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. Bob Stephens

    How about McCains patriotism. He doesn't even bother to pay property taxes on his condo in Arizona, for 4 years. Is that patriotic?

    June 30, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  2. Rena

    The media and all the other crazies out there that feel hiding behind a lapel pin makes you patriotic is sickening. Really, my husband has served in the military for 24 years and has done an excellent job. But he doesn't walk around with a lapel pin on his clothing when out of uniform nor do I. But does that mean he or I are not patriotic? Certainly Not!!! It's not what can I wear on my clothing, that I may serve my country but yet what can I do to serve my country? This is what patriotism is all about not a stupid pin.

    Most of us that's running our mouth don't wear a pin; we got some of our very own stupid Americans running around boycotting our US soldiers for fighting in the war. How STUPID AND UNPATRIOTIC IS THAT? But you don't hear no one addressing that. Please this country is pathetic.

    June 30, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  3. Vig

    OBAMA will do and say anything to get himself and wife into the White House. I don't trust his "major speeches" of convenience, his flip-flopping, his ingratiating self-promotions – before you know it, he will be touting himself as having worked in a factory in Indonesia, that his mother had a Latino great uncle, that he wrote a research paper on Susan B. Anthony and supporter the ERA when he was 15 years old, that another uncle liberated 5 concentration camps and that he feels your pain. Barf.

    June 30, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  4. Obama Supporter from FL

    To Therealist:

    Almost all recent presidents, and presidential candidates, have speechwriters. Obama us touted as unusual because he actually writes a number of his speeches himself – he wrote the race speech and the convention speech he gave.

    Some research might help you find facts, or perhaps a clue.

    June 30, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. Bishop

    Why are McCain supporters so silly. Your new buddy Liebermen is trying to invoke FEAR into people, and the McCain fans can say are things like:

    "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."

    "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"

    Can you name one proven fact that makes McCain capable of being Pres??? He ran once, and his own party knock him out the race. If he was SOOOO good why didn't he win before. His own party questioned his true military competence and experience. If he was so good he would have beaten BUSH, but NOPE. That's wasn't the case....

    June 30, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. Smarter than the rest

    Once again for all the INTELLIGENT people –

    Alot of you are saying you can't vote for Obama because he flip flops..... and that is a reasonable argument about his stance on issues. Fair enough. Now let's look at it with a little logic, ok. If you went on a road trip, printed out by Mapquest ( or your GPS) and WAY down the road you found out you got incorrect information and you are going the wrong direction ( you are lost), would you turn around or be like Chris Columbus and "search for the east by sailing west"? Well I would turn around... If Bush and Mccain take a position and they found out it is wrong they will never change course. AMERICANS WAKE UP, you must change course if you are headed the wrong direction. Flip flopping to get to the correct solution shouldn't be a crime..... We make it a crime and see what happen, the economy suffers. Bush was so scared of going back on his word............ NOW WE SUFFER. Is this why you need Mccain?

    June 30, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  7. ANGIE

    do you know why people think he not patriotic well first of all the gop fox news and slimy karl rove hammering and hammering that obama is muslim and second his name barack HUSSEIN obama well i say get over the name people a name is A NAME COME OUT OF THE GOP BUSH BRAINWASH YOU BEEN IN FOR 7 YEARS ANOTHER THING DO YOU ALL WEAR FLAG PINS PLEASE PLEASE WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!

    June 30, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  8. Glenn

    The candidate that to defend himself is McCain. As the candidate of the GOP, he needs to explain why a man who points out to others that he has honesty, honor, love of country, Christian marriage, truth, fairplay, belief in God allows himself, his campaign staff and advisor (Karl Rove) lie about, try to besmirch the reputation and use the typical dirty tactics of Rove and others. He needs to explain how as a Christian and a war hero how he allows this and calls for OIbama to play fair and then when he receives a criticism, he whines about He needs to be a man and cut out all the crap. He either is a Christian 24/7 or he is just using the label like the so-called psuedo patriotists are so worried about wearing an American flag in everyone else's lapel while he does.t as if wearing a flag is the true test of being a patriot.

    June 30, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  9. Obama = Carter's 2nd term

    Was it not many Dems that brought up those questions over the last 16 months??????

    June 30, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  10. Neal

    Patriotism is love for the country. It's not love for the administration that rules the country.

    June 30, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  11. cas

    I question his patriotism. I highly question the patriotism of a person who sits in a church for 20 years and absorbs the anit-American rhetoric. I highly question the patriotism of a person that does not understand the traditons of this country. Are you sure he was born here?????

    Furthermore, he will not question another's patriotism, he will have his cronies do it for him.

