January 30th, 2008
02:30 PM ET
15 years ago

Obama hints at a McCain nomination while jabbing Clinton

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/30/art.obama.ap.jpg caption=" Obama campaigned in Denver Wednesday."]DENVER, Colorado (CNN) – Whoever wins the Democratic nomination for the presidency will be battling Republican John McCain, Barack Obama implied Wednesday in Denver.

Obama also criticized opponent Hillary Clinton in the same sentence, seeming to imply that Clinton and McCain share similar positions on a variety of issues.

"It is time for new leadership that understands that the way to win a debate with John McCain or any Republican who is nominated is not by nominating someone who agreed with him on voting for the war in Iraq," Obama said, taking a swipe at Clinton's 2002 vote in favor of the Iraq war resolution.

McCain, fresh off his win in Florida Tuesday, is now being billed as the GOP frontrunner.

Obama continued the attack on Clinton, implying she also agreed with McCain when it came to giving George Bush "the benefit of the doubt on Iran," and criticizing her for "embracing the Bush-Cheney policy of not talking to leaders we don’t like."

The Illinois senator implied that he "actually differed with McCain by arguing for exceptions for torture before changing positions when the politics of the moment changed."

The Clinton campaign was quick to respond — so quick, in fact, that spokesman Phil Singer emailed a rebuttal to reporters before Obama had even delivered the comments.

Responding to what the Obama campaign sent out as remarks "prepared for delivery," Singer wrote that, with a single exception, the promotion of Gen. George Casey - the two senators have nearly-identical voting records on Iraq.

He also added that Obama is misrepresenting Clinton's position when it comes to the issues of Iran and diplomacy.

In terms of torture, Singer wrote that Obama "couldn't be more wrong." After meeting with various military officials and reading defense reports, he said, Clinton "concluded that torture cannot be part of the American policy, period."

- CNN Producer Chris Welch

soundoff (518 Responses)
  1. Makeba, Houston TX

    Hard to argue that point.
    Really hard.

    January 30, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. Sad but True

    You're either with Hillary, or you're with the terrorists.

    -Signed NOW-NY and the millions of Hillary supporters who blindly trudge after her regardless of what she says or does

    January 30, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  3. Jim ( Independent )

    Obama speaks the truth . The Republicans would have an easy walk to the White House if Clinton was to be the Democrat nominee.

    January 30, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  4. Marie

    Yes! Truth! Now, here's where Hillary supporters say: "no fair! that's bashing!" Please refer to the distinction between criticizing a candidate, in truth, for a substantive position versus falsifying a candidate's position, flip-flopping and cheating w/r/t the DNC and race-baiting.

    January 30, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. Toronto Girl

    Obama is so weak that he have to attack Hillar to make a point or to show himself up.
    All of this attack make me wish I was American to vote this election.

    January 30, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  6. Jason

    It's heating up!!!!!!

    January 30, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  7. Moses Adelante, NYC



    WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!

    January 30, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. Amanda

    Obama is without a doubt the best candidate to beat McCain because he can compete for independent votes. Hilary cannot. Conservatives and Moderates will unite against her and vote McCain in the general election. Anyone who would like to see a democrat in office would be wise to vote Obama NOW, or else risk Mr. "We'll keep the troops in Iraq for 1,000 years if necessary" win the whitehouse.

    January 30, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  9. Ben

    On a day which noteworthy candidates resign this is posted? I think CNN is great and all but I rather read about Edwards or issues.

    January 30, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  10. Casey

    I like Obama, but if he keeps this up, I will be looking for a new Veep for Hillary!

    January 30, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  11. Independent Voter

    Obama will never win, not even with the same old 'Hillary voted for the war' stories!! What a joke!

    January 30, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  12. Dave C - N.J.

    I am still begging someone to explain:

    How does Hillary have 35 yrs experience?
    How does being First Lady count for anything?
    Would she have been elected Senator if she didn't move to NY?
    Would she be in this race if not for Bill?
    Would you have even HEARD of her if not for Bill?

    I dare any of you to answer these questions.

    January 30, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  13. Steven, California

    Exactly Obama.

