April 17th, 2008
03:13 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama brushes Clinton off his shoulders—literally


Listen to Obama’s remarks on Clinton Thursday.

RALEIGH, North Carolina (CNN)-–Democrat Barack Obama said Thursday that rival Hillary Clinton was "in her element" at Wednesday night's debate, telling a North Carolina crowd she "took every opportunity to get a dig in."

He used his hands to motion brushing his shoulders off. "That's her right to kind of twist the knife in a little bit," he said, before adding that he understands why she's using what he calls the tactics of the GOP.

"That’s the lesson that she learned when the Republicans were doing that same thing to her back in the 1990s. ...So, I understand it," Obama continued.

"When you're running for the presidency then you’ve gotta expect it and you know you’ve just gotta kinda let it—" He paused, brushing his shoulders off with his hands before doing the same to his knees and pant legs.

"You know, it's what you gotta do," he said, to wild cheers from the Raleigh audience.

Obama's attacks echo a theme his campaign has been hammering, as well.

In a conference call with reporters Thursday morning, campaign manager David Plouffe said Clinton's recent negative ads in Pennsylvania are part of a "relentlessly negative campaign."

But before Obama directly took on Clinton, the Illinois senator took a swipe at the debate itself, sarcastically calling the back-and-forths the two have been having lately "inspiring events." He added that Wednesday's set a new record in his book.

"It took us 45 minutes before we even started talking about a single issue that matters to the American people."

All this at a time when it remains unclear whether Obama will commit to an April 27 debate in North Carolina. Coincidentally, an audience member asked him why he hasn't committed to that one yet.

Obama, as he has in the past, downplayed the relevance of recent broadcasts.

"I’ll be honest with you," Obama started, "you know we now had 21, and look, I mean the previous three, you know, we did very well, so its not as if we don’t know how to do these things."

soundoff (431 Responses)
  1. Steve from NJ

    I love how Obama says we need to stop all the negativity! Then about 2minutes later he says When McCain and the Republican attack him with all they have, he'll attack them with even more!!! hahaha What a hypocrit. He's lost a lot of respect from me, and i liked him!!, since the debate last night. He knows he screwed up last night and Hillary dominated, was commanding, and was Presidential and he's running scared trying to cling to his last hope of "defeating old washington" when he'd do the same thing "old washington" does. He thinks he lives in a plastic bubble and no one is allowed to attack him.
    Hillary has my complete support after the past two days. Clinton '08!!!

    April 17, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  2. Len

    It was hillarious.

    Wish we could bush her out of the USA.

    April 17, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. Anthony-Minneapolis,MN

    Obama is showing his Hip Hop side, showing a Jay Z "Gone Brush Ya Shoulders Off" move. That was Jay Z's popular song. "Get That Dirt Off Your Shoulders". He knows the haters are out in full force but he isn't new to the game. So don't hate the player or the game, hate the son of a " " that came up with the game.

    April 17, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  4. Rhonda

    That is funny!! Proud of you Obama!!!

    OBAMA 08

    April 17, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  5. Mike from Westchester

    Last two PA polls:

    Zogby 4/15 – 4/16 601 likely voters Clinton +3
    PPP 4/14 – 4/15 1,095 likely voters Obama +1

    Looks like we're in a dead heat. Hillary-ite bloggers, you need to take a step back and a deep breath. There are real reasons why this is happening. The train is leaving the station – there's plenty of room for everyone.

    Obama '08 – Yes we can!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 17, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. Elizabeth

    You gotto get the dirt off...

    April 17, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  7. M Thomas

    "Wipe me down"

    April 17, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. dorothy

    Good for you Barack Obama, "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" because in the END, it is all Small Stuff, and You have Too Many Situations, and Wars to fight, to get STUCK in The MUDD!

    GO OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Dorothy Smith

    April 17, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. Mike

    Hillary is done. Obama is gaining more and more support by the day. People have finally figured out that Hillary is a liar and just as bad as the republicans.


