October 24th, 2007
09:50 AM ET
6 years ago

Romney makes Obama/Osama slip

Romney made a slip of the tongue when talking about Osama bin Laden Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - It was only a slip of the tongue, but it's hard not to notice when a presidential candidate is confused for the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.

Giving a speech before the Chamber of Commerce in Greenwood, South Carolina Tuesday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney invoked Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's name when he apparently meant to say Osama bin Laden.

“Actually, just look at what Osama - Barack Obama said just yesterday," Romney said, according to the Associated Press. "Barack Obama calling on radicals, jihadists of all different types, to come together in Iraq. That is the battlefield."

Romney campaign spokesman Kevin Madden called the remarks a "brief mix up."

“Gov. Romney simply misspoke," he said. "He was referring to the recently released audiotape of Osama bin Laden and misspoke when referencing his name."

Meanwhile, Bill Burton, a spokesman for Obama, said, "Apparently, Mitt Romney can switch names just as casually as he switches positions, but what's wrongheaded is continuing a misguided war in Iraq that has left America less safe.

"It's time to end the divisiveness and fear-mongering that is at the heart of Gov. Romney's campaign," he added.

In January, CNN made the same mistake, accidentally displaying a graphic that said "Where's Obama?" during a report on bin Laden. Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy also made the same slip in a 2005 speech.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (304 Responses)
  1. EB Rideout

    Of course it was done on purpose.

    Lots of RW talking heads do the same thing – plant the seed that there is a link to Obama and the terrorists, if only by having similar sounding names.

    Watch for more of this between now and election time.

    PS – it could be worse – imagine having a first name Willard, as in Willard M. Romney.

    October 24, 2007 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  2. sp00ge, Johnstown, PA

    I'm doubting "slip of the tongue" and more of a cheap tactic to plant an "association" of Osama and Obama in the minds of the uninformed.

    Just like the tactics being used in the south to tell people Obama running for office is a plot of the Taliban to take down the US from the top. That seed is now planted in the back of the minds of those who wouldn't know the difference.

    Obama has the huge religion hurdle, as well as the racial, and it seems everyone is trying to use that against him.

    October 24, 2007 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  3. Kelly - Tampa, FL

    MY choice for president..LOU DOBBS..vice..JACK CAFFERTY..whatever..GLENN BECK..that's a dream team!!!!

    Posted By Karen,nj : October 23, 2007 7:06 pm

    AMEN Sister!!!!
    I couldn't agree more.
    People with independently functioning brains are far better suited to clean up the mess that has been created by YEARS of political tomfoolery on BOTH sides. A hell of a lot better than a bunch of star struck puppets that have no comprehension of what it truly means to be an American.

    October 24, 2007 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  4. brenda,worcester,ma

    Ya Romney, Now you look better since some people don't like you because you are mormon. That is not how to do it. I wish you luck with your candidacy.

    October 24, 2007 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  5. Pittsburgh, PA

    Did CNN also have an article when Ted Kennedy did the exact same thing? I can not find it anywhere, so is this really fair and balanced?

    October 24, 2007 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  6. Esther,las angelas, ca

    What a fool!

    October 24, 2007 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  7. Think_Exist, Dallas, Texas

    What an idiot. People are actually voting for this fool?... That is scary!

    October 24, 2007 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  8. Robert,nyc,ny

    This mormon moron is not gonna get my vote. My vote is for someone who can not do such things and someone who understands I am voting for him to go and fix things that i feel need to be fixed even if they try. I don't think I can give anyone a job who self distructs during his interview and presentation, which I think Romney is at that level. Someone tell Romney that is not the way to do it!

    October 24, 2007 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  9. Sue in Michigan

    RJ, Bet Rove had his finger in there somewhere...just reeks of his work. But for Romney to go along with it and then say oops...just shows you something I've been saying...none of the candidates has anything to say about themselves; they are either slamming Hillary or Obama or each other...great campaign so far.

    October 24, 2007 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  10. Bud - Memphis, TN

    Some real news about a REAL candidate would be nice.

    Hint: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Edwards are not real candidates. They are virtually all the same.

    Hint #2: The majority of Americans agree with Dennis Kucinich on the issues but don't know it! Take a candidate match-up test.

