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. Tanya, GA


    How do you surrender a war that Bush has already declared a victory?

    July 8, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  2. Bitter - New Orleans, LA

    Why don't we talk about Obama's views on abortion... late term abortion to be more specific. The facts will make you sick. It was something that he actually voted on rather than just 'present'.

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

    Pumas are and have been Republicans all along.

    July 8, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. Molly

    obama you are a FRAUD!!!! obama is the MASTER of Spin
    Typical Corrupt Chicago style politics – tell the people what they think they want to hear – just like Rev Wright told us!
    Boy – the DNC sure picked the WRONG guy! He cannot be trusted – he has zero judgment – and he is Not qualified to lead our country.

    July 8, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  5. Clinton supporter 4 Obama

    HEY ARB -


    July 8, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  6. Raymond Duke

    The man can deny all he wants too, but anybody with ears knows the man is a flip -flopper.. Besides that I don't care whether he flip- flopped or not. I have heard enough from this man and his friends to know that he doesn't care for america or the white people in america . Really he doen't even care about the blacks that have voted for him by 92%. He is all about himself. I can't speak for other people. I only know that their is five people in this house that will not vote for him. John McCain is a slug but he is the best of the two. I at least know the he loves america.

    July 8, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  7. No Nos Moveran

    God don't like ugly.

    Neither do TRUE democrats. We will not vote for Obama and will not say yes to this selected, installed, sexist, racist, biased, hateful pretend nominee by voting for him.

    It doesn't matter that he is the only democrat we can vote for. He is unqualified, inexperienced, morally unsuitable and devoid of the character needed for the job.

    His pandering and adjusting his stand to what polls well, told us so.

    The hatred of his cult worshippers showed us the real "change".

    The propagands stops here!

    July 8, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  8. T GUY


    July 8, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. kelly WI

    No Pelosi. Obstructionist. Won't let an energy bill come to the floor.
    No Reid. Idiot. Where does he think the energy comes from to light up Vegas. Sure isn't windmills and solar panels.
    Dems want to dim the lights on the shining city on the hill.
    No Bomma. He wants to tax every thing and every one. Drive more business out. Did you ever ask a poor man for a job.? More taxes, more layoffs. For you that are jealous of the rich remember the rich will be OK. They will just get rid of you.
    5% are pulling the cart. 95% are in the cart. How about taking on some self reliance instead of wanting gov. to take care of you.
    Congress approval rating down to 9%.
    Vote straight Republican. The dems want economic and military failure. They need talking points for elections. They need the poor for votes. Always have and always will.
    McCain 08

    July 8, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  10. Wisconsin


    Hey PUMA's, Lisa and ABA, Show me exactly where Obama flip-flopped on Iraq.

    Note you may want to look up what it means to refine something.

    If you cant show me exactly when Obama changed his stance then maybe you should learn something before posting.

    For everyone else this is what you have to be like to be a republican. Look at it yourself and decide if you are republican enough or if you are better then them.

    July 8, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  11. George

    This only shows how dumb and clueless GOP voters are.

    It is John McCain who won't even vote for the bill he co-authored.

    He ate his words about Evangelicals, Calling Fallwell a fanatic then going back to kiss his behind.

    He sponsored an Immigration bill and then he was against it.

    He was for campaign finance after he lost to Bush, now he doesn't care.

    He was against Bush's tax cut, calling it irresponsible in a time of war. Now he wants his own tax cut.

    He was against oil drilling, now more drilling is his only solution to the gas crisis.

    TEFLON McCain has no poisition of his own anymore. He continues to FLIP and FLOP. Yet these GOP dimwits are calling Obama a flip-flop.

    McCain will be a DO-NOTHING PRESIDENT if elected, like his buddy Dubya.

    July 8, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  12. Lisa

    By Obama changing from 16 months to now it may take 100 years, that's not flip flopping, that's lying.

    July 8, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  13. Braden

    I guess I wasn't aware that the definition of 'refine' had suddenly become 'to change.' Republicans are desperate and trying to attack Obama on anything, even if it means changing the definition of words.

