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. Ben - Portland

    I think we've all cast our lots, right? Why don't we all take some time off from posting to the CNN boards to do some research and see what these guys are really saying? Why don't we look at who is advising each candidate and where they're getting their info? Why don't we look at what they're actually saying instead of what the media tells us they meant when they said something.

    July 8, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  2. Oliver

    The GOP has NOTHING on Obama. He will be our next president, so they need to get over it.

    Obama 08........................................................................12.

    July 8, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  3. salt of the earth

    The hateful primary of hate, diss, gut, dice and eviscerate the better qualified, most experienced and capable candidate… did not FOOL any TRUE democrat.

    RACE as a shield and as a sword, forced their hand… but no one was blind to the ploy.

    Even in this election year… we may choose 4 more years… just to say NO to a future of fixed elections.

    Rally for freedom, justice, quality and fair campaigns.

    Say NO to strong-arming, race-baiting, sexism, unfairness and bias.


    July 8, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  4. Cynthia

    I heard Senator Obama say back in the primaries that he would be as careful coming out of Iraq and they (the Bush Administration) were careless going into Iraq, so I don't see it as changing his position. Senator McCain has flipped and flopped so much until I'm not sure what he stands for.

    You PUMAs need to get a life. Either you vote for Senator Obama or you don't and if by some chance Senator McCain gets into office – we all suffer. Is that what you want?

    July 8, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  5. Democrats know the truth

    They saw how he played the race card and savaged the Clintons.

    They saw how quickly he turned on his life-long friend and mentor, Rev. Wright.

    They saw him play politics with his own grandmother.

    They saw how he flip-flops.

    They saw how he stole the nomination from the rightful winner of the primary.

    They saw how he controls the media and opinion and silences any criticism- just like dicatator.

    They saw him use race as a shield and as a sword to get himself installed as the nominee.

    They saw that the emperor has NO clothes.

    July 8, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  6. Truth B Told

    @ ARB and other followers! If anybody has seen Gladiator with Russel Crow, remeber the part after the war in Germania? Everyone was at this war celebration and the senators were tryin to get the general to take over after Cesar. The senators wanted someone in who was NOT TAINTED by the normal politics! Well Russell Crow (General, or Spanyard) is OBAMA and the idiot was played by Joaquin Phoenix (The Next Cesar) is McCain!

    Were not listening to you fools, ARB and friends! So I guess you know what happened at the end of the movie? That's why we expect OBAMA to be the next president of the USA Hail Cesar!!! You better get used to it guys and gals! LOL

    OBAMA for President

    July 8, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. RealityKing

    Of course we know that all politicians flip-flop.

    So.., evidently, Obama is attempting to mislead us or blatantly lying to us..., again!

    July 8, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. Eileen from Maine

    Better to pretend Obama is flip flopping than to talk about how McCain makes things up on a daily basis. I guess the word refine is a little to much for some people to deal with. What's the sense of having someone responsible in the white house?
    Google McCain and lies, it will keep you busy for a long, long time.

    July 8, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  9. Was a Democrat-Now an Independent

    I just have one question for all the Messiah's supporters. If the USA is in the toilet, the Republican Party is given up for dead, and The Chosen One is the nominee, why is Senator Obama only up by the margin of error ( or slightly more ) in the polls? Obama supporters constantly threaten and belittle others with accusation of racism or whatever else they want to throw out on any given day. Please just accept the fact that Senator Obama simply does not have the experience nor is he qualified to be POTUS. One thing of which I am absolutely certain is that the USA will still be the greatest country in the world, regardless of who becomes our nation's 44th president. No one individual can do what Obama's supporters believe he can do, and I fear you guys will be sorely disappointed. Oh, well, told you so!

    July 8, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  10. Jack, MA

    From what I remember this was Hillary Clinton's position. Never promise anything until you have spoken to the generals on the ground. Gee Obama back running against Hillary you accused her of not ending the war because of the position she took....and now you have the same position. This guy DISGUSTS me! He will say anything and everything to get the votes. First in the primary it was "I'm going to end this war immediately" and he got all the left crazy wingers. Now he says he will meet with the Generals on the ground first to try to get the voters in the center. This guy is nothing but a punk!

    July 8, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  11. Tom

    Pumas are either racists or republicans. They were voting for Hillary for the wrong reasons. They would never vote for a black guy under any circumstances or they just wanted to do the Rush Limbo thing to the true Dems. The true Dems are standing up. If their support for Hillary (like myself) was based on policy positions, then there is no way they can ever vote for McCain or Obama.

    July 8, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

    this is typical FOX news/right-wing media cr@p!!! i am so sick of republican tactics-they lie, leave out information, attack strengths they dont possess to make them a negative (like honesty and being well-spoken). they are disgusting, and cannot be GONE soon enough!!! buh-bye to all of you neocons, america and the world do not want you filthy, lying pigs anymore!!!!!!

    he has NOT flip-flopped, it would be stupid and inaccurate to give an exact plan and/or NOT ADAPT to a constantly changing situation. unless of course, you are a war-mongerer who grew up in a military family, and only know "more wars folks".

