WASHINGTON--The Republican National Committee is reviving Tuesday clips from President Barack Obama's 2000 Democratic House primary contest--his main rival was Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.)--who beat him--in advance of the first presidential debate Wednesday in Denver. The session was on WTTW-channel 11.
Transcript from the RNC: Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL): Obama "Knocked His Predecessor ... Off The Ballot" When He Ran For The State Senate.
OBAMA: "Let me respond to your initial question, the issue of Congressman's Rush perceived weakness, which I saw on the tape as well. I actually thought Congressman Rush did a good thing running against the Mayor, because I don't think anybody should have a pass. I don't think Congressman Rush in this instance should have a pass. I don't think the Mayor should have a pass. I don't get a pass for my State Senate seat. What I was concerned about in the race was the inability, I think, to focus attention on the issues that really matter in this city. And part of what's important about this historic district - " Q: "You mean candidate Rush did not focus on it?" OBAMA: "Candidate Rush. And so, but the reason I say that is to give credit where credit is due. I think that Congressman Rush did a brave thing running and I don't want it perceived that somehow he's being punished for that race. I think what's important is that we have a chance now to raise expectations of voters in terms of what the Congressman can accomplish in this district." RUSH: "I certainly disagree with the Senator, Senator Obama. He did get a pass in his first effort out, in terms of running for the Senate. He and others knocked his predecessor Senator Alice Palmer off the ballot. So, he got a free pass on his first time around." ( 2000 Congressional Debate, Chicago, IL, 3/13/00)