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. Porter

    I'm sure he meant to talk about his own accomplishments in the Senate. Then he probably realized that people came to hear him speak for longer than 15 seconds so he just started making stuff up.

    July 23, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  2. Mark Webb

    Great report!!!
    This is great investigation journalism, indeed.
    BTW, did Sen. Obma say something else???

    July 23, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  3. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

    "The Republican National Committee quickly responded Wednesday morning with an e-mail highlighting the gaffe."

    of course they did, they must have been THRILLED that FINALLY someone besides a repug "gaffed". but let's not get carried away, what obama said is not in the same category as mccain and his LACK OF KNOWLEDGE on so many topics--from the economy, gas tax holidays, middle eastern geography and players, and i'll take "Newly Formed European Countries" for $500 please, Alex"

    July 23, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  4. Fred

    Uh Oh, here comes the firestorm.

    July 23, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  5. David

    ok, let's label this one a gaffe, too!! ha!

    July 23, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  6. Bob Barr for Prez

    Where are you Obama lovers now. Your media darling clearly is misrepresenting himself to the international community. So if your media sweetheart gaffes it okay, anyone else does it you Obama lovers turn it into the scandal of the century. This is not even a gaffe, he clearly is trying to make himself bigger than we know he is. I guess this is what you do when you are an empty suit. So bring on your lam simple minded comments so I may sit back and enjoy your empty words.

    July 23, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. Voter

    Obama – be careful buddy

    McCain – this has nothing to do with the Surge or War, try to comment without mentioning these...

    July 23, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  8. Catty

    Ok Dems, let's hear the pile of excuses. You crucify McCain for these kinda things, so let the spinning begin!!

    July 23, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. Hanna

    The thought of having McCain smirk at us for 4 more years is more than I will be able to take. After having a moron in the White House, I want a sensible adult.

    Obama 08

    July 23, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  10. Carl29

    Why are you not covering up Obama's gaffe just like CBS in doing with McCain interview regarding the surge? Oh... yeah the points is not up-setting the republican McSame!

    July 23, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  11. Republican_for_Barack

    Well it just showed the guy is not god , but i get to tell you....
    Between this and saying sunni insurgents and al-qeada (who are killing american soldiers every day) in irak are trained by iran before being whispered by liebermann,, my choice is clear !!!!

    hey Mc OlderBush …..White house is no retirement house

    July 23, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. Duane

    This is the kind of thing that happens when you spend almost your entire first senate term on book tours and campaigning for President. Has he done anything as a Senator? Even the much balyhooed ethics reform bill he showed up for a couple meetings and was chosen by the group to be the lead speaker in an attempt to make him look good for his presidential bid. More and more, he's looking not like a blank slate, but a blank check. Does the country really want to write one of those at this time?

    July 23, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  13. Michigan for Obama

    Out of all of the incorrect claims McLame has made during this campaign, which is countless, you guys want clarification of one gaffe Obama made??? That is so stupid CNN, you guys need to start highlighting why McLame's judgement could be harmful since he makes so many mistakes in the use of his language to the public.

    July 23, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. ChicagoJosh

    They're right. Bad move Obama. Oh well, I'm still satisfied that he's not going to start invading any country for oil.

    July 23, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |

    McCain doesn't know that Iraq and Pakistan don't share a border.
    McCain is going to veto every beer.

    Maybe Barack is a member of the committee and you are wrong.

    July 23, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. rc

    What a dummy.

    July 23, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  17. idiotichumans

    so what? yesterday McCain claimed that the surge helped an event that happened 4 months before the surge and CBS covered it up

    how does this lower gas prices or get medical insurance?

    July 23, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. richard

    is this honestly the best they could come up with as a "gaffe". the RNC is so lame.

    July 23, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  19. Dem for McCain

    “....U.S. Senate Banking Committee – which is MY committee..."

    LOL...this man is a joke! He's so full of himself. "MY committee". He thinks everything is HIS...even the presidency. Well, he has another thing coming!

    July 23, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  20. Abby

    Obama is a FRAUD – this whole campaign and trip is one big staged show – and the press are the props. Just stop reporting on obama's every move -he does not deserve all this glory press coverage.
    Every thing he does is staged to perfection – and scripted responses – notice how he cannot even answer a direct question – stamers all over – has to have that teleprompter to talk.

    July 23, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  21. Catty

    Political lessson #1: When you lack any relevant experience...LIE!

    July 23, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. jpg midwest

    It seems as though the man thinks anything positive is HIS doing... such an ego it makes me sick. How could anyone take credit for something like this when not even a part of the committee and claim the committee to be of his own?? And of such a specific topic?? Apparently he WILL say ANYTHING to get brownie points with other countries and get elected.... It was only a matter of time before this buffoon stuck his foot in his mouth on foreign affairs!! Just the beginning… At least MC only gets boarders confused halfway around the world and not confused about a “committee” he never sat on and take the credit unlike OB… So who is really the senile one now?!... LOL
    I can’t wait to hear the explanation. Must have misspoke again… Or was he just over tired again. I know the HRC fans can relate to this mumbo jumbo!!
    McCain/Clinton 08

    July 23, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  23. Patrick

    Hey Obama supporters who criticize McCain for every single mistake; where is your criticism now?

    July 23, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  24. John G

    Obama is old and senile!

    July 23, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |

    Obama to admit that he incorrecty took credit not his own.

    keep on waiting CNN...like all others..............

    July 23, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
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