September 4th, 2008
05:00 PM ET
6 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. zuri

    Sarah Palin certainly showed her true colors, and they're not red, white, and blue. They're red, red, and blood red! A barracuda, a pit bull - right on target. What I saw in her was pure, unbridled aggression – inflicted with a comfortable smile. She's scary. We're just about to be rid of George W Bush, with his "cowboy" politics, and the Republicans want us to be comfortable if we have to turn our country over to Palin, with her "attack dog" politics. Sarah Palin is the worst of George W. Bush – squared! I'm not willing to let an attack dog run lose in the Executive branch of government, and definitely not on the world stage! America is better than that. In only a few days, Sarah Palin has shown the world that she is smart, cunning, capable of deception, and that she is comfortable with, and even enjoys, unbridled aggression. There's a word for people who get pleasure from being aggressive... For now, let's just say that the word is "dangerous". The only place that Sarah Palin can lead this country is to a dog fight out back – or worse case scenario, to war and further isolation in the world.

    September 4, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  2. BDev

    It's funny how you want to tie Obama to Jesus. You tried but you get an "F" for effort. Obama can dish on anyone and you guys don't notice but when he gets what he gave, somehow it's the same old GOP. Obamanation. He is your messiah and you guys repeat the same old nonsense. Now Palin isn't a Christian because she told the world that Obama has no experience? HE HAS NO EXPERIENCE. HE'S NOT FIT TO BE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. COMMUNITY ORGANIZING ISN'T COMPARABLE TO BEING A MAYOR OR A GOVERNOR. I'm a black preacher. Are you going to call me unsaved? You Obamaniacs are just that.

    September 4, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  3. Jean

    We are praising fighting, put-downs, twisted facts and and nasty remarks. If questions are asked they are defined as of sexist or picking on a woman.

    Disgusting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 4, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  4. stone

    Obama with his team is still heating people. I hope tomorrow, you will get 100millions after McCain speaks tonight.

    September 4, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  5. Shola in Sun City, AZ

    The Republicans didn't do anything that the Democrats didn't do..You can't have it both ways...If you dish it out, you better be able to take it...and as for skeletons in closets, everybody has them....Rezko, Wright, Sinclair...just to name a few of those skeletons...Chicago politicians should try to keep a low profile...

    September 4, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  6. KATHLEEN

    Just think, My Friends, Guiliani, Romney, Huckabee, were like
    McCain puppets and very boring.

    They had to have Palin, otherwise, ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    She SOUNDED GOOD!!!!! The Reps. taught her a bunch of lies.

    September 4, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  7. georgia

    just Obama's grace out shines them not to mention the way he pulls together EFFECTIVE group (community ) ACTION. This is what he brings to washington & the world.The teamwork in his family also outshines Palin's & McCain's (e.g. teenage pregnancy in 08 with so much sex education available,alcohol abuse(spouse DUI"s)/ (MCSame)adultery & extreme temper flare ups ). We need rational intelligence which the old man lacks.God knows we haven't had it the last 7 years as a result of the same old tactics. Not This Time !!!
    Obama / Biden 08 !!!!!!!!

    September 4, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  8. A REAL HOCKEY/SOCCER/BASKETBALL/TENNIS/WRESTLING MOM

    FORREAL THO EVERYONE! MCCAIN IS 73 YRS YOUNG AND IF GOD FORBIT HE HAVE A HEART ATTACK OR DIE SUDDENLY SARAH PALIN WOULD BE OUR PRESIDENT! IS SARAH PALIN READY TO BE OUR PRESIDENT! I UNDERSTAND TAXES AND WHY SOME PPL SHOULD VOTE FOR MCCAIN/PALIN BUT WHEN YOU THINK OF YOUR KIDS AND WHEN I THINK OF MINE I DONT WANT TO THINK I LET SOMEONE WHOM IS NOT AS EDUCATED OR READY FOR TO BE COMMANDER AND CHIEF BE COMMANDER AND CHIEF AND HAVE MY KIDS PAY THE PRICE. TAXES OR NOT MY KIDS AND OUR FUTURE SHOULD HAVE SOMEONE WHO CAN KEEP THE AMERICAN DREAM ALIVE! CHILDREN I LOVE YOU AND HOPE YOU ARE ABLE TO FUCTION FREELY WITH WHOMEVER IS IN THE WHITE HOUSE! CAN YOU? MAKE A SMART DECISION? FORGET THE TAXES REMEMBER OUR KIDS...I DONT WANT MY KIDS IN DEBT! DO YOU?

