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. Save America

    That remark by Julianni has to be the dumbest thing said so far in this election by anyone. It was a below the belt cheap shot at Obama's experience and it really backfired on him.

    But I'm not surprised. Republicans often blatently lie and twist the truth when taking nasty jabs at Dems just so they can get jeers from their mindless flock of Republican drones.

    September 10, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  2. Grace Needed

    Senator McCain has lost all integrity with the television ad on Senator Obama's education plan. We supported him in 2000, but he has fallen fast and far from who he was. He has no sense of honor left. He sold out or was bought out by the worst political strategists to win at all costs. His judgment in selecting a VP with little to no vetting shows his highly erratic and risky decision making and makes me shudder as to granting him any authority over anything. The campaign he is running is disgusting in NOT giving any substance on plans for anything, at a time when our country is sorely in need of help and hope. There will be an accounting some day and he will have to answer for his spiral down into the depths of pervere and crude smear tactics.

    September 10, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  3. CFL

    All of you praising Jesus's work are the same ones yesterday blogging that the VP canidate is a religous nut ! Go figure !

    September 10, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |

    BOUT TiME OBAMA !!!!!

    September 10, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  5. Sarah, Northern Colorado

    You know, when someone comes from a position of love and possibility, they bring everyone around them up. When someone comes from a position of self-loathing and selfishness, they put those who come from possibility down, simply for coming from love and possibility.

    From my observations, it just seems that the GOP are a bunch of miserable SOBs (save for, believe it or not, McCain, who hasn't been disparagingly insulting) who want to tear down a wall of possibility, simply because it is a danger to their way of life. I do hope that Sarah Palin, and Rudy Giuliani, and Fred Thompson, and all the other Republicans who've put down the essence of public service, can find something in the message that they preach (you know the one, the message about Jesus/God/whoever they worship) that shows them that the Golden Rule involves neither who has all the gold, nor who makes all the rules.

    September 10, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  6. Donna

    The Founding Fathers of this country were the most formidable "community organizers" that we could ever imagine or aspire to.

    September 10, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  7. Rodham Democrat

    This response should have come last Thursday after Rudy Giuliani and Gov. Sarah Palin mocked community organizers like churches, PTAs, and unions.

    He needs to repeat this attack on the campaign trail tomorrow and Friday to make up for what he didn't do last week.

    September 10, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  8. I voted "present", because it's just so hard to make a decison.


    September 10, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  9. Rebecca

    The McCain camp along with Palin are making a mockery out of women's rights and great successes over the last several decades. For them to cry sexism at every possible turn is a complete disgrace to women and frankly as a women I am deeply offended. This is a mockery of true sexism, unequal pay, few women in high level positions, outrageous healthcare and daycare costs for single mothers and the list goes on. Making a mockery out of sexism charges takes away from women's real concerns. Enough McCain and Palin. You are defeating what women have been working so hard for by your lies and false accusations.

    September 10, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  10. Elizabeth

    I guess it's Country First, McCain-Palin Second, Your Community First.

    Also, wasn't 'service' their convention's theme on night 2?

    September 10, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  11. texas

    why do you idiots compare obama to savior is the son of god.

    September 10, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  12. Barack Is Right

    I'm sending a check to Barack now.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 10, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  13. Brian

    I think that everyone is in agreement that we all revere John McCain for the sacrafice he has made for this country. Everyone agrees that his moral charactor is head and shoulders above most of Washington.

    But what does it say about a man that is running one of the dirtiest campeigns in recent memory in spite of his morals? Not just bending the truth, but completely lying about tax policy and now lipstick. Attention: no democrat is allowed to talk about lipstick anymore, the GOP now owns any mention of lip coloration, Give me a GIANT break.

    I hope John McCain can live with the fact that he sold his soul for the chance to get elected president. He is now everything he stood against just 8 years ago. What the hell happened?

    September 10, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  14. Silly

    Community Organizer... HAHAHAHAHAHA!!

    Wait... Being a community organizer is an honorable thing to do. It's a way to serve your community and your country out of uniform.

    Why are we laughing?

    September 10, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  15. brian

    Just what is a community organizer?
    There are thousands of community organizers out there. Many non paid volunteers.
    I have done it for many years in many organzations. Both church and government and community. No one told me that it qualifies me to be president.
    Big deal so obama is average. He is not Jesus Christ either.
    No one is deriding community organizers. Its just that he never really explains what wonderful miracles he performed .

    September 10, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  16. H-Town

    No McCain, no Palin, no way.

    Rock the vote!

    ObamaBiden 08!!!

    September 10, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  17. S. Boatman

    How Is Mccain A Maverick . . . He Doesnt Even Support His Own Bill On Immigration Reform! Same Lipstick. . . Different Pig!

    September 10, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  18. Hope LV,NV

    I am thankful for all communtiy organizers. Stick to the issues Obama, don't let this turn into highschool student government.

    September 10, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  19. Fort Collins,Colorado

    McCain never cared about helping anyone or anything..that is why he does not have earmarks. The reason Obama has earmarks is because working as a community organizer he saw what was needed to help people,schools and clinics. Not all earmarks are bad most are actually beneficial and the only way to get federal funding for cities. I was really surprised that as Mayor of New York, Rudy G had the nerve to say that, I'll bet his city could not do without these great people. He was a real jerk at the convention!

    September 10, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  20. FL4OB

    It is shameless & appalling how the McCain campaign & RNC belittle the sacrifices Americans make to serve a greater cause for their community. Is that the type of elitist/arrogant nonsense we want from our leaders? We deserve better.

    No way, no how, no McCain-Palin

    Decency '08–Obama/Biden

    September 10, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |

    McSame is a joke. But, republican women are even bigger jokes. They know Palin is not qualified. McCain's mocking all women by selecting her. No doubt if he loses this election, he'll slam her for not telling him everything. Romney/Pawlenty have apparently made a deal with the devil to keep their mouths shut until "it's their turn" just like McBush bit his tongue with W. McSame is an abortion of a candidate. And you republicans want to elect him president of the United States! Have you no shame?

    September 10, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  22. Chris

    Seems like "Obambi" has been collecting himself to strike when it really counted. Barack Obama is ready to show the GOP just how strong the President of the United States should be.
    McCain can go take his pitbull for a walk around the park and leave reforming the country to a President who cares more about US citizens than winning a campaign.

    September 10, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  23. EJO

    Senator please stop worrying about what was said last week. You have my vote, but you will not be elected if you are going to waste these last weeks distracted from talking about the issues that the american people feel are important. Let Senator Biden deal with Sarah Palin. Please stay on message.

    September 10, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  24. Bill, MA.

    Republicans openly ridicule those who help others. They are too busy starting wars to help big oil. Bring back the draft, and see who supports the bush, cheney, mccain, palin war. The wannabe republicans will come running back to the party of their parents.

    September 10, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  25. Country First

    The republicans were in the white house when the terrorists attacked
    this country. How are they going to protect us? John McCain chose
    a 'country first' mantra, then he selects a woman with no foreign policy
    experience whatsoever, and who proclaims to have no interest in the Iraq war. How are they going to protect us? John McCain's claim to fame is
    being a POW. I respect that. But if John McCain is captured again
    while he is asleep in the white house, How are they going to protect
    us? Americans had better think long and hard before they allow the
    republicans to fool this country again.

    September 10, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
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