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. Faye of Ohio

    John McCain and Sarah Palin are really a pair. She might have attracted more people to Republican events, but she has "brought him down" as a man of character and respect. She doesn't care what she says as long as she can say it with a wink and a heck or darn. The woman is a master of deception! She is very talented at memorizing and regurgitating what she has been told to say; ask her a simple question she hasn't heard about before and she falls apart.
    Her folksy attitude is a result of much practice. In televised debates in which she particpated in Alaska, she was quite composed and didn't utter a single heck. Picturing her as president, should McCain be elected and something happened to him, is like making a two-year-old President of Harvard .

    October 5, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  2. Aaron from Ohio

    Of course McCain is looking for distractions. If Senator Obama's campaign was tanking like McCain's he'd be looking for distractions too. This is John's last shot at the Presidency. He's not going to let anything as trivial as the issues distract his smear campaign. He ran on the issues and was getting rejected. He chose Governor Palin and that didn't work out either. He has nothing left BUT distractions to run on.

    October 5, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  3. duffy

    McCain and Palin are setting terrible exambles how a true Christian should conduct oneself. All Palin has to do is have her witch doctor cast some evil spells on Obama.

    October 5, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  4. Joseph Adewole

    McCain has nothing to offer American people, all he can do now is to decieve people by personal attacks and distractions. Americans can no longer be fooled to embrace Bush's third term.

    October 5, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  5. soccer moms for obama

    mcbush, i guess you don't have any idea how to get to the white house, except through smearing other good people.

    americans aren't that stupid. why don't you even have a plan to help the average americans through the economic crisis.

    you brought palin to distract us.
    it won't work. you are so transparent.

    obama 08

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

    "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!"
    ------------------------------

    So what? John McCain was in a room with communist North Vietnamese many, many times. Does that make him a communist?

    October 5, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  7. Peter

    Mccain,
    So you want to stay in Iraq even though we are wasting lives, money and time? The Iraqi war can't be won and was never a good idea in the first place so suck up your American Ego and face the facts.

    October 5, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  8. eye opener-open your eyes America-PA

    The Mcain/McPlain/Insane have no new plan, new ideas, and are running out of time. All they can do is hell out a bunch of lies and they're ill tactics. The Old Washington regime is going down into the pits of hell. McCVain say hello to your little friend, Osama Binladen

    October 5, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  9. Chris, Bethesda, Maryland

    "Out of touch, out of ideas and running out of time." Good quote, and dead on.

    Don't be too sure this won't work, though. Yes, they're desperate, yes, they're divisive, yes, they're lying through their teeth, and no, they have nothing left to run on except appealing to voters' fears and prejudices. But don't ever underestimate the power of these things. "The American people are smarter than this?" So hoped McCain in 2000 and Kerry in 2004. Look where that got them. I hate to sound like a cynic, but I wouldn't overestimate human nature.

    October 5, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  10. James

    Dear Summerlover,
    Like Ms. Palin, I don't care whether you like what I say. I am speaking directly to the people. OBAMA WAS EIGHT YEARS OLD! OBAMA WAS EIGHT YEARS OLD! OBAMA WAS EIGHT YEARS OLD! Had enough yet? OBAMA WAS EIGHT YEARS OLD! McCain was in his 50s when he benefitted from his close relationship with the convicted Keating.
    And so what if Obama was in Ayers' living room. That makes him a terrorist sympathizer? I was in the same room as George Clooney once, so I guess that makes me a movie star. The utter piffle being propounded by desperate Repugs is yet another sign (of many) that Palin/McPain are doomed. One last observation. How will McCranky and Loserman look next year when they are on the short end of a 60-plus Democratic Senate majority?
    McCain: dead cat bounce.
    President Obama: Get used to it.

    October 5, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  11. BM

    Palin is facing legal issues, Obama is not! The more Palin talks, the more everyone sees that she is not a bright woman. Her wink, wink, got her the job as Governor! Watch out Cindy!

    October 5, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  12. JC

    CNN never prints my comments but I'll try again. I find it odd that the McCain camp is using Sarah Palin to make these charges against Obama. Her own husband was a member of an Alaskan separatist group for many years. Sarah spoke at their last convention. The hypocrisy of the McCain camp is unbelievable. The Palins don't love this country. They don't want their home state to be a part of it. They have no right to criticize Obama's limited ties to a 60's radical.