    July 8, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  13. Alec

    Wow...Obama is a lot worse than I thought he would be.
    He's just risky and scary.

    July 8, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. Check your facts

    McCain said "100 years", not Obama. Obama has been very consistent with his Iraq comments. I guess "you people" on hear what you want to hear.

    Also, explain to me why trade with Iran has increased 10x while Bush has been in office. I thought they were part of the "Axis of Evil"?

    July 8, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  15. Amerika the beautiful

    The democratic base is gone…possibly for good.

    We all hate the direction of the new democratic party. Even those who will still reluctantly vote for the installed democratic nominee this NOV.

    Those that Obama has inspired and brought into the party are filled with vitriol. They disrespect fellow Americans, fellow democrats, and even democratic candidates. They argue, not out of an informed opinion but with name-calling belittling insults to demean ALL others who may disagree.

    They force, coerce, threaten and demand who gets to be nominee of the party.

    This is 3rd world election rigging by propaganda and manipulation of the media. It is not democracy, justice or freedom.

    The democrats are fools to think that UNITY is ever possible after the Obama show and the bash-fest of the past 6 months.

    Viva Liberty and the right to vote.

    July 8, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  16. Alec

    What can we do to get Obama out of the running?

    July 8, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. Nikki, Florida

    Actually, ARB, he said the same exact thing in New Hampshire in September – PAY ATTENTION TO FACTS...

    talk about kool-aid...brainwashed puma fools

    July 8, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  18. Alec

    Change Obama change your mind, change your positions, change your church, change your beliefsl.

    July 8, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  19. Sacto Joe

    Hmm. The ones saying he's flip-flopped are all Republicans. Think maybe it's political?

    July 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  20. Timothy

    No flip flopping for Obama the Republicans need to listen to Obama when he is speaking and everyone ele's need to do the same and if the Republicans stop trying to find misstakes in what Obama is saying and do thier research maybe the Republicans can get it right. Obama has always said in the Debates and contiune to say I will get the troops out of Iraq within 16 months and just because Obama said refine donot mean a Flip flopping any senseable person will listen to commanders on the ground to understand how to bring the troops out within 16 months.Republicans Please listen and stop trying to make something out of nothing!!! John Mccain is the real flip flopper taxes, drilling off shore. saying he knows nothing about the economy and then lied and said he did'nt say he knew nothing about the ecomomy. Mccain is all over the place.

    July 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  21. No Nos Moveran

    Hillary EARNED our votes based on her track history, her work, her qualifications, her experience, her platform and her dedication.

    Obama has NONE of those things. Obama changes his position based on what is currently polling well.

    He is racing to the center- where Hillary already was- and why she was the BEST choice.

    Our vote will NOT simply transfer to Obama.

    Remember… we WERE already democrats… and the travesty of this primary drove us away.

    We are lifelongs… "outreach" isn't needed for us. We were in and now we are leaving.

    Silly dems.

    July 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. Boulder Brian

    To Dave in Chicago-

    The point I was making is that his intentions are to get all of the soldiers out in 16 months. If the commanders on the ground say no way can we do that safely, without losing too many lives, then it isn't going to happen. Barack knows this. It isn't flip-flopping. It's saying he wants troops out in 16 months, but if it will get too many killed, he is willing to refine his position. I have all the respect in the world for that. I have all the respect in the world for our troops. They are doing something that I am not willing to do.

    That being said, if more will be killed by a hasty withdrawl (16 months) than would with a more deliberate and slower withdrawl (say 24 months) then take your time and let's get this right.

    "Let's be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in..." -Barack Obama

    July 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  23. Alec

    PUMA.............Go Hillary!

    July 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  24. kelly WI

    The war on terror is coming along good. Why else is not the left stream media reporting on it.? They were so busy talking us into failing they can't stand it to see its working.
    We need growth as a country. Dems are trying to make us go down.
    Drill darn it. I don't think drilling 160 miles off the coast will be seen by the elite from their ocean front mansions.
    Build Nuclear plants. France is powered 80% by nuclear. They weren't scared off by some stupid movie.
    But the dem congress......no no no no. We will just tax everything.
    They have never done anything good for the country.
    Thank you Bush for protecting the country. History will be the judge.
    This is a Capitalist Republic. Socialism doesn't work. Try Cuba if that is what you want.
    McCain 08. Not a puppet of Geo. Soros, Reid and Pelosi.
    Any one send back their stimulus check.? Better not. You'll need it if Bumma gets in.

    July 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  25. deep blue

    These postings are hilarious! Like rooting for the Bears or Packers or Cowboys. Your team can do no wrong.

    To those who remain politically-challenged, I would submit that neither of the big two parties will do anything in the next four years. Not a thing. Not Mc or OB or Pelosi or anyone else.

    The aim of politicians is to say whatever it takes to be elected and do the minimum to be re-elected.

    Single-digit approval of congress? 13% approval for Bush? Doesn't this tell you something????????????????????????????

    July 8, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
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