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. Tom

    Obviously, Mr. Obama is an expert in hot air. From what I've heard, he seems to be very talented at blowing smoke in all the right places as well. But while he's talking about tire pressure, gas prices are dropping because the world has seen that 70% + of our population wants to pursue ALL the available energy solutions. Imagine what would happen if congress would actually start following through on that.

    As for his tire pressure argument, I'd guess that there's a large segment of our population that already checks their tire pressure or uses an alternative to air to keep the pressure correct (most of them are probably republicans) so the effect if everyone did it wouldn't be that great.

    August 5, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  2. Citizen Ruth

    McCain is the lousiest candidate ever, if America is stupid enough to elect him, I'm movin out. If Denmark wasn't so dark most of the year, I'd go there. They are happy, progressive and intelligent.

    August 5, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  3. John is the right choice

    The ignorant one is the one that will tax oil companies, which didn't work during the 70's, it would just result in less drilling and less resources being extracted and higher prices at the pump.

    Obama you are an empty suit that thinks everything should be taxed. You are the ignorant one, that will tax and spend us to a depression.

    McCain\Hillary '08

    August 5, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  4. GP

    Obama also stated the obvious:

    Republicans are good at winning elections but don't know or care about governing.

    The past seven and a half years are all the proof one need to support that observation.

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

    Good. I'm glad he said it.

    August 5, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  6. Ashley

    CNN why dont you report what other news stations have that Obama was the first one to bring up that he was bigger than Paris Hilton in an article a while back?? I know it is irrelevant but he keeps mentioning it on the campaign trail, I think it is fair for you all to report that he was the first one to actually make the parallel.

    August 5, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  7. Mai

    According to the information I have seen, only about 15% of vehicles are driven with low tire pressure. The amount of gas saved was based on all vehicles driving with low tire pressure. OK.

    August 5, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  8. lol

    This was good ... even NASCAR recommend that proper tire inflation can help with MPG!

    August 5, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  9. Glen

    “It's like these guys take pride in being ignorant,”

    So are you Democrats going to continue lying and claim that Obama doesn't do any mudslinging? I know I'll just keep seeing more of his minions saying that McCain is the only one attacking people here, but Obama is playing the same game.

    Do you guys really think getting 1 mpg more is going to make us less oil dependant? If so then please find yourself one of those nifty tire gauges they're handing out. I'm sure you'll see the savings. lol

    August 5, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  10. Ron

    Wow, did that one backfire on the McCain campaign and the RNC or what? A comes out and gives a small piece of advice that would save more oil than we could produce from off-shore drilling though 2030 and all we do is make fun of him. Guess Obama is getting the last laugh.

    As for DEM08 and all those folks that proudly supported Senator Clinton, please focus on today's race and not the one that will never be. Senator Obama hasn't vetted Senator Clinton and if he was serious, they would have been talking long before now. Watch for Senator Clinton get rise in the Senate or be offered another high level position (I doubt she would leave the Senate) after the election. I don't mean to be critical or demeaning to you wonderful people but I kind of feel you are beating a dead horse and just don't know its dead. I like Senator Clinton and think her health plan was the right choice over Senator Obama's. I hope that he adopts her plan has his when he gets elected but don't look for her to be on the ticket. Let just make sure Senator McCain stays exactly where he should and not continue the failed policies of the past eight years.

    August 5, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  11. Brian

    Wow! Here he goes again. Mr. Elitist thinks common hardworking Americans are ignorant. Oh and only he has the truth so all us uneducated peons should just shut up an listen. My goodness. There is no way more than a small fraction of the American people are going to go inflate their tires after hearing him and even if everybody did, it would save nowhere near as much as drilling for oil. I mean, how can he say that drilling for oil won't bring down the price but opening the strategic reserve will? Such a hypocrite. He's seriously got a messiah complex.

    August 5, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  12. Gorbashov - Long Beach, Ca.

    No the Repugnant Party doesn't take pride in their own ignorance they take pride in the fact that their voting base is ignorant. How else would they vote for these despicable losers?!

