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. jeb08

    You say Osama. I say Obama. Lets call the whole thing off.

    October 24, 2007 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  2. Waldo O. Chicago, IL

    He DID say "Barack Obama calling on radicals, jihadists..." So it's not a single word miscue.

    "Barack Obama" phonetically mistaken for "Osama bin Laden"?

    But supporters will buy it and opponents won't. Let a non-political like me put in his 2 cents.

    October 24, 2007 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  3. Dave

    It's not hard to make slip-ups like this, really. It's understandable. Like, the other day I meant to say "Mitt Romney" and instead I misspoke and said "laughable, duplicitous, incompetent buffoon." Natural mistake.

    October 24, 2007 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  4. dems_suck

    OMG you ignorant morons !!! He didn't confuse the two. He MISSPOKE !!! You've never done it ???

    October 24, 2007 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  5. Clay, Savannah, GA

    Holy crap, is a slip of the tongue really newsworthy material? Show me proof of an "intentional" attack and I'll listen, but given the hectic schedule of these candidates, such a slip is not so far fetched.

    Quit looking to nit pick on something so minor, and give us something newsworthy as opposed to feeding the masses that troll blogs and forums for a new conspiracy theory to spout to other government educated citizens that cannot seem to find "real" issues.

    October 24, 2007 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  6. AnaHadWolves, Philadelphia, PA, USA

    The responses from each of the Republican/Right-Wing posters here range from simply rude to arrogantly disgusting. Typical for the breed.

    After the '08 elections, I'll be eager to see how rude they are when their numbers decrease substantially in the House...the Senate...and the White House.

    "Revenge is a dish best served cold"...Khan in "StarTrek: The Wrath of Khan"

    October 24, 2007 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  7. Chad

    Seriously..whether on purpose or by accident this was bound to happen sooner or later... I know every time I heard Obama I thought of Osama.

    October 24, 2007 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  8. RB. from the bay state

    Cut him some slack.

    He's still trembling with fear over the thought of Hillary whooping the GOP's butt, his in particular.

    October 24, 2007 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  9. Mike T., Boston MA

    Can someone please tell me if we are chasing Osama or Usama? I keep seeing it spelled both ways in the news... no wonder we can't find this guy and people get it mixed up with Obama. NEWS: GET IT STRAIGHT.

    October 24, 2007 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  10. rob

    He made a mistake? Yeah...I believe that. He merely is demonstrating to the nut-jobs at the core of the party that he is willing to do ANYTHING to be elected. Since Bush Republicans value absolute lack of principles above all else, Romney is compelled to do this kind of crap.

    October 24, 2007 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  11. Rodney Dallas TX

    If you read his exact quote, he was actually saying Osama's name first but corrected himself to say Obama. Think it might have been intentional?

    October 24, 2007 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  12. Mike NC

    Well...Bush did slip "Osama" with "Saddam"

    October 24, 2007 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  13. Peterpan, (Republican voter))Houston TX

    Cheap shot Mitt, verrrrry cheap! just like the "Big Dig" materials...;-)ooops! sorry and or my bad.

    October 24, 2007 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  14. Kellie, Plano, Texas

    He did not do this in error. Give me a break. He said his full name at least twice. This was a deliberate "slip" meant to cause rumors that Barack Obama wants to unite militants around the world and to raise fears that his muslim heritage (father) will somehow impact his ability to govern.

    October 24, 2007 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  15. Wes Schenken, Sutter, California

    A mistake? Twice? Using Obama's full name? That is no mistake! Obama's next book should be called the Audacity of Republicans.

    October 24, 2007 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  16. Jason, Columbia, SC

    Wow. I cannot believe he honestly tried to call this a mistake. He was in SC. My conspiracy theory of the day: I'm guessing this was done on purpose as a subconscious stab at Barack...except for the fact that it was a seemingly blatant attempt to reinforce the "problem" that many conservative republican voters have with both Barack's name and race. I hope this is a wake up call for anyone confused enough to agree with this man's policies.

    October 24, 2007 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  17. Kim, NJ

    Mark Higuera ...a truer word has never been said. It was intentionally done to put a negative association in the "minds" of the individuals being addressed. He's a presidential candidate, with intentions of possibly leading the country, he of all people should have taken more care, to think before speaking. Who the heck is he going to defend the country from should he be elected to office? Can he even identify OSAMA?

    October 24, 2007 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  18. Norman, Livermore, CA

    What do you expect from the party tent that also embraces KKK, Neo-nazis, bigots and assorted nut cases?

    October 24, 2007 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  19. RJ, SV, AZ

    How original...I wonder if he came up with that "slip" all by his little ol' self or if his speech writers had to do it for him.

    October 24, 2007 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  20. Christine, Rochester NY

    Why is this even a news story? Haven't we all had slips of the tounge before? Whenever I speak in public, I find it hard to find the words I mean to say. I'm not an eloquent speaker. Why should we criticize people when they make a slip? Find a more meaningful story to report.

    October 24, 2007 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  21. Joe Petterson

    I like how Alex Mooney excuses this as "only a slip of the tongue."

    I can understand how saying "obama" isntead of osama *may* be a slip...but "Barack Obama" and "Osama bin Laden" do not sound very similar. Romney didn't just confuse the last names but TWICE invoked Barack's entire name. Hardly a slip IMO.

    October 24, 2007 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  22. Honestly, Tx

    Slips in 2002 or 2005 are terrible. Slips in 2007? A bit harder to understand given that Obama is much more well known today than he was two years ago. It doesn't hold water to say that others have done it. It is not credible, neither is Romney.

    October 24, 2007 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  23. Robert Cadalso NYC, NY

    Oh, it was a slip-of-the-tongue by the republican-flip-flopper-Ken Doll.

    October 24, 2007 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  24. janet,nyc,ny

    This guys always changes what he says. I won't be suprised if he looses the elections!

    October 24, 2007 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  25. Christian, Tampa FL

    Is this as much of a "mix-up" as the "Say no to Osama, Obama, and Chelsea's Moma" sign?

    What an idiot.

    October 24, 2007 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13