November 27th, 2007
02:05 PM ET
15 years ago

Talking about drug use on the trail - Obama too honest?

Mitt Romney said Saturday candidates shouldn't go into too much detail about their youthful indiscretions.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Does a good role model talk about using illegal drugs?

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama started the debate when he admitted to a high school audience in New Hampshire that he had experimented with drugs while he was in high school.

"There were times when I got into drinking, experimenting with drugs. There was a stretch of time where I did not really apply myself," Obama said.

He added that when he left for college he realized he wasted a lot of time using drugs.

"It's not something I'm proud of," Obama said. "It was a mistake as a young man."

What a change from Bill Clinton's 1992 admission that he had smoked marijuana a time or two and didn't like it. "And I didn't inhale and didn't try it again."

Full story

- CNN's Carol Costello

soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. Len, sparks Nv

    Yes, for the Republicans it is always don't ask, don't tell. Isn't it better to just deal with it and move on?

    November 26, 2007 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  2. Aaron Smithsburg, Maryland

    Mitt might not of inhaled but someone was definitely blowing smoke up his *ss. What were his youthful indiscretions: cocaine driven polygamist orgies or maybe he was a communist like half of these conservative republicans.

    November 26, 2007 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  3. Lee, Mays Landing NJ

    Pretty simple, just tell the plain truth and don't be pontificating like Mitt Romney.

    November 26, 2007 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  4. Mike, Los angeles, CA

    Not taking a look at things isn't a way to solve them... That's like saying that we the American people are better off being uninformed about the candidates... If the questionis posed,it should be answered, not pushed under the carpet... At least Obama is honest.

    November 26, 2007 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  5. richard,Derry, NH

    It is really good to see Mitt Romney getting nervous of Obama. I think he is paddling on something that came and went. Stop getting nervous mitt, you can not catch up with the guy. He is showing you dust!

    November 26, 2007 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  6. Richie, boston,ma

    Stop being nervous brother. He is winning and he is bringing big guns like Oprah. Go home Mitt, it is over!

    November 26, 2007 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  7. Mark, Sacramento, Calif.

    Way to keep this story in the news to the benefit of Hillary...CNN is truly the Clinton News Network. I feel guilty coming here and giving the site a page view which in turn becomes revenue so the Clinton News Network can continue to shill for Hill. Oh well, it's like a carwreck. I just have to look anyway. Has anyone asked Hillary is she inhaled? Does anyone care unless she's inhaling now? Nope, time to move on CNN. But one final shot at Romney. It's just like a Republican to advocate for anything other than full disclosure. Mitt, the truth can never hurt you. Well, there is this truth – YOU WILL NOT BE PRESIDENT!

    November 26, 2007 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  8. Mamoon Yunus, Boston, MA

    I agree with Mitt Romney – especially since I like to hide my past and not use it as a lesson for myself and others.

    Let’s get real and honest for a change. What better way to tell your children that I have done this, it was a mistake, it’s not worth it, don't waste time with it rather than some self-righteous way that makes them shut their ears and consider you a hypocrite. It’s not necessary to share too much detail, just enough to keep it honest.

    November 26, 2007 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  9. RevRayGreen Google Me Iowa

    when it comes to marijuana, the Government has been lying to us since 1937. Until those suffering from a condition known as 'reefer blindness' are out of office, injustice will continue to be served on a daily basis.

    The truth is a better place to start.

    November 26, 2007 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  10. Tiffany,charleston,s.c

    Can someone imagine if the Brothel is fund raising for Obama. This country is something when it comes to discrimination. I am for Obama. Mitt you better get it! You are a flip flopper and you costed massachusetts so much!

    November 26, 2007 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  11. Wade, Spokane Washington

    Mitt Romney seems more Presidential every day and clearly fit for office. The side show the democrats are putting on is a non-starter. The Liberal media trys to play up the democratic race as exciting but nobody is getting excited about who is going to lose to the Repulicans again.

    November 26, 2007 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  12. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Drug use on the campaign trail is inappropriate, that candidate is not qualified for the Presidential candidate because he couldn't show the example to Americans. It has a demoralizing influence upon the minds of youths too.

    November 26, 2007 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  13. "Unlikely" voter in CA

    Maybe Mitt should explain how he sold out to the people of his state during their health care reform, instead of playing up to the media about a non-story.

    Politicians who are not afraid to talk about their past, and give honest answers to serious questions... scandalous!

    November 26, 2007 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  14. AM, Des Moines, IA

    Romney shouldn't advise Obama at all. Just let Obama's inexperience and indiscretions hit him in the face. That should let the next republican nominee to get rid of obama.

    November 26, 2007 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  15. Bob Delaware OH

    I know I shouldn't bring this up, but drugs now are funding our enemies. And look at all the ruined lives here too.
    But, I know, our society is bursting at the seams full of evil lol.

