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. Ron L

    This is typical REPUBLICAN politicing at it's worst. When all else fails let's start the "us against" them argument. We went through this during the primary, can we please move on and stay on what it really important like this:
    The total Governor Palin total resume is: 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state that is very oil rich, with only 650,000 people.
    Now almost everyone in the Republican party feels she is qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive and next in line behind a man in his eighth decade.
    WHY aren’t we DEMANDING MORE indepth interviews on CNN’s –ELECTION CENTER; NBC’s -MEET THE PRESS; ABC’s – THIS WEEKEND; CBS’s -FACE THE NATION; CNN’s -THE SITUATION ROOM before the end of October. Have we lost our MINDS??
    THIS IS EXTREMELY SERIOUS!!! So while we are pressuring Senator Obama about his past. Why don't we continue to apply pressure on the McCain campaign about why they are AFRAID to allow this "ready to be Vice President" Governor to do more unscripted interviews by some of our countries most skilled UNBIAS anchor persons???
    Do NOT LET UP ON THIS!!!!

    October 5, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  2. Nelson

    darn right, Obama!

    Please mention this Tuesday in your debate with McCain.

    October 5, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  3. James

    Questionable judgment? From the Keating Five to the bailout, McCain has shown that he is erratic, irresponsible and dishonorable, especially during a crisis. He can't even look at a debate opponent; how will he face down our enemies? We need a steady hand and someone who will look our enemies in the eye, like Obama.
    President Obama: get used to it.

    October 5, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  4. Linda from AZ

    Let there be facts about the issues not about the trash that Mc is talking about, face it there are many questionable characters in Mc past.

    Once you have decided who are you voting for VOTE EARLY.

    October 5, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  5. Swiftboat my a$$

    It won't work this time !
    The Republican ship is sinking and i left a long time ago.
    NO way NO How , Now McShame and Lady Failing

    October 5, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  6. rhoward

    It's pathetic that Sen. McCain thinks so little of American voters that he thinks this is the only way to win. However, voters cannot underestimate the tactic because that's how President Bush won his second term.

    October 5, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  7. Pasquale

    How disturbing it is to read of John McCain and Sarah Palin and their recycled and lame attempt to connect Barack Obama to William Ayers. Palin states Obama is "palling around with terrorists." What's even more outrageous than the utter stupidity of their bogus claim, is that McCain and Palin show more concern for Obama meeting Ayers than they do for this "terrorist" who is actively employed in Illinois and teaching at a Chicago university. I guess they aren't too worried about terrorists. What does that say about his judgement?

    Sounds like the McCain camp continues to struggle with priorities. A painful and dismal display of desperation by McCain's campaign, but not the least bit surprising.

    October 5, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  8. outtouch

    Obama continue focus on issues and will suceed.

    October 5, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  9. Johnson in St. Louis

    if you can't beat 'em then smear 'em! That's a typical Republican tatic that they have been using for years. Bad thing about it is that a lot of times it works because most people don't take time to look up the facts. I guess Gov Palin's claim that the GOP is going to look forward and not backward has been changed since so far all the stuff they claim to be coming out with is from Sen Obama's past. From some of the threads I've read though perhaps this time it won't work.

    October 5, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  10. Shay

    The McCain/Pallin campaign is desperate. It's too bad Palin doesn't realize she is doing McCain's dirty work! That's because she is a ditsy hockey mom! She doesn't have the wherewithal to figure out what is happening!

    McCain doesn't have a clue about the economy nor anything else!

    McCain/Palin are going down because of their inability to see the whole picture. You don't have to trash your opponent when you have worthwhile plans of your own!

    Palin will go back to Alaska and McCain will discuss his time as a POW with whomever will listen!

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 5, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  11. florence

