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. vomitus

    We know who he is and we know what he stands for and none of it is good for America.
    Time for him to give up the nomination.

    June 30, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. David Goldman





    June 30, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. truthseeking Christian

    lulu.....If you are attacked everyday by smears & lies people start to believe YES u do need to respond

    So exactly what has McCain done for the average person in all his years in washington?
    -I demand the real truth about his candidacy
    Does he go to church, and why is he afraid to say so?
    -those fact checking on Obama, goggle McCain & Keating Five
    -Elitist, the Mccains own 15 multi million dollar personal homes
    some are in tax default
    -His most heart felt words is attacking Barack

    what is he running On
    –noun, verb, POW–

    June 30, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. Big AL

    Oh please, you Log Cabin Repugs, now when them same clowns doing the 2004 election, what did they do, trash Kerry record. So now they war questioning, McSane record, it a foul call, give me a break. What the Gen. said is right and if the Gen said anything wrong at all. The only thing McSane have to do is release his miltary records. McSane camp is so quick to reply back to something that was said, all he have to do is release his records. Or he must have something to hide. The media need to get off there butts and ask McSane where is his records and if he don't release them well the public can judge for themself. We ain't Stupid!!!!!!!!! Can someone please give McBaby and the rest of them crooks a bottle because they keep crying. Please put the old people to bed, but before change his depend!!!!!

    June 30, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  5. Eascogal

    Obama cited, "I will not stand idly by when I hear others question mine." I won't either, Senator Obama. And I commend you for standing up for your true value and beliefs! The public are not naive to recognize how "emotion" McCain gets when told the hard truth! His not best qualified to be Commander-in-Chief just for being a prisioner of war because he never held that position to claim merit! No one has for that matter! But I can make a good decision base on attitude and substantive opinion and that aligns with YOU!

    June 30, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  6. Jim

    Lulu, have you not seen how Bush got elected, by the same smere campaigns that Obama is responding to. Had Al Gore responded to these low life smere tactics we would all have been better off, lets not drop the ball on this election again.

    June 30, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. O Boy


    First time your patriotism has been challenged????

    Thats cause this is the first time you are being patriotic....... Well pretending to be patriotic

    How many other presidential candidates have had there patriotism questioned before???? Why starting now??? THere most be a reason...

    June 30, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  8. Helene

    Senator Obama feels the need to discuss patriotism because some idiots in this country wear their patriotism on their lapel and confuse dissent with anti-patriotism. I hope they learn from him.

    June 30, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  9. Marilyn

    I don't care about his patriotism. I don't like him and I won't vote for him.

    June 30, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  10. Cynthia

    I thought that is was a great speech and I think it is a shame that anyone would question his patriotism. Gosh, the Republicans and the like must really be desperate to do so.

    June 30, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  11. S. Boatman Warrensburg Mo.

    Being A Patriot Means You Are Not Involved In The Keating 5 . . . . Mccain!

    June 30, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  12. carlo

    If McCain were a true patriot, he would do all he could to prevent other young men and women from suffering the fate he did. The reason why he doesn't do anything to prevent it is because he thinks the world owes him something because he was a POW, and that no one else on earth suffered like he did.

    June 30, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  13. Proud American

    Only a warmongering, hate spewing, closed minded racist would have a hard time seeing your Patriotism Obama. As far as the rest of us its as clear as "Old Glory" herself.
    God Bless America!

    June 30, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  14. Matthew, Philadelphia, PA

    So Obama finally condemns MoveOn for the "General Betray Us" ad? Too bad he didn't have the principle to do it a year ago. Of course, he was courting the liberal left wing of the party back then.

    As a Democrat I am really upset that we're stuck with Obama. I just cannot trust him. Yes on public financing...no on public financing. Embraces Rev. Wright then throws him under the bus, never admitting that he lied about what he knew and when he knew it. Government eavesdropping is horrible...fast forward a year and he votes to allow it. Silence on MoveOn's deplorable tactics, now he condems them.

    Will the real Barack Obama please stand up? Is there a real Barack Obama? Or do you just deliver "major speeches" and hope to continuing fooling the country.

    June 30, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  15. Giovanni

    Where in the world are you guys getting that this came from McCain?

    Hillary Cllinton supporters are attacking Obama way more vichously than McCain supporters.

