September 6th, 2008
04:30 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama: Republicans must think you’re stupid

Sen. Obama mocked the McCain-Palin ticket for casting themselves as mavericks.
Sen. Obama mocked the McCain-Palin ticket for casting themselves as mavericks.

TERRE HAUTE, Indiana (CNN) – Since leaving their convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, John McCain and Sarah Palin have tried to cast themselves as mavericks, Washington outsiders, the real agents of change.

Barack Obama isn’t buying it and wants the label for himself.

“Everywhere I go we’ve been talking about change, that’s been the theme of this campaign,” Obama told supporters in a show barn in Indiana. “And we must be on to something, because I notice now everyone’s talking about change now.”

Watch: Obama jokes he's never been to Alaska

“Suddenly [McCain’s] the change agent!” Obama laughed. “He says, “I’m going to tell those lobbyists that their days of running Washington are over.” Who’s he going to tell? Is he going to tell his campaign chairman who’s one of the biggest corporate lobbyists in Washington? Is he going to tell his campaign manager who was one of the biggest corporate lobbyists in Washington? Is he going to tell all the folks who are running his campaign who are the biggest corporate lobbyists in Washington?”

“Who is it that he’s going to tell that change is coming?” he added, “I mean come on, they must think you’re stupid!”

Obama said Thursday that he’ll focus on McCain because he’s running against McCain and not his running mate Sarah Palin. But Saturday Obama singled out Palin for the first time for flip-flopping on earmarks while governor of Alaska.

“She is a skillful politician,” said Obama, “but when you’ve been taking all these earmarks when it is convenient and then suddenly you’re the champion anti-earmark person, that is not change, come on. I mean, words mean something. You can’t just make stuff up. You can’t just make stuff up.”

The McCain campaign shot back saying that Obama is all talk.

“Barack Obama has requested the equivalent of one million dollars in new pork barrel spending for every working day he's been in the U.S Senate,” wrote McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds in an e-mail to reporters. “While John McCain has never once asked for an earmark, and Governor Palin has vetoed hundreds of millions in government spending including killing the infamous 'bridge to nowhere'.

When a former Republican asked the Illinois senator if he would welcome ‘converts’ like him, Obama took the opportunity to accuse McCain of hypocrisy.

“I have to say, when John McCain says in his [acceptance] speech that he wants to reduce the rancor in Washington and I’m thinking, did you pay attention to the last two days of your convention?” Obama chuckled, “were you not watching? Did they not get the memo?”

“When it starts getting personal, when you start just focusing exclusively on trying to tear the other person down instead of what you are going to do on behalf of the American people to deal with this economy, then that’s not serving Democrats, that’s not serving Republicans, that’s not serving anybody.”

soundoff (177 Responses)
  1. get out & vote

    America has had enough of the current party. Make the repubs pay for the mess they've gotten this country in. Make sure you get out and vote and tell everyone you know to vote...Obama/Biden!

    September 6, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. Independent

    Please everyone laughs at the repubs that support McCain especially woman, who now see sexism in everything yet continue to support McCain despite his stance on equal pay for equal work for woman. McCain praised Bush during the convention then flips and admits that Washington is broken?! McCain voted against GI bill for our veterans yet he is a veteran, Washington obviously changed McCain!

    Obama /Biden 08'

    September 6, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. Daryl

    Who really thinks you are stupid?

    Obama says spend more money that is his economic plan, for Government to waste more of your money on things like another economic stimulus, how can he look at the jobs number and say that the last one worked?

    Stimulate the JOB MARKET not the average person's wallet, you cannot spend your way out this time!

    The Government cannot create an economy by extending more credit, wake up! America is not broken, the economy is not broken, THE CREDIT MARKET IS BROKEN! Everything comes from that and Obamas plan is to spend more by taking out a loan on the future.

    We are in trouble because of over-spending, individually and as a country.

    Time to stop spending, everyone has to tighten their belts, especially the Government.

