April 26th, 2008
07:51 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama: 'I've been taking some hits'


Watch Obama explain why he sometimes takes political punches without firing back.

(CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama used a question during a campaign event Saturday to explain his unusual approach to politics.

“How do we get rid of that huge divisiveness in this country?,” a voter asked Obama in Anderson, Indiana.

“The president sets the tone,” the Illinois senator said before explaining the bipartisan approach he’d take if elected to the White House.

“But, I’m also going to try to show this during the course of the campaign,” he added. “Sometimes you take some hits. Even during this campaign, I’ve been taking some hits.”

“One of the things that I learned in the school yard was: the folks that are talking tough all the time, they’re not always that tough. If you’re really tough, you’re not always looking to try to start a fight. If you’re really tough, sometimes you just walk away. If you’re really tough, you just save it for when you really need it,” Obama said.

“I’m not interested in fighting people just for the sake of scoring political points.” “If I’m going to fight somebody it’s going to be fighting over the American people and what they need.”

Obama’s effort to explain his sometimes non-confrontational approach came on the same day that his rival Sen. Hillary Clinton proposed a Lincoln-Douglas style debate. Prior to Clinton’s challenge, Obama said in a television interview set to air Sunday that he would not agree to any more debates with Clinton before the May 6 primaries in North Carolina and Indiana. After learning of Clinton's proposal, the Obama campaign maintained that the Illinois senator would not participate in any more debates until after May 6.

Related: Clinton to Obama: Let's debate like Lincoln

soundoff (353 Responses)
  1. Dani

    Whatever...... yawn

    April 26, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  2. Texican

    You don't know what taking hits is all about. Hillary is a light weight compared to what McCain will bring if you are the nominee.

    You have been exposed. No substance just hot air.

    What are you going to run on, your record. Oh I forgot you don't have a track record.

    April 26, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  3. Edgar

    Since no one will reach the 2025 delegates, let's evaluate the candidate and who is the most electable candidate and who will win the November election!

    In HILLARY we trust!

    April 26, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  4. JO

    Hey baby ... you ain't seen nuthin yet ... just wait !!

    April 26, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  5. For Obama

    Just the type of example for our kids, and our country. Grown up, MATURE adult response. We dont need the childish lying deceit type person in the head seat of our nation. We need someone with a good head on their shoulders who is honest and forthright on all issues and situations. NOt someone that is going to take advantage of that position and sweep things they dont want us to know about under the rug.

    This man has his cards right, good head on his shoulders and very well maintained in how he handles himself. Unlike the roller coaster ride with Hillary.

    OBAMA 08!

    April 26, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |

    SNAP! Obama just Smacked Hillary down! See people he sees this all clearer than even we do getting all upset and yelling in these forums. He is right. SOMEONE has to be the grown up and stay above this crap and be responsible and get things done.

    Now the Hillabots will see this mature, levelheaded, sage advice and a sign of weakness and pounce! You know what? Go Ahead you will just prove his point.

    Bet you don't even understand how either.

    April 26, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  7. Bayou Joe

    You call it non confrontational. We call it running away from your past.

    Too late we know enough about you to not let you be our president.

    April 26, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  8. neb

    Clinton only wants to debate because she is out of money and needs the free air time. Obama is our first gracious nominee in awhile.

    April 26, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  9. toch from germany

    Nice word,s from a wise man .ride on my dude and GOD will always be with you .
    OBAMA 08

    April 26, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  10. Mr. Los Angeles

    No matter how much clinton makes him out as a punk, you've got to give it up to this stand-up guy; that's one change. let's get more change when we get in office president obama!

    April 26, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  11. Hmmm

    that's funny.... i learned that same lesson....people that posture like they're that deal tend to end up on their back when its all said and done..

    April 26, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  12. carolinas

    It is wise to have direct connection with people of Indiana and North Carolina to clear there concerns about the major issue Economy, Iraq war, terrorism, oil dependency etc,,which are more important issues rather engaging in some negative rhetorical fights with old style political candidate Hillary Clinton. It is a wise decision Obama...make a change in the Washington political system.

    OBAMA 2008...!!!!

    April 26, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  13. BL/NYC

    This is a total JOKE...
    He's been taking some hits? Is he serious? So, if he were elected it would be a thousand times greater and would we hear boohoo then as well?
    This guy has a real chip on his shoulder...

    Sir, the woman you are running against has been beaten to the ground and still has her chin up, we don't hear crying from her...

    April 26, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  14. Brandon Dyer

    Word on that!!!

    ObamA 08!!!

    April 26, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  15. dwho

    Yes, Obama has gotten hit from HRC for poor bowling performance.
    She did not hit on him this time for court performance. ha, ha, she getting tire of the spin, spin and spin.

    April 26, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  16. FrankS

    I'm not interested in any sort of debates. Enough is enough. The media benefits from all this, no one else. This entire election is turning into a giant soap opera and the losers are us, the People.

    April 26, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  17. former NC resident

    He won't take part in any more debates til after May 6th??

    He sure IS ducking out! We know what he's afraid of – it's as clear as can be. Is he taking us for fools?

    April 26, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  18. BL/NYC

    This is easily one of the most arrogant things I have ever read!!! Amazing...
    "Been taking hits"... I can't believe this is coming out of the mouth of someone who wants to Govern our Nation...

    April 26, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  19. norvef


    April 26, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  20. marlies

    that is so sexy

    April 26, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  21. hells_fury

    god be with us if she loses this nomination, oh please god, let hillary win, otherwise she will be spewing all kinds of venom and and pointing her fingers, which she does very well by the way... at everybody but herself.

    April 26, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  22. SS

    Obama don't take the Lincoln-Douglas de-bate....

    April 26, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  23. Vig

    Hamas endorses Obama – that should tell you all you need to know about why Obama is not Presidential material.

    April 26, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  24. growing

    Obama has been growing like a cancer in the democratic party.

    Slicing and dicing the electorate into fringe groups of hatred.

    He has exploited race to his advantage.

    April 26, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  25. mk

    change the name from politicalticker... to obamawatcher...

    April 26, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
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