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. Let's rebuild this country

    Thanks Obama for your inspiration.
    We need you to rebuild this country on true values.

    September 10, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  2. stooping low

    Obama talks BS most of the time , but for all his surrogates and admirers .. these are words coming out of Prophet Obama.

    C'mon folks, live in reality.
    In last 20 days, media and public have done so much scrutiny of Palin and her family, that Obama didn't get in last two years.

    She is unfairly attacked , coz she is a lady,. Hillary's campaign was ruined in similar fashion. For Democrats, "female" is not more than an object as seen by Hollywood, shameless.

    So, did you hear what Rev Wright is doing these days ?

    September 10, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  3. Let's rebuild this country

    Thanks Obama for your inspiration and your courage.
    We need you to rebuild this country on true values.

    September 10, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  4. Brian

    Jesus was "The Teacher" and "The Savior"

    Do not compare anyone to him, he was not a Community Organizer and there is no disrespect meant by this statement of fact.

    September 10, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  5. ellie

    Gandhi was a community organizer.
    Mother Teresa was a community organizer.
    Dr. King was a community organizer.

    So Palin thinks this means nothing in comparison to "governing"?

    She and her ilk are going to need an awfully big handbasket for the upcoming ride.

    September 10, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  6. Dan

    Sara Palin sure seemed to be able to dish it out last week. Now she can't take it? There is an old saying that If you spit in the wind, it will fly back in your face.

    September 10, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  7. Matt from L.A.

    Martin Luther King, Jr. was a community organizer.

    September 10, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  8. New Yorker

    No, Jesus was not a community organizer.

    September 10, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  9. D R

    I'm really afraid that the GOP is slandering their way to the white house. This Palin for Hillary voters pick as VP, was a direct indication of the republicans lack of concern over the current state of the nation. Palin will set women back 300 years! Palin's comments down playing community organizing should scare the hell out of anyone that happened to pay attention. I am a former republican, that loves hunting, fishing and all that Alaska stands for, but these folks don't have a clue how to repair our country. Obama picked Biden because he is the very best, and most experienced in foriegn polocy. McCain picked Palin to try and get the Hillary voters! Nothing else! I'm sure that this country will never elect a blackman, not even a half blackman!

    Obama 08, because he is smart!

    September 10, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  10. ELC

    Obama, I am a supporter. However I must say that your responses are too nuanced and professorial in approach. K.I.S.S.

    September 10, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  11. Phoenix

    Obama, stick to the issues. The GOP is using distractions just as you said today using pathetic Palin, and smear tactics. Stick to the issues.

    September 10, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  12. New Yorker

    No, Jesus was not a community organizer. He was far more than that and to compare Obama to Jesus is blasphemous especially when Obama supports abortion.

    September 10, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  13. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    As much as I am dismayed by all the hoopla the McCain campaign is making about Palin and not concentrating on the issues, I simply couldn't help but chuckle watching Anderson Cooper this evening when another Republican woman politician (can't remember her name) praised Palin saying in a loud, shrieking voice that Palin has as much or more experience than Obama.

    Last week Michelle Bachman, congresswoman from Minnesota, also made outlandish remarks including that Palin sold the former Alaska governor's jet on E-Bay (which she didn't). What a qualification for president. I have lots of friends who make good money on E-Bay. Are they qualified to be president?

    Where is this going to end? Hopefully. . .not with McCain and former runner-up Miss Alaska in OUR White House.

    September 10, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  14. WA Hill supporter

    Keep up the pressure, Dems. They need to be exposed for what they are. It's not negative campaigning. It's TRUTH Something that's been lacking the last 8 years.
    Obama/Biden all the way

    September 10, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  15. CCS

    I'm still upset about their mocking of community organizers. I guess being from a small town, you miss the benefit of it because it's just one community. But Rudy Guiliani ought to have known better. It's just denigrating people who are actually doing what the Republicans themselves suggest doing. Idiots. At least they've helped Obama by pushing everyone who tried to organize within their communities to affect change over to the blue side.

    September 10, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  16. Messiah speaks

    Community Organizer, yeah we know Mr Obama.

    In the leadership of Rev Wright, for last 20 years , you were engaged in a very good cause, cursing Americans.

    Its the same community, where you mingled with Farrakhan, and Bill Aiyers.

    Or , is it the same community where Rezko used to dine with you ?

    Thats what you have done asides signing "PRESENT" in the congress all these years. Your record speaks volumes Sir, stop telling lies.

    September 10, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  17. Veteran for McCain

    An Obamanation is an abomination !!!

    Country first !

    McCain/Palin 08

    September 10, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  18. how

    Why is it that the Republicans and Republicans supporters think everyone, especially Obama can't reacting to McCain/Palin tactics by having to stump to all time lows to WIN (WOMAN) voters......YOU wouldn't allow someone to verbally attack you and not defend yourself. Calling names, whining and running from the media, that will NOT HELP our economy ISSUES..

    THE BIG QUESTION FOR US AS VOTERS..........AFTER 26 yrs. WILL WE really see a CHANGE for the better in Washington?

    September 10, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  19. Puffy

    The war in Iraq is will of God???? Sarah are u OKKK this ur foreign policie experiance? Sarah hein!!! This a will of Bush!!!! And MCsame and the GOP!!!! ok so since wen Bush is God???? Are u okkkk!!!

    September 10, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  20. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    McCain doesn't support Latinos and Latinos only need to look in McCain's own backyard, Arizona. Latinos in Arizona are rounded up and herded like cattle to jail and then back across the border and this has been going on for years. Latinos in Arizona have worked in the vegetable fields for large grocery chain owners like slaves with a promise of a share which they never received. These same grocery store owners are wealthy and only socialize with the elite, namely the McCains. FACT.

    September 10, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  21. CFL

    Keep moderating CNN. The Fairness Doctrine is going to come back to haunt you one day.

    September 10, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  22. Ken

    The Community should organize over this thought, if McCain's health fails, and God forbid another 9/11 or something on that level happens, Would you really be comfortable with Palin as commander and chief?

    It's ok to get excited, but don't be hoodwinked!

    September 10, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  23. Disgusted

    It seems the truths about Palin and McCain are finally surfacing to more Americans. For the past weeks I've been wondering how people aren't aware of the awful manipulation and complete lies that these two have been up to. The truth will set us free.

    Obama is not perfect. But he is a leader who has spent time helping everyday Americans become something greater. To me, that's the best leader we could hope for. And for those who say he lacks experience, it's simply incorrect. Experience doesn't come from days in the Senate or days in the War. The best leaders in our history didn't have much of those and brought us to a better place.

    Obama 08

    September 10, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  24. patrick

    Am i the only one that beleives the polls that we are seeing are not accurate? I find it interesting that they say Mccain can be ahead in popular vote and not in the overall electoral vote, BUT then again, look what happened between Barack and Hilary. Supposedly Hilary had the popular vote but still lost in overall delegates.

    Go Obama/Biden 2008

    September 10, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  25. Palin = Pilate?

    pontius pilate was a governor who at least had the saavy to recognize that the Man called Christ was innocent, and beseeched the people to allow him to set the Man free.

    But the people refused, and in accordance with his yearly custom, complied with the wishes of the people and set another man free instead.

    If Sarah Palin intends to uphold her pledge to Work For the People,
    then correct, she does have something (of sorts) in common with Pontius Pilate.

    September 10, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16