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. Allen

    Curt –

    For you to say that Obama is a Muslim means only one thing: if your brains were dynamite, you wouldn't have enough to blow your nose.

    You should be ashamed, but I learned long ago that right-wing nitwit Republicans have no shame. They will tell any lie if it helps to win an election.

    I wlll be so happy when most of them are run out of office in November!

    June 4, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  2. Jeremy

    Congratulations to Senator Obama. It would be nice to see a change in politics rather then another 4 years of a Bush Administration.

    June 4, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  3. Party Crasher

    Vince in Inthaca, NY

    Being a true friend of another country does not subtract from being an American it just shows that we support others as we would want them to do, like Great Britian.

    An American should not have to confess their friendship to America, that should be expected at face value.

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


    you make enought money for taxes to have any impact on anything.

    June 4, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  5. Carole Rosenthal

    Okay, so my candidate did not make it. I can't see our nation in war until 2013. We need to signal the politicians that "enough is enough!" When they drive their own cars and have to pay for gasoline, have to get health insurance and pay the price for groceries, perhaps then things will finally change. I am voting, as per the comedian, Lewis Black, for a DEAD PRESIDENT (I like JFK-there was hope just listening to him).

    June 4, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  6. Fed Up With Politics

    Can you explain to me how someone who got the most votes for any party nominee in the history of this nation still loses to someone else? I really, really don’t get that.

    Good for Hillary to not concede. That alone should prove she's got the right grit to do the job.

    The democratic party really shot themselves in the foot on this one. People, like myself, will not trust a party who nominates someone who lost in popular votes. What was the point of those people voting?

    My vote will now to go McCain. What a shame. I had so hoped for *real* change, and the Democrats pushed me away.

    June 4, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  7. Kyle Wallace

    First off anyone on here commenting that they are going to leave the Democratic party because Obama clinched it yesterday, GOOD. We don't want you with our party anyway. We don't need racist, close minded, stuck in the 50s type people like you. Congrats to Obama, this is going to be an easy win in November. If anyone thinks McCain has a chance of winning then I want some of what your on. Now let's all bow our heads and thank the good Lord that we won't have to go through 4 more years of failed Bush policies. Oh and thanks to you all who voted for Bush the past two elections, your insight into politcis was much appreciated. The economy thanks you, the troops thank you, the people in Louisiana thank you, the poor thank you, everyone thanks you for your wonderous judgement of character. Let's see if you can't get it right this time or if maybe your still as stupid as your made out to be.



    June 4, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  8. Art Segal

    I supported Hillary for President, and I regret that she will not be the nominee.

    However, Hillary for VP is a BAD idea – obviously she is not prepared to play second fiddle. The VP should be a new, fresh face, not Old Politics. Why not bring new talent to Washington? Why should he be saddled with such heavy baggage? It won't help – and by the way, I think we have just elected John McCain.

    June 4, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  9. Zack

    Let me start by saying first that I'm an Independent. I'm liberal on some issues (social issues) and conservative on others (economic, foreign policy, healthcare), so it's always difficult for me to choose my candidate. Honestly I'm scared of Obama, the main reason being that I just feel no one knows what they're getting with him. Truthfully, no body knows anything about him! I know a lot of the "minister" issues and emails circulating about him are a lot of propaganda but the fact that they are going around leads me believe there must be something fishy with him. Particularly troubling was a quote from Obama himself, stating that "America is the best country on Earth, let's change it" (not word for word but that was the message). Not to mention, it seems that the democratic solution to everything is tax.

    At least with McCain we know what we're getting. McCain for President.

    June 4, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  10. IAMWMD

    Those right-wingers have no platform to run on because the backdoor racism and fearmongering will not work. You Republicans will finally find your WMDs in November voting for Obama.

    Who's driving the so call Straight Talk Express for Tales from McCrip since the Lobbyist are jumping and being throw off the Bus? My guess would be Carl Rove or Neil Bortz.

    Please make sure Tales from McCrip take his medication before getting on stage doing his Bush impression because their hand gestures are exactly the same.

