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. zorba

    Proud to be an American every day. ESPECIALLY PROUD today.! We Democrats ROCK for picking such an outstanding candidate to be our nominee. The haters will keep hating, but the rest of us will join with Obama to get on with the arduous task of saving our country and our world. GO OBAMA!!

    June 4, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. HAWK,TEXAS

    HAVEN'T ALL OF YOU PEOPLE OUT THERE FIGURED OUT THAT ALL THE HILLARY HATERS OUT THERE ARE REPUBLICANS. THEY DOWN BILL CLINTON, YET HE WAS THE GTEATEST PRESIDENT THAT THIS COUNTRY HAD AFTER FRANKLIN D. ROSEVELT. AND THE E-MAILS ARE PROBABLY COMING FROM KARL ROVE.

    June 4, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  3. D. - Pennsylvania

    Obama is a man of integrity, grace and honor and he represents all the characteristics of Commander-in-Chief.

    Given his outstanding campaign and strategy, Obama will make the right decision in regard to Hillary, but I do not believe that it will be for her to be on the ticket as Vice President. She will be given a position that will fit her strengths.

    Obama is about unity. He has not waivered at all in regard to it nor in regard to the change that is desparately needed. God bless Obama and his family and God Bless America.

    June 4, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  4. DMS-AKA

    Hey Andy-NY

    The reason there is so many titles on the home page about Obama and nothing on McBush is simply because........

    MCBUSH HAS NOTHING TO SAY ......YESTERDAY, TODAY OR TOMORROW. There is NO FUTURE.

    OBAMA/SEBELIUS 08

    June 4, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. NO OBAMA

    These type reports will continue to dog him and hopefully will be his downfall. Does anyone else not see the trend here? Its readily apparent that Obama has more skeletons in his closet than a graveyard. They are all going to come out now!

    I have been a loyal Democrat for my whole life, but that changes this year. Hillary was the only candidate that could get the job done. Barack will never get my vote!!

    If not Hillary, then go McCain!!!

    June 4, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  6. never Obama

    By Nov only the left wingers will vote for Obama.

    But the rest of you concerned citizens, please do not stay at home. And please do NOT vote for McCain.

    Exercise your right to WRITE in the candidate of your choice. We can make history, since this time we actually have a viable candidate to write in.

    HRC IN NOV

    June 4, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  7. GB

    For those of you thanking god. I really doubt he had anything to do with Obama's win.

    June 4, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  8. JEWISH ME

    You know what! That is what we jewish were looking for the past Dozen months, To see Barack Obama on AIPAC podieum, no wonder we love him. He is a good spirit to our community and We will support him in any way we can to succced on every goal he is aim to Achieve.
    Barack( We Jewish People love you so much) Congratualtion! We look forward to see you as the President of the Great United States in the future months. So, We Isreals can work with you along side by side. Keep your faith.. ON love.. More sucess to you. By the way, What a Speech you've delivered again. People, " NO wonder Barack is a dream come true our Jewish Alliance.

    June 4, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  9. Davis, Southlake Texas

    Luis this conference wasn't about other wars...learn today's events before typing!!!

    Hint Hint: pro-Israel conference

    June 4, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  10. KO

    I guess everyone believes everything that is written in the National Enquirer...er....CNN, and especially what a politician says in an election year, and hangs on his every word. Everyone is stumbling over themselves to overlook serious questions about this guy, especially one who will jettison his church to suit the political wind of the time, Clinton was given the moniker of "Slick Willy" for good reason. I dub Obama the "Brown Snake" which, by the way is found in Austraila, and is deadly because it looks harmless. Be careful America what you wish for.

    June 4, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  11. REDBROWN

    Here we go again, the Republican Party (you know, the family value party) can't wait to start lying and rumor mogering again. After all, this is the same party that in the last election made a war hero out to be a coward, and a cowardly draft dodger out to be a hero. Vote McCain if you want another 4 years of war, debt, and recession.

    June 4, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  12. Nat Turner

    The Clinton klan is having to face the realization that the world does NOT revolve around them! Hillary doesn't care about the party. She, like her egotistical husband is only interested in furthering her own cause. Sen Obama would be foolish to make this divisive woman his VP.

    June 4, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  13. Gert-Jan from Holland

    Hello America,
    Opportunist ol' McCain is real insane!
    First now he cowardly talks about change,
    because now he feels that with Bush he can't win.
    McCain why don't you try to become Obama's running mate.
    This wordl needs a change and Obama is our man!!