    September 6, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  4. Concern in Ohio

    Eight is enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 6, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. maria

    COME ON, MR. OBAMA, HOW CAN YOU CLAIM THAT IT IS ONLY YOU AND YOU ALONE (NOT EVEN SEN. CLINTON IS GOOD ENOUGH TO BE COMPARED TO YOU) WHO CAN BRING ABOUT CHANGE WHEN YOU DO NOT HAVE AN EXECUTIVE RECORD TO SUPPORT YOU, AND THE ONLY AVAILABLE RECORD IS YOUR VOTING RECORD IN THE SENATE, WHEN 80% OF THE TIME, THE VOTES THAT YOU CAST ON THE MOST IMPORTANT LAWS ARE PRESENT OR NOT VOTING (NEITHER YES OR NO), SIMPLY BECAUSE IT IS EITHER YOU CANNOT DECIDE BECAUSE YOUR CHARACTER AND INTENTIONS ARE BASED ON POLITICAL EXPEDIENCIES, OR THAT YOUR VOTE MIGHT NOT BE POPULAR OR YOU SIMPLY CANNOT DECIDE ON WHAT IS RIGHT AND WRONG, AND EVERY DECISION YOU HAVE MADE, IS MAKING AND WILL MAKE WILL DEPEND NOT ON YOUR VALUES BUT ON WHAT IS POPULAR.

    ALL YOUR FANS REALLY FEEL THAT YOU ARE THE ONE, YOU ARE GOD SENT, YOU ARE THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD'S PROBLEMS. MR. OBAMA, YOU CANNOT EVEN ADMIT WHAT KIND OF SPIRITUAL ADVISOR YOU HAD FOR TWENTY YEARS, UNTIL YOU HAD TO DISOWN HIM (HE WHO WAS FAMILY AND SPIRITUAL MENTOR TO YOU) AGAIN ...... FOR POLITICAL EXPEDIENCY. AND MUCH, MUCH MORE SPIRITUAL AND POLITICAL EXPERIENCE.

    September 6, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  6. Greg

    It's official: Obama's starting to feel the heat.

    September 6, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  7. dgent

    You're right, Mr. Obama. Words do mean something. And the simple fact of the matter is that I trust John McCain more than you. You have the nerve to call out someone for changing their position and call it flip-flopping? Sir, your party and yourself have the patent on that. But, again, Sarah Palin has everyone talking about everything other than yourself. Amazing to me that the Democratic Party is darn near blowing a slam dunk election. Nice job, keep talking!

    September 6, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. SallyS

    Obama: Yes, we can.

    McCain: Yes, we should have.

    September 6, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. Tom from Vienna

    "...come on. I mean, words mean something. You can’t just make stuff up. "

    [What about working with your opponent to take public financing.]

    "Obama said Thursday that he’ll focus on McCain..."

    [But, I thought Obama was going to focus on the issues. ]

    "he added, 'I mean come on, they must think you’re stupid!'"

    Change in his pocket. Changing his mind. Obama is a real change agent.

    September 6, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  10. boston observer

    Thank you, Obama. Take it to them. The mish mash of messages that the Republics are trying to send - we're change... but we've been there 30 years; we're for energy independence ... but we have voted for oil and done nothing for 30 years; we're against evil lobbyists ... but our campaign is run by them and Palin lived at the trough; we are all for reaching across the aisle... but we ran a mean-spirited, personal attack oriented convention.

    There words mean nothing - all of it is mis-representation of Obama and falsehoods about themselves. It truly makes me naseated. If they would make their case clearly - and then honestly dissect Obama - i would be fine. But that isn't what they are doing.

    For me, the conventions were the message. The democrats were respectful of their opponents; the republicans were condescending, caustic, personal and mean-spirited. Which one is the change we need? Which one holds promise for reaching across the aisle?

    September 6, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  11. Bob

    You go Obama. The Republicans are full of themselves, lets stop going down that endless rabbit hole.

    Obama Biden 2008 !!

    Hillary for Sec of State !!!

    What a Team !

    September 6, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  12. Joyce

    Most all comments are against McCain-Palin but the polls show they are within two points. There is something wrong with this picture.
    The ones being polled are probablly rich and don't want to loose there commections in Washington.
    I hope people aren't as dumb as the Republicans think they are.

    September 6, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  13. Samina Hayaat

    We had eight years of cowboy. Do we need pitbull..

    September 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  14. Your female version has surfaced( CNN, Please post this)!

    Obama,
    When you look at Sarah I'm sure you see your female version (only white) don't you? You know you should not talke about McCain. You are talking about change what did you change in Chicago when you were senator? Oh yes, vote 130 times present. That is a good change from actually working and making a decision on issues. And since you've been in Washington what change? Oh yes, run for president, that is a good change from actually going to Washington to work for the people who elected you.

    So you're in no position to talk about others claim to change. Do you now own change? I could take you on with just a few facts. I'm not one of the coolaid drinking dumb fools. Americans are stupid, yes, because they have allowed a lightweight like you to be a standard bearer. Did you not come to prominance based on star power, and love from the media? Well, meet your double only this time she is female and I'm sure you still have scars from Hillary to know females do not let you get away with it easily.

