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. kelly WI

    another lie from the self appointed messiah.
    McCain 08. Honor duty country integrity.
    Oh, I know, dems can't stand to hear the truth of Obama.

    May 8, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  2. Len in Washington

    OK, Josh Caden....Go enlist and ask for duty in Iraq. THEN we'll see how you support it.

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

    How come no one is saying how Hilalry has been rejecting offer for MI to count unless she gets it to count in her way. She rejected an offer from MI itself ... not even the DNC.

    May 8, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  4. Troy Anderson

    As a resident of Washington D.C. I am really tired of hearing people in Michigan and Florida claim they are being disenfranchised. The truth is they were told what the penalty would be if their elected officials moved up their primaries and now they are upset because the DNC actually followed through on their threat. If Florida and Michigan go unpunished we will begin the next election cycle 3 years ahead rather than 2. We may as well start campaigning for 2012 right now as well. While the democrats need Florida and Michigan to win in the fall they also need to make sure campaigning doenst grow even longer and more expensive in the future. In DC dont have any voting representation in the house or senate.... now that is disenfranchisement, if you want to get upset about something, help us get representation.

    May 8, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  5. no bush3

    Paul from miami.... you'll vote for McCain out of spite and disdain.... awwww, poor you... hillary cant win the nomination, so youre gonna vote for a guy who cant tell the difference between one muslim group and another? A guy who admits he dosent know anything about economics? A guy who wants to remain in Iraq for 100 years or more? A guy who jokes and sings about bombing people? A guy who "supports the troops" but wont vote to increase veterans benefits? Sorry, Paul from Miami, but your petulant ignorance is offensive.

    May 8, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  6. Victory for Hillary

    Obama is an elitist racist candidate that will be flogged by the GOP in the fall.

    Hillary is our only chance of winning the next election.

    You get the government you deserve!

    May 8, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  7. Neutral

    McCain know EXACTLY know where he's going, Obama is like a dog chasing his own tail, going around circles.

    Your chicken come home to ROOST Obama! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!


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

    > Clinton or McCain 08

    Please go ahead and vote for McCain. You must be looking forward to cleaning latrines in the United States of China.

    May 8, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  9. lol

    did he get the democratic nomination yet? NO he did not. he can't beat hillary, let alone mccain! dnc please count FL and MI so obama can go back to the corrupt politics of chicago, where he belongs.

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

    Let me explain the GOP strategy...they wanted Hillary to win the nominee because they have more ammunition against her. Monica, voted in support of the war, etc. She has been in politics too long, therefore, this is why they wanted her to win. They probably feel it would be easier to find more dirt on her than Obama.

    This is why the GOP is scared. They have already tried to hurt him with everything Hillary started, but he continues to go on.

    Think about it!

    May 8, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  11. Mike in Columbus

    Lou, Mississippi...

    I can only read english, so I am having trouble reading your post... could you translate and repost?

    May 8, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  12. No McCain

    Obama is absolutly right, McCain is loosing his bearings... this man has nothing that qualifies him for the White House. Plus there are no Senior Citizen Services available in the Oval Office so we have to get someone younger.

    May 8, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  13. gerald strother

    Limbaugh: today said he could not keep back the info of cliniton was the ones that gave the TAPE OF Rev. Wright TO RUN ON TV AGAIN CLINITON HAS NO SHAME

    May 8, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  14. American Citizen

    Obama is not putting a chicken in every pot and he is not going to pay your mortage. Sorry to have to dash your hopefull dreams you will still have to work for a living no matter who becomes president.

    May 8, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  15. obama supporter

    keep it up obama
    take the high road. we knew mcsain would be just like hillary. i am proud of you for being you
    some time you are to much a gentelman

    May 8, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. Kat

    Obama is clueless and only knows how to make pretty speech, he is not able to get the job done and will not be the next president.

    May 8, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  17. FLORIDA Voter for Barack Obama

    I'll be watching this at 6pm Wolf. I'm glad we got an interview on the issues, we need more like them.

    May 8, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  18. Joyce in Florida

    I really find it ironic that Senator Obama blames others for "smear" tactics and, in my opinion, he is the King of Smear. I have not nor will I ever think that you are capable of being commander-in-chief. NO WAY. We all know that you pick and choose and for now, you choose to ignore and disenfranchise Florida and Michigan. Hillary Clinton is the most qualified leader to run against John McCain. I will keep donating and supporting her campaign until I see her in the White House. With that said, HILLARY CLINTON SHOULD BE OUR NEXT PRESIDENT!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 8, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  19. helena

    i would like to say am from Angola my husband is from US and we are following American election and am so happy to see how democracy works in US .WE ARE WATCHING YOU OBAMA!!

    May 8, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  20. b

    triumphalist half-literate thug-like obamanites scare me.

    May 8, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  21. RealityKing

    "Obama said that the American people are looking for a leader with “good judgment” — a trait the Democratic presidential hopeful said he possessed.

    Except in racebaiting, anti-American, victimization preaching pastors..., that is.

    May 8, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  22. Susan, PA word. MEGALOMANIAC

    May 8, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. John, OH

    When it's not Clinton supporters, it's McCain supporters. Sigh. Okay, guys, listen carefully: "Tough on ______" is not the answer to life, the world, and everything.

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

    Ah, yes...I won't smear other politicians...only "religious, NRA, voting Americans" I got it now, thanks for clarifying.

    May 8, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  25. Stop that Woman

    Phil from boston is a nut!

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