June 4th, 2008
01:25 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama addresses rumors head-on at pro-Israel conference

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/04/art.obamaaipac.ap.jpg caption="Obama delivered a speech at AIPAC Wednesday."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama directly addressed accusations that have been circulating by e-mail when he addressed a pro-Israel conference Wednesday.

"I want to say that I know some provocative e-mails have been circulating throughout Jewish communities across the country," the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said at AIPAC's annual conference.

"They're filled with tall tales and dire warnings about a certain candidate for president. And all I want to say is - let me know if you see this guy named Barack Obama, because he sounds pretty scary."

Rumors have been circulating at least since last year that Obama is a Muslim and does not support the Jewish state. He is a Christian and said at the conference he is a "true friend of Israel," earning applause.

He opened his speech by paying tribute to his rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton, calling her an extraordinary public servant who had made history alongside him in their 16-month race for the party's presidential nomination.

Obama clinched the nomination Tuesday night, but Clinton did not admit defeat in her speech after the polls closed.

Some Clinton supporters have begun to campaign for her to get the vice-presidential slot on Obama's ticket. Both campaigns deny that discussions on the subject have begun.

In his AIPAC speech, Obama also clarified a story he told last month that prompted a barrage of criticism from Republicans.

"My great uncle had been a part of the 89th Infantry Division - the first Americans to reach a Nazi concentration camp. They liberated Ohrdruf, part of Buchenwald, on an April day in 1945," Obama said.

Last month, he said an uncle had helped liberate the Auschwitz concentration camp, which was in fact liberated by the Soviet army.

soundoff (373 Responses)
  1. Chrissy from Houston

    People are always trying to find something negative to say about Obama. If you don't like him fine, that's your problem. Please, go get a life and find something that you do care about to listen to.

    June 4, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  2. kevin

    I watched this speech and i tought it was awesome. A great uniter and inspiration to all those who listen.

    PROUD TO BE AN OBAMA SUPPORTER!

    June 4, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  3. Eddie G.

    Finally......a trust worthy intelligent person running for President of the United States of America. God bless the USA and Barrack. There really is hope!

    June 4, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  4. Vic of NYC

    Hey bob; Your taxes are a drop in the bucket compared to Mario Gabelli who made $52 million (that's right) in 2006 and paid $0 dollars taxes. That's who we're going after!

    I had a teacher who would tell us, "Put you brain in gear before engaging mouth." ...some good advise you should heed.

    June 4, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  5. Yana

    Mr. Obama betrayed his Mother... then he betrayed his Mentor…
    Who is next... US?

    June 4, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. Dave

    Yeah and he didn't mention the Stanley Cup playoffs either – what's your point?

    June 4, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. IT'S FINALLY OVER NOW FOR THE REAL BEGINNING

    Now can the media and everybody who doesn't like our next president stop spreading lies about him that would very kind of you thanks. God also called he said leave my great creation for this nation alone. thanks again

    obama 08

    June 4, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  8. armin

    Hopefully americans has smarten up and not vote for another Bush #3, since Mccain has no clue and understanding of the economy,
    middle east, ect... He said so! Vote for Obama!

    June 4, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  9. IT'S FINALLY OVER NOW FOR THE REAL BEGINNING

    Now can the media and everybody who doesn't like our next president stop spreading lies about him that would very kind of you thanks. God also called he said leave my great creation for this nation alone. thanks again

    obama 08/12

    June 4, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  10. Peg Robson

    Hillary needs to be VP, she has guts, drive, determination and has worked very hard for many years. Now here comes Obama with what kind of a record, and his power hungry angry wife, and people have the nerve to call Hillary names. Wait, Michelle is on the horizon...wonder which one is really going to be the president if he wins. U might just have to vote McCain...Obama does not look good to be at all. Remember the Jimmy Carter years...I do and it was awful.

    June 4, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  11. Ron

    And so it begins... The dirty GOP mean machine is rising. Look out decent people and hide your kids.

