August 5th, 2008
07:38 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama: Republicans take pride in being ignorant


Watch Obama speak out against McCain and the Republican party.

BEREA, Ohio (CNN) – For almost a week, John McCain and his campaign have been mocking Barack Obama’s comments to a voter last week in Missouri when he told her to one way to conserve energy is “making sure your tires are properly inflated.”

On Monday a top McCain advisor passed around tire gauges labeled “Obama’s Energy Plan” to reporters on the Arizona senator’s campaign plane - and the Republican National Committee says more are waiting for the Obama traveling press corps at Tuesday night’s hotel.

Obama shot back at a town hall in Ohio Tuesday afternoon, accusing them of lying about his energy plan and ignoring what experts say would reduce gas consumption between 3 and 4 percent.

“It's like these guys take pride in being ignorant,” Obama told a packed gym. “They think it’s funny that they're making fun of something that is actually true. They need to do their homework.”

“Instead of running ads about Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, they should go talk to some energy experts and actually make a difference,” Obama added.

Both the RNC and McCain’s campaign responded by urging Obama to call for Congress to return from summer recess for a special session to pass an energy package.

“Rather than demanding Americans inflate their tires, Obama should be demanding Congress return to DC to vote on a real energy plan. Obama is wrong: Inflated tires are no substitute for oil drilling and a comprehensive energy plan,” said RNC spokesman Alex Conant.

The race took a sharp turn for the negative last week, as McCain released the ‘Celeb’ ad aimed at Obama, who said the presumptive Republican nominee would try to make him look scary by saying the Illinois senator doesn’t “look like all the presidents on the dollar bills.”

“Our politics has gotten so nasty,” said Obama in Berea. “But not just nasty, also cynical and manipulative, right? Where we say things that we don’t mean.”

“I’m happy to have a battle of words because I’ve got facts on my side. I’ve got truth on my side. I fear no man when I’ve got truth on my side,” he added.

soundoff (377 Responses)
  1. Taylor Davis

    Obama is the ignorant one. Experts say that is a car's tire pressure is not the expected amount, then changing that can add 3 to 4 % improvement to that automobile. However, many people already have their their tire pressure at the recommended amount, so if everyone checked their tire pressure, we could not expect a nationwide 3 or 4% drop. That is just not true.
    It is about time that we elected politician who are smarter than goats.

    August 5, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  2. Denise

    Don't forget, they are also bitter, you condescending jerk.

    August 5, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  3. Ted

    Indeed, Time magazine writes that Obama is correct here. "But who's really out of touch? The Bush Administration estimates that expanded offshore drilling could increase oil production by 200,000 bbl. per day by 2030. We use about 20 million bbl. per day, so that would meet about 1% of our demand two decades from now. Meanwhile, efficiency experts say that keeping tires inflated can improve gas mileage 3%, and regular maintenance can add another 4%. Many drivers already follow their advice, but if everyone did, we could immediately reduce demand several percentage points. In other words: Obama is right."

    August 5, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  4. Jenna

    Obama, you just insulted people who may have considered voting for you, it does not seem like you can get with the program. Now that you have insulted my affiliation and my level of intellegance I say no deal.

    Repub in California

    August 5, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  5. A Woman In California For Obama

    Well, I'm glad to see you are fighting back but I don't think ALL republicans are ignorant. As a matter of fact, I share some of their views. (I'm just against this unnecessary war). However, I do think McCain is ignorant. Very ignorant. He sure fits in well with those bikers.

    August 5, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  6. Benjamin Reid

    I saw Senator Obama speak at the Town Hall in Berea. I cannot stress enough how impressive he was. He is obviously a very good speaker and his prepared speech on energy was wonderful, but after, when he took questions from the audience, is when he was really spectacular. He is intelligent, he listens, and is thoughful with his responses. I am a Hillary supporter, and though I never doubted I would vote for the democratic candidate, after seeing Senator Obama in person, I couldn't be more excited about the possibilites to come. Thank you to the Obama campaign and Baldwin Wallace College for hosting the event.

    August 5, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  7. The Other Campaign Strategist at 115th St & Amsterdam Ave

    Senator Obama .... KISS … Keep It [the message] Simple Stupid

    a) Democrats are always smarter and more intellectual about the case / rationale for their positions but they also communicate in a way that come across as complex.

    This intimidates and goes over the head of the general population.

    Few people (even then) thought Bush was smarter than Gore or Kerry and yet the mid section of this country kept voting for him. YOU NEED TO REMEMBER THAT.

    b) Remember Ross Perot’s simple charts? Some people made fun of him but those Simple Charts gave visual Americans a way to get the message. Give them a mental image that they can keep as to why You are the MAN.

    c) Tell Simple Stories … always limit yourselves to making 3 points … it’s all most Americans can remember / recall.

    d) GO ON OFFENSE … Don’t Play Defense Keep McCain’s team off balance. He will revert to what he knows and what he knows will come across as dated.

    August 5, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  8. Boye

    “Rather than demanding Americans inflate their tires, Obama should be demanding Congress return to DC to vote on a real energy plan. Obama is wrong: Inflated tires are no substitute for oil drilling and a comprehensive energy plan,”

    This just shows how ignorant they are. Is using Sun Screen a substitute for a comprehensive health care plan? I don't see anyone handing out sun screen labeled McCain's Healthcare Plan. I am not in anyway saying that Obama's energy plan is better than McCain's but please don't try to trivialize something that could gas consumption (even if it is by just a little).

    It's just like saying let's solve America's healthcare problem without telling American's to live healthier lives. My two cents.

