September 10th, 2008
08:34 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama slams GOP on community organizer comments

Obama hit the GOP over last week’s community organizer cracks.

Obama hit the GOP over last week’s community organizer cracks.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Barack Obama criticized his Republican presidential opponent, Senator John McCain, for not standing firm in his support for immigration reform in the face of opposition from his own party.

“I know Senator McCain used to buck his party by fighting for comprehensive reform – and I admired him for it. But when he was running for his party’s nomination, he abandoned his stance, and said he wouldn’t even support his own legislation if it came up for a vote,” Obama told members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute gathered in Washington.

“When it came time to write his party’s platform, comprehensive reform never made it in. So you’ve got to ask yourself: if Senator McCain won’t stand up to opponents of reform at his own convention, how can you trust him to stand up for change in Washington?”

McCain’s support for comprehensive immigration reform nearly killed his candidacy in 2007 and he later came out in favor of greater emphasis on securing the nation’s borders in any future legislation. Now, however, he references his fight for reform as a mark of his maverick credentials.

Obama also defended his role as a community organizer, something that was mocked by several speakers at the Republican Party convention, including vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

“I was pretty surprised when I heard our opponents making fun of that work last week at their convention – mocking what so many Americans do every day in church groups and unions and the PTA to serve struggling communities. Frankly, I don’t think it’s particularly funny that people are losing their jobs and their homes,” he said.

Earlier: Democratic congressman points to Jesus in response to GOP comments

The Democratic presidential nominee also told the group he considers Latino voters crucial in this election. “I’m not taking a single Hispanic vote for granted in this campaign. I need you. I need you to win.”

In that vein, Obama heads to Colorado Monday and will be campaigning out West.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (389 Responses)
  1. anyonmous

    mccain is going to loose this election

    September 10, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |


    1. Jesus was a “community organizer”.

    2. Pontius Pilot was a “governor”.


    In selecting this year’s Presidential ticket, WWJD?

    September 10, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  3. Fazio

    Funny... McCain only claims to be a maverick only when its convenient - and on an issue that he no longer endorses (immigration reform). Will McCain stoop to any level to get votes? I bet he would sell the souls of his children to get your vote. Shameless.

    September 10, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  4. TyWebb

    I have wondered why more Community Organizers of any type capacity have not come to Barack's defense in some way and defended their preference of service.

    September 10, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  5. SwayingVoter

    Perhaps we should remember the role that Community Organizers played after 9/11 and Katrina.

    September 10, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |

    And rightfully so but the GOP are such elitist until they would have to look up that word "community organizers." If it was not for community organizers, the American people would be hung out to dry on a floating raft.


    September 10, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  7. GeorgeWashington

    Seems that everyones vote would be important, doesn't it ?

    September 10, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  8. wonboy

    sorry i for got chicago has a lot of community organizers ,, black stone ranger , blods crips, al capone., jessie jackosn ..give me a break ,,,

    September 10, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  9. Working in Texas

    Welcome to the race, Obama! It's about time you started attacking McCain for his lies and inconsistencies. Your supporters know you are the REAL change candidate; now you just have to show everyone else! Way to go! Keep it up! Stand up for Americans who want more than a $500 billion deficit that George Bush just left the next president. (Hidden by the McCain campaign's distraction of the lipstick comment; that was just a dirty trick/ploy to get Americans distracted from the economic reports that came out on Tuesday afternoon. Not going to work, McCain - you can't hide from the truth.)

    September 10, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  10. Proud American

    No more lies Republicans, no more lies!!
    Obama/ Biden '08

    September 10, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |

    McCain /Palin = Gimmicks first/Country second, as indicated below, just more Republican liies. comments:

    “A McCain-Palin ad has calling Obama's attacks on Palin "absolutely false" and "misleading." That's what we said, but it wasn't about Obama.
    Our article criticized anonymous e-mail falsehoods and bogus claims about Palin posted around the Internet. We have no evidence that any of the claims we found to be false came from the Obama campaign.

