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. NickNas

    LOL OH NO!!! Obama is speaking his mind and pointing out FACTS and why he is NOT Like Hillary!!!

    Time for the Obama Bashing Machine to get warmed up. You Billaries are SOOO predictable. Its getting kind of Boring to be honest.

    Go Obama don't let the overreacting children keep you from speaking your mind.

    January 30, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  2. Lynnette

    Look who's doing the FACT distorting that he cried like a baby about in SC ..... Obama! What a joke!! I think HE (Obama) will say anything to get elected. Sorry, Obama-rama, we don't know enough about you and THAT is scary!

    January 30, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  3. Robert

    Independent votes are a joke Amanda. There is no such thing as an Independent, rather a bunch of Republicans that know the can screw-up the Democratic Party. The last time we had "True" independants was when Ross Perot ran for office.

    January 30, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. moeshorts

    that is all you here on cnn,running hillary down every program that is on.its time to give her a lil credit i think,and show her on there a lil more insted of obama!

    January 30, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. Hillbilly for HillBilly

    Sen. Obama,
    It's becoming harder to believe the words coming out of your mouth because your actions do not reflect them. They sound good though, but unfortunately I am not as gullible as some of your followers.
    I'm not sure what exactly is the movement that your followers are talking about. If it's for a better America and "change" Clinton and every other candidates are advocating that. At least she has a record of change. Your misrepresentations can't convince me to vote for you.

    January 30, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. mjr17

    Dave C and Bill from CT

    and what kind of experience does obama have given that he only ran for the senate to set himself up for a presidential bid? remember he only served ONE year of his term before he began his campaign…he was already setting his sights on the presidency at the DNC in 2004 – when he was still just a state senator.
    obama talks a big talk but i'd be willing to bet he will be just as ineffectual as Bush on the issues that really matter, should he be elected. that said, he probably won't cause the kind of the havoc Bush has, but just you watch him try to clean up the mess we're in right now…

    January 30, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  7. aka

    This is interesting. When Obama attacks clinton nobody says anything. However if Clinton attacks Obama then everybody goes after hillary. this is bsd. Now can Obama tell me hes achieved from his body of work so we have a basis of knowing what hes accopmplished and what hes capable of achieving. At least we as well as Republicans knows the record of Hillary

    January 30, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  8. Ken, Tucson, AZ

    It seems tha Obama can't find a new song to sing. So Hillary voted to authorize the use of force against Iraq, if needed, while he opposed it. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    January 30, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  9. Brad, Omaha NE

    Toronto Girl – not until you can "lurn two spel"

    canada sucks.

    January 30, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  10. Sarah L, Fayetteville, AR

    If we turned how many times CNN says "attack" into a drinking game, this blog would be a lot more interesting.

    January 30, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  11. Oliver

    Obama should stop talking about Hillary and Bill and stop sunning himself in the so-called glory of endorsements from fat talk show hosts, drunken senators and the one president who was worse than GWB – how about some explanations of his "visions" and his "change" – he wants us to unite, but behind what ... he has nothing to offer, no experience, and just runs on the fact that America is supposedly ready for a black president – and when you disagree with him and his supporters, you are called a racist, but his chauvinist remarks against Hillary are more than ok

    January 30, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  12. Jim ( Independent )

    Hillary needs to join Nader and just GO AWAY !

    January 30, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  13. tomdavie

    This is why I will NEVER believe what I see on news media anymore. I cant. I have to take it with a grain of salt. Even the news media that we trust to bring us the news is a SPUN lie to favor one candidate. Its not real journalism.

    There is no major media outlet in the united states that isnt completely OVERBLOWN with contiual SPIN.


    They make up 50 article a day SPINNING it with softball questions in the best light.

    Then begrudginly put some articles about the other candidate out -but with evil and vile overtones to make them look bad.

    Then they call it 'objective journalism' .

    I can tell you this.

    Obamas handlers started the RACIST spin on whatever the clintons said. Bill Clinton even went on SHARPTON to clarify his statments. But NO. IT WOULD NEVER BE LIVED DOWN.

    The Hillary Clinton LBJ thing was such a ridiculous joke , but the MEDIA DID NOTHING TO STOP IT.

    The media DID NOTHING to call Obama on his record. They only attacked the clintons. So the Clintons had to DO IT THEMSELVES.

    The MEDIA , Obama, and selected insiders in the DNC MOANED AND COMPLAINED . Poor Obama.

    gettin picked on. Clintons are the devils spawn.

    What CHOICE did the Clintons have? The media surely wasnt going to do it.

    5 people out of 500 hundred congressmen and others within the party. Yet the MEDIA SPUN IT LIKE THE WHOLE PARTY WAS AGAINST THE CLINTONS.

    The Obama GURUs , Ted Kennedy, and John Kerry come out and ENDORSE Obama, splitting the whole party in 2.

    And in the end?


    Reality check. The clintons dont CONTROL what these people do or how they react. We americans know all this. Clintons dont CONTROL the media. They dont CONTROL Ted Kennedy.

    They certainly didnt control the fact 3 kennedy kids supported CLINTON, but lets give 99.999999999999999999999% of the Kennedy airplay to the BELOVED Obama.

    We know for a fact that the MEDIA has picked out its manchurian candidate, and will do anything within their power to see the Clintons do NOT get the whitehouse.

    America has sunk to a new low.

    If they cant take our vote away..............BRAINWASH IT AWAY.

    January 30, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. SAM


    January 30, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  15. Lone Star for Hillary!

