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. David S., Chicago, IL

    The momentum is gaining...time to turn the page...you really want HillBill in for another 4 years....have you Clinton supporters really considered this? Quit complaining why the media is so biased – it's because Obama represents new leadership and a change from the old Washington we used to know – That is newsworthy – and so is America's flirtation as a banana republic lead government...Obama has fresh ideas and they aren't too unsimilar to Hillary's – and they will handled better with his leadership and we all believe he can bring this country together...

    Obama '08 (and finally someone new) – this is even bigger than Obama! This is the movement we've been looking for...

    January 30, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  2. DC

    Wow, everyone seems to have forgotten what happened in New Hampshire and South Carolina, Bill went on the attack, and Obama was on the defensive. Now that Obama is trying to draw his own distinctions, Hillary supporters cry foul. Obama has made clear policy distinctions, look at the website (not every bit of information can be spoonfed to you). Hillary cannot possibly beat McCain, she's styled herself as a hawk, and against McCain, she'll look like a hen.

    January 30, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  3. Dr. Phil

    Obama can talk a good talk. What does he back it up with? A good speech won't pay my mortgage. It won't put my kids through school. Sorry. Congress will eat you for breakfast.

    January 30, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  4. david

    Okay, let's this try again!

    Senator Clinton has no vision for a new and positive direction for this country. She has lost the "eye of the tiger" and has become a cynical machine politician. It's time for some new blood.

    I was an Edwards supporter and I am deeply saddened by his departure. I have reservations about Obama's chances in a general election. Let's face it, the South is still in the "Confederacy". I just don't think they have ever accepted that loss.

    Obama doesn't have a chance in hades down there! Just look at the Florida results.

    January 30, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  5. Brian Ford

    Well, well, well....... Look who is slinging mud now!!!! You call yourself a uniter, then why are you starting more things to divide? You are showing that you are not ready for this job you are fighting for.... When it starts to come back at you, don't you dare say a word... you started this!! Nice job Obama, keep it up and then we will not have to worry about you and the people who back you.

    January 30, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  6. Louis

    It is time for the United States to catch up with the reas of history and today by electing REAL change and that is having our First Female President.

    Isn't it a little sad to think that Ancient Egypt and China had women leaders... that England had Thatcher in the '80's... etc. etc. etc.

    Vote for REAL Change... Vote for History!!! Give'em Hill !!!


    P.S. And For those who were old enough...

    Is our country better off today than what it was in the 1990's?

    Remember, it takes a Clinton to clean up after a Bush... and this time with a woman's touch so we all know it will get done better!!!

    January 30, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  7. Susan in Cincinnati

    "Obama is starting to get a little cocky here. '

    This says it all, IMO. His attitude toward his senior stateperson is deplorable.

    He need to come down a notch or two if he wants my vote.

    January 30, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  8. Nita

    Amanda January 30, 2008 2:57 pm ET

    Obama is without a doubt the best candidate to beat McCain

    Right----------that is why he beat him so easily in Florida. Obama didn't even catch up to Romney. You know what Florida said last night. It said we are ready to elect a woman president. Florida knows only one candidate that can fight for this country. That is Clinton. Obama isn't going to win. It doesn't matter who stands beside him. He doesn't understand- you can have a puppet by your side but it is the ones behind you that count. One thing about the Hillary supporters we will not sway. We stand strong in our support. Endorsement are all well and good. But it isn't going to change my mind. Hillary isn't as hated as people and some media would like you to think. Florida proved that. They could have chose Edwards.

    Oh on the comment about McCain don't bother saying its cuz Obama didn't campaign there. Please I am in Texas I have been watching Fox, CNN, CSPAN, Bill O'Rielly, Glen Beck and Hanity and Colmes. Everyone knows the candidates and everyone knows what they are about. Apparently Florida isn't to keen on Obama. Oh yeah that's where all the old farts are – you know "the ones that are afraid of change – aka baby boomers."

