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. Pam

    For crying out loud, when the heck is McCain going to start talking about the issues that people care about? Can anyone remember the last time McCain actually talked about himself and his policies instead of talking about Obama?

    July 31, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. Enough

    T-Rex McCain cnnot stand on the issues..he's got NOTHING to offer. So what does he do? Get childlike and silly. Once a man..twice a child. Grow up McCain.

    July 31, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  3. Saved

    McBitter is running a "clean" campaign. Isn't that what he originally said? I would hate to see what a dirty campaign would be like. Young America vote for Obama are your generation will end up like McBitter.

    July 31, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  4. Robert

    Yep – Camp Obama up to their same old dirty tricks....playing the race card for one. Can't trust a word Obama says – be smart America!

    July 31, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  5. Marv...

    The republicans are truly low and shameful. Where are the Conservative Christians? Will you support this type of politics for the third time?

    July 31, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. Mike

    All McSurges BS aside. A vote for McBush is a vote for four more years of the wasteful Iraq War. More young dead Soldiers sacrificed for Big oil. Another Trillion Dollars in War Debt. A ruined economy. More jobs being sent overseas. In short, four more years of Bush.

    July 31, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  7. Kongtooth

    Obama does this all the time. If you say he hasn't your blinded by your own cult.

    The guy has no substance and crys about everything... while doing it himself. He can't push a thought without someone writting it down for him... and plays the race card if you don't like him.

    He's slipping in the polls... when it should be over... this guy is a huge mistake... shoud have gone with Hillary!

    July 31, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  8. linda hemmingsen canada

    Of course Obama has been using the race card , he has done this from the beginning with Hillary. He doesn't like to be asked questions unless he knows the person asking them will give a good record for him. he hates criticisim, it doesn't matter if it is true he will deny it.He has lied about knowing rezko then corned with the truth of his friendship then he flipshis answers. he has never answered question what he did while in the senate in chicago. he gave jobs to people who are being investigated. he was a community activist for the homeless and he never took care of them.he represented these people from his state and they lived in disgustings homes that his friend owned.He has never crossed the ilse in chicago or washington and has always voted on the party line where macain has crossed the isle many times. why did the report come out obama was better at uniting than macain when he clearly mispoke about his record . cnn say the truth and get out of the love in for obama, be a journalist and speak about what is real not a fairy tale.

    July 31, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. Nova from NV

    Why should this be a surprise to anyone? Obama used the race card during the primaries and used it to tarnish President Bill Clinton. It worked out very well for him. It may work well against McCain. McCain is too honest to fight a Chicago politician.

    July 31, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  10. Steph

    Having personally been called a racist becase I support McCain – I'd agree – Obama, his campaign, and his supporters are all playing the race card.

    And talk about dirty politics – they are saying "they won't be surprised when the republicans say this" or the "republicans are trying to scare you by saying this" or any one of a dozen other ways they've framed it – managing to a) play the race card b) accuse their opponents of playing the race card when they NEVER have and c) accusing everyone else of being a racist.

    From what I've heard of him, he's far more racist than any republican I know.

    July 31, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. Erin in Edmonds WA

    Independent in Iowa: Here come the PUMA Pussies again. From what I've seen of most of you, you are as stupid as you look. If Obama does not win, Hillary will get the blame as a devicise witch.
    Good bye Hillary and Bill legacy, and PUMAs can go to H E Dougle toothpicks.

    BTW, Obama's supporters aren't going to pay Hillary's irresponsible bad debt, so please put your money where your insolent mouths are. And then MOVE TO CUBA!!!!

    July 31, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. TEXAS TRAIL DOG WONT HUNT!

    I MEAN MCCAIN IS A RESPECTABLE CANDIDATE WITH SEVERAL THINGS GOING FOR HIM. WHY IS HE LETTING OBAMA SET THE PACE. IF OBAMA DID NOT MAKE THAT STATEMENT DO YOU MEAN MCCAIN WOULD NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO SAY? OBAMA MADE A JOKE ABOUT AN INTRINSIC FEAR. HOW CAN MCCAIN BE KNOCKED OFF MESSAGE SO FAST? POOR TRAIN OF THOUGHT?

