Why Donald Trump trips over Obama's heritage - CNNPolitics
Donald Trump dodges questions about Obama's citizenship . He stoked those inaccurate beliefs on NBC's "Meet the Press," when he was. On February 10, , Barack Obama, then junior United States Senator from Illinois, announced his candidacy for the presidency of the United States in. The reporters then start sending it around town to folks on Capitol Hill to to the public in advance, the White House is continuing efforts to reach a wide .. I've heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they're not.
And that's what I'm doing very clearly and unequivocally here today. What happened in those five weeks? Because you already knew, prior to the March speech, that he had suggested the U.
What did you learn in those five weeks that you didn't know in March? Well, you know, previously, there were a bunch of sermons that had been spliced from a collection of sermons for 30 years. And that's not who I thought he was. That's not what I thought defined him. He's somebody who's a Marine, he's somebody who has served on city colleges boards, somebody who was a respected pillar in the community.
And so I thought it was important to--for him to explain or at least provide some context for some of the things that he had said previously. But when he came out at the press conference of the National Press Club, not only did he amplify some of those comments and defend them vigorously, but he added to it. He put gasoline on the fire. And what that told me was not only was he interested in using this platform to continue to make statements that I fundamentally disagree with and that offend me, but also that he didn't have much regard for the moment that we're in right now here in the United States where we can't be distracted or engaged in this divisive, hateful language.
Instead, we've got to bring the country together to solve problems.
And, so in that sense, what became apparent to me was he didn't know me as well as I thought he did, and I certainly didn't know him as well as I thought I did. And, and that, you know, was disappointing, but something that I had to clearly speak out about. The critics have said he can attack the United States of America, he can do all sorts of things that divide the country, but only when he made it politically uncomfortable for you did you finally separate himself from him.
Oh, I think it, back several weeks ago, it was already pretty politically comfortable, you know, when his statements were being looped on cable stations 24 hours a day for about five straight days.
That was already politically uncomfortable, and--but, you know, I did what I thought was right, which was to denounce the words, not denounce the man. You know, what, what really changed was a sense that he was going to double down on the statements that he had made before, and, and to me that told, that, that indicated to me that he was not--that he did not share my fundamental belief and my fundamental values in terms of bringing the country together and moving forward, and the pride that I've got for this country.
And, you know, one thing that I want to make absolutely clear is that what's best about this country, what, what leads me to run for president is that we've been a force for good in the world. We have obviously made mistakes--and I spoke about this in Philadelphia--we have a tragic history when it comes to race. But that doesn't define us, and it certainly doesn't define me.
And I don't want his words to somehow distract from what I think are the opportunities for us to move this country forward in, in ways that continue on the progress that we've made in the past. When you announced your candidacy back in February of '07 in Springfield He told The New York Times that you said to him, "You get kind of rough in the sermons, so we decided it's best for you not to be out there in public.
So you knew in ' I have to keep him out of the spotlight involving my campaign. Why didn't you just say then, "You know, Reverend, we're going on different paths because this country does not believe in white supremacy and black inferiority. Well, my commitment, as I said, Tim, is to the church, not to a pastor. And I think that's shared by millions of people who are going to church this morning. You, you join a church community, and Reverend Wright helped build a wonderful church community, one that has been a pillar of good works in Chicago, and, you know, I feel a great loyalty to that church.
Reverend Wright was going to be retiring in a year, and I thought it was important for me to maintain my commitment to that church. He said in a letter to The New York Times, he suggested that you apologized for not letting him do the invocation. Well, what happened was is that, you know, I was sorry that he felt, that he felt hurt by that decision.
And, you know, that is--that may be a fault of mine that I own up to, which is, is that I'm concerned about how other people feel, particularly somebody who I've known for quite some time. But, but that doesn't detract from, you know, my belief that, ultimately, what he has represent--what he has been saying about the United States over the last several months and over the last several years, particularly some of the statements that I had not heard before, are contrary to who I am and what I stand for.
And, look, I think it's important to, to put this in context, Tim. You know, I'm somebody who is born to a white mother and a, and an African father. It's in my DNA to believe that we can bring this country together and that the people are the same under the skin. And that's what I've been fighting for all my life, and, you know, the--to, to a large degree, everything that I've done as a community organizer, everything that I've done as a state legislator and a United States senator embodies those ideals that we can get people who look differently or speak differently or come from different experiences to recognize what they have in common.
That is a set of principles that I think Reverend Wright was dismissing and diminishing, and that's why, ultimately, you know, I had to forcefully state how wrong I thought he was. You're new to the national political scene. Is it fair for people to raise questions about your judgment for misjudging Reverend Wright?
