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. victor

    TJP the great American economist. What else did your crystal ball tell you? That John Mc Cains economic policies will save the country. THE MAN ADMITTED HE'S NOT STRONG ON THE ECONOMY. Back under your rock you go, go on now.

    June 4, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA

    WE ARE IN THE GENERAL ELECTION & MCBUSH SAW HOW

    BUSH & BUSH JR. WON, USING FEAR, SO FEAR IT IS. PROBLEM

    WITH THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE TIRED OF HAVING

    A VOTE SCARED OUT OF THEM. TACTIC IS GETTING OLD.

    HILLARY TRIED IT & IT DID NOT WORK. SHE IS A HELL OF A

    BETTER CHOICE THAN MCSAME, ALL WEEK & TWICE ON SUNDAY.

    June 4, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  3. joe

    Isn't Barack as white as he is black? Doesn't he play the race card every time he calls himself african american?

    June 4, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. Deb

    That is really funny!

    I have received many e-mails as well from your Camp about Hillary that made me sick to my stomach.

    This Left Wing Nut Job had better be careful about setting himself up as someone "above the fray" because it isn't rue at all!

    Hillary 08

    June 4, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. Voting Obama

    OBAMA 2008-2017!!!!! THIS IS WHAT WE NEED. HILARY IS A NEGATIVE PERSON. ALL SHE HAS DONE WAS SHOW THE WORLD HOW SELFISH SHE IS. IT DID MAKE ME MAD BECAUSE OBAMA GAVE HER TOO MUCH PRAISE LAST NIGHT IN HIS SPEECH. SHE ON THE OTHER HAD SHOWED SHE WAS A SORE LOSER. ALL THE PEOPLE WHO ARE TALKING ABOUT VOTING MCCAIN ARE ONLY HURTING THEMSELVES. I KNOW WE ARE ALL TIRED OF PAYING THESE RIDICULOUS GAS PRICES, AND SEEING OUR ECONOMY DEWINDLE. GROW UP!! TIMES HAVE CHANGED!! IT IS NOT ABOUT THE COLOR OF YOUR SKIN!! ALL OBAMA WANTS TO DO IS MAKE A CHANGE. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT!! HE IS A TRUE AMERICAN AND I RESPECT HIM DEARLY. NO MATTER WHAT PEOPLE SAY OBAMA STAY STRONG AND TAKE THE WHITE HOUSE WITHOUT HILARY!!

    June 4, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  6. Rick FL

    Danielle (teacher), that was an great message! We all should be very proud of the history America has made in this election with Obama and Clinton. I truly believe Obama will make a great president for ALL Americans, including the Jewish community, white, black, Spanish, Asian, American Indian, and the list goes on and on in our beautifully diversified UNITED States of America!

    Dem '08
    Obama '08

    June 4, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. Wildweasel66

    Derrick in Phila – you missed the news i see that W got the norks to open up to UN inspection.

    or that Gaddafi reopened diplomatic relations with the US, lest he meet his 72 philly hos.

    and that iran is (allegedly) cooperating with the IEAE. but, then, hussein obama will dignify the man who executed American diplomats.

    he should change his name already to Chamberlain.

    June 4, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  8. David

    Relax. The only things that change are dates, names & faces. ALL the policies remain the same. Have you all forgoten that this is America?

    June 4, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  9. David Goldman for OBAMA

    ALL I HAVE TO SAY IS THAT WE JEWS ARE NOT THAT EASY TO

    FOOL. WE KNOW WE HAVE A BROTHER IN THE SOON TO BE

    PRESIDENT OBAMA, THAT I GUARANTEE WITH MY LIFE,

    AND A BRILLIANT ONE AT THAT.

    June 4, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  10. The Patriot

    RAVE,
    I am sorry......WHAT great achievements has he made? Please enlighten me.....................

    June 4, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. virginia

    It's nice to see someone who has been working so hard for so long, still able to show a sense of humor. I think that there are still a lot of people who have their eyes closed, who are paying attention to all of these different emails and just not willing to actually check out for themselves what the man stands for. As for Hilary supporters rallying for her to be VP........the ultimate decision is his. Idle threats will get nothing done and just makes things more divisive then ever. Besides which, if you were him, would you want that particular twosome dogging your every decision?

    June 4, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. M

    Wow. Good job, GOP. If McCain is so pro-American, why can't he support the new G.I. Bill?

    former Clinton supporter for Obama '08

    June 4, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  13. Obama All The Way

    One of Obama's best qualities is that he isn't afraid to address controversy head on. He also has nice teeth.