    The clintons have been playing the same old game of playing politics with the lives of people to fulfill their egos. Nothing original about them.

    You are certain to be the democratic nominee as people are tired of the OLD ways of washington.

    Time for change!

    January 30, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  14. Joe

    Obama, at least Clinton showed up to vote either way on the Iran issue! You decided not to show up and vote! I'm not sure, but I'd rather someone at least take a stand on the issues rather than just decide that one won't bother to vote at all.

    How ridiculous are you for even discussing the Iran bill when you didn't have the guts to show up and vote!!!! Similar to your voting pattern in Illinois.

    January 30, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  15. June (California Voter)

    Now who is making the first swipe.
    Hillary Clinton cares more about the American people and said she would get out the troops in Iraq.
    John McCain also said on CNN that is one thing that he and Hillary disagree on is the war in Iraq.

    January 30, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  16. JP

    Barack, Barack- didn't we tell you to stop saying bad things about poor little Hillary?

    You know she's going to start crying.

    January 30, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  17. Bill in Paradise Utah

    So far he has received the endorsments of almost every disfunctional politician in America.

    January 30, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  18. Letha, Sioux Falls, SD

    This man is getting nastier and nastier every time he opens his mouth. If he ends up on the ticket, I'll vote any Republican just to stop this jerk.

    January 30, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  19. Amy R.

    A vote for Hillary is a vote for McCain. Hillary can never win a general election. More people would vote against Hillary Clinton than for her.

    January 30, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  20. Cliff CA

    Seems as if Obama thinks firing off continual negative attacks about Hillary, will help him. This guy can never just talk about his record and how he intends to get our country back on track. He never compares and contrasts his agenda from Hillary's so voters can make an informed decision on which candidate to back. I think there is danger when a candidate abandons promotion of his own candidacy in favor of attacking his opponent. Tomorrow night's debate will be interesting. I hope he will lay off his attacks on Hillary and start talking real issues.

    January 30, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  21. dmw

    Yada, yada, yada. Fired Up, Fired Up.

    Surely Obama jests in thinking he can out debate John McCain. Obama has yet to win any of the debates with the Democrats.

    Obama is not the 'uniter' you all think he is; what he always does is make sure he attacks Hillary, then if Hillary says anything back, then he and the media claims Hillary is being mean and mis-stating Obama.

    January 30, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  22. J. Holcomb

    Funny that Obama wants to criticize people for "not talking to leaders they don't like". Wasn't it Obama on the news today being shown turning his back to Hillary instead of shaking her hand @ the State of the Union address? What this couontry needs is a leader that can work with ANYONE @ ANYTIME. Not a sulking leader that tries to be caustic & tries to deny being that way....seems like same ole same ole to me.

    January 30, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  23. John, OH

    Gee, you need to find other topics beside Iraq war vote. It is not even #1 issue anymore and it is getting boring now. Any real plans about economy Barack, or your CHANGE is all about trashing Hillary or worse not even shaking her hand. This guy is nothing but a talker.

    January 30, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  24. Truth

    Hillary did vote for the Iraq War, then she voted to label a portion of Iran's Military a "terrorist organization"

    But you have to understand, Hillary is voting based upon what the polls say.
    So when the polls change, Hillary's position will change.

    Also, Hillary had her shot at healthcare and it was an abysmal failure. She wasted millions and millions of taxpayer dollars.

    January 30, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  25. Harrier

    -Clinton did, in fact, vote for the Kyl-Lieberman Amendment attached to the 2007 Defense Spending Bill. The Amendment declared that Iran's Revolutionary Guard was a terrorist organization.

    -In CNN's YouTube debate on July 24, 2007, Obama responded to a question from a YouTube user regarding one-on-one diplomacy with the leaders of nations unfriendly to the United States, such as Syria, Iran, and North Korea. Obama stated that he would readily meet personally with the leaders of these countries.

    Clinton pledged to support diplomatic relations with them, but stopped short of supporting one-on-one talks, and underscored the danger to American interests these nations presented. In an interview the next day on the Des Moines Register's website, Clinton said of Obama's position: “I thought that was irresponsible and frankly naive."

    The Obama campaign is right on both counts.

    January 30, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
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