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. Silverspoon, lilburn, GA

    Well, what a moron, oops mormon to lead this country in the delicate foreign policy whose number one priority is to get Osama

    October 23, 2007 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  2. evan, nyc, ny

    People saying this is no big deal, and a simple mix up should re-read the article.

    He began to say Osama, paused, and then continued with Barack Obama. It doesnt seem acccidental when someone gets it right first, and then corrects themselves incorrectly. And then he uses it AGAIN, fluidly, his full name again for christ's sake, and uses it in perfect Osama Bin Laden context. This is no accident people. A slip up could happen, it certainly has and will, but not like this– maybe if he was only using the last names i could understand a "mix-up". However, he said "Barack Obama calling on radicals , jihadists, etc, etc.." after he interjected Barack Obama when he was already mid 'Osama' SO i just dont really buy this was an accident, and people should think about this critically and connect the dots..

    Not like it matters though, Thanks God, bc he isnt going anywhere ever again in politics. The guy has no class, no poll numbers, and if from anyplace other than New England would not be raising any money.

    October 23, 2007 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  3. mountain man Longmont, CO

    I guess Obama wont bring people together if they get his name wrong. It is a pretty common mistake and Obama's respone is way over the top. How's he going to bridge the gap with attacks like this?

    October 23, 2007 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  4. Ronnie.Irving,Texas

    I didn't know Mitty was funny?! Obama is a fool,Like Mitty.

    October 23, 2007 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  5. Evan Esteves, Boca Raton, FL

    LOL The Mitt "Twits" came out of the gate SWINGING on this one!!!! Good job guys 😉 You all have a lot of class...just like your candidate...ummm...yeah!

    October 23, 2007 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  6. Evan Esteves, Boca Raton, FL

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

    October 23, 2007 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  7. Jeff Lorton, VA

    dude, I can mess up with my words..or you. but not the someone that wants to become President of the most powerful country in the world.

    I know he is only human, but who can argue we need someone to fix our problems that is ABOVE a normal.

    Anyway, im sure he didnt mean it, but he isnt doing that well to be messing up words like that.....not like he has a chance anyway.

    October 23, 2007 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  8. Kevin, SLC, UT

    I like Obama and I like Romney. They are the most positive and well spoken of the two main camps. I believe that the slip up was just that–a slip up. Besides, if the Reps actually tried to make a habit of this (like some of the right wing spammers), it would backfire on them. Romney is smart enough to know that.

    I know a lady at my work–staunch lib-who made the same slip up and didn't even seem to care. She wasn't an idiot...just human. And so is Romney.

    October 23, 2007 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  9. Raulin, Mechanicsville VA.

    Romney is a racist. The slip was intentional.

    October 23, 2007 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  10. jedi, vancouver, washington

    BARRACK HUSSEIN OBAMA = BORAT HUSSEIN OSAMA

    October 23, 2007 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  11. Jimmminy, Newton, MA

    Let's be honest, it was only a matter of time before someone did it.

    October 23, 2007 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  12. Jaik , chicago, IL

    Its not a slip of the toungue, it is a low political attack of the most pathetic childish nature, and it will work on the dumbest americans subtley. They vote apparently, look at what we have in all offices now. Romney did this for cheap press, its a stunt. Just like P-diddy pulling a gun in a club, a washed up singer pretending to pass out on a dance TV show or Guliani's obvious and poorly acted stunts with the cell phone, his poor acting skill and his hawkish lack of concern for human life are all he shares with Ronald Reagan. Thanks must go to CNN for making these dumb stunts into free publicity.

    October 23, 2007 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  13. Bill, NY NY

    Who cares what Nit Wit Romney has to say anyways?

    October 23, 2007 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  14. joslyna, Des Moines IA

    If anyone thinks the slip by Romney is ok than I guess instead of George Bush, well just call him George the Murderer!

    October 23, 2007 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  15. PENNSYLVANIA

    ok ok ok ok ok, I support OBAMA not OSAMA, but in any regard, everyone has a slip of the tongue once in a while and frankly – WHOCARES!!!

    Obama '08

    October 23, 2007 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  16. Joe, Goleta California

    Dudes! It is a simple mistake. I cant believe it doesnt happen more often. When I first heard Obama's name I was like "Dang, that sounds almost like Osama."
    Most everybody who heard Obama's name the first time must have thought something similar. Give Romney a break. Personally I dont like Romney anyway but I wouldnt judge him on a simple slip.

    October 23, 2007 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  17. erika morgan black dimond wa

    Make no mistake this name confusion was no mistake, this is a well planed, blur the distinctions, campaign to confuse the dimwitted American public.

    October 23, 2007 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  18. ton pensacola fl

    cnn sucks you guys are so bias its pathectic report the real news

    October 23, 2007 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  19. Sharon Columbus, Ohio

    I don't think it was slip. He did it to associate the two names. How sad.

    October 23, 2007 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  20. Laurence, Newport News

    People ask, "what's the big deal?" when referring to the supposed mistaking "Osama" and "Obama". How's life and death for a difference? Maybe we could find out how many of you undercover racist bigots have family members with names that could possibly be played around with? Say what!? It ain't no fun when the rabbits got the gun, now is it? Mistake...mistake my #@%!

    October 23, 2007 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  21. Ashley, Santa Rosa, CA

    it was a mistake...chill out

    October 23, 2007 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  22. Kim, Dallas, TX

    I believe God put Obama in our midst to show the judgmental nature of the population we live in. I don't fault Romney for slipping. I think that would be easy to do. I do know though that many politicians, and people on here, do use his name for smear tactics. Obama is a good person that has to work extra hard due to the red neck mentality that resides in our country.

    October 23, 2007 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  23. Sarah

    Very Christian of you, Mr. Romney.

    October 23, 2007 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  24. Disgusted, Austin, TX

    It was a slip.
    One that has been made by many.
    I am an Obama supporter, but I don't think it was some "conspiratorial" remark.
    I'm glad to see Mr Obama was mature and intellegent enough to see that it was simply a slip, and laugh it off.
    read his book "The Audacity of Hope" sometime. He mentions the slip that occurs, and makes light of it.

    October 23, 2007 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  25. Xavier, Washington DC

    This doesn't seem like a slip of the tongue. It seems as though he intentionally did it. He started to say the correct name and then stopped and said the wrong one as though he forgot that he was going to do it. Sniff, sniff, I think I smell Karl Rove in the background.

    October 24, 2007 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
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