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. CBH

    Texas Voter, you are a idiot. You really do believe that Senior McCain can match up with Sen Obama in a debate. The upcoming debates are where Obama will separate himself from McCain. Spider: No town hall debates, that is the only way McCain get stay with Obama. Have you seen McCain in front of a mike?, it is a sight to see. If Obama has so many problems with a prepared speech then McCain should have little trouble out debating a junior Senator with 4 years or so in the Senate. We all know that McCain based on his so called experience should have bested a rookie Senator by now. Explain that Spider and Texas voter.

    July 30, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  2. john cu

    people people people of USA meet your next president one and only MR Barack Obama...and you will love it...Even if you are a product of rcaist household..believe it. all you Obama haters will love it too:)

    July 30, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  3. Straight Stalk Distress

    Yeah,...
    Mc Pain has been stalking Obama for weeks..

    I love how Obama just ignores him..
    Its making him really Mc Cranky..:)
    He's been Shadow Boxing Obama... & He debates Obama almost daily in front of record low size crowds.. when Obama isn't even there.

    When they finally get in the ring, I suspect Mc Crab will Lull him to sleep.. :|

    Thats why I hope Obama just keeps ignoring him and showing the utmost disrespect . It is self-evident who is the better speaker..
    It is also self-evident that all presidential candiates are not created equal. Mc Crabb is seriously disabled..

    After 25 years in Congress..Mc Same has finally found the answer to our energy problems... yeah... more of the same ..Drill now ... where ever possible...

    A Senile plan..

    July 30, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  4. Debby, NJ

    Let the games begin !
    BARACK THE VOTE !!!

    July 30, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  5. Ilona Hussein Proud Canadian

    Nova FROM NV
    ============

    That was a FIXED DEBATE! fixed by HILLARY'S HENCHMAN. HER OWN SUPPORTER WAS ASKING MOST OF THE QUESTIONS, and I will bet you anything that she was made aware of the Questions that would be asked going in to the Debate! So please don't try to compare this so-called debate, to any debate which BARACK will be having with McCain!

    How many times has John McCain fixed and filled his TOWN HALL TALKS with his SUPPORTERS AND STAFFERS, EVEN THE MEDIA REPORTED ON McCAIN'S TRICKS! When Barack is ready to DEBATE McCAIN, it will be in Barack's style and in Barack's time. BARACK WILL MAKE MINCE MEAT OUT OF McCAIN IN ANY HONEST DEBATE!

    BARACK WILL NOT AGREE TO McCAIN'S FIXED/STACKED TOWN
    HALL DEBATES. By the way if I am not mistaken there is a DEBATE SCHEDULED FOR SOMETIME IN AUGUST, so please pay CLOSE ATTERTION TO THAT ONE!

    July 30, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  6. sue calgary

    Is it my imagination or is McCain afraid of debating Obama! Town hall meetings are all well and good, but how about some REAL debates like those between Hillary and Obama during the primaries? McCain is going to look and sound pretty lame standing side by side with Obama durindg a Presidential debate. BRING IT ON...

    July 30, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  7. Priscilla for Obama

    McSame doesn't have a clue about our economy. He is not an intelligent person. He really doesn't have a clue about anyone of it. The only thing he has going for him is that he was a prisoner of war. He is inexperienced and too old!

    July 30, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  8. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    Nightingale–
    In case you are not hip to this concept, we all have a bit of everyone else in our racial heritage. People of all colors and kinds have been mixing it up since the beginning of time....So it is quite possible that Obama is related to Wild Bill...even if he isn't and said that in jest, it is sad you felt you had to comment on that comment, just a small point in a much bigger speech that Future POTUS Obama gave today. How do you get a song out with that bitter racism in your beak, nightingale?

    July 30, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  9. Jenna

    testing, testing 123

    July 30, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  10. Jenna

    Obama runs from any open forum's where there are open forums and no teleprompters. Not to be mean, but he does seem to have a speech impetemant. Maybe this is why the teleprompters are so important to him. He does not do well on un-rehearsed questions, I think I would be a little scared to debate if I had this difficulty myself, so I do feel for him but we are trying to elect the next president, and this type of furum is necessary. But it looks bad that he refused accept the invitation given by the Fort Worth Naval Station for one of these debates, McCain gladly accepted and Obama declined. Does not look good.

    July 30, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  11. deroy

    family legend which family?
    duel sounds good. obama turned down mccain for debates.

    obama is a baby other than speeched written by axelrod for the telepropmpter.

