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. LeeNYC

    Do you think it's a coincidence that high-profile members endorse Obama: Kennedys, soon to be former democratic nominee John Edwards, Former President Carter (basically), Toni Morrison and a slew of others.

    It's funny how Clinton supporters are always awesomely cynical when downplaying a message of hope and unity. Do you really believe the playground buddies of McCain and Hilary will be a good match for the Democrats?

    Hillary, all and all, is a horrible person. Why do you think she has a cult-following of Hillary haters? And please don't waste my time by saying she is a women. Would you even know of her if it wasn't it for her husband? There's something inherently wrong with that fact in itself, open your eyes and believe.

    January 30, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  2. Annie

    To Dave C in NJ. Would you have even heard of Bill if it weren't for Hillary?? Maybe it's the other way around. She did more in that White House than people realize. She was practically his VP. On the downside, he will be hers.

    January 30, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. Mike, Ft lauderdale

    Not one word of what Obama said today was misleading, he was simply articulating the differences between himself and Hillary, which is what any good candidate should be doing. If he were taking a page out of Hillary's book, he'd be starting whisper campaigns about Hillary on a personal level and taking her quotes entirely out of context to mislead the people who read them.

    Hillary voted to authorize the war in Iraq. Thats a fact.

    Hillary voted to label the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, when the stated position of the US is that the president can combat terrorist organizations with military force. That, to any unbiased observer, is a tacit approval given to Bush of all people to attack Iran should he desire to do so. Fact.

    She also argued for certain types of "enhanced interrogation techniques" such as waterboarding to be allowed, but now says that she was always against torture. She gets away with this because "enhanced interrogation techniques" are defined differently than "torture." Call me crazy, but I'm going to have to defer to McCain on what exactly constitutes torture; this is one of those things where his "experience" is a factor in my decision. He experienced being tortured. Hillary just tortures us with her candidacy.

    January 30, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  4. bob , bronx

    moses your are a joke or a hilary flunky, he ran a national add on cnn not in florida and if you did not have cable you did not see so laugh on that and wake up your self .your not voting for hillary your voting for that impeached guy oh yea bill i didn't touch that women clinton lmao

    January 30, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. Jenna

    It is clear that Hillary is the front runner, the national polls show that she can beat Mr. Obama in the prelim and McCain in the election. Next week on super Tuesday, we will all need to join each other democratically so that we can win with a Democratic President. I predict she will do a great job!


    Democrats need to join together to win!

    January 30, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. independentminded

    What is the difference between Hillary and McCain??

    Taxes, no
    Immigration, no
    War, no
    Wire tapping, no

    Oh yeah!, a lying, cheating, double dealing spouse!!

    January 30, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |


    January 30, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. Nik T, Houston, TX

    Ohh... that's right. Obama can spew all kinds of hatred and names, but Hillary can't because then she's a "racist".

    Watch now Clinton defend herself and Obama complain about it, calling Kennedy, Clyburn, and Ophra to his rescue.

    January 30, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. Di, California

    I wish Obama would give us details about his plan. He keeps saying he has a plan but doesn't give us details! My 83 year old mother-in-law told me Nixon said he had a plan too, but it never materialized! I was undecided between Obama and Clinton, but now I know I will vote for Clinton unless I hear details about Obama's plan.

    January 30, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. JCab72

    at least Hillary tries to work with the other side.

    i thought Sen. Obama was going to forge bipartisanship. at least thats what he's always saying with all those nice sounding speeches..

    whats the deal?

    i dont think he's wise enough to know you have to make certain choices to work with the other side to get things done. uh, i meant to say make change. at least thats the less intelligent way of saying getting new things done..

    January 30, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  11. Upstate NY

    There are and have been a lot of women who are leaders of their country. It's now our turn. Would rather have Hillary in charge; someone who votes on what she believes, and strong enough to change her views when correct information is given.

    Why should I trust someone who just "shows up" but doesn't use their voice? And then blames the "others" for a wrong decision??? Obama needs to grow up in the political world with more experience under his belt. then he can sit in the White House.

    Until then...........it's Hillary!!!

    January 30, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  12. dee

    Moses Adelante, NYC January 30, 2008 2:55 pm ET



    WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!
    Hillary did not do nothing but sit in her rocking chair?

    Obama 08

    January 30, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  13. Amy, Kazoo

    to ABC, as an American, I think it's really naive to think that the opinions of our neighbors and the rest of the world doesn't matter here. If that were the case, we wouldn't need a president with a strong foreign policy. we're in a very interesting situation right now where the entire world is holding their breath, waiting to see whom we elect into office now. They've been directly impacted by the policies of the Bush machine and it's very important to the rest of the world that we get away from that sort of Government. So perhaps it would behoove you to be a little less rude, a little more wordly, and perhaps even just be quiet. Your comments make the rest of us look bad.

    January 30, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  14. Mike, Land O Lakes, FL

    Bush-Clinton-Bush-HilaryClinton-JeffBush-ChelseaClinton-Bush'sDaughter-Chelsea'sSon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyone but these two families please!!!!!!

