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. Paul

    I keep scratching my head trying to figure out where people get the idea that Obama is arrogant and pompous. I have studied him closely and I just don't see it. He doesn't talk down to people. He doesn't rub Hillary's nose in her mistakes. He's opened up his life, thoughts, background and beliefs for everyone to see. He never shows that he's above answering the hard questions. He takes responsibility for his mistakes. He knows that being President is less about himself than it is about the people of the USA. He knows he can only accomplish things by connecting with good people.

    April 17, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  2. Antoinette


    I Caught that and i loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Just brush her off Sen., Just Brush her off

    April 17, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  3. little man

    Little men always talk big and are the most boastful. Trying to hide their shortcomings behind insults.

    Trying to talk their way into having any importance at all.

    April 17, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  4. moe

    Hillary's tactics of non stop firing on Obama have turned even her ardent supporters to Obama . Look at Pennsylvania polls. She was ahead atleast 25 points, and now 5 points and dropping.

    Go OBAMA Go, get the nomination and go after McCain and Company. He did the right thing by literally brushing her off.

    April 17, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  5. Chill Out

    Come on Jarad......ARROGANT!!! Because he brushed off the mud-slinging crap that wasted 45 minutes of the...."debate". What does the Weathermen 1960's radicals have to do with anything relevant to your life? Obama was 8 years old and living in Hawaii when these guys were around and you probably were'nt even born yet.

    April 17, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  6. pakuna

    Obama is so arrogant and back alley. You better pray he doesn't get the nomination. The Republican party wont make McCain back down from him. They will be brushing his dirt off their shoulders. If Hillry had said and done what he did she would be plastered all over the papers for picking on the poor boy. And yes that is what he is. He is a small arrogant spoiled rich boy that needs to grow up.

    April 17, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
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