May 19th, 2008
10:34 AM ET
12 years ago

Obama to GOP: 'Lay off my wife'

 Obama said his wife should not be an issue in the campaign.

Obama said his wife should not be an issue in the campaign.

(CNN) - Barack Obama sent a direct message to the Tennessee Republican Party on Monday: “Lay off my wife.”

In an interview with Good Morning America, Michelle and Barack Obama responded to the Web video unveiled last week attacking Michelle Obama’s comment earlier this year saying she was proud of America "for the first time in my adult life."

"The GOP, should I be the nominee, can say whatever they want to say about me, my track record," Obama said on Monday. "If they think that they're going to try to make Michelle an issue in this campaign, they should be careful because that I find unacceptable, the notion that you start attacking my wife or my family."

The four-minute video posted on YouTube coincided with a visit to Tennessee by Michelle Obama for a Democratic Party event.

It features several Tennesseans saying why they are proud of America while repeatedly cutting to her comments.

The Illinois senator also said his wife "loves this country,” and for anyone to “distort” or play “snippets of her remarks in ways that are unflattering to her is, I think, just low class.”

"Whoever is in charge of the Tennessee GOP needs to think long and hard about the kind of campaign they want to run, and I think that's true for everybody, Democrat or Republican," Obama also said in the ABC interview, adding, "These folks should lay off my wife."

The Tennessee Republican Party took heat in early February when it used Obama's middle name, Hussein, in a news release that questioned the Illinois senator's support of Israel.

That statement also included a photograph of Obama from a 2006 trip to Kenya, in which he is dressed in traditional attire.

Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan later said of that news release, "The RNC rejects these kinds of campaign tactics."

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (259 Responses)
  1. Brian

    Yeah, like Mrs. McCain doesn't have any skeletons in her closet...

    May 19, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  2. mr.g

    leave the mans wife alone.there are three things you do not mess with food money and most of all family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 19, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  3. we ARE bitter!!!!!

    God, she dresses so awful...LOL. I still like her though.

    May 19, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  4. Adam, Los Angeles

    That's right!

    May 19, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  5. Toni from Maryland

    I agree

    and i respect that

    Just like i dont think anyone should attack McCain's wife either. It should be just about the candidates

    Obama 08

    May 19, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  6. Lauren-CO


    May 19, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  7. saddened

    Dont attack his wife that makes you look very weak. Why doesn't the GOP talk about Cindy McCain's drug abuse problem? If this is all the GOP has then I cant wait for the dems to win in Nov.

    May 19, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  8. Angus McDugan

    Why not question his wife if she has been out campaigning. I am not sure what Obama can really do about enacting change. This is his key point in his campaign, but he has not said how he will accomplish this. Jimmy Carter tried the same thing and accomplished nothing because he was rejected by the establishment. If Obama is expected to deliver on this promise then he is probably sweating like a Hillary in church.

    May 19, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  9. Ed

    If Michelle is stumping on the trail for Obama and opening her big fat mouth while inserting her foot into it, I would say that definitely makes her fair game.

    May 19, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  10. Corey, Maryland

    Michelle Obama is a great person and a great American. She will make the best first lady come January 21st.

    Obama Richardson 2008

    May 19, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  11. go blue

    In 1992, the GOP tried to attack Hillary Clinton in their despereate attempt to keep Bill Clinton from defeating Bush Senior.

    And look how that turned out!


    May 19, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  12. sacto joe

    These orchestrated attacks are meant to get Barak Obama to make a mistake. Don't fall for it, Senator!

    On another subject, since when is a comment by Ferraro worth taking center stage on ANY page???

    What do these two issues have in common? The media moguls are scared spitless of Barak Obama. The Great Hatchet Job is commencing, folks. Beware of media manipulation!

    Also, DON'T TRUST that the comments of so-called Democrats are in fact coming from Democrats! FIGHT THE REPUBLICAN HATE MACHINE!

    May 19, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  13. pakuna

    What goes around comes around obama.

    May 19, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  14. Beltway Insider

    The republican hypocrites may try to lay your wife, but I wouldn't count on them laying off her.

    May 19, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  15. Jimmy269

    Give me a break! I am so sick of the Obama "how dare anyone criticize me" attitude. I guess when the media worships you for that long, it's hard to understand the fact that people could actually say negative things about you or your wife.

    May 19, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  16. Stuart in L.A.

    Politics are politics. Obama is such a crybaby, whining every chance he gets. Those democrats who will not vote for him, like myself, are doing so not because of Hillary losing, but because we don't find obama to be a trustworthy and experienced candidate. All of you rude obama supporters who are now questioning our loyalty to the Democratic party are just like the Bushies questioning American's patriotism who didn't support the Iraq invasion. You really are one in the same, and it's kinda scary.

    May 19, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  17. David

    So... when the media attacks Bill Clinton, that's fine?

    May 19, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  18. Jennifer from Atlanta

    You tell 'em Barack! What a man!

    May 19, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  19. Sherri

    The Tennessee Republican Party is behaving disgracefully and the American people can see through it easily. This is a fool hardy approach to politics.

    May 19, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  20. aughhhh

    Family should be off limits. The GOP continues to sink to a new low for attacking his wife. Get out of the gutter and try and hold on to some dignity.

    May 19, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  21. charlene

    obama didnt have a problem with them attacking the clintons

    May 19, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  22. NELSON

    Wait until they start researching McCains wife! long list of DL.

    May 19, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  23. The Austrian

    Whenever I toy with the idea of maybe getting into politics, whether local or national, I am always thwarted by the knowledge that my wife and children would be fair game to brutal attacks, misinformation, half-truths and outright lies. And I cannot in good conscience subject them to such filth. I think there are loads of good citizens out there–people who would be great leaders of this country–who withhold themselves from the public sphere because of the viscious scrutiny their families would come under. What a shame.

    Leave the woman alone.

    May 19, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  24. kim

    Sorry Mr. Obama it's far game... Like you haven't disrespect Hillary and Bill... They can talk the truth.. Why is that a issue.. If she said it then they have all rights to repeat Mr. "O"

    May 19, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  25. Venus

    The Repigs have nothing to use against Obama!!!


    Go Obama!

    We love you Michelle!!!

    May 19, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11