Well, I, I think it's fair for people to look at this episode along with all the other things that I've done over the last 20 years. You know, when you're running for president, your life's an open book, and I think that people have a right to flip the hood and kick the tires, and, and this is one element of a much larger track record that has led me to not only run for president, but to help build a movement all across the country to bring about change.
I ultimately trust the American people that they'll put this in context and they'll say, "You know what? This is not who Barack Obama is. It's not what he stood for. It's not what he's said. It's not what he's written. They change sometimes, they may go off in a different direction.
Sometimes the rupture in relationships may be painful, but they're necessary. And, and that's what's happened here. You're done with him? If you're elected president, you won't seek his counsel? Now, I think it's important to keep in mind, Tim, that I never sought his counsel when it came to politics.
‘Meet the Press’ transcript for Nov. 11, 2007
And I--you know, some, some of the reporting that implies that somehow he's my spiritual advisor or mentor, as he himself said, overstated things. He was my pastor, and he built a terrific church. I'm proud of that church. We've got a wonderful young pastor who's there who's doing--continuing the terrific work that the church does. And that's my commitment. My commitments are to the values of that church, my commitment is to Christ; it's not to Reverend Wright.
Could you have handled this better, differently, by severing your ties earlier? And what's the most important thing you've learned from this? Well, when you're in national politics, it's always good to pull the Band-Aid off quick, and I think that's what, you know, the, the, the political consultants will tell you. But life's messy sometimes, and, you know, it's not always neat, and things don't proceed in textbook Political fashion.
And so, you know, when I reflect back, you know, what I'm proud of is that, in the speech in Philadelphia, I think I made a contribution to the overall dialogue about how we deal with race in America. And I think that me denouncing his words without denouncing him was, at the time, the right thing to do. You know, I'm, I'm sorry that he didn't see an opportunity for him to reflect on the justifiable anger and pain that he had caused and to maybe, you know, suggest to the American people that's not, that's not what he believed.
But, clearly, you know, one of the things when you're running for president is that you don't have--all this stuff is happening under a spotlight, and you've got to deal with it quickly. You were in North Carolina on Tuesday, on Tuesday and talked about the tone of the campaign over the last few weeks. The other candidates aren't talking about their ideas, they're talking about me. So they're talking about, they're, they're, they're talking about what, what--who, who is he?
And do we know his values, and he's not wearing a flag pin right now and, you know, his former pastor said some crazy stuff. You basically are outlining the kind of ads that you anticipate being run against you. InJohn Kerry was swiftboated. People challenged his patriotism, challenged his record in the U.
When independent groups, so-called, come after you in the fall How is he going to defend or define his patriotism? Well, first of all, you know, I have never challenged other people's patriotism.
I haven't challenged Hillary Clinton's or John McCain's, and I will not stand by and allow somebody else to challenge mine.
The fact that I'm running for president right now is an indication of how much I love this country, because it has given everything to me. This country has been a great source of good. I've lived overseas and seen the difference between America and what it stands for and what other countries oftentimes stand for and where they fall short.
I've, I've said before, my story's not possible in any other country on earth. You know, when I think about this country, I think about my grandfather fighting in World War II in Patton's army; I think about my grandmother staying home--staying back and, and working on a bomber assembly line while she was raising a kid in--as, as they're coming out of a depression.
And, and so this country is the--it defines, for me, what's possible for not just me, but for so many people who see this as a beacon of good, including my father, who originally came here seeking an education in this country.
So I love this country. It is what I have been fighting for, a--that America lives up to its values and its ideals. And that's what I think the people of Indiana and that's what the people of North Carolina are looking for right now. What, what--they love this country as well, but what they've believe is that the values that have built this country, the belief in--that hard work is rewarded, that you can raise a family and have health care, and buy a home and retire with dignity and respect, that those things feel like they're slipping away.
Look, six, seven months into the year we have the first real exchange in the Democratic race and, as Dan says, very revealing because it shows what each side believes is their whole card; Obama that he is the candidate of change, Hillary Clinton that she is most prepared to deliver the change the Democratic voters want. What I thought was particularly interesting about the way this unfolded is that each believes they have a winning argument.
Because they really are offering something very different in terms of their personal backgrounds and what they are saying is going to be their strengths in the Oval Office. And, Tim, it also works on different levels. It could be effective for Barack Obama in the Democratic primary and effective for Hillary Clinton in the general election.
It was lower level aides. He—this was going to be the same position that Hillary Clinton laid out. Look at what he said on a Miami TV station before the—before the last debate.
