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. Brandon

    To all Hillary Clinton Supporters Let Me show you the future you want to advocate:

    President George Bush- President Bill Clinton- President George Bush- President Hillary Clinton- President Laura Bush- President Roger Clinton-President Jeb Bush- President Chelsea Clinton- President William Bush-
    President whoever else Clinton- President whoever else Bush and so on and so on.

    Way to kill the Hope!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 30, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  2. seyi

    If he doesnt draw sharp disticntions, you all complain, if he does, you still complain. Keep your peace and tender your vote. Clinton has poeple behind her, Obama has a movement and every darn person in the US knows that. You make your choice. One thing is for sure. hillary being the nominee gaurantees McCain in the white house and even the dems know it. Dems have not been in the white house more that twice for the past forty years, because they stupidly hand over to the republicans. That clearly shows division. Now you have Obama who can seal the deal and you all still talk jibbersih. I wonder who last you as a person inspired. All america was built on was hope aspirations and diversity. Everything else has followed.

    January 30, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  3. Bryan

    We as a nation need to move on from electing dynasties.

    January 30, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  4. Gram

    Obama has missed more votes than he's made...Saying nasty things about Hillary only makes him more likely to lose...
    Hope to see John Edwards endorse Hillary in the near future. She has defended children for 35 years...
    Obama has no record.
    Clinton/Richardson vs McCain/?

    January 30, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  5. dee


    The Cry baby plan is more in line with Congress plan. Hillary initial plan was first to arrive. He plan was wrong. It did not offer rebates checks. Obama's did!

    Read up on it.

    She is not ready from day one.

    Spin on, as you may. Check the Facts

    Obama 08,

    January 30, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. Freida NYC

    Finally CNN has allowed some positive comments on the Clinton's.

    Hillary you rock!!!!!

    Hillary 2008/2012

    January 30, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. James

    "Voting records don't make great presidents. Great leaders do."

    Hillary needs to quit hiding behind Bill and show she can lead if she wants the nomination. I don't think she can, or else we would have already seen glimpses of it by now.

    Barack Obama is leading in the race because he is showing us that he is a leader.

    Time for change! Go America! Go Obama!

    January 30, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  8. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    TO TORONTO GIRL: No, Canadians can't vote in American elections. But as for your wishing you were an American, don't worry because if Hillary wins the election Canada will look like America.

    January 30, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  9. karen

    Obama is so pathetic.

    January 30, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  10. Don in AR

    Is there a "Joe Camel" quality to Barack?

    January 30, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  11. Janis

    Joe, before accusing Obama of not voting, pleas educate yourself on what a vote for "present" means in Illinois.

    The "present" vote in Illinois is sometimes cast by state lawmakers with a conflict of interest who would rather not weigh in on an issue. Other times, members use the option to object to certain parts of a bill, even though they may agree with its overall purpose.

    "The 'present' vote is used, especially by more thoughtful legislators, not as a means of avoiding taking a position on an issue, but as a means of signaling concerns about an issue," said state Rep. John Fritchey (D), an Obama supporter.

    January 30, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. Chris

    What has Hillary done in the last 35 years or even as a Senator as NY? Can anyone explain?

    We need someone positive. Someone progressive. Someone who will think before they do anything. So far in the last 10 years or so, I have not seen anyone. For the first time, I am seeing it. I support Obama and I really hope everyone catches the same vision and support him as well. No more old politics. Sick of it. Seriously sick of it.

    Obama for change.

    January 30, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  13. JB, Neb

    Dave C., I've been asking myself the same question. She's obviously counting everything she's done since graduating law school in the early 70's. Not that she shouldn't. But technically, she has less experience in public elected office than Obama.

    January 30, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  14. Deanna

    Obama is the one, old, young, black, white, asian, hispanic: I'm tired of people being afraid of change, and asking for one; Change is what makes this country so wonderful and diverse. Hillary stands for the old ways, she has no vision, she doesn't have 35 years of experience and if she did, doing what? 35 Years of the same old stuff in Washington stuff? How is that an accomplishment??? Wake up people, Obama is our future!!!!

    January 30, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. Margarita


    January 30, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. Chris, Toronto, Canada

    Good for you Barack,

    Hillary is fine woman but she will say whatever it takes to get where she wants to go.

    This is about the AMERICAN PEOPLE!

    January 30, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  17. Joann for Hillary!

