July 17th, 2008
01:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama blames 'conservative press' for attacks on Michelle

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/17/art.barack.michelle.obama.jpg
caption="Barack Obama said conservative media is responsible for negative attacks on his wife."]
(CNN)—Barack Obama blamed the 'conservative press' Wednesday for negative attacks on his wife Michelle.

“What happened was that the conservative press—Fox News and the National Review and columnists of every ilk—went fairly deliberately at her in a pretty systematic way,” Obama told Glamour Magazine.

In the latest NYT/CBS Poll, released this week, Michelle Obama is viewed in a favorable light by 29 percent of those questioned and unfavorably by 16 percent. Cindy McCain, wife of presumptive Republican nominee John McCain is viewed favorably by 18 percent and unfavorably by 8 percent.

Watch: What kind of first lady would Michelle Obama be?

Both presumptive nominees have urged media outlets to avoid bringing their wives into the battle for the White House

“[Our wives] should be treated with respect and if there's any disrespectful conduct on the part of anyone, those people should be rejected,” McCain told CNN last month.

Obama emphasized the plea in the interview released Wednesday, saying his wife and Cindy McCain are not fair game because “essentially, spouses are civilians. If you start being subjected to rants..day in day out, that’ll drive up your negatives.”

In the interview, for the October issue, Obama said his wife actually epitomizes the quintessential American woman and called his two children a testament to who she is.

“She’s the most honest person I know, she’s smart, she’s funny,” The Illinois senator said explaining the attacks have come from people who have fundamental policy differences with him and encouraged them to point debate toward him, not his wife.

Pressed on whether he thought the McCain campaign is responsible for the attacks Obama explained it’s not necessarily the campaign ‘itself,’ but more the ‘apparatus’ of the conservative media as a whole including the columnists and blogs.

“I don’t have a thick skin when it comes to criticism of my wife,” Obama admitted. “The problem is that rarely do these folks have the guts to say it to your face.”

soundoff (391 Responses)
  1. Jim

    I think she can take of herself better than he can. Worry about the state of the nation not your wife's sensitivities.

    July 17, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. Susan

    I agree that candidates wives are not running for office, but when they stump for their husbands and say or do outrageous things, as Mrs. Obama has, then they become fair game.

    July 17, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  3. Turning the page

    All these right wing cowards can not fight a fair battle and let the best man win. They have to scratch and claw and bite and sling mud and hope that they'll do enough damage along the way.

    July 17, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  4. PUMA 4 HILL

    And I blame the media and the Obama thugs are trashing and disrespecting the Clintons.

    Get use to it you little whiny crybaby wimp.

    McCain '08 for Clinton '12

    July 17, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  5. Janey/Michigan

    Why is this man trying to blame Conservatives for his wife's actions? She is the one who said America is mean and she is not proud of it! Go to Europe where you both love it!!

    July 17, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |





    OBAMA 08...

    July 17, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  7. H. Charles

    A bunch of adults calling people they've never even met names. Ladies, I'm sorry your husband doesn't have the education or charisma to run for president, but I'm sure if he did you'd be right behind him. Grow up, get a life, and go back to watching your soaps.

    July 17, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  8. Scared in SC

    If Obama wants his wife left alone, perhaps he shouldn't parade her, or and his children for that matter, across tabloid shows such as Access Hollywood. Whatever serves his purpose at a particular moment seems to be his MO. He can not make a definitive decision on anything without going back on it...we've seen examples of such behavior in ABUNDANCE!

    July 17, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  9. go away mongers- Ventura ca

    Fox NOISE and other such entities have every right to preach their hate and fear- but THIS TIME we are fighting back and the mongers will see that the American people are sick of their tactics!

    July 17, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  10. Raymond Duke

    Whine and cry some more Obama. People didn't tell that wife of yours to open her mouth and inser her foot by "finally being proud of America for the first time in her adult life", People didn't tell her to go to a black liberation church that hates America for twnety years and they didn't tell her to say if Clinton won she would have to think on voting for her or not. She deserves what she gets and I hope her husband loses. What kind of first lady would this be for America. A person who feels this way and clearly hates white people. I guess a "fist-bump" fest at the white house with reverend Wright and Farrakunn.

    July 17, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. Alyce

    It is really a shame that the media (fox etc) keeping showing over and over Michelle's statement. I havn't always been proud of America either, does that make me unpatriotic? American doesn't have a good history especially where african americans are concerned. Give the Obamas credit for working hard and trying to be good citizens. Obama has inspired so many people. Leave Michelle alone!!!!!

    July 17, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  12. Chris CT

    I could care less about conservative talk-show host Sean Hannity. For someone who dropped out of college he sure makes it seem he knows everything.

    July 17, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  13. Jeffrey G. Brown

    "Scott" said...
    "She's the one who said she wasn't proud of her country until now.
    Besides…Obama's problem if he wins the WH would be where to put the likes of Rev Jackson, Wright, Sharpton, Farrakan in his cabinet?"

    WOW Scott, YOU are a racist to even make a comment like that! Obama denounced Wright, is on the outs with Jackson and NEVER had Sharpton or Farrakan involved in his campaign. YOU are showing your true racist colors. Most of the white people who blog against Obama do it because thay are BIGOTS. Get past the hatred you morons, this is 2008! By the way, I am a white, middle aged man.

    July 17, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  14. Dan

    Maybe it's time the "liberal media" which hasn't said a negative thing about Cindy finally bring up her drug addictions and other issue's...Then maybe we'll get McCain to blow up like he did when Bush brought it up in the primaries back in 2000.

    Let's see, my pick for first lady....a plastic looking, millionaire drug abuser who distributes beer she inherited from her daddy, or an intelligent, outspoken, strong woman who's come from the ground up and who works to improve healthcare access to those in Chicago....who do I want women to have for a rolemodel...I'll take Michelle Obama any day.

    July 17, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  15. Michelle Is Lovely

    I love to hear Michelle speak. She's doing a wonderful job in spite of the haters. People are just jealous because she has a higher approval rating than Barbie- let-me-ask-my-husband-if-I-can-speak McCain.

    So eat your hearts out:
    RJ, Scott, Terry H, Fella from Chicago, Dave the Moron, Ree, Joan, Don and the rest of you morons.

    July 17, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  16. action

    you fiercerly attacked bill clinton before, why not allow other people to attack yours?

    July 17, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
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