Let me follow that up, and then open it wide open here. Then, however, an interview Hillary Clinton with—gave to Keith Olbermann back in January surfaced, and let me show that and then come back and talk to everybody. Videotape, January 23, MR. Would you reach out immediately to the Syrians and the Iranians, even with the tensions between this country and Iran? You know, our president will not talk to people he considers bad.
And like everything in this fight, that could be spun either way, and, and she can interpret it however she wants. Because she had blurred that distinction. She had blurred that distinction partly because he had been reluctant to pick the fight. He had really been hanging back. At first they realized this was a mistake, that he had opened up another wound on foreign policy experience.
But he turned it to his advantage and then jumped in to try to attack her on the war. Then why did Hillary Clinton, the next day, if she, in fact, had won the first round, continue it by saying Obama was naive and irresponsible? Because they thought that they had won. They really thought that they had scored after that debate.
Then why pile on with those, with those words? Because they were—they are an aggressive, tough, fighting campaign. There is no machine like the Clinton war machine. I, I think that was not planned. I am not convinced that they had a plan that she would go out and say—and, and accuse Obama of being irresponsible and naive in a newspaper interview.
I think she freelanced that. I think there was a You saw him yesterday in Iowa, and he, he hit her again. I can do this. This is a quote from the Chicago Sun-Times about foreign policy.
But if you look at how I approached the problem, what I was drawing on was a set of experience that come from a life of living overseas, being able to see the world through the eyes of people outside our borders.
I mean, he, he has a lot of self-confidence. Well, substance is lost. The Edwards people—the Edwards people actually think that the, that the polling on this will help them. But, but pick up on the, on the big picture. Dennis Kucinich will say he did, but I have a different perspective than those who, in effect, grew up in Washington.
Well, look, we have real crosscurrents in public opinion right now. On the other hand, there is a sense that these are dangerous times, and that puts a premium on steadiness and experience and being able to be judicious in, in handling threats.
So you, you have these—you have these twin elements that are there in the public.
Senator Clinton and Senator Obama speak to very different aspects of those that, really, almost the yin and yang of those desires.
And, and keep in mind, I mean, the position from which he begins when he makes a statement like that, that is not where the Democratic electorate—Obama makes the statement that he is the strongest on foreign policy, that is not where the Democratic electorate is right now. Not only women but, strikingly, men. So that is something that he does have to erode.
He was down by more than 2-to-1 among Democratic voters on that issue. On the change quotient, she and Obama are running almost even at this point. So Obama has two things he has to do.
Barack Obama presidential primary campaign - Wikipedia
Did you ever give drugs to anyone? Did you sell them to anyone? The comments immediately caused controversy, and Shaheen resigned the next day.
Her spokesman said that she "made it clear that this kind of negative personal statement has no part in this campaign. He criticized Clinton's December 3 statement  in which she signaled a more aggressive approach and called it the "fun part" of the campaign. Axelrod said that the signal should come "from the top" that the campaigns will not be waged "in the gutter.
According to The New York Times the chant originated during a rainy, early morning campaign stop during the summer in Greenwood, South Carolina. Obama was feeling fatigued among a small group of supporters. When out of the blue, as Obama recounts: Childsappeared later with Obama at a rally in South Carolina.Obama's Rough 2014 - NBC News
She later told reporters that if he were to win the presidency, that she would want one thing: Obama had the support of On January 4, he told supporters in New Hampshire, "If you give me the same chance that Iowa gave me last night I truly believe that I will be the president of the United States of America.
We don't need to be raising false hopes. Words do help people get involved. All of the candidates barnstormed in New Hampshire during the four days after the Iowa caucuses, targeting undecided and independent voters in the state. Despite the apparent surge of momentum, Clinton defeated Obama by a margin of Meanwhile, Internet theories arose about how the vote counting itself had been suspect, due to discrepancies between machine-counted votes which supported Clinton overall and hand-counted votes which supported Obama overall.
After recounting 23 percent of the state's democratic primary votes, the Secretary of State announced that no significant difference was found in any candidate's total and that the oft-discussed discrepancy between hand-counted and machine-counted ballots was solely due to demographic factors. Obama received the endorsement of two very important unions in the state: Clinton countered by appealing to the Hispanic vote in the state, emphasizing that they were at special risk from the fallout from the subprime mortgage crisis.
Before the caucus, comments made by Obama concerning former Republican president Ronald Reagan attracted rebuke from rivals and dissection from all sections of the media. Obama had stated in an interview that: Obama had said that the Republicans had 'better' ideas".