    April 17, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. deborah

    How arrogant and dismissive of the "female" candidate. I have just had enough of this Senator's dismissive attitude toward Sen Clinton. I don't understand how all you Obama supporters can not see that SHE attacks him on his own words and actions, while HE attacks her personally as if she is some kind of idiot. It is disgusting. I will never vote for this arrogant SOB.

    April 17, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. shelgirl

    To Jeff Radun,

    My God, anyone with good sense would condescend to that entire ABC Clintonesque Debacle. Get a sense of humor bud and stop being so pissed at the Uppity Nig–r.

    That's what you really want to say, right.

    April 17, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  12. April in Texas

    LoL Funny as Heck! Its one of those you had to be there moments..

    Obama 08

    April 17, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  13. Insider from Sacramento

    It looks that we are all in agreement. ALL politicians LIE. That is why they do. Now let us move into analyzing the candidates SPECIFIC PROPOSALS of what it is that they will do if elected (like those of Senator Clinton)—NOT WHO HAD THE BIGGEST DREAM, which was actually not even his (like that of Senator Obama).

    April 17, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. Shay Shay

    Brush her off Obama! Billary is reaching a new low. she is desparate so she is going to try anything. She feels she is so entitled to this nomination b/c of all she has been through. She has been embarressed more than once so she just needs to go somewhere and really bake some cookies!

    April 17, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. Sara from Arizona

    Yes, get that dirt (Clinton) off your shoulders. OBAMA 08'

    April 17, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  16. Allison Marie

    I saw the debate, and that's not what I saw! However, I understand the bias media. Wow, the Republicans will do anything not to run against Clinton...........McCain here you come!

    April 17, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  17. Cameron

    What will Hillary tell us next? That she was born to a mixed race couple and raised by a single mom? I wish I could says that I was amused by how during last night's debate Hillary plagiarized every one of Obama's popular positions as her own. All of a sudden now SHE was the one who had shown that she can work across party lines to bring people together to move the country forward. Shameless how she will say anything to get elected.

    April 17, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  18. Mack

    Obama's just rubbing himself from that beating he took from Hillary on ABC last night. He's mad because last night was not a cake walk for him. Obama is not use to a fair debate.

    April 17, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  19. Pat

    Jes, your comment tells me that you don't know the meaning of "intelligence" and "well educated." Please tell me which of the Presidents had previous experience with being a President before they were elected? At least he has the courage to run for the President of the United States and if is an arrogant & pompous man, more power to him because it will take an arrogant individual to turn this country around after having a "patsy" of the current President.

    April 17, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  20. Eric-PA

    He IS a dirty politician. I commend both moderators and ABC last night for standing up to the liberal media and saying we're not going to take it anymore. This bias against Hillary. The ABC debate was one of the most useful debates yet. His connections with the weather underground group and Wright ARE issues that need to be dealt with. If he can't handle these questions how can he stand up to the Republicans? He scored an F in this debate, slightly worse than his D's in the last two debates.

    April 17, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  21. Corey

    Go on BRUSH YOUR SHOULDERS OFF! Tooooooooooooooooooooo FUNNY! I can just hear the music now! LOL!!

    OBAMA '08

    April 17, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  22. Frank, Missouri

    🙂 That's a good one !

    April 17, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  23. Soba, Clifton, NJ

    Those of you who dont know, Hillary was a republican, comes from a prominent republican family, and switched to dem around the time she married Bill. Its no surprise that she plays dirty...its in her blood. By the way, their marriage was a marriage to benefit each other. politically.

    April 17, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  24. chris nguyen

    this obama dude is getting more and more street fighters campaign tones with no respect to voters .. he showed the nasty and impolite attitutdes infront the camera as drag queen failed to reach the finalist.. best way is to send him back to where he belonged.. radical trinity church so he can be happy with his UNCLE.. wright.. lol..

    April 17, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  25. paulie_nj

    New article here says Obama wants to campaign not debate. That's because he cannot debate like Clinton can and he is running away with his tail between his legs. Did he even answer a question last night? If he can't debate against Clinton he will surely be eaten up by McCain if he gets the nomination. Last night's debate was the first one that I actually enjoyed. It touched on topics that people DO want to hear about. And last night we learned more about what a HYPOCRITE OBAMA is.

    April 17, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
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