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. Andrea

    ugh im sure he meant it as MY committee, being that as the president its his. this guys ego really is getting sooooooo annoying.

    July 23, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  2. jeanette

    John McCain will be filled with glee that Senator Obama misspoke. It gives McCain and his attack dogs something to chew on while rocking in their rocking chairs. LOL

    July 23, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. The Right Vote - Obama

    Gaffes: Obama 1 , McCain – rivaling McDonalds in burgers sold

    July 23, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. Linda in Indiana

    So Obama mispoke? Neither Obama nor McCain can keep their facts straight. This country is going to be so tired of politics by November, no one will go to the polls to vote. Every time Hillary misspoke she had to be accountable for it. So be it for Obama and McCain. Can anyone of us stand to be in the spotlight 24/7 and not make a mistake now and then?

    July 23, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  5. Obomination

    There is no end to this man's ego, narcissicism, double talk, forked tongue bluster. He will say anything, and do what is expedient in the moment. He is the greatest threat to national security, because he only believes in his crown, crafted and enabled by his cult. Wake up -people.

    July 23, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  6. Marc PDX

    OMG! The messiah made a gaffe? I thought only "McSame" was capable of doing that. Well, that's one for my diary. Or maybe Obama can't tell if he's on committees or not – since he doesn't attend them anyway. Food for thought. But I'd never cast doubt on the messiah! Oh, no. Too many people love the Emporer and his new clothes here...


    July 23, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  7. Obama Supporter from Texas

    Are you kidding me??? The way McSame makes a daily gaffe? This is ridiculous.

    Obama '08

    July 23, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  8. A Hillary Supporter For McCain

    Too bad. Obama is sounding more and more like the politicians we already know..lies and more lies. His ego has gotten too big and his inexperience will make things worse for the USA. A democrat voting for McCain.

    July 23, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  9. CW4Barak

    Soooo, the man is overseas representing the country.....it is our Senate committe and it is our bill....how would it look if he said "their" instead of "our". Obama is not like Bush who goes out the country points fingers and talk badly about people back here. When you are overseas you have to own your country as it is, both the good and the bad. CNN is this your attempt at trying to show McRelic that you are not "in the tank" for Obama!

    July 23, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  10. Jesse - San Antonio TX

    How can he be an effective president if he doesn't even know what he's a member of?

    Or is he just being a typical politician and lying? is this any different than the clinton kosovo mispeak?

    either he has no clue or this is a blatant lie.

    July 23, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  11. Abby

    he said "which ISN'T my committee"

    July 23, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  12. Karadi

    This is the first goof up from Obama ... congratulations.

    July 23, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  13. Kevin

    In a related story, Obama mistakely thought Burger King served Big Macs. Stay tuned for details.

    July 23, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  14. carolflowery


    July 23, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  15. Sandy


    July 23, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  16. Thomas still for Hillary

    How do you just claim membership, actually "leadership" since he said "his committee," to something you are not a part of? I am so waiting to see the Obama-nut make their usual excuse for this clown.

    July 23, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  17. farah

    So you finally found a gaffe. wow i am sooo impressed. he was talking about the frikkin bill that incorporated his proposal not the committee. try to listen carefully next time. but GREAT catch. I'm glad the 300 reporters following him around were able to find such an important gaffe. you're doing a great service to this country.

    July 23, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  18. Donna

    I love how much attention the RNC is paying Obama...he is the air they breath, the sun on their faces and the wind on their backs...I love it...

    Was he on the Iraq/Pakistan border when he made the "gaffe"?

    July 23, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  19. oops he did it again and again and again...

    uh oh someone is gonna get fired for not writing obamas speech correctly or maybe he really does think he created this world... i dunno

    July 23, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  20. john williams san diego, ca.

    He was not incorrect, he was just trying to build on a weak resume as a politician...

    July 23, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  21. pd

    Oh No, not another Obama lie! Is this really surprising from a man that will say anything to get elected? I finally applaud him for at least being specific this time around. He dodges just about every other issue put to him.
    I also think it is hilarious that the lefties have just completely avoided this post, choosing instead to launch a tirade and yes, another personal attack over Bob Novak's automobile accident.

    July 23, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  22. HF in CA

    Seems that, under pressure, Obama will say just about anything.

    July 23, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. Mark, NC

    OOOOOOHHHH. That's SO bad. Obama is unfit to be president. What about the time he got the surge time "horizon" wrong? Or when he confused the borders of Iraq? Or which country still exists? Or the differencr between Sunni and Shia? How about the fact didn't understand women's issues clearly regarding viagra and birthcontrol? The one that really sets me off is when he said he didn't understand the economy.

    That Obama really gets on my nerves.

    July 23, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  24. CATINA

    I"m tired of him acting like he is already President and the media aint calling him on his gaffe. He says when he become President it will be 10 years serving in the White House he says we have 57 states stop building this dummy up.Democrats vote Hillary Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 23, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  25. Phil, FL

    McCain 9999

    Obama 1

    Obviously Obama should be chastised daily for weeks on end, CNN, and keep giving McGaffe a free ride while he forgets everything.

    Get real people.

    Obama '08

    July 23, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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