Obama really doesn’t like a debate

posted at 10:35 am on August 6, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama got stung by a challenge from a Las Vegas reporter on his energy policy, and specifically on his efforts to paint John McCain as a lackey of Dick Cheney.  Jon Ralston asked Obama about the contradiction inherent in this strategy — the fact that Obama voted for Cheney’s energy bill in 2005 while McCain voted against it.  Obama stammered out an accusation that Ralston was a proxy for McCain:

RALSTON: I guess what the American people want to know though Senator, is what is the real difference between you and John McCain. You are running this ad tying him to the industry saying that he has taken all of these contributions, but as you well know there is a story out today about how you supported the Dick Cheney bill and he opposed it. That bill gave subsidies to the oil and gas companies, John McCain opposed the bill saying those are tax breaks for those companies, Barack Obama favored it.

SEN. OBAMA: Hold on a second Jon, I thought I was talking to you instead of debating John McCain, but I am happy to let you serve as his proxy. The fact of the matter is that I supported that energy bill saying at the time that those tax breaks were wrong but also recognizing that this was the largest investment in alternative energy in history. And that it was important for us, for the solar industry to get off the ground in places like Nevada, for to get wind kicked off the ground, that that was something that we had to do and I immediately said during that time and subsequently that we should strip out those tax breaks for oil companies. I would point out that in December of last year, we had a vote to strip out those tax breaks for oil companies, there was one Senator that did not vote on that measure, and that was John McCain.

“Serve as his proxy”? Time was, reporters were paid to ask candidates tough questions.  Ralston’s question is entirely legitimate, especially since Obama and the Democrats made Cheney’s energy policy a campaign issue in the first place.  If Obama dislikes it so much, why did he vote for it — and why blame it on the one candidate in the race that actually voted against it?

In the rest of the interview, Ralston presses Obama on his policy reversals and asks him how voters can trust him not to shift again for political reasons.  In Nevada, the proposed nuclear waste storage facility at Yucca Mountain remains a highly controversial topic, and Ralston wonders aloud when Obama will change his mind and support it — a killer for him in Nevada.  Obama gets offended at the suggestion:

SEN. OBAMA: John, don’t put words in my mouth or anticipate what I am going to do. I’ve been opposed to Yucca Mountain from the start so if the suggestion is that John McCain who is in favor of Yucca right now should get a pass on that.

He was opposed to telecom immunity at the start, supported public financing at the start, thought the surge would create more violence at the start, and so on, and so on.  “Don’t anticipate what I am going to do?”  No one can anticipate what he will do — that’s the problem.

Jen Rubin says that the Obamessiah has apparently added another commandment: Thou Shalt Ask No Tough Questions of The One.  I’d add, Thou Shalt Not Anticipate My Actions Based On My Statements.

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I think Obama is getting a taste of what is to come.

I think it is great! This shows how much of an idiot he really is.

upinak on August 6, 2008 at 4:03 PM

Huhhuhhuh…see ya man!
Barry sounds SO Presidential…NOT.

Christine on August 6, 2008 at 4:06 PM

About the nuclear waste. I don’t want to “expand” it, I want to re-use or make it harmless. (Yucca Mountain never appealed to me even though i don’t live there.) I’ve heard rumors (?) about how spent uranium can be recycled and before that I heard that there are microbes that can actually break down the waste product of the nuclear process. Was I dreaming while I was watching FNC, the sci-fi channel, or what?

Christine on August 6, 2008 at 4:12 PM

Herein lies the worldview of the Obamanation: That the press isn’t there to ask tough questions; rather, it’s there in order to serve as a proxy. As long as it’s his proxy, that is…

That’s it exactly.

Athena on August 6, 2008 at 4:19 PM

I can’t wait for the debates. All three of them.

Seixon on August 6, 2008 at 4:34 PM

The left keeps harping on land oil companies have leased land … there is no incentive to explore and produce oil if there are no refineries to refine it.

Typical distortions from the dems.

darwin on August 6, 2008 at 4:38 PM

Obama is a P.O.S.

He’s not qualified to be a dogcatcher let alone leader of the free world. One thing we can all anticipate for sure… If the fool gets elected the media will have turned on him by the second year. Lot of good that’ll do us, right?

Griz on August 6, 2008 at 4:40 PM


Yucca Mountain is necessary, if simply to ensure that all nuclear waste is centrally located to simplify controlling and guarding it (the more spread out it is, the easier it is for some to “disappear”). But there will always be some waste from nuclear power.

The real issue is reprocessing. Gerald Ford issued an executive order to ban commercial reprocessing to alleviate fears of proliferation, and Jimmy the Peanut Farmer in his infinite wisdom issued an executive order strengthening Ford’s provisions. Reagan lifted the ban in 1981, but all reprocessing facilities had been since shut down, and it would require major investment (federal level) to restart it. But yes, with reprocessing you can massively extend the lifespan and energy yield of nuclear fuel, resulting in less fuel used, and significantly less waste. It’s expensive, but when we’re talking about nuclear fuel and waste, it seems like a worthwhile expenditure.

