July 8th, 2008
02:01 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama rejects accusations of flip-flopping

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/08/art.obamawes.cnn1.jpg caption="Obama campaigned in Georgia Tuesday."]POWDER SPRINGS, Georgia (CNN) – Barack Obama on Tuesday rejected recent allegations that he has changed his position on Iraq since effectively claiming the Democratic nomination.

When asked by a self-proclaimed “reformed Republican” at a campaign rally about charges that he is flip-flopping on his pledge to get troops out of Iraq within 16 months, Obama replied, “The people who say this apparently haven’t been listening to me.”

Obama listed positions “that make me progressive and squarely in the Democratic camp,” and denied his views had shifted at all since becoming the presumptive Democratic nominee, adding that more centrist positions like his support of faith-based initiatives and an individual’s right to bear arms are long-held beliefs.

Obama then summarized his position on Iraq, repeating his position that if elected, he will withdraw 1-2 brigades per month, completing a total withdrawal over the course of “about 16 months.”

The Illinois senator started a firestorm last week when he said a visit to Iraq would allow him to “refine” his policies. Critics said he was backing off the 16-month deadline.

“When I hear John McCain saying ‘we can’t surrender,’ ‘we can’t wave the white flag’– nobody’s talking about surrendering. We’re talking about common sense. We can not be there forever,” said Obama. “I am going to bring this war to an end. So don’t be confused.”

Obama continued the week’s economic theme in Tuesday morning’s speech by laying out his platform to fight personal bankruptcies that arise from health care costs, long military deployments and natural disasters, among other causes.

“These bankruptcies aren’t happening on their own,” said Obama, “they reflect an underlying economy that is weak. To address the rising bankruptcy rate at its source, we have to make long-term investments to strengthen our economy.”

Obama continued his efforts to tie McCain to President Bush’s economic policies, telling the crowd he “cannot wait” to have a debate about taxes.

“A McCain Administration would mean a fiscal Groundhog Day in Washington,” said Obama. “You remember that movie, Groundhog Day? He kept on waking up and the same thing happened over and over and over again.”

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (303 Responses)
  1. ARB

    Thats what Obama is best at.....flip flopping and lying.

    July 8, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. Abby

    Listen COUGAR, I mean PUMA, before you abandon the party, look at the party platform that most benefits YOU. If you vote out of spite againt what is best for YOU, not only will you know for the rest of your life that you are a bitter old fool of a spiter, but you might make this country a little less wonderful.

    OBAMA 08!!!

    July 8, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  3. LynnB

    Boy he really tries to be slick – typical Chicago sleezy politian tactics. Barack Obama cannot be trusted folks. Somebody better wake up and see what is coming with him. Sure are a bunch of ignorant people out there to sign on for him. He is a big fish way out of the water – he thinks he can promise us anything then do what he wants just because people want a change – he's no change from the same old same old – a sheep in wolves clothing for sure.

    July 8, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  4. Boulder Brian

    Yes, God forbid a person looks at all of the facts and makes an informed decision. If all the troops aren't out in 16 months, so what? He is going to talk to our generals and find the safest way to get our troops home in the quickest period of time. That is the responsibility of a leader.

    Oh, and the phrase "flip-flopping" is WAY overused...

    July 8, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  5. Robert in Seattle

    Refined Sugar is still Sugar. It doesn't suddenly turn to salt. Position reversal for political gain? How about those Tax cuts for the rich? How about the Occupation of Iraq (not a war)

    I prefer the wisdom of a Poker Player over a Craps shooter anyday.

    BTW did John report his winnings to the IRS?

    July 8, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  6. Lucieann

    Wonder if the media will be asking McCain if he is willing to set a timetable for withdrawal of troops, now that the Iraqi govt wants it, just like Mccain said he would? I guess the media is only interested in giving McCain gifts of sprinkled donuts and coffee along with the soft-soap!

    July 8, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. maggie

    A wall along the Mexican border reminds me of the Berlin wall. why can't we work with Mexico and allow an allowable migrant population to work here during the seasons needed. We need to have a much better relationship with Mexico and Canada (will we put up a border there)?

    July 8, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  8. Voting Obama

    People are only saying this because they don't want to see him win. There was no conspiracy. He didn't lie about anything! Obama you have my vote!!

    If McSame gets in office only blame yourselves when you can't afford to live with no health care....

    Democrats 2008 and beyond!

    July 8, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  9. P, CA

    PUMAs: Way to build a platform that preaches hate. You remind me of the Westboro Baptists. Speaking loudly and carrying a small twig.

    You think this is a game? My kids know better than you: if you're beaten, you don't hold a grudge. If you don't like the person who won, okay. But don't sit around spewing hatred.

    #1 statement coming out during the primaries: "I'm for Hillary because I can't stand how rude/hateful the Obama supporters are."