    It's time for total Democratic rule. If we are not better off in four years them vote out the lot!

    Yes, we can!

    August 5, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  13. Tom

    As for calling the republican party names??? That just doesn't seem to be a very good way to unite the country now does it? Or has he flip flopped on unity as well?

    August 5, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  14. Concerned Citizen

    Dear Obama, the fault is not entirely theirs. Maybe they aren't proud of being ignorant. They've just become numb to the notion that Presidents are supposed to inspire their citizens into helping resolve the Nation's problems. Nevermind the likes of Washington, Lincoln, FDR, Kennedy and Reagan. All considered great presidents partly because they used their ability (there I say, their "celebrity" status) to move the citizenry to take action and make a change. I suppose you could accuse the McCain Campaign of being proud of their ignorance. But maybe it's just that after eight years of a President who can barely speak, let alone inspire, the Nation has forgotten that true leaders, like you – I hope – do inspire the Country into action. Just charge on!

    August 5, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  15. JR, Plymouth

    If ignorance is bliss, McCain and Company must be totally mellowed out...

    August 5, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  16. H-ROD


    August 5, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  17. Michael N.

    Finally he shots back at the tire gauge "joke".

    I mean, I thought the Republicans traditionally believed that what each individual can do to help themselves is more valuable than what a collective government can. How can they now shoot down a very simple, do-it-yourself, immediate step... as small as it may be... to make things a little bit better for yourself... and instead prefer to shout and wait for the 'big government' to do something for them? Puzzling...

    August 5, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  18. Jeremy

    If we all want lower gas prices now, what we have to do is get the Enron loophole closed.
    Close the enron loophole and speculators cannot drive up the price of gas and oil!!
    Why is no one talking/ demanding this!?!?!
    The price of oil would fall at least $1.50 if not much more!!!!!

    August 5, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  19. Craig Nazor

    Most people hear what they want to hear and believe what they want to believe. But our country and our world are at a crossroads, and what happens will not be based on our hopes and fears – it will be based on the physical, chemical, and biological properties of the world around us. We ignore these properties at our grave peril. I will vote for those who understand this. I will not be manipulated by fear, willful ignorance, greed, or cynical political posturing to gain power. I hope others will do the same.

    I will be voting for Barack Obama.

    August 5, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  20. marco

    Quick question for CNN: did Obama really say that "Republicans take pride in being ignorant"? The sentence, as reported by CNN, seems to refer to all Republicans, which would be a ridiculous allegation. So, either Obama made a significant mistake, or "the best political team in TV" should pay more attention on how the ticker's entries are titled.

    August 5, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  21. Mike

    The Republicans are running a campaign predicated on desperate measures.

    You can full some of the people some of the time...but not all of the people all of the time.

    August 5, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  22. S. Boatman

    Unless I Get My Gas Tax Holiday You Are Not Getting My Vote Mccain! NO GAS TAX HOLIDAY. . . NO VOTE FOR YOU! Who Am I Kidding. . . I Was Never Going To Vote For You. . . You Lying, Pandering, Senile War Monger! I Would Never Vote For A Man That Would Enter His Wife In A Topless Beauty Contest So She Could Win The Title Of Miss Cow Pie!

    August 5, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  23. Voter

    I simply cannot stomach this self-aggrandizing elitist.

    So condescending. So smug.

    August 5, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  24. Mike

    Your close Obama. But in truth. The Republican leaders are not ignorant. They just think the voters are. Obama gives good advice to a voter who asks what an individual can do to help with the energy crises. Obama tells the voter the same thing that Nascar says, the same thing that McBush's buddy Charlie Crist says. Which is to use good proper tire inflation. Then the Sleazy McBush camp twists it all around to make fun of what in fact was a good tip. Of course multi millionaire Elitists think that people who have to inflate their tires to save gas are silly whiney little people anyhow.

    August 5, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  25. Larry, Apex, North Carolina

    More and more, McCain is looking like an idiot. I'm not worried about him reading this, though; he doesn't know how to use the internet.

    August 5, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
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