    July 30, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  12. Jenna

    Obama runs from any open forum's where there are open forums and no teleprompters. Not to be mean, but he does seem to have a speech impetemant. Maybe this is why the teleprompters are so important to him. He does not do well on un-rehearsed questions, I think I would be a little scared to debate if I had this difficulty myself, so I do feel for him but we are trying to elect the next president, and this type of furum is necessary. But it looks bad that he refused to accept the invitation given by the Fort Worth Naval Station for one of these debates, McCain gladly accepted and Obama declined. Does not look good.

    July 30, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  13. Aunt

    You Are So Jealous and A Liar and show very poor judgement in running these ads. You Make Our Politics here in America appear
    sophomoric!

    CNN does very poor Political reporting, they hold back that truth when it comes to McCain.

    July 30, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  14. Ilona Hussein Proud Canadian

    Berkley Square Nightingale
    =======================

    I am soooooooooooo sorry that you are afraid of..............

    Barack and your Neighbours!

    WE KNOW THAT YOUR CLAIMS ABOUT BARACK ARE ALL LIES. You obviously fear BARACK because you know full well that McCAIN has no chance against him.

    But why are you afraid of your neighbours, are they aware that you fear them?

    July 30, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  15. obama is unfit to be president of this country

    Oh listen to Mr.Mouth now !! You counldn't debate Clinton and you were afraid to debate McCain. You're so stupid you can't think on your feet unless you've memorized a speech.You can never give a straigh answer until the next day.

    July 30, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  16. Phil Newton Murphy, Oregon

    Bring it on.

    OBAMA 08

    July 30, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  17. CywBENZ, PA

    I don't blame Senator Obama, I wouldn't let John McSurge and the republicans define his campaign or him. In other words, he's not letting them call the shots for him and when he will do things, it's his decision. Senator Obama is not afraid to debate McSurge, he will debate him on his own terms, in his own time and at the place of his choosing. Unlike McSurge, he doesn't need to have paid staffers sitting in a town hall audience to fill up the empty chairs and make it appear that anyone is really listening to him. Just like he had planned to visit the middle east and Europe long before McSurge "challenged" him to that trip, trying to paint the picture that Senator Obama was somehow afraid to go to the middle east. Well, we all saw the wonderful results of that trip!

    What does Senator Obama have to be afraid of by debating McSurge, he had 22 debates with Hillary Clinton, with both of them showing signs of fatigue during the debates. Senator Obama is not afraid of debating, he has a right to set the tone of his campaign and not be told by the McSurge camp when he should debate! Now, live with that until Senator Obama decides!

    July 30, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  18. obama is unfit to be president of this country

    obama is such a joke. He would gag a magget.

    July 30, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  19. RJ, CA

    "Let me be absolutely clear,” Obama: You're a FLAKE!

    July 30, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  20. Mary

    If Obama wants to duel, why was he afraid of the town hall meetings with McCain? There's more to campaigning than standing in front of large crowds reading from a teleprompter. The town hall meeting are great places to respond "off-the-cuff" to real live voters.

    Obama previously said he would raise the capitol gains tax to somewhere around 33%. Has he forgotten this tax increase? That increase would hurt a lot of people who are saving for retirement.

    Also, what about the national debt? Even Bill Clinton had to raise taxes to get our country back in the black. Of course, people were doing so well during those years that some have probably forgotten.

    July 30, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  21. DEM 08

    You Go Obama! I say bring own the duel I mean debate!
    YES!
    Fired up and ready to go!

    July 30, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  22. Mike Lopez

    Tell me, what job on earth could McCain apply for and get at this stage, with his confused thinking and constant "gaffes" ? No way is this man qualified to lead a nation! LMAO!!!! Gimme a break! He cleary isn't the man is was in 2000 and I am starting to think that whole "maverick" thing was a fraud image.

    Scary, scary thought of having someone as forgetful as McCain running ANYTHING! He doesn't know geography and can't remember things correctly at all. The man forgets things he said just last week. Are you kidding me? What an awful candidate he is. I have to believe the Reps will nominate someone else come the convention. No way will they nominate John McCain.

    July 30, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  23. richard

    Do the ten town halls Obama. PUMA

    July 30, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  24. wct

    Nobody thinks that Bush or McCain have a real answer for the challenges we face. - Nor does OBAMA have any answer....

    "He's got a funny name. You know, he doesn't look like all of those other presidents on the dollar bills.’” - now OBAMA is back to bringing up the race issue again that anyone not voting for him is a racist !!!! Nooooo, people dont want to vote for you because you have no experience!!!!!

    OBAMA is an empty suit. Period!!

    July 30, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  25. pumas support depends

    Obama will debate him he just does not want any townhalls so Old Man can fill it with his paid questioners.

    July 30, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
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