    June 4, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  11. Allan

    Speech,Speech, everybody talk about His speech. Where was His Speech when his pastor's sermons trash America, white people and Jew.Only IDIOT can trust HIM. Read his books,read Michell Obama(Robinson) statement in school and how American can be so idiot to vote for THIS man. O,I am forget,good speech. IDIOT!

    June 4, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  12. Carole

    Oh yeah sure...a friend of Farrakan can be pro-Israel ? Don't be decieved folks.

    June 4, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  13. Ryder

    Obama needs Hillary and Bill in the White House with him like he needs a cobra in bed with him. Either way, he couldn't turn his back.

    June 4, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  14. Eric

    ....oh yeah, and let's not forget how he "insulted" the men and women that fought in the 1770's to help forge this country. Let's be different and not spin every comment of EITHER candidate and have a presidential race decided by the issues. Wouldn't that be novel?

    June 4, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |

    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 mccain is going down

    June 4, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  16. Abe P.

    I don't trust this guy...not one bit.

    June 4, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  17. marym

    As a woman..as an american jew i cannot vote for a man who still PRAISES referend write..a church who honors Farakon as man of the year. I DO NOT WANT THESE PEOPLE IN THE FOREFRONT of my country. I do not like obama...do not trust oboam...hate michelle obama and the democratic party has completely made me sick the way they treated hillary as a professional and as a woman.
    I am turning to the repblicans and have already registered myself on mr mccains website. OBAMA'S CHANGE will nto be the change that I wwnat or the america i want. He is an unelectable..lier....i really dislike him emensely. some of you are delusional especially those Jewish voters who are voting fo rhim because he is a democrat. wake up...

    June 4, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  18. Elunesh Hamza

    Why does Israel seem to have a hand in our puppet government?

    June 4, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  19. Jerry, Florida

    Stay tuned. More to come!

    June 4, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  20. Jilleann

    I don't understand why it is that everytime Obama does something people are so quick to attack him!! Yes he is against TAKING MONEY from lobbyists and big time political corps or whatever you want to call them. As someone who is up to be the next president don't you think that he is going to have to acknowledge that they exist?? Let him go talk to them... If he was ever to take fundraising money from them then you can say that he is a liar... Did anyone stop to think that perhaps he set up the meeting with them to discount the rumors in the emails circuating?? People are so quick to jump to negative conclusions...

    As for him being a friend to Israel, Palestine, willing to talk to Hamas or to Iran, I think that that is something that our next President should embody. The ability to sit down with ALL leaders of ALL countries and groups to try to resolve the various problems of the world. Waging war against them hasn't seemed to work so why not try a new approach?

    He has proven in more ways than one that he is an honorable, decent, human being... And I swear, if I read one more person claiming that he is a Muslim I'm going to scream!! He left his church because of all the controversy surrounding the pastors within the church, not because he was no longer going to be a Christian... People make me laugh!!

    GO OBAMA!! I will support you everyday!!

    June 4, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  21. Jeff in Hampshire, IL


    That's very American of you. You're likely to fall off your high horse and need help yourself, so be careful to be kind to your fellow citizens.

    June 4, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  22. Mike from Westchester

    Hey Bob, if you end up paying more in taxes, it will have a lot more to do with Bush running up $3.5 trillion in debt than anything Obama does as President. If you want fiscal responsibility, don't vote for Republicans. Their last four administrations (Bush, Reagan, Bush, and Ford) have run up over three quarters of the debt accumulated by the U.S. in its 220 year history!

    But then, perhaps you are fine with ruining your grandchildren's futures by saddling them with the consequences of our selfish irresponsibility.

    June 4, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  23. OG Straight Talk

    Why cann't people learn that "evils that men/women do lives after them"! Stop wasting energy trying to bring Sen Obama down, because you will only destroy yourselves!

    June 4, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  24. Chris in San Jose

    It is funny how Republicans down grade the Democratic nominee. Do they really believe McCain is better than Obama or Clinton. How sad.

    June 4, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  25. jc

    This was an amazing speech. So much for the myth that he is short on substance!

    June 4, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
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