Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Barak Obama 'Belittles' Small Town America (UK Version)
The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 4-13-2008 | Tim Shipman

Posted on 04/12/2008 7:34:30 PM PDT by blam

Barack Obama 'belittles' small town America

By Tim Shipman in Washington
Last Updated: 12:52am BST 13/04/2008

Barack Obama's presidential campaign has been knocked off balance after the Democratic White House frontrunner was caught on tape apparently belittling the fears of small town Americans who have lost their jobs.

Senator Barack Obama speaks at a town hall meeting at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana

The senator from Illinois was forced into a frantic damage limitation exercise after a recording emerged in which he appeared to dismiss impoverished blue collar workers as bitter individuals who have turned to God, guns and immigrant bashing to make themselves feel better.

His rivals and political commentators seized on the comments, pronouncing them a watershed moment that raises questions about whether he understands many of the people he hopes to lead - for whom religion and the right to bear arms are positive and wholesome aspects of their lives, not a crutch fashioned from bitterness.

In comments which may seriously damage his chances of winning the forthcoming Pennsylvania primary election, Mr Obama told fundraisers: "You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them.

"It's not surprising then they get bitter. They cling to guns, or religion, or antipathy to people who aren't like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

Mr Obama has recently narrowed Mrs Clinton's lead to between four and seven points in the latest polls, after pouring record sums of money into television advertising in the state.

In the last three weeks alone, he has spent more than $6m, three times that of his rival. As a result, an average voter in the major cities and the Philadelphia suburbs, the key to the election, can expect to see each Obama advert more than 20 times.

A media monitoring group last week said he has now screened 100,000 commercials nationwide this year - five times the number John Kerry aired as he won the 2004 nomination.

But he has struggled to win over blue collar workers, hit hardest by the economic downturn and competition from overseas jobs. The forum in which he made the comments - an upmarket fundraiser with wealthy Californians last weekend - appeared to reinforce claims by his opponents that Mr Obama is an arrogant elitist, with little feeling for ordinary voters.

Michael Goodwin, a columnist for the New York Daily News, accused Mr Obama of "de-legitimising the way people choose to live in America" and argued that the furore would be even more damaging for Mr Obama than the previous row over inflammatory comments by his pastor Jeremiah Wright.

He said: "This is like Wright on steroids. It is a disaster for Obama. I happen to come from one of those small towns in Pennsylvania. I know what people there feel about religion and guns and immigrants.

"It's not about just hating other people. They don't embrace religion out of hate. They don't hunt or use their guns for target practice out of hate. You cannot denigrate religion in that way."

Democrat strategist Robert Zimmerman said: "This raises questions about whether he can truly unite the country, as he pledges to, and whether he really believes that we're one America."

A jubilant Grover Norquist, the conservative anti-tax campaigner said: "That sentence will lose him the election. He just announced to rural America: 'I don’t like you'. Now you can vote against that guy not because you don't like him. You can vote against him because he doesn't like you."

Mrs Clinton told voters in Pennsylvania that she does not consider them to be bitter. "I meet people who are resilient, who are optimistic, who are positive, who are rolling up their sleeves," she said.

"Pennsylvania doesn't need a president who looks down on them. They need a president who stands up for them."

Steve Schmidt, a senior aide to the Republican candidate, John McCain, said: "It shows an elitism and condescension toward hard-working Americans that is nothing short of breathtaking."

Mr Obama, campaigning in Indiana, refused to apologise. He insisted he was not out of touch and attempted to recast his words in a more sympathetic light. "When I go around and I talk to people, there is frustration and there is anger and there is bitterness," he told a rally in Terre Haute.

"They’re frustrated, and for good reason. They've seen their economies collapse. They have lost their jobs. They have lost their pensions."

He claimed both Mrs Clinton and Mr McCain are themselves out of touch, accusing the former First Lady of being beholden to lobbyists in the financial services industry and the Republican nominee of waiting too long to come up with a plan to tackle the subprime mortgage crisis.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: barack; obama; small; town

1 posted on 04/12/2008 7:34:30 PM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: blam
Steve Schmidt, a senior aide to the Republican candidate, John McCain, said: "It shows an elitism and condescension toward hard-working Americans that is nothing short of breathtaking."

He was talking about Obama right?

2 posted on 04/12/2008 7:37:24 PM PDT by TigersEye (Berlin 1936. Beijing 2008. Olympic Games for murdering regimes.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

Orchestrated to deflect attention from his association with a racist pastor...... What better way to get people to forget his support of a preacher who damns America than to get the same people to argue about something else????? This empty-suit Obama is a shrewd SOB.........


3 posted on 04/12/2008 7:40:51 PM PDT by ErieGeno
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TigersEye

McCain responded by saying immigrants were taking jobs nobody else wanted. He offered anybody in the crowd $50 an hour to pick lettuce in Arizona.

