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. Jon

    But, but, but.... Don't forget that McCain called it Czechoslovakia. That is SO much worse than claiming membership on a committee and credit for the committee's bills.
    /end sarcasm.

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

    Hey, if Al Gore can claim that he invented the internet, why not...

    July 23, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  3. Dave

    When your a habitual liar, lying is the norm not the exception!

    This is a man who walks with a bad crowd and like the bible says "bad company corrupts good character", not as if any libs even read the bible, which is odd that they call Obama the Messiah, more like Judas!

    July 23, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  4. sarah

    this moron spent so little time doing his job in the senate that he does not even know which committees he is a part of? guess when your resume is that thin you have to pad it up somehow.

    July 23, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  5. energy

    that is not a big deal, just the SNIPER FIRE was not–but Hillary PRESS haters made their big deal out of nothing. Please leave Obama alone.

    Obama/Clinton 2008. Anything less, we shall see...

    July 23, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  6. Joe

    Wow! He doesn't even know what committees he belongs to? Then again, how would he? What's he been physically in the Senate for a day since he's been running for President?

    July 23, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  7. RJ from NJ

    Oblahblah has mumbled and stuttered his way thru the mid-east. This guy cant put 2 sentences together on his own. Everything must be scripted for him otherwise he sounds like an idiot.

    In this case, he doesn't know what committees he's on cuz he hasnt been in the Senate long enough to even find the mens room.

    NO-bama EVER!!

    July 23, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  8. LS

    McCain takes the cake in this area (gaffe), which the RNC knows very well and should be use to by now. But seeing how desparate they are, what excuse would they have not to respond.

    No big deal – the McCain and the RNC are quickly fading anyways, no matter whay they do or say.

    July 23, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  9. Robert

    Obama is beggining to sound like Al Gore. Maybe he will claim to have invented the internet or write a book about global warming. I am sure his advisors will come up with a clever way of explaining the gaffe and CNN will praise it.

    July 23, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  10. Amusing...


    "Iraq is adjacent to Pakistan" McCain and "Under sniper fire" Hillary NEVER make mistakes when speaking!

    Clearly, "My Committee" Obama is unfit to lead the country because of this oh-so-critically revealing piece of ...

    Sorry, what was this about again?
    In my eagerness to show what an empty suit Obama is, throwing language under the bus, his DNC good ol' boys party pushing him to appear like the lovably inept Folksy George W, made me forget that the closet Muslim with problems due to controversial Catholic pastors must be untrustworthy because he's human, and prone to error!

    And yes, this was sarcastic. All politicians, all people, will make mistakes when speaking. But the only time that it is important is when they accidentally tell the truth.

    July 23, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  11. Matt--NE

    Incorrectly claims membership????

    HE LIED!!

    HE LIED!!

    HE LIED!!

    HE LIED!!

    I guess I should be thankful CNN finally posted an article about the constant mis-statements Obama makes when he isn't reading from a teleprompter.

    This is the reason he's afraid to debate McCain.

    McCain would destroy him, and will in November!!

    July 23, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  12. KMAN

    Watch the GOP vultures feed on this one!

    July 23, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  13. Mike in Houston

    I really, really, really like you Obama but, you cannot claim things that are not yours or to be on comittee's that you are not on, dude! President uh I mean Senator Obama, quit trying to impress people and just run your campaign, you will be okay. Leave the lying and overstating to the Repubs, that's what they are use to. Don't play thier game, you see what happend to JFK 2004!

    July 23, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  14. Linda

    What else is new? Barky makes EVERYTHING up. He is not exactly grounded in reality folks,

    I've never seen someone make so many claims not represented in the real world. And this yahoo is running for Pres. He making it very clear, he says ANYTHING to get elected and people really have to understand this, he has no record of accomplishments. He trying to win the award for best acting president.

    July 23, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  15. G

    In this election I learn that gaffes don't matter. John Mccain has made plently of them on foreign policy an issue he's suppose to be an expert on! So if that goes unnotic e than this shouldn't be an issue either. Just saying fair is fair right?

    July 23, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  16. Emperor Obama

    This guy is just about the most arrogant person I've ever seen. He's acting like he's already president on this trip (and he's not!), pretending he's a member of the senate banking committee (and he's not!) – if Obama becomes president, will he start acting like he's emperor?

    Beware this man's arrogance America! Are you sure you know this young turk?

    July 23, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  17. Vote Nader

    If you have no accomplishments or experience, fake it. That's all he's doing.

    ** Nader/Gonzalez 2008 **

    July 23, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  18. ANGIE

    Lisa\ we all know he met the primaries nice try through so he made a mistake at least he knows where the border of pakistan and afghanistan are!!!!!

    July 23, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  19. Ian MacIsaac

    Lovely how you don't give this much attention to McCain's gaffes...

    July 23, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  20. Chris

    OMG!!! He finally did something for the media and the GOP to harp on!!! LOL
    But, guess what, my vote is still for him. LOL!!!

    July 23, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  21. Eleanor

    Well I say one slip of the tongue can be forgiven
    at least its not 2 or 3 daily like MCSame

    July 23, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  22. Rise America Rise

    So ok, everyone makes gaff's. The difference I see is that most of McCain's gaffs come directly from his lips, whereas very few Obama gaffs come from Barack himself. If he misstated it, he blew it, I am still waiting to see the campaign response to see if it is as black and white as what cnn reports. This could be like the 57 states alleged gaff where in context it was clear what he meant, but out of context, in a sound bite, it could be misconstrued.

    July 23, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  23. sky

    so what....once he is president they will ALL be his committees. find some real news. if he takes ownership of these issues and the solution that is the best kind of customer service.

    you need a new definition of "news"

    July 23, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  24. joycew

    It appears that Senator Obama is making a lot of statements that
    are not truthful. But then he will fit right in with the rest of the
    politicians that "yell look at me & look at what I have done."
    No wonder this country is in a terrible state of affairs. All they care about is making a name for themselves.

    He scares me to death. But worse than this it scares me to see
    what is happening to our country. Does anyone really care???

    July 23, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  25. JfromNC

    Oh god...here we go. This may be a mistake, but it pales in comparison to McCain's gaffes and lies.

    July 23, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
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