September 4th, 2008
05:00 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama: 'I've been called worse on the basketball court'

Sen. Obama spoke with reporters Thursday about attacks leveled against at the GOP convention.

Sen. Obama spoke with reporters Thursday about attacks leveled against at the GOP convention.

YORK, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Barack Obama said Thursday that attacks on him at this week’s Republican National Convention were no big deal: “I’ve been called worse on the basketball court,” he told reporters at an afternoon press conference.

“What did you guys expect?” he asked, smiling, “This is what they do. They don't have an agenda to run on. They haven't offered a single concrete idea so far in two nights about how they would make the lives of middle class Americans better. They've spent the entire two nights attacking me or extolling John McCain's biography, which is fine. They can use their convention time any way they want.”

Watch: "I've been called worse," says Obama

Wednesday night on stage in St. Paul, both Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani belittled Obama’s work as a community organizer in Chicago in the 80s. Obama called the reaction “curious,” as if he were trying to jump from a post-college job to the presidency.

“The question I have for them is that why would that kind of work be ridiculous? Who are they fighting for?” he said. “I think maybe that's the problem – that's part of why they're out of touch and they don't get it because they haven’t spent much time working on behalf of those folks.”

Obama dismissed accusations from Republicans that comments and reports from Democrats and the media about Palin are sexist, saying that digging into her record can only be expected.

“I assume that she wants to be treated the same way that guys want to be treated, which means that their records are under scrutiny. I've been through this for 19 months. She's been through it, what, four days so far?”

But Obama isn’t treating Palin the same way he is McCain — he’s not going after her with nearly the same ferocity. Since the Alaska governor was tapped to be McCain’s running mate, Obama has only mentioned her twice in speeches - and only to criticize her for supporting McCain’s position on equal pay for women.

“I’m running against John McCain and as far as I can tell, I don’t get a sense that Governor Palin has ideas that are different from John McCain’s,” said Obama.

So if the Republicans blows are glancing off of him, what’s he used to being called on the basketball court? “You’d have to bleep it out.”

soundoff (258 Responses)
  1. Wil

    I have been to Alaska twice in my life, very beautiful state, during the time I spent there, I learned that less than 700,000 people live there seven months out of the year, and about half of those leave every year for five months, starting on September 15th, I also learned that there is a saying there. "ALASKA" where men are animals and women are men, with that being said, I say to Senators Obama and Biden, take the gloves off, cause Palin is no more than a wolf in sheeps clothing.

    September 4, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  2. Eliza Starr

    Each time Obama comments I have more respect for him. His answer is such a clear difference from the sarcasm I saw last night. We are facing too many difficulties in our nation and world for low jokes and one-liners.

    Proud supporter of Obama/Biden 08!

    September 4, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  3. Ben

    Excuse me, but maybe I missed the city or state McCain was Mayor or Govenor in since these have become the bar for becoming President or VP. Palin was Mayor of a city with maybe 50 employees. I was a manager of the Post Office with 150 employees maybe I should run for President.
    I agree McCain picked the right person as his running mate, because they both know how to cheat on their spouses.

    September 4, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  4. Republican Red Lip Stick Ticket

    Both Guiliani and McCain have not respect for women. Remember what they did to their first wives? They have no morals by any standard.

    September 4, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  5. Scones&TeaInJollyEngland

    Hey, I'm not even an American and I'm busting a gut wishing I could vote for Obama! He is exactly what America (and in fact the world) needs. A fresh direction, a great attitude and a whole raft of positive forward-thinking policies. Come on, the right thing.

    September 4, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  6. Robert in Richmond


    He's also been called worse by people who say they will vote for Obama but will pull a different lever in the booth on November 4.

    Trust me on that.

    September 4, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  7. david

    Republicans are affraid, We got then running aroung finding desperate solutions, like vp candidate choice Palin, Face the music, you all are going away for at least the next 8 years and more if you guys dont reform. YOU WILL DIE AS A PARTY, believe it!!!!


    September 4, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  8. Rich71

    Ben will you answer the question I asked your friend Rin to answer. It seems he has no reply.

    September 4, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
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