September 13th, 2008
12:01 PM ET
6 years ago

Ike winds don't cool tone on the trail, as Obama blasts McCain

Obama and his camp aimed tough talk at McCain Saturday.
Obama and his camp aimed tough talk at McCain Saturday.

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) – In a shift from the apolitical tone the presidential candidates took during Hurricane Gustav, Barack Obama did not temper his rhetoric Saturday, as his spokesman accused John McCain of “cynically running the sleaziest and least honorable campaign in modern presidential campaign history.”

“John McCain wants to have a debate about national security let’s have that debate. I warned that going into Iraq would distract us from Afghanistan. John McCain cheer-leaded for it. John McCain was wrong and I was right,” Obama told a screaming New Hampshire crowd.

“The McCain-Palin ticket, they don’t want to debate the Obama-Biden ticket on issues because they are running on eight more years of what we’ve just seen. And they know it,” Obama said. “As a consequence what they’re going to spend the next seven, eight weeks doing is trying to distract you.

“They’re going to talk about pigs and they’re going to talk about lipstick, they’re going to talk about Paris Hilton, they’re going to talk about Britney Spears. They will try to distort my record and they will try to undermine your trust in what the Democrats intend to do.”

Watch Obama on Hurricane Ike

Asked why the campaign responded differently than it did around hurricane Gustav, Obama Senior Strategist David Axelrod said,“We have enormous concern for people down there … that’s why we canceled “Saturday Night Live” … but these people also came out because they’re really concerned about the future of the country and he [Obama]wanted to talk about those issues.”

Listen: Obama camp conference call Saturday slams McCain

The McCain campaign criticized Obama for showing “zero restraint” given the storm and said “today’s attacks mark a new low from Barack Obama.”

The Obama camp’s response was even tougher. “We will take no lectures from John McCain who is cynically running the sleaziest and least honorable campaign in modern presidential campaign history,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton. “His discredited ads with disgusting lies are running all over the country today. He runs a campaign not worthy of the office his is seeking.”

At the start of his rally, Obama did put politics aside, encouraging the thousands of voters in attendance to think about those in Texas dealing with the fall out from hurricane Ike.

“I’ve been on the phone with the head of FEMA and mayor of Houston and others who are trying to grapple with this tremendous storm,” he said “I know that one of the things that we’ve seen after Gustav, one of the things that we saw after Katrina and Rita is that during difficult times during moments of tragedy the American people come together. We may argue we may differ but we are all Americans.”

The enormous storm prompted the Obama campaign late Friday night to cancel their candidate’s appearance on the season premiere of “Saturday Night Live” saying that it was “no longer appropriate” given what Gulf residents were facing. Obama’s running-mate Senator Joe Biden also was supposed to attend the Manchester rally but did not.

However, unlike two weeks ago when hurricane Gustav was bearing down on Louisiana,

Obama heads back to Chicago for the weekend before heading out Monday to Colorado.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (354 Responses)
  1. Mandy

    "The McCain campaign criticized Obama for showing “zero restraint” given the storm and said “today’s attacks mark a new low from Barack Obama.”

    The Obama camp’s response was even tougher. “We will take no lectures from John McCain who is cynically running the sleaziest and least honorable campaign in modern presidential campaign history,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton. “His discredited ads with disgusting lies are running all over the country today. He runs a campaign not worthy of the office his is seeking.”'

    OHHHH SCORE FOR THE OBAMA TEAM!

    KEEP BRINGING THE HEAT, OBAMA! AMERICANS WILL SEE THROUGH MCCAIN AND COMPANY'S LIES, SMEARS, DILLUSIONS, MISREPRESENTATIONS AND WILL REALIZE THEY DO IT BECAUSE MCCAIN DID NOT AND DOES NOT HAVE THE SUBSTANCE TO RUN A CAMPAIGN PURELY ON HIS STANCE ON THIS ISSUES! THEY HAD TO BRING IN A POPULAR PUPPETEER TO GET THEIR AUDIENCE EXCITED AND HAD TO START LYING TO MAKE PEOPLE LISTEN. ITS SAD AND I CAN ONLY PRAY IT WILL BE PUT TO A STOP SOON!

