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. Dave, Laguna Niguel, California

    Change? Riiiiiiiiiiight.

    January 30, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  2. Lester

    It will eventually boil down to this: Who can we trust? Although I think Hillary is a great leader and should be praised for being the first true femaie presidential contender, I am frankly worried that her mobster-like approach to dealing with people is not the face America wants on our highest office.

    I would however relish the idea, if Hillary were elected, of reading the daily tabloids of Bill's casanova exploits amongst the White House secretarial pool. Good Lord ladies, run for your lifes!!! A taser or pepper spray would be the standard issue protection necessary for all females within a block radius of the oval office.

    Vote Hillary, keep our tabloids alive!

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

    Boy, one day Obama preachers of Unity, Change and Hope, wanting to quit the negative type of campaigning, then the next, takes negative swipes!

    And Obama supporters, they are negative swipes, not comparing one candidates views over another! And doing so again without stating how come he didn't vote on the issue or remind people of his remarks in late 2002 about keeping options open as to bombing Iranian nuclear plants, which resulted in Obama being chastized and denounced by the group who asked him to originaly speak out against the war!

    Political means by a political hungry candidate so it seems!

    January 30, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  4. velija, manchester, NH

    So, can we finally hear anything that Mr. Exclusive Candidate has his own opinion or stand for?

    January 30, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  5. Lu

    I'm slightly confused at the responses here, when Obama gives inspirational speeches people want specifics when he gives specifics he's...what exactly? What are these criticisms, that he's bringing up a valid difference between him and and Hillary? How dare he!

    And when Hillary attacks Obama that's perfectly alright I suppose. Hillary supporters push me further into the Obama camp every day.

    January 30, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  6. conservative Republican

    Democrats would love to run against the likes of John McCain. He's one of them.

    January 30, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  7. wandering i

    This is pathetic.

    Obama talks about "unity," "bringing people together," but he acts like an extreme partisan and attacks Hillary for working with Republicans to find solutions?

    He said today in Colorado:

    Obama depicted Clinton as a calculating, poll-tested divisive figure who will only inspire greater partisan divisions as she sides with Republicans on issues like trade, the role of lobbyists in politics and national security. At the same time, he elevated McCain, fresh off victory in Florida's crucial primary, as the likely Republican nominee.

    So she will inspire partisan divisions by actually working with Republicans? Isn't that what you say you do in all of your "inspiring" TV ads?


    Not to mention you have continually voted to fund the very war your now criticizing her for "siding with Republicans" on.

    January 30, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  8. Peter Waters

    Hillary is the only one who can trun this nation around. We are on a wrong path and we need someone with the right leadership and experience to do the job.

    It is a hard job and only Hillary can do it! We cannot afford to take a chance and give up the White House again.

    I like Obama as a person... but Hillary is a better leader.

    Hillary 2008!

    January 30, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  9. Corey, Bloomington IN

    Joe, get your facts straight. Nobody told Obama about that vote until it was too late for him to vote.

    January 30, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  10. Frank

    Ah, go ahead Senator Obama and continue your attacks on Hillary Clinton. Your head has already gotten too big and it will blow up sooner than you think, and then all of your attacks will be forgotten. You have already started to sound like an egotistical no body, who continuously says "me, me me" in television interviews and snubs a rival colleague out of poor judgement and lack of grace! You will NEVER be the President of this great nation.

    January 30, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  11. JJ

    Gave me a breack...Obama? Can you talk what you want to do as a president, detail your plane instead just attacking? This is not a hope American want...you are the person afraid talking the past since you don't have anything to show...let's get real....I am worry about my kids go to the college and my retirement...please talk about those issues...

    January 30, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  12. Robin

    Obama had my vote at first, but I have seen how disrespectful he appeared at the State of the Union address, and how he gloated at having a Kennedy support him, and I think over the years, despite the fact that my family were in " awe " of the Kennedy's, they all turned out to be a big bunch of liars and elitist, truly it is quite sad we Independents never have a strong candidate, but hey Thanks Obama for making me realize voting for you would be a gigantic mistake!

    January 30, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  13. Jackson White

    Obama has provoked another attack against Senator Clinton and will be the first to shout "racism" once Clinton responds. He gets away with everything he says and does because the media blindly favors him. Watch! Chris Matthew and Tim Russell of MSNBC, and Gloria of CNN will all ignore this attack, but will jump on Senator Clinton if she responds. I am a man but hates the way these journalists belittle female candidates. Gloria is too blind to see this reality. Obama yelled racism and won South Carolina, and he is now looking for another chance to yell it again. Shame! Run on issues and not on attacks. I deeply regret why I wasted my vote on Obama in Iowa and I know my colleagues who are saying the same thing now. I prefer to vote for a Republican candidate than to vote for Obama if he wins the nomination.