    June 4, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. plain jane

    CNN - I didn't realize you were in Obama's hip pocket - I thought you were a REAL news agency.

    June 4, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  15. Posn

    I am waiting to exhale whew!!!!! Cant you feel the change in the air?

    June 4, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  16. Ms. V

    First, I want to congratulate Barack Obama on a job well done during the Primary. Congrats!!

    Second, those that are not ready for "Change" in our Economy, in our Schools and in our Government should vote for John McCain.

    I strongly believe in "Change" and know that Barack Obama can lead our Country in the way it should be led and that means putting an end to the "War In Iraq".

    BRING OUR SOILDERS HOME

    June 4, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. Chris

    Obama will surely shy away from any town-hall debate with Mccain. He rather hide behind the mask factory he's running where they are painting Mccain as Bush's twin brother 🙂 Obama is no more then an inexperience and calculated politician without his pre-approved scripted speech. In debates, his lack of experience and skill prone rherorics are all he's got and it has shown.

    June 4, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  18. Saxxon Domela

    We are very lucky in this country to have had three outstanding Americans still in the race for the presidency. Now, with Senator Clinton bowing out, we have two outstanding candidates. Both of these men represent some of the finest qualities of our country.
    John McCain has honored our country with his service and has often been a voice a reason amid the maddness of the Bush administration. Barack Obama has lifted himself by his bootstraps from the South Side of Chicago to be an intelligent and charasmatic leader.

    That being said, the issue comes down to which man's vision of the future can put us back on the right path. In listening to both, the choice is between a future that is much the same as the present, with minor adjustments with John McCain, or a future, painted with broad strokes, of a much different American presented by Barack Obama.

    What is clear to a vast majority of Americans, is that we are on the wrong path. It is wrong that so many Americans have no health care. It is wrong that we are wedded to an oil culture that sends vast amounts of money overseas. It is wrong that huge companies like Wal-Mart have become the sales arm of China Inc. We need to plan a fundamental shift in the way we operate in this country. While both men offer solutions, it is my considered opinion, that Barack Obama has the vision and intellectual depth to right the ship and get us sailing in the right direction again.

    June 4, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  19. Lonny, Seattle

    Luis...
    I notice how you completely dismissed veterans of the Revolutionary, civil, 1812, Panama, Granada and every other conflict we have been in over the years.

    Get real and stop nitpicking.
    Is he really going to go over every conflict in every speech?

    You were never going to vote for him anyways so head on over to FOX news where the rest of you that are ready to continue destroying this country hang out.

    June 4, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. Walter

    Hi,

    I heard John McCain say the media pushed the Clintons out of the race. That was a strategic comment since we've heard that her supporters are willing to vote for him if the DNC doesn't give her the nomination. The timing taps into the resentment at the media and DNC. Good move by the RNC.

    Thanks

    June 4, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  21. R Edwards

    TO DICTIONARY FOR THOSE WHO NEED IT: A PAC DOES INDEED INFLUENCE POLITICIANS. THEY OFFER MONEY FOR SUPPORT OF THEIR CAUSES DUMMY.

    June 4, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  22. True politics for a change

    The last thing we need is clinton supporters who are disappointed by barack obama's nomination for president to vote for the Bush/McCain screw america train. I think Hillary and Barack are too very capable people but not without each other.

    June 4, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  23. goawaymongers

    This is our candidate: a man who tells it like it si and who doesn't run from innuendo and lies- he addresses it and goes on from there. Imagine having a person that does that in the Oval Office again!
    OBAMA 08!

    June 4, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. jellyfish

    hey, if Obama is elected will this end affirmative action? Will the entitlements be reduced? Will minorities start understanding what it means to work for what you get instead of taking handouts? there are plenty of charities and churches for that. The Govt should ask us what we want to spend out tax dollars on and not make those decisions for us. Everyone needs help from time to time and some of us worked 2 and 3 jobs for years to better out economic situation without ever taking a handout. Just a question? This could be a good thing.

    June 4, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  25. USAF Staff Sergeant

    Terell,

    You asked what plans Barack has for catching Osama...

    Well just stop and think about the chances of us finding him in Iraq, which is where McCain will continue to keep our troops.

    Obama realizes Afghanistan has mistakenly been forgotten.

    June 4, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
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