July 31st, 2008
04:19 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain says 'race card' charges are fair

McCain talked with CNN's John King Thursday.
McCain talked with CNN's John King Thursday.

(CNN) - John McCain told CNN Thursday it is fair for his campaign manager to claim Barack Obama is playing 'the race card.'

Watch McCain: Obama's playing the race card

"I'm sorry to say that it is. It's legitimate," McCain told CNN's John King. "And there's no place in this campaign for that. There's no place for it and we shouldn't be doing it."

Earlier Thursday, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis lashed out at the Democratic presidential candidate over his comments that Republicans are making an issue of his race.

"Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck. It's divisive, negative, shameful and wrong," Davis said in a statement sent to reporters.

An Obama spokesman immediately denied the assertion, but noted that the presumptive Democratic nominee believes that the McCain campaign was “using the same old low-road politics to distract voters from the real issues.”

At three stops in the battleground state of Missouri, Obama told audiences that his opponent is trying to make voters “scared” of him because he doesn’t look like past presidents – an apparent reference to being black — and has a “funny name.”


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (526 Responses)
  1. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Yeah, just about as fair as CNN censoring every post I've made today.

    July 31, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  2. Jason, Omaha, NE

    Hey Pot, I would like you to meet kettle. When your campaign does something besides go negative, which is all you do, then you can criticise.

    July 31, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. NotFallingInLine.org

    Obviously they are fair. Obama and his fans played the game of "we'll make you feel guilty until you prove yourself innocent" throughout the primaries.

    Barack Obama: The Paris Hilton of Politics.

    Midgea NFIL

    July 31, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  4. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    McCain just has to do SOMETHING, I guess...he is so pathetic...stay tuned for what new depths the McCain camp will sink to in ANY effort to get some attention for themselves.
    OBAMA '08 & '12 YES, say it with me, YES WE CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 31, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. A Voter for Intelligence/Honesty in Govt/Obama 08

    Just another underhanded attempt by the McCain campaign to give racist people a reason not to vote for a biracial candidate.

    The world is watching McCain and his campaign and the ugliness is not going unnoticed. What a diplomat this man will NOT make.

    July 31, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  6. adam

    at what point does claiming a "race card" was played become a "race card"

    July 31, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. Shari

    McCain's camp is playing the race card as well. They are saying (not is so many words) that most white americans are racist and Mccain knows that some white americans will not vote for him simply because he is black.

    July 31, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  8. Kim

    I'm a little confused. Can someone PLEASE tell me what the hell a "Race Card" is?? Hint to McCain: Never play poker. The so-called sincerity look on your face is laughable.

    July 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  9. Independent in Iowa

    "using the same old low-road politics to distract voters from the real issues" – how about focusing on how you'll abuse power?

    What a crock. Obama's campaign dares to state that they do not play old politics? Anyone that can Google can find all kinds of things about this liar. Obama plays it by saying what wants to be heard and throwing anyone under the bus that busts the real deal out. Even going as far as selecting who from the press could go with him on his rock star tour. What happened to freedom of the press? Is he going to control that now, too?

    PUMA – write in Hillary '08

    July 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Democrat

    The Republicans and McCain will use anything they can to distract from the real issues because McCain wants to continue the same failed policies of Bush. This country is in big trouble because of Bush and I am not the only one who thinks so. What is about 28 or 30% approval.

    July 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  11. zina

    The McCain campaign is out of control. I hope that my fellow citizens do not fall for this like we did 4 years ago...

    July 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  12. justin in CO

    john mccain has pulled the "race card" card

    July 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. SAGG

    If McCain wins because of this...well, I'll just leave it right there.

    July 31, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  14. The Bottom LINE

    "Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck. It's divisive, negative, shameful and wrong," Davis said in a statement sent to reporters.

    HMMMMMM, Maybe i missed something, but i havent heard anything or ads from BO that would support this..... WOW, McCain will stop @ nothing with the negative ads or comments. This guy needs to talks talking about some real issues instead of all this 8th grade kiddy mess!!
    Get real McCain or get OUT!

    July 31, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  15. Do it yourself

    The Dalai Bama is playing the race card... it's pretty obvious from the statements...

    "Obama told audiences that his opponent is trying to make voters “scared” of him because he doesn’t look like past presidents"

    But again... he crys when called out on stuff... like a kid nn the playground... that is not leadership... it's an empty suit with a teleprompter... but enough of that... I have to go check my tire pressure and get a tune up on my EFI car so I can end the oil crisis... what a joke!

    July 31, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  16. Lucas, Nashville TN

    Fair? Nobody called you on the AGE CARD, you old coot! You want people to think you have some sort of valuable experience due to the number of rings on your old rickety tree... how is that any different?

    July 31, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. adam

    at what point does claiming a "race card" was played become a "race card"

    July 31, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. deepintheheart

    Ok, so let's turn this around…

    What if McCain was speaking in front of an audience and he says "the other side will try to make you afraid of me because I'm older than any of the previous presidents, they will try to convince you that I'm feeble or that I'm not physically able to handle being president". Would any sane person, based on what McCain said, charge him with playing the age card? Absolutely not, to imply so would be ridiculous. So is the McCain campaing doing this to Obama?

    Really, this is yet another desperate attempt to attack Obama every chance he can get. He can't come up with anything better and it's just getting sad.

    July 31, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  19. Independent in Iowa

    Also, read what he said.

    "Obama told audiences that his opponent is trying to make voters “scared” of him because he doesn’t look like past presidents – an apparent reference to being black — and has a “funny name.”

    Sounds pretty obvious to me that he played not only the race card, but another for nationality.

    Not that it matters to bots, but PUMAs can see the real deal.

    July 31, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. Michael

    What A joke! I am not voting for him because I don't like what he stands for and what he is about... it has nothing to do with the fact that he is half white and half black.

    July 31, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. Catty

    Someone, please provide truth to where McCain said ANYTHING divisive concerning race, or ANYTHING related to Obamas "funny name." No republican to this point has said ANYTHING concerning his race, name, religion or so forth...mind you that was all done by the democrats themselves in the dibacle you called a primary! so before everyone goes projecting their misguided beliefs, dig into the real origin of these comments...the democratic party!

    July 31, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  22. Ralph

    McCain is so negative. Do any of you want a grumpy old man with nothing nice to say about even himself let alone anyone else to be president. McCain is the grinch that will steal our christmas.

    July 31, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  23. Robert

    He's right. Obama could have said a million other things. And perhaps what he said is true, but you can't say something like that and not expect to be challenged.

    July 31, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  24. Forbes

    Obama playing the race card? Is race an issue in this campaign? Is this the idea that African Americans will not vote for Obama because he is half Caucasian? Oops, I forgot: African Americans are not so low minded as that...

    July 31, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  25. Unity

    McCain is going to get 0% votes from any person of color. I honestly think that he is trying to help out the Democrats here – which for a Republican is INSANE.

    July 31, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
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