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. Val, Atlanta, Ga

    They can accuse Obama of Flip Flopping, Lying and what ever else I will still continue to have his sign in my yard and I will VOTE for him, Nothing absolutley Nothing could be worst the McBush and George W. Bush They have lied for sure. And McBush has been flip flopping all over the place, nor can he read why would anyone want another uneducated man in the White House, now thats crazy. Anytime I want a good laugh I turn on the TV and hope McBush is on there because when he talk he seems confused as hell.

    July 8, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  2. mk

    PUMAs = Republicans in disguise

    July 8, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  3. BR

    Ignorance must be bliss. What it must be like to be an Obama Kool-Aid drinker. He is still going to provide free beer Fridays right? I thought we were all going to only have 2 day work weeks with Barack Hussein Obama. He keeps saying change, so what is it?

    July 8, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. Candy West Virginia

    Even the wicked repuglicans know Obama has not flip flopped, this is just part of their strategy, to thrash him consistently, because let's face it what other strategy do they have. They keep you focused on Barack so you pay little attention to how horrible their candidate really is. Fortunately other than some brain washed repuglicans and puma babes, no one is buying it. Thank you people for being strong minded and not letting them brain wash you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 8, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. PCC

    Obama has always been a flip flooper......This is not news to millions that didn't vote for him.....Obama hasn't kept his word on anything he said he would do in the Primary's ...The only change in Obama is he changes his mind after he gets the votes....What does this tell you he will do ...IF...he's elected...A man is as good as his word and Obama isn't good at his word.....Hillary/ McCain....

    July 8, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  6. Independent in Iowa

    Ya know, I'm fine with him changing posititions when he sees that he is wrong. We all know Bush will stick to his guns even when he knows he is wrong – we don't want another president like that.

    Now, I disagree with him and the faith-based initiatives. No no no no no to religious influence in our government. One religion does not represent the beliefs of all people. This is one flip-flop I'd welcome.

    July 8, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  7. sad for party unity

    Obama is counting on people's desire for change, the anti-republican sentiment, the bad state of American affairs and being a democrat as the way to win by default.

    He figures he can say or do anything at any time because people will still vote for him since they have no choice.

    Will you make it so? Or will you vote your conscience? Cynthia McKinney of the GREEN, Ralph Nader, Write in Hill IF it counts in your state, or go with McCain as a last option. JUST DON'T STAY HOME- that will not hurt Obama.

    Writing in Hill is best- but it will not count for Hill but go to Obama instead in many states- like NM- so check out state laws prior to using this option.

    July 8, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  8. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Funny thing, the Iraqi government called for the same thing yesterday, and now Bush is saying this is in keeping with his plan?

    But if Obama says it, he's a flip=flopper; at least Obama is willing to concede that the plan may need modification.

    Didn't Bush stand on the deck of a carrier after a dramatic entrance and declare the war over? And was it over?!?!?! I rest my case.

    The difference here is vision versus delusion!

    July 8, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. mitchell hussein martin

    john mccain would be the first 72 year-old to win the gold medal in flip-flop olympics.

    July 8, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  10. Charlotte

    I read these blogs and cannot believe some of the things I read. I am a life long democrat, not a republican pretending to be a Hillary supporter. I will write her name on my ballot, as I cannot vote for either of the presumptive nominees. I have voted for a republican because the DNC can be really stupid in who they put up to run for POTUS. This year the GOP and the DNC are stupid. Neither of these candidates impress me. I wish things would have turned out differently, however, I will write Hillary on my ballot in November and pray enough of us do to make a difference. We must vote as it is a freedom I do not take lightly. I have never missed a vote and don't intend to start this year. I urge every voter to vote for the person of their choice, do not stay home. Vote/write in whichever, but show up at the polls...

    July 8, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  11. CITIZENS FOR AMERICA FIRST.

    IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE, SO MANY AMERICANS DON'T

    KNOW WHAT THE WORD "REFINE" MEANS.

    IN THIS CASE IT MEANS TO GET ALL THE INFORMATION

    NECESSARY, THEN PROCEED WITH THE BEST PLAN.

    OBAMA CAN'T PICK AN AFTERNOON, LOAD OUR

    250,000 TROOPS AND CALL IT A DAY. THAT IS NOT WHAT

    HE EVER PROPOSE. THAT IS NOT WHAT ANY SANE PERSON

    WOULD EVER PROPOSE. THAT'S A LOT OF PEOPLE TO MOVE

    IN A VERY DANGEROUS ENVIRONMENT.ON THE OTHER HAND

    WE CAN ELECT MCMORON & TAKE A 100 YEARS TO DO IT.

    July 8, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  12. Willow, from Iowa

    Obama has not flip flopped. On occasion his words have been twisted around and used by McCain, wrongly. We all know what he wants to do for the economy, alternative energy, the iraq war, etc. (even the Iraqis want us out of there in a timely fashion, no 100 years of occupation for them!). However he will be the President of all the people, not just the liberal left. In order to be the People's President, he has to listen to all sides, and figure out how best to help everyone.

    I think he's doing great. Obama 08/12

    July 8, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. Ben (Eugene, OR)

    Hmmm......I don't know if anyone watched the democratic primary debates last year. During the debates, Hillary and Obama were arguing about how fast they could (and would) pull troops out of Iraq. I believe they both settled at about 6 months. Only Bill Richarson (NM) told them they were being unrealistic, and that it would take well over a year to do so. He was chastised, and called a liar by the liberal media (even though he has far more experience than both candidates COMBINED). Obama has changed his position dramatically.

