October 11th, 2008
09:30 PM ET
2 years ago

Speaker at McCain rally says non-Christians want an Obama win

A pastor at a McCain rally said non-Christians are hoping for an Obama win.
A pastor at a McCain rally said non-Christians are hoping for an Obama win.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (CNN) – A minister delivering the invocation at John McCain’s rally in Davenport, Iowa Saturday told the crowd non-Christian religions around the world were praying for Barack Obama to win the U.S. presidential election.

“There are millions of people around this world praying to their god—whether it’s Hindu, Buddha, Allah—that his opponent wins, for a variety of reasons. And Lord, I pray that you will guard your own reputation, because they’re going to think that their God is bigger than you, if that happens,” said Arnold Conrad, the former pastor of Grace Evangelical Free Church in Davenport.

The remark was made before McCain arrived at the rally but the Republican nominee's campaign quickly put out a statement distancing itself from the remarks.

“While we understand the important role that faith plays in informing the votes of Iowans, questions about the religious background of the candidates only serve to distract from the real questions in this race about Barack Obama's judgment, policies and readiness to lead as commander in chief,” said McCain campaign spokesperson Wendy Riemann.

This incident comes a day after a Minnesota voter asked Senator McCain if Barack Obama was an Arab at a town hall in Lakeville, Minnesota and just three days after Lehigh GOP County Chairman Bill Platt made a speech at a McCain rally in Pennsylvania where he refered to the Democrat nominee for president as Barack Hussein Obama.


Filed under: Iowa • John McCain
soundoff (1,974 Responses)
  1. Simmy

    Obama will win. Then all those people who believed in that preacher man will be confused. That's sad.

    October 11, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  2. Candi

    A real Christian, be it a clergy or layman would never judge others. Arnold Conrad is a despicable hate mongerer using Christ as his basis to spew hatred. Jesus would rather we pray for Arnold Conrad. Chrsit wants us to all pray to remove the seeds of Satan from evil men, like Arnold conrad

    October 11, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  3. Elizabeth

    I am offended by this greatly and I am a Christian. Shame on you, McCain.

    October 11, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  4. Wil

    wow this is getting crazy...John McCain's people are mental patients...John has 5 min to rid himself of these nuts or it's curtains for him. Barack Obama is a born again christian..

    October 11, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  5. Doesn't Speak For Me

    My Christian faith pushes me toward Obama. I find this kind of talk shameful, and I hope people realize that this person in no way speaks for me or the vast majority of other people of faith. We live in a pluralistic society, and Obama will be a great president for all people.

    It's time to come together and not keep tearing each other apart.

    October 11, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  6. Andy

    I hope the the McCain campaign will quickly decide to denounce these types of statements DURING the rally, rather than afterwards. If John McCain can't stand up to his own crowd, how in the world can we believe he will stand up to other world leaders? Statements of this nature are immediately recognizable as inappropriate, so there isn't any legitimate reason for the McCain campaign to wait until after the building is empty to say so.

    October 11, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  7. Truck

    THIS non-Christian (Atheist) wants an Obama win, that's for sure.

    Religion is a joke.

    October 11, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  8. Dave in Indy

    McCain opened the flood gate of idiots. I can't believe that he can't realize that he is the cause behind all of the violence at his rallies. Just wait, it won't be long before someone is seriously hurt at one of his rallies. Maybe then he will see how his comments are stirring the racial fires that the Repubs cling to.

    October 11, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  9. Joel Parkes

    Is there any doubt anymore that the Republican base is made up of pig ignorant savages?

    October 11, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  10. Sarah

    As a Christian woman voting for Obama.... this offends me deeply. This kind of rhetoric is exactly what is so wrong with our political system.

    October 11, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  11. Zach

    Nothing frightens me more than angry evangelicals. Nothing.

    October 11, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  12. Joyce

    Yesterday I thought there might be hope for John McCain after he stood up for Barack Obama as a person. However, hearing this I know the republicans are not wht the USA needs. I hope McCain
    s campaign realizes that after this incident, they no longer can use the Reverand Wright as a weapon.

    October 11, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  13. Sarah

    RE: Lehigh GOP County Chairman Bill Platt made a speech at a McCain rally in Pennsylvania where he refered to the Democrat nominee for president as Barack Hussein Obama.
    Is he not Barack Hussein Obama?

    October 11, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  14. Dick M

    McCain should have said something immediately to denounce that sort of talk. A press release by a spokesman is not enough. He continues to hurt himself by allowing these fanatics to speak for him.

    October 11, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  15. Judy from NC

    Obama shows more Christian values than any of these idiots.

    October 11, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  16. notademocrateither

    Just shows how ignorant the McCain "BELIEVERS" are,

    One can only wonder how America became the great nation it is now, considering these 40% do not even qualify to be intelligent!

    October 11, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  17. Coinneach

    “There are millions of people around this world praying to their god—whether it’s Hindu, Buddha, Allah—that his opponent wins, for a variety of reasons."

    Does this idiot not know that Hindu is a religion, not a deity, and that the Buddha wasn't a deity either?

    October 11, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  18. Tennisguypitt

    Huh? What's wrong with that?

    Oh, an evangelical, BIG SURPRISE.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 11, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  19. Mike

    And there they go again. Please Election day get here fast before these Republican Devils rip our Nation in half. I am a White Evangelical Christian with a Bible College Diploma. I am voting for Obama. The only candidate who has acted like a Christian in this campaign.

    October 11, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  20. B. Churchill

    What an idiot this preacher is – everyone knows God is much too busy favoring His favorite football teams this time of year to concern Himself with mere politics.

    October 11, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  21. James

    As a Christian, I am highly insulted by this narrow minded, bigot of a pastor who thinks that McCain v. Obama is the embodiment of Christians v. all other religions. How dare you invoke the good Lord Jesus' name in a presidential race! Let me tell you loud and clear: this Christian, and many more like me, will pray and vote Obama into office.

    What a sad, little, little, man.

    October 11, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  22. Steve, PA

    See now that's b.s. Most of McCains supports are narrowing minded, ingnorant individuals. First and foremost, Baracks name was given to him when he was born from his parents, just the way most of you was given your names RIGHT. He said numerous of times that he is not a muslim and thats he is Christian. AND what difference does it make what religion you represent?believe. In this country we accept everyone whether your black, white, hispanic, asian, bhuddist, pentecostal, baptist, muslim etc. Muslim's aren't bad people, they have some believers that have some extreme views; just like the KKK are with christianity. We all know better, we need to come together unite and accept everyone without being afraid of one another.

    October 11, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  23. Hayes

    How disrespectful is this comment? At the same time that McCain is asking for an apology from Rep. Lewis (which he should receive), Mccain has idiots like this speaking on his behalf. It is insulting and reinforces the hateful tone McCain/Palin supporters are spewing. May God rebuke this minister for his nasty comments!

    Obama/Biden in 2008

    October 11, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  24. Mike from FL

    Pastors need to stay out of politics, people need to think about themselves and what they feel is best for whom to vote for. If you are listening to a pastor for politics, you might want to change religious services.

    October 11, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  25. chippyarm

    I am a Sunday School teacher in an Episcopal church in Marietta, Georgia. In fact, it is at the church in which the Priest gave the opening prayer at the Republican Convention. I am a believer in the Lord Jesus. I, for one, am voting for a win by Obama, Does this make me any less a Christian? If you believe it does, please take out your Christian bibles and have yourself a good read, just in case you have never done so.

    October 11, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
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