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. I'm For Obama All The Way

    Obama has my vote. I would rather go with someone who says he's going to refine his plan that someone who says we'll be in Iraq 100 years.

    Obama 08

    July 8, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  2. demwit

    Nope! No flip-floping from Obama on wire tapping either... He just “refined” his policy to include it..

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

    All of you silly folks who are saying things like "McCain or Clinton" or "PUMA" are really just voting out of emotion and not out of intellect. If you were going to vote for Hillary to begin with, then you obviously support her stances on healthcare, foreign politics and the economy. Which current candidate agrees with Hillary's stances most on these issues??? If McCain wins and makes good on his bellicose threats to remain in Iraq and to provoke Iran into a war, it will be your fault that we are sending our grandchildren to a foreign land to fight and die, it will be your fault that you cannot afford health care because McCain thought that the free market health system would miraculously begin to work after failing for so many years, it will be your fault that we will be even more indebted to China, it will be your fault that Roe Vs. Wade has been overturned. A vote for McCain is far more damaging than a slap in the face to your ex-rival Obama supporters, it is a vote to continue Bush's downward spiral, it is a vote to hasten the downfall of our country, If you Hillary supporters are really Republicans and want to vote for McCain because you believe the government should tell women what they can and cannot do with their own bodies, that war shouldn't be a last resort but a first consideration, and that the American dream is only for those who are born rich, by all means vote for McCain. But if you are voting for him because you are still sour about your candidate losing the primary, I don't think you have earned your right to vote.

    July 8, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  4. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    To flip flop is to be a politician.
    Like tigers, they can not change their stripes.

    But they sure do change their opinions a lot!

    July 8, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. Obama

    At least he knows what day it is....... And who we are suppose to be fighting....

    Does McMindless????

    OBAMA '08

    July 8, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. Pat Riot

    Code Blue, you are dead on! These two candidates would crumble before the awesome power of Ron Paul's principle and integrity. You may not like his ideas but you can not argue with him because he is strictly bound by the constitution as we all should be.

    July 8, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  7. T GUY


    July 8, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |

    Congratulations Jay

    You finally practiced enough that you can spell.

    Get a life, get a job. Your opinion is only one in millions of opinions.

    July 8, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  9. NELSON Colorado Springs, Co

    See some people do listen, Good come back SEN OBAMA, "Obama replied, “The people who say this apparently haven’t been". GO OBAMA

    July 8, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  10. ARB

    sorry tina i want a candidate that i can trust....sure cant count on obama

    July 8, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  11. Griff

    Obama! The man with no past, and no future... Who is this Person??
    Does anyone really Know???? Democrats Dream, of the Whitehouse, with a "Ghost" for a Leader......

    July 8, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  12. Louisville KY

    You PUMA people are crazy.

    July 8, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  13. @HusseinIsAmerican2

    does the word flip-flopping still exist?

    you must be delusional if you think McShame stands for anything; he has been for and against immigration, drilling in ANWR, for war & peace, energy and just about every single issues.

    John McBush = 4 MORE YEARS OF FAILED GDubya ECONOMIC POLICIES!!!!!!!!!!!!


    July 8, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  14. Never Again CNN

    I would much prefer a president willing to make decisions based on actual fact and information, who would be willing to refine those decisions as the facts are updated, than a warmongering old man who flip-flops at the drop of a hat, not because of changes in information but because of political pressure. What is McCain's stance on abortion, what is his stance on the war, or the economy or the tax cuts, or torture or the environment (that's a good one he puts out an add that is supposed to show he is for the evironment when he talks about increasing drilling for oil, gas tax holidays to increase spending on gas and increase our dependance on gas which would increase demand, and probably send the prices up again and hurt the enviornment, while giving more money to Big Oil and refusing, these days, to support a windfall prafits tax) do you really belive that McCain, who probably won't survive much more than 4 more years, really cares about our environment especially when you look at his policies..give me a break. All those recist McCain (and if you're a McCain supporter that's not a racist, you still can't deny that most of you fellow supporters are) do not care about this country, for all their talk of patriotism, their racist attitudes are the most unpatriotic of all when you are willing to sacrifice the wellbeing of your country so that a black man will not get elected. If McCain is elected, not only will I move, but America will deserve all that comes next. Rome did not last forever.

    July 8, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  15. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    July 8, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  16. Stephanie

    Abby – Consider this – you advise people to vote for the platform that is good for them personally. Some people vote for what they think is best for the country rather than being completely self centered.

    July 8, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  17. Bitter - New Orleans, LA

    So what is Obama going to do if his commanders (all of them) say they need absolutely 20-24 months to avoid total disaster? Huh? What then?

    How can you set a date BEFORE talking with commanders...to get votes, that's how.

    McCain has ALWAYS gone by his generals advice even when it went against popular vote. Hence the surge. Which is working all to well, God forbid a news agency dare report it.

    and don't you think Iraq should be giving us the timeline rather than us giving it to them? The balls been in their court for a while now.

    July 8, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  18. karen-phoenix

    This is what Obama has been saying from the beginning and need not defend himself!!!! McBush is the biggest flip-flopper of the all!!!!

    July 8, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  19. Independent Voter

    Can someone please tell me what is wrong with refining your position or perhaps just changing your mind? We change our minds all the time in our everyday lives. Why is changing your mind or maybe tweeking a "point of view" in politics is such a crime? I just don't get it.

    July 8, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  20. europe is Obama Country

    the whole europe is crazy about Obama,americans wake up, vote for Obama.As an outsider Obama is the right president for america.

    July 8, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  21. RyanD.

    I want a leader with intelligence and tact. A real Christian, a real family man, a real LEADER.

    Not a senile, flip-flopping, adulturing war-monger.

    Obama 08'

    July 8, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  22. Saad from NJ

    It's NOT flip-Flopping you sillies.... it's adjusting to the situation based on given circumstances at any given point in time. Circumstances change at different points in time and so does one's stance on an issue or issues.....

    However wonderfully I have stated the above, if I may say so myself, the problem is that it's not that black and white. Validity of the above hinges on one's honesty and intentions. Sometimes the so called flip-flopping is for good and at times where one is flip-flopping for the sake of political gains or political escape, it is bad. Just imagine if President Bush had flip-flopped on Iraq and either had not gone into it or gone in with a different approach than non-flip-flopping and sticking to the macho approach of we can do it all ourselves, how much better off we would be today?

    July 8, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  23. Patrick Henry, Fort Myers

    16 months or 100 months

    He still hasn't explained what he considers the parameters of safety and security that will enable us to leave Iraq–nor the parameters he expects to preserve the safety of U.S. officials, contractors, and aid workers who will remain in Iraq.

    Despite the accusation he has flip flopped–I declare he still hasn't really defined his position at all beyond some sound bites and a strong "mabye" enough for us to evaluate in any way just what he might do. He commitment is non-commital, his strategy is "we'll see", his advisors are unknown. In short...webescrewed.

    July 8, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  24. Ken

    Of course Obama would object to his flip-flopping! Does anyone expect any different from him?

    Obama will say whatever you want to hear (which he does), and it can be different depending on his audience.

    Just goes to show you that he is like any other politician, who by the way is a liar, flip-flopper, panderer and everything else that lying politicians.

    July 8, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  25. tim

    Just cannot understand how any working man could support this
    guy who has never had a real job, never a boss of anything,
    never owned or operated a business, never taken a risk of any
    kind on a venture and is basically a political shake down artist.

    July 8, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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