October 5th, 2008
03:54 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama accuses McCain of looking for distractions

Sen. Obama slammed Sen. McCain's health care plan at a campaign event in North Carolina Sunday.
Sen. Obama slammed Sen. McCain's health care plan at a campaign event in North Carolina Sunday.

(CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama on Sunday charged that Sen. John McCain's campaign is launching "Swift boat-style attacks" on him instead of addressing the country's problems.

Watch: Obama fights back

"Sen. McCain and his operatives are gambling that they can distract you with smears rather than talk to you about substance. They'd rather try to tear our campaign down than lift this country up," Obama said at an event in Asheville, North Carolina.

"That's what you do when you're out of touch, out of ideas, and running out of time," he said.

The comments come a day after Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain's running mate, claimed that Obama associated "with terrorists who targeted our own country."

The McCain campaign shot back on Sunday, saying its accusations are "true facts," and not "smears."

"The last four weeks of this election will be about whether the American people are willing to turn our economy and national security over to Barack Obama, a man with little record, questionable judgment, and ties to radical figures like unrepentant domestic terrorist William Ayers," McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said in a statement.

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soundoff (596 Responses)
  1. ber6964

    That's what happens when the McCain campaign runs out of any original or thoughtful ideas to put forward. McCain's campaign is also charging that Obama's campaign is raising $ illegally. Jealous much McCain.

    October 5, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  2. beejay damion Banjo

    After 8 years of Bush Maccain, we can not afford 4 more Years of Same O-KE-DO=KEE ....Maccain's Swift Boat Tactics would not work this time.
    Obama/Biden 08

    October 5, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  3. baobab

    The most important for the Americans is the future !!!A bright future , with a clever and smart president : OBAMA 08

    October 5, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  4. Frank in NE

    The McSame/Caribou Barbie campaign has figured that they can't win on the issues, so they're going to smear the character of the Democratic candidate...If they want to do this:

    John McCain left his wife for a trust fund heiress...
    John McCain was a part of the biggest S&L scandal ever in the Keating 5...
    Caribou Barbie directed a government employee to fire her brother-in-law who was going through a divorce with Barbie's sister...

    We can go on and on...

    October 5, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  5. Zion

    The last time Republicans tried to tie Democrats to terrorism, the next day, the Democrats reclaimed the House and the Senate. Here's what McCain does not understand he cannot run a negative campaign like Bush does because he does not have the same political elements that Bush had to work with. He did not have a war that is being perceived as successful, and he did not have a terrorist attack. Bush was able to kill people with smears such as this, but I'm sorry, McCain, time is up.

    Republicans who want educated people such as Obama running the country.

    October 5, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  6. Summerlover

    The next time anyone hears that Obama was only 8 years old when Ayers was committing his terrorist acts, please point out that he was 34 years old when he was in Ayers living room!

    October 5, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  7. willie c. hicks

    CNN.COMMENT POLICY:

    WITH THE RECENT STATEMENTS FROM SARAH PALIN;

    IT SOUNDS AS IF SHE WILL BE THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, AND JOHN McCAIN WILL BE THE VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE.

    THERE IS ALREADY A POWER STRUGGLE IN THAT PARTY.

    W.HICKS

    October 5, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  8. Trasa, Texas

    McBush and Palin are liers and still spread deceit to the American people. And this newest accusation, which I was wondering when it would come out. As long as they were fairly okay in the polls, it wasn't brought up, now they are losing ground they still rather attack character than talk about what's most important to Americans. Figures. I didn't fall for it 8 years ago, 4 years ago and now. Learn to see through the bullsh...t people. Unless Obama was bombing alongside Ayers, or reports of them in some kind of anit American organization I could see it being questionable. But a charitable committee? I guess all the other people on that committee are terrorist too.

    October 5, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  9. CindyN--PA

    So now we are back to the lies of McCain/Palin.

    October 5, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  10. LT in Virginia

    Of course the McCain camp is resorting to lies and smears, they have nothing else but an broken down, bitter old man and a complete moron with no morals. They are banking on the republican philosophy that American's are stupid. Patriotism at it's best, right Sarah?

    Will someone please look into her and her husband anti- american activity and her past pastor.

    October 5, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  11. Voter

    If you can't win the game, attack the player

    October 5, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  12. tigerakabj

    Bring it on Republicans. Obama is not Kerry, Gore, or Dukakis. If you think yelling "Ayers" and "Wright" are going to sway people's mind, you are sorely mistaken.

