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. JFK

    Of course they are looking for distractions. Thats what Republicans are famous for doing. Avoid the issues and distract the people with divisive issues or finger point their way out of an intelligent debate!

    October 5, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  2. markus

    "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.

    correction, Tucker- this pathetic, BASELESS smear campaign is what your people would LIKE the last four weeks of this election to be about.

    McCain would prefer we forget about the terrible shape our economy and our foreign situation is in, for THIS?????

    Do you really think the American people are that STUPID?

    Not this time...
    you guys aren't going to have us at your mercy any longer...

    I HOPE this comes up at the debate.

    October 5, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  3. RapidRay

    Newsflash, Barak!

    This entire campaign has been wrought full of McCain distractions. It's his stock in trade.

    The DNC Convention went out of the news media's eyes a day later when McCain named Sarah WHO? as her running mate. 4 weeks later and we're still saying "Sarah WHO?"

    He over dramatized his trip to Washington to distract everyone from his slumping poll numbers. Probably not the smartest move, but what can you do. He was playing the House and the odds beat him there.

    Sarah WHO?'s numbers began dropping after her Couric interviews. Perfect bait and switch tactics there. Sound like a putz so the ratings spike for the VP debate. Why? Everyone loves a good train wreck and she was positioned to be one. 70 million NASCAR fans looking for a collision. It wasn't about who won, it was about who didn't DQ.

    Now it's going to be about the Palin statements today. Why? So we don't see the economy as topic number one for a few days. She tossed the first salvo in the "Swift boating" tactic...CALL IT WHAT IT WAS! Don't call it something else like "erratic" or "desperate. Remind everyone what happened last time and see what hppens when they sue their own good sense.

    Stay on target, Barak.
    You have a game plan. Do not become reactionary. As a poker player, you know better than to act on the other guy's cards...play the ones you're holding. You have four aces...the economy, falling support for the wars, health care and your level headed persona.

    McCain has his cards and he's calling "joker's wild". Too bad it was AFTER the dealing was done.

    Aces win.

    October 5, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  4. el

    And who is the candidate who has had his friend go to jail for stealing billions in the S&L scandal?

    Attacking Barack for knowing someone who supposedly did something bad in the 1960's and is now a college professor won't cover-up that McCain was involved in the S&L scandal of the 80's and a good friend of his went to jail because of it.

    The S&L scandal was clearly an act of domestic economic terrorism.

    Hypocrisy=McCain

    October 5, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  5. Glenn

    The whines of a losing and desperate campaign strategy. When your guys, McShame and Miz geez, lack intelligence, character and intigrity and are full of nothing but b s and fluff, you got to have something to say.

    And all this from the party of so-called Christians! The overwhelming majority of Americans see the GOP for what are are...nothing!

    October 5, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  6. mark

    hey folks,
    these aren't distractions, these are facts, all obama wants to talk about is economy, economy, economy, that's it. fact is he has no idea how to defend this country from terrorist attacks. There's no reason to even talk about economy if you can't even or don't want to keep terrorist out of our country. If it get blown up there's no reason to talk about it.
    McCain has the experience to keep america safe and that's bottom line.

    October 5, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  7. brucey

    I think John McCain, and his campaign will do anything to get the attention from the real issues. William Ayers, is not a friend of Barack Obama, he was 8 years old when Ayers, was involved in the undergroung movement. I trust Barack Obama, more than John McCain. I think the Obama, should starting using the keating 5 scandal on John McCain. Sarah Palin, she should not call any one terrorist what about the troopergate scandal.

    October 5, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  8. KT in KY

    How NOT surprising that McCain/Palin is left utterly grasping at straws now that it's been made so evident that America is not interested in what they're selling. Palin's attack is laughable, like a shrill temper tantrum from a mind that can't conceive an actual well-founded criticism of Obama. I wonder how low they'll stoop now that they have nothing to lose–"paint the White House black" ads or something? Give me a break, give US a break, and PLEASE let Nov. 4 come quickly so that these fools can get out of our faces and we can get on the track to making this country right again.