    September 13, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. Dennis

    Hmm, I've been watching nothing but sleezy ads full of half-truths and distortions from the McCain campaign running nonstop on all the major networks for the last 2 days. When Obama finally speaks out against them, it's "zero restraint" and a "new low".

    Give us a break, please. Does McCain have the crew for the Jerry Springer show running his campaign now? It sure seems like it; put up a circus sideshow for distraction and ignore reality completely.

    These are the "new mavericks"? Seems like the same old right-wing crap.

    September 13, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  3. mollygonz

    That's right Obama..you take no garbage from the McCain campaign. What a bunch of hypocrites! It's time to fight fire with fire. We are behind you and have your back. It's about time the media paid attention. All this time they are letting McCain get away with murder! Thank you to the ladies on The View. Finally, someone had the gumption to confront McCain!

    September 13, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  4. alberta treadway

    I want to know if you heard john Mccain say he is against rov v wade? I also want to know if anyone on your panel is old enough to remember the back ally abortions? how young girls and women tried to self abort when they had no alternative? do you remember storys of women bleeding to death, and half aborted babys past three months? do you remeber how the damage on botched abortions caused women to suffer lack of blood and oxegon, and some ended up brain dead? do you remember how the rich was able to go alse where to get theirs and the poor had to do it at the hands of the less qualified, and sometimes med students who didn't know all they should know to do it. how some was sent home to bleed to death. How black america suffered the worse with botched abortions, and self imposed abortions! Why aren't you telling the real story of the Horror that Rov v Wade put a stop too, and tell america what they will go back to under the Mccain/Palin ticket?

    September 13, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  5. GARY

    OBAMA ONLY KNOWS DIRTY CHICAGO TACTICS. HE STARTED ALL THE NEGATIVES FROM THE BEGINING AGAINST HIS OWN PARTY HRC. MCCAIN COMES BACK WITH CONTER ATTACK ,O.B.'S FOLLOWERS SHOW THEIR HATE. AMERICA DOSN'T NEED A GREENHORN WITH A FOLLOWING OF HATERS IN THE WHITEHOUSE. MCCAIN/PALIN 2008

    September 13, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. zel shak

    the truth hurts....put down the truth hammer hard on on the mc cain campaign, especially because the people who are suppose to be the referees are congratulating their nasty fowl plays. instead of getting down and dirty with the pigs, hit them with clean shots from outside the pit...then peel the lipstick off..then hammer them again with your superior judgement , vision , and economic plans for the country..we are long overdue...the republicans had therir chance to elect john mc cain in 2000, and blew it. the same people now running his campaign were responsible for his defeat then with shameful and underhanded tactics , that alone is a shame and disgrace not worthy of a maverick . now he is way past his prime...too late
    obama 08 – 16

    zel shak

    September 13, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  7. Palin is the New Hillary

    Hillary is a pig and the pumas of this country got used and abused. McCain does not need them to win this election.

    Palin 2012

    September 13, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. Craig A Texas Democrat

    Its kool Obama i live in Houston Ike dont mean nothing to me i know it will be a lot worse than IKE if the republicans win again.

    September 13, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  9. alvino

    How hypocritical of the McCain campaign to say that Obama has sunk to a new low. Even at his worst, Obama is far more honest than lying John McCain and his nastiest campaign in history. John really has to have a sense of humor, because he and his running mate are becoming the biggest joke in politics.

    September 13, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  10. j codd

    When a canidate is picked for a running mate they are now the
    same in policy as the person running for the president . Believe
    we all know that, Palin may not agree with every thing that McCain
    does but she will go with him on this. Remember the Gore run
    with his running mate we know they did not agree on every thing
    also. Sure Clinton and Gore did not agree on every thing either.
    So believe your piece was rather silly.