E1701 on August 6, 2008 at 4:42 PM

Well, if not Yucca then where? Maybe we could auction nuclear waste on the open market (eBay?). I am sure there are some countries in the Middle East that would pay good oil money to dispose of it as they see fit. At least Obama would get the Nevada vote.

jerseyman on August 6, 2008 at 4:54 PM

The first commandment of Obama is “you shall not question the Obama“.

LarryD on August 6, 2008 at 4:54 PM

O so now he is a nuclear scientist???? He sounds more like Gore every time he speaks.

Gore, on global warming: “essentially all scientists agree”

Obama, on tire inflation: “all the experts agree”

allrsn on August 6, 2008 at 4:55 PM

If Obama continues his plunge in the polls, he’ll be pleading for a debate.

At which we will completely flounder.

What a pleasure it is to see this buffoon’s campaign implode.

NoDonkey on August 6, 2008 at 4:59 PM

Here is the Democrat strategy this year: accuse the Republicans (McCain) of something they haven’t done — yet. Or even better, attack them for doing what I (Obama) have done already. McCain is going to make racist attacks. McCain is going to support Cheney and Big Oil (actually he didn’t but I did). McCain is going to be like Bush. McCain is going to make you afraid of me. The only one who is bringing up racism and fear is Obama when he predicts that McCain will do this in the future.

jerseyman on August 6, 2008 at 5:08 PM

Well, if not Yucca then where?

That’s exactly the point. They don’t want it anywhere – they don’t want the energy! They don’t want nuclear energy, period!

This shows fundamental idiocy of Obama on energy:

We’ll get 1 million “plug-in” hybrids; then we’ll decrease our energy needs 15% in a decade – then where does the electricity come from to plug the cars into in the first place?

His fuel theory pre-supposes all the tires on all the vehicles in all the United States are perpetually flat, er, underinflated;

all our vehicles are operating on 30-40 year old technology which requires tune-ups every few 10K miles – instead of once ever 100K miles (or more) which has been pretty standard on vehicles for about a decade.

That “alternative energy” (read wind/solar) will enable us to completely take ourselves off petroleum in the next ten years; even though alternatives NOW only supply about 2-3% of current energy production – and it has taken over thirty years to reach that 2-3% – but in the next ten years it will account for the other 97-98% – with just a little more “investment”.

Obama doesn’t frighten me as much as the retards who support this moron…

catmman on August 6, 2008 at 5:29 PM

I love how they repositioned this story/pic with Obama and the phallic symbol – right next to the white woman. HA!

marklmail on August 6, 2008 at 5:42 PM

Obama = a rubber stamp for Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid

Chakra Hammer on August 6, 2008 at 5:42 PM

I’m confident that the presidential debates will be crucial this year. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama skips one.

AbaddonsReign on August 6, 2008 at 5:45 PM

Obama voted for tax breaks for BIG oil companies. LMAO.

Chakra Hammer on August 6, 2008 at 5:50 PM

Obama’s use of the word “ignorant” is a prime example of just how “out of he league” this man is. He calls us ignorant because we doubt his solution for our energy problems; we doubt that inflating our tires and getting our cars tuned up is the answer for our lack of oil.

Ummm; my tires are inflated and have always been inflated. My car is tuned up and receives regular tune-ups. I simply don’t see cars driving by me with flat tires. You would think this idiot would come up with something more substantial than this idiocy. My problem is that I’m paying 4 dollars a gallon for gas, and I’m paying inflated prices for my food, electrical, propane, et al…

We don’t need to drill for more oil, just inflate your tires and tune-up your car and we can save millions of gallons of oil per day. Can you believe this folks? This is all this guy has to offer us! What a dull tool. This guy is just plain stupid. The media is backing this “inflate your tire” theory 100% (circling the wagons).

Do any of you people see cars driving around with flat tires?

Keemo on August 6, 2008 at 6:02 PM

I see a typical politician…and a big whiner! Grow a pair!

SouthernGent on August 6, 2008 at 6:13 PM

BTW: Obama could have just created a national health risk with this “inflate your tires” campaign. I can see it now; Americans will now go out and put air in their tires whether they need air or not in an effort to get better gas mileage. Over inflation of your tires can lead to many really bad side effects, including death.

Absolute BOZO…

Keemo on August 6, 2008 at 6:14 PM

SEN. OBAMA: John, don’t put words in my mouth or anticipate what I am going to do.

Isn’t this precisely what Obama did to McCain? (They will try to tell you I’m different…)

Connie on August 6, 2008 at 6:26 PM

The same bullsh*t MO.

I voted for this but I wanted to strip out tax breaks for oil- just like with the FISA bill. He voted for it and then wanted to strip out immunity, another effort he knew damn would fail.