    Obama/Biden '08 is in the home stretch of a commanding victory. We've almost done it!!

    October 5, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  9. Steve R

    When are we as Americans ever going to wake up!!!! When are we going to stop pointing the finger of blame at one man who only gets elected to a 4 year term of office, and serves at best for 8 years in Washington on a two term of office if lucky enough to get re-elected?

    Why do we have such adolescent thinking on this subject in regards to this Office when in fact it’s not the man/women who could get elected to this office that we need to be blaming, but ourselves?

    When are we as Americans ever going to wake up and accept the responsibility that our what Forefathers bestowed upon us? Yes freedom came to us with great hardship, and we must all work to keep it and that means ownership, and work is needed if we are going to maintain it. So Instead of taking our freedom just so casually thinking somebody else is looking out for our best interest, we need wake up and work to apply it, so that it works for us when we vote! It’s not too late, but we need to take the next steps now that will work to preserve our freedoms by using our right to vote in a way that will make a difference? Let’s face it, we have to stop kidding ourselves and start taking action for ourselves now against all political incumbents who are in Washington. These incumbents are the ones who are really to blame, again thanks to us because we keep re-electing them to the office. But its clear these incumbents regardless of party line must go. After all they all are the one’s who really don’t get it, and they will never get it, and even worst they don’t even care about us. But they will begin to care when Americans like us wake up and start thinking and say Yes, I can make a difference, and then Act each and every time we vote going forward, starting now by saying NO to all political Incumbents regardless of Party.

    We as Americans need to make a promise with each other that we will Vote to make a difference, and will work to take back America? We can all do this by ensuring No political incumbent candidate ever gets re-elected to a Congress and or a Senate Seat regardless of Party. We need to make our voices heard loud and clear so everyone understand we want Term Limits on all these Political Seats and we want a Line by Line Item Veto Power given to our President, and we will continue to vote this way until we unseat all incumbents at every election until these issues are accomplished. In doing so we will wipe out the corruption and pork belly spending that is killing our Country, God Bless America.

    October 5, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  10. Allen in Hartwell, GA

    Quote from above:
    The McCain campaign shot back on Sunday, saying its accusations are "true facts," and not "smears."
    Unquote

    The McCain campaign wouldn't recognize a "true fact" if it hit them in the face. They are so busy creating gotcha moments for TV spots or digging up old lies and smears about Obama that they don't even know anymore what the prize is – they are just competing for the competions sake.

    October 5, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  11. VOTE DEM

    Palins family is linked to a party which wants to break Alaska from the United States. Why would somebody vote for UNAmerican low life like Palin and Mccain. AND ALSO i dont want to vote for somebody who cant teach their kids to keep their legs closed. what happened to american values i dont want my kids to think it is ok to get pregnant at 12
    Vote Obama

    October 5, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  12. DLD

    OMG...what next? McCain / Palin desperate! even using old news...This is not true. Just look at the past articles, they already tried this. It did not work back than it will not work now.
    This is the kind of politics I hate! And again why I would never vote for McCain "the oh so very honest & forthright canadate" Yeah right! I really hope & wish the campaign people would actually credit us with some sense...I do not know why they think the american people are dumb & short sighted & forgetful! We are not!

    October 5, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  13. Amy

    "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,"

    Truer words have never been said. I pray the American public will see through the McCain/Palin campaign's smokescreen attempt.

    October 5, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  14. Michael B

    "Show me who your friends are, and I'll show you who you are."

    How is that a distraction? There's more to the Obama/Ayers relationship than Obama will admit to, and the proof is out there.

    October 5, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  15. irony

    As usual, Obama is right and mccain just doesn't get it!

