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. su haili

    did you mean 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 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  2. MM

    If McCain is the nominee, only Obama could beat him. McCain and Clinton share too many of the same ideas and their support comes from similar folks. Where's the chage in that?!

    January 30, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  3. tomdavie

    Obama is starting to get a little cocky here.

    He is still behind in the polls everywhere. He is starting to honestly believe that his crusty Ted kennedy endorsements are going to magically change voters minds.

    January 30, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  4. Monte Brown, New York, NY

    It seems to me that the only way Obama can stay in this race is by engaging in petty bickering and demagoguery. While Obama is pointing the finger and trying to feed his ego, Hillary is listening to the needs of the American people and responding with solutions. Hillary Clinton wants to bring America back, while Barrack Obama is trying to win the election. The American people should vote for Hillary Clinton because she wants to be a leader that will bring us through these troubled times.

    January 30, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  5. John from CT

    So now what? Does Obama think Hillary will leave us over there for 100+ years too? He has run a very good campaign and his speeches are very inspirational.
    Voter turnout has been tremendous. But this voter is still waiting for specific answers to issues - and so far I don't hear that.

    January 30, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  6. wall

    well we can certainly count on Obama to put in a vote of "present" on vital issues – so much safer that way

    January 30, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  7. cari

    I think you mean "she" argued for exceptions for torture... referring to Clinton. Not "he". Please correct.

    January 30, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  8. roger, conway sc

    Hillary please do not respond to Obama's comments he will start the crying & whining & pull the race card again. Remember the last time just keep in mind you are campaigning against a bully who the media loves so please do not give them another opportunity to start their crap & please do not let Bill get involved. Most U.S. citizens are ready for a black president but Obama & the black leadership are not and the media are not in your favor....

    January 30, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  9. AJ, IL

    Someone please explain to me how Obama is misrepresently Hillary's senatorial votes? Hillary voted for the Iraq War in 2002. Hillary voted to brand the Iran Revolutionary Guard terrorists in 2007. She called Obama's statements about "meeting with our friends and foes" in earlier 2007 debates "naive". These are matters of actual public record. Anybody?

    Obama in '08!

    January 30, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  10. Virginia San Francisco, California

    Senator Obama just doesn't wish to stick to the topics that he is presenting instead lets jab at another Democratic candidate so that the Republicans have that more ammunition. This another reason that Senator Obama speaks with a "fork" tongue. Comparing Senator Clinton to Senator McCain is like mixing oil and water...just because they are both are in liquid form does not mean that it mixes well. What happen to uniting the American citizens? It is time that the media began going after Senator Obama instead of tip toeing around this "biracial" individual since he is "not just a black man". The media wants to be politically correct by not going after Senator Obama because they don't wish to look like the media is picking on Senator Obama. This is the problem with the mostly white media...this includes all those "white men/women" who don't wish to look incorrect. Now don't get me wrong there are some sincere folks out there but to say this is not race related or gender related...don't fool yourself folks as racial prejudice STILL exists that is why so many "black' americans (80%) voted for Senator Obama. This type of vote has not happen before that I know off until a biracial candidate came into play.

    Folks VOTE for what is best for the country in general not to words that sweet to the ear...actions speak louder than words and to this day ALL I hear are words without any action.

    Equality for black and white...say what happen to rest of us?

    January 30, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  11. Casey

    I wonder if Obama will continue to categorize Edwards in the same way he did in the last debates (we have an African- American, and woman, and John." Something tells me he will not. What do you think?

    January 30, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  12. Republican in MD

    If OBAMA is against HILLARY and McCAIN...then I suppose he would be saying that ROMNEY should get the nomination. If it's allowable...I wouldn't mind seeing ROMNEY, President....and OBAMA, Vice President.

    January 30, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  13. Sus

    That's all you got Obama?

    Bring it on.

    Hillary '08

    January 30, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  14. DLC

    Obama may not win the presidency, but I guarantee you he will be the Domocratic nominee. "Shrill"ary Clinton is the joke!

    January 30, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. elaine


    January 30, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  16. Ray

    Shut Up Obama! Your getting old real fast!

    January 30, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  17. ddmk

    change in the air
    Just keep focus and be strong Barack
    Tomorrow is your anointing in Cali. at teh debate
    all the polls in the super tsunami are changing dramatically
    Connecticut : Clinton 40 / Obama 40

    January 30, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  18. Democrat

    Obama what happened to the nice guy I once supported. You are acting like your Chicago backer more and more each day.

    January 30, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  19. Republican in MD

    ......also, you have to crawl before you walk, and walk before you RUN. Obama needs to walk first. I don't think he's ready to be a President.

    January 30, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  20. L McDonald

    Is anyone else getting weary of B.O.'s preachy cadence? I'm starting to feel like a lowly sinner in church when he gets going, not an energized citizen.

    January 30, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. Republican in MD

    .......... Neither is Hillary. She has experience as "first lady" and a short time in the Senate. What's That!

    January 30, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. missing something

    Agreed, Dave C.

    January 30, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  23. Illinois voter for Hillary '08

    You can't allow Obama to attack Clinton on Iraq and now Iran, if the Clinton's are chastised when they attack Obama for wavering on his opposition for the war on Iraq.

    Obama will never beat McCain in Florida, but Hillary has shown that she can.

    The Obama campaign just returned some additional denotations from Obama's imprisoned friend, Rezko.

    Count me as a voter whose entire family will never vote for Obama in any election.

    January 30, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  24. Sam

    Hillary is a farce. Bill was elected promising universal health care. The Congress was democratic. Eighty percent of the public was behind it. The economy could easily support it. Yet her program was 100% failure. She had another 6 years to try to revive it. Let's hear the excuse for 8 years of failure on her supposed pet program – when her husband was the president no less.

    Now there's an election, she's promising you healthcare again just like Bill did – with an unworkable mandatory plan.

    The theory is that if you can fool them once, you can always fool them. As Geffen says, "the Clintons lie with such ease, it's troubling". and the NY Times' William Safire called her a "congenital liar". Hillary flunked healthcare. She flunked Iraq. She flunked Iran. She even flunked the Washington bar exam twice. That's her record – her so-called experience. Vote Obama to get the job done.

    January 30, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    What would you have done had you been a US Senator from the state of Illinois.
    I want to look at your candidacy throughly but you still leave me with a part that is not answered. Do you have relatives serving in the war? Have you lost a friend or relative to the war? Just do not go around saying I was against it. What sacrifices has any of us made-you included for this war? Just saying you were against it does not get this resolved any faster.
    You are for change right? Does change not begin with every person from within?

    We all need to look at that.

    Change your story about being against the war.

    January 30, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
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