August 5th, 2007
02:09 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama 'gone from Jane Fonda to Dr. Strangelove'

Obama drew fire on Sunday for some of his recent remarks

(CNN)–Senator Barack Obama drew criticism from Republican presidential candidates over his recent comments over how he would shift the focus of the war on terror from Iraq to Pakistan.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney said Obama has been inconsistent in his recent comments. "You look at that Democratic debate, I had to laugh at what I saw Barack Obama do," Romney said in reference to the CNN/You Tube debate last month in South Carolina. "I mean in one week he went from saying he's going to sit down, you know, for tea, with our enemies, but then he's going to bomb our allies. I mean he's gone from Jane Fonda to Dr. Strangelove in one week."

In that debate, Obama had said that he would be willing to meet with the leaders of rogue governments like Cuba, Venezuela, and Iran without pre-condition. In a speech delivered last week in Washington, D.C., Obama said the U.S. must be ready to take military action inside Pakistan to dismantle terrorist networks.

Romney, and the 8 other GOP candidates were debating on the campus of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

–CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Iowa • Mitt Romney • Race to '08
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Lynn, Reno NV

    So if all the Republicans want to fight Al Qaeda in Iraq but not in Pakistan, what does that mean for the war on terror? They are sounding soft on terrorism to me. Perhaps Republican voters will rally behind Obama. Obama is just making a common sense statement, fight the terrorists in their stronghold, and the GOP candidates don't know what to do with it. And Romney seems the softest of them all. So he won't talk to enemy states to try to find a non-military way out of conflict, but he won't get tough with friendly ones if they are hurting us? I think Romney has it all wrong. Obama seems like the only candidate that is playing it straight. Everyone else, repub or dem, is doing the political two-step, talking out of both sides of their mouth.

    August 5, 2007 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  2. Len

    I don't understand what Romney is laughing about. He would allow Pakistan to protect Al Qaeda in their country? What are Republican voters going to think about that? Romney certainly has a credibility problem. I thought it was a war on terror?

    August 5, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  3. G. Clark, Greensboro, North Carolina

    I heard Senator Obama say he would be willing to meet with "rouge" countries, but I did not hear him say he would do it without pre-conditions. I heard other candidates take his statement and try to convince us that's what he meant. Of course envoy groundwork would have to be done and I think he knows that.

    Instead of assuming all Americans are ignorant and can't distinguish facts from political attacks, this would be a good opportunity for his critics to respond by showing us how they would use their "experience" in dealing with "rogue" countries. At least Senator Obama gave us a direct statement as to what he plans to do. If he feels his "experienced" critics are offering any useful information, he's in a position now where he can make changes.

    August 5, 2007 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  4. Eustace, New York, NY

    Quite simply...

    Romney should learn to read and comprehend... Obama did not say he would sit down with tea... he answered a question about willingness to meet with people America imports most of its oil from... and did not say he would bomb pakistan. He said he would take out targets in those non governed areas if the pakistani government chooses not to... Both of those positions are critical and pragmatic if one wants to results in American foreign policy.

    Romney should go read a book and take some comprehension lessons.

    August 5, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  5. Mannie, Chicago, IL

    I think barack is showing the leadership that this country needs. Romney is breaking the record is flip-flopping. Hope the republicans can nominate this would be a cake walk to 08 for the dems. GO BARACK

    August 5, 2007 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  6. Jason A, Orange County, Ca

    Let me get this straight. BO would pull us out of Iraq where we are currently fighting Al Qeada insurgents and than invade a nuclear power who is actually providing assistance to fighting insurgents. Sounds like a plan. Can anyone say "foot-in-mouth".

    August 5, 2007 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  7. Donna Ezelll-Grubbs

    Obama does not have what it takes to lead our nation. He is too politically immature to even begin to handle the presidency. Best he could do would be the vice-prez and learn for a while before leading this country. It's just not his time, yet.

    August 5, 2007 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  8. cliff jones, honolulu hi

    Anyone that is elected will pull us out of Iraq regardless of party affiliation.The experience factor will play a dominate role in who gets the bid. These are some very perilous times for the U.S. The grown ups will have to take charge.

    August 5, 2007 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. Bernard, Scotch Plains, NJ

    O8AMA is finally speaking up for the average American Citizen, finally a voice for the people, and are we to believe that any of the GOP candidates for President would give O8AMA praise for anything he says, get real, they all like taking shots but none of them including Hillary (Sorry), has said yet what they plan on doing with Healthcare, Eduation, or any of the things that matter to the American People, just more pandering and trying to see who can scare us the most for their vote, O8AMA is about hope, as well as protecting and uniting all of us as a country, the rest are more of the same.

    August 5, 2007 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  10. Mrs. America

    I do note that Obama's saying some strange things lately that show his inexperience. I say Obama in 2012 or 2016.

    August 5, 2007 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  11. Juanito

    Romney is a comedian. This same Romney who during the last GOP debate said that the reason we invaded Iraq was because Saddam refused to let the UN inspectors in? He really needs to get a grasp of the facts before opening his mouth.

