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. kilan davidruguez

    i have to admit i have made the same mistake few times talking about politics. i am not a democrat or a republican, heck i cant even vote as i am a foreigner, but with all due respect when you have a name like barack hussein obama!with hussein, a muslim name as a part of your name you have to expect these slip ups whether it is intended or not.
    but i hope the republicans will not use this to their advantage in the future and keep making the same "slip up" excuse. it would not be right and it would not be funny.

    October 23, 2007 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  2. Margaret Larson

    Sorry Mr Romney,

    I feel this was calculated:(planned)

    “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."

    October 23, 2007 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  3. Jim, Nashville

    Glen Beck's a Mormon too, didn't you know that?

    October 23, 2007 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  4. jer, bristol, ct

    not even news, how stupid of CNN to make something over nothing.

    October 23, 2007 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  5. Dee Anna Roberts

    We All Make Mistakes:

    Let's not be too hard on Racist Mormon Romney, oops I mean Republican Mitt Romney. That was an innocent gaffe. Sorry about that.

    I keep getting my R words and my M words confused and I will probably keep getting those words confused so long as he keeps getting Osama Bin Laden and Barack Obama confused. I can't help it. I get easily confused with all those words whenever I hear Romney talk about Osama , er , Obama. I also keep getting Romney's words confused with that of Joseph Smith so, I might not know who I'm quoting in the future either.

    So, I am just letting everyone know that in the future, if you see me refer to Republican Mitt Romney as Racist Mormon Romney, I just want you to know I am in no way trying to compare Mormons to Racists and thus Mitt because he is one......a Mormon that is. But, I'm just simply misstating on accident. Not on purpose or deliberately. Only by a slip and a gaffe. It happens. We all make mistakes and I will be making them in the future so don't get offended. I'm just a pure , well intentioned, innocent, special , loving, caring and wonderful little Christian who might share the same belief about Mormons as the majority of others in my Faith. That's all. I will mean no disrespect.

    October 23, 2007 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  6. Chris Haynes, Winston-Salem, NC

    Ignorance or planned? I wouldn't place money on that one.

    October 23, 2007 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  7. Ray, Rochester

    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.

    Hey Bill,

    I have an idea...why don't you get your candidate to come up with a plan to deal with radical Islamists that doesn't rely on a naive sense of the world? Obama is clueless when it comes to our safety. His weakness across the board can't be overcome by Oprah.

    Thank god the Dems are stupid. Nominating Hillary, with a 50% negative perception, will only hand the White House to the Republicans for another eight years.

    Get used to it Hippies.

    October 23, 2007 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  8. Joseph Carnrite

    Don't sweat it Romney! I make that slip all the time. Actually, 4-6 times a day depending upon my humour.

    October 23, 2007 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  9. Obama08, chicago, il

    That polygamist did it on purpose.

    October 23, 2007 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  10. Tom DeSalvo, PHX AZ

    I give Romney the benefit of the doubt. However, the intention does not alter the result. Regardless of whether or not this was a slip of the tongue, it still does contribute to the belief that all people with Muslim sounding names are to blame for 9/11. If this happens again, one would have to consider the Saddam / binLaden transposition.
    Why do many Americans believe Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11? How did that happen? Slips of the tongue? No, not by "slips" and we all know it.
    A survey conducted by CBS and The New York Times has revealed that nearly one out of every three Americans still believes that Saddam Hussein was personally responsible for the crimes of September 11, 2001.

    October 23, 2007 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  11. Ray, Rochester

    Why is Obama sinking in the polls faster than anyone else? This guy has gone from being neck and neck with Hillary to now trailing her by 30%. He is starting to make Edwards look good.

    The fact is that as more and more people actually listen to Obama's fluff and puff statements, voters are not impressed. Obama's open collar rap only goes so far.

    He only won the senate because his Republican opponent, who was beating him in the polls, dropped out of the race. Alan Keyes jumped in at the last minute. Obama would be a non-entity if it wasn't for that.

    Obama has milked his bumpersticker soundbites for as long as he could, nut even for liberal loons, substance must rise up at some point.

    Obama will finish third or worse in Iowa and become a fizzie as the race goes on.

