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. Ann

    "which is my committee " is not even the royal 'we'. This guy has no idea what is happening around him. He delivers speeches.

    July 23, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. EDW

    McCain can make a gaffe regarding the surge, the location of Iran/Iraq, and forget how he voted for any veteran or women's issues but Obama slips up once and they have something to say.

    Brother!!! We need to bury the RNC.

    July 23, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  3. cbates

    I caught that comment this morning while watching the press conference. I was surprised to hear it in that I had never heard it mentioned before in the many news casts I have watched during this contest. I got the since that it was in reference to his affinity to the committee and the potential role it might play in the Iran opportunity.

    July 23, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  4. Veteran for McCain

    HA HA HA HA!!!! How funny. I love it how the left-wingers come out swinging when there guy makes a mistake. It is amazing how much rope obama is given though when he goofs. I believe this mistake is even bigger though because he's taking credit for something he has never done AND HE KNOWS IT!!! It does say a lot for his character. He knew that he could say it overseas and those people would be none the wiser.

    Keep up with those mistakes and this game will be tied before you know it!!! 🙂

    July 23, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  5. John

    "Change (of fact) we can believe in"

    July 23, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. Eric

    Lately, i feel as if i've been watching Peewee's playhouse rather than actual news. People make mistakes, especially candidates, when every thing they do or say is being recorded... granted its been more noticable with McCain then Obama but still, they're both human and to err is human so its going to happen why make it out to be more than it really is?

    However boys and girls, this weeks word is... "gaffe"

    **SCREAMS – "WHOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAA!!!" w/ alarms and buzzers going off in the background** to provide a visual... if you don't remember peewee's playhouse...

    July 23, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  7. J

    I'm certain Obama will clear up what he meant. What will be interesting to see is how hard the McCain campaign, the republicans and conservatives will try to make this gaffe a bigger than life issue. LOL.

    July 23, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  8. Independent in Iowa

    July 23rd, 2008 3:00 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Obama could come out saying he was an anti-christ but it wouldn't matter to the bots. There isn't anything that man can do wrong.

    Wait – CNN must be racist by saying something negative about Obama.

    July 23, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. New Voter for McCain

    adm – so your nobama is tired? So that's why it is ok to say what he did? Gee when I am tired, I don't make up lies or have delusions. Give me a break! Stop drinking that koolade and come back to reality or do you count 57 states too?


    July 23, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  10. come press beat the hell out of him

    The press atributes major mistakes from McCain, maybe giving him the benefit of the doubt because he is old but wants to jump on every slip of tongue by Obama.

    I guess it's no fun beating up the losing guy so maybe it's fair to beat up Obama

    July 23, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  11. Belle

    When he says "this is MY committee" he lied. He knows what committee he is on...he just wanted to look better on a foreign stage, figuring no one would know what committee he is or isn't on.

    Obama has no problem stretching the truth, or misleading. However, if he is willing to do it in Israel, he certainly is willing to do it at home.

    July 23, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. Independent in Iowa

    Jerry in Boston:

    Here here!

    Typical Bot ==> adm. "Don't say anything bad (or TRUE is a better word) about Obama. Fall in line with the rest of us that believe he is a messiah."

    Lisa, you go girl!

    July 23, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. J. D. S.

    To quote some of the comments – He "did not mean to imply that he was on that committee", "he made a slip of the tongue", and "WE means the USA".

    The problem is that King Obama stated, "which is my committee".

    That is not a mistake. It's an intentional statement to bolster his credentials. Any reasonable and prudent person should see this.

    July 23, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  14. Freddy

    He really does believe the hype of him being the ruler of the world. Interesting. So shall we start calling him "KING OBAMA".? He struts around like he is all that and a bag of chips.

    Does he honestly think that American people are that stupid? Hope not or he'll have a rude awakening in Nov.

    July 23, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. Janice

    Obama supporters are completely brainwashed. No matter what this man does, how many lies he tells you people will never recognize him for the liar he is. He is the same ole same ole politician and for you to think otherwise shows you for a fool.

    Vote Scooby Doo

    July 23, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. Joseph, Los Angeles

    The media has been looking for one little word out of place and blow it up like a big gorilla.

    July 23, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |

    I cannot bring myself to vote for this guy! Too much BS sorry thats how I feel. I am still gonna vote for Hillary Clinton. She is without a doubt soooo much better than these two clowns.

    July 23, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  18. Linda

    CNN, please tell me that you haven't caved completely because McCain has his bloomers in a twist again! The NY Times rightly told him to come up with his own positive strategy rather than just bashing Obama's before asking them to print his editorial. Since then it seems that CNN is suddenly terrified to print anything positive about Obama or anything negative about McCain.

    Where is your reporting on all of McCain's mistakes? Why do you ignore them? I see them occasionally brought out by other readers in the comments section, but not your reporters. I am smelling some cowardly reporting, because a political candidate who wants you to pander to him has accused you of – oh horror – media bias.

    Dear God, Tim Russert, God rest him, would never have caved like this.

    July 23, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. James in Ohio

    a gaffe is when a word is used improperly or when something is misidentified. To call a committee one doesn't belong to "my committee" isn't a gaffe, IT'S A LIE.

    July 23, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. gwg

    There is no "we" in "my committee"

    July 23, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  21. Erika, KS

    Oh My! That's all I can say. My, my, my, I, I, I, me, me me. He sounds like George W Bush all over again. I'm sick of these egotistical idiots who will say and do anything to get elected and continue once they are elected.
    Obama's arrogance is equal to Bush's. I'm sick of the both of them.

    July 23, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  22. Cheryl L

    Obama made a gaffe, he will probably make more int the future. McCain made some gaffes and he will make some more in the future. Theyll be forgotten next week as a new one arises.

    July 23, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  23. Montana is Obama Country

    I need more than a sound bite before I can call it anything other than a sound bite.. I'll let Barack speak for himself as to what is being printed or said..

    This is nothing to compare with McVain...

    Yes ...WE...Can.. 2008, 2012

    July 23, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. Brad, Tampa

    Watch the video. He actually says "...the US Senate Banking Committee, which is my committee"

    That is not just a slip of the tounge. He actually pauses to stress that it was his committee.

    July 23, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  25. Pat-Pittsburgh


    July 23, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19