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. Ginny

    If you all remember in the primaries Obama was caught addressing his workers telling them the the same thing as to how to use this statement when working the campaign. There was no press in the room but someone got him on their cell phone. He is a race bater
    no question about that. Wake up you people. He will do anything to win this election but just as always he slithers away just like the snake that he is.

    July 31, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. George

    CNN,

    You always seem to be moderating my comments atleast 1 hour later. Is it something I said that you do not agree with? hmmmmmm

    Here goes again......

    NOBAMA is a NOVELTY the LEFT is using. How SAD!!!

    July 31, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  3. Kris

    THANK YOU MCCAIN.

    About time someone called him on this. Obama's been pulling this garbage since the beginning of the primaries. Just look at how his campaign called Bill Clinton's comments about Obama's Iraq stance (a fairytale) racist. Courageous move and about time.

    July 31, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. WarHeroFmrPOW HijaxStr8talkXpress DrivzIn2GutR TurnzCoward XploitsTroopsAsProps UsesPatraeusAs PoliticalPawn

    McCain is a weanie acting like a man with no principles or maturity. Another slip there little, old man? "We" shouldn't be doing it. Well said, you worn out, cheap relic of a tool. Your days are numbered, Grandpa Munster.

    July 31, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. NoMcSame

    What they call it? White guilt. There is no such a thing. Got to have a soul to have guilt and McSame and his ilk does not have any. Millions could die in Iraq and many other places in the world but they don't care. You think they care about Obama and playing the race card. That is the only way they know how to play the game. Most of you know how people like McSame talk when no people of color are around. So Mr. Obama just get ready. At least Hillary warmed you up for it. It is about to get nasty now.
    Obama08 A Dream

    July 31, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. Mike, PA

    This guy needs to get a clue! If this doesn't end in a landslide victory for Obama I will be AMAZED!

    July 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. norml

    green people should be outraged!

    July 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. Abby

    Sad to say that there isn’t even trace of that ‘maverick’ guy left in this remains of a corpse that I see here. He has completely changed from the honorable man to something unrecognizable and much worse than GWB in 8 short years. So very sad.

    July 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. PC

    I wonder, when Rove and company refer to Obama as "arrogant", they really mean "uppity".

    July 31, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  10. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    McBush probably didn't even see the ad himself, It was most likely on after his 6:30 bedtime. Do you think the Repubs air attack ads during reruns of Matlock, or do they think they have that demographic locked up?

    July 31, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  11. Former Republican

    McCain is suffering from a bad case of "old timers disease"
    And the way he refuses to talk about the issues and instead scoop low playing dirty politics is one of the symptoms....
    He needs a good dose of reality to relieve these symptoms and as of late, he's not had any.

    This is the new motto:

    OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW!!

    OBAMA '08

    July 31, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    McCain's tactics are not only going to cost him the White House, they'll end up costing him re-election his Senate seat in Arizona. This is a sad end for someone I once considered a decent and upstanding politician.

    July 31, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  13. Kris

    http://voices.kansascity.com/node/1515

    Code words? Come one Obama. Disgusting.

    July 31, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  14. Amy

    I can't say I've heard McCain himself use the race card, but his party, it's members and followers certainly have from day 1. The campaign that should be ashamed of itself is McCain's, for suggesting through ads that are running right now in my state, Michigan, that Obama is nothing more than an empty-headed celebrity like Paris Hilton. Or that, my personal favorite, Obama is personally responsible for the high price of oil in this county. Which is it McCain-is Obama so powerful he can influence the price of gas, or is he nothing but a pretty face? My family and I (4 voters strong!) laugh every time we view one of McCain's attack ads.....is that the response the his campaign was looking for?

    July 31, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  15. Willy

    BHO, and with the help of the meda, has been playing the victim card for this election you know , I'm black oh poor me I need to be a president. CNN been running a Black in America thing. Why Now CNN, why not last year? so good call John.

    July 31, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  16. Eric

    OBAMA NEEDS TO STOP CRYING AND LEAVE AMERICA ASAP.

    HE IS MAKING AMERICA LOOK WEAK!!

    July 31, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. Brian

    McCain votes:

    Pay no attention to our economy and endless wars and debt that will burden future generations. What matters is Obama's middle name.

    This message is brought to you by the Osama Bin Laden-PUMA coalition. "Striving towards 4 more years of America deteriorating"

    July 31, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  18. Agnes

    Do McBush really think we, the American people are that stupid that we cannot recognize the racial undertones and slurs HIS campaign has been making.

    What's the add about, if not about the difference in Obama? We are not afraid of the RNC fear tatics.

    GIVE ME A BREAK.

    I really don't think McBush want to president. This man is doing everything in his power to lose the elcetion.

    July 31, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  19. Sandra

    McCain can't have it both ways. As an African American I feel his campaign is playing the race card by saying he is not like us. Instead of pressing Obama on real issues facing America. He wants to talk about Brittany Spears who has no contrast to Barack Obama. She is a pop star and Obama is a politician. Obama is an US Senator, husband, father and I can't forgive McCain for comparing him to a disfunctional pop star singer who is in the tabloids everyday. Give me a break! McCain's campaign is getting to be fully elementary. I can't wait until I get to cast my vote for Barack who has inspired America in hoping for a better future in these times of concern. We need a president who gives America that option instead of the same course of dread and regret we have inherited from this administration. It appears that McBush wants to keep us in a state of feeling distress with this war and instead of giving us an out in these times he wants us to stay in this ever stagnant economy we are in now.

    July 31, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  20. MMN-Milwaukee WI

    Distractions I tell ya. Gas prices ($4/gal), Economy is hurting and Exxon-Mobil still managed a 14% growth to the tune of $11.68 billion yes billion and McCain is still pandering to me/us about drilling offshore and then talking up some shmack about what Obama said. McCain is full of himself and it’s odd to hear this from him after all the junk coming from his campaign. McCain it’s really simple, if you spit into the wind, it will blow back on your face.

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

    What a laughing stock McRelic is! This is too funny CNN. Obama playing the race card? Obama being compared to Brittney Spears and Paris Hilton? Obama "snubbed" the wounded troops in Berlin? "Obama's not one of us." And on and on it goes. McRelic has run what I believe is probably the worst Presdential campaign in this nation's history. How desparate is this latest allegation. If you can't run on substance and the issues, then run on personal attacks. Sorry but this one is a hoot.

    July 31, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  22. Gordon, Houston, TX

    Sometimes I can't whether McCain is running for Student Body President or President of the United States.

    First with the Paris/Brittney ad and now crying that Obama is playing the race card.

    Johnnie Boy, it didn't work for Bill Clinton when he said Barack Obama was playing the race card and it won't for you. Why does your campaign continue to embrace the failed tactics of the Clinton campaign? Did you sleep through the democratic primaries?

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

    Nothing new Obama played the race card throughout the primaries and the media just ignored it and blamed everyone else. I'm glad the McCain campaign is speaking out against it. Obama's campaign quietly played and is now playing the race card again and this time I hope they don't get away with it.

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

    Repubicans have been playing the race card since "willie horton" hell they even played it on john mccain with the "he has a black child" and now this pathetic man is trying to label Obama with this silly stuff.

    July 31, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  25. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Get real, he played the race card and everyone knows it.

    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

    he doesn’t look like past presidents

    If that is him trying to show that the McCain campaign was “using the same old low-road politics to distract voters from the real issues" then he needs to learn the English language. and I don't believe that for a moment.
    he played the race card, hand down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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