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. alan j , westchester cty. ny

    There are some of us who never used drugs. It's not something you should be proud of if you did .

    November 27, 2007 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  2. banko

    CNN how many times are you going to run this story about OBAMA. This is real pathetic. We're fully aware of bias CNN is against OBAMA. Do you have anything else to report on OBAMA. OBAMA is a man with the highest intergrity and he represents real Americans not dubious corporations like CNN. Don't be surprise when the first votes are counted in IOWA and NH. After the humilation stay faithful to the Clintons and your name Clinton News Network.

    November 27, 2007 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  3. Borat Osama, Orlando, MI

    It is ridiculous to say that most of our youths use drugs.

    The bottom line is that Obama has lots of personal character flaws: drinking, goofing off and taking drugs in high school, lazy and stinky at home, chain smoker, and telling lies that his foreign relation experience was from years in indonesia when young.

    America does not need Obama as a leader. He has failed our youths as a role model.

    November 27, 2007 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  4. Noah, San Francisco, CA

    What a change from Bill Clinton? Isn't it possible that Clinton, like Obama, was telling the truth?

    November 27, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  5. Lance in Monrovia, CA

    And another thing, it's pretty curious that the Republican party is the party that says they shouldn't talk about drugs or about anything like that, and yet it's also the party that is continually engaged in scandals of repression.

    My advice Mitt, would be to take your dog down off the ski rack on your car, stay out of bathroom stalls at airports like Craig, stay away from House pages like Foley, stay away from drugs and hookers unlike Haggard and Vicker, stay away from the mob connections unlike Guiliani, and generally do something that will get rid of some of that Mormon repression you've been enduring for so long.

    Y'know, there really is a reason that Salt Lake City has the highest suicide rate in the country. There's also a reason that Salt Lake City also has the highest per capita of mail order porn products.

    That's the funny thing about repression, is that it comes out in very wierd ways. Like how Guiliani likes to wear a dress...

    I wonder what you're release is Mitt?

    November 27, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  6. JT, Denver

    I find it disturbing people think most American have done drugs. In fact I am average and I can honestly say that less the 10% of the people I know well have done them.

    I expect more from my leaders. I will not vote for obama, not just becuase of this, this is just one more thing to add to the list. I don't want my children thinking it is ok to use drugs because everyone else has (even the president) and you can always fix your mistakes later. No thank you.

    November 27, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  7. Diana, Detroit, Michigan

    So, only uncool kids can grow up to be President?

    November 27, 2007 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  8. Andrew, Richmond VA

    It's nice to see that the Obama campaign folks are out in force, posting for their man. Keep up the good work!

    November 27, 2007 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. Obama supporter,Iowa

    Mitt is getting nervous Parker craig is being told the truth about drug use in America. Relax mitt, gay marriage is real in America and legalized it in massachusetts. Or should we call this politics? ooooh, then Obama is playing good politics too of honest. What was the point of using the drugs anyway if wasn't not to inhale and find out how it would be like? Anyway, good luck with flip flop!
    Go Obama!

    November 27, 2007 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. Amelia P, Bloomingtin, IN

    A lot of people are saying that we should not tell our children everything, and that we are supposed to be a good role model for them. But what is a good role model? Somebody who lies? Obama was asked a question and he was honest about it. Everybody makes mistakes, and it will do no service to our children to just lie and act like those things never happened. Obama is setting an example of honesty, as well as one of learning and moving forward from his mistakes. I personally do not think he could have addressed the issue with any more poise and class than he did, regardless of the subject matter.

    November 27, 2007 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  11. Clay, Herndon, VA

    Jimenez – The point is not, 'He tried drugs' BAD BOY! No Presidency for you! The point is he is HONEST about it, and you have yet another Republican advocating LYING.

    People make mistakes, heck, our COUNTRY makes mistakes, we elected Bush not once, but TWICE! I'd rather have someone able to admit his faults, and express how he learned from them, rather than lie about it as Bush and Romney have done/advocated. Aren't you tired of your government lying to you yet?

    And to be frank, we should recognize the futility and lack of accomplishment in the 'War on Drugs'. Every year, the government crows over and over about how well it's doing, yet drugs are EASILY accessible to this day! The 'War' is UNWINNABLE, and the past 4 decades of it should prove it to you, if your mind is open enough to even consider it.

    It's about time we recognize that prohibition doesn't work, and excoriating anyone who even considers it doesn't help the situation! Drug abuse is bad, yes, drug USE is not necessarily so (though the ONDCP would have you believe they are one in the same).