    October 23, 2007 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  12. Matt, Pittsburgh Pa

    Ok, maybe it would have just been a slip if he just said Obama or Osama, but to say Barak Obama twice, I don't think so. And another thing why does Obama and Osama show up as misspelled on here?

    October 23, 2007 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  13. chuck

    i just love when people use a 9th grade word like addlepated, and then tell other people to look it up!

    October 23, 2007 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  14. Bryan, Boston

    Romney is the MAN. It is only a matter of time till he is PRESIDENT OF THE USA. He has my full support. GO MITT 2008!

    October 23, 2007 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  15. T. Dallas, Tx

    to h.t. from Ga.
    i am not a looney lib but if this neo-
    con war keeps going on. youd better hope that your grandchildren will be able to afford to eat that popcorn.
    T. Dallas, Tx

    October 23, 2007 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  16. Chad, Princeville Hawaii

    OK, you all need to calm down, it was just a slip up, if you have never mixed up 2 words in your life then fire away, otherwise take a pill laugh it off and move on. It happens. If you're all so ignorant as to say this makes someone a racist youre digging way too deep. We dont need a peanut gallery over every comment that is made. If he does loose voters over this, then obviously they need to make tighter restrictions on who votes in this country. Take a deep breath and RELAX!!!

    October 23, 2007 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  17. Jerry, LA, Ca

    Yeah right, let's vote for a guy who can't even speak.

    October 23, 2007 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  18. DIANA, RANCHO MIRAGE CA

    IF YOU DON'T THINK THIS WAS A PURPOSEFUL MISTAKE YOU ARE ALL WRONG. I AM NOT A BARACK OBAMA FAN IN FACT THERE IS NO ONE RUNNING THAT I WOULD WANT IN OFFICE. WE ALWAYS FIND OUT LATER THEY ARE LIARS. "YES" LOU DOBBS AND JACK CAFFERTY. BUT GLEN BECK? WHAT ARE YOU SMOKING. "ARE MORMONS CHRISTIAN OR ARE SOMEWHAT SCIENTOLOGIST" JUST ANOTHER CULT IN MY BOOK.

    October 23, 2007 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  19. Val Davydov, Agawam, MA

    I hope Romney loses voters because of this.

    Posted By Robert Wooller Bradford England

    And why would he lose voters because of this? Because he is a human being not God or a programmed robot? Human beings are allowed to make mistakes as long as appropriate steps are taken to fix it. I think you've received more than a sufficient explanation from Romney campaign spokesman that "He [Romney] was referring to the recently released audiotape of Osama bin Laden and misspoke when referencing his name." What is so complicated to understand? Don't tell me you are perfect!

    October 23, 2007 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  20. Ramsey MItt Romney

    You know, it's about time that Mitt Ramsey Youseff stops making this mistake...I mean Barack Osama does't sound anything like Obama Mitt Laden. Oh, wait....

    October 23, 2007 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  21. downstreamjim

    Not only did Carl Rove get Gov. Romeny to make this slip up. He caused Marie Osmond to slip down.

    October 23, 2007 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  22. LM, Ardmore, OK

    Obama, Osama, can't tell the difference? Sounds like more Republican BS to me. Anyone remember the "name game" song? Bonana, fanna, fo....no name I can't rhyme? Not one of them started with O! Gotcha.

    October 23, 2007 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  23. Obidiah, Raleigh NC

    It could be a lot worse. Think if Romney was President and mixed up Iraq with Iran. Oh, wait. Maybe that explains the last four years.

    October 23, 2007 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  24. Donna, Gorham, NH

    To me, it appears it was an intentional "brief mix up." If Governor Romney was addressing Barack Obama, he would not have started with just "Obama." Barack would not address Hillary by "Clinton." I feel it was an intentional switch to get publicity and to try and compare Barack to Osama. This is just dispicable. I thank God Barack is running for President. He is the only candidate who is a uniter. Someone whom I can trust with my life.

    October 23, 2007 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  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. Kennedy did it a few times.

    He wasn't the first and he won't be the last to do it.

    Enough said, it was a mistake, next story. I would say the same thing if another candidate made the same mistake.

    And for the last time to you bigoted few that love to say Obama is a muslin, if you can't add to the dialogue like a grownup, shut up, the big people are talking.

    October 23, 2007 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
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