    October 5, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  13. Jonathan, PA

    If Barack Obama was a white man with a dull name like "Richard Smith" or something, this "terrorist" charge would have never been made.

    Sarah Palin and Tucker Bounds are taking unfair advantage of Barack's name for their own means, which is RACIST. John McCain is moderate, even if he's begging on his hands and knees for the conservative community to accept him.

    But Sarah Palin; she's the most conservative conservative I've ever seen. From hunting wolves from helicoptors to asking librarians to ban the book "Pastor, I Am Gay", she's a conservative through and through.

    October 5, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  14. LA2NC

    Summerlover October 5th, 2008 5:54 pm ET

    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!
    ____________________________________
    And how old was Mccain when he left his first wife and cheated with the second. How old was he when he took money and other favors from Charles Keating?

    Also, please tell me how old Mccain was when he sat on the ultra right wing racist board?

    And finally, please tell me how old Palin and her HUSBAND were when he was a member of the AIP???????????????????????????

    October 5, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  15. Sandy

    John McCain is now without honor. He is becoming a silly old man, pouting over the fact that Obama is ahead of him in the polls. I hope the Obama campaign maintains the high road. McCain did nothing to support John Kerry when the Swift boaters attacked him. Bringing up his Keating Five problems and the fact that Sarah Palin's husband ( and perhaps her too) were involved in the radical Alaskan Independence Party, seeking to have Alaska withdraw from the United States, would be fair game but I really do not want the Democratic campaign to sink to the level of the Republicans. Republicans tell you government won't work. Then they cheat and lie to get elected, then prove government won't work.

    October 5, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  16. RONNEBRASKA

    Perhaps McCain wouldn't mind reopening an investigation as to what happened on the deck of the USS Forrestal in 1967, or his violation of the military code of conduct for prisoners when he signed the statement renouncing the United States, or his role in the Keating 5 scandal, or the circumstances of his divorce, adultery and marital misconduct. Heck yeah, let's investigate this guy!!

    October 5, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  17. kathy

    McCain has to win this election – it's that or go home to Cindy. If he loses i think that's the last place he'll want to be. If he doesn't get her in the white house he'll be in the doghouse. I'm so tired of his condescending tone. Actually it creeps me out just to look at the man – do you republicans actually thing this man is normal. Do you think he can make the right decision in a split second decision when that phone rings at 3 in the morning?? God forbid if Palin answers it. She'll have to wake up Todd and ask him what to do?

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

    Summerlover- You're blinded. Go ahead and follow the rest of the fear-mongerers off of the 'Cliff to Nowhere'.... Repubs have no chance left, so they're savoring the sour grape drink.....

    October 5, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  19. phil s.

    tucker bounds is a douchebag. I pity his existence

    October 5, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  20. No Gas In Alabama

    Message to all Dems stop begin weak and fight these guys back hard over next 4 weeks

    October 5, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  21. M. Porter

    Americans are not as stupid as Palin thinks they are.

    Wait! Is it the other way around?

    Palin is not as stupid as Americans think she is.

    Hmmmm....let's see. The former statement puts millions of voters on the left side of the argument. The latter statement puts one person over there...... all by herself.

    October 5, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  22. jj

    Two words: Keating Five. Check mate!

    October 5, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  23. Joe Regis

    There is little else for McCain – Palin to get o hold on, there are taking the less honorable low road again. Desperation should not push a nominee to desperate measure.

    America deserves better. The McCain – Palin is digging themselves a bigger hole than the abyss the are already in now.

    The repubs are doomed this year.

    Obama/Biden 08/12.

    October 5, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  24. Kathy

    How old was McCain when he met with Keating? How old was he when he cheated on his wife? How about the absolutely dishonorable campaign that he is directing now (If he is not directing it, then he is the puppet of the Karl Rove wing of the party).

    I have no respect or confidence in McCain any more. He had the chance to run a respectable, serious campaign which addressed the issues and really put Country First. Instead he threw the dice and picked Sarah Palin (for effect) and let loose the smear machine. All antics to help him win at any cost.

    Wake up, America! Let's take our country back. Obama-Biden 08

    October 5, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  25. RONNEBRASKA

    Peerhaps McCain wouldn't mind opening an investigation into what happened on the deck of the USS Forrestal in 1967, or his violation of the military code of conduct for prisoners, or his involvement in the Keating 5 scandal, or the circumstances of hios adultery, marital misconduct and divorce. Heck yeah, let's investigate this guy!!

    October 5, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
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