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. Anonymous

    I am still begging someone to explain:

    How does Hillary have 35 yrs experience?
    How does being First Lady count for anything?
    Would she have been elected Senator if she didn't move to NY?
    Would she be in this race if not for Bill?
    Would you have even HEARD of her if not for Bill?

    I dare any of you to answer these questions.


    January 30, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  2. Souly

    The crying Baby is back! Please Obama stoppppp talking about Clinton, tell us what you gonna do with a bad economy, what will you do with Iran and more spec. about all the issues! You will never get elected by attacking Senator Clinton. Since a week or two I never heard Senator Clinton talking about you or about your campain! Please if you wanna win you may have to be more precious about what you intend to do!

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

    I agree with Joe. I will NEVER support a candidate who doesn't take a stand on an issue. You can't miss votes and vote "present", which means nothing and then criticize someone else's vote. That's like the average citizen who doesn't complaining about the government. If you don't vote or take a stand, then SHUT UP. Obama is a joke – Pres. Clinton was right when he said, when was the last time this country elected someone with 2 years Senate experience and that's it. The Illinois legislature is a joke, because he only sat there voting "present" until it was time to run for President. Something's fishy in Chicago politics, always has been.
    Hillary 08!

    January 30, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  4. Ron, Texas

    To Dave C from NJ – Hillary's experience is based on taking a stand on ISSUES. Whether it was directly as an elected official or indirectly – she has been pushing matters to the forefront, especially health care reform. I think questioning her experience by questioning why she's been elected (and re-elected), etc. is pretty weak. If your motivation is to make it seem like Hillary has as little experience as Obama – then I can see why you question. Otherwise, I would say look at reality and not the fiction that Obama wants us to believe. He has regularly avoided making the tough decisions and has equivocated throughout his political career. Hillary has been putting herself out there – for better or worse – but always to make sure there is REAL change. That is the experience that she brings and Obama can't bring now and likely never will.

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

    Obama has no clue what he's gotten himself into.

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

    Toronto Girl, No, Canadians can't vote in America. On another note, your english is a little bit below the sea level – which may be the reason why you don't understand Obama. Quit saying things like "... he have". Better still, get an English interpreter should you want to say something about politics in America. Ok?

    January 30, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. C. Monaghan

    Think about this...Hillary went to shake hands with Kennedy and then Obama turned his face. How's that for conduct becoming a Pres. of the USA. Let him run in Kenya!!!

    January 30, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  8. Stephina

    Here we go again, it is back to "She Said, She Did,"......

    I thought Obama was taking the high road to not issuing personal attacks...so what happened???

    Does Obama not have anything of substance to state, except for the same old chant that "It is time for Change", which now sounds like a broken record.

    January 30, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  9. namata


    January 30, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  10. Warren

    There is a typo in the fifth to last paragraph. Obama said that Clinton ("she" not "he") had allowed for exceptions for torture, to which McCain had objected, and then changed. If we are going to have a he said/she said discussion let's make sure we us the correct pronouns to refer to each candidate.

    January 30, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  11. Ginger

    Why is it Obama can attack Clinton and she can not answer back. He then declares she is the attacker.
    He an Oprah were the first to bring up the race issue. In front of a black group they declared"NOw is our time! not a Democratic time but a black time.
    Then he began to attack Clinton at every turn ans we blamed her when she answered him.
    No we know he is tied to this slum lord through a questionable land deal.
    But the news media is cutting him some slack. If it were Clinton they would go after her like a rabid dog.
    Maybe it is because the media is controlled by the good old boys. They want a man no matter how mean he is.
    So they ignore the issue of the racist, attacker, slum lord bed fellow Obama.
    What a shame the media is biased against women.

    January 30, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  12. Unbelievable

    Hillary promised New Yorkers when she ran for Senator in 2006 that she would not run for President and would finish her term as their Senator. She kept saying – I am running to be your Senator – then how many few months later was it that she threw her hat into the Presidential ring? She lied while running for Senator about her future intentions. She does not deserve nor has she earned our support.

    January 30, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  13. Matt

    I like Obama and was at the speech today, but I don't dislike Hilary Clinton either. What I found interesting about this story was that for most of the campaign cycle Obama has faced criticism for not detailing what his policy choices would be in detail. More than anything in his speech Obama outlined what he would specifically do to deal with the War in Iraq, the Economy, Education, Foreign Policy and bipartisanship in Congress. I really wish that CNN would do it's job and report on the issues of the speeches of all the candidates, dems and repubs, so people could make informed decisions. If I'm an American and I want to figure out who to vote for I watch speeches on YouTube so I get the truth, not the divisiveness which the media prefers.