    Oboma is so joyful at the fact that he can criticize Hillary and McCain for the vote on the war–he should consider himself "lucky" that he was a State Senator and wasn't eligible to vote against the war– and thus can now "brag" and imply he actually voted against it. Monday morning quarterbacks are a dime a dozen. I wonder how he really would have voted in 2002 if he had been a United States Senator? Of course, after he got elected he did vote for funding. Nothing but a bunch rhetoric!

    I've never voted Republican and I'm not too fond of McCain but he's the better Rep. candidate than any of the others. I doubt I'll have to vote for him, but if by "chance" Obama gets the nomination–"John McCain, you have my protest vote, and the heck with the Dems this election year." For many reason, but the main reason would be because of Obama's repeatedly implying he actually voted against the war! You, Mr. Obama had no vote–no say!!

    January 30, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  16. Ken, San Diego, CA

    For those of you who think Barack Obama is the "let's change Washington" candidate, please keep this in mind: there is NO such thing. In Barack Obama's book, The Audacity of Hope, he is cynical to the Washington establishment, as well as the quest for running for office. He says running for political office becomes a quest to distort what you opposing candidate says or means in order to get votes. I suspect Hillary has had a moment or two like this....I suspect all of the candidates have had a moment or two like this. The problem with Obama is that HE HAS TOO. He is presently going around stating that he (and only he) would speak to rogue nations (our "enemies"), whereas Hillary said she would not. Of course, what REALLY happened was that Obama said he would speak (without ANY conditions) to the LEADERS of these rogue nations. Hillary, on the other hand, said she would negotiate and speak with friend as well as foe, but she would NOT immediately meet with rogue leaders without any sort of precondition. The fact is, our president ought not meet directly with the leader of Iraq without some sort of game plan. Obama does not recognize this....he, frankly, made a mistake in a debate and is now trying to distort not only what Hillary said, but what he said as well!

    Obama is a politician like the rest of them. We can look at another recent event: the demonization of Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton said nothing racial nor malicious toward Barack Obama. He said Obama's voting record with reference to Iraq was the same as Hillary's, he said Jesse Jackson won South Carolina in 1984 and 1988. I fail to see the racial attack. So, where did this come from? Yes, the Obama campaign. The Obama campaign was out giving statements and talking points to the media. They were saying Bill Clinton was being negative and was try to create a racial divide! How unfortunate....Bill Clinton's history (from his upbringing in Hope, Arkansas) is rich in the quest for equal and civil rights. He has been a friend of the black and brown community ever since he's been in public office. Yet, the Obama campaign unquestionably smears him and his name. And, because Obama is the candidate of "hope", he gets away with it.

    Obama is a politician like the rest of them, but maybe of the worst kind, because he says he's not...

    January 30, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  17. Vanessa C.

    I am extremely disappointed by some of the people posting here today, who claim they are Democrats. In one breath, they praise Obama for opposing the war in Iraq, and in the next breath these same people THREATEN us that they will vote for John McCain over Hillary Clinton in a general election, in an effort to blackmail us, in essence, into supporting their beloved Obama. Where are these people's convictions? Where are their morals? John McCain has been very clear that he has no plans on bringing our troops home anytime soon and that he is just fine with leaving our military in Iraq for the next 150 years if necessary.

    You are either a Democrat, who is opposed to the war, and wants our troops home safely as soon as possible, so that no more young American soldiers needlessly lose their lives. OR, you will vote for John McCain......in which case the Republicans can gladly have you. We don't need you in our party.

    January 30, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  18. olga gardiner

    It is about time that Obama stops crying. He does have any substance. Hillary is intelligent, has a good proram. She can outsmart Obama any time. Go Hillary go.
    O. Gardiner

    January 30, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  19. Wilhemina

    To: Toronto Girl
    If you got a brain use it, please. If Obama was so weak it would not take two Clinton's to try and beat him. I am thrilled you live in Toronto, and so is Madelyn Dunham, she is old and waiting quietly so her baby will not be judge by either race to one or the other, but she would kick your...for calling her grandson weak, she prepared him thoroughly, check out his credentials. Clinton, Bush, Carter, etc., had much less experience than Obama, and they became Presidents.

    January 30, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  20. sylvia

    How come Obama can say anything he wants about Hillary, but the Hillary camp has to walk on egg shells whenver they mention Obama.

    I'm sick and tired of all this nonsence. All's fair in politics. Let's put all the cards out on the table. I want to see Hillary attack Obama directly during the debates.

    All you Hillary haters are a bunch of ignorant fools. You actually think Obama has a chance at the White House? There's no one but Hillary in the Democratic party that can take on the Republican establishment and be successful. She's done it before and she'll do it again.

    Hillary for President. It's time we had a person in the White House that's powerful and smart enough to take on the Republicans and produce the kind of change we need in this country.

    January 30, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |

    NOW Obama's "attacking" Hillary...

    Maybe Obama has something against "White People".. As the Obama Camp say when the Clintons make any comment on his record.

    January 30, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  22. Sarah L, Fayetteville, AR

    You Hillary supporters are nasty. You don't say anything when she criticizes Obama.

    January 30, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. Norm Reynolds

    Barack Obama as this nations leader is our best hope for change, otherwise with the other candidates, it seems as though it's back to the same old Washingtion politics as usual. I am hopeful that the American people will recognize the leadership potential in Barack Obama and support him on his journey to the White House. Perhaps then we as a nation can begin feeling good about ourselves again.

    January 30, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  24. Ray

    Hey Dave in NJ

    Tell me what Obama has done that thinks he deserves to be President!!!

    January 30, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  25. Leonardo

    McCain will win against Clinton but with Obama he wouldlose!!!

    My frist joice OBAMA!!
    My second joice McCAIN!!

    I never will vote for Hillary Clinton!!!

    January 30, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
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