    June 30, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  16. Susan

    Only Republicans like mcBush would challenge a persons patriotism. They better look in the miooror before they disparage others. it is the Republicans that have brought this country down through greed and duplicity. OBAMA 08!!!

    June 30, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. Chris

    Senator McCain is a decorated war hero, but what Gen. Clark is fundamentally true. John McCain never had to make any war time decisions or commanded any troops to do so. I can understand him being upset, but the truth hurts. He can't say Gen. Clark is inexperienced nor did you notice him or his campaign office deny it. The only thing they said it is politics as usual. Thanks Gen. Clark for opening the American people eyes.

    June 30, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  18. Ilona Proud Canadian

    Why are so many people up in arms, about what Wesley Clarke said?
    The man spoke the simple truth!

    FLYING PLANES, GETTING SHOT DOWN, AND BECOMING A POW, DOES NOT QUALIFY YOU TO BE COMMANDER IN CHIEF? IF THIS IS INCORRECT, I WONDER WHY WE HAVEN'T HAD A STAMPEDE OF POWS APPLYING FOR THIS POSITION? In my opinion, His POW DAYS did something strange to him to say the least! Maybe that is why he is always talking WAR, WAR, BOMB, BOMB, it is almost like he wants to seek some kind of revenge!

    Furthermore, John McCain HAD PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT throughout his five and a half years of captivity, because of the high standing of both his father and grandfather. I THINK BOTH HIS FATHER AND HIS GRANDFATHER WERE ADMIRALS, (John McCain did not make admiral) THEY WERE BOTH VERY HIGH UP ON THE TOTEM POLE IN THE NAVY! If YOU THINK THAT I AM BASHING HIM YOU HAVE GOT A REAL STRANGE ISSUE WITH COMMUNICATION!

    By the way, John McCain released only selected areas of his Naval Service Records. There were many, many pieces missing, his naval service report was far, far, from complete. If you don't believe this, just do your research!

    June 30, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  19. Mike, Iowa

    I am so sick of Obama being forced to explain himself over and over again if you dont know him by now then you obviously dont want to know him. He's running for president how much more patriotic can you get? Dont see any reason why people have to talk so nasty about the person they are not voting for. Either you like him or you dont end of story.

    June 30, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  20. Harris-Coppell, Texas

    Sorry, but I can't buy into the multitude of apologies/rejections Obama issues almost daily for his surrogates and his stringof "clarifications" of statements because he was misunderstood, or comments were taken out of context.

    I just don't trust the guy.

    BTW – please name three specific qualifications Obama has to be Commander-in-Chief

    June 30, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  21. David, Silver Spring, MD

    Does anyone know what these candidates want to do as president? Or is it all about who spent the most time in POW camp, who has the biggest flag pin, who spends the most time in church, or whose wife is the proudest?

    This is not Miss America–we're not looking for the winner in the talent and swimsuit competition. Let's try to focus on ideas.

    June 30, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  22. Vincent F

    If Obama wore 5 flag pins and red, white, and blue underwear then I would vote for him. Its obvious that in electing a President that Americans care more about fashion patriotism than health care, education, environment, taxes, and Iraq. And we wonder why this country is in debt, our people are dying earlier, and our edumacation system sucks? And don't anyone dare accuse me of being an elitist as I do not drink white wine and I am wearing 2 flag pins right now.

    June 30, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  23. mzgemini


    Truthfully Obama is quite capable of writing his own speeches... that comes with truly educating oneself and having to work for what you get in life as opposed to those who are born or marry those with silverspoons.

    June 30, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  24. NObama

    I think anyone that has read your book would naturally question your patriotism. It was you that said that you would always take the Muslim side.

    Questioning your patriotism is a no brainer. Perhaps that is way the Obamabots won't.

    June 30, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  25. JeffRob

    Based purely on the words coming out of the man's mouth, Barack Obama is one of the most patriotic people in the country right now.

    You don't have to agree with me, but if you've really listened to what the man has said, and you sincerely doubt his patriotism, you are sincerely touched, and not in a good way.

    If "He's all talk, no action", and "I wonder who wrote his speech this time" are the best you have, that bodes pretty well for him. Because, obviously, every candidate doesn't do anything but talk, and none of them writes their own speeches. He is simply the best of the best. And we're just not used to that.

    Obama 08!
    Just because you're tired of being called a racist doesn't mean it's not true.

    June 30, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
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