June 30th, 2008
02:16 PM ET
15 years ago

Obama responds to attacks on his patriotism

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/06/30/campaign.wrap/art.obama.ap.jpg caption="Sen. Barack Obama's speech on patriotism comes days before the Fourth of July."](CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama defended his patriotism Monday, telling a crowd in Independence, Missouri, that his "deep and abiding love for this country" is the reason he is running for president.

"At certain times over the last 16 months, I have found, for the first time, my patriotism challenged - at times as a result of my own carelessness, more often as a result of the desire by some to score political points and raise fears and doubts about who I am and what I stand for," he said in President Harry Truman's hometown, just days before the Fourth of July.

Obama vowed to never question the patriotism of others in the campaign, adding "I will not stand idly by when I hear others question mine."

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (167 Responses)
  1. My View

    McMains spokes people have that same nasty smug attitude that the Bush spokes people do. Why do they always have to respond to a positve statement with a smug nasty response?

    June 30, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  2. lulu

    If a presidential candidate feels the need to respond to questions regarding his patriotism, or lack thereof, then he/she has no business running for the presidency.

    June 30, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  3. Alex

    This is what I want, positive ads. My family been negative, I hate negative people. I love talking to people who think positive and give positive suggestions. Instead of like "If you don't do this, your life is over". The approach I like is "If you try doing this, your life will improve"

    June 30, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. Bit

    Just because a person doesn't wear a flay pen or some other logo showing patriotism doesn't mean that he/she doesn't love this country. You have some people who wear the flag pen and other logos on their cars and other places but are prejudice towards a person of color who has serve and are serving this country or who has died serving it.

    The flag pen is just a cop-out to people's real feelings towards Obama.

    Happy Independence Day!

    June 30, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    McCarthy style attacks ring hollow in the Bush era, McCain. Why are you doing this to yourself and the GOP? Why attack someone's patriotism when they have serving the US public for years and years?

    What is the definition of patriotism anyway? Do you have to serve the military to be a "patriot", or serve the public? Is either one required? I would think do no harm against your country is sufficient.

    If I were Obama, I would down play these types of attacks by refocusing on the issues.

    If I were McCain, I would fire whoever thought up this line of attack.

    June 30, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. therealist

    I wonder who wrote Obama's speech this time....

    June 30, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  7. MB

    Senator McCain's service and experience, both as a POW and as a Senator apparently hasn't infused him with a dose of good judgment..Still wants us in Iraq for a 100 years.

    Senator McCain's experience hasn't led him to realize that the war in Iraq and it's continuance has empowered and emboldened Iran, and destabilized the region.

    Senator McCain's experience hasn't caused him to recognize that we're losing ground in Afghanistan, and Osama bin Laden is still out there, plotting.

    Senator McCain's experience didn't lead him to support the 21st Century GI Bill - he opposed it. It didn't even make him feel the need to get back to Washington to vote on this - one of the most important veterans' bills this Congress. He twice skipped votes on the GI Bill, to fundraise.

    Senator McCain's experience didn't help him empathize with troops are overstretched and overdeployed, when he voted against the bipartisan Webb-Hagel "Dwell Time Amendment," which would have given troops as much time at home as in the field.

    And what's with the lies- How can you sustain 2 cuts- one on the top of your head and the other one on the side of your face from hitting your head trying to get into your car. OH PLEASE

    June 30, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  8. JM, AR

    "We've learned we need to wait and see what Senator Obama actually does, rather than take him at his word."

    June 30, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  9. Mike

    I won't kill my friend....here you kill my friend...Obama tactic number 2, tactic number 1 involves a bus, and a loylist/frind being thrown under it!

    June 30, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  10. Sammy

    If anything it does look like the Democrats have learned from the Kerry campaign and to not let their opponent control the issues like last time. The "I will not dignify" attitude does not work when running for president.

    June 30, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  11. The Surly Scholar

    Ah yes, I respect Obama for reminding everyone what it really means to be a patriot.

    Patriotism isn't defined by a blind, unconditional adherence and appreciation for everything your country or your government says and does. It doesn't mean wearing a flag pin, or sticking a magnetic yellow ribbon on your oversized SUV. It isn't about flag waving or putting your hand over your heart or saying the pledge of allegiance.

    Being a patriot means understanding that nations and governments go astray. And it means having the conviction to know when your country has done something wrong, and having the dedication and loyalty to that country to steer it back onto the right path.

    June 30, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  12. California Voter

    Perhaps one reason people question his patriotism is that he belonged to a church that has as its 10 point vision (something the pastor and members commit to), a "non-negotiable commitment to Africa". If an American citizen has a non-negotiable commitment to another country that might just mean that they don't have a total commitment to the United States????

    CNN, thank you for not filtering out my comments - once again.

    June 30, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  13. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz









    June 30, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  14. Bdiddy from Chicago

    With a name like Obama, And Hussien and Barack, he has to hate America right??? No true American will name their children that. It's so Un American!!!

    His name should be John, or Luke, Maybe Bob, or Bill YEAH now that's American!!!!

    The media plays into this racial bias too easy. We need to stop it now...
    Other wise a Yao Ming may run for president and that's definetely not American....Right???

    June 30, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  15. George

    If you have to tell someone you are patriotic, then your actions don't speak loud enough.

    June 30, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  16. Franky

    Go ahead, attack his Patrionism!!

    Just as long you have money, I don't care about you...

    June 30, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  17. Belle2

    He keeps talking about all the rumors that are not true. How about some specifics!! He was out of the country during much of his childhood. If he did not attend a Muslim school (I am willing to believe him), what school did he attend? What church (if any) did he attend as a child? You do not refute anything by simply saying it is not so, you say what is true if you want someone to believe you. But Obama is God and we must just believe him. Obama's speeches are just koolAid. I don't care if he is Muslim—but I see not reason to deny it or insult other Muslims (remember the women he removed from behind his podium) because you do not want detractors. No more ads or speeches; we need facts and specifics.

    June 30, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  18. John

    Barack has more patriotism in his little finger then Mc Same cause he wants to end the war McSame just wants more to die.

    June 30, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  19. Jasmyne

    Why did you guys choose that picture????????????????

    June 30, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  20. Mike Jones

    therealist– every president and presidental hopeful has a speech writer. If you think McCain, Nader & Barr write their own speeches You are sadly mistaken, so what is your point? repeat after me......President Obama.

    June 30, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  21. susie

    We do question Obama because he stayed in a church for 20 years that hates America. He stayed busom buddies with people who are anti-American. Why did he or does he stay friends with these type of people, if he himself doesn't feel the same way they do?

    June 30, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  22. Julia

    General Clark is allowed to have an opinion. That's what he and others have fought for.

    I was appallled last night when Rick Sanchez opened a "News" hour with a headline that John McCain had been "swiftboated" by an Obama surrogate. Really? Does noone edit Sanchez? His over-the-top pronouncements are ridiculous!

    June 30, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  23. Michael Lorton, Virginia

    If [anyone] was born in America, then one's patriotism never has to be challenged....because we live it everyday and it never has to be questioned.

    June 30, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  24. K

    Democrats have lost it. Attacking McCain's foreign policy experience and his military record? Um ok. Where is Obama's? He's the least experienced candidate in the US Senate. Please stick to things you can win with like the economy and getting out of Iraq. Democrats make no sense most of the time.

    June 30, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  25. Val

    If he candidate running to be the President of the United States of America has to defend himself on patriotism, then people, we got a problem.

    No way I am voting for this guy. Sorry.

    June 30, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
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