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. Jim Kansas

    I am not in the least bit interested in hearing Senator Obama tell us what Senator Clinton said or did. What I am interested in is what Senator Obama said or did.

    Talk is cheap, lets see some actions, and I do not mean attacking the other canidates.

    January 30, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  2. Jim ( Independent )

    Hours after former Senator John Edwards announced his exit from the presidential race, one of his most prominent Jewish fundraisers is backing Senator Barack Obama, the Forward has exclusively learned.

    Speaking this morning, Fort Lauderdale lawyer Mitchell Berger said the decision had been an easy one.

    “They are the two candidate who represent real change,” Berger said. “I will be supporting Barack Obama.” In 2004, Berger was the national finance co-chairman of Senator Joseph Lieberman’s failed presidential bid. He said that he has heard from a number of fellow Edwards supporters by phone and email today and, after reeling off a half-dozen names of fellow donors who had joined the Obama campaign, predicted the “vast majority” of Edwards’s supporters would follow suit.

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

    I guess now that McCain is a frontrunner, Obama will have one more senator to turn his back on... or maybe he only does that to "likeable enough" women?

    January 30, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. Matthew McSheehy

    Hillary gave her trade mark cackle and smirk when asked last night about the difference between her and McCain and agreed that they are very friendly to each other. It's obvious that a McCain/Clinton Ticket against an Obama/Edwards Ticket is a more than likely battle in the presidential elections!

    January 30, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. Cha


    Here we go, again. Another Obamania ticker. CNN network is Obama network. This media outlet is focusing on the tug-of-war, the iconic side of their most favored candidate, not on substantive issues that matter to the American people.

    January 30, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  6. Helen

    Joe you nailed it. Tough issues just vote present.If i was him i would hope everyone had forgot he did'nt bother to show up.

    January 30, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  7. joe

    Im so tired of this obama crap.



    January 30, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  8. AJ, IL

    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 is because McCain will play up his military experience and judgement (i.e. the poltics of fear) as the most important aspects for America's future and Hillary is in a near position to "flip-flop" on the issue. She has already "flipped" on the Iraq issue. If she tries to "flop" back on the Iraq issue, she's toast.

    January 30, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  9. Patty


    January 30, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. Nicol

    This Sen. Obama is grabbing for straws. If there is anyone that can not only reach across the table and work with Republicans, but also stand up to them, its Hillary.


    Why don't you read about her history of defending civil rights and causes for children? This 35 yrs is what she is speaking about. Its the media/Obama who is attacking stating that she is counting time as First Lady. HOWEVER.. she did work on initiatives while acting as First Lady.

    I love these people who write about things they know nothing about, and repeat un-verified rhetoric.

    You don't get things done by ignoring or snubbing other senators or "co-workers", if you will.


    January 30, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. george, CA

    How could Obama say Clinton not talking to leaders that she does not like? Did he expect us to forget what happened in the State of the Union night? Obama did not even show basic civility to the colleagues in the same Democratic Party!!!

    January 30, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  12. kris

    Toronto Girl- why dont you pay attetion to the issues in your country??

    January 30, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  13. Brandon

    is this guy capable of talking about anything else? how original-hillary voted for the war.

    January 30, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    ALL candidates should stop talking about other candidates and start talking about how to bring back the Nation's economy and what they as "leaders" will do for the american public in regards to taxation, welfare, medical costs, mortgage rates, education, and a general overall recovery for all aspects in the economy.

    I'm very tired of hearing Obama crying foul. Go on with your campaign and stop whining, because all he is doing is trying to put a negative light on the splendid record set by Bill Clinton. The budget has not had a surplus since he left office.
    He left office with a surplus budget, now look at it, billions in debt because of the Bush regeime.

    This Presidential campaign should be about who will best work with congress and the american people to bring about some changes, but not every program needs a change, just the political hoopla that goes on. Congress and the legislature have forgotten they are appointed by the people to serve the people, not large corporations nor lobbist who want to stick their expensive tags on bills that go before congress. If the politicians do not watch out, Americans will take back their country and all the politicians will be out in the cold, and others will be voted in who remember what they were elected to do.

