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. insanity

    There is not doubt it was a mistake..

    July 23, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. Christine

    You Obama supporters are so funny!! You are ready to trust someone with no experience, elitist, egocentric, a cheat as well as a flip flop for President. I guess love is blind....

    I know America is smarter than that and will wake up. Were there not enough controversies ??? Come on !! The let's forgive and forget attitude won't work.

    July 23, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  3. Will in Richmond, VA


    Whoops! ... Need to hear some spin on this one, my man.

    Still, McCain's goof-ups have been far more pronounced. Nevertheless, Obama needs to know he has to run a near perfect ship. Watch your mouth.

    July 23, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. Mo in TO

    all the MCCAIn and BUSH but suckers need to go to school and get an education and try hard to stay awake and pay attention you sad, hatful and ulgy people.

    July 23, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  5. mccainlies

    Hey Randy, you do know that Senator McCain has missed more votes than ANYONE in the senate this year don't you? Even less than a Senator who had a STROKE and was out for months. Maybe some of you Obama haters (or McCain supporters)should do a little research instead of parroting Limpballs or Hannity talking points of the day.

    July 23, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  6. Fernando ATL

    Adm, he might have been tired after meeting with the president of Canada....

    July 23, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. ch

    The 57 states one is still my favorite.

    Also loved the super tacky "official" Obama seal which came and went witnin 24 hours!

    God, do I miss Hillary – it was nice to have a sophisticated, knowledgeable, grown up in the race.

    Now all we have left is these two bumbling, stumbling fools.

    July 23, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  8. bravos

    Obama has made the gaffe we all were expecting. He better keep his lies straight. This is big time politics not Chicago.

    July 23, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  9. Clinton/McCain

    There he goes again. Taking credit for something he wasn't apart of.

    July 23, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  10. ch

    adm – I've been plenty tired plenty of days but have always known how many states there are.

    Maybe he was tired all those days he sat in that church that looks like a three ring circus listening to Rev. Wright spew his hate?

    Get real –

    July 23, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  11. jn

    Shawn, how about Sunni and Shia. How about the Iraqian/Pakistan border. How about any comments he made refering to al quida? Ok so Barack said that in his campaign against Hillary but how many has he made comapered to John McCain in the primary? Didn't john just make a huge gaff yesterday which he finally owned? You still have to admitt that John is a much bigger gaffer than Barack Obama is!!! I think the reason he is is because he is such a liar that it's hard to keep facts straight..John McCain that is!!!

    July 23, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  12. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    This gaffe pales in comparison to what has been coming out of McCain's mouth lately.

    July 23, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  13. tedious898

    John Powalski...you are one smart american.

    Consider where Obama is. If either of us were in a foreign country and speaking about policies and legislation in the US .....the sentence would have to include "WE" meaning the United States. Otherwise Barack said "I' ...and then you could count on 1 finger the time it will take for the load of idiots on this blog and McCains campaign to totally wash you over the hot coals.

    "....who does he think he is – King of the US"

    July 23, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  14. Charlene.

    Lisa, why so bitter?. Obama doesn't know you or care about your stupid comments. Don't give yourself a heart attack! and get a life.

    July 23, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. check and checkmate

    think fast O Brillant One, quick lets blame the Clintons, chya !!! check checkmate .....

    July 23, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  16. Jo CHGO

    Obama has made his career on the backs of others. He is just getting caught now because every word he says is recorded. Being a smooth operator won't cut it anymore.

    July 23, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  17. Eugene

    One misspeak for Obama, how many major misspeaks for McCain in the past two weeks?

    July 23, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  18. Danny G. Boca Raton, FL

    he is acting presidential in a foreign country, he has lots of news following him everywhere, he must be aware that he can't do this kinds of free admissions without anyone picking them apart... perhaps the media will give him a break.


    July 23, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  19. arc, Lugano CH

    Lisa July 23rd, 2008 2:24 pm ET
    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?
    Lisa Cougar Puma:
    You’re really reaching here. I remember that, it was simple slip of the tongue after campaigning for many days without a break. I am sure Senator Obama knows how many states there are. I wonder if Hillary was tired when she proclaimed that she had brokered the Good Friday Agreement.

    July 23, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  20. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Factcheck:. Yes, the Awakening started in Sept. 2006, and the surge didn't start until Jan. 2007. During this time, US deaths each month continued to rise. Afterl the surge started in Jan. '07 that casualties started to drop. So the Awakening had no impact on casualties until the surge started. McCain got the timing wrong, but the main point was correct. See icasualty.org for monthly totals.

    July 23, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  21. Johnboy

    When McCain misspoke, you called him McSenile.

    When Obama misspeaks, he just made an honest mistake.

    Give me a break, Demobrats.

    July 23, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. AJ

    "which is my committee" – Direct statement made by Obama. This is not a "we", as in "America". "My Committee"

    July 23, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  23. Vigla

    Lisa is at it again! Reality is really something foreign to her.

    Where is your comment about McCain's huge gaffe about when the Sunnis decided to join us? Yes, it was before the "surge", not after...

    I agree, Obama probably goofed on this one. We're all human, but it seems you believe otherwise.

    Lisa, admit it, you're the cranky old volunteer that complained to McSame about his terrible campaign, right?

    July 23, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  24. Sn in MN

    He is the center of his own little Universe.

    July 23, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  25. peakarach,des moines,IA


    MCCAIN 08!
    HILLARY 12!

    July 23, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
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