May 8th, 2008
04:35 PM ET
15 years ago

Obama: McCain is 'losing his bearings'


Watch portions of Obama's interview Thursday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Barack Obama chastised John McCain Thursday for engaging in “smear” politics, and defended himself from critics who question whether he is capable of being commander-in-chief, during a wide-ranging interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer - his first sit-down since the Indiana and North Carolina primaries.

“This is offensive, and I think it's disappointing,” Obama told Blitzer, when asked his thoughts about McCain’s comments that the terrorist organization Hamas wants Obama to be president. “Because John McCain always says ‘I am not going to run that kind of politics,’ and to engage in that kind of smear is unfortunate, particularly because my policy toward Hamas has been no different than his.

“I’ve said it’s a terrorist organization and we should not negotiate with them unless they recognize Israel, renounce violence, and unless they are willing to abide by previous accords between the Palestinians and the Israelis. So for him to toss out comments like that I think is an example of him losing his bearings as he pursues this nomination. We don’t need name calling in this debate.”

Blitzer’s interview with Obama can be seen in full at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET in The Situation Room. (Related: Obama: World wants to see U.S. lead)

On the topic of national security, Obama said that the American people are looking for a leader with “good judgment” - a trait the Democratic presidential hopeful said he possessed.

“Whether it’s my judgment on Iraq and recognizing that that was going to be a strategic blunder, to my insistence that we need to talk not just to countries we like, but countries we don’t, to my assessment in terms of how we had over-invested in the Musharraf government in Pakistan and that was going to be setting us up for failure later on,” Obama said. “I think I’ve consistently displayed the kind of judgment that the American people are looking for in the next president.”

Obama also talked in-depth about the Democratic nomination battle with Hillary Clinton, the Supreme Court, economic policy, and he spoke emotionally about his mother and wife.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (294 Responses)
  1. Teresa Willson

    Somebody.... Everybody... HELP! NOT OBAMA! This is not a game. It is time to get real.

    May 8, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  2. Relle Boston

    Barack is the niminee and Mcain will lose. We need a uniter in office someone who talks truth to power. He is the man for us all. We will see in a year how all are inlove with Barack and his love for us all.

    May 8, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |

    Thank your for you continued sane words in what is currently and increasingly an insane political climate.

    OBAMA '08!!!

    May 8, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. Andy

    How is it, that HIlary makes a racial comment that is offensive to everything that stands for freedom and equality and everyone seems to let that slide.

    If Obama made the same comment it would be front page news. I am tired of the bias, I am tired of the DNC trying to think of every excuse to take the nomination from someone that actually deserves it. If the DNC tries to take the nomination away from Obama they have lost their legitimacy as a party.

    Howard Dean needs to put his man shoes on and do something to unite this party.

    May 8, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  5. Janice Hough

    For McCain to lose his bearings he would have had to have them in the first place!

    May 8, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  6. Deb

    Obama is his own worse enemy!

    McCain was repeating a statement, not making anything up!

    "We don’t need name calling in this debate"

    Obama is the biggest name caller there is, it takes one to know one.

    As for judgment! His absolute record (that we know of so far) shows just the opposite!

    May 8, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. Dennis

    Hey Lola...

    Thanks for using ALL CAPS to predict the future for us.

    More intelligent, educated Hillary supporters.

    May 8, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  8. HSNP

    Carrie – maybe Barack Hussein Obama should go Indonesia!! Now there's a garden spot of enlightenment. Maybe you should go with him.

    May 8, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. fred

    Looks like the tide is turning against you Obama!!!

    You are a wolf in sheeps clothing!!

    Obama doesn't have a chance...he is a figment of the medias imagination!! They have pushed, pushed, pushed Obama down our throats.

    We won't take anymore of his nasty BS... Obama is coming down!!!

    Go Hillary....if not McCain

    May 8, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  10. Eric

    illinois voter – you are an idiot.

    May 8, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  11. FONZI, an independent.

    Obama,be careful. I do not trust the situation room.

    May 8, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  12. Paris

    If you state the facts Obama is offended.
    If you talk about his mentor of hate you are a racist.
    So I guess in a democratic country we can’t question Mr. Obama?
    Why? Do you know that Obama is the least accessible candidates to the reporters?
    He doesn’t like to debate either.
    Something wrong with this picture.

    May 8, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  13. jon

    for McCain to say this is disgusting.

    May 8, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  14. bigben

    noobama go fry grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    May 8, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  15. FreshAir

    Ladies and Gentlemen this match is scheduled for one fall!

    This is going to be a whoop'n.

    May 8, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  16. Worried Democrat

    lou, Mississippi

    You got it wrong. Educate yourself. No one is denying Obama said they liked Hamas. It's the fact that Mccain is using it as a talking point that bothers intelligent americans unlike yourself.

    Josh Calden: are you on crack? we should continue the iraq war so we can fight al qaeda? you are so dumb that people like you shouldn't be allowed to vote or have children. Get real man. The Iraq war is a blunder and hasn't made us any safer. Obama will end the war and send more troops into Afghanistan where the real terrorists are training at this moment.

    It boggles my mind how uneducated people in this country are. I'm glad that young people like me are the future and we are supporting the most intelligent candidate = Obama

    May 8, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  17. For the love of this independent

    Myrtle Guseman

    Allow me.
    He will put an end to this war. Meaning we will stop borrowing from china to pay for it.

    Raise taxes on the wealthy to invest in america infrastructure thus creating jobs

    Make healthcare more affordable.

    And invest in alternative fuel source to lessen our dependence on oil.

    You can find this information on his website.

    May 8, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  18. Ian

    Let me get this straight...

    When McCain points out that Hamas leaders want Obama to be President, he's out of line...

    But when Obama takes McCain's "100-year presence" comment out of context or when he repeatedly suggests that McCain doesn't know the difference between Sunni and Shiite, it's perfectly okay.

    Talk about a double-standard.

    May 8, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  19. obama supporter




    May 8, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  20. jane in CA

    Children stop fighting. Focus on the foods on the table, gas tank, troops in danger, what to do when you get sick. Unite to help Obama to straighten these out.

    May 8, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  21. A.

    Anyone who votes out of spite is a gigantic moron. Just sayin'.

    May 8, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  22. Hamilton, KCMO

    Telling the truth and exposing Hilary CLinton is not the same as dirty politics. Fortunately Barack Obama will not stand for Clinton's blatant lies and "mis-speaking" and taking advantage of uneducated Americans.

    May 8, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  23. barb, seattle WA

    We're white and we voted for Obama in the primary, BUT we'll

    be voting for McCain in the fall............Rush had nothing to do with

    our vote.

    May 8, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. KPN

    JC-you have problems. You shame democrats in my book if you would vote for McCain over Obama. His mother was white and he was very close to his white grandparents. Where do you get off saying he hates white people. He is just as much white as he is black. You are full of bull.

    May 8, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. RT

    Finally! We are actually focusing on RELEVANT ISSUES!

    Its about time!

    May 8, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
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