    NO WAY can I vote for someone who does not respect the tradtions and patriotism of this country!


    June 30, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  12. Clinton, no, wait, McCain Supporter

    Oh, dear me! No more Mr Nice Guy. He's actually going to RESPOND to those who question his patriotism. I guess he served our country and I never noticed. Mr. Indignant after all the sleaze he's dished out for over a year now. You can't be serious.

    What's he going to say? "I am, too, patriotic. So there." Now that's powerful. How about calling off your attack dogs like W. Clark? A guy who was fired from his job because his "executive" experience wasn't up to snuff.

    Any more like him out there?

    June 30, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  13. Neal

    To "saga for for Obama"

    Please learn how to spell first. Then you can criticize Obama.

    Looks like the Republicans can't even afford to get educated people to rant out in these forums.

    June 30, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  14. Sabrina

    Please no more preaching, if I want to be preached to I will go to church.

    June 30, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  15. Neal

    I wish people will listen to the sermons of "Rush Limbaugh", "Hannity", and "O'Rielly". Why don't the republicans forced to "distance themselves" from these idiots? Because, they need these idiots to preach fear and hate among American people so that they can continue to rule.

    June 30, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  16. Ilona Proud Canadian


    Barack Obama, UNEDUCATED? Barack Obama CAN'T READ?


    Please get on the net and do some research, and STOP PRETENDING YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT!

    By the way folks, have you seen John McCain's NEW PLANE?

    June 30, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  17. I used to be a Democrat

    Obama's patriotism is an issue and will continue to be an issue because he has no history of patriotism. Period. Nobody is questioning McCain's patriotism because he has a lengthy, well-known history of loving and supporting this country.

    Obama is a "Johnny-come-lately" on patriotism and he will continued to be question all the way until he loses in November.

    1. His wife wasn't proud of this country until the Dems appointed Obama as their candidate.
    2. Reverend Wright.
    3. That Weatherman terrorist that Obama is buddies with.
    4. That Catholic preacher who ought to be dismissed from the Catholic Church.
    5. Obama didn't want to wear a flag pin before he was a candidate, but suddenly you won't find him out in public without one.

    Give me a break. Obama is a loser.

    June 30, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  18. WoMeN4McCain

    Well Informed Voter – Your comment makes no sense. Are you saying I am educated or am not educated.... and how would you know anyway?

    June 30, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  19. Fed up with the lies

    I have neither seen or heard anything to make me suspect Sen. Obama's patriotism. I believe he deeply loves America and will do anything he needs to do; to protect our country as a U.S. Senator and more importently; as the next President.

    June 30, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  20. ron

    Obama wrote in his book I choose my friends wisely. so Bll Ayres, Farraghan, Syrian Tony Rezko, Rev. Wright ect. all anti American. and all more than casual acquaintances were not just coincidences. also suspect his the reason he chose to tell the world including al=qaeda who he acknowledges listens to these programs looking for propaganda.that the government send troops to Afghanistan who are undermanned and o ill equipped that they have to use weapons captured from the enemy to continue fighting (remember he thought this to be true when he was saying it) why would he do that.

    June 30, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  21. Socialists for Obama!

    Oh, Mr. Obama, sweetie, we don't question your patriotism... we question your socialist intentions. But hey, socialism only killed 100 milion people, let's give it another chance!

    June 30, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  22. Bishop

    BTW: If you don't defend yourself you look weak....and if a lie is told and left uncorrected it will become truth...Try thinking more Lulu...you are very sad 🙁

    June 30, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  23. Bulldog

    I love these GOP posters pretending to be Hillary supporters for McCain. They are amateurs at best. They are so called Evangelicals who sin more than the average person. They love to make up false rumors and play dirty. That is why they have to go to church at least once a week because they know they need their sins forgiven. The only way they know how to win is by trying to bully their opponents and sling mud because they know darn well they have nothing solid to stand on. Have fun in hell, what goes around comes around.

    June 30, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  24. xddy4u

    All of this is the result of over coverage of the news media. A man win the nomination of his party, and then he has to defend his patiotism. This is pure BS. If I was Obama I wouldn't address that issue again.
    What does he have to do to satisfy some of you jokers? Have the flag tatooed on his -ss.

    June 30, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  25. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    As defined by Webster's, patriotism is love and loyalty or zealous support for one's own country. McCain's support has been aptly demonstrated by 20 yrear's service in uniform, and a like time in the House and Senate. Obama spent 20 years in a church that preaches G.D. America. The fact that people question Obama's patriotism has to do with the choices he himself made.

    June 30, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
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