Shouts of protest rose from the crowd, with some accepting McCain’s job offer.

“I’ll take it!” one man shouted.

McCain insisted none of them would do such menial labor for a complete season. “You can’t do it, my friends.”


an oldie


4 posted on 04/12/2008 7:45:42 PM PDT by Shermy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: blam
Small town America heard him loud and clear. WE will keep our God and our Guns but we don't need him or any other liberal socialist either.
Small town America will elect our next president. Some one should tell this ignorant butt head the facts.
5 posted on 04/12/2008 7:51:21 PM PDT by oldenuff2no
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

Obama just let out what really thinks.
Typical White People are ignorant racist bible bashing trigger happy hicks.


6 posted on 04/12/2008 7:53:05 PM PDT by igoramus08
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
"Mr Obama, campaigning in Indiana, refused to apologise.He claimed both Mrs Clinton and Mr McCain are themselves out of touch, accusing the former First Lady of being beholden to lobbyists in the financial services industry and the Republican nominee of waiting too long to come up with a plan to tackle the subprime mortgage crisis."

Condescending SOB ain't he?! Fame has poisoned his pea size brain!!!

7 posted on 04/12/2008 7:58:27 PM PDT by RoseofTexas
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
a frantic damage limitation exercise

LOL

Or to put it more succinctly, damage control.
8 posted on 04/12/2008 8:03:50 PM PDT by TomGuy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

Boy I wish I was wealthy enough to be a Trotskyite. I’d like to know who these donors are, I’ts bad enough what he said but they lapped it all up. These are the people who believe they are revolutionary,
Boy are they going to be surprised if it ever comes,God, guns and the rest.


9 posted on 04/12/2008 8:06:34 PM PDT by OeOeO (maybe I didn't come over on the Mayflower, but I got here as soon as I could" Anton Cermak)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

bump with no comment.


10 posted on 04/12/2008 8:08:14 PM PDT by Ciexyz (My Comments/Ping List no longer downloads.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

It seems Barry was paying attention to Rev. Wright all those years.


11 posted on 04/12/2008 8:11:04 PM PDT by Thrownatbirth (.....Iraq Invasion fan since '91.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

Obama = Racist, Marxist, Muslim, Anti-American, Black Radical....enough said....pretty straight forward...


12 posted on 04/12/2008 8:11:59 PM PDT by homeguard ((Charlie Don't Surf!))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
...He insisted he was not out of touch and attempted to recast his words in a more sympathetic light. "When I go around and I talk to people, there is frustration and there is anger and there is bitterness," he told a rally in Terre Haute.

Of course there is, and most of it is coming from you, Barack... /grin

13 posted on 04/12/2008 8:15:32 PM PDT by tarheelswamprat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ErieGeno

Don’t think so. This is MUCH worse. Some folks were willing to give the benefit of the doubt (insanely) on the Wright issue - this one it’s damn hard to get over, unless you’re on DU, where they show themselves what condescending elitists they are.


14 posted on 04/12/2008 8:18:03 PM PDT by farlander (Try not to wear milk bone underwear - it's a dog eat dog financial world)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: igoramus08

ya, aint we though


15 posted on 04/12/2008 8:20:12 PM PDT by dalebert
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: OeOeO
"Boy are they going to be surprised if it ever comes,God, guns and the rest."

I agree.

Welcome to Free Republic.

16 posted on 04/12/2008 8:28:37 PM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: igoramus08

I think Obama has shot himself in the foot with double barreled mouth. Nobody says such things mistakenly. Not he, his wife or his pastor.


17 posted on 04/12/2008 8:30:22 PM PDT by dalebert
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: blam

This scumbag Obama must be buried. I don’t care what does it - - his own assinine hypocrisy or Larry Sinclair. Barack Hussein Obama’s political career needs to come to a crashing and final end.


18 posted on 04/12/2008 8:35:48 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TigersEye

I had the same question.


19 posted on 04/12/2008 8:46:34 PM PDT by donna (The United States Constitution and the Koran are mutually exclusive.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Lancey Howard
This reflects something else about Obama and his single-minded strategy of "change". His primary appeal, beyond the elites, is to the bitter and the desperate. He is actually lumping small town whites with the hopelessness and bitterness of the black neighborhoods that he was an "organizer" for.

The elites, of course, support having an Obama to be the savior to both these outcasts. The problem, I think, is that it's simply impossible to lump inner-city hopelessness to small town bitterness, even assuming that bitterness is a widespread dynamic of small towns, which I haven't observed.

20 posted on 04/12/2008 8:46:47 PM PDT by DJtex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: blam
Mr Obama, campaigning in Indiana, refused to apologise.

Always the mark of a bigot and a dictator.

