November 1st, 2010
06:50 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama dials off of 'enemies' as Boehner tees up

Washington (CNN) - President Obama appeared to be walking back his comments in a recent radio interview where he said Latino American voters should "punish our enemies" by turning out to vote in the midterm election.

In an interview with radio host Michael Baisden on Monday, President Obama admitted to using the wrong word choice. "I probably should have used the word "opponents" instead of enemies. Now the Republicans are saying that I'm calling them enemies."

Mr. Obama's walk back seems to be a preemptive strike against Republican House minority leader John Boehner who planned to blast Obama Monday evening, taking umbrage with the President's use of the word enemies to describe Republican opponents.

The President used the word "enemies" during a radio interview with Univision's Eddie "Piolin" Sotelo last week when he tried to encourage Latinos to vote, despite their frustration with the lack of immigration reform.

"If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, we're gonna punish our enemies and we're gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us," Obama said. "If they don't see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it's gonna be harder and that's why I think it's so important that people focus on voting on November 2."


Filed under: 2010 • John Boehner • President Obama
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. ChumBucket

    Obama: "Now the Republicans are saying that I'm calling them enemies."

    Yep, that was exactly what you called them, can't handle the truth?

    November 1, 2010 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  2. ss26mar

    Basically he got called on being a community agitator and the deep seated and usually well hidden resentment and racism towards w hites came out (he thinks all republicans are white). everything this country has worked for in race realtions for 50 years is being wiped out by wannabe adolf.

    November 1, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  3. Joey

    I know Mr. President..there was no telepromter there.....everytime...you and Joe Biden...Heckle and Jecykl... LOL.

    November 1, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  4. Chris

    No surprise. And he promised bipartisanship?

    November 1, 2010 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  5. kara

    Where in that statement did he mention republicans? Sounds to me like the guilty men runneth where nobody chaseth. While it may trouble the Angles and Brewers of this world, politicians who favour immigration reform in both parties should have nothing to fear from that statement at all.
    And whether you like the wording or not, the fact that republicans have been engaging in attempts to suppress the latino vote speaks volumes about their level of regard fo latinos in general.

    November 1, 2010 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    President Obama sounds more like Richard Nixon everyday.

    November 1, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  7. duke

    "He is the enemy"
    Stick to your words and stop backing down.

    November 1, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  8. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    We all knew he meant political enemies, except for derelicts like Boner.

    November 1, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  9. Ryan

    Obama called Republicans enemies?!?

    November 1, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  10. dennish

    The President did not make a mistake. That is EXACTLY how he views ANYONE that does not see things the way he does. He is truly frightening to me.

    November 1, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  11. ken

    The evil empire are our enemies, especially to the middle class!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 1, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  12. Albo58

    Though I've never seen any of his academic achievements in college, exactly how does "Professor" Obama make a mistake like this? His constant party hack rhetoric is an embarrassment and very un-presidential. Perhaps he should just make an endorsement for all his cronies via a pre-recorded commercial and, then get back to WORK. He's been campaigning for almost 2 years straight!

    November 1, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  13. republicans = Neanderthals

    Republicans are the enemy. They treat democrats like enemies, they just don't say it in public. That would be like the GOP coming "out"of the closet and admitting that they've been sleeping with Wall Street, Health care industry, oil industry and every other major industry that gobbles up billions in market share. Unless you have money to buy they're votes then republicans only listen to you come campaign time. Democrats too! Congress is a bunch of con artists destorying the middle class dressing some up as democrats and some as republicans. 99% of them are all crooked. I'm excited to vote for the lesser of two evils tomorrow....NOT.

    November 1, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  14. Julie

    The Pres and that B Pelsoi were going to drain the swamp. Well you both are still there. But now we are your "enemies? How is that for a Freudian slip?

    November 1, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  15. Monster Zero

    I am sure that President Obama being human has some serious issues regarding race as most of Americans do, he is human and there have been some unbelievable things said and written by both sides of our now divided Nation. With that said, Barry was elected to represent America, not black America, not white America, not brown America....just America. In my opinion he has failed to do so and with his practices and with the people he has empowered he has further driven a wedge down racial and economic divides solely in the name of partisan politics. The time is now for Americans to wake up and get off the government nipple, back to self responsibility and self accountability. We have all grown far too dependent on a government that is too big now to succeed.
    Vote Republican for now...
    Repeal and reform healthcare...
    Get out of the middle east...
    Rebuild America beginning with our energy needs, coal, nuclear, wind, solar and domestic oil...
    We are America, we can do anything and United we stand but divided we will fall!

    November 1, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  16. Julie

    Americans who don't believe in him are now his "enemies". That was not a bad choice of words, he meant it. I was hoping for change, and we got it. From free markets to socialist government, not going to happen on my watch.

    An American, not an enemy!

    November 1, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  17. curtther

    Some of them are the enemy

    November 1, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  18. MJ

    Oppenheimer couldn't put it back in the bottle, neither can Obama. Another Cambridge moment.

    November 1, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  19. S. in California Laughing In Anticipation Of How Well Democrats Turnout At The Polls

    Latinos are hard working and caring people. They see right through this man Boehner's ignorance. Many of us don't understand how orange people think and act. He is an unusual species probably used during an experiement of some sort. Whatever the reason he's completely ignorant about politics and we don't want anyone orange speaking for us. Let's send this orange man back to his broom where he belongs. At least there he can't do any harm.

    November 1, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  20. Annie

    Last time I checked my neighbor–we're of different political parties–and I were good friends, not enemies. This divisive rhetoric is corrosive and a disgrace to the greatness that befits America!

    November 1, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  21. Maria

    The divider in chief

    November 1, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  22. Rich

    For the uniter he was suppose to be he is a big disapponint. Thats why I'm voting againstg his party

    November 1, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  23. Russ

    I'm sorry, the Republicans are our enemies. What else would you call someone that tries to take you out. Fights your every move and tries to destroy your life. They are now the enemy. What happened to working together, trying to get along and come up with solutions. It is no more. The Republicans have stood united in trying to make this country fail so Obama would look bad. Unfortunately, so far they are winning the war. The enemy: Republican Obstructionists.

    November 1, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  24. I wishthey would listen to themselves

    Let's see "socialist, communist, hitler" have been choice names the repubs have used. Take our country back from who? The people of the United States of America who voted? Please someone call them on this BS, stop letting them get away with it. media please call them on it.

    November 1, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  25. Right Leaning Independent

    I doubt it was really a "wrong choice of words". I believe that he meant exactly what he said. You may be able to disguise a wolf but sometimes it is going to let out a howl....

    November 1, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
1 2