July 30th, 2008
04:12 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama ready to duel McCain

CNN

Obama: 'I'm ready to duel' McCain over taxes.

SPRINGFIELD, Missouri (CNN) – In his first interaction with voters since returning from his overseas trip, Barack Obama is focusing on the economy on a bus tour in southwest Missouri Wednesday where the Illinois senator took his regular challenge to debate John McCain on taxes to a new level, invoking alleged local heritage.

WATCH Obama: 'I'm ready to duel'

“I was just reading that Wild Bill Hickock, he had the first duel in the town square here in Springfield,” said Obama. “The family legend is that Wild Bill Hickock, he's a distant cousin of mine. I'm serious. This is part of the family legend.”

“So we're going to research that ‘cause I'm ready to duel John McCain on taxes,” Obama added to laughter from supporters, “Right now, right here. I'm a quick draw.”

WATCH McCain: 'I will not raise your taxes'

A McCain spokesman shot back quickly with an e-mail to reporters asking, “If Barack Obama wants this so-called ‘duel’ than why did he and his entourage run for the hills when John McCain challenged him to ten town halls?”

The McCain camp has consistently argued that Obama will raise taxes, an accusation Obama tried to lay to rest Wednesday.

“You're going to start seeing ads. This is what happens every election season. They're going to say, ‘Aw, he's a tax and spend liberal Democrat. He wants to get into your pocket. He's going to spend it on all kinds of crazy pork barrel projects,’” mocked Obama. “They just replace the name each election cycle, but it's the same ad over and over again.”

“Let me be absolutely clear,” said Obama, “if you are a family making less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes go up. Not your capital gains tax, not your payroll tax, not your income tax. No taxes. Your taxes will not go up.”

With a new McCain ad out Wednesday calling Obama a celebrity and asking if he’s ready to lead, Obama shot back at the notion that he’s the risky candidate.

“Nobody thinks that Bush or McCain have a real answer for the challenges we face. So what they are going to try to do is make you scared of me,” he said, “[they’ll say] ‘he's not patriotic enough. He's got a funny name. You know, he doesn't look like all of those other presidents on the dollar bills.’”

“Seriously, that's basically the argument, Obama added. “It's like, ‘well we don't have very much to offer but he's risky.’”


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Economy • John McCain
soundoff (220 Responses)
  1. FactCheck

    Oh you mean those "town hall meetings" that McCain has been having where the audience is packed with his staffers?

    July 30, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  2. Nova from NV

    Obama is just going to falter under pressure of a debate (Remember last time he had to face Hillary?) I wonder which of the 300+ advisers he will take with him to the debate. Does America really thinks he can be a leader? He ducked a challenge from McCain long time ago and people should remember that.

    July 30, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  3. Texas Voter

    If Obama is ready to debate, then why does he refuse to debate McCain? McCain has asked Obama to debate and have an open town hall meeting numerous times. Obama time and time againsrefuses to debate in an open forum. That's because Obama does very poorly without a prewritten speech.

    July 30, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  4. ReaganDem84

    Based on CNN's above report of BO's words, is Dr. No (like Bush 41) PLEDGING NO NEW TAXES?!!!

    “Let me be absolutely clear,” said Obama, “if you are a family making less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes go up. Not your capital gains tax, not your payroll tax, not your income tax. No taxes. Your taxes will not go up.”

    Please CNN reporters, please please push away the kool-aid and ask him:
    "Are you pledging not to raise taxes on anyone making less that $250K?"

    Thanks in advance CNN for your journalistic integrity. Your journalism professor will be proud.

    July 30, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  5. Chris

    you know the crazy thing... he's absolutely right...

    July 30, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  6. Tom

    Finally after he had to answer hard questions on the ABC Debate, he would not debate Hillary anymore. Now he is ready to debate the old man McCain. Didn't he call Hillary – Annie Oakley. He is an arrogant i can't say the rest. He's digging himself deeper in a hole with smart thinking Americans.

    July 30, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  7. Jason

    Well said, Barack, well said.

    Hopefully you do confront McCain, before the debates. It can't be hard to clearly prove how inconsistent and irrelevant the McCain's campaigns' arguments are, so that even the American that skims the front page for their education can understand what's going on.