    To Dave C of New Jersey,

    Rather then going over her total history go to her Wipeka page and read about all she has done. It is VERY impressive. I think her being the first lady has allowed her to get a feel for national politics, which in turn heloed her in deciding to run for Senate. YES, she would be in this race, with or without Bill. She is an idependent, intelligent woman who can make her own mind up. She has championed many causes on her own and she will continue to do so. I wish EVERYONE would stop and think and allow her to have her own mind and quit the comparison to her husband. How about Hillary having deciding that she would be a great President and running for that office, just like every other candidate out there who thinks the same way. So Dave C, you dared I answered and I hope you are not sexist and think a woman is not capable of doing a great thing on her own!

    January 30, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  18. Ronnie D.

    Hillary is a micromanager with book smarts, but lacks political skills. Without Bill, she is nothing.

    January 30, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  19. Margarita


    January 30, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  20. law

    Well Dave...fresh out of college she began working for childrens rights. Yes, being First Lady does count. Look at the impact First Ladies have had on our society. Are you another man who can not stand the thought of an intelligent woman in the White House? I like Obama, but if you really stand for changing the status qou, then elect a woman!!!

    January 30, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  21. Onari

    Obama, voting for the war is in the past, I thought you said you are for the future.

    Please tell me and my family about how to get us out of Iraq,
    the Mortgage crisis,
    the economy, education, Security
    Health Insurance for the men and women in the main street of America...

    Leave Hillary Clinton alone...when she hits back at you will start to cry like a baby...enough of the fight. You have divided the democratic party since your bid for the Presidency than you met it.

    January 30, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  22. Dan, Washington DC

    Oh yeah, this guy is a great uniter. He can't even stop bickering with someone from his own party and he's supposed to work well with Republicans?

    January 30, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  23. Roz

    Would Obama like some Cheese to go with his Whine?
    It looks to me as if Hillary sent him reeling in the last debate/Argument they had. Now he seems more focused on attacking Hillary these days than "Inspiring" the Nation.

    Yes he did snub her at the State of the Union Address...That seemed quite obvious to me. He can spin it anyway he wants. I'll take it as a snub.

    Also as other candidates come out of these primary races. They take a few moments to congratulate each other on their campaign. Every one of them except for Obama. Unless I missed one somewhere.

    For me his "inspiration" has faded and his true colors are comming out. If he can't handle a few jabs from Senator Clinton, How can he possibly handle the hard punches as president?


    January 30, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  24. Vic

    If Obama becomes president, imagine how he'll respond when his ideas are shot down by Congress. For one thing, he'll never admit to any wrong, will NEVER change his mind, and in a nutshell, will make George W. Bush look like a wind-blown feather. He cannot accept any type of criticism for his actions. Look at all his excuses when he purposely and literally turned his back on Senator Clinton. Every day, he gets more and more arrogant and defensive at the mere hint that he did something in opposition to polite society acceptance . According to him, he never misspeaks. If he does, his excuses are similar to "Somebody made me do it." This man just NEVER makes a mistake. Even his whining and pouting are due to someone else, not the perfect one! And if all else fails, one of his surrogates or the media will call in the race thing. Did anyone ever call him on his remark that he'd have to watch Bill Clinton dance before claiming him as a brother. That, to me, comes across much more as a racial remark than anything we've heard so far. Oh, did anyone call Jimmy Carter racist when he compared Obama to Martha Luther King today. I find it troubling when Mrs. Schlossberg compares him with her father, who neither she nor him ever really knew, but MLK ?

    As far as Hillary changing her mind on voting for the Iraq war, we've seen what it's like to have someone in office who was never willing to do that. Hillary has many redeeming facets to her life, and it's time people step back from the anointment of this person who seems to have no record at all. It seems he has nothing in his voting record except this one thing, which he's beaten to death. We all understand the Iraq WMD. But I dare say, Hillary Clinton didn't make the mistake. George Bush and his war hawks did. Let's all beware of electing someone because of their looks or their words. And for goodness sake, let's forget that Hillary is a woman who shouldn't hold the office of president. Look at Margaret Thatcher of England, and now, the president of Germany. Now that would be a change, Senator Obama!

    January 30, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  25. John from PA

    I would like to make an appeal to any fellow democrats that are listening:

    Republicans WANT Hillary to run because they have a book as long as the Great Wall of China to use against her. The best Republican argument against Obama is that he is a liberal and inexperienced. PLEASE do not give the Republicans another presidency.

    January 30, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
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