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. Nick in Las Vegas

    Oh...... I really want to vote for Obama but I have so little faith in him. I WISH HILLARY WAS THE NOMINEE!

    July 23, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |

    Hello, this is NOT the only INCORRECT claim by Mr. let me tell ya what ya want to hear! It would be a LOT EASIER to count his CORRECT claims = ZERO.

    July 23, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  3. MKD

    Latinos, Hispanic vote for McCain!!!


    Hey – everyone vote for him....then explain to your children why they are being drafted to fight in the Middle East ...

    July 23, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  4. NotFallingInLine.org

    When speaking to the American people, Obama's claimed credit for everything else that isn't his and for the products of the hard work of others for over a year now.

    Why should he try to fool the Israeli media with the same nonsense?

    Even his empty slogans have been lifted from others.


    July 23, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  5. KP

    Lisa, Are you really sure Obama doesn't know how many states are in the Union? Other than the gaffe which I might add are made by both sides what evidence do you have? Is this the main issue you want us to focus on for the whole campaign? Why don't you admit that these candidates both make gaffes. You would to if you were under the pressure they are 24/7.

    Get real!!!

    July 23, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  6. georgie

    to be, He doesn't know what committees he's on because he doesn't attend or hold any meetings. Thats why he has such a large base to tell him what to do and what to say. If I were them, I wouldn't want to take credit for what he thinks, if he does at all....or atleast for himself.

    July 23, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  7. Peter (CA)

    Get off the "57 states" thing. It was a slip.

    He had campaigned in 47 states and was saying he visited "Fifty..(pause)....seven states". When he realized he made a mistake he fixed it.

    People are going to misspeak. Both Obama and McCain. It's just that McCain's slips seem so much more serious.

    July 23, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. Doug, New Jersey

    Unlike the libs who foam at the mouth when McCain makes a mistake, as a conservative I realize that these guys have busy schedules and are bound to make a few mistakes. Obama knew he made a mistake here, just like the 57 states thing. Same as McCain with the Chec. and the Iraq-Pakistan border.

    It would be nice if the left could at least mirror the right in honesty, and give up their severe hatrid of all who don't march lock step to their ideology. While almost all of the right will be understanding in an Obama mistake, almost the entire left in America will act like a dog with rabbies when McCain makes one. The American people should take note of these obvious differences. Most Americans are decent, honest, loving people so voting Democrat goes against their charecter and morals.

    July 23, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  9. D&D

    As long as the gaffe is harmless, it's OK, because anyone whose every single movement and word are being followed and monitored would make a gaffe, just like we all gaffe on a daily basis...so CNN, let it go.

    July 23, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  10. Dilly Everett

    Who is quoting Obama in this? Who is translating? Are you sure he said "My" because "we"means USA. Let his campaign have a chance to respond or you could be reporting inaccurately. Journalism 101-get ALL the facts.

    July 23, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  11. Weepy

    Since you print numerous comments from the following persons, you had better start printing mine:

    Kim Hussein Taylor, Portland, OR
    Independent woman-4-Obama
    Pround To BE a Democrat
    Texas Trail Dog
    Obama 08: white, 60 year old woman

    By the way, I am an 80 year old white woman who has all her faculties, and who is fed up with all the hate being spewed here. I am appalled at the discourtesies by the anonymous public that CNN is allowing to be printed in this site. Garbage in, garbage out!!

    July 23, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  12. S-Man

    This one is to please McCain and his supporters. CNN need not pander.

    July 23, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  13. Obama-Junkie, IL

    As the presumptive Democratic nominee and future leader of the Democratic Party and the US, "my committee" is fruedian-slip that is true.

    So what? Let's move on.

    July 23, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  14. Mark

    CNN, where are the 100 McCain mistakes?

    – Iraq/Pakistan border?
    – Al Qaeda in Iran?
    – Shia tribal leaders only helped the US after the surge?
    – We are back to pre-surge troop levels?

    Where are all these mistakes? They are way more serious 🙁

    July 23, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  15. adm

    To Lisa:

    You must be kidding.. we all know that Obama knows how many states there are. He was very tired that day and made a slip of the tongue. Stop reaching to say something negative. Just don't say anything at all. Believe we won't miss you.

    July 23, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  16. Harvey in Va

    This is just typical of BHO....say anything , anywhere, anytime to anyone to what they want to hear. Pastor Wright has it right..he will say anything to be elected.

    If Not Hillary then McCain PERIOD


    July 23, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  17. Obama Supporter from FL

    Well, Obama makes a gaffe, McCain makes a gaffe... I still think McCain's are more worrisome, but Obama looks like he needs to get it together too...

    July 23, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  18. Yeah!!

    Someone answer this for me:

    Why would a PUMA vote for McCain? McCain is pretty far right on social issues and seems to be one of the few republicans trying to reduce spending. And why would a log cabin republican vote for Obama?

    I hear this all of the time. I agree with Dave g, minneapolis, that Barr is the candidate for social liberty, reduced government and smart foreign policy...which is what most of my friends want. We're voting for Barr too.
    His polling is shooting up faster than Obama's!!

    BARR/ROOT 2008!!!

    July 23, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  19. Dinesh

    I'm for Obama and this was a pander, essentially a lie. Now, do I like the fact he lied, no, but lets be real hear, no way is this going to persuade me to vote for a guy whose party and policies have destroyed American values and lives. I can get over this.

    July 23, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  20. The Dragon

    What a great resume Obama has... in his mind!

    July 23, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  21. suzyq-philadelphia

    I keep hearing that Obama does not have any experience to be the President......Does Mc Whatever I don't recall having a President Obama Or McWhatever in the past so how could either of them have
    ANY experience Let's watch what we say. AND while I have your attention all of you Get Hillary back on the ballot people, quitting your jobs to work for this Reality check if you really wanted to do something for her why don't all 18 million of you send her a check for $1.50 each and fade away until the next election when you can try to do it right.

    July 23, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  22. Gramma Faye /Idaho

    He is so delusional about his powers he thinks he runs "EVERYTHING" He could not even chair any meeting with his committee on Afghanistan. What a phony, self deluded , power hungry, lier, egotist. He sure is brain washing a lot of people.
    NOBAMA at my house.

    July 23, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  23. Tke919

    Oh dear god ... are you kidding?

    So Obama says "my committee" instead of "my provision" (which it was) and the right loses it's ever loving mind.

    And, naturally, they bring up the 57 state comment - which Obama corrected ON THE SPOT and laughed about at the time.

    Yet McCain can get the fundamental timeline of Iraq wrong and have CBS cover it up ... can confuse Shia and Sunni several times over several days (and needed Lieberman to correct him on it) ... can repeatedly refer to a country that no longer exists ... can flip-flop (which the right sees as the most mortal of sins) nearly 70 TIMES ... can continue to lie about the effects of drilling in ANWR and the gas tax ... can lie about how many economists truly support his economic plan ...

    And all we hear from the media and those on the right are crickets.

    The lack of self awareness some of you have is pathetic.

    July 23, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  24. Obama '08

    This pales next to McCain's inability to locate Iraq's borders, confusion with Shi'ites and Sunnis, and the best one – the Anwar Awakening coming both before and after the Surge.

    July 23, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  25. Mike


    Seems like they called this a lie in the primaries

    July 23, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
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