    July 8, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  14. Enomisa

    No one trusts Obama… with good cause… just ask Bill and Hill and all the HRC supporters who were disrespected, trashed, bashed and debased by the slick Obama internet marketed campaign of hope, unity and change.

    The hype of hope.

    The illusion of change.

    The division of unity.

    July 8, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  15. Enomisa

    The dying cult of the limping Obama.

    Oprah, Caroline, Maria, Kerrys, Ted, Dean and Pelosi… stay out of the process…. let the people vote and just COUNT all the votes.

    NO more fixed elections.

    NO more celebrity bandwagons.

    No more media blitz.

    No more nasty name-calling, manipulative race-baiting, manipulation of the media, filthy attacks and disrespect for fellow democratic candidates and their supporters.

    July 8, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  16. syl

    Iraq is not the only thing that Obama has done the flip flop. What he should explain however is why he proposed so many millions of dollars on earmarks? Is this the new politics or the old Washington way? And would he follow the John McCain lead of not proposing any earmarks in the future?

    July 8, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  17. Songbird McCain

    McCain too has flip-flopped. He took an oath to protect the United States and when he was captured he told the North Vietnamese everything they wanted to know.
    McCain, release your military records. It's ancient history now, what are you hiding?

    July 8, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  18. Jim

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. McCain is the biggest FlipFlopper on earth, and he's got "Straight Talk Express" painted on his bus/plane. What a joke.

    July 8, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  19. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    David in Chicago July 8th, 2008 3:16 pm ET

    LynnB – Sleazy, slick, wolf in sheeps clothing. Are you serious with this name calling crap? Give us a break.

    I agree but i don't see you saying the same to the people calling McCain, Mcsame or any other Mc-name that you all think are so smart. It is good that you notice things like the disrespect that we have for US. leaders. but can you turn that hi powered perception on yourself or your party.

    July 8, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  20. hatred will kill the democratic party

    Substance just won't fall for Hype.

    Just the Obama cult does that.

    You can't force our vote.

    The new, hateful fans that Obama inspired to join the democratic party have irreparably divided and damaged the party with their bigotry and vitriol.

    Suffer on, my fair democrats.

    July 8, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  21. Happiness is 1-20-2009

    If you read either one of Obama's books, you would know who he is.
    I bet if you went to your local library you could check it out. That is IF you have a library card. Just remove the dust and you're good to go.

    July 8, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  22. Okay

    Hillary voters are just as selfish as she is. Don't get into a debate with PUMAs, they're useless. Someone needs to tell them the primaries are OVER. Tantrums sure can last a long time.

    Let's move onward and upward to a new election, and a new president, President Obama.

    I'm for the soldiers leaving Iraq, which is why the American people are voting for Barack. McCain can spin it and say we're "cutting and running" whatever–the bottom line is we're not fighting GW's war or the Iraqui's war. We're over it.

    July 8, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  23. Phantom of the Oprah

    No amount of threats, insults, bigotry, name-calling, race-baitng and bully tactics from the great Obama, his campaign, the pundits and his cult following will FORCE us to vote for the LEAST QUALIFIED, MOST INEXPERIENCED, NO TRACK RECORD, DO-NOTHING candidate ever to be nominated.

    Quite the contrary actually. The picture is EVEN BIGGER than a democratic win this NOV. It is a democratic win over the tyranny that has hijacked the democratic party and all its ideals.

    We do not care that Obama made sure he was the ONLY democrat left standing, and thus expected to waltz right in and win by default this year. How could ANY democrat lose? Well…. an illegitimately selected and installed democrat CAN , SHOULD and hopefully WILL lose- even in this shoo in year.

    Four more years is better than the death of our democratic system of fair elections and counting the votes. That is the change that Obama brought us. Cheating, stealing, demanding and forcing his own nomination.

    July 8, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  24. Lisa

    Change we all can believe in!

    July 8, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  25. Obama Supporter from FL

    What a bunch of whiny morons.

    Seriously, do you people really want a president who would commit to a hard deadline for withdrawal and refuse to listen to the commanders of the armed forces?

    July 8, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
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