    People who drink a little, not too bad, people who drink a lot, bad behavior, driving, violence etc. BAD.

    Drug USE is VERY different from ABUSE. People can learn from both. Maybe even those with closed minds can learn something too.

    November 27, 2007 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  12. Debbie Naperville Illinois

    Isn't it nice to hear a candidate talk honestly about mistakes of his/her past? How refreshing!
    We as voters need to be mature in how we view, and judge, these candidates. They are not gods or godesses–they are human beings.
    Thank you, Sen. Obama, for being honest.

    November 27, 2007 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  13. mark - pittsburgh

    How is this remaining a story? CNN is obviously for clinton. They are so desperate and pathetic that they have to keep trudging up month old stories to try to make obama look bad. God forbid someone is honest in politics.

    Shame on CNN

    November 27, 2007 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  14. Nita - SA - TX

    Obama honest? Let's get real. Oh maybe we should just ask Oprah?

    November 27, 2007 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  15. aaron norfolk va

    Obama deffinetly catches my attention and has my respect far more than Hillary does now a days. I would rather have a "normal" American in office than a religious puppet in office. A normal person in office? HA who would have thought that would ever come to be. The bad side is that now that things are out on the table people will not fabricate things just to make it juicy. I'm 32 and this is my first year voting and getting involved in politics. This country is taking a sad turn in my book.. Good luck Obama.

    November 27, 2007 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  16. Arjay, Bayport, New York

    I applaud his candor and honesty and I look forward to seeing more of it in Washington – If Mitt has a problem with it, then I have aproblem with Mitt

    November 27, 2007 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  17. Ghostface

    America will only get better, I wonder why you guys can't see this.

    Put the Clintons back in the white house and we'll make more 'adult movies' starring mr. Bill!

    Put the republicans back and we'll go around the world and mess with more people like we are doing in Iraq

    put Obama and we'll work hard and if we 'feel real tense', we'll just 'smoke that joint'..just one or two!
    Its a win-win situation folks!

    November 27, 2007 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  18. T Pipe Owosso MI

    The rest of the Dems must be great candidates, not a one of them is saying much about Obama's use of drugs. Maybe they just don't want to have to give any answer? Maybe Hillary is waiting on the polling before getting involved.

    November 27, 2007 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  19. Dj Basu

    he puffed and passed it to the left hand side! lol. so what's the big deal? he was young and stupid and learnt from his mistakes. no man or woman is perfect...except Jesus, Muhammad and the Dalai Lama.

    November 27, 2007 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. Mark Cross Junction VA

    Nice to know the morals of a presidential canditate is that of a crack head on the street. Great black role model sneaking around the corner to buy a 50cent piece or a 1/4 ounce bag. Well I guess if he is elected by you idiots, he won't have far to score living in D.C.

    November 27, 2007 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  21. Jenn, SLC, UT

    We should be thrilled to have a candidate that is honest and forth coming with his past mistakes. I think he stated his comments appropriately for that specific crowd. Every role model has past mistakes, it's when we put people on a perfect pedestal that they fall...and fall hard.

    November 27, 2007 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  22. Ruth Perez, Tucson, AZ

    Obama seemed to be bragging about his use of drugs to attract young voters, i think it was a bad idea to bring it up the way he did. he could have said he used drugs and regretted it, but not the way he did it. we don't want to make it seem like drugs are ok. see i am doing great now.

    November 27, 2007 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  23. Herb, Pittsburgh, PA

    That's OK, Jimenez. Keep thinking that way. I just happen to side with Monica on this one.

    I fail to understand why illegal substances are demonized when we have so many people in this country popping pills for depression. Why? Because they can't deal with the ordinary setbacks of life without a "mother's little helper."

    Just because it's legal doesn't make it moral. Just because it's illegal doesn't make it immoral. Laws are made by men - powerful men with special interests in keeping things the way they want them to be.

    November 27, 2007 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  24. Butter Apex, NC

    How can you be TOO honest?!?
    The guy is right on....

    November 27, 2007 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. L, Lake Geneva, Wi

    Let's think back to a different age, when parents were respected by children for keeping them safe from things they just didn't need to know. A time when people may have done occasional drugs, but didn't blather on about it. Today's parents with their complete and brutal honesty sure have produced a stellar crop of young people. (insert sarcasm here, for those who don't get it) American children are among the poorest performers in school in the world, have a sense of entitlement that is absolutely remarkable and are more violent than ever before in history. Nice job, folks.

    November 27, 2007 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8