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. Texas Trail Dog

    He can reject all he wants. But this is what he's so good at. I can't think of any other program he might fit into. He says one thing one day then the next he says Oh yeah! I heard Rev Wright say those things but I didn't necessarily believe them. This is what he's doing on the economy, security of our nation, the military that he needs to leave the hell alone as do the same of you know nothings that keep yelling bring the troops home. WE CAN'T BRING THE TROOPS HOME. WE NEED THEM IN THE MIDDLE EAST DUMMIES. WAKE UP AND SMELL THE ROSES. ALL YOU PEOPLE THAT DON'T EVEN HAVE AN INTEREST IN THE TROOPS WELFARE. LEAVE IT ALONE.

    July 8, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  2. Phantom of the Oprah

    Obama is running to the middle- where Hillary always was.

    That is why I voted for HRC- because she was the most accomplished and knowledgable and qualified to lead.

    That is why I will vote AGAINST Obama- because he pummeled her on NAFTA, IRAQ, FOREIGN AFFAIRS, AND THE ECONOMY.

    Only to NOW steal her platform.

    What a hypocrit.

    Come what may in NOV- MY conscience is clear- I voted for the VERY best- no bias, no racial games, no gender games, no hate, no insults.

    JUST COMMON SENSE to choose the VERY best, most qualified, experienced candidate with the most reasonable platform.

    Now it is NEVER Obama after his dirty trickery.

    July 8, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  3. Casual observer

    It's not just this issue, there are many instances with the majority of his platform that has changed from the nomination campaign trail to now running for the general election (NAFTA, federal campaign money, Iraq), not to mention NOT having an energy policy). He clearly doesn't want to be tied down to any one position, or talk about the issues, he's banking on "I'm not Republican or GW Bush" to ride him into the presidency. This will be all washed out one way or another in the debates when he will have to take a position or lose badly to McCain. So we'll see....

    July 8, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  4. Tim Hutchins

    Obama is an old-style lying politician. He said one set of things in the primaries and is now saying the opposites. He really believes Americans will fall for anything. Is he correct? Not me, Obama, never.

    July 8, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  5. no mccain

    no matter what the republicans say or do this year,they still going to loose.

    July 8, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  6. The Patriot

    Every great civilization has its dark times. Elect Obama and be relegated to be a third world country. Give handouts to the unemployed, reduce their incentive to work, tax the rich so that they open their business in a different country. Yeah, and don't do free trade, and tell the world America is a wimp, and can't compete. Whoa !!

    If you like that, Vote Obama.

    If you want to see an economically strong America which has strength to force the right thing, Vote McCain.

    Experience, Courage and Substance over Hype, Flip Flop and Rhetoric.

    McCain '08

    July 8, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. Xavier, Saint Louis, MO

    Wow, the Republicans are really dispersed. They are on Obama like white on rice! Anything he does or says, they are trying to trap him, because they know their days are numbered. Enjoy it while you can, because come November, your 8 year pathetic party is over!

    Three words for you Republicans, PUMA lovers and Obama haters . . . YES WE CAN!

    July 8, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  8. TSAH

    All of you HATERS who were not part of the Obama Movement from the beginning should "shut up" because Obama was "very clear" on the Iraq position since DAY 1. If you watched Rachel Maddow on MSNBC the other night she put it ALL in perspective. As a matter of fact, Obama initially said by the year 2013 he will have troops out of IRAQ – he will begin withdawing right away and always listen to the ground force!!!

    SO THERE!!!

    July 8, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  9. jen

    No McCain and the media "started a firestorm last week". Obama never said anything regarding the war that was not consistant with his previous stance. It would be nice if the media would investigate before THEY TRY TO MAKE UP THE NEWS.

    July 8, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. vahe

    real fliper is mccain get it right!

    July 8, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  11. Cynthia - Arkansas

    Doesn't this talk of Obama being a flip-floper sound familiar? McBush has changed his position on important things also, but the media don't seem to pick up on that. I don't have a problem with anything Obama has said. The media is just trying to get something for their talking head to argue over.

    July 8, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  12. NC Man

    OK which Hillary are we suppose to vote for? One man with many faces!!

    July 8, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  13. Enomisa

    He flip-flops- or lies....

    He plays dirty.... using race as a shield and a sord.

    He cheats... by strong-arming his way to wins.

    Obama has more corporate backing than any other candidate.

    When this demagogue destroys the democratic party, I will have a clear conscience.

