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. ch

    The thing that sickens me about Obama and his campaign is how they played this ugly card against the Clintons.

    Bill and Hillary Clinton have a long and well documented history of doing the right thing when it comes to civil rights (and Bill Clinton appointed the most racially diverse cabinet in history).

    But Obama and his lower than dirt campaign tried to inflame African Americans in the days before the SC primary by twisting/distorting Hillary’s Dr. King / LBJ comment. Tim Russert even called Obama on it during one of the debates.

    It was simply reprehensible and Obama promised much better.

    July 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  2. Independent in Iowa

    Vegas Barbie for Obama:

    Those chants are cult like.

    July 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. Whatever

    uh fake PUMA, you are ignorant, McCain went around the World too after he grabbed the nomination, I'm sorry he chose not to bring the press with him, i'm sorry they probably didn't want to go with him. He is just like you, stuck in the past..

    July 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. Kathy in Michigan

    McCain is a racist and I have always known it. He was against affirmative action and against MLK day. Look at his sorry record.

    He introduced an ad with two young white women who are recovering substance abuse like his wife Cindy. That is the very first thing that came to mind. His campaign is wacky. DOES HE THINK THAT PEOPLE HAVE FORGOTTEN THAT????? WELL, MCSHAME, THE FIRST THING THAT PEOPLE THINK WHEN THEY THINK OF THESE TWO WOMEN ARE NOT OBAMA - BUT PREVILAGE, MONEY, DRUGS, ALCHOHOL, DISFUNCTION AND THEY LOOK LIKE YOUR WIFE!!!!!

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH MCCAIN CAMPAIGN!!!!

    July 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. jjjjjj

    Ofcourse he played it against Clintons. Now playing against Mccain.

    July 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  6. Susan

    He told the truth to Mclame and band of thugs. Does McLame think we are blind, with their wink wink nodod nod tricks! He is a true example of a DIRTY POLITICIAN. CNN won't post anything negative about McCain, so much for balanced journalism!

    July 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. J

    McCain, you shame this country.

    July 31, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. Jack

    I'm so sick and tired of hearing all you "African Americans" crying racism. Why aren't you speaking out against the lyrics used by that rapper? You people will never be happy.

    July 31, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. Tim in Syracuse

    Has John McCain specifically said "Don't vote for Obama....he's black"? No. Has he had mouth pieces say it for him in a variety of ways? Yes. Has McCain thrown the old 'Fear Card' out there....yeah....more than I care to tally up actually.

    Its the same old Republican Political Machine. If you can't show your differences in a positive way, then go low.

    July 31, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. Mike Dallas

    Racists = Republicans? This is news? I thought that was one of the bedrock planks in the GOP agenda. McCrypt and Crew seem just a bit sensitive after reading the article all Obama states is that 'he does not look like prior candidates" nor the curretn "safe" candidate, in other words, Really Old People! No race card there, unless "different" vs "safe"equals race.

    McCrypt just updates the Republican race attack play book by adding a few new words, i.e. 'exotic' or [insert daily euphemism for "different" here]. So, this Southern 57 year old white guy, hopes that Obama keeps ambushing McCrypt on the only road he knows how to travel, the low road. After all the "Straight Talk Express" seems to have a prepaid toll tag for that tollway!

    July 31, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. Kim

    McBush is guilty. His Filthy Rovian Attack Ad's are despicable. I have lost all respect for this man. We truly do need a change.

    July 31, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. Mike Dallas

    Just how does a man that is half white and half black, play the "race" card???

    July 31, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  13. Charlotte

    Obamas' arrogance will bring him down. Once people really listen to what he has to say, the less they like him. We already know we must tighen our belts. We already know gas mileage is improved with less driving. DUH.. We don't need this arrogant person in the White House, we just had 7 years of that. He plays the race card everyday. Why does he have to mention the fact he looks different from other candidates. If that isn't racist, what is? The only difference is the color of his skin. He is, as Rev. Wright pointed out, a typical politician. I bet he dreams of his face on Mt. Rushmore. Such arrogance I have never witnessed before. I will write Hillary on my ballot in November and that is one less vote for either of them

    July 31, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  14. Dedrick from Atlanta (in Portland)

    Barack is not about white guilt. He is simply stating what a large portion of white america is being subjected to. Listen, white people should not have any guilt. the wrongs committed against people of color where committed in the past. Now that doesn't mean that everything is great here. All societies my protect the rights of minorities because we as people tend to have some 'fear' of the unknown (different). So does Barack have a point? Yes. Just look at the results of the Penn, Ohio, WV primaries. Areas that have large older white populations have a hard time voting for someone of a different race. They all voted for Bush and he had no experience what-so-ever, so don't give me the experience line.

