April 14th, 2008
12:15 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain calls Obama's comments 'elitist'

(CNN) – John McCain on Monday called Barack Obama's recent remarks about small-town Pennsylvanians “elitist” - but he stopped short of describing Obama himself that way.

In his remarks to the Associated Press Managing Editors conference in Washington - his first public appearance since the firestorm over Obama's reference to some Americans as "bitter" began - the presumptive Republican nominee took the long view.

He praised those who suffered through the Great Depression for their contributions to the nation telling the crowd that “it had not shaken their faith in and fidelity to America and its founding political ideals.”

“Their faith had given generations of their families purpose and meaning,” he continued, “and their appreciation of traditions like hunting was based in nothing other than their contribution to the enjoyment of life.”

When asked after his speech if he considered Obama an elitist, he responded, “I don't know, I think those comments are elitist.” He described them as “disparaging” to people “that have fundamental cultural, spiritual and other values that in my view have very little to do with their economic condition.”

When pressed, McCain said he didn’t know Obama well enough to describe him as an elitist, saying only that his comments “are certainly not the vision that I have of America and its strength and its greatness and what its fundamental values and beliefs are.”

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (142 Responses)
  1. anthony

    lets be honest mccain has no chance to win after 8 years of bush.......even if he is diff. then bush. noone can tell.

    April 14, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. Stacy Clarks, TX

    Yet he has no problem sending young men and women to die in a war that was not meant to be fought in the first place

    and support the funding of a war of a country that has A SURPLUS!!!

    OBAMA 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 14, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  3. Angus McDugan

    I am supprised that Obama's comments have not yet been used as a forum to revisit the Rev. Wright discussion.

    Angus in 08!

    April 14, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |

    Obama has Already stated that he chose his words badly and he has apologized for that.

    But when you really search yourselves you know the meaning of what he was saying is true.

    If you are not angry and bitter about jobs being sent overseas then you are not in touch with what's going on.

    April 14, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  5. Tampa

    Hmmn...Changing the tone of your economy solutions to match the dems after 3 trys? Elitist? Besides, old guys running for president are so 4 years ago...

    April 14, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |

    Curious how many people come on this thread and call McCain an elitest... and dog him for calling Obama one (which he didn't do)...

    I think he was smart to keep a little clear of this... he doesn't have to say much cause the dems are killing themselves...

    November will be interesting for sure...

    April 14, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  7. Darth Vadik, CA

    Talk about the pot caling the kettle black.

    I don't get this at all, why are we so affraid of the truth, why do we feel like some things should be swept under the carpet hoping that the problems would go away. How about we discuss and deal with them....

    ah heck, thats too hard, I'll just go watch American Idol.

    April 14, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. PA

    We have suffered for eight years due to Bush. NO WAY are we putting up with four more of the same!


    April 14, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  9. NELSON Colorado Springs, Co

    will please let know what is a "Elities

    April 14, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  10. Scott

    Blah Blah Blah.. This isn't even news.

    April 14, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  11. Uncle Sam

    Well said John. A man is known by the company he keeps and the words he utters. Supporters of Sen. Obama are doing him a disservice by shielding him from continued missteps that will inevitably doom his presidential bid. Although gifted, Mr. Obama is immature, personally and politically, and his intellectual arrogance prevents him from acknowledging his weaknesses and thus learning from them.

    Americans for McCain '08

    April 14, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  12. Alex H

    Angus McDugan – Conservative radio uses EVERYTHING as a forum to revisit the Rev. Wright discussion. This is the news, it has decency for factual statements.

    April 14, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  13. Gorbashov, Long Beach, Ca.

    Only in the corporate media can Washington Elitists, like Clinton and McSame, take words out of context and twist them to accuse someone else, who still lives in the REAL world, of elitism.

    Typical Washingion Doublespeak! This is what this great nation is tired of!

    McSame/Clinton in 2008.........................................for more of the same!

    April 14, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  14. Oregon IS Obama

    McCain is old so i understand his misguided statement , Clinton is just living in another planet.

    April 14, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  15. Lee WV

    What is McCain thinking?He uses this stratagy now to try to get Obama voted out ,then what will he use against Clinton in Nov?There is only 1 Elitist in this race but I won't mention her name.

    April 14, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  16. Alex H

    YOU NEED TO KNOW – Or you're a conservative/republican lol

    April 14, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  17. Darth Vadik, CA

    McCain is a moron, Hillary already tried this tactic and got jeered, no wonder this idiot doesn't get that if something doesn't work and backfires on you, maybe its not a good idea do try it again.

    But then again, with McCain there is Iraq...

    April 14, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  18. Obama Two Thousand Never

    Obama is a cheap talker. I will see all these Obama supporters in 4 years, lining up to vote for someone else. Most probably a republican candidate. People like Obama inspire in public, conspire in private closed chambers and the younger stupid people do not see the difference.

    April 14, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  19. Darth Vadik, CA

    Uncle Sam,

    stop trying to sound smart, it just doesn't suit you

    April 14, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  20. Sue

    Obama can justify what he does? Hillary can't? Double standard here. What he said is not true!! A way of life has nothing to do with being bitter over a job loss. Obama's true colors come out!! Between Wright, this statement and the Bill Ayers issues we are slowly learning about the true Obama.

    April 14, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  21. Think About It

    Look, Hillary has out republican'ed McCain!

    April 14, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  22. sal

    shut up john mccain. you don't even have an economic plan and you wanna criticize others.

    April 14, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  23. caroline berney

    His background could have created elitism, growing up in a upper scale neighbourhood, going to a private high school being sent to Harvard. I find him condensending which is the worse of two evils and can barely stand listening to him.

    April 14, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  24. hello

    The way Obama is going he will beat clinton to become elitist with in may be one year.
    Don't blame clinton he did not rob any body to became rich he earned it by giving speech.

    April 14, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  25. NW Independent

    Obama is finished in the general. The Reps will make HRC's attacks look like childs play. She has had to play with kids gloves for fear of alienating the base. The Reps. have no such problem. They know thaey can't win over the left side of the Dem. party anyway so they'll shoot for the moderates, white blue collar dems. and independents and these attacks will resonate.

    April 14, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
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