    November 26, 2007 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  16. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    If your kid was doing drugs or drinking in college most realistic parent would want to know the TRUTH. DISALUTIONED parents would be satisfied to have their kids LIE to them about taking drugs and doing alcohol. The real concern is did your kid come out of that experimental phase ok and with a good understanding that self medication /drugs is not the way to go. Looks like Obama came out that phase with his life priorities straight. The Leave it to Beaver expectation is hypocritical. As we have seen with many religious and Hard Right leaders be Outed for some of the same things they rail against publicly. Lets have some TRUTH for a while on personnel, National and International dealings.

    November 26, 2007 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  17. Alexander, Washington, D.C. USA

    Youthful indiscretions? What an sorry excuse. Romney likes to flip-flop on everything. I think sniffed a few paint chips with GW back in the day... and he's just not comfortable people knowing about it.

    November 26, 2007 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  18. Jaik , chicago, IL

    Its just a matter of whether or not you want honest politicians who speak directly and apologise for their mistakes, or if you want schemers who lie and doge to save face like Bush Jr with his coke habit and WMD debacles or Clinton with his pot smoking and personal affairs. You can find out if you deserve honest politicians with your feelings on this issue.

    November 26, 2007 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  19. Juanito, Washington, DC

    CNN...let this story go...sheesh.

    November 26, 2007 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  20. Lance in Monrovia, ca

    What is appropriate is good taste, honesty, complete transparency. It takes true courage to be honest with the American people about both your successes and your mistakes.

    Barack Obama is the only candidate to show such qualities, which is a good reason that I support him.

    November 27, 2007 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  21. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    I disagree with Mr. Romney. If you know you have used illegal drugs in the past–and others also know. It is wise to address the issues and clear the air at the outstart. Later on–if the dirt is shoveled up by a rival (which is highly likely)you may lose credibility with voters by being seen as having tried to hide the bad behavior. I think he did the right thing. I just wonder how many other candidates have the same fortitude?

    November 27, 2007 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  22. Simon J, Baltimore, md

    Why so you can slap them in the face with it when the election get going? Its hard to say you have dirt on a candidtate when he's already written a book about all his dirt

    November 27, 2007 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  23. Michael, Columbus, IN

    Hey, Mitt, you're right. Why should candidates be honest? We need more secrecy and lawyer language in Washington.

    I suppose you'll be hearing from the Drug Free America campaign, as every commercial they run on tv has to do wtih being upfront and open when talking about drugs with our kids.

    Let's follow your plan, though, and see how it works. Let's not talk openingly about mistakes and learning opportunities so that our kids make the same ones we did.


    November 27, 2007 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  24. Ted, Cleveland, Ohio

    "You see kids, Joseph Smith, our great prophet, who founded the mormon religion stated that drugs were bad, dont do drugs....ok?" Joseph Smith said that an 1823 visitation from a resurrected prophet named Moroni led to his finding and unearthing (in 1827) a long-buried book, inscribed on metal leaves, which contained a record of God's dealings with the ancient Israelite inhabitants of the Americas (Ha....that part is absurd....native americans were israelites!!!!). Smith reported to a few family members and colleagues including Harris that he had translated some of the Reformed Egyptian text from the Golden plates (which he discovered close to his home in New York).

    Smith stated that he translated the Book of Abraham from papyrus rolls, although these hieroglyphics were not able to be translated at the time until the discovery of the Rosetta stone. Egyptologists have pointed out that Smith's purported translation is not, in fact, a translation. Dr. Archibald Sayce noted, "It is difficult to deal seriously with Joseph Smith's impudent fraud....Smith has turned the Goddess [Isis] into a king and Osiris into Abraham." James H. Breasted, Ph.D. wrote, "To sum up, then, these three fac-similies of Egyptian documents in the 'Pearl of Great Price' depict the most common objects in the mortuary religion of Egypt. Joseph Smith's interpretations of them as part of a unique revelation through Abraham, therefore, very clearly demonstrates that he was totally unacquainted with the significance of these documents and absolutely ignorant of the simplest facts of Egyptian Writing and civilization." Dr. Arthur C. Mace, assistant curator of the Department of Egyptian Art of the Metropolitan Museum of Art wrote, "The 'Book of Abraham,' it is hardly necessary to say, is a pure fabrication....Joseph Smith's interpretation of these cuts is a farrago of nonsense from beginning to end." Samuel Alfred Brown Mercer, Ph. D., of the Western Theological Seminary, and author of an Egyptian grammar, stated, "[Smith] knew neither the Egyptian language nor the meaning of the most commonplace Egyptian figures....the explanatory notes to his fac-similes cannot be taken seriously by any scholar, as they seem to be undoubtedly the work of pure imagination".

    I think Romney must have smoked crack to belive these things!

    November 27, 2007 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  25. AJ, IL

    This the reason Mitt will never get my vote. Whatever happened to being honest and transparent in our lives let alone public lives. I want a President that represents America with all of its greatness as well as its flaws. There is a reason Mitt defends George W. Bush's relunctantly to discuss his past mistakes. Could it be that Mitt has some past skeleton bones he doesn't want to fly out of his mouth?

    November 27, 2007 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
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