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. becky

    I watched his speech on the news about 3 weeks ago. McCain did say "Obama did not fit the image on a dollar bill". I must be honest here. I am white and my first thought was "because he is black"... my second thought was... "how low can this man go". I am not saying that is what McCain meant it to be, but that is how I took it. So yes, I believe McCain did play the "silent race card".

    July 31, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. Carilyn

    Divisive, negative, shameful and wrong???? Really??? Seems to me that pretty much sums up McCain's entire campaign strategy!

    July 31, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  3. Marj,Paso Robles, Cal

    Dumbama has been using race for years. He is a shameful disgrace.

    July 31, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. Tara Walls Sux

    Cnn why do u guys continually have this liar Tara Walls on your network, she lies on every single subject. Get rid of her.

    She forgets quickly what McCain does then lies about Obama.

    She sucks, she likes to talk over everyone else when she spreading her lies too...i know whe psss's you guys off by not letting others talk...
    Get rid of her...

    July 31, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  5. obamaforyourmama

    this is ridiculous! mccain needs to focus on the issues at hand here, not waste time making baseless attacks on the opponent. obama knows how to keep it positive.

    July 31, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. GINA, OHIO

    MCCAIN YOU ARE A DISGRACE TO AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOW CAN ANYBODY EVEN VOTE FOR YOU! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE IN THE PAST 25 YEARS??? NOTHING FOR THE ECONOMY!!! NOTHING FOR HEALTHCARE!!!!!! NOTHING FOR ENERGY!! WHAT MAKES EVEN YOU SO QUALIFIED TO BE PRESIDENT??????? I DONT EVEN KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT YOU EITHER!!! EXCEPT THAT YOU ARE A SENATOR!! THAT'S IT!!!!!! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WHILE YOU WERE THERE??????? OUR COUNTRY IS GOING TO CRAP AND YOUR SO CALLED EXPERIENCE FOR 25 YEARS HASN'T MADE ANYTHING BETTER AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 31, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. Brian

    I wonder when McCain will start talking about the issues.
    We can't have another bold faced liar in the White House.

    Obama 08.

    July 31, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. Jerry

    MCSAME is a racist ask him why did he support MLK birthday and why is state of Arizona is the only state does not recognize MLK birthday why is CNN is not jumping on MCSAME for not supporting MLK birthday

    July 31, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  9. Jason

    No one was discussing race until the McCain campaign released their statement this morning. Who is injecting race into the campaign?

    July 31, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Race is what makes the difference in life styles in theis country. Remember Willie Horton? There is a word call truth. We all know that race matters when certain people are vieing for power. Mc cain and his people are using everything possible to win because they have an intelligent opponent with a vision for this country. please America,stop listening to the negative ads about Obama and listen to the things he says and make your own decisions. Why did God give us all a brain and ears? F.B Illinois

    July 31, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. P, CA

    Independent in Iowa: Yeah, and Googling "Hillary Clinton" gets you all roses, right?

    I'm sorry, but Obama's been vetted for over 3/4ths of a year now, and while I've seen a lot come out, none of it has been fatally crippling. None of it shows corruption. Every so-called controversial "tie" he's had, he's explained thoroughly and he's been very forthcoming. Now, he's focusing on issues (even though the MSM just reports the few sentences he says to defend himself against McCain's basless attacks), and McCain can't handle it. Frankly, McCain's just been a hate-monger recently and he's trying to spread lies and/or caricatures to make people doubt Obama. I don't really see much negativity coming from Obama's camp, unless it's a mild negative to combat an inaccurate statement.

    If someone had to pin a negative adjective on me, I'd rather be a "whiner" than a "blusterer" anyday. I'd rather hold on to a perceived slight and defend myself then grasp at tons of lies. In one of the two cases, your hands are empty.

    July 31, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  12. Martha from KY

    CNN

    Please help me know why you want me to moderate my blog? I'm at a loss>

    Thanks

    July 31, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  13. Griff

    It is not his Race: John. But it is everything else; he believes in..
    He is a Socialist/Communist. Most Complacent Guy, the USA as had to put up with... No Security can be found, with this Guy and His Belief..

