September 10th, 2008
08:34 PM ET
6 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. TerryDO

    Is this more black theology?

    Is Obama the black messiah?

    A community organizer is equivalent to a state Governor, say what?

    Does the DNC and its' organizers have any self respect left in their bag of tricks.

    September 10, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  2. issuesplease

    I was undecided until now... Go Obama/Biden they are the only ones discussing real issues. McCain's dirty politics is starting to turn people off.

    September 10, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  3. truth-Chicago

    Why is that Sarah gets to talk about other people? Since, she has been on the scene she has done nothing but make negative attacks on the Democratic party. If someone criticize her they 're sexist. By this attitude it is an insult to me as a woman. You want equal rights, be the bulldog you say you are. Or is that a lie too????

    Sarah must have forgotten, it was a group of community organizers that got women's right to vote. Did she forget "country first", it was community organizers who got together to write the Declaration of Independence. Martin Luther King was a community organizer. JESUS CHRIST WAS A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 10, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  4. Lois

    Someone remind the "Pitbull" that she would not have voting rights with community organizers. The GOP is dispicable, making light of people who work for real change, and most do it for free. Dispicable.

    September 10, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  5. dennise

    Why should he put down or condone any remark made by Barack or his party? I'm sorry wasn't it the GOP who made fun of his roots? It kind of makes me feel small as I started in fast food working and moved up into a managerial position in an office. As they say never forget where you come from. I'm sure some of the GOP doesn't have the problem. After the GOP antics and Palin's poor beliefs, I"ve made a it priority to talk to everyone about getting the vote out.

    September 10, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  6. That's Reality

    Ramesh, If you meant "community service a requirement for
    graduation " let me clue you in; it already is a requirement in our district.
    Jesus came to save sinners (that includes all of us). He did not come to be a community organizer. Obama is pulling the same thing he accuses McCain of doing. McCain wasn't putting down community organizers he and Palin were saying it takes more experience than being a community organizer to serve as president. And the fact is a mayor does have more responsibility than a acommunity organizer. Plain and simple. BTW how on earth do you know if they have done any work for charity???? Obviously the McCain's have, but I guess you wouldn't know that if you aren't looking for facts.

    September 10, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  7. Lois

    Someone remind the "Pitbull" that she would not have voting rights without community organizers. The GOP is dispicable, making light of people who work for real change, and most do it for free. Dispicable.

    September 10, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  8. kay deedee, nashville

    Guiliana & Palin gave two of the most sarcastic, condescending, nasty, mean-spirited speeches I've ever heard. Disgusting.

    September 10, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  9. That's Reality

    Ramesh, If you meant "community service a requirement for
    graduation " let me clue you in; it already is a requirement in our district.
    Jesus came to save sinners (that includes all of us). He did not come to be a community organizer. Obama is pulling the same thing he accuses McCain of doing. McCain wasn't putting down community organizers he and Palin were saying it takes more experience than being a community organizer to serve as president. And the fact is a mayor does have more responsibility than a acommunity organizer. Plain and simple. BTW how on earth do you know if they have done any work for charity???? Obviously the McCain's have, but I guess you wouldn't know that if you aren't looking for facts.

    Come on CNN you haven't posted ANY of my comments today.

    September 10, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  10. Len in Washington

    JUMP on 'em, Barack, and stomp 'em right into their own mud!

    September 10, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  11. Anyonmous

    Sen Obama Gov. Palin was not trying to insult community organizers
    She was trying to INSULT YOU!!!

    Sen Obama starts this day attacking the GOP for 'inventing' a controversy. He finishes the day doing the SAME THING.
    .
    Again it was an INSULT against YOU.

    You seem to be fighting against Palin, McCain, Bush and now YOUR OWN ARGUMENTS
    Wow Gov. Palin has sure got in your head.

    September 10, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  12. r

    the community he 'organized" is more dangerous than bagdad

    September 10, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  13. Virginia Voter

    I think after the Palin phenomenon dies out, people will start to realize that the "maverick" John McCain went away a long time ago. John McCain has basically sold out his moderate stance in order to win at all costs, and selling out is not what the American people need to get this country back on the right track for the future.

    I don't know about you, but selling out for a nomination is not change I can believe in. Go Obama!

    September 10, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  14. Independent for ??????

    Obama first criticized Palin as a small town Mayor not enough experience. That's how it started.

    September 10, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  15. Just Mad

    Let's Face it america the, so call Hillary voter who went with John McCain chose him because they did not want to vote for a black man.
    Grow up America

    September 10, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  16. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    Hahahaha! Obama sticks up for the PTA (which is a group Palin used to be in) BUT Rudy, Palin, and Fred Thompson bashes the PTA !!!

    Go get em' Senator Obama :)

    September 10, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  17. flavoter

    More distraction McCain no honor.

    Some of us here in Florida have a pool going ....We predict that Palin will use Hilliary's crying moment on america on thursday. To get that extra little pity out of those unrealistic voters.....It will be oh she's so down to earth and real......two tickets to a Dolphins game are on the line (but still no issues) two of the guy's I work with homes will go into foreclosure in about 2 weeks go figure more of the same ....Come on sarah I need those ticket.....

    September 10, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  18. Independent for Obama

    Glad he said something on the subject, it needed to be said. How dare they mock people who go out of their way to serve their community? It was a low and spiteful attack and these people are owed an apology.

    September 10, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  19. hrsc

    More distraction McCain no honor.

    Some of us here in Florida have a pool going ....We predict that Palin will use Hilliary's crying moment on america on thursday. To get that extra little pity out of those unrealistic voters.....It will be oh she's so down to earth and real......two tickets to a Dolphins game are on the line (but still no issues) two of the guy's I work with homes will go into foreclosure in about 2 weeks go figure more of the same ....Come on sarah I need those ticket.....

    September 10, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  20. Wasilla

    the gop, no issue no substance, just the tv profiles. goes to show you who can manipulate the media? the media is weak, just lay them off ,no true reporting left , just who owns them ..

    what is left if everyone is payed off. the polls are bogus, you will see.

    Nov 4 , Change Coming ..

    September 10, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  21. Sam Rose

    Sorry-the comments are closed on the Joe Biden insert FOOT IN MOUTH comment about Hillary–
    -
    Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton are both giving the GOP ammo to use against Obama-what is UP with them??????

    The Dems hardly stand a chance with Hillary and Joe Biden being runny at the mouth–between Hillary saying McCain and her were qualified to answer the 3am call and Obama wasnt-and Joe Biden saying Hillary should of been the VP choice-

    I am appalled at the Dems-
    Do they care about themselves-or this country??????

    Signed an Obama supporter who is SO DISAPPOINTED with all this B.S.

    September 10, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  22. Suzy

    Things have changed alright. Palin don't even have time to say hello to her children. I would love to see a women in office. She will be paying a high price of not seeing her children grow up. I really feel sorry for these children and it has only been little over week of coverage.

    September 10, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  23. Ernie

    Obama requested a half a BILLION dollars in earmarks.

    September 10, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  24. Hopeful Floridian

    McCain won't stand up to his party and he won't stand up to his campaign – yet claims he will stand up to anyone else that challenges America! Sounds like the old dog is all bark and no bite.

    September 10, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  25. Tennessee

    Why does the Obama camp act all stricken when anyone says something that he interprets to be racist, but acts offended when he says something that is sexist? Does Obama believe that racism is worse than sexism?

    I do not beleive the offense he endeavored to express today, especially when he is guilty of the conduct of which he complains.

    September 10, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
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