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. Gail AL.

    Obama is a flip-flopping liar. just watch the news, anybody that has any sense can see him for what he is, a wolf in sheeps clothing.Yes we can if anybody can MCcain can,so it's MCcain for me. When the democrates wonder what happened when they lose in the fall, do you think they'll know . They can't see past Obama, it's a shame us dems. should take the whitehouse, but it's gone now with Obama's lies, and just saying anything to get elected.

    July 8, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  2. Tom

    Alec, what can we do to ensure we elect a president who will do better than George Bush. Elect Obama! Tough truth.....

    July 8, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  3. Marc PDX

    Hey! Cut the messiah some slack! He's just refining, for crying out loud!

    LOL

    NObama N'08

    July 8, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  4. Fear mongering racebaiting hypocrit

    He flip-flops- just like his hypocritical cult followers:

    Look at all the fear mongering from the Obama people who rail against fear mongering.

    Roe vs Wade – guess the newbie young new democratic women get to pick up where we racist old bitter soon-to-die old white women left off.

    Conservative Court- Well Sandra turned out to be one of my favorites after all, so no more fears about that. May teach the "new" democrats not to use HATE against fellow democrats and then expect unity. Besides, senile and aged as we all are, we are too old to care about the FUTURE. court.

    The draft. Well… democrats are the ones most likely to reinstate the draft- it is, after all, a more democratic approach to serving and defending our Nation.

    July 8, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. R.I.F.

    I was upset all weekend because the media took what the GOP said and ran it like it was fact. They came out and said that Obama flip flopped on Iraq and then by Sunday once some of the media actually took time out to listen to what he said and listen to what he's been saying all along, they backed off. The media is the reason why the GOP wins. The GOP lies and disorts the truth about the dems and then the media reports it like its fact. Obama didn't say anything that he hasn't said over the past year. We will get out of Iraq as careful as we were careless in going in.

    July 8, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  6. Marc

    Getting a little tired of this joker talking down to us:

    "The people who say this apparently haven’t been listening to me.”
    "So don’t be confused."
    “You remember that movie, Groundhog Day? He kept on waking up and the same thing happened over and over and over again.”

    As usual, Obama thinks the voters are idiots and his inflated ego is the only thing that can save us. If we criticize him, well, then, we must not understand his almighty wisdom. Hey buddy, I understand perfectly what you're doing. You're giving us a hug while handing your business card to somebody else at the same time. You re reserving the right to flip-flop.

    July 8, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  7. Keep It Simple Stupid

    Obama = Virtually all troops out of Iraq 3 years after the election

    McCain = Virtual all troops in Iraq for 10, 20 or 40 years after the election.
    ***** SIMPLE *****
    On June 1, 2008, McCain REAFFIRMED HIS intent in an interview on the Today show.

    He didn't repeat the 100 year presence in Iraq comment that drew so much criticism.

    He did however liken Iraq to the Korean War where we still, some 56 YEARS after that conflict have many tens-of-thousands of troops deployed.

    These costs were never part of the United States strategic vision.

    July 8, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  8. salt of the earth

    Obama is clearly running to the middle since winning/stealing the nomination.

    Lets call that for what it is: Lying. He either lied during the primary or is lying now. Which do YOU prefer?

    Hillary Clinton was always in the middle- where most of America is- and that is why I voted for her.

    After hammering and criticizing HRC for her platform, Obama has now adopted HRC's stance on foreign affairs, NAFTA, IRAQ and the economy. I really can not stand those political games.

    Hillary is the only one with a True UNIVERSAL Health care plan. Obama's is just more of the same- pay for it or opt out of it- with government involvement. I will vote AGAINST any so-called "universal" health care plan, that is NOT universal, until we can get one that actually IS universal.

    July 8, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  9. Gary Chandler in Canada

    This, on YouTube is the FUNNIEST!
    """""""""""
    John McCain Gets Owned on Meet The Press (YouTube)
    --–
    McCain arguing against himself, because he couldn't remember he had made the statement. ROTFL

    July 8, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. Bitter, to want McCain

    GOP got Dems fooled again.

    do not complaint when the rich keep tax breaks under McCain

    I am just amazed how bitterness never pushed bush out after his first term.

    Change is a good thing. if you call it flip flop for being a thinker, so be it!

    Bush and McCain stayed the course. Look where we are today.

    A true leader don't keep using the same failed tactics.

    Awake and embrace change. The world is watching. Will The Dems get it write this time.

    1992 Bill Clinton ran on the same change platform.
    Patriotisn is thinking beyond self.

    We all deserve change!

    Don't be dems of pre 1940's, reluctant to embrace change because of our own bias – to put it kindly.

    Obama 08, and 12

    July 8, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  11. Brandon Hillary PUMA for Mc Cain-Pa

    Change you can xerox.....

    Larry Sinclair where are you......

    July 8, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  12. Peter

    JB.....the whole Democratic congress doing nothing thing holds no water.

    The Senate is 49 Democrats, 49 Republicans. The House has a small Democratic majority. EVERY bill that Bush has vetoed has happened since the Democratic congress. With the small majority, there are no hopes to override W.

    The failures in this country have been festering since January 2001. Some (failure to move away from oil) started under Reagan. But, at least the Republicans will save all our souls as they flush everyone down the drain.

