stands up to stop the exploitation of the working man by outsourcing to the cheapest bidders abroad rather than going for the better quality made locally, and when he's ready to advocate profit-sharing at work for each and every American worker, and when he truly understands that separation of church and state mean precisely that….then we'll see progress again in the USA.

    August 18, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  2. Not This Time

    RJ you are an idiot

    August 18, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  3. Bushwacked Nation

    Look out the window. You don't need some right wing crackpot book full of lies or CNN to tell you to vote for.

    August 18, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  4. T.O Jersey City NJ

    To Brad:
    and to all the other ignoramuses with half-baked information leaving comments on this blog. Please get some facts before doing so for the good of others. I watched and listened to Sen Obama's response to the question and trust me, i do not think I've seen him so detailed in his explanation. The information on this blog is not close to one fifth of his response to the question.

    August 18, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  5. anonymous

    If Obama is elected he will forget every single one of his supporters. He sees so many people he will never remember one poor soul supporting him. That goes for any of the presidents.

    August 18, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  6. Mike

    Please, tell me what he has done to reach across the aisle? Example one – the war – oh wait he is STILL towing the line of the dems with the thought that the surge was wrong; example two – taxes – oh wait, he is just like the rest of the dems rob from the rich and give to the poor (I worked hard – why can't they?); example three – oil drilling – oh wait, he is like the rest of the dems and thinking that building supply will not lower prices. So where is this reaching across the aisle? One easy reform bill – come on, everyone voted for that. I can't believe Obama people are able to listen to him and keep a straight face. He is as far left as you can go.

    McCain does not follow his party (why do we call hime the Maverick?). You can list hundreds of democratic ideals he has voted for.

    August 18, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  7. Jen

    Other words he is saying I am a flip flopper and will flip and flop depending how the wind is blowing.

    August 18, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  8. ronnie Atlanta, GA

    You fools telling everyone to read the trash book is not going to keep it on the bestseller list any longer. I'm sure there are enough racists, bigots, fools and morons that will buy it. We do not care for it so stop trying to sell that trash as truth.

    August 18, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  9. Wolf

    BS – there' s no compromise on the Bill of Rights.. there's especially no compromise when dealing with neo-con liars.

    Obama voted to extend the Patriot Act, to fund the war and for the FISA bill... he certainly doesn't have my vote.

    August 18, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  10. Lincoln

    I am increasingly optimistic that Obama will win big, that Democrats will end up with significant majorities in the House and Senate. Then the nation can begin to undo the toxic waste of the last eight years.

    August 18, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  11. bruja

    RJ,CA: You are kidding, right? You CAN not be that stupid....or are you?

    August 18, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  12. Amber Rodriguez

    RJ, CA
    Surely you jest. If you're reading obama nation, we'll understand a lot about you.

    August 18, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  13. Joe Kiloz

    S W E E T I E--–I --W A S --A G A I N S T-–B E F O R E---I -–
    W A S -–F O R -–I T-–S W E E T I E

    August 18, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  14. CM

    People who read the Obama Nation really want to come here and have us believe that supports their viewpoints? Thats pretty sad.

    PUMAs we get'r voting for McCain. The others who keep saying he's condescending, you get that by reading a blog entry.

    Bunch of Rhode Scholors we have here.

    PS: that was sarcasm by the way. I'm arrogant too, thats why I'm a VP of a multinational corp at 28. Oh and btw, I will be taxed more under Obama as I make over 250k. The good outweigh the bad here, you clowns just need to justify your stupidity.

    Obama 08

    August 18, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  15. LT for Obama

    "This man is selling fairy tales" – Are you serious? McCain is ready to sell you war, war and more war. Did you not hear his reponses on Saturday where half his answers went straight to war? Give me a break.

    "he doesn't even have the political clout to control the party" – Wow, seriously? Is that why the DNC immediately stopped taking lobbyist money as soon as he clinced the nomination? Why he made sure they also donated thousands and has done so in his own campaign?

    All of you who follow McCain are Kool-Aid drinkers just like the rest of us. You listen to this man lie and get caught on national TV lying and yet you say he misspoke. Give me a break.

    Lastly, those of you who act as if Obama has never said these words before really need to do your research. I have heard him explain his positions on both issues at previous events at least two times each.

    Pull your heads out of the sand and stop listening to the media and actually do the research, lest you vote in ignorance.

    August 18, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  16. election watcher

    Only a fool would vote for Obama. Must be a lot of fools in this country.

    August 18, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  17. Randy

    There it is... he said it.

    Barack Obama will do whatever it takes to be President.

    "What about US?"

    He sold US out along time ago.

    This is a disgrace.

    August 18, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  18. John Smith

    Why did McCain not tell Pastor Warren during the focus meeting that he (McCain) was not in the quiet area when Obama was being interviewed?

    Is McCain an honest man? Now, he has made Pastor Warren look like a lier! There you have it America; there is need for honesty in this nation!

    August 18, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  19. DN

    Agree. Sometimes is better to get a little closer to our ideal than to stay far from it just because we can not get the ideal done. Compromise is not bad at all... is just being realistic

    August 18, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  20. Ex-Democrat Supporter of McCain

    Another snide, condescending moment from the Annointed One, our self-appointed Messiah, Barack H. Christ.

    August 18, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  21. Jeff Long

    Now that was soooo sexist!! Would you call a man FEISTY!?! Obama knew that he messed up when he said that.

    August 18, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  22. Voter

    An excellent example of Obama's willingness to do anything, say anything, maintain any position, change positions on a dime – all to GET ELECTED.

    I wouldn't trust this guy for 10 minutes. After you talk to him, check your wallet before you leave...

    Why would you believe anything this charleton has to say?!?

    August 18, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  23. mac

    vote mccain more war/ vote mccain $7 dollars gas/ vote mccain lose jobs/ vote mccain kill innocent people in iraq/ vote mccain stay in Iraq 100 more years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! American make up your mind not much time left

    August 18, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  24. wrensis

    Senator Obama has one enemy. Himself

    August 18, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  25. joannegreco

    ***in other words get lost buddy, I want to win this thing and I will do whatever it takes to win it.****

    I couldn't have said it better myself.

    August 18, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
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