    January 30, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  9. Stanley

    I can't hear any tangible thing people have against Obama. There are specific things people have said against Hillary; the Iraq vote, the Iran vote – those were supposed to be poor judgments in retrospect, inability to work with Republicans – demonstrated by her failed health care policy of the 90's. People, what's the problem with Obama? Something bad about hope and change for a deeply divided country? You just don't like the sound of his voice, or his skin should have been a bit fairer?

    January 30, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  10. joe

    People people,, wake up america dont want change, real change.Man! We Americans do this crap every 4 years and put the same washington establishment person right back in office be it Dem or Rep MCCAIN has been in WASHINGTON forever what has he done? HILLARYhas been riding Bills back and been around Washington forever as well ,whats different ?what has happen different? ask yourselves that ,,health care social security,immigration all these things are never mention untill an ELECTION my GOD!!!!,Do we need to be hit over the head with a stick to realize this, and as far as OBAMA experience is concern might be a god thing he hasnt fell in with the WASHINGTON ESTABLISHMENT if you really want change why not actually do something different lord knows what we been doing for hundreds of years and these last few years isnt working, the government doesnt listen to the people anymore if you be honest with yourselves thats a fact.,, Heres the kicker all the women voting because shes a woman ,,all the whites dont really like OBAMAor will find some other reason to say they dont like him ,attitude ect... but the truth is WE ALL DO NEED REAL CHANGE IN washington and the OLD GUARD just wont cut it And everyone here also know that OUT OF ALL THE PRESIDENTS THAT HAS BEEN IN WASHINGTON THEY KNEW IT SUPOSSELY HAD ALL THE EXPERIENCE IN THE WORLD BUT NOTHING DIFFERENT HAPPEN YET HUMMMM!!!!

    January 30, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  11. Mart from Chicago

    gawd, it seems the independent on this ticker speaks for all independents, that they wouldn't vote for Hillary. So you would vote for McCain? Do u know whats the difference between them? One main difference, is that Hillary wants war in Iraq to be over while McCain wants American soldiers to stay there indefinitely (meaning FOREVER). But u dont care about that wouldnt ya... All u care about is your hate towards Hillary, which I dont understand why.. so go on ahead and vote for McCain for all we care... I think that those independents writing on this ticker are republicans who claim they are independents...

    Anyways, it seems Obama is playing the dirty politics, yet again... and here I thought he is a saint and wanted to change the politics in Washington... He's full of it, just like all politicians in Washington. At least we know Hillary is not claiming she's playing clean, unlike Obama who claim he is bringin CHANGE while i have seen nothing short of that... Action worth thousands more than mere words, and all I see is words coming out of Obama's mouth, but his action says otherwise... I cant wait for Super Tuesday to be here, so I can stop reading the ignorant and whining comments from some of the Pro-Obama supporters...

    January 30, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  12. Ann, MO

    Robert, first of all, Obama's campaign has always been an inclusive campaign. But if you want to go back and look at pictures, let's look at Hillary and the old guard at the Iowa caucuses. Then when she realized that the younger generations were active, all of a sudden the old guard disappeared and the pictures were of young people, then when she made it about race, and the Aftrican Americans actually called her on it, all of her pictures were with Black people standing behind her. During that entire time, if you look at the pictures of Obama, they have been inclusive of old and young, black and white, hispanic and asian. I would say that you are the one trying to keep making it about race.

    January 30, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  13. LisaMpls

    Please ignore my earlier comments about Obama not caring to show up to vote on the Iran issue. I didn't know the whole story behind it, that he was told it wasn't going to come to a vote and then it did anyways. Sorry. I didn't mean to mislead by following up on Joe's comment.

    January 30, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  14. Tony

    So are you, Hillary supporters, for the war or not? She supported it and somebody has to point it out because apparently you or Hillary would not have the courage. Now, how is underlining the differences between candidates considered an attack on you, or is this because you are afraid of the truth? Don't forget that many people died and many lives were destroyed because of the vote of ordinary and other wicked politicians like Hillary.

    January 30, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  15. Mati

    Its almost waste of time to comment.. the demagogy of this guy can be beaten only by some populist and socialist speakers.. Its like turning the page backwards 100 years.. we thought we moved on from that stage when voters could be bought with big words, but its seems we are not. Not enough people can use their minds to understand issues and to critically weigh who van better solve them.