He knows that Yucca is a bad policy but does not have an alternative.


drjohn on August 6, 2008 at 6:46 PM

Can someone please call the GOP and have them focus on this crap?

I am sick of this idiot getting away with this and no one else seems to be getting it!

drjohn on August 6, 2008 at 6:51 PM

I fell asleep halfway through Obama’s explanation. Reading the transcript, I was like, “Oh, so he claims he supported the bill because it had a provision for green energy.” Uh, well, that’s great. But he still supported a bill which granted tax breaks to oil companies. I frankly don’t care if there was also a provision to save kittens in there. It doesn’t change what he did.

Nice to see he’s getting so defensive, though. “You asked a tough question! THIS IS A CONSPIRACY!”

R. Waher on August 6, 2008 at 7:02 PM

Of course OBLAHBLAH doesn’t want to debate. Because without a script to read, and a teleprompter, he’s just another sardine out of water.

byteshredder on August 6, 2008 at 7:44 PM

Wow. What a defensive, clueless, stammering twit. High school debaters have it more together than this joker.

Insomniac on August 6, 2008 at 8:02 PM

jerseyman on August 6, 2008 at 5:08 PM

Yes, this has been their stratagy for many years.

Remember Kerrys attack on bush opened military records, kerry refused to open his, Remember bushes s e c e r e t draft plan, the dems introduced 2 draft bills to congress.

I am not certain where the dems started with this, smoke screen, point a fingure at somone else every time the dems: have done it, are doing it, or intend to do it soon. I think it started with clinton.

allrsn on August 6, 2008 at 8:27 PM

How much longer do you think the elitist MSM will put up with the elitist empty suit candidate? Do they love him enough to let him step on their noses from now until election day?

I’d like to think the MSM would draw the line somewhere, but then again, they are little stinking cowards.

fogw on August 6, 2008 at 8:39 PM

Saul Alinsky student of the socialist movement.

Always try to shape the debate by laying the ground rules for the debator/questioner. Intimidate the questioner to get more favorable, less confrontational questions now and in the future.
Tell them what they want to hear not what you intend to do.
The ends justify the means!

This guy is scary he won’t say what he really wants as most Dems nowadays as they know the people will reject them. They say what the people want to hear but govern to the far left. Just witness the current congress and lockstep Dems behind Pelosi.

dhunter on August 6, 2008 at 8:48 PM

Has anyone notice that Obama no longer walks? He struts. His arrogance is getting out of control.

And by the way, the fat lady will only be singing in November. Mrs. Obama is already talking about the “transition” for her family (anticipating the move into the White House).

And what a unifer Obama is not. He’s not just responding to Republican elected officials each time he insults Republicans, but to half the country. According to O, we are proud of being ignorant. I must be incredibly stupid, because I didn’t take his advice and rush out to have my tires inflated.

waterfall on August 6, 2008 at 9:26 PM



The practice of answering any hard hitting political question, with a smear upon the person who posed said question.

Obamatics, Explaining Barack Obama’s Politics

Chakra Hammer on August 6, 2008 at 11:22 PM

SEN. OBAMA: Hold on a second Jon, I thought I was talking to you instead of debating John McCain, but I am happy to let you serve as his proxy.

Chakra Hammer on August 6, 2008 at 11:23 PM

Just witness the current congress and lockstep Dems behind Pelosi.

dhunter on August 6, 2008 at 8:48 PM


RushBaby on August 7, 2008 at 12:11 AM

Right out of the Clinton playbook: turn every tough question into a personal attack on you. Possibly to be followed up by whining about how no candidate has ever faced such a hostile press before.

It might work, too.

theregoestheneighborhood on August 7, 2008 at 12:36 AM

A Presidential candidate that says “Thanks, man.”

Didn’t Bush go up to the pope after his speech and say “That was awesome your Holiness”?

ninjapirate on August 6, 2008 at 10:50 AM

Really? Did you think that the word awesome and it’s usage was initiated by some valley girl from Cali?

Colmes, is that you?

geckomon on August 7, 2008 at 12:39 AM

Clearly the reporter is a racist. The symbolism of the contrast between ‘oil’, which is black, and McCain, who is a “white-devil” is designed to accentuate the fact that Barack Hussein Obama is Hawaiian.


DANEgerus on August 7, 2008 at 2:00 AM

Thin-skinned, thy name is Obambi.

Blue-eyed Infidel on August 7, 2008 at 9:11 AM

I dont think Obama has a clue what his positions are about anything. I cannot wait for the debates!!

becki51758 on August 7, 2008 at 10:10 AM

When the cat’s got your tongue, it’s always funny.

But you’ve got to hand it to Obama;
no one stutters better than he with such finesse! Even his “merci beaucoup” is preceded by his infamous STUTTER.

Bwahahahahahaha, HA!

maverick muse on August 7, 2008 at 11:19 AM

I wonder if Barack sleeps with a teleprompter under his pillow at night. He is completely useless without one.

cannonball on August 8, 2008 at 7:52 AM