    I AM SUPRIZE THAT MACCIAN DOESN'T KEEP HIS WORD I QUOTE(WE ARE GOING TO RUN A RESPECTFUL CAMPAIGN) HIS
    RESPECTFUL CAMPAIGN IS TO THROUGH TERRORISM ATTACK AGAINST HIS OPENENT BECAUSE THE POLLS ARE NOT IN HIS FAVOR AND HIS BEAUTY QUEEN OUT THERE SAYING THE ONE SHE KNOWS AND THE ONE SHE DON'T KNOW I CAN'T WAIT TO HERE THE END RESULT OF THE TROOPPER MORNIGA'S CASE TO ME, THESE TWO FELLOWS ARE COMPLETELY OUT OF TOUCH WITH THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND CANNOT RUN A CAMPAIGN OF SUBSTANCE BECAUSE THE EXPERIENCE THAT JOHN MACCAIN CLAIMS TO HAVE IS NOT THE KIND THAT AMERICAN PEOPLE NEEDS HOW CAN YOU CLAIM TO HAVE THE EXPERIENCE AND YOU VOTED 90% OF THE TIME WITH THE MAN THAT KEPT THIS COUN TRY IN A SITUATION LIKE THIS TO ME JOHN MACAIN NO DOUBT ABOUT HIS EXPERIENCE BUT IT IS THE KIND THAT WILL DESTROY AMERICA THAT IS WHY HE IS DESPERATE TO BE IN WHITE HOUSE WERE HE WILL FINISH WHAT BUSH HAVE REMAINED.

    October 5, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  12. Scott L

    "and while no organization is completely protected from internet fraud,"

    Quote unquote from Obama campaign release to Federal Election Committee investigating claims of illegal donations to the Obama campaign.

    BUSTED!

    October 5, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  13. sjp

    just laughing at ayers and the mccain / palin ticket. why don't they just say it like it is. they got nothing left but negative attacks, nothing to help turn this country around. its there only shot to stop what everyone knows is best for america.

    October 5, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  14. PITIFUL OLD WARMONGER=pow

    to the Obama/Biden camp:

    Keep the hits coming and harder and not only to mcc, you know who do we mean.....she is fair game now............sexist, chauvinist is out the door now, hit her harderrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    Alaskan Independence Party.....palins members

    KEATING 5 KEATING 5 KEATING 5 KEATING 5

    October 5, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  15. McHoover Would Destroy What's Left of America

    George Bush and Dick Cheney are the world's biggest terrorists

    It is estimated that anywhere between 100,000 and 500,000 INNOCENT Iraqis have been killed by the war these two started. The US is responsible for those deaths no matter how you spin it.

    October 5, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  16. aka4obama

    its like Mcsame is shameless, this terrorist accusation wont work. why wont his advisers advise him on more super ways to talk to voters than balbing like a weeping downcast dollbaby. infact this politics of a thing can make people think through their anus.

    October 5, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  17. Carol, California

    I think it's funny that "Mr. War Hero", McCain, is too much of a coward to say any of this stuff himself. The campaign sends stupid, loudmouth, Sara out there because they know that she's dumb enough to do it. McCain hides in the background.

    What a sleazy bunch of losers.

    October 5, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  18. churchill

    I hope all the students who have been taught by William Ayers will get a refund and be transferred to a debriefing camp in ALASKA because they have been schooled by a terrorist.

    October 5, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  19. Terry

    Yep, and meanwhile, Karl Rove is over here saying that according to his calculations, Obama will have 273 electoral votes. He's trying to neutralize all the voter registration drives, the surge in new voters and supporters for Obama, and the overall shift towards Obama being the BETTER choice for voters in this election! Don't believe the hype!

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08

    October 5, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  20. Linda Culpepper

    John McCain has sunk to a new low in my opinion by using Palin, a woman, to do his dirty work. She cannot speak with any substance on the issues that are impacting Americans. I have lost all respect for McCain.

    October 5, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  21. george

    Quite obvious that the McCain campaign has shifted into the smear mode, for them is not about issues that are affecting ordinary people. They want to make the campaign thus: McCain a POW and Palin the conservative ordinary down to earth Govenor versus Obama the radical, elitist, communist, antichrist who is anti American. That play book by the Republicans is very old. You can fool your constituency, you cannot fool the rest of us. It's about jobs , healthcare and other pocket book issues that McCain doesn't understand. Obama/Binen 2008.

    October 5, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  22. aware......but smarter

    you must be referring to the atrocious terms during reagan, bush sr. and now junior............the economy tanked, period

    and your idol the pitiful old warmonger: KEATING 5 KEATING 5

    October 5, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  23. Enlightened Voter

    Summerlover, and mccain was in his 50's when he was a part of the Keating scandal, so what is your point? And unlike mccain, they never had a reason to investigate Obama but they did john mccain. People quit with the lies and smears. Your desperation is showing and it's ugly. I understand it is the rethuglican way to attack when you have nothing positive but try and rise above that for once.

    October 5, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  24. Karen

    John and Sarah, it is over. Give up the smear and petty, paranoid lies.

    October 5, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  25. Marilyn

    Keyword: Gambling, mccain is a gambler, that is why he acts and think later.

    October 5, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
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