    July 31, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. Hillary 2012

    Obama has started to play the race card just like he did against Hillary. The only CHANGE Obama brings to the table is that he is Black ..period. If we want REAL CHANGE we would have Hillary as President.. a woman president now that is REAL CHANGE. Obama has no experience and will lie his way to win..so watch out America...we may have another George Bush the only CHANGE is this one is black.

    July 31, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  16. Eye Opener

    I am ashamed of this idiot McCain. This idiot cant do anything apart from doing exactly what Bush did.

    July 31, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  17. Former Repub

    The truth is, The republicans are trying to make OBAMA out as a risky outsider, trying to make him look weird, where the race card comes into play I can't see. this spikes a lot of anger from the "conservatives" b/c it reveals the truth about them, the main reasons why 10-20% are going to vote for McCain will be simply b/c of race. That's a fact, the conservatives don't like to be called racist so accusing OBAMA of playing race card is typical of them.

    July 31, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  18. Unity

    McCain is going after the Bubba vote and throwing every person of color to the wind. Is this the strategy you find admirable in your next commaner in chief????

    July 31, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. Rocky

    I have to disagree with Senator McCain on this I don't think Senator Obama is playing the race card. I think he actually believes that if he loses the election it will be because he's black. He is wrong, he will lose because he is an elitist liberal to the extreme. The moderates need to take the Democratic back from these extremist.

    July 31, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. Will from NYC

    Putting two white blondes known for public display of privates and Obama together has racial bias written all over it... McCain is playing the card by claiming the other side is playing the card...

    McCain can't be saved by this desparation... where does McCain stand on the real issues: economy, economy economy.... war??? do any McCain supporters know where McCain stands? of course they don't its just good enough to have attack ads... disgusting.

    July 31, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  21. Dedrick from Atlanta (in Portland)

    CNN is worse than the BUSH administration on its censorship. My comments are no where near as nasty as the mildest of the contributers to these blogs and somehow, my comments are never posted. Wow CNN...I thought you were better than this.

    July 31, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  22. Old Stradlater

    I wonder if the horses**t spewing out of McCain's mouth leaves a bad taste, or is he just used to it by now?

    Unfortunately for McCain fans, his maverick days will be forgotten – telling these hateful lies is what he's going to be remembered for. Oh, and for his love of the Steelers. . . er, the Packers.

    July 31, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  23. jimmy velman

    YES . P-U-M-A- IS MORE THAN JUST AN ACRONYM. IT IS THE RALLYING CRY FOR DISGRUNTLED , IGNORED , OPPONENTS
    OF ELITISM . P-U-M-A- 'S WILL NEVER LET HILLARY DOWN.
    VOTEBOTH IS ONE BIG BLOC WITH THE WOMEN FOR HILLARY.
    WE WILL SURPRISE EVRYBODY IN NOVEMBER.

    July 31, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  24. Marc

    There he goes again. I think we've seen this card played before against Sen. Clinton. Attack Obama, well, you must be racist. Ugh… he's right. This isn't politics as usual. Obama's campaign has sunk to an all-time low. The crazy thing is, though, that I've read some interviews with the guy which makes him sound halfway intelligent. However, I can not reward him with the presidency after these outlandish accusations. Nice try, Obama, but you won't bully me into voting for you.

    July 31, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  25. swood

    What? Someone's accusing the republicans of inserting race into politics? Unheard of! Oh wait, they always do that, even to there own. Remember what Rove and Bush did to McCain back in 2000 with his so-called illegitimate child? Or Harold Ford? How about the subliminal imagery of Obama with two white women – were those really the only two vacuous celebs they could insert in the ads? I mean really, wake up. McCain should stop with dirty politics and get on with the real issues – what does he really stand for and how is he going to get us out of the mess George W got us into?

    July 31, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
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