21 posted on 04/12/2008 8:47:33 PM PDT by Tea in the Harbor (Cannibals elect cannibal kings.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Shermy

I remember the threads about that well. I called every office McCain had to get my name on the list. Most tried to tell me he didn’t say what I saw and heard him say on the video. Only one wasn’t condescending about it. He was clearly irritated at having been told to try to spin it.


22 posted on 04/12/2008 9:06:47 PM PDT by TigersEye (Berlin 1936. Beijing 2008. Olympic Games for murdering regimes.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: donna

Maybe he meant all three!?! Nahhhhh, no politician’s lackey would be that honest.


23 posted on 04/12/2008 9:10:43 PM PDT by TigersEye (Berlin 1936. Beijing 2008. Olympic Games for murdering regimes.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: blam

"It's not surprising then they get bitter. They cling to guns, or religion, or antipathy to people who aren't like them, just like my cracker Grandma."

24 posted on 04/12/2008 9:12:54 PM PDT by billorites (Freepo ergo sum)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: igoramus08
Just for you...


25 posted on 04/12/2008 9:42:19 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: DJtex
He is actually lumping small town whites with the hopelessness and bitterness of the black neighborhoods that he was an "organizer" for.

Exactly correct.

The Democrats would love to turn "small towns" (ie., towns that have lost coal and manufacturing jobs) into government-addicted wards of the (Democrat-controlled) welfare state, like so many urban black neighborhoods did in the decades since Johnson's politically ingenious "Ingrate Society".

The problem that Obama and the rest of the Democrat scumbags face is that there is still a lot of pride and adherence to traditional American values in those "small towns".

26 posted on 04/12/2008 10:04:49 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: ProtectOurFreedom
Just for you...

Thank you.
27 posted on 04/12/2008 10:20:33 PM PDT by igoramus08
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: blam
A couple of comments on Obama’s breathtaking scorn for ordinary Americans. One, he's the last person, after going to his racist church for twenty years, who I think should be explaining other people's religious motives. He explained his racist minister away by smearing his granny who'd raised him. His perceptions of reality seem highly situational. Two, if rural Americans had more financial success, those who go to church would not stop and those who own fire arms would only buy more expensive ones and travel to more exotic places to enjoy their sport. These are family traditions that have been a part of the people of these areas for many generations, through good times and through bad. Obviously, Obama is clueless about fly over country.
28 posted on 04/13/2008 12:01:03 AM PDT by elhombrelibre (If you share Wright's pews, you share his views.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

I actually cut BO a little slack on this.

Considering his audience, I think he was attempting to explain to other Democratic elitists why they should not be so condemning of “ordinary Americans.” That they do have reasons for what, to the elitists, seems to be self-defeating and despicable behavior.

Have you read how Democratic activits on DU and elsewhere talk about “ordinary Americans?” How they think they can win an election by spewing hatred and contempt for most voters is a real good question.

I disagree with BO, but I think this statement is being somewhat taken out of context.


29 posted on 04/13/2008 12:38:53 AM PDT by Sherman Logan (Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. - A. Lincoln)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

His nose is so high in the air that he’s drowning in the rain.


30 posted on 04/13/2008 12:42:21 AM PDT by bannie (clintons CHEAT! It's their only weapon.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: OeOeO
Boy I wish I was wealthy enough to be a Trotskyite. I’d like to know who these donors are, I’ts bad enough what he said but they lapped it all up. These are the people who believe they are revolutionary, Boy are they going to be surprised if it ever comes,God, guns and the rest.

Apparently he was talking to a bunch of Pastor J Wright's referenced rich whiteys on Billionaires Row in San Francisco at the Getty mansion. hmmmm I would love to know who outed him and them.

31 posted on 04/13/2008 12:49:37 AM PDT by Just mythoughts (Isa.3:4 And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: TigersEye; donna
Maybe he meant all three!?! Nahhhhh, no politician’s lackey would be that honest.

The elitism to which the lackey referred could be inferred to those working inside the hallowed halls of the Congress and the House of Lords, excuse me, the Senate.

If anybody knows elitism, it's Hillary and Johnny Mac.

32 posted on 04/13/2008 1:17:34 AM PDT by Night Hides Not (Forget it...I'll never be able to pull the lever for McCain!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: blam; All

Does anyone know the venue for the “bitter” statement? Did this occur at the Billionaire’s Row event that Zombietime documents?

Obama Visits Billionaires Row
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1998779/posts


33 posted on 04/13/2008 1:40:28 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (<===Typical White American)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Night Hides Not

I know. All three of the Presidential possibles fit the bill like few others on the scene today. It’s like Halloween and each one is trying to outdo the others by dressing up as one of history’s biggest megalomaniacs. Take your pick from day to day.


34 posted on 04/13/2008 9:18:33 PM PDT by TigersEye (Berlin 1936. Beijing 2008. Moscow 1980 Olympic Games for murdering regimes.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson