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. Denver Dem

    John Stewart said it best the other night after the convention. They showed Palin and Guiliani's comments, then he rips them a new one for doing so. He sarcastically cusses out the community organizers like they are the worst of the worst, to show the public the attitude the repugs are showing to our most important volunteers. Please people do your research and don't believe the media no matter how liberal they say it is.

    September 10, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  2. Audrey. Miami, Florida.

    Republicans are disgusting "humans". Incredibly uneducated as well.

    September 10, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  3. Sherry

    While Palin is in Alaska, maybe voters will marinate on her non –
    qualifications for president and come to their senses.

    Vote Democratic for your own good, not theirs.

    September 10, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |

    ENOUGH........ENOUGH...........ENOUGH............ENOUGH.........GET IT ?

    September 10, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  5. suzanne

    Being a Community Organizer does not qualify you to be President. Obama made several derogatory remarks about Sarah Palin being a small town Mayor and how that made her inexperienced and unqualified. He can dish it out but he can't take it.

    September 10, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  6. Barrett

    Working as a community organizer on a voluntary basis is to be celebrated. That is charity. Doing so in a paid capacity is a job; nothing more, nothing less. And doing so in a paid capacity where the funding stream includes government grants is modern liberalism – spending other people's money.

    September 10, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  7. dustin

    palin won't take questions from american citizens, which is simply.......unamerican

    September 10, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  8. Not4MoreYears

    Go, Barack! Call them on all of this stuff. I hope to God you can take this race out of the gutter and back to the issues. I swear, one of the things I hold Republicans guilty of for years now is the steady demonizing of intelligence. When did intelligence become a liability? Don't you want a smart person running the country???

    September 10, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  9. Matthew

    All l I have to say is that If I was interviewing someone, and they told me that in their last position the they had worked as a community organizer, I would have to ask for clarification of their job description.

    September 10, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  10. GT in CA

    The Karl Rove gutter politics is starting to smell really bad. He's going to burn in Hell.

    September 10, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  11. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    But thank God, this race is between Obama versus McCain!

    My sincere apology! I forgot that McCain does not run anything by himself anymore! A president energized only because of his VP! What was he before!

    September 10, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  12. It's real simple folks

    It's called a cease fire. Stop insulting each other and name calling and making ridiculous comments.

    I want to know your stance on our impending economic depression and how much you really like socialized housing.

    And for the bloggers, CNN does a horrible job with this system. People just shout out ridiculous garbage that gets published. You let many of these people that can't form a complete sentence ramble on like they know everything.

    CNN, I do greatly appreciate you giving us, the people, a right to voice our opinion, but I must disagree with your methods. This style of leaving comments hurts Americans more than it helps by giving individual bloggers a chance to truly say something hateful and bigoted without fear of actually having someone else get a chance to fire back at them...

    September 10, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  13. truebluemata

    Obama was a community organizer when Sarah Palin was running for beauty queen of Alaska. Talk about experience.

    September 10, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  14. Virginia Voter

    I seem to remember a guy named George, a guy named Benjamin, and another guy named Thomas that were huge community organizers around...oh I don't know...1776.

    Guess they had no experience and should have took their ball and went home, too.

    September 10, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  15. yaneyra

    I rather have a community organizer as a president than those two liers!! At least they help poor people!!

    Obama needs to go back to the issues! The media is talking about all the lies that the old pig and the young pig are making up!!!!!!!! Not even their childrens trust them!!