    January 30, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  14. Inside Democrat

    Just sharing some inside info, I know people in the Edwards campaign including his campaign manager trying to talk him out of endorsing Hillary Clinton. But at the end, Edwards is dead set on endorsing Clinton. She was there honoring Edwards' son when he died in a fatal car accident, and Edwards never forgot that. Edwards will in turn get the Attorney General position, or a seat on the Supreme Court.

    January 30, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. Michael, San Francisco

    Obama must understand that sometimes it is imperative not to talk to certain world leaders, like Kim Jong Il or the President of Iran, Mahmound Ahmadinejad, because those world leaders will use your discussions as propaganda to further their own political ideals. Obama's failure to acknowledge this shows his lack of experience when it comes to foreign policy issues.

    As for a candidate to challenge McCain, it will be easy for either of the two Democrats. One must only highlight McCain's pandering to the Right to secure his nomination, his belief that the war must continue at all costs until "victory" has been achieved, and his links to the policies of President Bush. These beliefs are not shared by the majority of the American public.

    January 30, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. Chris, Orlando, FL

    No, Barack, the way to win a debate against McCain is by knowing HOW to debate, and that comes with experience. You, sir, know neither HOW to debate, nor lack the experience to do so in an effective manner. Should McCain be the nominee for the GOP, the only chance the Dems have at retaking the Whitehouse rest in and with Hillary Clinton. God help the Democratic party if they nominate you, Barack. McCain will eat you alive.

    January 30, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  17. An Agnostic Democrat

    Well stated. This would be the same Hildebeast Bottom(feeder) Clinton who conveniently changed her position on Iraq (big surpise!) just prior to declaring her bid once she realized the Democratic party as a whole was opposed to the occupation in a civil war from the beginning. Before that ,she marched in lockstep with the Bush administration on every aspect but vocally and superficially postioned her self otherwise. Trianguate, manipulate you name it, this strong woman candidate will say and do anyhting to justify her whimsy on the war.

    I'd love to see her at the bedside of a returning vet saying "I voted to send you to the Iraq masacre and agreed in policy with the Bush administration the whole time you were there, but NOW I want to be sure you get the care you need and pull out all the troops I sent over to Iraq unnecessarily in the first place.

    Note to Clinton cocktail drinkers: Let's see, do you think the current state of the economy is connected in any way to your candidate's vote for the Iraq invasion from the outset???!!! Oh, that's right! You'll find some reason to blame George Bush rather than Hillary because just like her, you can talk out of both sides of your mouth and explain away anything on a dime!

    January 30, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  18. GLO

    It is indeed time for a change.

    Barack represents high ratings and revenue, and he is therefore the media's golden boy. The news media's bias in favor of Barack Obama IS the new status quo.

    It is time for a change. It is time we think for ourselves.

    Change is Good!

    Vote NO to Barack Obama !

    January 30, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  19. tony ny, ny

    Obama the attack dog is back.

    January 30, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  20. otc

    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."

    CNN: I think you mean, "she 'actually differed ... .'" Obama is talking about Clinton's position here in contrast to McCain, not his own.

    January 30, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  21. Paul GA

    Obama, you mean Hillary can cross party lines and bring folks together, isn't that what you claim you do best. Why critizies, I would think you would recognize this as a good think... OPPS double talk on your part.

    January 30, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  22. sbenton

    Joe you are crazy. I am from Illinois, and any body who reads knows that Illinois rules are totlly different. People think about, you are not just voting for Hillary you are voting for Bill as well. Nobody is looking at what Hillary has done, they are looking at what Bill did. She is running on his experience not her own. Now if Bill was running then I would vote Clinton but he's not people.....Hillary is not a uniter. and I'm a woman. Women stop voting because of that, vote to make a difference. She can not beat McCain, that's why the Republican want her to be the nominee. If she is the nominee I am voting McCain, they are one in the same.

    Obama all the way 08!

    January 30, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. robert

    Obama- The cheapest fairy tale of all time...give me a break, what exactly have you even done for your home state of Illionis?

    January 30, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  24. dee

    Well Said Obama

    More to the Point!

    Experince you may not want more of!

    Hillary voted for war with Iraq
    Hillary voted for war with Iran, 2007
    Hillary Economic stimulus plan fell short, Her econ. adviser had to revise it to look like Obamas.

    Who wants more of the same old status Quo Experience

    Need for change

    Obama 08

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

    Obama is pathetic.

    He and Clinton have the same voting record, except for the authorization vote where he was sitting in Chicago and did not have to make the decision. He was against the war from the start, he was against the war when it did not matter. As soon as it did matter when he got to the senate he faithfully funded the war from then on. Hindsight is wonderful isn't it.

    January 30, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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