    August 5, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  9. Kevin

    Obama should run his own citizens advice bureau instead of running for President. He could give out little pieces of advice like "Always eat your greens" or "Clean your teeth before bedtime" he would be making a much more worthwhile contribution to American life if he did this instead.

    August 5, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  10. From Texas

    The RNC are not really care about the main issues we're facing. All they care about is themselves and that's why they are all corrupted. They are a corrupt party and their government. They enery bill they are trying to influence people about is not going to happen now, and sooner. It's not going to fix the problem we are facing right now. Senator Obama's energy plan is absolutely gonna fix the problem now and sooner than expected. So, people wake up to the fact before it's too late. Obama for president!

    August 5, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  11. dr. yes we can

    i was a republican until today.after listening to both of barack's town halls ,today,i can see,now,why he has gotten this far.he seems sincere and intelligent.good sense of humor,and no-nonsense attitude.i tried to listen to mccains town halls,but,fell asleep every time.sorry,sen. mccain,but, i cant vote for someone who sounds like the politicians of the 70s.bush has disgraced my party and my country.

    August 5, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  12. Lucas, Nashville TN


    Nice one. And so true. I work with TONS of people who just revel in ignorance, as they hit that forward button on their email boxes...

    August 5, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  13. Adam from NY

    What an awful headline. You make it sound as if Obama is saying that all Republican take pride in being ignorant.

    August 5, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  14. Tom

    This guy's campaign is crashing and burning. LOL
    Name-calling is "Change we can believe in"??
    Obama is toast.

    YES, WE McCAN!!

    August 5, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  15. cynthia ayers

    Funny how McCain does an about-face when America calls him on not only his politics but also on his ability to run a respectable campaign. With all of his (and his staff's) childish antics of late, his disrespect for the American people's troubles, and his complete ignorance of what the American people want or need.. how does he expect anyone to vote for him with confidence?
    Obama is running a clean, respectable... need I mention mature... campaign based on intelligent, thoughtful leadership, realistic and reachable politics, and a focus on the American people rather than on slamming his opponent.
    And once upon a time, I backed McCain...

    August 5, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  16. NoObama

    Obama doesnt have time to discuss issues in Congress , he is tired and needs a much-needed vacation with family.

    He is a talking machine, we all know, and needs a break.
    Behind the scenes, he takes money from Energy and Oil companies, and in front of public he criticizes big oil companies.

    Does he know Oil companies do provide employment to so many people, that oil companies do get involved with lotta charitable work, and that oil companies do give government lotta taxes, and they will give more taxes if there is an able President who dares to ask them, not a scary Obama, who just wants to run away from drilling, and exploring oil for Americans. If we have resources, use them intelligently.

    August 5, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  17. DemsUnite

    Keeping tires properly inflated actually can reduce fuel consumption by at least 4% per vehicle, which overall would cut oil use more than drilling; drilling would increase our supply by 3% in 10 years and do nothing to lower prices now. What about the 86 million acres available to oil companies now that they're not even using?
    Congress would have recessed whether or not their majority is Democrat; Bush knows this. Why did he wait until the 11th hour to present his bill? Simply to make Congress look as though they're doing nothing for not immediately pushing through his legislation without a broader energy package. Dems did the same thing to the GOP when they had the majority. People should really be able to see though this stuff by now, shouldn't they?

    August 5, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  18. Jason

    Now he is calling republicans ignorant and what do his supporters do... They start relating any stupid statement in society to republicans. Once again the Unity candidate of 2008 sounds and acts alot like the unity candidate of 2000. Bush said all the right things and did all the wrong ones so did his supporters. Preaching unity while spreading division is what Bush did and it seems Obama and his supporters are using that same strategy.

    August 5, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  19. victor

    Even me without a car have read and head that having proper inflated tires saves you some gas and keep your car well alinend. It is amazing how ignorant John Mccain and his campaine are. If america votes for John then you will have put into the white house someone dummer that Bush what a shame that day is gona be.

    August 5, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  20. M. Winners, Mesa, AZ

    It's about time he's telling it like it is regarding how the Rovian repugs are running the "fear, smear and mock" McLame campaign.
    Can't wait to see if the McLame repugs handle the response to Obama setting the record straight with poise and adult talk like Obama usually does – probably not...

    August 5, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  21. Sean

    Obama is absolutely correct. McCain slams Obama's legitimate suggestions, but still continues to push his idiotic "gas tax holiday" plan that virtually every economist in the country has clearly stated will not work.

    Makes me seriously question how well McCain is polling....are the polls inaccurate, or are people so uninformed that they don't realize that so much of what he says is either wrong or simply a lie?

    August 5, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  22. Duke

    You would think that the American people would be offended that McCain would actually try to make political points on something that every expert has been saying all along. Tire pressure matters. The Repubs take the American people for fools and so far over the last 2 elections, the Repubs have calculated accurately. I hope that we, the American people, do not let them get away with it this time.

    Y'all, McCain is not the same McCain from 2000. He is know a tightly crafted product of the Republican party. I like the man, but not for president at this juncture in our history. God Bless John McCain.

    Obama 08

    August 5, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  23. BigBill

    Ignorant is when you stand up and say, with a straight face, that inflating tires properly will cause this country to be energy independent–that is true ignorance. Hussein is more than just vapid, he is truly a simpleton.

    August 5, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  24. H-ROD


    August 5, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  25. Randy

    Obama is exactly right. The Republican Party has been lying to us for 8 years and has no intention of stopping now. Worst than that the average American has been dumb enough to believe the lies. I hope beyond hope that people start paying attention the truth that Obama has put in front of us and act intelligently in November.

    August 5, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
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