    September 4, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  9. CM

    All these harsh words while Sarah and Johnny hide from the press and have their lackeys scream 'sexism' or 'they went too far'.

    For a POW and hockey mom you guys have no backbone.

    September 4, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  10. Phyllis in Buffalo

    Love this man! Stay on the high road Barack....we're with you.

    Oh, and the media really needs to stop saying how great that speech was last night. She was terrible!

    September 4, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  11. DEBBIE

    I love the OBAMA / BIDEN TEAM

    GOD BLESS AMERICA

    September 4, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  12. Redbug-OHIO for OBAMA

    OH YES. THANK YOU PUPPET PALIN. YOU HELPED RAISE 8 MILLION DOLLARS FOR SENATOR, OH SORRY PRESIDENT OBAMA.

    HA HA HA.

    September 4, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  13. Newsflash

    The "we don't want four more years of George Bush" ticket lost in 2004. Why try it again, when Bush ISN'T even running? The Dems spen't four days hammering the "McSame" slogan only to have him upend their ships the day after. There's not a rational brain out there who can say Palin fits the "Same old Washington." Now she's criticized for not being a Washington Insider. Democrats, which is it??

    September 4, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  14. Filipina

    When Obama talks, its like a good music in my ear :-).
    Very kewl that is I want for the next president of the USA.

    September 4, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Obama is cheap. He has so many empty promises thatpeople are just buying into.

    September 4, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  16. analyn butarbutar

    after 3 days of RNC, i did not have any clear idea of how these republicans will run our country, all they did was attack obama and biden, the more they're driving voters away with those sarcastic remarks, i lost my respect on gulliani esp., one noticeable fact was of all the speeches delivered this past 3 days, no one gave any credit to pres. bush. are we gonna let these people run our country again? we can't afford another 4 years, our country had lost so much already.

    September 4, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  17. Barbara

    Now she's crying wanting Obama and Biden to what stop the american people for saying what they believe on the blogs. How we are so miss informed. Well Honey you dished it out last night, so if you can't take the heat stay out of the race. Check out Yahoos home page.

    September 4, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  18. david

    yes obama is the right man for the new american dreams. THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA really need a total change. Now is the time. Go Obama .Freedom and hope for all americans and the world in general. WE LOVE YOU OBAMA. THE AMERICAN PEOPLES SHOULD HAVE DEMS THE CHANGE .

    September 4, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  19. Louis

    McCain/Palin: Because after Bush/Cheney many people just don't care anymore

    September 4, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  20. Michelle

    Love it!

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08

    September 4, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  21. GOP Woman for Obama

    I'm so happy to be supporting this man! I, too, am sick of the GOP scare tactics. Nothing about the economy, nothing about health care, nothing for making my life better...sure my boss will be better off, but I sure won't!

    That's why for the first time ever I am voting for a Democrat!

    September 4, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  22. William

    Obama we need you to fight back, we need you to get rid of this right wing nuts that are trying to impose their fake values onto us. Please! fight back do not take too long, just like Kerry did. We need you to show them that our country can be better of, under a Democratic presidency. I am tired of this holy than thou approach that the republicans have, religion should not be part of our politics. If you think about it most wars and death in the whole world have occurred because of religious differences. Religious people are just blinded by their beliefs. OBAMA help America get back in the right direction.

    September 4, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  23. BB

    Did anybody notice the lack of ethnic diversity at the RNC. I watched it for about an hour and a half last night and saw only 16 non white people in attendance as shown on the quick flashes during applause. It also seems that they may have left out those under 30 years old, maybe 40. maybe 50. You may think Senator McCain and Governor Palin may have great attributes for the presidential race but the party has very little appeal for the general population as a whole. Our country is much more than what the Republican party stands for.

    September 4, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  24. toby hill

    Is basketball a game with name calling and foul language? Sorry Obama but the fact you play basketball is not a qualification for President.

    September 4, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  25. Rich

    CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, EIB and FOX please just report the news.....I hope most of us are not interested in what YOU THINK someone said or meant. It seems as though the media thinks we can not think for ourselves?? Please give us more credit.......

    September 4, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
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