    June 4, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  12. abby

    Obama will NEVER be elected with his RADICAL, WEAK, questionable background. Looks like the DNC have GIVEN the nom to the Wrong candidate – again. And now they think we will all Unite – Think NOT!!!

    Hillary Clinton has Earned MILLIONS of votes – MORE than obama – and yet they GIVE the nom to obama – is this the American way????

    The only Change obama can expect is for the MILLIONS of Hillary supporters to Vote GOP!

    June 4, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  13. Chris from NY

    Yes dear. Go get them.

    June 4, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  14. Tee

    I am happy I am a single mother of 3. I did not vote here in Florida cause I wanted to wait till the General, I am going for Obama I feel he is the best to bring the change that is so needed. Everyone knows the Clintons, and know they had a lot of mishaps in the White House. I think Mrs. Clinton should just step down cause we all know they can not be second in nothing they do. Obama should not pick her for VP cause then you have Bill to deal with and he comes with a high risk. I feel Mrs. clinton Is as fake as they come and she whould do any thing to get Bill back in the White House. The best thing the both of them can do is back Obama and stay out the White House. And this is coming from a middle age hard working mother whos feels the Clintons are not for the people, they are just selfish, greedy, sneaky, and need to rest.

    June 4, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  15. IT'S FINALLY OVER NOW FOR THE REAL BEGINNING

    Now can the media and everybody who doesn't like our next president stop spreading lies about him that would very kind of you thanks. God also called he said leave my great creation for this nation alone. thanks again

    obama 08 and beyond let's take it to the general and beat Mccain

    June 4, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  16. Not even

    Steve in New York New York...
    You are absolutely right!
    I am not voting for him because he has no policy. He has no clear plans all he has is great speeches, which when he is caught in a lie he claims he misspoke.
    Maybe after he gets some experience under his belt I will vote for him.
    This country has way to many problems to hand the reins to someone who has absolutey no experience.

    June 4, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  17. Ralph

    It's a shame that he has to respond to such garbage, but he reponded well, and will make an outstanding president.

    June 4, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  18. IT'S FINALLY OVER NOW FOR THE REAL BEGINNING

    Now can the media and everybody who doesn't like our next president stop spreading lies about him that would very kind of you thanks. God also called he said leave my great creation for this nation alone. thanks again

    obama 08 let's do this for America From a Fired Up and Ready To Go to a Yes We can all the way.

    June 4, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  19. Harry

    Why was Hillary Clinton speaking at AIPAC?

    June 4, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  20. Jack the Dog

    Obama's understanding of Israel and the Middle East was brilliant.

    June 4, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  21. Connecticut For Liebermans for Obama

    It's nice to see that Obama remembered not to say "Auschwitz" this time. Senator McCain can learn something from Barack Obama in how not to repeat misstatements. But then again, if he could learn that, then McCain could probably have learned not to conflate the Shia with Al-Qaeda after the first half dozen times.

    June 4, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  22. Kat

    Well, Bob, what you gonna do when they send out the bills for your share of the Iraq War? It's approximately 30K for every man, woman and child in this country. McCain just said in a speech that we are borrowing trillions from Asian banks to pay for imported oil – try again – that's for the war in Iraq!

    June 4, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  23. Jaime

    America is a racist country. Racism will come in different shapes and forms, just pay attention at what Republicans say or do next and hide it as an attack that has to do with anything from religion to patriotism.

    McCain was born in Panama, I guess Noriega and McCain are best butt buddies now... this is the kind of stuff the republiklan will use....

    June 4, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  24. Pat Riot

    Socialist. I'm would have to work 2x as hard to pay for his bloated view of federal government. You begging helpless liberals disgust me. If you want to save the world don't look to government to do it. Go donate your time and money to a private charity. Let's HOPE Obama doesn't CHANGE our Republic.

    June 4, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  25. Dan

    To Danielle for Obama : I am presently a McCain supporter, but I absolutely love what you have written here today. Thank you.

    June 4, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
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