    June 4, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  14. Obama to the whitehouse

    Those who support McCain are racist and Barack really doesn't need your vote. McCain has nothing he stands for, FLIP FLIP Master. He has a team of lobbiest running his campaign and he wants to continue a worthless war that only brings more death to Americans all in the sake of winning....Winning WHAT? Time to stand for your own country and stop worring about Iraq.

    June 4, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  15. Soba, Clifton, NJ

    Andy J, NY June 4th, 2008 11:19 am ET

    BIAS BIAS BIAS

    Actually, the media is a friend of McSame. The only reason there are so few reports on him is that they dont have much positive to say about him.

    If McBush is running on his service to the country, believe me there are many more who have served at a greater capacity, and are much smarter than McInsane, McTemeper, McLiar, McFlipFlop, or whatever else people call him. McCain of 2000 does not exist anymore. If he was the same guy, I would have voted for him (and I am a Dem). He SOLD HIS SOUL for the GOP nomination.

    June 4, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  16. frank O

    Luis, who is Jimmy (friend of Hamas) Cater?
    I know a fomer president in the name of Jimmy Carter who made possible the historic signing of the ONLY major Arab/Israeli peace treaty man kind has ever known. I am not sure if you happen to know this former president. His name happens to be Pres. Jimmy Carter. I don't think you are referring to him when you say Cater.

    Get it right my friend.
    Get the facts right.
    Get the history right.
    And please get the names right.

    June 4, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  17. Jeanne Allan

    It's not the silly e-mails that are the problem – it's the things he's *actually* done that show his character is so lacking. Don't any of you ever read anything beyond Obama's own website or listen to anyone besides the Obamaniacs talk? DO SOME REAL RESEARCH INTO THIS MAN'S POLITICAL HISTORY, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! Quit making lame excuses for him! CHARACTER IS EVERYTHING when it comes to our president and Obama's is terrible! Only a blinded fool wouldn't be able to see it.

    Seriously, I can't wait for this man to be president so I can sit around and point and laugh at all his gullible followers when things get worse in this country and they start moaning about how they were duped, how he's not the man they thought he was, how there were no signs at all warning them before the election, and how if they'd only known, they never would've voted for him. Then those of us not lost in some Amercian Idolized stupor can gleefully redirect their attention to all the news stories and public documents already available and say, "You mean, no warning signs like this?"

    Change you can believe in? Sure. And I have this bridge. In Arizon....

    June 4, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  18. Louis

    Anyone thinking McCain is the answer this fall is not thinking logically or is ignorant to the real problems of this world that the current administration has caused. It's not about you, it's about US. Look at the big picture and see that Obama has everything WE need to gain the world's trust again.

    June 4, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  19. hussein levine

    We can all be proud of Sen Obama as an American. he truly shows what hard work, perserverance and persistence can achieve.

    What a remarkable legacy for our children! They have seen an outsider, mixed-race black man run a race of integrity and succeed in winning the nomination against all odds – an insider candidate with huge name recognition.

    I am proud of the Democratic Party, proud to be an American this morning.

    Sen Obama's speech last night and this morning shows he is more than ready and able to lead America into a brighter future.

    AMERICA 2008

    June 4, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  20. Really

    Scare tactics. People listen to yourself. Lets see Obama supportors are arguing that Senator McCain is really McSame, McBush. He will send your kids to war. More children will die. He will overturn Roe vs Wade. Women will lose their rights. America won't be safer. I suppose when you are spewing the scare tactics it is justified.

    June 4, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  21. The Patriot

    Wow is right! He is a scary guy.....but YOU made him the nominee and YOU will be the reason we lose in November.

    June 4, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  22. PCL

    Those of you who spew hate, are only showing that you are afraid. You're afraid you are going to lose something or something bad is going to happen. That is why fear tactics work with you. Let me tell you something. Not being afraid feels good.

    As far as Barack Obama goes, get over it. He's going to be number 44. If you are worried, consider offering him your help. Think about what he is about to inherit. He is going to need all of our help.

    June 4, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  23. fred

    the president must always do what's right for americans first. i understand that we are israel's ally, however, america and americans are still more important.

    June 4, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  24. DAGMORE THE UTTERLY DESPICABLE

    great speech the 1st foriegn policy address of president OBAMA.

    June 4, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  25. THE WORLD IS WATCHING

    A true Leader is HAVING THE CAPACITY , KNOWLEDGE , AND FORESIGHT to put together a well rounded team.....

    Let's not get anything twisted here.

    ONLY
    OBAMA /SEBELIUS 08

    June 4, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
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