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. Monica, Statesboro Georgia

    This was no mistake, he made a slip you like this before on a talk show. Plus like some others have said he used his full name instead of just obama. He knew exactly what he was doing.

    October 24, 2007 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  2. M A Denver, CO

    This is a fine example of the fact Romney is out of touch, and unintelligent. He can't event get simple names straight, how could he lead possibly our country effectively? Moron. PS, I'm NOT a Obama supporter either, nor a liberal. I'm educated on candidates name, obviously more so than Miss; I mean Mitt.

    October 24, 2007 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  3. Jim Bremer

    Is Barack Hussein Osama a Muslim ? It appears so. Osama supporters will vehemently deny that but the fact is his middle name is Hussein and he keeps it.

    If you were to change your name from John Smith to John AYATOLLAH Smith, people would (rightly) assume you were Muslim.

    By itself that is not a problem. Here in America you can be anyone and still succeed.

    What is amazing and comical is the attempts of Osama supporters in trying to hide his middle name. Why are you trying to prevent people from knowing the truth ? People should know they are voting for a Hussein.

    October 24, 2007 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. Sarah Hayes, Florissant, MO

    Nice slip-up, Mitt! 😀 To be fair, people have been confusing 'Obama' and 'Osama' since he ran for office in Illinois. It's not a partisan or race issue; it's a pronunciation issue.

    October 24, 2007 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. taylor, lubbock, texas

    I’m an independent. I vote based upon a person and principles I hold. I love America and that is why I’m writing. All Republican party members listen carefully. There is only one candidate I would vote for on your side right now. Mitt Romney. If you put up anyone else you’re done. He is your only real candidate. I know Mormonism is weird but get over it. Bigotry never wins. It wrong and no Democrat would ever dare to look like one. I want someone that can fix America’s bureaucracy and the only one with proven ability on both sides is Gov. Romney. You have the best Champion I ever seen. His record, education, wisdom, foresight, experience, abilities, personality are all amazing. I’ve heard him speak and he lights a fire in my belly and a desire in my heart for America. But, if you choose someone else that is okay I’ll vote for Hilary or Barrack. Hope the information is helpful.

    October 24, 2007 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  6. Jim Chicago

    That was hardly a slip of the tongue, he said the man's first and last names!! Ok, I get that Obama and Osama are VERY similar, but Barack Obama does not sound like Osama Bin Laden.

    October 24, 2007 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  7. Matthew Passaro, Plainville, MA.

    Former Gov. Mitt Romney should apologize to Sen. Obama for his insensitive remarks. He did not misspeak, it was an intentional shot at the Senator. I am deeply disturbed by the Governor, and his apparent lack of respect for this country. Romney is not fit to lead this country.

    October 24, 2007 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  8. pat huntington ny

    One of MANY reasons NOT to vote for Romney.

    October 24, 2007 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  9. Cable King Pittsburgh PA

    Romney doesn't give a rat's behind about Obama or Osama. So, what's the difference – Obama yo Mama.

    October 24, 2007 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  10. John Adkisson, Sacramento, California

    As reflected in the blog comments, it is difficult to believe that such a name mangling is anything but deliberate. But even if the slip were of a "freudian" variety - it still reflects the semi-conscious mindset of a country still willing to use name-calling, skin color, and ethnicity - as fodder for sophomoric humor.

    I have seen this from the Hillary Clinton campaign, and, more often from the republican party. Romney comes from a tradition of morality and respect - where did it go when he entered politics?

    October 24, 2007 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  11. Corbett, Seattle WA

    My god 200 comments over the political equivalent of a fart joke. We suck.

    October 24, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Wow that's just stupid. How do you say the right name first, then correct yourself into saying the wrong name?

    It's either intentional, which is very deceptive or unintentional, which is incredibly stupid.

    Either way, he shouldn't be President.

    October 24, 2007 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  13. Michael, Boston, MA

    Mitt Romney is a lying carpet-bagger who will say anything to get himself elected. I live in MA and as our governor he was completly useless for 4 years. He only used his position to further his path to the presidency... he did nothing for our state. He claims to have lowered taxes but instead increased license fees by almost 4 billion dollars He was for gays then... now... nah!

    Obama is just as bad. Here's a guy who promised to serve his full term as senator when elected. That was until his ego and head got so fat that he actually started believeing he is experienced enough to be president without getting any experience at all.

    And why does everyone keep referring to him as black or "african-american". His mother is white. He is what used to be called mulatto or colored. Obviously he has no respect for his mothers contribution to his makeup and he's as ashamed to be white as he is proud to be black. In truth he's neither... but it sure is helpful to be black at times ain't it all? Just as long as he doesn't have to live with them or hang around where they actually live being black can be quite handy

    October 24, 2007 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  14. Uzoma, New York City, NY

    "In January, CNN made the same mistake, accidentally displaying a graphic that said "Where's Obama?" during a report on bin Laden."

    Hahahaha! Accident?? Yeah right! We know you a little better than that. Nice try.

    October 24, 2007 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. Riggs, Lyons NY

    To comment on something I read earlier, no, no one impeached Bill Clinton for a slip of tongue. Lying about sexual relations and saying a name incorrectly are quite different. This is something that happens quite a bit. It happens in the news, in the white house, at schools, on the radio. If this were the other way around, no one would say anything.

    For some reason I see a lot of Libs in here twisting this and saying this is hate speak and such. It makes me think that we have gotten so censor happy and try to be so PC that we cannot even try to understand meanings or context. Stop playing the victim all the time and find an intelligent topic to discuss.

    October 24, 2007 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  16. New york

    yes all the the racist got old and started hiding there true feelings some passed that rascist gene to there kids the other half of u.s is living in the closet wake up people the black kennedy is comming to office viva obama haters

    October 24, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  17. ray, madison, wi

    For those of you who have been bamboozled by Romney, the racist, Mormons are NOT Christians. They don't believe in the Trinity, they believe they can become gods, and they believe that God was a man, before becoming a God (and I don't mean as Jesus). Will someone have the nerve to ask Romney about the planet Kolob? Christians should be appalled that they are mentioned in the same breath.

    October 24, 2007 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  18. Daniel O

    This a CNN-Romney thing. And they will be back at it again and again. It didnt stick when CNN made the first calculated slip up and it wont stick now that they have found another way to bring it up. Any "issues" for discussion CNN??

    October 24, 2007 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. Jr, Sacramento, CA

    From this day forth, the public shall address me as "Richard Milhouse Smith". There, does that help? LOL!!!

    Barack Obama "08"

    October 24, 2007 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. Jim Bremer

    Jim Bremer…you are a disgrace to our great country! Un-American as can be!

    Posted By Evan Esteves, Boca Raton, FL : October 23, 2007 10:04 pm
    Evan Esteves, I am crestfallen that you think I am a disgrace to your great country. However, I am puzzled why I would be a disgrace to Cuba. Please enlighten us before you start swimming back.

    October 24, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  21. Sam, Bako, CA

    He did it on purpose. People want to associate Obama with Osama, just so they can put fear in people. Dont fall for it. Obama for President.

    October 24, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  22. Steve, Lyons, CO

    Slip, my ass. Maybe Obama should start "accidentally" using an "S" instead of a "M" for Mitt.

    October 24, 2007 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  23. rob

    Didn't Mittens get the memo? All the second stringers are supposed to be attacking Hillary now, and closing ranks behind Rudy.

    October 24, 2007 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  24. Evan Esteves, Boca Raton, FL

    Hey Jim you racist fool! I'm not Cuban...but you sure did show us all your true racist colors! 😉

    October 24, 2007 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. Moon Pie


    October 24, 2007 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13