    The McCain-Palin ad also twists a quote from a Wall Street Journal columnist. He said the Obama camp had sent a team to Alaska to "dig into her record and background." The ad quotes the WSJ as saying the team was sent to "dig dirt."

    With its latest ad, released Sept. 10, the McCain-Palin campaign has altered our message in a fashion we consider less than honest. The ad strives to convey the message that said "completely false" attacks on Gov. Sarah Palin had come from Sen. Barack Obama. We said no such thing. We have yet to dispute any claim from the Obama campaign about Palin.”

    September 10, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  12. Ramesh Shrestha

    Jesus was a community organizer too, you dumbo!! Why deride a community organizer? Should Barack have been on the boards of the corporate world to be qualified for the president? No, you are wrong, you idiots!!
    You never get it because you have never done work of charity. For you, all it matters is money. Did you see Barack has a plan to make
    service learning as a requirement for graduation. You will see there will be thousands of Baracks in our streets and town in dacades to come.

    My Savior was community organizer, do not deride him.

    ObamaBiden 08!!!

    September 10, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  13. Frank

    McCain got the message that the American people sent....Obama still does not get the message that the American people sent. This only proves that John McCain will listen to the American people's voices and do what is in their best interest. Obama is wrong once again! Go McCain/Palin!!

    September 10, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  14. Ms Gunn

    It is about time called him out.


    September 10, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  15. Dejon

    Obama hit them back and hit back hard don'nt let the Mccain and the Republicans Party get away with thier lies

    September 10, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  16. truth now

    Mayor Palin supported having rape victims pay for rape kits in Wasilia.

    Mayor Palin inherited a city with zero debt, but by the time she left was 20 million dollars in debt.

    Mayor Palin erected a ball park that she never inspected the title on and the city is still trying to absorb the debt. They call it a money pit.

    Mayor Palin fired anyone that would not kiss her a.. and replaced them with her friends.

    Mayor Palin had an administrator that ran the city because of the cronyism and proposed recall.

    Wow and I haven't even gotten to Gov. Palin. Do some research people.

    September 10, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  17. Law

    Anyone who mocks at community work, especially in those troubled area, do you think that person is fit to be a president???

    September 10, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  18. Ted

    At last!

    September 10, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  19. Lanc, PA

    A word of advice to Obama, don't let those Republicans distract you from your purpose. Those Republicans have a huge smoke screen their hidding behind. All these comments these Republicans are creating is a distraction to get the people to "look this way" while they're doing something "that way" Something is up. They are doing something devious that they are hoping nobody is watching. You see, if they force people to look at you and see what your doing, nobody will realise what they're doing. Republicans are getting away with not talking about the issues and as long as they keep up with this crap they shoot out every other minute, they don't even know they've been had. People be smart because if your stupid, it will be too late.

    September 10, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |

    Please bring back Jack Cafferty ASAP b/c I am tired of my post not making it. My civil liberties are being violated CNN; along with many other viewers who continue to complain about the lack of posting!!!! CMON CNN lets get a move on!!!!

    September 10, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  21. Joe

    Why isn't Obama, who just paid off his student loans not so long ago, not appreciated as more "blue-collar" friendly than Mccain, who not only owns 7 houses, but also is against unions?

    September 10, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  22. peterline labranche

    The republicans are just trying to kill time before the election. That is why they had to come up with this bogus accusation. They know, I know, we ALL know its all bogus. Sarah pollin is not a threat to theObama campaign. That is what they want people to believe. If we wanna talk about sexist, Obama can easily talk about racism because believe it or not, there is ALOT of that going on here. CASE CLOSED OVER AND DONE!

    September 10, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  23. ginger

    The same people that swift boated McCain in 2000, are now his hired staff to swift boat Sen. Obama. No change at all.

    September 10, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  24. Michael

    Yeah, the community organizer comments were really low. Shame on them...

    September 10, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  25. anyonmous

    even though mccain is going to win virginia and missouri its not over yet if obama can take colorodo and nevada then he would win the election

    September 10, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
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