    October 5, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  16. As the 'Paign Turns

    It's pretty sad that McCain's ethics are so lacking that he would charge a fellow senator with consorting with terrorists. Between his poor judgment in picking a silly but nasty and incompetent woman for VP to his lies on not accepting pork laden bills in Congress – he apparently can't do anything but try to tear down Obama.

    RNC – look what you have become... We can thank GW and now John McCain for the destruction of the Republican Party.

    October 5, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  17. bibek

    Desperate time calls for desperate measures....

    It is so obvious some people feel the battle is slipping away...
    Deception, lies, fear... Anything else we should expect in the remaining few days?

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 5, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  18. Eric

    McCain is such a douchebag. He is below scum.

    October 5, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  19. AA

    Accusation? I do not think that it is so vague.

    It is true, end of story.

    GOP, how about you just tell us what YOUR plans are on ANYthing. Not a sentence on how you are going to create jobs - that is a grade 5 kid doing a project. Substance, specifics, documents, you know...
    plans. I have not heard nor seen a one.

    Obamas are on his web site. All of them. They have been reviewed by economists, foreign policy experts, health care professionals.

    Where are McCains medical records? Why is the press not allowed to question Palin?

    Your lies, corruption and self-serving illegal activities, Mr. McCain are over. You will not be allowed to finish the job of ruining all that is really american (freedom of thought, race, religion, and the chance of prosperity).

    So please, for the dignity of your country, take your hatred, take your nonsensical views, and really, take that dangerously ignorant cheerleader and go away.

    Be a real man for once in your life (yes I said it, read the Rolling Stone interview with McCains POW friend) instead of buckling to the lowest common denominator.

    Peace.

    October 5, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  20. Andy

    What else is new with Republicans these days? It's all they got, so they'll try to win by smearing and scaring. Hey, it worked for Bush.

    "McCain opposes federally mandated universal coverage. He believes competition will improve the quality of health insurance." See, this is where idealogy interferes with reality. WE ALREADY HAVE "COMPETITION" – this is why we are in such dire straights as it is! What planet is McCain on?

    October 5, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  21. RapidRay

    Oops...almost forgot....

    ACE IN THE HOLE!
    The Nevada Republican Committee's Convention on April 26th, 2008 bogus convention where the McCain operatives subverted their rules and placed unelected delegates into the RNC Convention, had Ron Paul supporters followed by "Black Hats" and the Nevada Second District ballots mysteriously were not counted.

    I think the term you're looking for here is "election tampering." It's got teeth.

    Have a nice day. :)

    October 5, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  22. Tim

    A man is judged by the company he keeps. And a Chinese proverb states that you are judged by the experience of your friends if you don't have experience of your own.

    Sorry Obama, not a smear, just pointing out some dubious relationships.

    October 5, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  23. Marie in California

    The McCain is just examining the character and judgment of Obama, and that really doesn't constitute anything I would call "character as*sas*sination."

    YOU ARE KNOWN BY THE COMPANY YOU KEEP AND THE CHOICES YOU MAKE. Or, as they used to say, "Birds of a feather, flock together".......or..... "To know who a person is, just check out who his friends are." All say the same thing....and relate to a person's character, judgment, values, morals, beliefs, etc.

    Or as I like to say....."Life is a Rorschach." (If you don't know what that means, you'll have to look it up.)

    McCain-Palin – 2008

    October 5, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  24. Al Mellen

    Senator Obama,,,,if McCain continues his attacks on you. Fire back. Remind him of the KEATING FIVE,,,,,,,Tell the whole story on him. This should put some holes in the tires of the straight talk express.

    October 5, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  25. cmars

    a) it's sad they're trying to blow up this bill ayers thing, when like 10 newspapers have already declared that there's no real relationship between the two

    b) i never really realized it until now, but obama's totally right about the mccain campaign being all smears – i've never EVER heard them talk about their plans, just rumors and negative things about obama... the only time they talk about it is when obama attacks their plans, and even then they don't usually address it for long before changing the subject.

    October 5, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
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