    I strongly believe Hillary and McCain are the ones who should be considered as problem solvers. They have different policy agendas so voters can choose what they think is more important, but at least they have agendas. It would be a shame to choose again a President just because he claims being 'the uniter" (unite people on what? poverty?), turning the page (and what exactly is written on that page?), fighting the establishment (any advice from Ted Kennedy with what to replace it?).. this is pathetic.

    January 30, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  16. fish

    I want to know why CNN is taking over an hour to review my 2 comments I posted. This is bullcrap !! What happened to free speech?

    January 30, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  17. Amy

    The reason people refer to Obama as black even though he has one white parent is because many blacks in America are in the same situation as Obama , they are of of mixed heritage, but are still considered black. It goes back to the discriminatory laws that stated that if you acknowledged just one drop of black blood in the United States, you were considered black.

    January 30, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  18. Denis, NJ

    Bill Clinton is so right – Obama is just a fairy tale. lol.

    Talks an old Washington game but makes it seem like he's really different! Yea, why go back to things of the past? Most of your fellow Democrats in Congress voted for the war in Iraq, Senator – do you go accusing all of them too? Why not focus on SOLUTIONS for the future, not mulling over the same ol' stuff from the past we can't change.

    Live your change instead of just talking about it...

    January 30, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  19. Adam

    WOW. It's getting hot here.

    Everyone needs a group hug.

    January 30, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  20. oliver

    Blogs are perfect for whinning babies.

    Many of you need to take the pacifiers out of you lips. You babies!

    January 30, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  21. Mercedes Rodriguez

    I want to see what this female has to offer to the hispanic voters who are or will attend college in the next few years. I voted for President Clinton in the 1990's and as soon as I entered college in 1992 my tuition went up and my pell grant was reduce which was suppose to help me with my books. I had to go out and work for the $850 that I had to pay every six months. Whom ever went to college in the city of New York must remember this.

    January 30, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  22. Jack

    Obama, need to be told to stop attachs against Hillary.

    January 30, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  23. Danny G. Boca Raton, FL

    absolutely cocky, also negative, playing in people's fears... all of these endorsements have made him change his message, his is no longer a message of hope, it is a message of fear, fear Sen. Clinton and what the 90's represented, fear taking on leaders that don't agree with us, fear being strong againts Iran, fear the chance to cover EVERYONE with universal health, fear a woman president, fear the experience shared with one of the most popular presidents in the past 30 years, fear, fear, fear... now that he is no longer the skinny kid from illinois, now that he is the candidate of choice or the fresh face, his real colors are revealed. NOT ONCE have I heard specifics from this guy, in the debates he touts that he can work with republicans and independents (to do what?) he has not shown anyone that he has done it in the senate, hillary has. love her or hate her she is EFFICIENT, she is tough and she is looking out for the interest of her constituents, she will do the same as president for the entire nation. she will not be out-worked by anyone. I believe in hard work, I live it every day to be able to provide for my family... a lot of people do and I believe that Sen. Clinton's message is clear, you can see the vision and the realities it provides. Go ahead senator reveal your true colors... this is part of the American culture but know this sooner or later it will be you who will have to answer to this great nation. and as far as I'm concern you are not ready!

    January 30, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  24. Bryce

    I guess CNN doesn't like my comments. They keep getting deleted. No profanity... no obsenity... Just opinion. Oh well.

    Believe it or not FOXnews.com!!!!! actually looks more like the polls show in thier discussions. Go figure!

    January 30, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  25. Rob

    I laugh at anyone who says anything about Obama slinging mud with that whole smear campaign that was put on in SC ...These Clinton Fanatics are reaching for straws here...how dare you come on this site saying anythng to us Obama supporters about negative attacks when Bill Clinton and Hilary tried to run Obama's name into the dirty...the only ammo there loser supporters have stuff thats been debunked by Obama...Rezko is a non issue stop bringin it up...Race is a non issue cause he's as much the white canadiate as he is black....

    January 30, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
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