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. Daisy

    Does this guy ever speak about specific ideas.....we all have hope but we want solutions..

    January 30, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  2. Fem4Hillary

    CNN – I still have two comments in moderation... what is the hold up! No profanity just a simple comparison. CNN you are begining to be a sensative as Obama.

    January 30, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  3. Suraj

    There is nothing much substantially different between Obama and Hillary:

    1. Both represent the same corporate interests and will bow down to corporate power
    2. Both want 'power' more than they want to serve the common man
    3. Both won't talk about war crimes being committed in Iraq / Afganisthan. by Pres. Bush and Co
    4. Both won't talk about impeaching Pres. Bush & Co.
    5. Both won't discuss why US is in Iraq? Will US be still in Iraq even if Iraqi people do not?

    Only hope left now is Ralph Nader. It's time all of us hear the simple, unvarnished truth from a wanna be President!

    January 30, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  4. carol

    She is always a Lady!

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

    Senator Obama is acting like an inexperienced politician making accusations on issues he has no experience with and offering no clear solutions.

    If Senator Obama has any new ideas, let's hear them. All I hear is a lot of oratory slogans and a whole lot of wishful thinking! The economy is not going to turn around by "hoping" that it will and I haven't heard anything from Senator Obama on how he would fix that!

    I see a smart man with a GIANT EGO hoping to become the President of the United States well, Barack spend some time in the Senate and LEARN!

    January 30, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. Ann, MO

    Louis- as a woman Hillary's age, and white, and having a successful career of my own, I am always concerned that women continue to think that we should vote for Hillary because she is a woman. Yes, I am old enough to remember the 1990's, and to be quite honest with you, what I remember is that Bill Clinton gave Hillary the "health care reform" initiative, and she totally blew it. Democrats, as well as Republicans found it next to impossible to work with her.

    I also remember NAFTA. Bill Clinton sided with the corporations and the Republicans and signed it against the wishes of the labor unions and the Democrats. If you are old enough to remember those times, then you should remember that by doing this, everyone was so angry that the labor unions and Democrats mostly stayed home in the 1994 election, and the Democrats lost the House and Senate to the Republicans. The American people are continuing to lose their jobs because of this.

    Now then, the last thing that I remember was the "Right Wing Conspiracy" and "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" and the disgrace that was bestowed upon the office of the Presidency.

    I would love to see a woman as President, but I will not vote for this woman because I have had to fight discrimination in the work place. I had to fight my own battles, and carry my own load. I did not use the fact that I had been married to a successful man on my resume to get to where I am, and I will not vote for a woman that does. When I vote for a woman for President, it will because she actually deserves it, not because the woman of the this country think that just because she is a woman, she has earned it. Hillary has not.

    January 30, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  7. observer

    Going back on another promise, get use to it America. I have yet to see this "chanter" man make a stand or promise and keep it. How will he try to turn this around on Hillary? One stand, just one stand we would like to see him stick to. We at least now know what he means by "change." Change your stand constantly.

    January 30, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  8. douadavid

    Obama is so racism and will bring people back to the old day. This guy is starting calling race for every speech he made. If he become president , he will be worst president than George W Bush. Vote for Obama is a vote to divide this nation along race ,gender , and ethnics. Vote for Hillary is a vote for a bighter future for all Americans.

    January 30, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  9. i love Obama



    January 30, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  10. Joe

    I am going to mark my ballot for Hillary and vote present for Obama.

    He cannot win in an argument based on economics against a Clinton. Unless he can describe how to get a house for $300,000.00 off the asking price and have your indicted poltical contributor buy the empyt lot beside your house. Those are the basics of Obama's understanding of economics.

    January 30, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  11. Mike

    People keep saying that this is an "attack" against Clinton and that it is "nasty". But what did he say other than that she voted for the war in Iraq and that she voted to give Bush the ability to invade Iran. That seems like a legitimate talking point to me. The candidates are supposed to draw distinctions between each other. Obama didn't attack her personally or on a personal trait. He pointed out her voting record and that he disagrees with it. I think that the real reason Clinton supporters are angry is that it reminds them that she did support the war when they want to pretend she did not. Clinton supporters should realize that stating the facts isn't an attack and that sometimes the truth hurts.

