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. Not fooled by distractions

    Good job O – you've been consistent from the start, only the whining goppers say differently. If those condemning him actually read through his statements, they'd see they're wrong – instead they choose to remain willfully ignorant, like many on this board it appears.

    Looks like the McCain spammers are out in full force –

    They have to be spammers, no one actually believes that crock do they?????

    July 8, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  2. obama rocks

    hey ARB,you can say anything you want mcshame still behind on every poll,bye! mcbush,hello!president obama

    July 8, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  3. Jo

    He may reject the accusation but that doesn't mean it isn't true. He spent the entire primary season accusing Clinton of saying anything to be elected. It wasn't true but it sure outlined his general election strategy. Whether it is NAFTA, abortion, telecom immunity, lobbyists, he just did not mean any of it.

    July 8, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  4. cedarsands

    Let's see – Obama rejects, and we should all just accept?
    He's so authoritarian, and that's so pre-21st century, don't you think?
    /snark/

    July 8, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  5. mary cleveland, ohio

    The McCain campaign and all the Republican talking heads can beat as many dead horses as they wish. Just goes to show they cannot even recognize a dead horse when they see one. Just clutching at straws for lack of any substance to discuss.

    July 8, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. Robert J.

    What is Mc Cain anyway( Republican/ Maverick)? All you haters out there keep hating. Then sit back and watch a movement in this country.
    Whenever Obama talks it will be twisted. Just like Florida did in 2000. He will end this war and bring our young men home. Many in otherr countries have done so.Its time for Iraq to stand up! On the issue of flip flop" I'm not too smart when it comes to the economy" then "I have a plan that will balance the Budget in 4 years. Thats BS!!! and I might add pretty floppy economics.

    July 8, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. Agnes

    McBush flip flops all the time. He's just trying to take the attention off of himself.

    It's time for the Bush era to come to an end. We do not need nor want an continuation of the Bush's policies.

    And......Oh yea..........McBush can't remember anything. Is the straight talk express losing it's bearing?

    July 8, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  8. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    Hey Patriot,
    On the welfare front, I think Senator Obama pushed legislation to move people from welfare to work.
    After all, for all you folks who think he's a "taxer",
    he'd rather get you to work so he can get more of your tax dollars.
    Course, now he did propose tax legislation that would DECREASE taxes for everyone under $250,000.

    And Phantom, sorry going in reverse order,
    if Obama is now pushing Clinton's points (which are totally opposite of McCain), help us less eduated understand why you'd vote for the person who holds the positions opposite of what you want.

    July 8, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  9. Dee

    I agree Boulder Brian. Obama is alot different than these Republicans running around here. Obama wants to take a loot at all the issues and then make a decision. He wants to create bipartisan coalitions to tackle issues. Republicans and all this flip flop talk that they do is why we are in Iraq in the first place. Republicans tend to go on Kamikazee missions, not obtain stakeholder opinions, and plunge head long into issues without obtaining all the facts. This whole cowboy diplomacy has gotten out of hand.

    Obama 08

    July 8, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  10. Franky

    It ain't that bad. Plus, I've seen worse in our government......WAY WORSE! LOL!!

    July 8, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  11. Lesley

    Labels, like the most liberal senator, send a message like it is set in stone. Let's stop pigeonholing people so that we can learn what they are really about.

    July 8, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  12. nnate, OH

    Correction: When I wrote "to refine", I meant "to possibly refine"
    I don't want anyone to parse my words.

    July 8, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  13. ARB

    obama has never flip-flopped on this issue.obama speaks truth and will make wonderful president.vote obama '08

    July 8, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  14. JB

    Barack Obama = snake oil salesman. The man has no standards, ethics or morals – oh wait, he's a liberal guess that's normal.

    July 8, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  15. stephanie, Washington

    He will do anything to win this election even throwing his pastor under bus, his grandma and lie to his supporters. I don't believe in him anymore.

    July 8, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  16. interesting

    Delusional is really Obama's middle name.

    I guess he thinks because he is not listening to his words, then we the people should not listen to his words either.

    Just words.... no meaning?

    Give me a break. What a fake and phony. Anybody but this knucklehead.

    July 8, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  17. Peter E

    People, PLEASE read Obama's own website about where he actually stands on issues! Even his own supporters believe in several of these nonsensical myths!
    His own website says that he DOESN't plan to withdraw all troops, just ones he dubs as 'combat troops.' We'd still be keeping troops there to 'fight al Quaeda.' Curiously enough that sounds eerily familiar to me... isn't that the same excuse Bush has been using since 2003 in keeping our troops there? That we're 'fighting terrorists?'
    Obama 08! Change in your mind only!

    July 8, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  18. Mccain=flipflop

    The people that accuse Obama of flip flopping are desperate republicans who will say anything because they know they are with a losing, evil, wicked party who doesn't give a darn about them or their issues. We will not be fooled. Obama never changed his policy on Iraq and funny how Iraq today called for us to set a time line to get out of their country. They want us out but mcwar and bush, the warmongers, don't wanna leave.

    July 8, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  19. Phantom of the Oprah

    That is what he meant when he spoke about change-

    The freedom to change according to what polls best at the moment.

    Ask Wright... if this man panders for votes or not...

    Actually didn't Obama flip from pro Wright to anti Wright?

    And from Anti Hillary to Pro Hillary.

    What fun....

    He is Also sometimes black and sometimes biracial based on which way the political wind is blowing...

    July 8, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  20. Bulldog

    "Well, you know, I'd never say there's 'nothing' or 'never' or 'no way' in which I'd change my mind. Obviously, I'm open to the facts and to reason. And there's no doubt that we've seen significant improvements in security on the ground in Iraq. And our troops, and Gen. [David] Petraeus, deserve enormous credit for that." – Barack Obama on his Iraq withdrawal policy June 6th, 2008

    "I have to look at this issue from a broader strategic perspective. And in terms of long-term strategy, I am absolutely convinced that the best thing we can do is to set a clear timetable, tell the Iraqis we are going to start pulling out and do it in a careful fashion." – Barack Obama on his Iraq withdrawal policy June 6th, 2008

    "John McCain may like to say he wants to follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell, but so far all he's done is follow George Bush into a misguided war in Iraq." – Barack Obama February 28th, 2008

    July 8, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  21. Chuck

    "You put your right foot in, you take your right foot out, you do the Hokey Pokey and reject it all about......."

    July 8, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. mitchell hussein martin

    republicans are so feeble minded to think they can make obama supporters vote for mccain,by using outright lies and dirty rove tactics.so obtuse.

    July 8, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  23. Phantom of the Oprah

    I don't flip-flop when I say, again, that:

    That is what he meant when he spoke about change-

    The freedom to change according to what polls best at the moment.

    Ask Wright... if this man panders for votes or not...

    Actually didn't Obama flip from pro Wright to anti Wright?

    And from Anti Hillary to Pro Hillary.

    What fun....

    He is Also sometimes black and sometimes biracial based on which way the political wind is blowing...

    July 8, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  24. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    Obama has not shifted his position on Iraq. The republicans are nit wits to keep on this and the media is a nit wit for keep writing it.

    It would be great if Obama and the media looked at Indiana as a swing state. We are more in play than most people think?

    Even if this doesn't get posted at least I know someone read it.

    July 8, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  25. Tim

    McSame is a flip flopper that can't even remember where he stands on anything. He only kicks Bush under the bus when it suits him. He will fund raise with him behind closed doors, but bad mouths him in the light. McSame will lose and then he can go back to the Senate telling war stories. He is so out of touch with reality.

    July 8, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
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