July 23rd, 2008
12:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama incorrectly claims membership of Senate committee

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/23/art.obamasderot.ap.jpg caption=" Barack Obama claimed to be a member of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, which he is not."]

(CNN) – Responding to an Israeli reporter’s question Wednesday on his commitment to protect the Jewish state, Barack Obama pointed to a bill “we passed” in the U.S. Senate Banking Committee that tightens sanctions and authorizes divestment from Iran. “My committee,” he called it.

Except that he isn’t a member of the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

“Just this past week, we passed out of the out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee – which is my committee – a bill to call for divestment from Iran as way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don’t obtain a nuclear weapon,” Obama said at a press conference in Sderot, Israel.

In a press release from Obama’s Senate office the day the committee passed the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act, Obama applauded its passage and pointed to provisions included that he had offered in the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act of 2007.

The Republican National Committee quickly responded Wednesday morning with an e-mail highlighting the gaffe. Obama’s campaign has not yet responded to CNN’s request for clarification of his remark.

UPDATE: An Obama spokesman tells CNN “it was his bill, not his committee,” referring to the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act that the Illinois senator sponsored and introduced in May 2007. The measure was then referred to the Banking Committee, and passed a vote of 19-2 on July 17.

In a meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday, Obama told the former Israeli Prime Minister, “I could fall asleep now standing up,” after Netanyahu asked him how his whirlwind trip to the Middle East and Europe is going.

soundoff (474 Responses)
  1. j williamson

    Oh no, it's the Royal "We!"

    July 23, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  2. Janice

    Nice try for the Mccain camp to try and spin the gaffe Mccain made regarding Ambar awakening in Iraq. Mccain gaffe is the time frame when the Anbar Awakening began not if the surge help the process or not. The surge began 6 months later. So how could the surge start the Anbar Awakening when it didnt exist? Mccain as usuall got the facts from which is not a surprise. Sooner or later were going to have to rely of the facts from reporters than Mccain. Its a gaffe or either a lie.

    July 23, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. Tim

    CNN is the your attenpt ti pander to McSame? He made the biggest gaf of the year with this understanding of the surge and you brush over it!!! I guess since be became a whiner, you listened.

    July 23, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  4. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    I guess since there's nothing on his resume, Obama needs to pad it. In business when someone does this they get fired. Junior should stick to photo ops, he's not good with real work.

    July 23, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  5. Kaleb

    Why the surprise response? shouldn't we all recognized by now that the Obama strategy is to say anything to anyone at anytime if it serves one's political interest in this campaign? I'm counting the days to when Obama will support off-shore drilling. I am certain he'll come to it. He's just waiting for the right time, the right audience and the right angle to flip his position on energy also. I've stopped trying to figure out what Obama stands for long ago...its like trying to hit a moving target. The man will embrace all things and reject all things at the same time. He stands for nothing!

    July 23, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  6. Rave

    So what, must be a mistake.. this is nothing compared to the brainless McPain
    OBAMA (2008 -16)

    July 23, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  7. jim

    I see you have buried McSames huge gaffe from yesterday and you will probably have this as your lead for 2 weeks. By the way I wonder if the RNC has a spy to see if Obamas clothes ever smell like tobacco smoke.

    July 23, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  8. Jeff D, South Bend, IN

    Oh no! Look at how bad Obama is! Here come the Repuglicans to try and distract people from their fact their candidate has a hard time remembering which day of the week it is.

    July 23, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  9. Greg, NY

    Great, I'll bet tonights news will be focused completely on this and not McCain's blatant lie on the surge.

    Well, he might have been trying to rewrite history instead of lying, but all the same. McCain must've been given a 'get out of gaffe free card' before he started campaigning.

    July 23, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. Lisa

    Just like he said America has 57 states, and his supporters believes he's so Presidental. How can you become a President of a country when you don't even know how many states it has?

    July 23, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  11. Obama 08: white, 60 year old woman

    CNN is right to pint out inaccuracies by Obama.

    One would expect that would hold true for the comments of McCain. To give free press to a McCain ad as on this blog should be accompanied by a fact check of the accuracy of the content.

    July 23, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  12. mayahh

    WE , means the USA

    July 23, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  13. Lorna, NY

    OK, one gaffe to McCains 20. BIG DEAL!

    July 23, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  14. Randy



    July 23, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  15. Iam4mycountry

    probably ment "my Commentment" CNN points this gaffe out, but I am looking for an article that has McCains MAJOR GAFFE on the Timeline in Iraq. That is MAJOR. he is suppose to know everything about the Iraq war!

    July 23, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  16. Renee

    So what? This is not the end of the world. He's doing a great job.

    Obama 08

    July 23, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  17. Yasriel

    Nice try CNN!

    How come you cover-up McClueless gaffes and serious errors of judgement. And when you do decide to expose it, you pust his gaffes in an obscure corner, down the Political Ticket thread.
    But when it is Mr. President Obama, you quickly make it a news headline.
    Where is the balance!!

    Make McBush errors headlines too.

    July 23, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. Scott, Wichita

    Ok, so the Czechoslavakia thing can't be used anymore, because Obama doesn't even know what his JOB is. I think we can forgive McCain for the Czech slip

    July 23, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  19. Richard

    And arrogant supporters of Barack Hussein Obama were critical of Hillary's version of her Bosnia arrival at the airport years ago.

    So what do they have to say say now about this lying arrogant snake?
    Member of what committee?

    Hillary supporter for McCain!!!!! a true AMERICAN!

    July 23, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  20. Lisa

    Lame Duck!!

    July 23, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  21. Don

    Is this really surprising. I feel like all i hear this election period is inflated records and rhetoric. See the Obamabots attack me in 5,4,3,2,1.

    July 23, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  22. Dilly Everett

    CNN-I'd like to hear the other side of the story-before you print the RNC's accusation.

    July 23, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  23. Capt. Jack

    Now that is bad. Is this who we want as our president? The inexperience is showing on a daily basis. You're wasting your time if you think Obama is going to win. Finally CNN posted an anti-Obama article. Thank you for doing this : )

    July 23, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  24. Ms. RDS

    Come on O get it together....

    July 23, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  25. An American


    July 23, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
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