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. Rudy NYC

    What about the request by the Iraqis for a timeline for withdrawal? No comments from the candidates or the White House yet? Unbelievable.

    July 8, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  2. Jay

    There Obama goes again..Thats not what I said..or thats not what I meant...

    OBAMA IS A FLIP-FLOPPER. He says whatever to sit on the fence, just like all the present votes in Chicago.






    My vote, my choice. I vote for the person, not the party.

    Never for Obama..NEVER!

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

    it's called pragmatism and its an All American philosophy. To bad people don't take the time to read Obama's writing. They would find that he considers all arguments and creates thoutful views. He is no extreamist which enrages the far left and the far right.

    July 8, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  4. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    I don't like Obama but he is wright about one thing. you can't say someone flip flopped because he now has new info that changes the way you see things. this has happened to both candidates this article is a perfect example on Obama"s side and McCainwas called a flipper because ten years ago when gas was about $1.10 per gal he was against offshore drilling but now with gas over $4.00 per gal he is for it.

    People's views change with the times. If Obama goes to Iraq and that leads him to change his mind and say it will take 24 not 16 months to do it wright it is not flip flopping it is getting new info and responding to it.

    they are smart men but they don't always have the right answer when given less than all the info

    July 8, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |

    A careful analysis of Obama's position on the war in Iraq will show he has been VERY consistent in his statements. Extremely nervous McSame operatives, coupled with a bored, in many cases inexperienced and definitely tabloid leaning mainstream media are to blame for this lateset flap. Now, you want flip-flopping, ask McSame about offshore oil drilling;. or the Bush tax cuts; agents of intolerance; ethanol; the confederate flag; torture; and of course Roe v. Wade. The list goes on and on........

    July 8, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  6. Brandon Hillary PUMA for Mc Cain-Pa

    Change you can xerox....."not this time"

    No wonder that pansy John Kerry supports him....

    Puma......hold the kool aide

    July 8, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  7. John in Binghamton NY

    I think we need a president that will stick to whatever decision he makes no matter what. Even if the situation changes or if there is new evidence.

    I know someone like that, GW Bush!! Lets elect that guy!!

    Whats that you say? We already did? How did that turn out????

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

    Obama may be off the hook with his Iraq flap now that the Iraqi government want a timetable for troop withdrawal. I do not see how McCain can justify keeping the troops in Iraq if even the Iraqi government wants them to leave. We will see if Bush will keep his promise to leave when Iraq wants them to.

    July 8, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. Bad Decision

    Obama makes bad decisions. This is a result of him talking too much (like a con man) and not checking facts until there thrown in his face. At that point it someone elses fault (according to him).

    July 8, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  10. rightytighty

    I wonder who the progressively stupid will blame when Obama let's the Iraqi government decide when to set the time table for withdrawal??

    Just like Bush is doing....

    July 8, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  11. Vaughn

    .............everyone seems like a bunch of zombies! Vote for Obama........ vote for Obama......... vote for Obama. They have brain washed you, and its so sad that you are all willing to follow him to the end. Just may be he will flip flop another dozen times to wake you up.

    July 8, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  12. Nikki, Florida

    You mean idiots are getting their opinions from the media without doing their own research??


    July 8, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Only an idiot would stand on a statement made in the past, that seems wrong today.

    July 8, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  14. Sam

    Refining a strategy is different from changing a strategy. We wouldn't expect anybody who supports McCain to understand that...McCain himself less so. The troops are coming home!

    July 8, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  15. Lisa

    Obama flip flopped his way down to two points on the gallup poll.

    July 8, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  16. Matthew

    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.

    Typical Republican, redefines words to suit their failed policies. Here is a real dfinition:

    1. disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change.

    In other words, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results: like John McCain's policies.

    People we need change NOW! Let's look at the REAL definition of Progressive:

    1. favoring or advocating progress, change, improvement, or reform, as opposed to wishing to maintain things as they are, esp. in political matters: a progressive mayor.
    2. making progress toward better conditions; employing or advocating more enlightened or liberal ideas, new or experimental methods, etc.: a progressive community.
    3. characterized by such progress, or by continuous improvement.

    Oh yeah, those progressives sure are evil. (sarcasm: 1. harsh or bitter derision or irony. 2. a sharply ironical taunt; sneering or cutting remark – for all of you word definition challenged Republicans).

    July 8, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  17. Canuck

    the point is not that he flip-flops, obama is just another politicial. he claims he is different, that is what makes me distrust him.

    July 8, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. Nicole in NE


    Iraq AGREES to a timeline withdraw! gasp! They agree with Obama, democrats and the rest of the world!

    McCain and Bush have said over and over and over again NO to timelines in Iraq.

    Obama 08′

    July 8, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  19. mk

    Looks to me like PUMAs are actually Republicans using the weak disenfranchised excuse as a cover. Smells like a very transparent Republican Propoganda attempt...

    The ISSUES are more important to me than falling into a very weak Republican based moronic argument. You've exposed yourself and it looks really bad.....

    July 8, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  20. ARB

    you dont have to research nikki,florida....its called facts and common sense....you cant trust obama any further than you can throw him.

    July 8, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  21. NotFallingInLine.org

    Let's see if we have this right...

    Obama is using words to reject accusations that he's nothing but a shady wordsmith who will say anything to advance his own political self-interests?

    To say that Obama is a typical politician is unfair to politicians.

    HI PUMAs!

    July 8, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  22. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    David from Chicago!

    THANK YOU!!!! Refine is not redefine.

    Everyone else...stop the hate talk, please. It is so old and most of it is just trying to get people worked up and for Obama people to THINK it's coming from Clinton people and Clinton people to THINK it's coming from Obama people when it's actually small-minded Republicans laughing about how they are creating Dem on Dem hate. People...you're being worked. If you're truly a Puma and think John McCain is better for this country, then fine. Vote your conscious. If you're an Obama supporter, be a graceful winner.

    Lets move on and talk about issues.

    July 8, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |

    MCWAR- Home, he turned to public service…but not before seeing his wife who had been crippled from an accident, who waited for him all those years, writing and sending him packages, and deciding to leave her for a rich blonde bimbo.(CINDY)
    His philosophy: nothing we haven't seen before, nothing that will get us out of this mess we're in.

    Yes, Obama speaks with beautiful words, but that does not mean they are empty words. His love for this country is what will change it for the better!

    July 8, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  24. tina

    Hey ARB, if you vote for Obama you can have both...duh!

    July 8, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  25. Shelby Y.

    Hey Freida, how about you keep your vote and donate to Hillary's debt. Hillary "The Smart Choice." lol,lol,lol, yeah right!!!!!

    July 8, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
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