    January 30, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  15. ao

    so now he attacks Hillary first to spat another fight. he is saying the one of the republicans who actually brought some bipartisanship (yes he is wrong on war, but look at his record AND support, not much conservative reps.) is similar in his position to Clinton – that implies that she is also moderate in her positions – uhh, sounds like a way to be a uniter to me, trying to be moderate... plus he made his great referral again about "criticizing her for 'embracing the Bush-Cheney policy of not talking to leaders we don’t like'", when he snubbed her, showing a great example of this policy approach in action, during SOTH speech. pathetic: say one thing do another and at the end of day cry because he got lost in his various endeavors.

    January 30, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  16. Texan for Change

    I'm an independent who always voted Republican.

    Let me say this:

    If I were inclined to vote the Republican ticket this time, I would be very worried about Barack Obama's democratic bid.

    If it is a Hillary Cllnton bid...I will be DETERMINED TO SEE THAT SHE IS DEFEATED.

    I have never felt so strongly about an election. Two reasons:
    1. Great inspiration from Obama
    2. Great dislike for the Clintons

    January 30, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  17. Barbara

    Hillary will never win!! America doesn't want Bill sitting in the Oval Office letting you know who, do you know what again!!! Now thats a joke.

    January 30, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  18. get truth guy

    Obama is the ONLY one has right to attack the others, this is a so unfair race, when he attacked Clitons no media or "black leaders" will have any concerns while in SC race when Clintons explored his fake promise of change and flip flop stand in War, every media and "Black leaders" came out attacked Clintons ran negative race. Give me a break, what kinda race this nation is facing: totally unfair one!

    January 30, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  19. Braineel

    Obama is the one to beat right now. Watching the Clintons scramble to maintain power is a sad sight to see. Let us have the person we actually want this time democrats.

    January 30, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  20. Linda Merrell

    The Clintons are always quick to point out Obama's short tenure as a Senator but how coveniently they forget that Bill had NO experience in either house of Congress when he was elected!!!

    January 30, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  21. PT

    Experience should be more important than words--remember the old proverb, actions speak louder?
    We have checks and balances, and that is what makes a democracy. Obama can say all he wants about "change", but if he was being honest, he knows the executive branch is limited.
    People should stop, listen and think , so that fervor doesn't cause them to vote for an unknown entity.

    January 30, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  22. Cheerio

    Also, at the rally in Denver where he gave the speech MSNBC says...

    "Eighteen thousand people showed up to see Obama in Denver, the site of the 2004 Democratic national convention and what Democrats see as a state that could go the Democrats' way in 2008. Obama spoke to an overflow crowd of 4,500 at an adjacent gym, and also addressed a second overflow crowd of several thousand at the university's lacrosse stadium."

    18,000 people is A LOT of people!!!!!!

    January 30, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  23. A Kulp, Griffin, Georgia

    Obama is the far, far , far left wing of the Democratic Party...way liberal. The Republican candidate will be absolutely delighted if he is the nominee of the Democratic Party.

    January 30, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  24. Dave Powell, NY

    I hope all you Hillary-lovers are reading the news. If Ralph Nader or any other 3rd party comes into this race, then it is guaranteed that we'll have another 4yrs of Republicans in that white house.

    Wake up !!! Hillary Clinton is not electable !! Many democrats will not even vote for her, no independent or republican will vote for her either !!!

    January 30, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  25. Dan Campbell

    Obama is being a hypocrite. If he spent 1/2 his time "working" on issues and presenting them in a comprehensive way, as he does on Hillary bashing, maybe he'd have a record to back up his rhetoric. I know talking about issues is boring, and maybe he is tapping into 'hate' because it is more invigorating to voters – but he is not serving his politics of 'hope'. Actions speak louder than words.

    Hillary 08

    January 30, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21