    January 30, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. adanma

    Obama can reverse the world hatred of Americans and clean up the mess the Bush man has made. Hillary isnt good president material. She will be cold and arrogant and her foreign policy/relations will be far worse than the Bush man's. American will become more of a terrorist target than it is already. Hilary cannot handle the kind of power that comes with the presidency, she wont be able to resist crushing those she percieves as her enemies and she will do so without diplomacy, like the bush man. I could not help but get the impression from a recent interview where she was asked if her husband would continue to campaign for her, that she was sending him a warning saying I have helped you get what you want and you had better stay and help me. Hillary is always on the defence. I wonder why

    January 30, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  16. Judith

    Hey ABC.....
    The "NO one here cares what you think!" It’s what got you into the mess your in!

    I sure hope Barack doesn't take that stand! But who can tell throw, he never really commits to anything!

    Here’s hoping that we see a Hillary White House.

    January 30, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  17. Daniel from Kansas

    I hope and pray that people see clearly the choice we have:

    If Clinton is the nominee, only two outcomes are possible:

    ONE: The democrats LOSE because Hillary is a divisive figure that doesn't even pretend to try and unite a bleeding, divided country. She has alienated her own base, and will NEVER, EVER attract Independents or Republicans to vote for her.

    TWO: The democrats win, and we have four more years of the same old, same old, SAME OLD WASHINGTON. When Edwards asked her if she would have lobbyists working in the White House, SHE REFUSED TO ANSWER. In fact, I have never heard her answer a single question directly.

    If Obama is the nominee, we have a real chance at bringing a bitterly divided country together, getting things done, by working WITH people of all parties, all faiths, and all people. Obama is a truly inspirational, intelligent, and highly qualified man to take our country in a new direction.

    I ask that people take a closer look at Obama.

    Turn the page. Obama 08

    January 30, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  18. Cami

    Obama only HOPES it's John McCain because he knows that's the only republican he can win against. Can't wait to see what he has to say when Mitt gets the nomination.

    GO MITT!

    January 30, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  19. Robert

    Hey has anyone noticed that since the race issue was brought out by the media that Obama has been keeping it going. Take a look behind him when he is speaking. They are filling the seats directly behind him with white folks. I never thought I'd see the day where white folks were used as tokens. But sure enough...

    January 30, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  20. Fem4Hillary

    True Independent:
    Since you say – "Remember one thing, the independents will decide the general election"
    Then I want to Thank You for giving us G.W. Bush for 8 years!!

    Voting for Obama would be like making that mistake all over again...No Thanks!

    Go Hillary!

    January 30, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  21. The "Other" Marie

    To Marie...I don't think we Obama supporters are bashing Clinton at all. We are simply stating the truth.

    There is nothing that the Clinton's won't stoop to in this campaign. They have proven it time and time again. There are no bounds to their ruthless campaigning...specifically those things you are saying we shouldn't make posts about. As for personal attacks...well Billy and Hillary kind of have the corner on those now don't they. Besides, I saw the horrible comments (racists comments) coming from Clinton backers after the South Carolina election. I would be asking myself if that is the type of countrymen/women I want to align myself with.

    I'm sure you are frusterated. Obama has been receiving one endorsement after another and praise from a former president in good national and international standing like Carter. The last good thing that happened to Hillary was her artifical "win" in Flordia.

    Maybe we bloggers need to stick to expressing our opinions about the candidates.

    January 30, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  22. bon

    will obama ever give up on the digs.he is desperate, i want to know when will he talk about in detail what changes he will make.he is all talk , and hillery is the one to vote for, she is more of a man than he is . in many ways he acts child like.he couldnt face hillery, for a simple hand shake.he is not ready to be president.the media also likes to keep sturing the pot, so be fooled .i noticed the media does not make cheap shots at obama, has this country gotten so bad that no one dares to tell the true story on obama, out of fear being acused of being a racest.
    its like he has a special cant touch me attitude.he does not talk to the people he talks down to the people.he should just man up and stop crying over his bruses.

    January 30, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  23. Tom Masters

    If he would outline the CHANGE, I think I would vote for him.

    He's the most inspiring of all of the remaining candidates.

    Is he going to seal the border? Fix Social Security (it's an entitlement and he's a Dem...)? Actually implement Universal Health Care?

    Change is a word. What exactly, aside of inspirational speaches, is he going to change? Hmm...we'll see, jury's still out on my vote.

    January 30, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. Jonnie rae, Boston

    It just happens to be true about the war, I am afraid. This war that was the biggest disaster since Viet Nam,costing a trillion dollars, and lives of young men and women. For What? So Iran can take it over, as it eventually will. Stupid!! Kennedy and Obama were smart enough to see all that before the vote was taken. They were both against it from the start. You can't have it both ways, can't be anti-war and pro-Clinton. "But I can't think for you, you'll have to decide, whether Judas Iscariot had God on his side." Bob Dylan.

    January 30, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. Steven and Veronica

    Dave C and Bill from CT: Take a look at HIllary's website. Four pages of experience are chronicled there. There were comments about her leadership ability in the Time magazine article on her (she was on the front page) after she gave the commencement speech as an undergraduate at Wellesley, loooong before she met Bill. She was considered a possible run for the presidency before she moved to Arkansas. Bill, himself, said in his first term that she was better qualified to run the country (on her credentials and experience) than he was. Check it out. And think about it, too– there are relatively few women in politics, and for her to have jumped over all the hurdles to running, she, of course, has had to have extraordinary experience.

    January 30, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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