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. Pickles, Monaca, PA

    I don't believe that Romney misspoke. I think that he intentionally said this as a dig at Obama. The fact that he used his first name (as quoted by the CNN article) only adds to my conviction that this was purposeful.

    Shame on you, Romney. Although you Republicans might have forgotten the REAL Osama bin Laden, he has been on the minds of MOST Americans since 9/11.

    October 24, 2007 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  2. Karen,nj

    Mike in Ohio. Obama is,was and always will be a muslim. No way in heck will that man get in. Futhermore he is always comparing himself to other infamous people. Abraham Lincoln, he's on the penny. He walked miles to school and wrote with coal on a shovel. He got shot in the back of the head while in a movie theatre. He "signed" some old paper freeing the slaves which the plantation owners down south didn't pay any attention to. Get your facts straight!

    October 24, 2007 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  3. Brian, Decatur, GA

    Looks like another Republican right wing nut job can't keep his thoughts straight. Someone who does not know the difference between a terrorist and a United States Senator certainly does not need to be running for president let alone elected as one. This guy is a joke, he switches positions more often than most people change their socks. What a loser.

    October 24, 2007 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  4. Rick Brentwood, Ca

    We are suppose to love thy neighbor but politics make that sooo hard when the decisions of certain people lead to other people dying. I dont care if Obama were "orange"- If he could save lives and help put this country or world for that matter- in a better place, I'm all for him. He appears to be the less greedy of them all!Untouched by the schemes and scams of politics.Republicans like this moron Romney deserve to all be banned from politics. After-all the undertone has already been made.

    October 24, 2007 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  5. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    I completely sympathize with Mitt; I always accidentally say 'fifteen-watt lightbulb' instead of 'Mitt.' We all have words we trip over, like 'apologize' and 'retract.' Neither Ted Kennedy or the CNN graphics desk are running for president, either.

    October 24, 2007 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  6. John C Marietta, GA

    We already have a president that pushes on Pull doors; givens unwarranted back rubs to foreign dignitaries, and "Misspeaks" more often than all past presidents combined. We already look like fools to the rest of the world. If we are ever going to clean up this GOP mess, we need some one who is sharp enough not to make mistakes like this. Hopefully the next president will be meeting and talking with lots of people with Middle eastern names. It will be important that he be able to at least get their names right. Clearly Mitt is not up to that task either.

    October 24, 2007 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  7. Greg, NY, NY

    I don't understand at all how a name could influence anyone not to vote.

    You people throw around 'Barack Hussein Obama' like it's a bad thing.

    The founding fathers hated King George, yet they elected George Washington as their first president. They were able to see the issues, not the name. Have we really become that shallow?

    October 24, 2007 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  8. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    "“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."
    Mitt did NOT just mix Obama and Osama. Mitt said Barack Obama in his text TWICE!
    This was NOT a slip. It is the beginning of Rep Attacks. Barack Obama just raised 2.1 MILLION dollars in 2 days form his followers. Obama got their attention and their practicing slime attacks earlier then planned.

    October 24, 2007 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  9. RPM, Dallas, TX


    October 24, 2007 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  10. JB Boston MA

    Truthfully, Romney is a nice person, and I highly doubt that he did this intentionally. He is a good man. I am by no means saying a good man deserves the presidency. But don't go attacking a man for a slip of the tongue.

    October 24, 2007 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The multiple slips of Mitt Romney could be seen as his attempt to equate Senator Obama with the terrorist leader. I wonder when someone will say, "That Gitt Romney is doing a heck of a job."

    October 24, 2007 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  12. Rob, ATL, GA

    BS! It was never a mix up. I'm not a "Obama" support but still, it was purposely done.

    October 24, 2007 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  13. Retiree Chicago, Il

    It is very interesting and sad that some contributors on this list are not aware of the Roger Ailes types of ads during the campaigns of the 1980s. His attack ads used the technique of name calling to the most gross degree. The folks at Fox News have also "slipped" and called Obama "Osama". Ailes is their boss. Romney is merely following a typical Ailes technique.

