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Obama press conference Indianapolis, May 2, 2008. Transcript.

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RALEIGH, N.C.--Transcript of Barack Obama press conference on May 2, 2008 in Indianapolis.

transcript from the Obama campaign...

Barack Obama Press Conference Q and A
Indianapolis, IN
May 2, 2008

*The majority of questions are paraphrased because it was difficult to hear the questions on recording.*

Q: You have obviously had a rough couple of weeks—Senator Clinton moving up in polls. How are you feeling about Indiana?

BO: you’re right we’ve had a rough couple of weeks, I won’t deny that. What’s remarkable is that despite that, we are seeing terrific support all across Indiana and all across North Carolina. I’ve been incredibly encouraged the past several days. People are interested in the issues that are affecting their lives. And that’s what we have been talking about. And they are responding. So I have no doubt that these are going to be tight races. This campaign has been tight throughout, but I am very confidant that the American people are looking for the kind of truth telling and serious policy making that is going to have an impact on their lives and as long as I’m talking about the issues that matter to them, I think we have a pretty good chance.

Q: You said recently that your opponents cannot win on issues, making the election about values. Are your values and your character not of interest?

BO: Oh no I absolutely think that they are. I was pointing out that those are the questions that have been raised of late. They’ve not been about who has the better energy policy. They have been is he sufficiently patriotic for example. I’ve been describing what has been taking place in both the press and coming out of the mouths of my opponents. That’s why I ended that speech talking about my values and my character. I think that it is very relevant for to figure out is this somebody they can trust? Is this somebody who is going to fight for them? Is this somebody who cares about the same things they do? And what not only my words have shown, but actions have shown over the last 20 years is that my values and my ideals and my character are geared towards helping others. And particularly helping people who are struggling to live out their American dream the same why that my parents and my grandparents and I and Michelle have been able to live out ours. That’s what this campaign is about. So I’m not shying away from that conversation. I’m just pointing out what’s been taking place in this campaign.

Q: You have tried to put Rev Wright behind you—in Indiana—polls show his whole thing shows Indiana voters—if you lose race by a hair because of rev wright—who will you be mad at?

BO: Well look, I'll let the pollsters figure out who would have done what where and have them analyze the data. I don’t think that what happened with Reverend Wright was helpful. I don’t think there is any denying that. But what I am also struck by is how sensible the people of Indiana and the people of North Carolina and the rest of the country are. They were upset by very offensive language from my former pastor, they were legitimately upset by it but they are also upset by economic policies that are hurting them and so, this is something that they will have to factor into the mix, how this thing plays itself out, Icant tell. I am always mad when I lose. But I think that there are so many factors that go into these races that I cant, what I don’t spend a lot of time doing is obsessing about what if and should have beens. We will see what happens on Tuesday then we will go on to the next contest.

Q: You have said in recent days you try to be positive, but sometimes get sucked into being negative. The closing days of Pennsylvania were very negative —are you planning on doing that?

BO: I don’t know what the result ultimately were or how our particular strategy impacted those results. What I can tell you is that I feel best about our campaign when we are making a positive argument. I feel best when I am talking about my ideas and my agenda for the country. Now we haven't shied away from drawing sharp contrasts in Pennsylvania, we have made sharp contracts dating back to Iowa. But what we do think is that when we get into a tit for tat, look he said she said argument we lose focus from what this campaign should be about, how we are going to get people jobs and lower gas prices. What I want to do is move it forward, not just in this next 5 days, but for the duration of this campaign. I want to make sure that our closing argument is one that is consistent with what we said when we started this campaign, which is that we need to reduce special interest influence, getting our country together, telling the truth to the American people about our challenges and the more consistently my campaign and I deliver that message, the more confident I feel that we won’t regret.

Q: [inaudible] do you regret that?

BO: As I said, you know, I don’t spend a lot of time [unclear] and looking backwards.

