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. RMP in Romulus, Michigan

    All they have left is negative attacks and it's not going to work this time!! Obama/Biden 08

    October 5, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  2. Anne

    What will McCain's next stunt be? One can only wonder what his handlers will come up with next. It literally could be anything-he could jump into a nudist colony to campaign for the clothing optional demographic. Would that be enough shock value? Wow, go maverick.

    October 5, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  3. Obama 08

    To "aware" Obama is NOT full of himself...he is full of EDUCATION!!! Something that you need to get full of.

    October 5, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  4. election watcher

    Obama fishing for yet Another EXCUSE TO AVOID TALKING ABOUT THE ISSUES.
    "O"bama
    "O" = zero

    October 5, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  5. tracy

    Neocons will destroy our country if Obama fails to win. Obama – Biden 2008

    October 5, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  6. Paul, EP Tx

    our economy won't matter if our national security is compromised by a naive, terrorist sympathizer.

    October 5, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  7. UNITING of the PEOPLE

    So Now you and the Republican party want to include YOUNG people into this election.......judging from this comments it didn't WORK, Ignoring them and not taking them serious. They are the same people who stated on national TV that Obama was crazy reaching the young voters, because they NEVER register and if they did they NEVER follow though and VOTE. Obama BELIEVED in you, NOW you can BELIEVE in HIM……

    "debriefing camp in ALASKA".........Didn't work for Palin. Young people don't listen to these dumb people on here commenting……..RESEARCH the INTERNET FOR YOURSELF.......SOMETHING they DON‘T understand how to do......then MAKE your OWN decision. NO ONE cared about you and your RIGHT to vote until Obama made it his mission to let you KNOW you are important to our Country.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 5, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  8. Tony

    McCain is desperate and for the next month there he and Palina re going to LIE, distort, and anything they have to do.

    Anyone who is so ignorant and cannot see what McCain is doing and why is beyond hope. He and Palin are going to use every opportunity to avoid talking about the isseus, as tehy ahve since Palin was put on the ticket, Palin will give NOT MORE INTERVIEWS, will answer only the questions she wants to answer and the hell wtih everything and everyone else.

    I keep reading that many people will not vote for Obama simply becasue he is BLACK. He is BI-RACIAL people so wake up. For anyone who casts their vote for McCain for no other reason than racism does not deserve to have a vote. It's almost 2009 people. Stop living in the pst and do the right thing.

    Should McCain and Palin win you can kiss your job jobs, pensions, 401(k)'s, etc. GOODBYE!

    October 5, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  9. Bill Charlotte,NC

    Mr McClean and his b.s. promise for a "clean" campaign. What a desperate and sad group of people. Palin and her "terrorist" comments just shows that behind that smile beats the heart of a person, like John, who will say or do anything to win. Palin is living up to her self-proclaimed nickname... "pit-bull." In this case a female one!

    October 5, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  10. truck

    I can't wait to see a commercial where Obama, shows up to "straight-talk express" with a tire gauge.

    Obama will be our next President!

    October 5, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  11. truck

    Obama may not win in November despite the majority. The U.S. needs to do a few things to restore Democracy. First, we need to ban electronic voting machines. Companies such as Diebold/Premiere have admitted problems and have been caught applying last-minute security patches to only a few systems. They should be in jail for treason and voting machines should be banned in all elections. Also, an international election inspection team should be allowed into the U.S. Last time Bush blocked it because he was cheating.

    October 5, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  12. Bruce

    If Ayers is such a bad guy, what's he doing teaching and the University of Illinois, serving on charity boards and living undisturbed in Hyde Park? He was acquitted - just like Senator McCain was acquitted of his involvement in the Keating 5.

    October 5, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  13. California Gold

    McCain is desperate. He couldn't come close to Obama in popularity. Remember when he bussed in people to attend his speeches? Remember when he lied with inflated attendance "records" at a stadium and the stadium's capacity was tens of thousands lower? McCain can't win on the issues and can't cut Obama's momentum so he has surrendered his campaign promise to not run a dirty campaign. McCain knows the only shot he has is to dig dirt and make up stories to turn off the voters.