    July 31, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. Eric-PA

    McCain is right. When I heard Obama make those comments yesterday it immediately remined me of the times Obama played the race card during the primary against Hillary and Bill. This is one of the reasons I can't support Obama. He says he's a uniter but his comments say otherwise.

    July 31, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. Ron

    If McWar is elected , I am moving to France. Ok, not really. But I will vomit. Really!

    July 31, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  15. John from Illinois

    McCain is a tiring old man. His campaign is doing the same thing Clinton's did. Let's throw everything at him, and BLAME him for the the race card. Well got news for you Grandpa, America is SICK of the Bush Economic and Foriegn policy, we need younger minds, and fresher ideas. Your DAY is over.

    I'm a 37 year old Republican who will be voting for Obama in November.

    July 31, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  16. Ex-Republican for Obama

    By even bringing up the term: "Race Card' you YOURSELF (johnny) are calling him black.

    When you say "People will tell you I'm old" you YOURSELF (johnny) are playing the 'age card'.

    When you say "I'm a veteran' you YOURSELF (johnny) are playing the 'Veteran Card".

    johnny, go buy a clue and try to solve the puzzle. When you fail, let Obama take over...because you are the most deceptive, two faced, double standard, trash talking villian I've ever seen run for office. In a nut shell, YOU DISGUST ME!

    Obama '08

    July 31, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  17. NoMcSame

    Now they will blame the lost on him for not picking Hillary when the whole time we know that he will not win because he is not white. Race is everything in this country. If not why do I hear them talk about the black vote ,the white vote ect. Get out of your dream world and open your eyes and see that we are in America the land of the KKK. MLK had a dream and a dream it will always be because of the hate that is in all of our blood. McSame faught tooth and nail against MLK the Holiday. How can anybody vote for that racist who is of color I don't know.
    Hillary showed McSame how to beat Obama and it has been on TV for the past week. It is in full use.
    Obama08 A Dream

    July 31, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  18. Todd

    I can't hardly stand Obama, so much so that I turn my TV off when a commerical comes on. Call it whatever you want, but I will be voting Republican this election, and yes, I was a FULL and STAUNCH Hillary support, yes, I have contributed to her campaign before and after, yes, I think I would rather wretch on a pot of gold than to vote for one said purple man!

    July 31, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  19. Bob Stephens

    McSame is so out of touch with the American Public, it is unbelievable. He walks around in his $500 shoes, lives in 7 different houses, and can't "watch " the internet, and he thinks he relates to the people that he wants to vote for him. What a joke.....

    July 31, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  20. TR in TX

    I haven't heard any race card being played.

    I must have missed it when I was out getting my car tuned up and having the tires inflated.

    NOBAMA '08

    July 31, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. Chris

    Here we go!!!
    John don't take a page from HRC play book because it didn't work. It kills me every time an African American calls some one on the floor, we are playing the Race Card!!!
    Here is the deal folk we don't play the Race Card we play the cards we are dealt!!!
    Obama was just stating a fact that he is diffrent!!! John you are trying to scare folks because he is diffrent and it's not only his policies your trying to show the dfferences in either!!!

    July 31, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  22. marianna

    Who says Obama does not look like all those presidents on dollar bills? Of course he does.

    He is all GREEN.

    July 31, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  23. PC

    Negative campaigning works. When a candidate get smeared, he/she needs to fight back. McCain's nasty and dishonest attacks will work if Obama doesn't respond appropriately or ignores them. Over the past 40 years, the GOP has won election after election by nominating candidates willing to play off peoples fears and insecurities. While the GOP has had its share of noble and well intentioned advocates, i.e. Barry Goldwater, its upper echelons are now filled with hacks, charlatans, ideoilogiacl simpletons and hateful demagogues and cynical opportunists. McCain may not be one of them, but he is certainly embedded with and beholden to them.

    July 31, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  24. Robert in MN

    No wonder they called him McNasty in high school. It is clear he will do anything, say anything to win. What is also obvious is that he realizes that if he talks about the issues he will lose.

    July 31, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  25. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    mccain, don't even need to try to play the race card. (Read author J.A, Rogers) But we can play the traitor card. Google: Songbird John McCain.

    July 31, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
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