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. JLW

    Obama is an idiot but less of one then John McCain – woo hoo Go Obama – this country is going down the toilet.

    May 8, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  2. Bill Whittaker

    Obama will stack up well against Mc Bush. The real issue is whether Hillary/ Billary have already poisoned the well.

    May 8, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  3. Anita from Arizona

    Well spoken once again Senator Obama. My questions about your policies and character are squashed. November, here we come.
    Yes We Can!!

    May 8, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  4. honkey white guy from cali

    Phil from Boston you really need to go get a reality check!

    the votes in MI and FL are not his fault he as did Sen Clinton have to abide by the decision of there state governments and the DNC!!! get this through your head no matter how many times you lie it is still a lie!!

    The money that has came from oil companies were personal donation from people just like you and me and yes some were CEO's but they have the same limited donating ability as you or I do and lets be honest every one of the candidates have at least a few contributing to there campaign. and as to your racist remark about him winning because of the color of his skin your just sick!!! plain and simple sick!!! as a white male I am horrified at these racist people still left in this country.

    Go Obama 08 Yes We Can

    May 8, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |


    May 8, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  6. Dee/Warwick New York

    Brilliant response Mr. President, you are truly head and shoulders above your competition. I suppose desperate times calls for desperate comments, Hillary's "kitchen sink" tactics were an excellent tune-up for you in preparation of steam rolling McCain who is really in no position to compete with you. Be Afraid GOP, be very Afraid.

    Your days are truly numbered. There definitely will not be a Bush third term.


    May 8, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  7. Josh Caden

    The problem for Americans is that when Obama brings the troops home from Iraq, all the heat will be off Al Qaeda, and they'll have the time and resources to plan attacks over here. Let's keep the Bush policy and fight Al Qaeda "OVER THERE."

    May 8, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  8. lou, Mississippi

    Paris May 8th, 2008 2:52 pm ET

    John McCain stated the facts.
    Hamas spokes person did say they like Obama, I like Obama
    To say why he thinks Hamas and Iran like him.
    This is a simple question that needs to be answered.
    He is bringing John McCain into this so he doesn’t answer it.
    Obama is the one playing politics


    I read that quote for the Hamas person. They liked Senator Obama to President Kennedy when they stated their position. So, you should really READ the quote before you cut and paste your version.

    May 8, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  9. Pat

    A leader with "good judgement"? Since when publically calling your fellow American citizens "bitter" because they believe in God an example of "good judgement"?

    The fact that this Freudian slip didn't kill his candidacy immediately is an example of the poor judgement shown by most Obama supporters. God help you if Obama is elected.

    May 8, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  10. jorge lopez

    I can't belive how you all can belive this man.... I will never vote for Obama , .\
    Clinton all the way.... never for Obama...

    May 8, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  11. BIG PETE SR.

    Great Sen. Obama,stay above all of the wasted talk about ,things that will not matter ,because you will have a great dwai of healing to do in this country once you take office;but we will be there to do our part.May God contiune to watch over you and you family ,and give you the wisdom to search out Him for the reasons and the things that will have to be done to pull this country back together after you are elected President of these United States Of America!Thank you America foe seeing that we are all members of the Human Race and that we have let the media and the Clintons,WHICH IS SAD TO KNOW THAT WE WILL NOT LET THEM!TAKE US BACK TO ALL OF THE RACISM OF THEIR DRIVEN POLITICS!We now claim back this America that was divided by such thinking ;but the people has now spoken!"YES WE CAN"!

    May 8, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. sylvester gates

    keyboard malfunction... *100 years

    May 8, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. JC

    Obama is a fool to think he is what we want in our next president! Hillary is the best one to lead this nation! Obama has spent his life hating America and whites! Why would anyone support this man?

    **The move is on: We are Hillary supporters and you can't win without us! And we will not vote Obama!**

    Clinton or McCain 08
    God save America

    May 8, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  14. Xango

    May the universe bless you Senator Obama, the world is counting on you..................

    May 8, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  15. LiLi

    Can I just say that someone needs to concetrate on McCain, Hillary is so Obama obsessed. She isn't making this about the American people she is making this personal against Obama, because she isn't a big enough person to take a loss for the team. If Hillary only wants to think White, she should go live in the mountains in Alaska with the snow. America is changing, just look at the mixed younger generation. Why women keep voting for her I will never know, because she is a terrible role model for young girls that are being taught tolerance in school. Next time you are in LA Hillary and you go to a Mexican restaurant, you may want to take a trip to the museum of tolerance instead. Your true colors just came out about how you use people of color when you need them and then cast them to the side for the White vote.

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

    Obama always says someone is losing.

    May 8, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  17. Cynthia Robbins

    Obama only won in Lake County Indiana because the Democratic County Chairman Rudy Clay got his way. The county computer system was down for adjustment on 2 seperate occasions that I know of, once on Saturday before the election and again on election night. Don't believe a word any election official says. It is as corrupt as you think it is.

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

    This is what Hillary said not Obama. Obama is changing his comments AGAIN. Obama specifically chastised Hillary for being strong against this group and Obama said he would pursue talks with them. Obama is once again bringing on change, change in what he said last week versus this week.

    Obama did not say this, he's lying: "“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"

    May 8, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  19. Simp FL

    this is in respond to Paris remark

    how dumb can you be? just because a terrorist says he likes Obama how is Obama now required to explain what someone else said about him, someone he has no contact with, it won't work Mccain fan, Obama is the next president.

    Obama 08

    May 8, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  20. fred

    Obama is an Idiot and has no bearings!!!

    Go Hillary....if not McCain!!

    May 8, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  21. Kirk in New York

    Obama '08

    ...from Hillary's former backers in New York!

    May 8, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  22. Obama v McCain

    Obama supporters:
    Treat her as the Repubs treated Huckabee and she will go away. We in the meantime will take it to McCain!.. bring it on!

    May 8, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  23. Questionable

    McCain spoke the truth...look it up. That is the problem with the Nobama followers....he is such a good skirter of issues that they don't even notice that he ADDRESSES NOTHING. How about answering that question as to why the terrorists like him? He has lots of 'shady' ties and his robots follow him all starry eyed. So what if he opposed the war, so did I. Maybe I should run for President!!! CNN won't post this because I am going against the Nobamas.

    May 8, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  24. beachgirl

    Why is Obama crying about McCain's comments, Obama is cry baby about everything, cann't take any critical comments, can't take any negative stuff. AND YOU WANT HIM AS YOUR PRESIDENT, I SURE DON'T. Hillary is smart, tough, direct and straight shooter, that's what we need in our country!

    May 8, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  25. Robert

    Bird of a feather flock together....what is happening to this country. We are in for a real problem if we don't soon realize what is happening here. Hang in there Hillary!

    May 8, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
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