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. Cam

    I married into a family of staunch Democrats, none of whom will be voting for Hillary if she is the nominee. I'm not certain what it is about her that turns so many people off, but I can almost guarantee you that if she is the nominee, she will not win against McCain. I cannot tell you how many people I have talked to(many of them fed-up Republicans) who simply will not vote for her, period, but who will support Obama.

    If you want another Republican in office, support Hillary.

    January 30, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  2. kel

    I voted Clinton in 2 Presidental elections and was prepared to do the same until recently. I like Hillary, unfortunately, I am concerned that if she wins the nomination that many voters will have the "anybody but hillary" mentality. We can see what the "anybody but John Kerry" mentality got us. I really don't know if i can handle another Republican administration.

    January 30, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |

    "(oh yeah of course those kids that you have brainwashed successfully; not us the thinking people)"

    I am not young or brainwashed, and I am listening. Obama inspires hope. Hillary inspires division. If we want to have a President that can actually accomplish something (good for a change), then it has to be Obama.

    OBAMA '08

    January 30, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  4. Brando

    Barack NEEDS Edwards as his VP in order to get 270 electoral votes. Without him in the ticket he doesn't stand a chance against McCain and Obama KNOWS it, though he won't admit it. Obama / Edwards '08 & '12 (CMON! you KNOW they are gonna get re-elected).

    January 30, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  5. ash

    To Toronto Girl and farrell:

    Hillary is winning all the way. All my years in Africa teach me the real politics of African divide.

    as to Canada becoming States, both are great nations with hardworking people, similar work culture and common interests. Inherent strengths of two nations are complimentary.

    Back to who is the right candidate or who will ultimately win: I will never vote for a candidate on race but certain traits, upbringing and cultural values do play tremendously in shaping the character, work ethics and methods, and unfortunately with all the resources on this earth available in certain lands, they re poor as they are led by chiefs (tribal) who are surrounded by selfish......

    Don't vote for tribalistic thinking and it is better to vote for a candidate who has focus than rhetoric. We shall not become another rich country inhabited by poor people..................Kenya, Ethiopia, India, Zaire and so on.

    Vote wisely, and vote for achiever and not loser!!!

    January 30, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  6. LisaMpls

    Dee, looks like you need to do some reading up, too!! Hillary's original economic stimulus plan contained two parts and came out before Obama's, if that matters. She had hoped to accomplish stimulus without spending. That is why the second part of her plan only kicked in if the economy continued to worsen. That second part included spending and rebates. Hers was not wrong, as you state. It was actually very brilliant and flexible.

    January 30, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  7. Jack CA

    Cami, thanks for that joke of the day! LOL! You actually think Mitt would defeat Obama! LOLLLLLLL!

    January 30, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  8. Swainwright

    Why wouldn't you care what others think in other countries? Be proud that your political system is watched and admired by non Americans.

    Most Canadians are interested in who lives in the Whitehouse. By and large we are a socially progressive people who like our American neighbours. That being said ABC, try to live up to the ideals of your Barack Omaba and embrace tolerance
    and stop personal attacks and discuss policy.

    January 30, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  9. Ed, NC

    As Ralph Nader said, neither Clinton or Obama is acceptable.

    January 30, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  10. CHERYL


    January 30, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. Anton

    I know that the Republicans are going to have a fun time with Obama, especially with his "present" votes...talk about wishy-washy...the guy can't even vote a "yes" or "no" on a bill...and his excuse of its going to lose/win anyway without his vote is pure crap.

    January 30, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  12. Robert

    CNN. What happened to freedom of speech? Unless you support Obama you seem to censor comments relating to truth and fact that are against him. You can block my emails addresses all you want, I've got hundreds of them.

    January 30, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  13. LisaMpls

    ABC, have you lost your mind with this post?

    "Toronto Girl
    No one here cares what you think. You can't vote here, you don't live hear and we don't care what you think. Stick to your own country. If we needed your input we ask for it.
    That being said, it looks like Barack is having a good day. He is discussing policy and not attacking personally.
    You go Obama"

    We DO care what other countries think about us...we are trying to repair our standing in the world, remember? Hillary is fully prepared and ready to do that!!!

