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. E.C.Coleman

    Is there anyone out there who doesn't believe by now that Obama is a total FRAUD? This is how he's running.......ON FRAUD and MISREPRESENTATION!!!! There is NOT one person in this country who can Name One Contribution by Obama since he became a Senator. Obama whines that he 'wants to change and be a leader' ...yet for all his 3 1/2 years in the Senate, Obama has contributed NOTHING. We don't need this Green Horn as President.

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

    and how come McPhony and his hourly gaffes never get even a mention....conservative biased media at its finest

    July 23, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  3. prefer koolaid than your arsenic

    Lisa....how much does McCain pay you? good God i would rather a President say 57 states than one who does not know that Iraq and Pakistan are not border countries....oh boy i know you vote for Bush twice, there's no other excuse.

    Mike, Syracuse, NY...i am sure you will get something right ...one day..lol

    July 23, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  4. Geo

    He's doing a fine job haters, eat your hearts out.

    Obama 08

    July 23, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  5. Vote08

    Whoops. Just wait,the MSM will have this on the news for the next six weeks,as McCain's had coverage for just six hours.

    July 23, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  6. There is no doubt

    Obama is an idiot! I somewhat understand the youth of America being duped by him, but what is wrong with the adults of this Country, or CNN or newspapers? Something is very wrong here.

    July 23, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  7. Lesley

    Big deal. He meant bill, not committee. Thanks RNC for pointing out the mistake though. At least you're not sleeping like your candidate. How did you get around McCain's gaffe regarding the true timeline (pardon the pun) of the surge - I think I missed that.

    July 23, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  8. dan coler

    Boy, this is no shock. let me guess.like Hilary Clinton on the sniper fire, he will say he misspoke?? You have got to be kidding me. Already a great liar, now I can see why he wants to president. An ego, a liar, 130 days in Senate out of 3 yrs as a senator?? Why shouldn't every idiot in the world want him ?

    Get with the program people, dump the media child now!!!

    July 23, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  9. Jeff

    This is pretty typical of Obama. His overly inflated ego lets him live in a fantasy land.

    July 23, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  10. Southern view

    Obama rarely shows up in the Senate. It's no wonder he doesn't know what committees he's actually on. Obama needs to come home and vote on the issues and by the way, a hurricane just hit south Texas. There's a "photo op" opportunity right there.

    July 23, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  11. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    I fthis is the worse mistake that Barack makes, God bless him. Unlike the McCain's mistakes of calling Puting the President of Germany or referring to the country of Czechoslovakia, this really is very minor. Barack will be able to get some more rest and be back on his A game. McCain doesn't have access to a time machine to knock off a few decades!

    July 23, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  12. Maggie, ND

    The Worst President In Modern History, and his flunky, Mini McGoo wants to stay the course. Not if I can help it.

    Obama 08

    July 23, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  13. E.C.Coleman

    Sorry..............'WE' ....was explained as 'My Committee.' It ain't so. We call this 'lying and misrepresenting the truth'.......Take your choice.

    July 23, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  14. Chuck

    Ok CNN. You got the one gaffe you guys have been hounding Obama all week to get. Oh my, the sky is falling. Big deal. Get a life.

    July 23, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  15. Joe in NJ

    "WE , means the USA"

    MY means mine, as in "my commitee", which it isn't. How could Obama not know what commitee he does or doesn't belong to?

    July 23, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  16. Bulldog

    That's fine, CNN can report each canidate gaffes. Just make sure you keep everyone honest and report the many gaffes from McCain along with the few from Obama. After all, you guys "keep them honest".

    July 23, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  17. Maggie, ND

    Does anyone honestly believe that Barack does not know how many states we have, really?

    Obama 08

    July 23, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  18. A nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    The Messiah mis-speaks once again. Next he will invent the internet.

    How can someone be in the US Senate and not know what committee (s) they are on? Seems like a major goof b y our goof proned inexperienced candidate. this is the guy appointed by Howard Dean?

    Seems almost like the Messiah Obama talked about the lack of progress in the SURGE. What a girlie man!

    For Obama's edification, the surge is working and has worked and will work. Who does he think he is, parading on the world stage like someone who knows what is happening.

    Give me a man with experience and sound judgment like John McCain. Obama is wrong on experience and wrong on judgement. He is strong on blowing with no substance. obama should listen more and pontificate less. What a blowhard.

    Le Chat qui fume

    July 23, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  19. John

    Its a simple mistake and before the republicans use this as an opportunity to crucify Obama, they should take a good hard look at their candidate's gaffe record. I think its like Obama -3, McCain – 39

    July 23, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  20. BR

    The Messiah couldn't have made a mistake.

    July 23, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  21. ProudToBeDemocrat

    CNN why don't you report gaffe after gaffe made by Mccain first before jumping on obama.

    July 23, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  22. Awww

    his hair has gotten grayer since the start of his campaign! it's ok, bammy, we still love you 🙂

    July 23, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  23. Bob

    Hmm, leaves you to wonder. If he can’t keep straight what committees he is on, how many sessions has he actually been present for.

    Anybody up for guessing how many votes this guy has been there to debate and vote recently on as well. There ought to be a law that requires a Senator or Congressman to step down when campaigning for higher office.

    July 23, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  24. Rick S

    First of all its not a gaffe, more of a misstatement- he meant his bill which it was. Not an Iraq/Pakistan Border or Anbar Awakening- that is not knowing the truth

    July 23, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  25. New Voter for McCain

    Lies, Lies all Lies. This man HAS to lie to make himself look good to whoever he is talking to. I am sick to death of him and all the cult members who follow him.
    Wake up America before it is too late!!
    McCain 08

    July 23, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
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