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. Obama : unfair.

    Why can't Obama say somethign about controlling Big Oil companies ?
    Does he not have guts to do so, instead he is harping to stop offshore drilling, because all his "friends", Edwards, Kennedy have bunglows near the scenic Ocean drives, Right Mr Bama ?? Corrup the is from bottom

    July 31, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  2. lampe

    How come I don't hear anyone complaining, about the new Ludacris song? He calls Sen. Clinton *itch, says McCain should be an old white man in a wheel chair. Oh! I know why no ones pissed, it's okay to disrespect a White woman, but you dare not say anything negative about Black women or your a racists. All women, should be out -raged by these remarks. But wait she's Sen. Clinton, you can say mean and evil things about, why ? BECAUSE SHE'S WHITE

    July 31, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  3. anne

    McCain is right on drilling . What will we do five years from now,walk.
    If you like to eat what are you going to do when the diesel trucks stop hauling your produce,meat ,toliet paper,etc. There is no way for electric cars to make 600-800 miles in one day on overnight charge.
    Hydrogen and fuel cell have been underdeveoplement for over 30 years, President Carter inagular parade had a fuel cell powered cadallic in it. Allis Chalmers had a fuel cell tractor in 1958, was not practical. Drill now and go ahead and develope the rest, but for the time being oil is are only way to get the country by.

    July 31, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  4. Carl Justus

    McCain will play the race card just like the republicans play it in the south to keep the south solid in the republican corner.
    The republicans have mastered playing the race card in the southern state so they will vote solid republican, but that may change this year with Georgia and maybe even North Carolina going for Obama.

    July 31, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  5. Mark

    Obama never said that McCain was playing the race card. He said "they", as in supporters of Bush and McCain, were. And I don't see how you can deny that – I've seen tons and tons of ignorant trolls on the internet and on talk radio and network news smearing Obama as a "militant black", "black racist", and "secret Muslim", and linking his name to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, and talking about his alleged "ties" to terrorists and black supremacists.

    CNN is displaying journalism unprofessionalism in falsely claiming that Obama accused "his opponent" – John McCain – of those things.

    July 31, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  6. Texans for Obama

    Forget McCain and company. What race card? Just because Obama said he doesn't look like past Presidents on money? He is just telling it like it is. If you listened to conservative radio they talk about Obama being "uppity" This means this black man should stay in his place who does he think he is? No one said anything about the uppity word. Which is race baiting. Obama is being bashed by fox, conservative radio and TV hosts, and fighting against the Republican party. McCain is just "chillin". They barely say anything about the "old geezer".

    McCain complains about everything Obama does or does not do. McCain is a big joke!. This man is too old to run this country we already had 8 yrs of a stupid man running this country. I don't want another 4 more yrs of another dummy that was a "D" student in college as President. So people need to stop hating on Obama. One thing about it he is the most intelligent , articulate man for the job and he is not senile like McCain. He doesn't need experience he has good judgement. John needs to retire and is too old to answer the phone at 3am. YES WE CAN AND WILL!

    July 31, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  7. Miranda

    People supporting John McCain are those that are seeking the good ole days of 1932.

    July 31, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  8. McCain 08

    Barrack Obama is continuing to do the same thing he has all campaign season since he started and that is play the race card. In the democratic primary, everyone was way to scared to say it for the fear of being called a racist. Well times have changed and Obama will be called out for what he is doing by John McCain. McCain is not scared of Obama.
    There is a reason the polls are tightening in Ohio, Penn and Michigan. People are starting to pay attention to the race and realizing what is at stake

    July 31, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  9. RJ, CA

    WE ALL KNOW IT IS ABOUT RACE - NOTHING ELSE!

    July 31, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  10. Phil, FL

    Hey you people – just remember McShame has almost as much experience as Stevens. Probably the same kinds of experience.

    It's no wonder the whole world thinks Americans are idiots.

    Most of you are !!!!!

    Obama '08

    July 31, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  11. Grant in Canada

    normi,

    Especially the dark green ones.

    July 31, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  12. bakersfield

    we are not scared of him because he is black i could care less. what else did he mean about the presidents on the money he played the race card.

    July 31, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  13. McCain - Never Gonna Give U Up

    Take two steps back and look at McCain. The most horribly run campaign in US history. It's got it all – Negativity, Super-gaffe marathon, green-screen challenged, calling a person of color racist, a rather small candidate with no platforms to stand on (unless you count his flip-flops), war, and the ever present Big Oil scenery looming behind him and in his 'plans for success' (maybe their's).