    But the problem is it's 2008. This campaign won't be won on the little issues McCain. We are focused on the real problems because it's interferring with our every day lives. McCain clearly doesn't care. If he did he would be campaigning hard on the issues and solutions to the problems facing this country.

    October 5, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  14. Courtney in Vegas

    Hey Dan J/ Scott L /and Aware:
    Do us all a big favor, with your eyes wide open. Stand up and bend over, thats right spread them as wide as you can. Because the McCain/Palin ticket has got alot of smoke to blow and your just the kind of people they are hoping to get. But remember not to exhile: we are still tryin to protect The O-Zone.

    October 5, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  15. Marge

    it's so obvious what the the McOLD and Beauty Queen ticket is doing.
    They are so desperate,but what's so pathetic are the people that will fal for this BS....
    This is what LOSING looks like......

    October 5, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  16. Olivia

    Sen. McCain is addressing Obama, who is the country's problem.

    October 5, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  17. Karolyn

    Obama's relationships are a bit scary – Ayres, Wright, Rezko etc. etc.
    They should be investigated thoroughly. If there is nothing there, so be it and the accusations should stop. If there is any doubt – let the voters decide.

    October 5, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  18. Todd

    John McCain will be no match for Senator Obama at the debates.
    John McCain will attempt to smear with lies. Obama will hit him with
    the truth. Match Over. Didn't McCain learn from the primaries that
    smear doesn't work against Obama?

    October 5, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  19. Surge

    It's not a smear if it's true. Ayers is a terrorist. Obama dismisses his relationship with him by saying, "He lives in my neighborhood" which is exactlly what pro-Obama CNN says whenever they report on it. They sat on a board together and therefore had to work closely together. Ayers hosted fundraisers for Obama in his own home. The real story here is as it was with Rev. Wright: When it comes to Obamas' own poor judgement he tries to diminish his relationships with these people (Wright, Ayers, Rezko) as tangential. This is a lie. Obama is a liar. He doesn't have experience so he runs on judgement and integrity. He's betrayed both.

    October 5, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  20. Michael Rosset

    John McCain was a decent man, who sold his soul in this campaign.

    October 5, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  21. Heather, Cleveland, OH

    That's all the McCain campaign has to offer is distractions:

    - Gas tax holiday gimmick
    - Picking the Alaskan Ice Princess as VP
    - "Suspending" his campaign
    - Tying an 8 year-old Obama to terrorism

    What next? Maybe I shouldn't be asking that.

    October 5, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  22. mel

    McCain, can not do nothing to help himself so he want to use
    Palin to do his dirty work and he loose the election,he will leave
    out to dry when she answer to firing of her ex-brother and law.He
    is using her to get elected because he don't know how to defeat
    Obama. Palin, is being used and she don't see it because she
    want to be vp and don't have the experience.

    October 5, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  23. Dr. Proctor, PHD

    The lie about Ayers is no match for Sara Palin's pastor's sermon about
    Alaska being a refuge in the last days, Her husband wanting to suceed from America and witch hunting. This woman is far more scarier than Ayers. And besides, when I go to fill my
    gas tank up at $4.00 a gallon, Ayers is not standing at the pump,
    but the Republican ghost is. They are the one's we should fear.
    Palin is anti-woman, bans books, no foreign policy credentials, and
    a threat to our national security. Sara "Harry Potter" Palin is what can REALLY hurt Americans and for this we should be fearful.

    Print the truth CNN.

    October 5, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  24. Tracy-Oakley

    We should also wonder if we should turn the country over to a man who was one of the Keating 5...And also the man whose campaign manager up till August was receiving money from Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac to get them access to John McStain

    October 5, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  25. Hall for Obama

    Say it aint so Joe, we are going to go forward not backward we will not live in the past. There you go again Joe bring up that past suff again. Dang just can't get you to do right.

    October 5, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
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