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. KJ, CA

    I am not a McCain fan but when it looked like he was going to get the nomination I thought great because he will talk about the issues and stay above the fray. Well, I was wrong – McCain is really getting down in the gutter and it is very disappointing. I am an Obama supporter but I at least want to be able to respect the other candidate...

    July 31, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  2. nik

    I'm going to start calling McCain Two-Face after the Batman villain. This negativity is disgusting, as well as the candidate's constant declarations that he's above it all as he turns around and spits venom out of the side of his mouth.

    July 31, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  3. Race Card!!!

    McCain campaign was “using the same old low-road politics to distract voters from the real issues***”An Attack a Day will keep the Issues Away**** Can we all get alone ...Hell No! HA! HA! HA!
    This is funny Grown A_S Men ..he's playing the Race card no he did it during the primary ......Shut the H_LL up I need some Gas in my SUV and some Food Stamps

    July 31, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  4. Frank, San Diego

    Of course McCain is playing the race card.

    Every time he uses the term "arrogant" what he is really saying is "uppity." Here's another black man who doesn't know his place.

    McCain makes me sick to my stomach!

    July 31, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  5. Wen

    Simply Put America: IF OBAMA WERE WHITE AND HAVE THE POWER TO WALK AND TALK..we would be worrying about other things like buying our kids back to school supplies...BECAUSE IF OBAMA WERE WHITE..the media would be trying to anticipate HOW MUCH OF A LANDSLIDE OBAMA WOULD WIN BY IN NOVEMBER...stop acting like RACE DOESN'T MATTER..BE REAL

    July 31, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  6. Faye in Tucson

    Obama, his supporters, and his campaign play the race card every time someone says something negative about him. He played the race card with Hillary and Bill Clinton when, in fact, their comments were historically correct (Jessie Jackson did win South Carolina but lost the election for President; President Johnson played an important part in the civil rights movement and so did Martin Luther King., and now with John McCain. Those are facts and yet, Obama bamboozled both Hillary and Bill Clinton into making public apologies for their comments.

    Senator Obama proclaims to be the great unifier (I wonder if anyone in the media has the nerve to ask him just what has he ever unified?) and how can that be when he tells a crowd of supporters "that McCain and others make fun of anyone who looks different from the faces on our dollar bills or has a funny name". That is a bald-face lie and it is a royal flush in using the race card.

    This self-proclaimed redeemer, who with a snap of his fingers, is going to right all the wrong of the USA and then the world is a whiner who should go back to the Senate floor and serve out his term so that it equals more than 143 days of actual duty.

    July 31, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  7. Misty

    McCain is Uggh!

    Go away Please

    July 31, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  8. Ray in JAX

    Talking about racial undertones Mr McCrutch, Your whole campain is spitting undertones with ever word spoken or written. But then again Mr McCrutch, your dementia prevents you from remembering. Hey John the nursing home call and it time for you meds..

    July 31, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  9. JIM...TX

    Since when does McCain give a crap about what's "right" in these campaigns??? Heck all he's done is gone negative since Obama went on his trip that McCain thought at first would be a good idea. He's an A$$.

    July 31, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  10. Jan from Boca Raton, FL

    So, anybody like me claiming to be from a battleground state and then claiming to be a Hillary supporter that hates Obama is a fake post by a Republican.

    I am not actually named Jan, and I am not from Boca.

    I guess the Republicans have been lowered to the point that they have to trick voters into not voting for Obama.

    Hillary supporters: We are all Democrats. Vote your interest. Vote your values. Vote your issues. Vote Obama!

    July 31, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  11. Amazed

    Eric, you are so correct. Obama is making America look weak by showing how stupid some of its residents are. Can anybody tell me anything that McNuts plans on doing when he is president other than stay in Iraq and drill for oil in America? Anybody?????

    July 31, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  12. aware

    Give it up Obama!

    You have played the race card from square one. Shame on you!

    Hillary had you pegged Barack! And, you will lose! :)

    If you really wanted to discuss issues with Senator McCain you could have done Town Halls with him!

    Obama, you are an arrogant phony with nothing to offer but narcissism and lust for power! :(

    July 31, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  13. mccain must go

    McCain's accusation is far more STUPID than it is offensive. What is he complaining about exactly?? Why should the voters be offended because of what Obama said?

    And most importantly, WHY SHOULD ANYBODY VOTE FOR MCCAIN???