    I AM GLAD MCCAIN PICKED PALIN. Women of America, your last chance for the next four years to have a woman as #2 in Washington, seize your chance. VOTE McCain/Palin.

    September 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. Mom In Monroe

    Also – it's not as though Obama is the first presidential candidate to speak of change. Is he somehow trying to convince us that he owns the philosophy of change? Please.

    Hey CNN – where's the story of the discarded flags from the DNC? Way to have a "green convention" – toss 12,000 american flags into the local landfill.

    September 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    More people watched his speech than McCains.
    Obama spent a TON more money to get less of a result.
    Wake up America that is the Obama plan to divide the US into rich and not rich, GOP and not GOP, Bush supporters and not supporters.

    HE IS A DIVIDER

    Just read most of the posts on this site. The hate against people most of you DO know. Your neighbor your postman your grocer the thing is the non Obama voters are not nearly as hate filled or visible. THEY ARE HEARING THE HATE TORWARD THEM AND WILL VOTE.

    Keep up the hate it will backfire.

    YOU INSULT THOSE YOU KNOW AND DON"T EVEN KNOW IT.

    Ignorance is truly bliss.

    OBAMA supporters are the REAL TRUE hate mongers.

    Change you are SEEING already and its a mob of his supporters of angry filled zombies.

    They TALK about the hate in the GOP but THEY are the ones that SHOW AND SPEW THE HATE THEMSELVES.

    AMERICA IS LISTENING and the independent voters ARE LISTENING.

    September 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  17. gary

    it now seems that obama thinks he can win over decent republicans by calling them stupid. That is a change. I think only stupid people call other decent people stupid

    September 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  18. Dem for McCain

    McCain has a history of trying to change Washington. Obama has none. No one can give an example of Obama working across the aisle because he has very little time in the Senate. McCain-Feingold is one example out of thousands for McCain.

    September 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  19. Elenadia from New york

    Lol! Now its McCain who has the britnay/celeb problem.

    How does it feel, McCain to be 72 years old, finally picked by your party and to be thoroughly upstaged by your own "celeb candidate"

    Lol, nobody would bother going to your appearances if not for her. When she goes back to Alaska next week, lets see McCain's crowd counts.

    Oh, OK, he'll probably cancel public appearances and go fundraising among the conservatives and right wing extremists until she gets back.

    The old Romans used to give the people bread and circuses to keep them voting the right way. The Republicans just give us circuses and keep the bread for themselves.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08/12

    September 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  20. vj

    Can someone explain to me what Obama has done that makes him the "agent of change"??Talking about it?? Or just because he started talking about it, he owns the word "change"??
    To top it off, he goes ahead and picks the worst possible running mate who is anything but change..`35 years in the do nothing senate..
    Obama never took on his party one single time..that shows he is a spineless politician who just got lucky by exploiting the "change" theme

    September 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  21. sean

    First the surge was a huge mistake, now it was a huge success.
    Careful with allegations on your allegations of the skillful politician really is..

    Thank you Komerad Barry for saving us. I can't wait to quit work next January so all those hard working Libs will support me.

    September 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  22. Andrew

    MCCAIN does even Support MCCAIN – FEINGOLD......his name is on the bill.

    SOMEONE ONCE called him a Maverick and you red fools beleive it. He CALLED his wife a few things too, DO THEY STILL STICK?

    September 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  23. Rick

    He's hoping that america will fall for the same negative hatefull politics...back in last election most voters didnt know how to find out the infomation for them self...now its a differnt story its 2008 mccain 70% know how to use a cpu...

    September 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  24. Jeffrey

    I am sick of all this talk of McCain being a maverick! He changed most of his positions and fell in line with the Bush administration after Bush defeated him in the primaries. Bush & Co. dragged McCain through the mud & McCain simply bent over and let them have their way with him. Maverick...!? To me, that's being a wimp! And McCain's "Country First" theme...give me a break! Here's a guy who switched all his positions, ideals, and principals just to keep his political career going! This is the same guy who contacted John Kerry about being his running mate!

    McCain is a hypocrite & Palin is a joke. If this country elects them to continue on the destructive path we've been on for 8 years, then I guess the US deserves whatever they ask for.

    OBAMA...change for the better. McCain...change for whatever's best for himself...at the time.

    September 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  25. Greg FL.

    Palin is a joke. It's a joke being played by McCain. She is nothing more then a gimmick to help save McCain's campaign. He must be laughing to himself at night. He thinks so little of the US public he didn't even bother to vette this women. So much for country first. It's John McCain first.

    September 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
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