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. rita,nyc,ny

    I only see this guys mouth moving so fast but I don't think he takes time to think what he is about to say. No wonder you made that honest mistake!
    By the way what do mormon preach, Hate message?

    October 24, 2007 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  2. M. Brathwaite , Virgin Islands

    Here is what I think.

    America is a very racist Country, The media has been strategically tearing apart the Barack Obama campaign for President.

    They have promoted stupid questions such as "is Obama Black enough?", when as a man with a white mother they really should be asking "IS BARACK OBAMA WHITE ENOUGH?" TO BE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

    The meticulous suttle way the media is discrediting Obama's campaign is shameful and speaks to the mythe of a democracy in the self portrayed leader of the free world. Get the Coronation flowers for Clinton that is who the media wants even though Obama is the best hope for change.

    October 24, 2007 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  3. joseph, austin, tx

    Isn't it amazing that when us liberals tell the truth about conservatives, other conservatives consider it an attack????

    Posted By Wayne, Greenville TX : October 24, 2007 8:15 am

    you got me there wayne, you are right, by the way have you read what is being said. because he isnt a lib, his slip of the tounge is now an insight into how racist he is. very logical conclusion especially comming from the left. Sorry if I upset you though, I just feal real exposed now.

    October 24, 2007 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  4. Erica, Madison, Wisc.

    Speaking of well, misspeaking... what about misposting an incorrect link to Hillary Clinton's bio instead of Obama's in this story?

    October 24, 2007 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  5. RICH,NY NY

    FIRST OF ALL PEOPLE THE MAN'S NAME START WITH BARACK NOT OSAMA! IT IS KIND OF HARD TO CONFUSE "BARACK WITH OSAMA" THESE ARE THE FIRST NAMES OF THESE TWO DIFFERENT MEN AND THERE LAST NAMES ARE "OBAMA" AND "LADEN" THIS STUNT BY REPUBLICAN MITT ROMNEY IS EXACTLY WHAT POLITICANS USE TO TAKE THE PUBLIC MIND OFF THE ISSUE'S! I THINK IT'S CALLED PULLING A RED HEARING! THESE ARE THE FACTS THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION GREED FOR MONEY AND POWER HAS MADE THIS COUNTRY THE MOST HATED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD! WE ARE IN DEBT TO CHINA FOR ALMOST A TRILLION DOLLARS- THE WAR ON IRAQ IS COSTING NEAR A HALF A BILLION DOLLARS OR MORE-ALMOST 4,000 THOUSAND AMERICAN SOLIDERS HAVE DIED-NEARLY 40,OOO THOUSAND ARE MAMED FOR LIFE WITH NO ARMS! NO HANDS! NO LEGS! AND SUFFERING LOST OF SITE OR HEARING AND MENTAL DEPRESSION!-THE HOUSING MARKET CRASHED-THERE IS NO HEALTH CARE PLAN FOR MILLIONS OF AMERICAN CHILDREN-NO HOMELAND SECURITY-NO IMMIGRATION BILL IN PLACE THAT IS WORKING!- AND CLIMATE CHANGE IS BEING PUT ON THE BACK BURNER BECAUSE OF RICH OIL AND COAL COMPANIES WHO HAS BEEN BUYING DEMS AND REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN AND SENATORS SILENCE ON THE ISSUE! SO THE ONLY THING THESE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES CAN TALK ABOUT IS "BARACK OBAMA" NAME IS CLOSELY SIMILAR TO "OSAMA BIN LADEN"???????????????

    October 24, 2007 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  6. Paul, Tampa, FL

    Didn't the Republicans impeach Bill Clinton for just a slip of the tongue?

    October 24, 2007 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  7. Bart Raleigh, NC

    So Romney misspoke. Haven't we had enough of that already with the bumbling moron currently in office. It still amazes me that about half the country can speak publicly better than our president – how sad!

    October 24, 2007 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  8. Alex Brooklyn, NY

    Maybe it takes an Obama to finally find an Osama. Bush's and Clinton's don't have a good history of that.