    First it was 8 months no matter the conditions on the ground
    Then it was 6 months no matter the conditions on the ground
    –> Wins the Primary
    Then it was 16 Months no matter the conditions on the ground

    Now, its about 16 months AS LONG AS ITS OK WITH THE LEADERS ON THE GROUND.

    hmmm......I think this is sounding like McCain's position....LISTENING to the leaders on the ground....

    hmmm......Change???

    you betcha, Obama IS a man of CHANGES

    July 8, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  14. alone in VT

    Well, no I am not listening to him, so I guess for once he's right!!!!!

    July 8, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  15. The Truth Shall Set You Free

    One could make the case that Barack Obama is not a flip-flopper.
    One first must actually take a definite stand or flip before one can flop.

    July 8, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  16. BITTER CHRISTIAN CLINGING TO GUN

    Obamby is never wrong because he is always on both sides of the issue.

    July 8, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  17. STILL FOR HILL

    I am so sick of seeing "Montana is Obama Country"...How many non-profits are centered in Montanta?

    I think it is more like "Montana is Non-Profit Country" and guess what, they've got their hands out for the Obama Tax and Spend agenda.

    I'm a democrat, but increasing spending and raising taxes during a recession is just stupid. Do Obama supporters even listen or are they getting all their info from MSNBC?

    Hillary 08 or McCain if necessary

    July 8, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  18. MARYANN Oswego IL

    I will never vote for Barack Obama ..a very sad lifelong democrat....If you live in New York city or Long Island or parts of California and Seattle ...250,000 a year for a married couple is about the same as 50,000 a year for a couple in parts of Iowa and South Carolina...The top 3% earners should be taxed Mr.Obama do your homework like Hillary does....250,000 income sometimes is RICH depending on where you live.......I cannot and will not ever TRUST the OBAMA's

    July 8, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  19. mitchell hussein martin

    ARB: only a liar cant believe in anyone else.

    July 8, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  20. wycliffe, NJ

    do not underestimate the heart of obama...willingness to withdraw troops in 16 months.

    refined sugar is still sugar

    obama 08

    July 8, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  21. beth - florida

    Call it flip-flopping or whatever you want... I'm just curious to see how many of you (who voted for Obama in the primaries) would have voted for Hillary instead. Knowing what you know today, that Obama has changed some of his position on issues. Does anybody out there regret voting for Obama, If so please speak up...

    July 8, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  22. Jenna

    He clearly was backing out of his committment, I just cant believe anything he says now, he just keeps fliping back and forth. Same old Politics, he will say one thing to get elected and then say well things have changed and I had to refine my position. Just like his Rev. Wright speeches.... Whatever I am sick of it.

    Jenna

    July 8, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  23. disagreement is not hate

    To P, Ca who posts: #1 statement coming out during the primaries: "I'm for Hillary because I can't stand how rude/hateful the Obama supporters are." and who now claims we HRC supporters are guilty of the same.

    I have never posted any filth or vulgar sexually or racially explicit putdowns of other Americans. Nor do I post lies. Nor do I resort to any name-calling.

    We do not denigrate, demean nor debase you. We state our opposition to HOW Hill was forced to lose- not that she lost.

    PROMISING THAT WE WILL NEVER VOTE FOR OBAMA BASED ON HIS LACK OF CHARACTER AND LACK OF QUALIFICATIONS AND LACK OF EXPERIENCE AND THE TYPE OF CAMPAIGN HE WAGED-

    THAT is not being hateful. That is stating a fact and opinion without any belittling of any fellow democrat.

    July 8, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. al

    *****************************************************

    EVERYBODY CLEAR ON THAT?
    SHUT-UP FOR A SECOND AND LISTEN.

    REPUBLICANS MACHINE ARE DOING WHAT THEY DO EVERY ELECTION. TRYING TO ACCUSE THE OTHER OF WHAT THEY ARE.

    WHOS THE FLIP-FLOPPER?
    NO DRILL TO DRILLING
    NO TAX BREAK TO TAX BREAK

    WHOS THE BIG SPENDER?
    WAR IN IRAQ

    WHOS HAS MORE VALUES?
    NEVER TOUCH ON THIS ONE BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW THEY CAN'T DEPEND MCCAIN ON THIS.

    ENOUGH SAID.

    STOP THE MADNESS. VOTE OBAMA.

    July 8, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    OBAMA POSITION:-
    REFINE WITHDRAWAL STRATEGY .....FOR THE GOOD OF THE USA.............
    REFINE HIS ECONOMIC POLICY .....FOR THE GOOD OF THE USA .......
    REFINE HIS HEALTH CARE PLAN.....FOR THE GOD OF THE USA REFINE THE US IMAGE IN THE WORLD.....FOR THE GOOD OF THE USA ..
    THE WORD HAS TWO PARTS..RE ...FINE AND THAT IS VERY FINE ......VOTE FOR A REFINEMENT AND CHANGE ...OBAMA 08 ...............THE ONLY THING THAT MCCAIN WANTS TO REFINE IS OIL .....FOR THE GOOD OF BIG OIL ...
    THE BOTTOM LINE IS RE – FINE =BETTER THAT IS BETTER CHANGE ...NEW OBAMA SLOGO
    ( REFINEMENT REFORM AND CHANGE ) ...
    PS ..PUMA SUCKS

    July 8, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
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