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. Go McCain

    Get over it you Obamabots. McCain says something wrong and you are all over it claiming mental defects, etc. Obama, who has limited time in the Senate, can't even recall what committees he is on but that is just a "mistake" and all is ok. As for his policies, he is all over the place. He claims he is against using fossil fuels. OK–so when is he going to campaign in West Virginia and Pennsylvania and tell them he is going to shut down their coal mines. Can't wait to see that speech. Bet it never happens.

    July 23, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. bitter_in_pa

    Maybe he was under sniper fire

    July 23, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  3. aware


    This is more than obfuscation. It is out right prevaracation ! This arrogant guy has no moral center, no core principles and no judgment. But, he does have a single priority of political expediency!

    Obama is guilty of egomania and a lust for power that is beyond belief! 🙁

    This former Democrat will vote for Senator John McCain 08! 🙂

    July 23, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  4. Sean, atl, GA

    this is a joke, right?

    the RNC better be trying their hardest to exploit this so that the media can CONTINUE to barely report McCain's *daily* gaffes....

    July 23, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  5. Oluwa

    Wow, What about 6-7 gaffes McCain's made during the past couple weeks regard the middle east? Why the cover up. I understand both candidates are going to mispeak, but covering one up and bring up the other is truly a shame on the Media. And I would rather OBAMA make those kinds of gaffes rather than Lying about the surge and the crisis in the middle is, which is what McCain is doing!

    July 23, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  6. Jeronimo!

    Why is this beginning to feel like the republicans are campaigning for for a middle school popularity contest? Enough of the gaffe reports; this is not verbal tag... McCain pointing his crooked fingers yelling AHA!! GOTCHA!!

    July 23, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  7. Amused

    Let's see.

    Obama has been traveling 7 days nonstop, visiting a number of countries. He is jet lagged and busy as heck and tired.

    His biggest gaffe is that he mistakenly says he's in a senate committee that he isn't in.

    Ooooo. Someone call the whaaaambulance.

    July 23, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. Chuck

    I can hear the CNN press room now.

    Hold the presses! Stop the print! Obama may have made a gaffe. We have to report on this immediately and throughout the night. Get the staff ready to report on this 24/7 and make sure Anderson Cooper and Larry King take their whole hour reporting on this gaffe. Start writing a special news report we can air all day Saturday and Sunday on this gaffe and be sure to re-arrnage your calenders so tha twe can report on it at least three days out of every week before the vote in November.

    July 23, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  9. DflateMacsStr8TalkXpress: Econ MIA, AWOL on facts, POW from reality


    If you have the first clue about math, Mr. Obama did compete in 57 CONTESTS including primaries, caucuses and U.S. territories. D'uh!

    McCain't can't even get the Middle East countries, factions, timelines or policies correct without Joe Lieberman or Lindsey Graham whispering in his ear. McCain't outright lies at townhall meetings about votes he cast or more likely didn't (Especially since he's been campaigning it's been >4 months since he's cast one single vote!).
    McCain't makes things up as he goes along, talks to the clouds and makes scurrilous charges on a whim.

    July 23, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  10. fella from Chicago

    You'll have to excuse the good Senator for the gaffe. Maybe being out in the hot sun has fried his brains somewhat. Where was David Axlerod to correct the blunder? Or maybe Barack thought he was on the committee and he's just a good old home grown schizophrenia.

    July 23, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. Straight Talk Distress

    Dont worry.. Mc Plain will veto that beer.... 😛

    July 23, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. Kevin

    Seems like an overactive parsing of words. When speaking to a foreign audience, this seems to have been just a shortcut way of saying "the US Senate Banking Committee, which is a committee that is a part of and made up of US Senators like me..."

    After all, what point would there have been for him to overstate his resume to a foreign audience? It's not like he can drum up additional votes.

    Bigger issue, though, is that this overzealous grammar monitoring (on both sides of the aisle) is what turns people off from politics. CNN – please stop reporting this kind of non-news.

    July 23, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  13. Ali

    no word on the ticker about McCain's gaffe yesterday but when Obama makes one CNN is right on top of it. CNN has always been the middle ground in my eyes but things have been changing lately, I am getting increasely dissappointed.

    July 23, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  14. Mike - Texas


    Is Iran the "border" Mccain was talking about?
    That has got to be the largest border in the world, easily.

    July 23, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  15. Rachelbsw

    Is that the best you got McCain!

    July 23, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  16. Claudia

    Okay Obama, keep your facts straight however you've be the Commander in Chief of that department come November.

    July 23, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  17. Shawn - Ga

    Lorna, NY July 23rd, 2008 2:25 pm ET

    OK, one gaffe to McCains 20. BIG DEAL!

    Wow you really are brain washed.... how about 57 states to name just 1 more of many.

    July 23, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  18. B

    Let's see how much press this one gets compared to Mcmaim our troops gaffe gets

    July 23, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  19. Mike Jones

    Big deal. Nothing to see here...moving on to Berlin and the millions waiting to "smell what the Barack is cooking". McCain has daily gaffes.

    July 23, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. nina

    Why Obama when he speaks instead of "I" says "we" ? is this common to talk like this among politicians?

    And why he keeps lying? This was a lie!

    July 23, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  21. Liz T, Tucson

    I am sure there is an explanation for this. It's not like he wasn't aware of the huge group of journalists in front of him.

    July 23, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. Robert

    Liar...liar....pants on fire !!! He doesn't know what committee he is part of because he was only in the Senate for 143 days – duh! And this guy wants to be President – NOT!

    Too bad the Dems didn't choose someone else. PUMA!

    July 23, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  23. Brian, Ohio

    Anyone want to bet that CNN and the rest of the main shame media runs this on endless loop and doesn't even mention McCain's major Iraq screw up from the CBS interview?

    July 23, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  24. JA Cook

    Send him to Chzeckoslovakia!

    July 23, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  25. Rose

    CNN has been downplaying all the horrendous statements and outright lies of John McCain all day.

    How about McCain's sudden cancellation of his press conference this week? Or how about the Katie Couric interview where McCain's erroneous statement about the Surge was kept from the public. Or how about McCain's attack of Obama's statements when Obama visited the Holocaust Museum.

    Obama would have been crucified by the media for this. We would be hearing sound-bites for the next 10 years.

    For real news, I suggest the Huffington Post.

    July 23, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19