    July 31, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  14. mikeE DANVILLE VA

    What people need to understand is that when this is all over were going to be here. I mean in the same house,same job if we still have one they are going bavk to their lives. The key is that thier both rich so once their play time is over our hard time will either get better or stay the same. If you don't fix whats broke it will say broke. Mcain=bush if not tell me something he will do different.

    July 31, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  15. aaa

    go to hell old man. you are worth nothing!

    July 31, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  16. aware

    People are not afraid of you Obama. Your arrogance disgusts them! You are totally responsible for this! :)

    July 31, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  17. Joe

    McCain is such a fool. I'm sick of it. All I want is for this election to be over and for Obama to be President. McCain is so childish and it sickens me because this just reminds me of a Bush campaign. Great...

    July 31, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  18. Spider

    Come on people.
    Who has brought up race in this campaign ever since the primary's started? Barack Obama.

    Clinton – "His campaign is a fairy tale."
    Obama – "What's that supposed to mean? I'm black?"

    Voter – "I'm just not sure he has enough experience."
    Obama – "It's because I'm black, isn't it?"

    McCain – "His policies and his views are not what this country needs."
    Obama – "If you don't vote for me, you are racist."

    I don't remember this country ever electing a pair of twins to the Presidency, so what else does "I don't look like the other Presidents"
    refer to? His height?

    July 31, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  19. ACH

    McCain will do anything to win but this I must say was very low.

    Obama
    08

    July 31, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  20. Belle

    WHO CARES WHAT COLOR YOU ARE-You are an AMERICAN MAN RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, aren't you? QUIT the broad strokes, quit the smoke and mirrors and TALK DETAILS ABOUT YOUR PLANS!

    Racism ISN'T ONLY against African Americans....what about the Illegal Immigrant that got BEATEN TO DEATH in PA Senator Obama?

    INSTEAD of pointing out the color of your skin, what do YOU plan to do, as President, to get RID of the racism in our country?

    July 31, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  21. Jeff, South Bend, IN

    You McCain defenders on here are idiots. You have no facts, you just spout opinions and lies.

    1) I don't see Obama whining. McCain and camp ARE running ads that portray Obama as non-white and scary. Just because he has the courage to ask people to look beyond that BS doesn't make him a whiner. It makes him more of a man than McCain.

    2) I don't see Obama making America weak. Just because world leaders embraced Obama more than McCain doesn't make him weak, in fact it makes Obama more likely to get things done in the world to our advantage. We (Americans) can't step foot in the middle east without a helicopter convey under Bush/McCain leadership.

    3) Obama supports the troops and the military much more than McCain. McCain lies and says veterans groups all prefer him more than Obama, when in reality if you read the voting record McCain is absentee at best. Obama has a much better record of voting for veteran's right that McCain. He's just hoping voters are too stupid to notice the difference.

    4) I don't see him playing the victim card. Both Clintons, Ferraro, McCain and other Republicans have made racist statements. Obama didn't say the words, and he didn't think the thoughts. Obama asks people to get beyond this and solve problems. If McCain lovers want Obama to stop asking people to look past race and gaining sympathy, then stop making racist statements trying to hurt him based on skin color. Easy.

    5) Obama is a snake? Slithers away? Maybe. He's a politician, moron, and if you think he's doing it anywhere near as much as McCain and Clinton did, you need to adjust your medication, because you can't see clearly or accept facts.

    And clearly since the Internet forum here gives you complete anonymity, you feel justified in coming on here and spewing hatred and ignorance and complete BS. God bless CNN. Let's hope Darwin does his thing long before you get near a voting lever.

    July 31, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  22. OBAMA OBAMA

    Some one asked if McWar was the best GOP had to pick from since they all go the Low Road spending their time on negative comments know nothing else they could pick their candidates in the dark I bet thats what they did?
    The only thing they want is SURGE SURGE SURGE , Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran /MORE WAR WAR WAR .

    July 31, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  23. david

    Old Man McCain is doing well in the polls, but is still running scared of Obama. Very strange.

    July 31, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  24. KE

    When Obama played the race card in his own party he knew it will put the Clintons on offence. The McCain campaign needs to expose this race card playing right away, and every single time they play it.

    "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."

    "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.

    Repeat, repeat, repeat.

    July 31, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  25. Biffington, Biff

    McCain says 'race card' charges are fair......

    well, of course HE does.....

    DOES MCCAIN SPEAK FOR THE MCCAIN CAMPAIGN TODAY?

    July 31, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
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