    July 8, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  13. Keep It Simple Stupid

    Obama has always been the candidate COMITTED to ending our troop deployment to Iraq and doing it quickly.

    Isn't that pretty clear? The only flopping is in McCain's mind.

    July 8, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. tony

    Then why are you going to Irag Barack to talk with the " Commanders on the Ground "
    Get a bad feeling about this guy-
    Everything you say has a 2nd meaning -
    You ought to have a sign that says " I've been taken out of context "

    July 8, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. Change

    Change is coming...yes....but it won't be Obama..... WRITE IN HILLARY FOR PRESIDENT

    July 8, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  16. Sheople yes, people no so much.

    Obama flip flops.

    He runs a propaganda campaign pushing what is polling well, and ditching what is not polling well.

    Obama is a master manipulator and he skillfully exploits the understanding that peception and propaganda are accepted as truth and reality in the minds of the sheople.

    But he did not fool the Hillary democrats- more than 50% of the party.

    July 8, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  17. John in Columbus Ohio

    We live in a society where everything is all or nothing, either wholly good or wholly bad. It's really not a smart way to go. When did flexibility become a vice?

    July 8, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  18. The Patriot

    Yeah, now the illegal raffle is Plouffe's fault. Earlier it was Wesley Clarke's fault to question McCain's credentials. Before that it was Wright's fault to talk about Obama's church. Even before that it was Rezko's fault. How conveniently Obama can push people under the bus. Are we so blinded by hype that we can't see THAT?

    Oh yeah, Obama doesn't flip flop, he just refines his policy. Yeah, right.

    Obama is liar, crook, a typical Chicago politician who within 143 days of entering the Senate went and announced plans of running for President.

    Substance over Hype.

    McCain '08

    July 8, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  19. Michelle

    Send the militant and marxist Michelle Obama over there and she will take care of them... Change is coming... not on my watch.

    July 8, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  20. rightytighty

    Of course their Republican’s Joe..., the progressively stupid automatically accept anything their MSNBC candidate says.

    And no Mk.., I'm not masquerading as a PUMA. In fact, I'm proud to say that I'm the Tiger that’s been eating Puma’s for 7 years now! So why would I possibly want to masquerade as a lesser species!!??

    July 8, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  21. Sheople yes, people no so much.

    Well... he hammered Hillary on NAFTA, IRAQ, FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

    Now he runs and leaps to the centrist position HRC championed.

    But not on the really important things- like UNIVERSAL health care and the economy.

    So yes he flip-flops- or lies.

    What do you believe- his previous positions or his current ones?

    He runs a propaganda campaign pushing what is polling well, and ditching what is not polling well.

    Obama is a master manipulator and he skillfully exploits the understanding that peception and propaganda are accepted as truth and reality in the minds of the sheople.

    But he did not fool the Hillary democrats- more than 50% of the party

    July 8, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  22. Cracka lova

    big disgrace......the Iraqis want a timetable for withdrawal.....and this is the new you choose to enlighten us with........what crap
    Obama 08

    July 8, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  23. JUST SAY NO 2 BO, Ohio

    I DONT UNDERSTAND HOW YOU CAN REJECT WHEN YOU HAVE BEEN HEARD AND SEEN ON RADIO AND TELEVISION CLEARLY FLIP FLOPPING. OBAMA WANTS TO PLAY BOTH SIDES OF THE FENCE SO HE'S NOT HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR MAKING A DECISION. JUST LOOK HOW MANY TIMES HE VOTED PRESENT IN THE US. SENATE AND THE ILLINOIS STATE LEGISLATURE. ITS ASHAME WHEN YOU'VE BEEN A US.SENATOR FOR THREE YEARS AND HAVE ONLY ACTUALLY WORKED 144 DAYS OF THEM. THIS IS JUST ONE EXAMPLE OF THE MANY MANY MANY MANY MANY REASONS HE'S NOT GETTING MY VOTE. NO OBAMA, NO WAY, NOT EVER. PUMA BABY! MCCAIN 08! HILLARY 2012!

    July 8, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  24. phony baloney Obama

    Let's see… Obama throttled and knocked HRC out of the race by criticizing her positions and platforms.

    Now he runs on over to HER exact positions on: Iraq, foreign affairs, NAFTA, and the economy.

    What a lying, cheating, hypocrit. Which platform is he for? His previous one or HRC's ?

    By the way…. Obama is way off on FISA and expanding faith based initiatives and on his NOT universal "universal health care plan".

    Dump this pandering dirty gameplaying lying politician.

    July 8, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  25. Jenna Jameson

    Little man McCain tries to MAN UP by talking about Obama SURRENDERING simply because he thinks it plays well in some parts of the country.

    I'm willing to bet if you turn the cameras off, kick the press out, turn off the microphones etc ....

    Obama would mop the floor with McCain in every manly competition

    Physical
    Intellectual
    Debate
    Building a Winning Team
    Execution
    Spiritual

    in short, he would whip McCain's monkey you-know-what.

    Now, because he is a Christian and was raised right and is a cultured and genteel gentleman, he refrains.

    But make no mistake about it. If McCain starts some static .... Obama will finish it.

    July 8, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
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