    Dear CNN, do your job.

    January 30, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  14. Kali

    Obama is a horrible speaker as well. Not impressed by him. He tries to makes sense, but rambles in circles. As far as Clinton, she has experience and the fact that she's a woman makes her even more powerful.

    January 30, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  15. Cate Keating

    There goes Obama being two faced again – wasn't he the one dissing Hillary about misrepresenting the truth – how very hypocritcal of him – actually – the devil in me wishes he would win the nomination and lose the general – just to show up the blind lemmings that will suck up anything the biased media and policitcal pundits dish out – you would all deserve it – the decent intelligent person in me however wants my grandkids to grow up in a country that will finally be run by someone who can deal with the issues (that would be Hillary)! More and more I am turned off by the "annointed one" – do you all fools really believe that the media won't stir up crapola if he were to become president – dream on!

    January 30, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  16. Henry n New York

    Joe you can't be serious – she showed up and voted the wrong way. It seems all Bush has to do is say terror and point and Hillary is like yeah I'm with you. I would rather a representative not show up than vote to go to war. I wonder to all those that are so gun woe – do you have any relatives in Iraq. Do any of you have sons to send to Iran. Stop the war for oil AND DON'T START ANOTHER ONE.



    January 30, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  17. S. Elliot

    It appears that the only uniting factor among Obama's pathetic endorcers (Kerry, Kennedys, Carter) is their irrational fear of a strong woman. The Clintons' strength intimidates these old democrats into sabotaging dem's chances into White House by endorcing a weaker candidate who is more likely to lose in general election. How very sad that their personal politics obstruct their vision!

    January 30, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  18. Nats

    Hillary is the right person to lead the country on the economic front, her depth of knowledge on the subject is evident.She can beat McCain easily on every front without doubt.
    Obama is good in rhetoric's than specifics, hope is good but we also should how that can be accomplished.Obama 's score is zero as he has no clear plans on economy,health care,Iraq or any issues that affects America today.What America needs is an Leader who can visualise things to come and an leader who can lead from the day one .

    I am ardent viewer of CNN,but it seems to me that CNN is siding with Obama unfortunately, promoting his cause and giving more coverage to Obama and bringing in Pro-Obama experts on its shows. I think CNN should stay neutral and not side with anyone and report the issues as it is.


    January 30, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  19. Intellectuals

    To vote or not to vote is not the question, but when you vote, at least think before voting.

    The Iran vote was so ridiculous that Obama did not even show-up.

    Read-this: it wasn't even worth showing-up to vote !

    January 30, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  20. d

    ECONOMY is the topic today.... not Iraq.

    I wonder if CNN is doing the debates.... do they give Obama the questions ahead of time ? !!

    Go Hilliary ... Obama is arrogant !

    January 30, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. dave

    Right on Joe State Senator Obama 130 present ,no show on Iran

    January 30, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. charles

    I think all this means is that America now have two people runing for the Democratic nomination for the presidencyl race, I think Obama will make a good choice and has a good direction from the old to the new america I see

    January 30, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  23. John ny, ny

    Well there is one big difference in Obama and McCain. Obama is a cry baby with carolina & Teddy wiping his nose & oprah changing his diaper.

    January 30, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  24. Fem4Hillary

    Obama stop picking fights that you can't handle!! Lol!!
    And then he has the nerve to complain about being attacked.... he is sooo weak!

    Go Hillary!!

    January 30, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  25. Bryce

    @ dave
    35 years ago she began public service (albeit small service it was still service)

    First lady is a leson in deplomacy that she's learned well. (Shes probably the one woman who Putin would think twice about pissing off)

    No because you have to be a resident.

    I do believe she might be in the same place without Bill. She was a driving force in making him what he was as president.... Guess what!! The 90's weren't bad!

    We most certainly would have heard of her! You Obama fans are always the ones pointing out how she can't keep her mouth shut! Why don't you try listening to what she says instead of pretrending that Obama can wave a magic wand and make the bad people go away in Washington so he can do all the things he's promissed you.

    Guess what again. He can't do any of it.

    January 30, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
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