    August 5, 2007 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  12. Don, Iowa

    " A negative judgment gives you more satisfaction than praise, provided it smacks of jealousy" . Go Barrack.

    August 5, 2007 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. JMP, Chicago, Illinois

    I mean in one week he (Obama)went from saying he’s going to sit down, you know, for tea, with our enemies, but then he’s going to bomb our allies. I mean he’s gone from Jane Fonda to Dr. Strangelove in one week.”

    August 5, 2007 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  14. Jane, Iowa

    WOW and this is coming from Romney, a guy who's had soo many flip flops he even lost count himself. I can't believe any serious republican voter is considering to vote for this guy. He's the Hillary Clinton clone of the republican party. He'll say or be anything to get elected. He used to be pro-choice, supported amnesty for immigrants but is now opposed, was a hunter for a day. It's funny how he agrees with Obama's position but is appalled that he said it aloud.

    August 5, 2007 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  15. Gary, Boston, MA

    Barack Obama's recent comments HAVE shown that he is naive. I have actually switched my support to Hillary Clinton in light of his recent comments.

    He should keep his mouth shut more often. He is not going to beat Hillary on the "experience" card. I can imagine the field day the republican nominee will have with Obama sound bites.

    August 5, 2007 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  16. Linda, Chandler AZ

    Mitt Romney appears to be an idiot.

    August 5, 2007 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  17. Matthew, Paris, IL

    Some of you need to go and actually read Obama's speech from last week. At not point in time does he mention invading Pakistan. He's talking about expanding the present military action in Afghanistan to include the mountainous Afghani-Pakistani border and beyond it, if the intelligence shows such a move would be neccessary.

    withdraw troops from Iraq, where the civil war taking place is killing our soldiers and expanding the action that pursues those who were responsible for September 11th. Doesn't sound unreasonable to me.

    And I simply don't understand why it's a weakness for a presidential candidate to say he's got no plans to nuke anyone. I think that would be smart –there's no way we can try to cut down on nuclear proliferation if we're going to be willing to use them again.

    I wonder when Hillary's going to start talking about what she wants to do with regards to the war on terror, as opposed to simply criticizing other people's proposed actions.

    Romney's ridiculous and not even worth addressing. With his numerous policy changes, he makes John Kerry look like a man of steadfast conviction.

    August 5, 2007 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  18. Robert M. Reidy, Tillson, N.Y.

    Well I guess we are now seeing the republicans tipping their hand. Obama is the man to beat before the national election. These pitiful attacks are so transparent. The win for obama is that he and his well thought out and honest policy and charisma will get more play in the national media. Poor HC will fade as Obama frames the national debate. Barak Obama has the courage
    to take a stand on the issues. A new wind is a blowing across this nation!
    The world looks on with anticipation.

    August 5, 2007 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  19. lipper AMERICAN

    Mitt Romney criticizing someone for being inconsistent with their comments.,.....absolutely hilarious!!!

    August 5, 2007 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  20. Maxwell, Boulder Creek, CA

    The sad thing is that majority of the American electorate doesn't read so the politicians can twist and spin others' statements and ideas without being held accountable for the spin. America, the richest country with political illiterates! How sad!

    August 5, 2007 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  21. Neil, Austin, Texas

    "Flip" thinks he's being funny, but he is just confirming the fact that he is apparently unable to remember recent facts (last week...2 years ago...whatever) and has no hesitancy in distorting the truth

    August 5, 2007 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  22. Kim, Mpls, Mn

    Wow, what's going on with these candidates, especially Romney these days? Unreal!

    For the full text and video of Barack's speech, see link.

    Obama is a true leader!

    August 5, 2007 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  23. Joe Ossai, Bedford, NH

    Romney reminds me of a used car sales person. Talk a good game, but it's all pack of lies. Is this idiot serious.

    Why are politicians constantly insulting our intelligence. Obama never said he was going to invade or bomb Pakistan, yet these bastards continue to repeat that nonsense.

    Romney whose position on issues changes as the New England weather, this guy is an idiot

    August 5, 2007 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  24. lipper American

    Maxwell......well said! The biggest problem we have had that led us to Bush/Cheney/Rove, besides the 'left leaning media' not doing their job, is an uninformed ignorant electorate.

    August 5, 2007 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  25. Matt, Memphis, TN

    Obama does not have what it takes to lead our nation. He is too politically immature to even begin to handle the presidency. Best he could do would be the vice-prez and learn for a while before leading this country. It’s just not his time, yet.

    Posted By Donna Ezelll-Grubbs : August 5, 2007 1:50 pm

    Well Donna, I guess the experience ones are the likes of George Bush, Dick Cheney, Rummy and Condi right? We better wake up from our sober in this country or else it would be too late. Experience does not come with age or how long you have been in Washington or how long you've supported a failed policy...I will vote for sound judgment over the so-called experience of Cheney, Hillary, Rumfeld, Condi etc. Americans should wise-up NOW. Barack has shown good judgment and in my opinion, he is fit to lead.

    August 5, 2007 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
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