Q: you talk about need to reshift—what are you most worried about—what is your biggest weakness?

BO: You know, obviously we can’t just fight [unclear] over the last week [unclear]. That’s just a fact and so what we’ve been trying to do is to make sure we refocus on what matters to people. You know, I think the American voters don’t want a whole bunch of drama. What they’re looking for is-can you solve my problems? Or can you help me so that I can solve my own problems? And as a consequence of events, we weren’t able to spend a lot of time over the last week talking about that. We’re talking about things that really don’t speak to people’s day to day lives. Look, what I want to do is make sure that I am communicating my plans to address their day to day challenges. And also let them know that these are challenges that Michelle and I have been through ourselves. I mean, I do think that one of the ironies of the last two or three weeks was this idea that somehow Michelle and I are elitist, pointy-headed intellectual types when the fact is Michelle and I … our lives, if you look back over the last two decades, more closely approximate the lives of the average voter than any other candidate. We struggled with paying student loans, we tried to figure out how to make sure that we got adequate daycare, I filled up my own gas tanks, and so part of what we’ve been … we didn’t recognize, I think, the caricature that’s been painted of us over the past couple weeks and I want to make sure that’s pushed aside.

Q: Question about why Oprah has not appeared recently on the campaign trail?

BO: Are you attributing that to me?

Q: [inaudible]

BO: No. I have not had time to read the … what’s his name?

Q: [inaudible]

BO: No, I haven’t had time to read him. I [unclear]. But Oprah’s a dear friend. She’s got a lot of stuff going on. We’ve got a lot of stuff going on. And as I made clear even at the beginning, her endorsement, other celebrity endorsements can be useful in getting people who aren’t otherwise paying attention to politics engaged and [unclear] important in a place like Iowa at the beginning of the campaign. I think everybody right now knows there’s a big contest going on. And everybody’s paying a lot of attention. And the presidential campaign is probably getting more attention than just about anything else. So the utility of having a celebrity come in is less now than it was before.

Q: Do you think the party who is behind in delegates serves the party well by getting out or staying in?

BO: I love how you guys come up with different ways to phrase the same question over and over again. Senator Clinton will have to make her own decisions if she is behind in the delegate count. That’s not what we’re spending a lot of time worrying about. What I want to do is make sure that I am finishing strong – that I’m talking to the American people about their hopes and their dreams, that they feel confident that the solutions I’m offering and the kind of politics that I’ve been promoting will make a difference in their lives. If we do that over the next month regardless of where the polls go, regardless of the outcomes of any particular contest, then I think I’ll end up being the nominee. I really do believe that we control our own fate in this situation. If I’m running the kind of campaign I want to run then I will prevail.

Q: You said if you win Indiana you will win the nomination. What happens if you don’t win Indiana?

BO: This is a variation of the previous question.

Q: Have you heard from Reverend Wright? Why did you decide to go on Meet the Press?

BO: I have not spoken to Reverend Wright. We made the decision to go on Meet the Press long before this. Just like we made the decision to go on Chris Wallace last week. I think at this stage in the campaign particularly since going to Dean’s early question on values and character – let me phrase it this way. When you are running for president you make certain assumptions that people after fifteen months know who you are. Then you realize that maybe there are a whole bunch of folks who don’t know who you are despite the fact that you’re on TV everyday. I think it’s really important for me to make sure that we are out there as much as possible and people get a chance to talk to me. I want to find as many venues as possible where people could lift the hood and kick the tires so they feel confident why I’m in this race, who I’m fighting for, what my plans are as President of the United States. These Sunday shows offer one opportunity among many to make sure that happens. It turns out that not everybody has read my books; it’s shocking.