    January 30, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  14. deann

    AGAIN, Obama's the best habit is in favor to using dirty way to attacking others, his bad behavior has not change at all.

    January 30, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  15. ash

    ABC: What happens in the states does affect Canada and other neighboring countries, the economy, security and stability. Are we living in an island?
    Are we frogs in a well?

    My friend "Interesting"" I am not surprised with your comments. I feel more comfortable with candidates who divulge more than talking in general terms and sprouting rhetoric.

    I have lived and worked in africa for many many years and have seen leaders coming with Tall promises and agendas – Loud mouths and zero achiever!!
    But there are always exceptions. Your advice is good for our bruru to come out solid agenda with facts and figures so that we can vote wisely for progress and development, brotherhood and real "Change" for humanity.

    Away from divide and rule.....................

    January 30, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  16. RAFi68

    obama remined me of someone uum who , oh bush the cool guy ......

    January 30, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  17. Amy in Cincinnati

    To Nobama-

    Those "kids" are the future of our country. Those "kids" will be dealing with the fiasco of the Bush adminstration for years to come. Those "kids" are in Iraq fighting a war that should never have been fought. Those "kids" know that their country is in dire need of change, and they're not afraid to make it happen. Those "kids" are all over this country's campuses, getting degrees. They are aware of the issues, and are becoming politacally active instead being apathetic. Those 'kids" are a constituancy that Hillary would love to have, but will never get. Those "kids" are going to make history.

    OBAMA 08

    January 30, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  18. IA. Democrat

    CNN moderator- Why do you post this nonsense? This is offensive!

    C. Monaghan January 30, 2008 3:29 pm ET

    Do you people actually think Obama cares at all for anyone except the blacks. I am not prejudice but he made it clear in SC and elsewhere when he appeals to blacks and likens himself to MLKjr. King was for equality among both races…obama will not be…don't be fooled. He is a good talker and nothing more. Then some idiot likens him to JFK…you cannot be serious. Remember again…a vote for Obama is a vote for McCain…yes old crazy, war hawk McCain…my God he'll have us in WWIII within 6 months. Edwards…back Hillary…you're a smart lawyer…don't be fooled. Kerry is an idiot…you're not

    January 30, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  19. Anon





    Sen. Obama, You cannot even keep up with your senatorial duties.

    January 30, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  20. Hawk,Texas

    Obama, by voting present it shows that you will not commit to any thing and then blame someone else for voting. you have missed over eighty percent of the votes. and when you do show up you will not commit. all you are is a blowhard. you do not have the moxi to be president. you can not even handle the job you have. why don't you tell the truth for a while. or are you trying to copy george bush.

    January 30, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  21. 2008


    That's been going on for a while. I always noticed that the people behind him have always been White. Take your guess why that is.

    January 30, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  22. Colbert

    Obama will be eaten alive by the Republicans. Thats why they like him so much. They cant rack up any new scandal on Clinton-shes been under their microscope for 20yrs. Obama is a WHOLE other story. You watch. He gets the nomination and they will rip him to pieces.

    January 30, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  23. stan pitts pa

    obama 08! We loveeeeee you!

    January 30, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  24. david

    I am an Edwards supporter and I am deeply saddened by his withdrawal. I think this throws the whole election to the Repubs, if McCain gets the nomination. Neither Obama or Hillary has a chance. She is too much the machine politician and despite the fact that McCain also fits this description, he is still seen as an outsider, because of the smearing he got by Uncle Karl and George. Frankly, the South has never got over The Civil War as is evidenced by their voting record since. Even the most liberal of their lot is far to the right by most standards. Obama is still a "black" man and that's reason enough for the "independents" among them to vote McCain. Sad, but true.

    January 30, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  25. peter oriavwote

    Obama, leave Hillary alone. Campaign on issues not personalities; stop criticizing Hillary at every opportunity you have simply to bring her down. By the time she reacts you cry foul. This is how you start off the problems. Please desist. Campaign on issues. Let us see what happens now.

    January 30, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
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