    This could be comedy at its very best. But there are people who are actually drinking this up as reality. ONLY in America!

    July 31, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  14. YOU'RE DISGUSTING ARGGGG!!

    THE RACE CARD YOU PLAYED ON BILL & HILLARY WILL NOT WORK THIS TIME OK???????????????? THE REPUBLICANS WILL NOT TAKE IT AND HILL & BILL SHOULD NEVER HAVE PUT UP WITH IT EITHER. WHAT ARE YOU BRINGING TO US – LUDUKRIS OR WHATEVER HIS NAME IS UH?????? PAINT THE WHITE HSE BLACK??? HE IS YOUR BUDDY JUST LIKE THE REV. WRIGHT OF 20 YRS!!!!! WE'RE WATCHING AND WE WILL REMEMBER YOUR DIRTY RACIAL TRICKS INSIDE THAT VOTING BOOTH COME NOVEMBER – JUST WAIT MR. BHO

    July 31, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  15. Tampa, Fla.

    I agree with Milwaukee... In this struggling economy Exxon- Mobil is doing wonderful. It is obvious that anyone with half a brain has to see the rebublican party for what they are... Crooks. The recent indictment of one of their longstanding senetors proves that.... SO ARE THEY ABOVE USING RACETACTICS AGAINST AN OPPOSING CANDIDATE....? NO...

    Time for Change...

    OBAMA 08...

    P.s. CNN post this...

    July 31, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  16. E. Scott

    If you want to discuss racism then look at Obama's church. Obama would still be attending if he wasnt trying to become President.

    July 31, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  17. Phil

    You knew it was coming why worry about it. The voters are going to make their choice no matter what. I just wish there was someone running that you could trust and knew what they were doing.

    July 31, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  18. ObamaDollarBill

    OBAMA'S LATEST DREAM IS HAVING HIS FACE ON DOLLAR BILL.
    ARROGANT PHONY CANDIDATE... THIS IS REALLY DISGUSTING...

    July 31, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  19. no name

    I WILL NOT VOTE FOR EITHER IDIOT BECAUSE I DON'T BELIEVE IN OBAMA AND MCCAIN IS STILL A GEORGE BUSH.
    I GUESS I WILL WRITE IN A JOHN DOE

    July 31, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  20. Pat M

    If Mc Cain is grovelling already and having to use such lame tactics what will he do this Fall? He needs a new perspective. One that concentrates on the issues not pettiness and devisive inane tactics.
    They say we resort back to our childhood when we grow old. McCain it proving it.

    July 31, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  21. Sam

    I would never ever vote for a man over seventy for president. I am 71 and I know what I am talking about. I especially wouldn't vote for such a mean and ugly party as the republicans appear to have. If one has to elect a president by how disgusting their negative ads are then we ARE definitely heading in the wrong direction. I will always vote for a calm, intelligent thinker over an airhead.

    July 31, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  22. Bill, Covington

    Let's get right to the facts, "I'm racist and G.. D... proud of it" and I'll vote for the caucasian male candidate.
    You people for the other thing better prepare yourself for what will follow the election if he is not the chosen one on Nov.4th. It won't be pretty.

    July 31, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  23. QG

    John McSane,

    Please stop wasting time of the American people! Come up with a campaign strategy and campaign! Tell the people of your strategy, your plans, what you will achieve!

    This is not campaigning, this is grabbing at straws. Your trying to find something that works!

    July 31, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  24. Chuck

    Isn't fearing "the politics of fear" also just another version of same 'ol politics? Obama is scaring votes his way, and he is playing from the old politics handbook like a pro.

    That just makes him an even sleazier hypocrite. I just wish more of America saw through the sheep's clothing

    July 31, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  25. Salliesue

    Having heard the entire Obama speech that contained the "race card" line (thank you, POTUS '08 on XM), I can say that it was clear that he was trying to be humorous while making a point about the Republicans attempting to make Americans afraid of Obama, since they aren't making any headway on the issues. In retrospect, it may not have been the smartest attempt at humor, but the fact is that the commercial was offensive – if the point was to show someone famous, why not use Mel Gibson or Kevin Costner? I thought he showed great restraint in not losing his temper and lashing out at McCain on a personal level. Watching McCain foolishly stand by the commercial only reminds me of Bush foolishly standing by some of his more ludicrous statements, acting as if he repeats it enough, we'll start to believe him. Vote for Change!!!

    July 31, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
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