    October 24, 2007 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  14. Cassandra Buchwald, Thurmont, MD

    An honest mistake, I'm sure. In fact, just the other day, I called my Husband, "Hitler".

    October 24, 2007 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  15. Gabriel

    They're not "muslim" names. They're Arabic names. The uneducated and ignorant conflate the two all the time. Barack Obama is neither muslim, nor Arab. And, for the record, there are Christian Arabs.

    October 24, 2007 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  16. Tzipora Cedar Park, TX

    SLIP? Yeah! Sure! It was intentional. Romney will say and do anything to endear himself to the rightwingnuts!

    October 24, 2007 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  17. Rod, Shelton Connecticut

    Romney simply misspoke when he called Osama Obama, but calling Iraq the central front in the war on terror is not logical. Terror has no front; it is a battle of minds and ideology. The countries war machine, the military industrial complex, wants us to pursue a “Redcoat strategy” war in Iraq, and it is money, lots of it in their pockets. Again, terrorism has no fronts. There are far more potential Islamic terrorists in Europe, living amongst the population than in Iraq. Will the Pentagon’s next move be to invade Europe?

    October 24, 2007 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  18. Martin Hudson, Olympia, WA

    Anyone who believes Romnney's so-called confusion over Obama's name versus Osama is either a blind right wing Republican or just plain ignorant. If this idiot cannot get a name straight then what kind of a jerk would he be as President?

    October 24, 2007 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  19. Howard, Huntington, NY

    So either Mitt Romney has the speaking skills of Bush, or he's intentionally trying to associate Obama with terrorism. And seriously, if there's going to be one candidate whose name gets mocked, who the hell names their kid after a piece of baseball equipment?

    October 24, 2007 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  20. J. Crobuzon

    I always confuse 'Mitt Romney' and 'Rob Zombie.'

    In fact, have you ever seen the two of them together?

    October 24, 2007 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  21. Concerned Virginian

    Being a liberal minded person doesn't mean you are a nutjob. A nutjob is someone who is crazy. How does liberal make you any crazier than being a conservative? What poor use of logic and it reflects the level of education in this country.

    Mitt Romney did not make a slip of the tongue. It was an intentional act. It reflects poorly on him. If I were him I would try to be different and have some sense of character instead of using dirty ways of undermining opponents.

    The thing that is most curious to me is why are the political party primaries so important to the candidates and media this time? With all the coverage, you'd think we were covering the Presidential race but this isn't the Presidential race.

    The issues of liberty and the pursuit of happiness are on the chopping block. And yes, I am liberal with Jeffersonian ideals (with the exception of isolationist policies). I am tired of our freedoms being infringed upon.

    Another scary thing is being a Republican used to mean the desire for less government involvement in people's lives. However, Republicans seem to have no problem with throwing away our freedoms and in fact want to modify our Constitution to support prejudicial and manipulative behavior. Shame on these people!

    Lastly, I agree with the woman about Lou Dobbs for President. He's a man with some sense!

    October 24, 2007 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  22. 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.

    October 24, 2007 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  23. Mike, Naperville, IL

    This is an unacceptable comment. How can he mix up names like that. If he cant remember a presidential candidates name, how can he be President?

    October 24, 2007 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  24. Neal, Blacksburg VA

    "Hahaha who cares it was just a slip up, but I can't help but say… Where are those magical mormon underwear now Romney?"

    Sam, what kind of pervert are you that you feel the need to discuss a man's underwear in a national political forum?

    October 24, 2007 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  25. Isabel, San Antonio, TX

    For everyone trying to give Romney the benefit of the doubt, his comment started with, "Actually, just look at what Osama — Barack Obama said just yesterday." He said the right name the first time. He just tried to back track to get Obama's name next to his comment about jihadists. Good try, Romney, but you ended up looking more like an idiot than someone who "slipped up."

    October 24, 2007 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
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