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. Barbara

    Don't worry about it Obama. I'm still very proud of you and if McCain wins – he will not be my president.

    Obama, you have represented yourself very well – the Bible says, don't throw your pearls before the swine because they will only trample on them. If America is too scared to vote for you because you are an African American – then they deserve just what they are going to get – 8 more years of BUSH.

    September 10, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  2. S. Holt

    Well put Fazio. He has stooped very low and has sold his soul and party with the pick of Palin. His Country First is out of bounds; it's People First. People make up the country, all colors, races and religions. He just doesn't get it. I only pray the people 'get it' Obama/Biden 2008.

    September 10, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  3. Ron from Baltimore

    McCain has much to be ashamed in his actions over the past several weeks. Way up there is his encouraging picking on community organizers-obviously he hasn't a clue what that kind of work entails. (An extra lump of shame to Giuliani on that score; what a awful display of pandering bs at the convention.)

    That, of course, is only piled on top of the ranting and crocodile tears this week. Who did he get to put him up to this? Is that the kind of foreign policy tactics we could expect from a McCain-Palin Administration? Really?

    September 10, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  4. Concerened

    Dear america, I have been out of the states for two weeks now and this election season has really kicked into full gear. America for heaven sakes I see from looking at the country from an outsider perspective regardless of your views and your ideology. Obama is the best thing for us. McCain and Palin will be HUGE mistake trust me. The world is watching and if we make that horrilble decision to vote McCain and Palin in just know that our lives as Super power, respect and anything else we may have had will be long lost. The world is sitting back watching us destory ourself. Our military will dry up, attacks will probably happend and no one will come to our aid. Trust me. The world is a crazy place and if we let McCain win it would be a disgrace.

    September 10, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  5. Irony

    Lying and adultering are the new "small town values" that the Republicans stand for.

    A change is needed in Washington, a change for the better!

    Obama – Biden 08

    September 10, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  6. Lone Star Wolf

    Obama please just shut up and fade away. You are a corrupt individual. A empty suit with no morals. You are trying to wear a community organizer as a badge of honorr like it is some kind of executive position. A million Moms before you have done the same job and did it well. You are nothing special. If this is the experience you are counting on I would have rather had a background in being a scout leader than you. Quit the race now. You have done enough harm to this country by destroying the Democrat party. You did have help there with Kennedy, Kerry, Dean, Pelosi and Byrd. If someone put all of you in a tow sack they would have to put a penny in with you to say they threw away something of value when they dump you in the river.

    September 10, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  7. Obama/ Biden 2008

    Republicans are bunch of fraud millioners who are waiting for McSame to cut their taxes for more 4 years. These shameless people use every dirty trick to fool people and now "hockey mom" is their latest trick. They won't talk about economy, since after 8 years of Bush they got nothing to say so they are running false and outrages TV ads about Obama. Wake up America, McSame is neither good for economy, nor is he an honorable guy as he portrayed himself.

    Google john McSame's ex wife and see what he's done to her, it may change your perception of him as an honorable guy.

    Obama/Biden 2008

    September 10, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  8. mrsingh

    How can the race be dead heat with all the mess the Republicans have made these long 8 years? Why does the media not hold them accountable for their bad policies? We Americans want to know how after 8 years of Clinton boom, we get 8 years of deficits, scandals, war, unemployment & high gas/food prices? The Republicans need to explain themselves! Because it's unethical to demand from the Democrats to explain precisely what they will do to fix the mess others *Republicans* created! Hold them accountable, put their feet to the fire, ask them the tough questions! Why is it that people always expect more from Democrats, but when it comes to Republicans, they get a free ride?

    September 10, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  9. Bill Colorado

    The Obama campaign just cannot shake Governor matter how hard they try. 80% of the political news is about her ....not Sen McCain and not Sen Obama.

    This is the best evidence that Obama is on track to lose this election.

    September 10, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  10. rory ryan

    I am using this media to take the opportunity to comment on Larry KIng Live. I used to like Chuck Norris. After watching him has a hissy fit, I have lost respect for him. A man that is that prides himself on self control , lost it. Actually watching the republican women is making me want to vomit. The brainwashing robotic purging of lies. Taking pride in lying, never answering one question that is asked of them. Why is it okay for republicans to straight out lie and beat around the truthand not come close to showing us any potential progress. SICK.