    July 31, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  14. Allen in Hartwell, Ga.

    Since the 1960s the GOP has played the race card, and this campaign is no different except for one minor issue...Americans seem to be fed up with the them. There are only so many excuses to explain why Obama isn't the man we want as our president when the only reason is the color of his skin. We all bleed red and cry clear tears.

    July 31, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. jeff

    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.”

    It is not an apparent reference to Obama being black. It is a direct refernce to him saying McBush is going to try and scare voters because Obama is black.
    Obama has used the race card and it was not McBush who used it or his campaign.
    McBush has a black daughter. More than I can say about Obama

    July 31, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  16. NoMccain

    Race this race that. I'm sick of it.
    Don't you realize that everytime the issue of race arises, Barack Obama wins! Every time he can keep that tennis ball in his court, he will continue to score points. He did it successfully against both of the Clintons, and will do it to you too Mccain.
    Frankly, I'm tired about hearing about issues of race. Its crap, and we need to seriously get over it. Yes, perhaps we are all genetically predisposed to be judgemental in one way or another, but we should simply acknowledge it and move on.
    Let's start talkign about issues, and not the dead end issue of race.

    July 31, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  17. Nathan

    "Barack Obama: The Paris Hilton of Politics"

    I'm very confused by this comparison. Has Paris Hilton been speaking to crowds of 200,000? Earned the respect and admiration of world leaders? Risen from a single parent, low-income childhood to be the president of the Harvard Law Review (and the first African American to do it)? Written two books that have inspired a generation?

    July 31, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  18. California Gold

    McCain has yet to disclose what he has to offer the voter. Our economy is in the dumper. Our military is suffering. Our citizens are becoming homeless due primarily to the fact our jobs have been moved to India or Mexico or outsourced. We have no long term plan for the country when it comes to health care, social security, energy and economy. Our government's reputation (not the citizens) around the world is deplorable. Why is your entire focus on your opponent? Please try to offer something of substance and value for the voter to consider.

    July 31, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  19. Obama Supporter from FL

    "And there's no place in this campaign for that. There's no place for it and we shouldn't be doing it."

    I completely agree McCain – you shouldn't be doing what you are now doing. Grotesque is the only word.

    July 31, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  20. anymous

    hes like bush

    July 31, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  21. PUMA-PAC - Hussein 4BHO

    Dirty old man!

    July 31, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  22. Sn in MN

    It is acceptable for 90% of black voters to show their bigotry by voting for the black guy, but it is unacceptable for non-blacks to vote for someone they identify and feel comfortable with. Plastic Jesus is not "one of us". His old man was a foreigner, his mother married (or at least had kids by) two foreigners, and lived outside the US for most of her adult life. He spends 20 years in a racist, anti-American church and supports open borders. Sorry, but he isn’t “one of my people”.

    July 31, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  23. PUMA 4 HILL

    Obama and his thugs, including all the Black Pundits, pre-emptively brought race into this (as far back as January in the primaries, nope it wasn't the Clintons) so as to blunt any such use.

    Get off of it Obama cult. You are behind an extreme liberal agenda and we all know it.

    GAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG me

    July 31, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  24. Roosevelt Bryant Jr.

    Please exclude Tara Wall from the CNN contributors list. CNN
    can do better. This woman is an IDIOT!

    July 31, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  25. GerryM

    John McCain’s uses of substitute words for racist attacks against Barack Obama are totally transparent. McCain thinks we are so stupid that we do not recognize that what McCain really means is that Obama is a black man and black men should not be the president of the United States. What could John McCain know about the ‘race card’ anyhow? He is the product of a privilege so far removed from normal ordinary Americans that he could not possibly known what real racial discrimination is. Senator Obama withstood the racial attacks during the primary campaign and he will withstand those slung at him now by John McCain.

    July 31, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
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