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. Lim

    Alright, for those who are politically challenged and inept:

    Flip-flopping involves a sudden reversal of one's position, which clearly Obama is not doing.
    He is performing a series of maneuvers that only involves incremental shifts of position.

    Obama '08: YES, WE SCAM!

    July 8, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. gary


    July 8, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. Entitled cuz he's a bro

    He has never flip-flopped on his position that being half black is a qualification for president and thus- no matter what he hasn't done and no matter what he says at the moment– he is entitled to make history.

    July 8, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  4. Peter E

    Come on people! Obama has been very consistent on Iraq! He has been consistently propagating this war! He has voted for continued funding, and he has voted against timetable for withdrawal.
    In fact, if you read his website he specifically says that he's only going to withdraw 'combat troops' but still keep troops in Iraq to combat terrorists. (which is eerily similar to the same excuse Bush used to keep so many troops there... 'yeah, we're fighting terrorists...')

    July 8, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. Just another Obamabot

    Flip Flopping...I know it worked well against war hero John Kerry when Bush and McCain used it against him. But understand now that America is wiser and it wants change.
    Rev Wright,Bitter-gate,Flip Flopping, whatever, it just doesn't stick folks. Obama is the man!
    Let O'reilly,Hannity, and every other bitter ignoramus take Obama right down their gullets!
    Thank you Republicans, thank you for all you've done in eight great years but now your turn is up and Obama and the Democrats get to drive. I only hope the mess isn't as big as I think it is because President Obama will need one huge mop.

    July 8, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  6. insanity

    I am convinced that most republicans are idiots. They seem to be keen on using buzz-words to convey partial information or skewed information.
    Buzz-words like, flip-flop, liberal, typical, drilling, gas-tax-cuts, etc, but if you really do your research they make no sense in the context they are being used.

    This flip-flop accusation in Iraq is so stupid, that you have to be a moron buy it. Refinement is not change in the context of a flip flop. It's a change to attain the underlying goal in the most optimal way.

    We should all pitch in a buy dictionaries for the republican attack-dogs, because it looks like they don't know the meaning of refinement.

    July 8, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  7. Peter E

    Quick, press the 'racist' panic button! That way you can pretend yours is the only argument!

    July 8, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  8. LT for Obama

    Let's be clear about his use of refine. He is going to refine the speed each month within the 16 months. As he said, he may have to slow the withdrawal in some months to secure safe withdrawal. This is still within the 16 months.

    If any of you actually listened to OBAMA'S words, you would already know this instead of taking all your cues from the repubs and the MSM who conveniently left out this information but instead jumped on one word and twisted his intentions.

    July 8, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  9. Jerry

    Wow this the best we could do.... wow wake up people

    July 8, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  10. PUMA = NUTS

    I'm with Louisville KY. THEY ARE CRAZY! I just hope PUMA isn't contagious, I'd hate to catch that. It makes you irrational, angry, selfish, childish, vindictive and most of all delusional because you still think the primary season is still here and want to vote for people that aren't even running anymore. Maybe people can avoid catching it by...reading and staying informed. I'll look into that.

    July 8, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  11. TSAH

    LISA – The "HILLARY" supporters ARE Republicans – Remember they were told to cross over and vote for her. If you subtract the "republicans" who voted for Hillary – and the racists (who will never vote for Obama) – she will be "no way" near the 18,000,000 votes she thinks she got!!!

    The republicans have nothing else to do but find fault in the next President because they know they are going to LOSE!!!!

    July 8, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  12. THE ONLY DEM who can lose in NOV

    Geez.... hello... Obama has even flip-flopped on Hillary and on Bill:

    They once were racists but now I see... that they can now surely help me.

    Amazing grace! isn't propaganda and having a following of sheople just grand? You can DO anything and still be adored.

    July 8, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. mitchell hussein martin

    @David in Chicago

    Maybe you are a Moron yourself. Obama has not done anything for Chicago and you are too naive to notice. How about you go back to your slum of Chicago. Bye the way, Obama will announce the name of his dog soon and its name will be Rezko. 🙂 Cute isn't it. I would prefer the dog be named David of Chicago though since that's what you are.

    July 8, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. lisa Asian

    this guy has no idea why he can never make people like him by being super smooth in talking.

    July 8, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  15. Luis

    That is today....wait till tomorrow, LOL


    July 8, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  16. Huckleberry

    I was going to vote Obama but now I will vote McCain. He flops more than all the NBA players combined!!!

    July 8, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. fears,lies,dirty tactics,pandering won't work this year...

    like it or not change is coming to america,yes it will...
    obama 2008-2012

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

    Obama campaign..........NO NEW OIL EVER, BUT $6 GALLON GAS, so if you dont drill Obama, how are you lowering the price, and taxing them wont work, because it rolls downhill

    July 8, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  19. Peter E

    Number one myth about Obama: that he is for ending this war and bringing our troops home. Since he got to the US Senate he has consistently voted in favor of continued funding, and even shouting down fellow democrats when they tried to force Bush with a timetable for withdrawal. If you read Obama's own website he makes it perfectly clear: he plans to wiithdraw all 'combat' troops. He specifically states that this doesn't mean we're withdrawing all troops. We'd be keeping military presence in Iraq to protect our interests and to 'fight al Quaeda.' Sounds familiar? In May of 2003 Bush declared all major combat operations finished ('Mission Accomplished') and ever since then he's been using this 'fighting terrorists' excuse to keep our troops there.
    Obama 08! Change in name only...

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

    He is the man of change. What do you expect?

    July 8, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  21. Phantom of the Oprah

    The brown sugar is now white sugar....

    Goes down just as well to his cult worshippers.

    But Hillary was and still is the only qualified candidate.

    So... no to Obama.

    July 8, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  22. NotFallingInLine.org

    Obama sure is taking this charge of being a flip-flopper straight on.

    He'd say he is a flip-flopper in a heartbeat if Axelrod and his other handlers tell him that he would benefit politically for saying it.

    Knoxville NFIL

    July 8, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  23. ARB

    dont fool yourself its not gonna happen.

    July 8, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    Has the GOP taken advantage of the fact that the goverment is not required to balance the budget during a time of war?

    July 8, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  25. Tammy - KCMO

    I would rather have a President that is open to changing his position rather than the one we currently have that insists on staying the course...a course that McCain vows to continue.

    I think Obama shows good judgement and willingness to be open to considering other options. This is something the Republicans need to learn how to do if they ever hope to have a chance at ever winning another election.

    July 8, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
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