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. PUMA 4 HILL

    I mean... I don't care who you are, what your race is or how educated you are.... REALLY, how can Americans not see how Obama got so far? it's the liberal media and the loser dems who couldn't bare for another Clinton (a woman at that) to beat them. It's not that he's accomplished anything. If he can run for President, I can. If he's qualified for the Presidency, I am.

    WAKE UP... it's more than arrogant to think you are qualified and suited to run America with a brief stunt in the Senate in which more than half of it he's been giving speeches.


    July 23, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  2. PUMA Hillary supporter

    Just another reason to never never never vote for Obama. He has little experience or no experience to run our great country...and besides we never know where he stand on issues.. he is flip flopper race baiter. This democrat like many other millions of dems will be voting for the great experienced war veteran John McCain......mccain 08 and Hillary Clinton 2012

    July 23, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  3. Babs

    I'm sure that Hillary made him do it.

    July 23, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  4. Bill, IL

    Seeing as how he's been running for President since the day he was sworn in as US Senator, this seems like an easy mistake. He probably has no idea which committees he's on because he hasn't been to work in two years.

    July 23, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  5. Larry-Minn.

    Its not a surprise, Obama is known for putting his name on others work. Check it out for yourself.. It has been told he did that all the time with stuff that others did in Illinois.. so why should it surprise anyone now.

    July 23, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  6. Vig

    Here goes Obama's ego getting the better of him again. Got keep that ego in check – it's all over the place.

    July 23, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  7. Ms. Outlaw

    WE Does mean .. USA.......................................................C'mon McVain still thinks Iraq borders Pakistan..

    July 23, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  8. Kim, Charlotte, NC

    So sad.....................

    July 23, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  9. McCain for President

    Yeah, down play it you mindless followers of the say anything, do nothing blind followers of the empty suit "messiah".

    July 23, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  10. Kim, Charlotte, NC

    I am still waing on the gas tax holiday McCain boasted about.

    July 23, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  11. McCain08

    Mayahh–WE means the USA. MY means...well...my.
    And Tim–"is the your attenpt" at English?

    Obama is not presidential material. And the liberals who blog pro-Obama...or rather...anti-McCain are clueless as to what this country needs.

    It's disgusting what campaigning has become in this country.

    America needs leadership.


    July 23, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  12. Steph

    Mayahh – I don't call the Senate Banking Committee "MY committee" just because I live in the USA. At least be capable of realizing your guy can screw up too! Your comment is one of the dumbest I've ever read, read the article again – his WE does not mean the USA.

    July 23, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  13. Berndt Seattle, WA

    I doubt CNN will post this as they continually refuse to post my comments – probably because I'm not a NObama supporter – but here goes:

    Yet another lie from this guy. Can't wait to see how he panders on this one. Oh, I know, he'll use the "I'm tired" routine again. If any other candidate made as many false claims and was as inactive in their elected role as NObama is, they'd be slaughtered. Somehow, however, the Pied Piper keeps on sliding by.

    WAKE UP, AMERICA – this guy is a fraud!

    July 23, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  14. fairandstraight

    He said 57 states and caucuses. Sen. Obama has admitted many times that he is not a perfect man. Any one looking for a perfect being, I suggest looking to God. However, if we need the best candidate for president, we need to look to Sen. Obama.

    McCain has not only misquoted things, he has down right lied and changed his position in order to win voters. Even to the point of going down south prancing around celebrating Dr. King to gain black voters when he voted against the King Holiday. That my fellow voters is what qualifies as saying and doing anything to get elected.

    July 23, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  15. Casual observer

    Someone's been hanging around Hillary too long, seems someone is trying to inflate their resume....

    July 23, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  16. mmd

    Do you suppose that he is referring to the we in general. After all, he is in another country and everything in US is we. A distinction between we US and you Isreal . My committe, as I read it, is not the same as stating the committe I chaired. this is really child like and picky.

    July 23, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  17. Maggie

    This isn't a "gaffe." It's symptomatic of Obama's pathological need to claim credit for others' actions, mainly because he has no experience of his own on which to stand.

    I can understand their love of their candidate, although I can't empathize with it. But this man is running for president WAY too early. The danger for the Democrats is that they will have destroyed a man who could've become their next Kennedy by anointing him too soon.

    July 23, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  18. Vamos McCain

    Did I say my committee..

    Oh i'm sorry... I meant to say Michelle's committee.

    You see, we Obama's are everything to everyone!

    July 23, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. FL_Independant

    WHERE IS the coverage about MCCAINS claim that the SUNNI Awakening happened AFTER the surge??? That is not a gaffe, that is a LIE!!!!!!

    July 23, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. Roxanne

    Lisa !!!-get a life and get over the whole 57 state thing. Not only was that months ago, it was a simple very unimportant mistake. I'll take bets Barack has more knowledge in his little finger than you do in your entire body. His learning curve is unbelievable, he's an intelligent, smart, smart man. And ALL you can refer to is the 57 state misspeak. I guess some people will use ANYTHING to distract from the real issue. Please- people like you make me sick!!! And your type is exactly why America is in the state it's in. PITIFUL!!!

    July 23, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. Richard PA

    Let me get this straight...

    McMis-speak flubs the Anbar awakening timeline...and the network edited his answer to be different...and there is no posting on CNN website about it??? thats a major error... especially when he says its common knowledge...

    This is a flub on BO part also... but there needs to be equal coverage of the flubs...

    July 23, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  22. Tim, Seattle

    BTW, CNN is just trying cover their butt to slant to McCain this week as a reactionary move because all the McCAin people are crying about biased coverage. Thats okay, funny its really not doing McCAin any favors it turns out.

    Whats funny, is McCAin isnt doing anything newsworthy. No policy details, no proposals or solutions, just knocking down Obama (the kind of campaign he pledged not to run) and committing senlie gaffes every day. But he is so boring!

    Meanwhile Obama is out on the world stage with leaders basivcally confirming his strategies. And he is dealing with it in a very presidential manner.
    The press is waiting to see any Obama gaffe and exploit it, but they have nothing so far. McCAin & the GOP cronies were hoping to trap Obama. It failed miserably and will give Obama anothet poll jump over McCAin.

    Obama 08'

    July 23, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. Tjaye in LA

    Oh the horror.

    July 23, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  24. BE

    I can understand how he doesn't know which committees he is a part of or even chair of. Neither he nor McCain has actually been doing their senate work for over a year now.

    July 23, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  25. Art

    In other words. "He Lied!"

    July 23, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
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