    We have a terrorist right now as president **cough Bush cough **. They are scared and they should be. It's judgment day for the republicans. They have done nothing but take this country apart and they will pay.

    You're little Mrs. Palin is currently involved in an investigation of her own and spoke as late as 2006 at the Alaska Independence Party's convention (Secessionists). Country first huh?

    I say bring it on Republicans.

    Obama/Biden 2008/2012.

    October 5, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  13. mark

    MCSAME SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF HIMSELF...AND HIS SPOKES LIAR TUCKER BOUNDS IS JUST STUPID...OUT OF TOUCH PARTY

    October 5, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  14. dennis from chicago

    CHECK OUT 08-CV-00004083 we will see about the swift boats////////sometimes the real TRUTH just hurts/

    October 5, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  15. Vote for Change

    Not this time McCain. You and your p.o.s. babbling mannequin can try all the swift boat smearing you want. We the People will have our say on Nov. 4, and you and all your extreme right wingnut evangelical warmongering-moneygrubbing -bushloving-earthdestroying-economywrecking scum can go down with you.

    October 5, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  16. thomas

    Sara Palin's remarks represent division, not vision.

    October 5, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  17. ken mesle

    True smear! Let the silly season begin. Why isn’t anyone asking John McCain about his admiration for Osama Bin Ladin?
    John McCain stated in his last debate that he regrets the fact that we quit supporting the “freedom fighters” of Afghanistan after they chased the Russians out of their homeland. Now I know that ever since Ronald Reagan, Republicans like to refer to these rebels as “freedom fighters”, but they preferred to call their conflict with Russia the Mujahideen. They considered themselves mujahids, which translates, Muslims fighting in a jihad… Hmmm – Doesn’t that make them Jihadists? Since many of the Jihadists were from outside of Afghanistan, I prefer to call them terrorists.
    The Russians left Afghanistan in 1989 in large part due to the United States’ support of the Jihadists. We supported the Islamo-Fascists then because their enemy was our enemy. But hey, by today’s definition, wouldn’t that have made us State sponsors of terror? Does McCain really regret not supporting jihadists since 1989? Doesn’t John know that Bin Laden was a prominent member of the Mujahideen? Does McCain really regret not supporting Osama Bin Laden since 1989? And, why in the world, does McCain regret the US not being a State sponsor of terror anymore?
    John McCain just doesn’t get it. You have to know a little history… You have to know that the Shia and Sunni have a long history of violence towards each other. You can’t make naive decisions based on your gut without conducting thoughtful research and analyzing the situation carefully. It appears that McCain is unable or temperamentally unwilling to do either.

    October 5, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  18. Cantafford

    McCain/Palin 08

    October 5, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  19. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    "True facts" versus what other kind of facts? McCain's campaign wouldn't know the truth if it was right in front of their faces. And McCain was the one that said he wouldn't run this kind of campaign. Shame on you John McCain. Shame on you.

    October 5, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  20. aware

    Unfortunately, Obama's formation has resulted in a guy not in sinc with Americans or American values! :(

    We have been in recession bordering on a serious depression before, and we have spent many years recovering from strategies similar to Obama's! He is so full of himself that he just doesn't get it!

    October 5, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  21. Baze

    Rick Davis, Charles Keating, Jack Abramoff... 'Nuff said

    ONE NATION

    October 5, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  22. Cantafford

    Oh yeah and Ayers lives 3 blocks away................................anyone for coffee.

    McCain/Palin 08

    October 5, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  23. BM

    Palin showed disrepect for the moderator as she has shown that she and first dude are above the law. She stated that she will not answer the questions the way they are asked. That's because she memorized everything for the debate after being sequestered since being picked. I would like to see her interviewed again by Katy Couric.

    October 5, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  24. sophie

    I guess this shows how desperate John McCain is to get to the white
    house. I find it very sad, how low he has sunk, this isn't going to
    work, the American people are smarter than this. How sad he
    doesn't have anything to off America instead of smear tactics.
    I'm voting for a leader, Obama has proven he is that leader.
    I hope this backfires, and Obama wins by a landslide. We need to
    tell these Karl Rovians we are finished with these kinds of tactics.
    We are taking our country on a higher road! Obama / Biden

    October 5, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  25. Jeanine G

    It is shameful the way McCain's camp has ADMITTED that they are going to focus on the personalities of the candidates, and air attack ads based on these smears instead of addressing REAL issues. I want to know where McCain is going to differ from Bush on the economy, war, health care etc and I'm not getting that kind of "straight talk"....I think McCain is going to find that, this election cycle, the fear card isn't going to play.

    October 5, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
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