    September 10, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  11. Cecil

    Karl Rove Politics Has To Be Defeated!

    It's Not What America Is About.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 10, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  12. Karlie

    It is dispicable that Palin criticized Barack's experience as a community organizer while touting her stint as mayor of small town Alaska. She claims to have "actual responsibilities" but always neglects to mention what these "responsibilities" were. Perhaps it's because her political responsibilities have included attempting to get books banned from the local library, flip-flopping on the bridge to nowhere, and abusing power to get her trooper brother in law fired. Barack did great things as a community organizer and he did just as much to help his fellow man, if not more than she has. She really should hush up about Obama's experience considering all she does is regurgitate her RNC speech over and over again. If I have to hear "I told congress thanks but no thanks on that bridge to nowhere" again I will scream.

    September 10, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  13. RONNIE

    Palin is a pig!

    September 10, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  14. Jorge

    Barack Obama and Joe Biden should consider a new campaign slogan; PEOPLE FIRST. They obviously get it. McCain and Palin don't have a clue.

    September 10, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  15. Max

    The Republicans have NO plan to turn this country around, so they have to resort to smearing Obama to win.

    September 10, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  16. Obama had a RACIST PASTOR

    This Jesus, Pointius Pilot analogy is a freaking joke. All you Obamabots that are using it are not doing your candidate any favors.

    Obama had a frueadian slip with the lipstick comment. It is obvious Palin's exixtance in the race is very troubling to him.

    Or perhaps woman are an issue for him? Remember the Hiallry snub on the Hill? Remember the "likeable enough" comment? This guy isn't as cool and collective as he once painted himself.

    By the way, the Letterman is a misstake. You shouldn't have to explain a "joke."

    September 10, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  17. aliou FL

    Media Darling McCain just have to snap his finger and you see all bow down to him and his new lady. earmarks and tax fleecing don't count anymore.

    September 10, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  18. Marie from Dallas

    The GOP claims Palin is more qualified than Obama because she has served 20 months as governor of Alaska. Serving as a governor does not automatically deem one to be quaified to serve as President of the United States. REMEMBER :

    September 10, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  19. John Jon

    This presidential race is a joke. McCain/Palin's own words. Drill Baby Drill. They were all critisizing and saying that the Democratic Congress was standing in the way of American Oil production. What do we hear today? As Congress prepares to debate expansion of drilling in taxpayer-owned coastal waters, the Interior Department agency that collects oil and gas royalties has been caught up in a wide-ranging ethics scandal, including allegations of financial self-dealing, accepting gifts from energy companies, cocaine use and sexual misconduct.Bush government officials handling billions of dollars in oil royalties partied, had sex with and accepted golf and ski outings from employees of energy companies,the alleged transgressions involved 13 former and current Interior Department employees in Denver and Washington. And you , the American public, are suppose to take their words for it and vote for more of the same. The American people have been screwed royally for 8 years. Do you want more of the same America. I think all of you need to wake up before its too late.

    September 10, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  20. CFL

    I'm applying for a job – what should I put at the top of my resume, my education and related skills to that job , or my helping out at the soup line ?

    I would say both but the latter proves NOTHING about my abilities to do the job I'm applying for, GET IT ???

    September 10, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  21. Cecil

    The Evil Emperor, Karl Rove Politics Must Go Down!

    September 10, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  22. go away mongers Ventura ca

    If we put the word "Lipstick" or "Community Organizer" next to the words Healthcare, war, foreclosures, gas prices, unemployment, and verterans care can we discuss the ISSUES?

    September 10, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  23. tillman



    September 10, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  24. John

    I think Obama is toast. Please let hillary be the VP

    September 10, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  25. lol

    the comparison was that a mayor/governor has more experience, than a community organizer. phoney outrage on obama's part, on this non issue. he's tanking in the polls because of the sexist dnc, and obama's ego. hillary should have at least been the vp, even biden knows this.

    September 10, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16