    October 24, 2007 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  9. Doug, Houston, TX

    The first thing I ever thought about when I saw Obama... was Osama... I don't think it's a big deal. "Apparently" Osama... I mean Obama, will have some prejudices if he runs for president based on his name and race. Not that it is right, it just will happen. I think Hillary will get the Dem. nomination and face off against Giuliani. Which is a win-win for Democrats... Giuliani is far from the traditional conservative Republican. Being a Republican that's what I see happening... The outcome either way will be in favor of the Democrats this time.

    October 24, 2007 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  10. Daniel

    In a HUGE blow to Senate Democrats, Bob Kerrey announced he would NOT run for Senate in Nebraska.

    October 24, 2007 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  11. Bill Johnson

    Who cares? That's what you have to deal with when your name is one letter away from Osama. Im sure presidential candidate Hatler and Stelin would have the same problems.

    October 24, 2007 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  12. Joe Ossai, Bedford, NH

    Romney is as phoney as a $3 bill

    October 24, 2007 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  13. jose,las angelas ca

    Another ann coulter and republicans!
    These people speading hate message should go!

    October 24, 2007 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  14. Kim, ATLANTA

    People can be such rednecks, if Senator Obama was raised by his "WHITE" momma from Kansas, why would she raise him to be Muslim?? She gave him the name in honor of his African roots from his absent African father. Read his book, folks. John Edwards has limited experience also, but everyone always speaks of Senator Obama's lack of experience first. I challenge white people who say that they are not prejudice to vote for Barack Obama.

    October 24, 2007 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  15. Shawnie Cannon, Grants Pass OR

    You can tell the guy is on top and a front-runner, they're hanging on his every word, even when he corrects himself.

    And Obama gets indignant and retaliatory over everything. "Fire this guy, Axe that one." Good grief!

    October 24, 2007 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  16. Mr. B

    If this Romney guys is so darn smart, then it would not matter if he were tired he would never make such a mistake. This shows that he is not trying to unite people. He is trying to divide and therefore he too, must be stopped. Do people only vote republican because they think it represents white power?? And they think Dems are for minorities?? Cause it can't be Abortions only, cause BUSH has yet to stop that, so it must be a black, white, Hispanic thing?? Someone please answer this one????????????

    October 24, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  17. Timothy - Brooklyn, NY

    The American people should be used to slip ups like this after the last 8 years. If anything, it pales in comparison to some of the pearls that have flown out of the mouth of W.

    October 24, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  18. Charlie, Atlanta

    For the record, I can't stand Obama. More hot air and empty promises, just like all of the other "candidates"... so what else is new.

    That being said, if it was Bush giving the speech rather than Rumsfeld, oops, I mean Romney, I could believe that it was unintentional.

    More pandering to idiots.

    October 24, 2007 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  19. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    Dear CENSORED, CNN takes comments down for review, then puts them back up. Don't censor yourself.

    October 24, 2007 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    It's only natural – I tried to say Mitt was a Mormon the other day but accidentally said he was a moron.

    . . . oh, all right, it wasn't really an accident. It was a "brief mix up."

    October 24, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  21. jane, columbus,ohio

    I, guess someone should ask Romney "if all guys named Osama are terriorts, than is it true that all mormons believes in plural marriages?

    October 24, 2007 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  22. Jason, SeaTac, WA

    What do you expect, with a name like Obama, and in these times, Osama being a houshold name. Nobody should take this too seriously.

    October 24, 2007 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  23. Annie, Boston, MA

    Ah phooey.

    My producing teacher did the same thing... except she referred to Obama as "Osama bin Laden". She was embarassed when she realized what she'd done. And she is neither conservative nor running for president.

    October 24, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  24. MD

    Romney is running in part on his toughness to catch Bin Laden yet he doesnt know the man he wants to catch.hahahaha

    He wants to catch a US Senator for masterminding 9/11.

    Romney for Presodent 08! hehe

    October 24, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  25. Pat, Salem VA

    How low can you go, Mitt???!!!

    October 24, 2007 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
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