##

5 Comments

The usual mumble, jumble. Choice made in the last week were are political encouraged. He had opportunities to distance himself from his Pastor before he started this campaign. Question, since distancing himself from Rev. Wright, what about the philosophy and teaching of that church (black liberation theology)? Historical, orthodox Christians beliefs are redefined in black liberation theology. For example, 'Christ', 'salvation' and '' gospel' are all the same, but the emphasis is the black experience of deliverance from slavery and ongoing deference from political, economic and social oppression by whites. Whites are often portrayed as the real demonic forces of this age. If Obama wants to be the leader of all Americans, he must clearly and decisively separate himself not just from Wright, but from the black liberation theology and those church's and pastors that preach it as truth.

Reading the transcript of this press conference with Obama I feel that the reporters were asking the same questions over and over. The Rev. Wright story is old news as far as I am concerned. Obama cannot be responsible for what another person says. Do you hold Hillary Clinton to the same standards? Have you questioned her over and over regarding Bosina? After all she lied at three different events regarding Bosina. The press corp and cable TV had gone over and over daily regarding Obama's pastor. I feel very strongy that all of the media are trying to prolong the primary in order to help Hillary Clinton. I am one of those older white women who DO NOT SUPPORT HILLARY CLINTON. Bill Clinton is a very big disappointment in that he is at different events lying and giving distorted information regarding events and the standing as to where Hillary is in popular votes, number of delegates and states won. MICHIGAN AND FLORIDA DO NOT COUNT THEY BROKE THE RULES OF THE DNC. SHE IS BEHIND OBMA IN POPULAR VOTES, DELEGATES AND NUMBER OF STATES WON.

He is just not supportive or respectful of working press. He has gotten used to the Azelrod treatment by people who work audio and video machines on his dime and so he and Michelle just get too high-handed with legitimate questions.
He was miffed by the 'rude' question about whether he would quite when he loses Indiana--but it was NOT the same as the previous question--which he dismissed like he's been appointed to a lecture position at a law school.
It's the arrogance.
It's the corruption.
It's the hypocrisy.
It's the attacking of the only viable Democratic party candidate left.
If Howard Dean doesn't send the Obamas packing back to Rezko/Daleyville and soon---the Democratic party will be unable to do anything for the next 20 years.

Why doesn't the media pound Obama on his involvement with the corrupt politicians of Chicago, Rezko, Levine, and bought board members that he has so long supported and that support him with their money and power. We all worry about our government being bought by Halliburton now, just wait until the hardened criminals have it sewwn up with Obama. He'll take his corrupt "public policies for the low income and poor" national and eventually global.

Why doesn't the media pound Obama on his involvement with the corrupt politicians of Chicago, Rezko, Levine, and bought board members that he has so long supported and that support him with their money and power. We all worry about our government being bought by Halliburton now, just wait until the hardened criminals have it sewwn up with Obama. He'll take his corrupt "public policies for the low income and poor" national and eventually global. Read this article http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0804/S00064.htm and thttp://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0804/S00295.htmhe follow up article FOLLOWING IS AN EXCERPT:
And let there be no doubt, Obama is a member of this corrupt gang. On January 22, 2007 ABC News in Chicago announced that Senator Obama “is supporting Mayor Daley's re-election bid despite a series of City Hall corruption scandals.”

Mayor Daley endorsed Obama for president a few weeks ago and the mayor's brother Bill is now an Obama advisor, the report noted.

“So in the spirit of political payback, Obama is endorsing Daley for re-election over two African American challengers despite a series of City Hall corruption scandals that Obama called deeply troubling as recently as a few months ago.”

ABC reported that Obama said, “Daley's overall record, his style of inclusion and his love of Chicago make him a better choice than challengers.”

Obama also endorsed Daley's running mates for City Clerk, Miguel Del Valle, and Stepanie Neeley, for Treasurer, ABC News added. It should be noted, that the last City Clerk just got out of prison after being convicted in the Hired Truck scandal, and has written a book about the corruption in the Daley administration.