    October 24, 2007 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  11. phillip,lowell,ma

    Did I just hear that? This guy has lost my vote! I am a republican and I thought this guy looks presidential to me and can fix the economy but I think there are other things that matters and would like a well rounded president especially when our country is hurting. I think Romney has sons and that is not how one should be an example to his sons. I hope he aknowledges his mistakes. Meanwhile will even see if the attacked person can stay calm in all this!

    October 24, 2007 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  12. dickson,andover, ma

    wow, what a presidential candidate? Romney, it is too close to call to make a blunder!

    October 24, 2007 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  13. Dr Atomic

    Sometimes I catch myself saying ninja zombie instead of "Mitt Romney."

    October 24, 2007 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  14. Paula

    wow he sounds as thick as Bush.. oh goody another dense head running for office..

    October 24, 2007 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  15. Los Angeles, CA

    Do we honestly want to judge whether or not a man is fit for the presidency based on a linguistic error?

    October 24, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  16. OC, Bowie Maryland

    We are too hung up on looks, and names. Why aren't people listening to the message Barack OBAMA is sending. Let's stop all of the divisiveness. Gays, Blacks, Latino's are not going anywhere. Let's try to do the best and the RIGHT thing. I particularly find that most Men treat politics like a sporting event. "Their team has to win" That's what those moroons in Washington do. Instead of voting what is right for the masses of peeople they rather make sure their "TEAM" wins. This is why I like Barack and Hilary. I will no doubt vote for one of them.

    October 24, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  17. Stefan,Raleigh,NC

    Way to go Mitt ya twit!!!!

    October 24, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. Brandon, Tampa, FL

    This is simply an outrageous comment for a major presidential candidate to make. He hasn't had my support for a while, but he's definitely not getting any from me now.

    October 24, 2007 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  19. Riggs, Lyons NY

    Norman, sounds like you are talking about the Democratic party.

    Its funny to hear about fear mongering from any Lib.(Especially Bill Burton)... A group of people that throw Global Warming and Socialist Health Care around so freely.

    Please make sure you attack your beloved Ted Kennedy for his mistake in 2005.

    October 24, 2007 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  20. Keith, Stuttgart, Germany

    Please don't even start to say that what Romney said was merely a slip of the tongue! He knew exactly what he was saying. America loves controversy! I mean we thrive on it, fo goodness sake! When you say the two names, there is no way you can mix them up, unless it is intentional. Ted Kennedy, and even CNN for that matter, intentionally misused the names. Why is everyone so afraid? I mean we have as much of a chance of having a African-American president, as we do of having dinner with Jesus! There is no need to bring any negative attention to this fine distinguished gentleman, ok?

    October 24, 2007 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  21. jacob,baltimore,md

    Do we need to judge a presidential candidicy based on honest mistake?

    October 24, 2007 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  22. Chris, Manchester, NH

    I hope everyone notices how this slight, human error / slip of the tongue made cnn.com front page news with the title....
    Ticker: Romney confuses Obama and Osama
    Now THAT is what is disgusting ..... Come on CNN you are better than that...don't be so blantantly obvious.

    October 24, 2007 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  23. Philip, Elkhart IN

    I remember once, around the turn of the century... and millinium we had a president who was not well spoken and made some mix-ups here and there. He turned out alright don't you think?

    Besides, these kind of things are accidental anyway. I've mixed up Osama and Obama before, along with Jesus Alou and Jesus Christ. Clinton and Biden... Joey Tribbiani and Joseph Stalin. These mistakes happen. Should we really judge a guy's ability to run a country based on a slip of the tongue?

    And hey, running a headline like this, we get a pot-shot in on Romney, AND Osbama – so everyone's happy.

    October 24, 2007 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  24. C, Sacramento, CA

    Jim, Chicago

    "Hillarious, sorry Obama but that is what 50% percent of america looks at you like, I dont but I know you will never take the whitehouse with that name, at least not any time soon."

    So...if his name was Bill, Rick, Tom, Bob, George, Brian, .... get my point?

    October 24, 2007 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  25. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    In January, CNN made the same mistake, accidentally displaying a graphic that said "Where's Obama?" during a report on bin Laden. Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy also made the same slip in a 2005 speech.

    So sheep, when your LONE network of "fair and balanced reporting" CNN and lord and savior Ted "the swimmer" Kennedy made the same mistake, it was just a mistake, but Romney does it and he is somehow satan?

    Dennis K a Democrat announced that he saw a spaceship and it observed him and then flew away, so should I then make he leap that all of you are "out of your minds"?

    October 24, 2007 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
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