    July 30, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  8. Voter

    Obama is an ego maniac.

    Four years of his crap is just one good reason to vote NO to Obama.

    July 30, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  9. Texun

    McCain's "town halls" are not debates, that's why he prefers them. In a verbal shoot-out with Obama, the elderly senator would be loaded with blanks. Let's see if he ducks Obama's offer for serious debates!

    July 30, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  10. Biffington, Biff

    if they are going to duel via their wits...

    it won't be fair

    Obama can't duel with an unarmed man.

    July 30, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  11. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    What ? a girlie man wants to challenge an authentic American Hero who will protect your values? no McCain is the one to protect America and our values.

    Obama is risky and maybe to foreign for my tastes. Didn't Obama live in Indonesia for his formative years. Wasn't his dad a Muslim from Kenya?
    I am afraid of this candidate as well as my neighbors.

    July 30, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  12. Jim

    I love how Obama gets to the point so quickly and with with a sense of humor too!

    He is absolutaly right when he says: “Nobody thinks that Bush or McCain have a real answer for the challenges we face. So what they are going to try to do is make you scared of me,” he said, “[they’ll say] ‘he's not patriotic enough. He's got a funny name. You know, he doesn't look like all of those other presidents on the dollar bills.’” That summarizes precisely McCain's negative strategy!

    July 30, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  13. Down with Obama

    I think it is going to be more like:

    McCain ready to duel Obama.

    McCain hasn't even started yet. Wait until after the conventions.....that is when the fun starts and Obama will go down. Obama is nothing but an empty suit and it is showing!!!!

    July 30, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  14. It Be Me

    so McCain....step up.....you wanted Obama to go to Iraq....he did...
    you wanted a debat....here you go.....

    Put up or shut up...

    July 30, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  15. mwm

    i think mccain wants to be obama,now.

    July 30, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  16. John G

    Did his cousin help liberate Auschwitz?

    Seriously if he were ready to duel the challenge has been on the table since the DNC handed him the nomination 2 months ago. McCain has been "ready to duel" for months.

    Lets see here.

    McCain says Obama lacks foreign policy experience- a few months later Obama takes a campaign trip overseas.

    McCain challenges Obama to a series of town hall meetings. 2 months later Obama claims he is "ready to duel"

    Maybe next Obama will support offshore drilling...

    July 30, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  17. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Obama has an interesting blood line. Remember, in addition to Wild Bill, he is also related to Dick "I'll shoot your face off" Cheney, aka "Dead Eye Dick".

    July 30, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  18. Texas trail puppy!

    There is a new SHERIFF in town and his name is BARACK OBAMA, Johnnie Boy better take cover for things are about to get UGLY.
    Let the Debates begin!!!!

    July 30, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  19. Shane

    That is funny "running for the hills".

    July 30, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  20. tina

    I can't wait to see these two square off. Its going to be a riot! I can see McCain showing his true colors, without all this nonsense of why Barack won't meet with him at a town hall meeting.

    Barack 08
    Anyone other than 4 more years of Bush politics!

    July 30, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  21. Jenna

    I dont understand why Obama keeps dodging Town Hall debates with McCain, what's wrong with him?

    July 30, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  22. Shawn -GA

    Then debate the man already... you have been ducking away from being a man and standing toe to toe with Mcain... WEAK

    What is the matter afraid you are not so good without your writing staff?? LOL

    July 30, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  23. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    What is Obama saying? Is he saying he is related now to Wild Bill? I thought Wild Bill was a white man. Isn't it a shame that obama thinks he is related to everyone.

    I imagine his second cousin is Ossama. And maybe obama is now related to Barney Frank. maybe while obama is researching his family, one may find he is related to Adolph.

    WOW. No wonder obama thinks he is the new messiah? WOW what an ego he must have.

    July 30, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  24. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Sorry, but the possibility of a totally unqualified Obama becoming President IS scary. I don't need Mccain to tell me that. With the current deficit and all Obama's new promised spending, his promise not to raise taxes is a nonstarter too.

    July 30, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  25. John G

    "He's got a funny name. You know, he doesn't look like all of those other presidents on the dollar bills.’”

    Frankly I'm starting to get a little offended by the implication that anyone who doesn't vote for Obama is racist.

    July 30, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9