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. sandi

    Well everyone has finally drank the koolaid – pressure is on and can't be stopped – you guys have finally put New Hampshire behind you

    May 8, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  2. mitchell from arkansaw

    mccain is senile,barack.we all know it,and we can't wait to see you put him out to pasture.and to pat;you have no judgement,or you would understand some of us ARE bitter,mostly at people like you.

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

    you are a great man,keep your eye"s on the prize ,john mcCain is in deniel ,keep the faith good things happen to good people your heart is real and true

    May 8, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  4. Cheryl L. Swaim

    There he goes again. He's using the same sneaky smear tactics he used against Hillary. That's one of the reasons I will never vote for Obama. He's the ultimate hypocrit and runs a vicious campaign.
    Nobama for Me. Ever!

    May 8, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  5. carolyn martin

    I think everyone is afraid to say anything about obama because of the race thing , but we are all thinking it , he knew this was clinton time , he could have waited another 8 years , I do not trust him ! he waited to long on his pastor comments , he was his mentor , remember his book , 20 years he knew what he was about , he just pissed his pastor off when he denounced him , I think that is why wright is mad.
    I am mad at obama for running this time , he has young black voters voting for him because he is black.

    May 8, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    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"? "

    Excellent twist of facts. Nice try.

    May 8, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. Myrtle Guseman

    Would someone tell me, what obama will do for this country except finish giving away what Bush has not!!

    May 8, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  8. t-bone

    McCain is speaking the truth.
    Obama is in no position to run the country.
    McCain will slaughter him in debates.
    All the votes for Obama were done PRIOR to Reverend Wright. We should have do-over primary and you'll see that people don't want him in office.

    May 8, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  9. Rob

    Clinton is toast. McCain will be too, soon enough.

    May 8, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  10. MacFL

    Once again, Obama up to the same old same old.....

    If anyone dare tell the truth they are labeled by Obama and his campaign as "dirty" and trying to smear poor little Barack....

    So sickening.

    By the way bub... you don't have the nomination yet, and you sure as heck don't have my support.

    May 8, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  11. Adrian

    Don't ever count HIllary Clinton out, you've tried it a couple of times and she's come back and hit you where it hurts!
    She still has our support and we still have 6 primaries, millions of votes, and a convention!

    But even if somehow you manage to guilt trip your way to the nomination, Remember polls idicate that about half of us will absolutely not vote for you in the general election, even if Hillary is forced to support you by the DNC! The DNC cannot force my vote!

    I challenge my fellow Hillrazers to pledge to not vote for Obama and instead vote whatever other party they choose for the GE.

    I for one will start a letter of declaration for signatures addressed to the DNC indicating we WILL NOT support Barack NOBama because of his duplicity, his inexperience and lack of record, and his lack of judgment and leadership and because of the procedural violations surrounding the votes in MI and FL, which they have failed to correct.

    Hillary's supporters and donors will pull out their support from the DNC this time around, you've started to see it happen!

    May 8, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  12. CP

    Let's get McCain and Clinton to sit in the corner and call each other names while Obama runs the country.

    May 8, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  13. Mark VA

    Reality check for Obama. If you think the Clinton campaign was effective in winning voters over by attacking him, just wait until the Republican eats his lunch. He will look like a broken man at the end. For you Obama supporters denial is not going to help him.

    May 8, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  14. sheryl

    And the beat goes on!!!!!!

    OBAMA 08-12

    May 8, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. DMS

    And now the twisting of words begins because that's the only thing Obama has to deflect attention off of his lies. I can't wait until the GOP uncovers every shady deal he's made and every lie he's ever told. People will begin to see more and more that he is a communist at heart and he will go down hard. That's the day I will celebrate.

    McCain '08!!!!

    May 8, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. Mike

    After 7 years of Bush terms to see a smart candidate like Obama shows that God is really with us.
    God Bless America and Obama presidancy

    May 8, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  17. mike

    good job- Obama

    Taking the high road again- thats why us independents will vote for you.

    As for the Hillary machine-

    Goodby to NAFTA
    Goodby to politics as usual
    Goodby to Bill and his foreign interests
    Goodby to American jobs being moved overseas by the
    Clinton political machine
    Goodby to rascist comments and the kitchen sink!
    GOODBY Mrs Clinton

    May 8, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  18. we ARE bitter!!!!!


    I understand your point, but the English way of saying Pakistan IS Pak-is-tan. Not Pahk-is-tahn. If that was the case we'd have to say Meheeco, instead of Mexico.

    May 8, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  19. Robert

    Such a great public speaker; but gives no answers to any questions because he doesn't know them. Come back in a few years

    May 8, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |

    Thanks Barack, baby, I totally agree! You keep on going and don't let that McCain, and Hillary stop you from coming to our rescue!

    We still believe in you and your message, even though these haters are trying to smear you!

    We see right through it!

    Obama for President! 2008

    May 8, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    I guess I'll just be the one person with a college degree plus advanced degrees that's backing Hillary and/or McCain.

    May 8, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. Hippyscooter

    You Hillary supporters who say you would vote for McCain over Obama are just ridiculous. Are you just trying to show your zeal, or have you been so brainwashed by Hillary's relentless attacks that you believe a man who wants to keep the war going and is Bush parrot is better than a candidate that has virtually all the same policies as Hillary? Grow up. If McCain wins this thing becuase of people like you, I hope you can sleep with the thousands more lives lost.

    May 8, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  23. TKB from DC

    McCain is getting worried. He know there is no way he could win against Barack Obama.

    May 8, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  24. Repentant

    Democrats unite!
    Stop attacking one another.

    Hillary ran a wonderful campaign but it was not enough to beat Obama. So we all have to quit this infighting and rally around him so we can beat this GOP smear machine.

    ***Note that many GOP supporters, pretending to be Democrats, post hate and racist comments here only to tear us apart***.

    Do not fall to their ploy!

    May 8, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  25. Unified Democratic Party 2008

    Obama is not disenfranchising voters, "Big Rod." Florida and Michigan's politicians did that by ignoring the rules and moving their primaries up. You can't change rules in the middle of the game. Clinton didn't care about either state until it became clear she was headed for defeat. Those votes should not count. By the way, I live in Florida.

    May 8, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12