Five months after Obama publicly endorsed Daley, a report by David Jackson and John McCormick in the June 12, 2007 Tribune noted that:


“Obama endorsed former Ald. Dorothy Tillman (3rd), calling her "a very early supporter of my campaign." Tillman was then under fire for her stewardship of the scandal-plagued Harold Washington Cultural Center, where contracts benefited members of her family.
“Obama supported the re-election of Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose administration is embroiled in corruption probes.”

And during the race for Cook County Board president, Obama predictably endorsed Todd Stroger over a Republican and was criticized for calling Stroger "a good progressive" despite allegations of job-rigging to favor members of Stroger's 8th Ward organization,” according to the report.

On September 5, 2007, the New York Post reported that: “A man who has long been dogged by charges that the bank his family owns helped finance a Chicago crime figure will host a Windy City fund-raiser tonight for Senator Barack Obama.”

Alex Giannoulias became Illinois state treasurer last year after Obama vouched for him, has pledged to raise $100,000 for the senator's Oval Office bid, the Post noted.

When Giannoulias was questioned by the Tribune in March 2006 about loans made between 1994 and 2002, to companies controlled by convicted bookmaker and prostitution ring promoter, Michael Giorango, he said the bank's decisions were made while he was still in law school, when he wasn't a full-time bank employee.

But the Tribune later found records that showed Broadway Bank made nearly $12 million in additional mortgage loans to Giorango in 2005, when Giannoulias was overseeing the bank's loans.

Obama knew the September 2007 fundraising affair would draw attention in Chicago so he tried to make sure it remained unknown. On September 5, 2007, Lynn Sweet, wrote in the Sun-Times:


“Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) omits from his Wednesday public schedule a fund-raiser hosted by Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias at a restaurant in Chicago's Greektown community. The event is closed to the press and a campaign spokesman, Ben LaBolt, said in response to my e-mail query this morning that a pool reporter will not be allowed in the reception.”
On April 22, 2007, the Tribune noted that City Hall records show Michelle Obama began work as a $60,000-a-year mayoral assistant to Richard Daley in September of 1991.

At City Hall, Michelle formed close friendships with Valerie Jarrett, and many other top Daley aides, including former Corporation Counsel Susan Sher and David Mosena, who was the mayor's chief of staff when Michelle first joined his administration.

“All have long since left the city payroll,” the Tribune wrote, “but are loyal to the mayor and now the Obamas.”

On June 13, 2006, Michelle’s employer, the University of Chicago announced that, "Valerie Jarrett has been appointed as the new Chair of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board and also Chair of a newly created Executive Committee of that board. She has also been named Vice-Chair of the University's Board of Trustees."

According to the announcement, Jarrett "served for eight years in City of Chicago government posts, first as Deputy Corporation Counsel for Finance and Development, then as Deputy Chief of Staff for Mayor Richard Daley in 1991," and, "as Commissioner of the Department of Planning and Development from 1992 through 1995."

Jarrett served on Obama’s US Senate campaign finance committee and serves on Obama’s presidential campaign finance committee along with Alex Giannoulias and Mayor Daley’s brother Bill.

The political mafia of Illinois now plans to move the Chicago brand of corruption to Washington in a U-Haul hooked up to their second choice candidate. Americans will never allow it to happen. They will either vote for McCain or not at all.

If Obama becomes the nominee, the Republicans will unleash a non-stop expose of Obama in the mainstream media that will make the swift boat attacks against John Kerry seem trivial. Only this time, they won't have to make lies because the truth will be on their side.

The tracking of the subplots that developed as a result of the Board Games investigation, has revealed a spider-web of corruption that spread from the Chicago Loop to O'Hare Airport to the Illinois Tollway, all the way to bid-rigging in Iraq, with Iraqi-born billionaire, Nadhmi Auchi, owner of General Mediterranean Holdings, a Luxemburg-based conglomerate with investments all over the world in everything from defense contractors to pharmaceuticals, at the center of many schemes.

Part II of “Subplots of Operation Board Games” will cover those subplots.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on May 2, 2008 7:29 PM.

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