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. linda from South Dakota

    well,,,,, mccain, isnt the president and he wont be,, not with his temper and outlook. hes another bush,,, asn americans dont need that again... Obama has the right ideas and the backin , hes goin places for sure,,,(next president),,, He (obama) is right,, the name callin hs to stop,, what kind of example is that>(hillary< grow up, you arent in grade school anymore or are you??) Obama takes his role here very seriously and i think americans should stop and listen to what he has to say,, and with a clear mind,, get rid of your prejudice,,,, TOday is Today,, not 50 year agao, do you want to continue to spend high prices for gas and food? if so elect hillary or mccain,, then answer to your country who elected them. I want an economy thats affordable and fair,,, GO OBAMA!!!!!!!!2008

    May 8, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. Jan, Knoxville, TN

    I am so proud of my candidate Barack Obama who has endured more unfair flack than anyone in modern political history and has still managed to keep his cool and truthfulness. I admire him greatly and believe the press, including my beloved CNN in the last few weeks, has been way too hard on him. Please Barack do not pick Hillary Clinton as your VP candidate! She has told so many lies against you and has played the race card that she is unfit to be in anything more than the Senate, if that.

    May 8, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  3. bigben

    30+win in WV will make you feel real good loser. She was robed the momentum of MI and Fl. Obama fought to not have a re-vote knowing this.
    Ubama will be nominee was a *

    May 8, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  4. Rob

    Left- and right-wing zealots are equally nauseating. Obama's creed to stay above the fray makes all these emotional and sarcastic posts so very ironic.

    May 8, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  5. Maxine

    Florida and Michigan, if you are unhappy with not getting to vote you need to talk to your representatives....they are the ones who messed this up for you.....

    May 8, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  6. Canadian bacon

    Don't know about MacCain loosing his bearings, but they are definetely rusty and seized-up. Nothing that a can of W-D40 won't cure.

    May 8, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  7. Rob

    Obama debating McCain will be a battle of wits with an unarmed man, how long before he snaps?

    May 8, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  8. Jeff D, South Bend, IN

    "What she does dare is to HOPE and has the audacity to HOPE! Not just pretty words but the real thing."

    Oh my dear god what planet are you from. Are you really that gullible?

    May 8, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  9. DJ, LA, CA

    Good for you Obama for pointing out the truth. Although yes – most people seem to think McCain never had his bearings to begin with.

    Enough of the Clinton/McSame fear-mongering and lies.

    May 8, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. Doug, Florida

    Cherl L.

    It worked again Hillary and now time to defeat McLame

    May 8, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  11. Unified Democratic Party 2008

    My previous comment directed at Clinton supporters is a great contribution to this discussion and needs to be posted.

    May 8, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  12. alex JEW FROM NYC

    mccane 08

    May 8, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  13. I wish I could've voted in MI

    Seeing how Barak Obama is bi-racial it's amazing how some people try to attack him by saying he's against a certain race.

    The majority of this country is not "pure" white– no matter how many people try to claim that they are. It's 2008 and everyday whites, blacks, hispanics, asian, etc are procreating together and have been for a very very very long time. So look past the skin and focus on the person.

    I haven't gotten this excited about a candidate since... Ever! Obama is what we need to get out of this rut.

    May 8, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  14. Angel, McLean, VA

    Great spin-Mr. Obama.
    These are the facts:
    Obama said, "as a President, I will negotiate with everyone without pre-conditions".
    As a result, Hamas expect to do some negotiations with Obama. Therefore, Hamas would like for Obama to become President.
    So, I do not understand why Obama is accusing McCain of going sort of crazy because he made a statement based on what Obama and Hamas have said.

    May 8, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  15. AGO

    We need Hillary not Obama,I've voted democrat all my life (70)yrs and I'll vote for Mc Cain if he's all we have to vote for. Smooth talking is CHEAP, but getting things done is what counts and Hillary can do that!!!!! Come on you voters, wake up and see what he's really up to!!!!

    May 8, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  16. Voter

    Obama and McCain both said they were "not going to run that type of politics." The fact that Obama is criticizing McCain on it is hilarious. Now isn't that the pot calling the kettle black?

    May 8, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. McCain


    May 8, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  18. LHMan

    I'm so tired of theseObamaites with their Pollyanaish view that once Obama gets in the White House we'll all join together and sing Kumbaya. Wake up and smell the partisanship. Obama has limited experience and if he gets in Republicans and Clinton lovers are not going to just sit by and let him bring us together. If you like Obama, fine, but squelch those delusions of grandeur.

    May 8, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. a concerned American citizen

    Obama is such a phony!!! I don't believe anything he says anymore. Talk about same old Washington politics! He changes his tune to every crowd he is trying to get votes or donations from. Obama has great rhetoric and he will use it to fool the American public. Obama obviously thinks the Federal government is the solution to everything – and believe me, if he is elected, the Federal government will have their hands in everything, including our paychecks. Forget our freedoms. Forget a bigger net pay check. Our taxes will go up and up and up!!! Forget feeling safe. Iran will get Nuclear. And our troops will leave the middle east, never to return. He says they will be peace keeping troops like the old peace corp around the world. Peace keeping at the expense of what – our freedoms and liberties and safety? America, please wake up before we are lulled to sleep by this man with great rhetoric but no experience and terrible judgment!

    May 8, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
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