    September 13, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  11. wt

    yeah right, obama doesnt accept those town hall meetings and he is saying McCain doesnt want to debate on issues??!?! contrasting each other's view is ok – you want people to see the differences but when it comes to spinning - both of the campaigns are the same so stop all the blaming...

    September 13, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  12. brian

    The McCain of 2000 would be so ashamed of the 2008 McCain.

    September 13, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  13. Friend of Obama

    Go ahead Obama!!!! Keep on slamming McCain.

    September 13, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  14. Craig A Texas Democrat

    Also we have a Democrat in Houston taking care of us .

    September 13, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  15. ken

    I agree with Barack's spokesman that McCain is "running the sleaziest and least honorable campaign in modern presidential campaign history.” But it does not surprise me. He has no honor.

    With in approximately 72 hours of being captured by the North Vietnamese he was giving statements to enemy. Granted he was in great pain, but a lot of americans who were captured were in great pain but only amount 33% gave statements to enemy.

    Also, instead of having the courage to face his wife, who waited for him during his time with the viet cong, and tell her he was unhappy and wanted a divorcee he just went out and had affairs. That too is dishonorable.

    I believe, McShame at his core, is a dishonorable man.

    September 13, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  16. Denise

    "New Low for Obama"...right! How can anyone as low as Lo-Cain say that Obama is "low". That statement defies all commonsense and logic....this from a man who has made "nastiness and lies" his everyday trademark.....

    September 13, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  17. GOP for OBAMA

    I'm amazed how Christians have no problem with the GOP constantly breaking one of their sacred 10 commandments.

    Tomorrow morning, Christians, when you are deep in prayer at church, silently ask your creator to reconsider the "Hell Thing." Because when you back a political party where they lie k-n-o-w-i-n-g-l-y (and you know it too) YOU are just a guilty and will burn beside them.

    AMEN

    September 13, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  18. ray

    barack is coming out swinging !!

    September 13, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  19. Sherry for Obama

    Praise God for Obama!

    No more sleeze and lies in the White House.

    A presidency thats for the people.

    Obama / Biden 08

    September 13, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  20. Ian MacIsaac

    Obama needs to hit hard. McCain is spewing lies and Obama has to make it known.

    September 13, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  21. redwhiteblue

    There is something very wrong with these polls.From the very beginning, Obama has gotten record crowds of people coming to see and hear him. No bump in the polls. He went overseas and looked and acted very presidential and no bump.He has given intelligent and interesting speeches. No bump.McCain was so disliked by his own party that they were told to vote for Hillary.
    The polls do say that Joe Biden is much more qualified than Palin and that Palin could become president soon. Still no bump. That scares the hell out of me.The "in the dark" Palin doesn't sound to me like she's qualified.
    Why were we so anxious to impeach Bush? McCain brags that he voted with Bush 90% of the time. You liked the last 8 years? The Democrats have the best candidates in years. Something is wrong. I think we again are about to have an election stolen from us!!!

    September 13, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  22. Realistic

    Governor Wingnut gets caught in a lie regarding The Bridge to Nowhere, selling the governor's jet, etc., and so the McCheney camp then lies about her getting caught in lies.

    Geezer/Wingnut '08 - like Bush/Cheney but dumber and more dishonest.

    September 13, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  23. Jim Doyle

    Let's not forget the two weeks of the lapel pin controversy. Has anyone mentioned or noticed that McLame wasn't wearing a lapel pin during his acceptance speech at the convention? You guys want to get trivial? Let's get trivial.

    September 13, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  24. laura

    right on!

    September 13, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  25. Nancy

    I urge Senator Obama to continue his campaign even with Hurrican Ike. I evacuated for Hurricane Ike and have just learned my house sustained damage. But, this Presidential election is far more important than my house damage. My house can be fixed, but our our country is on the verge of permanent damage from the Republicans. Time for change!

    September 13, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
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