July 30th, 2008
12:19 PM ET
15 years ago

Republicans seize on Obama comments to House Democrats


[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/30/art.house.ap.jpg caption="Obama met with House Democratic leaders Tuesday."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Republicans are attacking the "audacity" of recent comments Barack Obama reportedly made to Democratic congressional leaders Tuesday night in a closed-door meeting.

In comments first reported by the Washington Post and confirmed to CNN by a senior Democratic aide, while discussing his recent trip to Europe, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said, "This is the moment, as Nancy [Pelosi] noted, that the world has been waiting for.”

The Illinois senator, on Capitol Hill to give House Democrats a pep talk ahead of the November elections, also said he had "become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions."

The Democratic aide told CNN that comment was made in the context of "Americans struggling and demanding change." A House Democratic leadership aide who was in the room also told CNN Obama's point was the campaign is "NOT about him."

"The [Washington] Post left out the important first half of the sentence, which was something along the lines of: ‘It has become increasingly clear in my travel, the campaign, that the crowds, the enthusiasm, 200,000 people in Berlin, is not about me at all. It’s about America. I have just become a symbol…,'" the aide said.

The Republican National Committee circulated the comments to reporters under the banner, "Barack Obama audacity watch." John McCain's presidential campaign also forwarded the comments with the subject line, "wow."

Watch: Critics call Obama 'arrogant'

Obama and the Democratic leadership emerged from the meeting upbeat Tuesday evening after meeting behind closed doors for close to an hour. Speaking to reporters after the meeting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Obama has the ability to transform the way Washington does business.

"If we do what I know is possible then I think we can shake up Washington and actually deliver for the American people and that's an exciting prospect," she said.

Also speaking at the press conference, Obama predicted the November election could be a transformative one.

Watch: Obama: 'We can change Washington'

"If the Democrats can make clear our vision, which is not for larger government but is for a responsive, efficient, and honest government that is listening to the voices of the American people, if the American people can feel confident that the institutions here in Washington are working for them and not on behalf of special interests, then I think this can be an incredible election," he said.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • House • Popular Posts
soundoff (358 Responses)
  1. BigBear

    "...responsive, efficient, honest government listening to the people..." as stated by Nancy Pelosi. Anyone with any interest in what happens in Washington can immediately see that this entire article is about Democrats able to talk an excellent future, but unable, over the last decade to walk the walk. Just one example, no drilling for oil, regardless of what the people have been telling them. They just haven't been listening.
    As for Barack, he is the best speaker in the world. What has he done in the past that makes you think that he'll do anything in the future?

    July 30, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  2. Sean

    If you read a recent article by the Economist, honestly, a President who is more open to immigrants, more open to foreign countries, and VERY SELF-CONFIDENT is who we need as our next President. Americans have lost their self-confidence, and are less open to anything foreign. Obama is the solution right now, even without experience, his confidence will see him through. Americans are born to be like him, we're open to everything, and we really need a change. The GOP has been implementing a close relationship-based politics, that we should all avoid. The best wins, not the most related wins.

    July 30, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  3. Vicki Webster

    OBAMA why dont you go to Hollywood, that is were you belong. HILLARY HILLARY HILLAY

    July 30, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  4. Pat

    So, what else is new!!!! They listen to EVERY word he says and POUNCE on it!!!!

    July 30, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. Hana

    Real change?

    Does Obama's real change mean the Democratic Party will become fiscally responsible? Does his change mean the Democratic Party will protect the lives of the unborn? Does it mean the Democratic Party will be less focused on political correctness and more focused on understanding that while America is a land of immigrants we're all Americans and not hyphenated Americans?

    I'm a liberal but certainly not the Nancy Pelosi type of leftist.

    Real change would mean an end to discriminatory affirmative action, an end to the Democratic Party's support for abortion in every circumstance and an end to feel-good government polices will never work because they violate the basic principles on which this country was founded.

    July 30, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  6. ht

    "Arrogant" is code for "uppity black man" in conservative circles in much the same way as "unelectable" was Sen. Clinton's appeal to racial prejudice.

    July 30, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  7. Nik was here

    republicans attacking again. but, I think Obama needs to start calling against McCain. He kept taking it from Clinton in the primaries and was always on the defensive, never truly going offensive. so why not start putting McCain to rest... might as well start with McCain's recent flipflopping issues... it worked for the GOP against Kerry. Lets rip them with their own treatment. Then again, maybe we're above that.
    Obama needs to start making headway after his trip. He cannot keep riding the wave of the trip's success . He must get out there and start pressing the issues again. This is the only reason the polls have slipped slightly. Whatever happens, There are less than 100 days left.
    Time to put this one in the history books with action, and not only proclamation.

    July 30, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  8. billy ray sayles

    As an african-american, I do not like Obama because he's black,but due to his arrogant nature. He's drinking his on kool-aid and stuck on himself. Democrats has missed a valuable opportunity to capure the white house by not nominatinfg Hillary Clinton. I simple do not trust the man.

    July 30, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
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