    So... now that you're doing the same... methinks thou art a hypocrite.

    If thoughts were pennies, you'd be in serious need of a stimulus check.

    July 8, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  10. unions are not stupid

    Oh course he has not flip flopped the media and the GOP are just pushing that agenda! The real person flip flopping is Mc Cain you listen to his debates from 2000 to today and he is a completely different person. He can not even get members of his own party to support his nutty ideas.The best part is that there is dozens of books and video and audio out there to support and back up what Obama is saying he has always had these positions he never was the most liberal Sen that title belongs totally to Sen Barbra Boxer (D-CA). More GOP and Media back lies and propaganda.

    What about the report coming out today that Mc Cain is screening the media and the questions they ask him on his conference calls. Some reporters have been threatened by the campaign. Were is that news CNN? Were is the balance in your reporting? your getting as bad as FAUX news

    July 8, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  11. Code Blue

    The only candidate that hasn't flip-flpped is Ron Paul

    July 8, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  12. Mike, Syracuse NY

    So Obama, either you are going pull all the troops out in 16 months, or you are going to talk to the commanders on the ground and 'refine' your position. Which is it? You say you're not going to surrender, but if you unilaterally withdraw from a war that is still going on, what is that? Answer: surrender! I guess it's all JUST WORDS to you. Your flip-flopping makes Kerry's positions look set in concrete.

    July 8, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  13. dew5050

    Obama, you never flip flopped. Don't let that distract you! For your information, more spurious charges are coming, so, be prepared!

    July 8, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  14. Mrs.L

    Who lies better than the GOP and now lame duck president, BUSH
    GET OVER YOURSELF ARB or who ever you are.


    July 8, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  15. David in Chicago

    "The Illinois senator started a firestorm last week when he said a visit to Iraq would allow him to “refine” his policies. Critics said he was backing off the 16-month deadline."

    Moronic critics. This is how McCain's new buddy is going to attack. He's going to play with Obama's words!!

    "REFINE" is different than "REDEFINE". To refine is to make improvements to or to perfect the policy Re-define would be to completely overhaul the policy.

    Taken from the dictionary:
    Verb 1. refine – to become pure or perfected

    Verb 1. redefine – give a new or different definition to

    July 8, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  16. Jimmy P - Chicago

    What would one expect from this smooth talking liar? Oh, I forgot, it's never a flip-flop if it comes from Obama... must be a clarification error, or maybe misunderstood. For gods sake already, what do any of you moderate dems see in this disaster?

    July 8, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  17. Mike

    I am so glad he still stands by his original statement. People seem to forget that we are in Iraq and focus instead on the economy. The government spending billions of dollars during an economic downturn is not the best idea. The sooner we are out of Iraq, the better!

    July 8, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  18. BlahBlahBlahOblama

    First he rejected it...then he blaimed it on failed republican policy...then he heard voices in his head from John McCain...then he said it's time for change...then he rejected it Blah, Blah, Blah.

    The mans like a pancake at the local Waffle house.


    July 8, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  19. ARB

    I would rather have no healthcare than lose my right to bear arms and defend myself.

    July 8, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  20. Well, I'm a "progressive," you see... that means I support failure.

    Pro-gres-sive (noun) – one who adheres to the failed policies of failed nations, yet who still cling to said failed beliefs in spite of example after example illustrating the failure in such beliefs. See also – USSR, Cuba.

    July 8, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  21. Jimmy P - Chicago

    Get a job and you will have healthcare you deadbeat loser!

    July 8, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  22. Robert

    FFS! Like he is gonna come right out and admit it. " Barack Obama do not flip-flop, change direction like a weather vane in a hurricane, have more opinions on one subject then facets on a diamond, ect, ect. What I am doing is called refining my position on any said subject." As long as McCain keeps his mouth shut how can he lose, Obama is digging the hole, and even pulling the dirt over himself. If the rest of America would turn off the idiot box, and take a good look at Mr. Rockstar president in waiting we would be ok. But that would be expecting too much.

    July 8, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  23. demwit

    1) Out in 2009!

    2) 1-2 bragades per month for 16 months.

    3) I'm going to Iraq and I'm going to listen to my military advisors.


    July 8, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  24. rumpusgoopus

    Great, this once again shows that the more you repeat something, the more people think it's true, especially with the media. Give it up, CNN, Obama didn't flip-flop.

    July 8, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  25. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    The Bush administration including John McCain knew that Iraq's Prime Minister Malaki was imposing a withdrawal timetable so they have attempted to accuse Obama of flip flopping. Malaki wants withdrawal at the end of this year. McCain has no war argument left because if the surge is working as they say, then there is no reason not to have a withdrawal. Iraqis don't want the U.S.A. to further determine what's best for them but it is in our best interest to withdraw our troops, now. What's the point in staying and dying when you are not wanted.

    July 8, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
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