August 18th, 2008
05:30 PM ET
15 years ago

Obama tells supporter: 'You're wrong,' defends compromise


Watch Sen. Obama respond to veiled criticism from a supporter in New Mexico Monday.

(CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, took the opportunity Monday to answer many critiques leveled at him by his own supporters.

“As president, you set the agenda for this country,” Dallas Timmons, a local Democratic Party ward chair said to Obama in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “Are you going to set an agenda of change or one of compromise with what the Republican minority is going to allow you to do in the Congress?“ Timmons asked Obama after specifically mentioning Obama’s support for a surveillance bill disliked by some of Obama left-of-center supporters.

“You’re feisty and I like that, but you’re wrong,” Obama responded to Timmons.

The Illinois senator gave Timmons and other supporters gathered at the New Mexico town hall event a detailed defense of his positions on Afghanistan and Iraq, on the compromise surveillance bill he recently supported, and on his approach to compromising with political adversaries more generally.

“Iraq was a fundamental error. I have never wavered from that. I have never wavered from the idea that we have to get our troops out of Iraq,” Obama told the crowd.

After explaining his vote on a compromise version of the surveillance bill, Obama told supporters, “I’m not going to be elected as monarch; I’m going to be elected as president. And, I’m going to have a Congress that’s I’ve got to deal with.”

“Even if we do well,” Obama continued, “there’s still gonna be almost half the country that votes for somebody else.”

“There’s nothing wrong with compromise as long as you understand what your core principles,” the presumptive Democratic nominee said. “And I will never waver from those principles even if I compromise on some issues.”

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (185 Responses)
  1. Greg

    Flip Flopper???? ROTFL
    McCain changes like the winds in a tropical storm or tornado.

    McCain whats you to sign your kids up for war so he can abuse them like they did with sending them to Iraq. LOL!!!
    He said he would get Bin Laden. Interesting because he had the power to vote that way and instead we are stuck in Iraq. Talk about fake!

    Is that Hitler like or what?

    August 18, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  2. floridian

    Based on Sen. Obama's answer to "whom will you talk to as POTUS?", does that open up his wife, Michelle, to more inspection by the MSM? Or can we expect the donkeys to continue to insist that she be off-limits? I think we need to accept the second choice, since Sen. Obama made it a point that that is one of his confidantes. I am sure that Sen. McCain will talk to his wife, but remember whom he listed, when the really critical decisions need to be made.

    August 18, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  3. Neil K, Lake Forest CA

    Pretty obvious, Dana, that anyone who uses socialist as an epithet is not and never was a Democrat. Please quit lying.

    August 18, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  4. Denise Groves

    The Republican minority? Why listen to them?

    August 18, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  5. Michigan Voter !!!

    Obama The Script Actor , With out A Written Script He Can't Speak A Coherent Word , He's A Media Made Soap Opera . Just A fake Character Actor .

    Hillary , Or McCain President 2008 !!!!

    August 18, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  6. w.l. jones

    It apears some people dont know what being American is "deep down in our character "we rather lose than out shine a fellow citizen. In politic should not be any different. This fourm were in a religon setting.Thereby repect Rev. Warren as well as Mr. Mc/Can coming after him . A person mind train to be careful in give a yes or no anwser unless he is sure what the out come would be in any setting.

    August 18, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  7. Patricia

    Seriously, People, we have had a President who cares nothing for what anyone thinks except himself. Obama is a man for the People. He knows that he will be President for all the People. There is nothing wrong with compromise to get things done as long as you don't sell us out. Do

    August 18, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  8. M. Felder

    Dave, on your no compromise stance. I guess you don't have a wife or girl friend. In life we all must compromise, if not only to keep the peace and move things forward.

    August 18, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  9. anna

    I am not Obama's biggest fan, but there is nothing wrong with what he said.
    I don't think he was being condescending or rude to Timmons, but I have felt that way about things he has said in the past.

    Yes, the President, the Senate, and the House have to be willing to compromise to get things done–and not take vacation in lieu of!!!!

    Now that third branch, the US Supreme Court, can do pretty much what they please, and with a lifetime appointment...too SCARY!
    We can boot the others out, but the Judges...
    They got the POWER.

    August 18, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  10. cynmcm

    We americans need a change, we can't have 4 more years of republicans, they've screwed us enough for 8 years, its time for a change. People need to support Obama just because of the last eight years alone. Has'nt it been enought damage. Oil prices, loss jobs to overseas, home foreclosers, Katrina, the Iraq war etc. Since day 1 of the bush administration , things have gone down hill. Do you McCain supporters really think, that he ( MCCain ) could change anything, he's just like Bush.

    August 18, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
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