    yaneyra from California

    September 10, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Please tell Chuck he has lost one FAN from childhood. I think you have just gotten old and you remember the old times of hate. I would had never suspected you. Chuck I really told my wife to go up stairs, I was going to watch Chuck N. on CNN WED Night Larry King show 091008 this interveiw was so bad Chuck you looked just like all the Rep. on TV upset and mad that you may loss some of your millions to help the kids and adults alike. That lives just a few miles away from fall of you in the million dollar group. Do all of you understand how we have gotten to this point it greed stop. The Sara P. Lady great why she cannot she run for VP. McCain this man looks as if he needs something to do, so he hangs around D.C. get a hair up his #@$ and run's in '00. His Fellow Rep. called him a Mavrick because they all were set on Bush. Once he got joked off the trail he was walking in the foot steps of bush. Again McCain needs something to do,his sp is shopping and he doesn't have much money. McCain is just to much. He goes out and picks a women all for the wrong reason's. It does bring you back to the old way of thinking , we have to many American's that share that thoughless movement that built American. Meaning McCain picking a women was for his party he is a follower not a leader. Obama is ready and there is plenty young black men that's also ready. These election is wonderful and and you have the option to vote using your own education. To pick anyone that has been in the Whouse for over 20+ years is STUPID. The country was built on so much confusion(to put it nicely) however, it was a plan. The people of the world has to stop and look around for one min. we travel on crowed rodes going to work for corporate america. It was only supposed to be a small amount of money for the worker of american. Things do have to change because we cannot live like this total the murder's in D.C and every other city and county now those numbers compare to the war. These actions started from drugs and projects housing it has been a very successful business for the GOVERMENT. The young men BLACK AND WHITE let's just say the poor kids that happen to turn to the ways of the streets. They are part of a system that charges TAX's to Americans. They go to jail somebody else set's up and the watch him...we pay for that. They lock him up and educate him with his felony we pay for that. Come's home no job he goes back and do it over again. He does not have money for a home car or nothing. He really does not have that much money before he caught. So wo really get's the money from a billion dollar business in the US? Could help with my TAX's. I Could go on but I have to work tomorrow.

    So if McCain get's one vote from peoples that makes less that 112,000.oo they have no thought and never will.



    September 10, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  17. lvb

    I didn't think the republicans could sink lower than they did in 2000 agaist John McCain and 2004 when they made false statements about John Kerry's war record. Yet here we are four years later and the very person who was a victim of unfair personal attacks, lies and smears is now leading the charge against Obama.

    I've lost all respect for McCain. He's sold his sole, ethics and independent thinking for a chance to be President. Is this the type of person we want in office for the next four years? It's four more years of the last eight years of Bush-Cheney?

    September 10, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  18. Barbara CA

    My hope for America is as that by seeing the worst of the "red meat" politics (mud slinging and lies) close up we will finally reject for not being the best way to choose our most important and powerful leader. We are not only too wise to continue this practice; we are too desperate to continue this practice. I hope that America will finally understand and reject the kind of politics that discards our best and brightest candidates and elevates the candidates who make the most despicable “red meat” political choices.

    I personally will not vote for anyone who will forfeit their best and most valued beliefs to seize the presidency. I want the best person possible to be our president because we need and deserve the best person possible, especially now. A person who has no shame and no boundaries in getting the presidency will have no shame or boundaries being our president. America does not deserve this type of leadership ever again.

    September 10, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  19. Shiv

    I learned something new from the republican convention, republicans hate community organizing.

    September 10, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  20. Anna

    Tell THAT to the far left you betrayed with your FISA vote, Obama.

    Politicians are all the same.

    They dont have much of a choice to get the power of the party behind them.

    September 10, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  21. Jim, a disgusted republican

    I have been reading comments of people who care about this country. I am 100% sure McCain is losing this election.

    September 10, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  22. bleh

    Want real change? Defend your liberties!

    Vote Libertarian!

    September 10, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  23. Randy Smythe

    What has he been waiting for? Oh yeah he's fending off Sarah Palin the Vice Presidential candidate - his whole campaign is falling apart.

    You may not like the Republican tactics, but they are working and Obama needs to get his act together or by the time of the first debate he could be toast.

    September 10, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  24. Larry-Minn.

    Ya but actually did you do???

    September 10, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  25. No Hillary = No Obama

    On CNN's show Obama Revealed – it shows how he decided to move to Chicago (not sure why) and got involved in community organizing with other women who were also involved in community changes. How do you go from a community organizer to thinking you can lead this country? What's really driving Obama? With such as thin resume, except that he wrote two books about himself, what has this man done that evens compares to John McCain's life? Not much at all.

    September 10, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
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