    I did all I could- I voted for a democrat and the VERY best candidate out there- Hillary Clinton.

    Obama used race as a shield to deflect criticism and as a sword to gut and carve and eviscerate all the more qualified, more experienced and BETTER democratic candidates.

    Hillary was the last to fall and she ONLY did so under the never ending barrage of undeserved criticism, sexually laced debasement, insults, hate, bias, race-baiting and lies from the great Obama, his campaign, pro-Obama pundits and the media.

    The DNC capitulated and installed the media and celebrity selected puppet nominee.


    July 8, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  14. Clyde

    Come on...this is basic politics 101. Push to the left and appease your base (Out of Iraq, Guns are evil, Health care for everyone, Wire taps are illegal), Then when you win the primary, push to the center to get the moderates and hope your base stays with you. There is no "Change you can believe in". The only thing that will change is the whole country... will be like one big San Franciso with left-wingers running all of DC. God help us!

    July 8, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  15. dems be dopes

    First, I wonder if he knows what a brigade is?

    He had made a military decision, with no military experience, before being briefed by those in zone, or going there.

    Sounds like a two year old..........my mind is made up and I'm not going to change it.

    "Change you can believe in, just listen to my positions!

    July 8, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. LIZ

    Rev. Wright was right about one thing-Obama is a POLITICIAN. If he isn't with the one he loves(agrees with), he loves(agrees with) the one he's with–Flip, Flop, flip

    July 8, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  17. The Patriot

    If he was going to listen to the Generals on the ground, where did the 16 month deadline come from?

    No more lies !! No more lies !!

    McCain '08

    July 8, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  18. Lisa

    It's not the republicans, it's Hillary's supporters attacking Obama.

    July 8, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  19. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    For McCain to go after Obama as a flip flopper is laughable. McCain has already flipped more flops than John Kerry ever dreamed of, and he's just getting warmed up.

    July 8, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  20. LT for Obama

    Those of you who are saying that he is lying really should go back to the full transcript of what was really said. I actually listened to the whole press conference and guess what, he reiterated more than once that he is still committed to 16 months. That is not lying. How can it be lying if it is exactly what he has been saying all along.

    I pray for those of you who are bitter and not well informed.

    July 8, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. ChicagoJosh

    I'm sick and tired of all these people saying "Obama can't be trusted! Watch out for what you ask! Wake up and see whats coming!"

    This fear mongering is the reason that we're at the place we are now. You play into little W's hand. Your pathetic. If you don't like Obama, thats ok. But tell us why. Tell us what he does wrong. Tell us what you would do better. Lets have an honest discussion about what direction this country should go in. Don't try to scare me with ghosts. I'm better than that. I hope my country is too.

    July 8, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  22. Jan From Boca Raton, Fl

    Everyday Obama Flip Flops on something different. He is a slick Willy.

    He hates Whites and what they stand for and he will continue to do so

    if he is elected.


    July 8, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  23. Sheople for Obama

    The people see that he flip-flops- a.k.a. lies to pander for votes.

    The sheople can't see it...they just follow their shepard.

    July 8, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  24. RyanD.

    "Refine" is a flop? I'll give you some flops:

    * McCain strongly opposes a windfall-tax on oil company profits. Three weeks earlier, he was perfectly comfortable with the idea.
    * McCain supported the drilling moratorium; now he's against it.
    * McCain thought Bush's warrantless-wiretap program circumvented the law; now he believes the opposite.
    * McCain defended "privatizing" Social Security. Now he says he's against privatization (though he actually still supports it.)
    * McCain wanted to change the Republican Party platform to protect abortion rights in cases of rape and incest. Now he doesn't.
    * McCain thought the estate tax was perfectly fair. Now he believes the opposite.
    * He opposed indefinite detention of terrorist suspects. When the Supreme Court reached the same conclusion, he called it "one of the worst decisions in the history of this country."
    * McCain said he would "not impose a litmus test on any nominee." He used to promise the opposite.

    Obama 08'

    July 8, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  25. Raymond Duke

    I keep hearing some of you people calling Bush a war crinimal. This is an all volunteer army. I know I spent to years as a drafted soldier and 18 years as a volunteer soldier . If you don't use an army what is the use of having it. It is like you buying a new T.V. and never watching it. All these people volunteered. I think most of that rehortic comes from people who have never spent a day in the military and would not fight if the united states wa attacked. Of course you wouldn't have to. The messiah Obama would talk the radical fanatics into loving us.

    July 8, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
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