    January 30, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  12. Claustro

    Please, someone, tell me when it became wrong to change your mind? If you think a certain way on a particular concept, and then find out more about an issue at a later date, should you remain stalwart simply because of what you believed previously? Do we really want a leader who never processes any new information? Who never compromises even if given new facts? Who never budges externally even if internally their convictions change?

    I cannot understand America's idea that a leader should always hold true whatever they once thought no matter what? That if a person's view shifts based on new circumstances they are weak. That's just stupid.

    January 30, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  13. derek

    If Obama does not get the nomination, I will vote for Mccain.I am a life long democrate, but Hillary will never win, and she is no different from Bush, she is the old establisment, Obama is my man. Also If she tries to get the Florida deligates, and wins in seating them, I will become an independent and never ever look back!

    January 30, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  14. i love Obama

    If you don't love Obama forget about getting your voice heard.

    CNN is Biased in its reporting...


    HILL 08

    January 30, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  15. i love Obama


    January 30, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  16. jeff

    obama's attitude toward hillary may help to project a helpful image internatioanlly, the best reason to vote fo him, but he hasa surprising tendency to inflame a ngative gender response, ie NH and FL.

    January 30, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  17. jose

    After Hillary won Florida, Obama is seeing that there was no South Carolina bounce. He's getting desperate.

    January 30, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  18. California voter

    Have you ever noticed that when Obama is giving his speeches that he always looks angry? What's he so angry about?

    January 30, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  19. joe from cocamo

    Guess we Americans are fool by flashing lights,,, Hillary is going to win not because shes better but because this is America that need no further comment.. And we do like things the same right?People do think different right?So why are we fighting here and we all know things arent different right?War in the Middle East,Mccain wants it forever.Hillary voted for it But then against it .I can make a future prediction it will be WASHINGTON BUSINESS AS USUAL no matter which one gets in office guess we all need something to complain about right?And i can make another prediction we`ll be back here complaining in the next four years

    January 30, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  20. stan pitts pa

    the Democartics will win the general election, with obama, this Govt needs a shake-up!

    January 30, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  21. Jason

    I must say that I have truly been researching by options for moving to another country...I am ashamed, angry and embarrased.

    As for you Obama..You make me even more ashamed and angry...Your a joke!

    1. You talk about uniting..Now you are making digs about Hillary Clinton being in agreement with McCain on issues.

    2. You never talk about what YOU can offer and back up your positions..You bash everyone else to make yourself look better.

    3. You act like a sore loser everytime you do not get you way

    4. On national television during the state of the union address, Hillary did the right thing and reached out to shake you hand...YOU TURN YOUR BACK? That is not someone I want running for president.

    All these issues are really concerning when you think about Obama in office making decisions that could greatly impact our country and safety...

    Hide the RED button from him, he will be pushing it every time he doesnt get his way.

    Obama...come to the California debate and actually discuss what you can do for our country, not what everyone else is doing or not doing....

    I still have not heard much conversation on the video that circulated with the canidates with their hands to their heart during the star spangled banner and Obama standing there with his hands in his lap.....

    Come on people...

    January 30, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  22. Carlos

    Today Obama attacked Hillary again. Calling her unelectable, divisive, etc...
    Last week he complained when Bill attacked him. He attacks, then screams "rascism", " I 'm being attacked".
    This shows his inexperience in politics along with how he acted during the Presidents speech by turning his back on Hillary.

    As a former Edwards supporter I am now voting for Hillary....A Commander in Chief should be above and beyond all childish games. Obama can run again when he has mature enough.

    Democrats- we have a clear winner with Hillary.....

    January 30, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  23. Kelvin from newyork city

    Obama change is changing a penny in to a penny how could that help any one if you want change Hillary is the one for change so we want Hillary Clinton for president vote Hillary 2008.

    January 30, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  24. BNS

    From above:

    "Now the Edwards is out of the race and McCain is looking like the front-runner, Obama needs to draw major contrast to Hillary Clinton on important issues like Iraq and Iran. "

    This will be risky because Clinton's voting record on the war is identical to Obama's except for one instance. So he cannot do this without his own voting record being examined, and he can't possibly want that.

    January 30, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  25. Steven


    The Illinois senator implied that [SHE, not] he "actually differed with McCain by arguing for exceptions for torture before changing positions when the politics of the moment changed."

    January 30, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
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