May 16th, 2008
03:55 PM ET
15 years ago

Blitzer: Obama's learned - 'attack right back'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Blitzer: Obama hit back a day after Bush's speech."] WASHINGTON (CNN) - Barack Obama came out swinging against both President Bush and John McCain. At issue: the allegation that those who are willing to sit down with terrorists are no different than those who sought to appease Adolph Hitler in the lead-up to World War II. A day after President Bush’s speech in Jerusalem, Obama gave a tough speech of his own defending his record and then followed up with a lengthy news conference.

Obama’s political strategy is clearly designed to prevent the accusation from gaining credibility. Republicans have successfully raised questions about Democrats national security credibility over the years. Obama and his supporters who fanned out across the television networks want to make sure that those charges don’t have time to resonate.

I remember covering the 1988 presidential race between then-Vice President George H.W. Bush and Mike Dukakis. The Democratic nominee was branded as weak on national security. He was ridiculed for wearing a helmet while on a tank. The picture clearly made him look silly. Even though he had emerged from the Democratic convention that summer way ahead of Bush in the national polls, he eventually lost the election in November.

Many Democrats learned an important lesson in the process. Once attacked, attack right back and don’t wait. Bill Clinton learned that lesson in 1992. It’s seems Obama has learned that lesson as well.

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (209 Responses)
  1. Eric

    What exactly is Wolf Blitzers infactuation for Obama really about? I swear he acts as if he's a star struck teenage girl and Obama is Justin Timberlake.

    May 16, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  2. James

    Bottom line, Wolf's little Pro Democrat show isn't going to make Obama win. Obama is going to raise taxes on us all and that will be the reason he won't win.

    May 16, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  3. Neutral

    One thing I can say about the Democratic Party, they have the HABIT of choosing the WEAKEST candidate for General Election. Obama who claim to be the "presumptive nominee" is the WORST candidate for GE DNC have chosen; he makes Dan Quayle looks like a GENIUS! If Dan Quayle has Bora bora, Obambi has 57 US STATES. And you people want him to be President? Something's wrong with your faculties or should I say, BRAIN MALFUNCTION!

    As long as the DNC allow ultra liberals of their party like Kennedy, Kerry and other nutsos control the majority, their chances of winning the WH every 4 years is close to nothing. Majority of registered democrats are MODERATES and YET, the DNC ALLOW the few extremists in their own party to control everything. Many moderate democrats are leaving their party, what a shame. They have a moderate candidate for nomination BUT they prefer the MOST LIBERAL and RADICAL and WORST hate USA. Sure formula for losing in General Election.

    May 16, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  4. Susan Versage

    Didn't Jimmy Carter just return from having discussions with the terrorist group Hamas? Maybe President Bush had him on his mind when he discussed appeasement in the Israeli Knesset.

    May 16, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  5. libby

    Bukky bait you are right but you must remember that these are the people who support Hilary, uneducated illiterates. Obama did respond right soon after the attack AND you don't have to be an Einstein to know who Bush was talking about. Wow, to think there are actually people still out there who support these GOONS! Tell that to all the Americans who have lost their loved ones.

    May 16, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  6. Tony P.

    To Billy from Florida; It's so easy for Obama to defray any Republican attacks. This is because the GOP has made it so simple and easy from serious mistakes like issues of the fradulent intelligence Iraq war analysis determining failed ratinale for the Iraq invaision, and the Economy, onto the higher Gas price conspiracy of the "Bush" family who have been huge share holders of the OIL Industry since the 1960's, and benefiting from those higher gas prices, onto the Rep. Foley R-Florida scanal and others. The GOP has "hung" themselves...and none of their "petty" sel-righteous issues and tactics are going to defend them this November.

    Newark, Ca.

    May 16, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  7. John

    Sure,Obama has learned to strike back at his attackers! The problem with that,most people analyse it different.The people view Obama as a snarling,barking attack dog,who in the attack may end up in unwarranted fight.The best method is to refute the attack,and keep it off the radar,and down playing the attacker.That is what Hillary Clinton does best.Right now she looks more presidential than the other two.

    May 16, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  8. noemi in los angeles

    It is time the Republicans feared the Wrath of the Democrats.

    You may have prevented our nominees from getting elected in the past with your fear tactics, political pandering, and indirect speeches.

    Never Again.

    Democrats Unite!!!
    Democrats 08.

    Republicans............ time to fear your own tactics, Democrats are taking the White House back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Your failed policies have led us nowhere.

    We are NOT better off than 8 years ago.

    We need a democrat in the White House Now!!

    Clinton 08
    Obama 08
    Anyone but McSame!!!

    Democrats Unite!!!

    May 16, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  9. Brent

    Couple things:

    1.Chaimberlin "appeased" Hitler by handing over Czechoslovakia to him, not by talking to him. Seems to be an important difference.

    2.McCain said today that talking with heads of state sponsors of terror won't get them to give up their WMD programs or terrorist activities. Note to McCain, thats exactly what happened with Ghadafi in Libya. How can someone who claims such foreign policy experience make a mistake like this?

    May 16, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
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