October 11th, 2008
09:30 PM ET
3 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. Sarah....and my last name isn't Palin

    This is disgusting

    October 11, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  2. Karen

    I cannot believe this! Is this for real? Why would anyone vote for McCain/Palin when he cannot even control his own campaign. Does McCain think Americans are stupid? Just because he wasn't there yet does not mean that he is not accountable/responsible. You cannot make me believe that this was not planned.

    This maddness needs to stop before something bad happens.

    October 11, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  3. Annie

    Will it ever end? Well, here is one Christian who is a proud Obama supporter! McCain better choose smarter people to speak at his rally's because he is running his campaign down the toilet. I guess it just further proves how out of touch McCain is. He must really have some screws lose or something if he think that this kind of rhetoric is helpful. He already has his conservative base but he is successfully alienating all the independents and undecided voters. Good for us, I guess if Obama's poll numbers continue to rise! I just really expected more from McCain.

    October 11, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  4. Just Me

    I am a Christian and a avid supporter of Obama. A minister who makes such comments is not a real Christian, what a disgrace.

    October 11, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  5. Disgusted Voter

    This is the kind of idiotic rhetoric that John McCain and Sarah Palin have inspired. Last time I checked, the same God created all of us. Only a bigoted moron would say otherwise... Oh – I forgot – bigoted MORONS are the voters that Palin and McCain are now counting on!

    October 11, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  6. Debbie

    Religion should have NOTHING to do with government.
    It's become too much on an issue – of course not for McCain who we haven't really learnt much about, it's been all about Obama's crazy pastor, we didn't hear about Hillary's and we haven't heard much about McCains. Even stranger is that the MSM seems to have left Palin's nutty "Witch Doctor" alone too – wonder why???

    October 11, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  7. tiff of Lithia Springs

    This is going from bad to worse. And for those Republicans who think Palin has a future as party leader, they may want to reconsider.
    This is a nation of many faiths and we have separated church from state folk. I think this Repub ticket will get beat so bad it's going to be nauseating even for Dems. Like watching a run away foot ball game but we can't turn the channe.

    Dear Pastor Conrod,

    I am a Christian and I've already voted.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08 AND 12

    October 11, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  8. Debbie, Los Angeles

    Oh my gosh, the Republicans are getting desperate. This is not good. We as Christians must pray for Obama's safety.

    Obama in '08!

    October 11, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  9. Arin

    I'm a non-Christian, and i pray that Arnold Conrad gets a brain.

    October 11, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  10. James

    This campaign is increasingly becoming a freak show. Every snake oil salesman in the country is being drawn to it like flies on dung.

    October 11, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  11. Linda Elsen

    John McCain and Sarah Palin are bringing to the surface the sickest, most twisted minded people this country has to offer. Sarah Palin will long be remembered in this country as a person who leads to hell. Never have I seen a woman so evil in my entire life. She spits out her lies, fakes her family life (when would she have time for any of them, she only cares about Sarah) she spouts lies about Senator Obama without even knowing him and risks the safety of him and his family to the sickos in this world. She does not have the dignity, pose, behavior, and intelligence to be the Vice President of a dog pound.

    October 11, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  12. Rennae B.

    Sounds a bit like Palin's reverend.

    October 11, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  13. JL

    Ha-they will know you are Christians by your love.

    Christian voting for OBAMA-BIDEN 08

    October 11, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  14. TND

    There doesn't appear to be a limit to the ignorance. I'm not a McCain fan but I have to believe that he is beginning to get sickened by all this intolerence.

    Pity he'll never stand up to it.

    October 11, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  15. Rob

    I pray to God every night for an Obama win. I'm a Christian. Catholic to be exact.

    October 11, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  16. Artola

    McCain's supports are just awesome! Thanks to them, McCain is constantly having to apologize for them by saying something positive about Barack – which in turn makes McCain actually speak the truth! What sweet irony! I wonder if Palin is capable of speaking the truth also, well one can certainly hope!

    October 11, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  17. arun

    aah Republicans what a beautiful lot :)

    Let me get this straight. Obama is at the same time a man who went to a racist church, an arab muslim, a godless socialist and a terrorist ?

    I think if a monkey were to wander into one of these rallies the average IQ would get a tremendous hike.

    October 11, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  18. Mike Kaplan

    What a disgusting spectacle.

    I hope Obama wins big, for the sake of the country, but also for the sake of taking the wind out of ignorant, know-nothing morons like these people.

    October 11, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  19. debwilldo

    I am saddened and very disturbed at the type of campaign that the Republican party is running. John McCain's attitude and the disrespect that he's shown to Senator Obama, has fed the venomous and scurrilous things that Sarah Palin have been saying. Palin sounds hateful,racist and the attacks so very personal, with the nastiness that she displays when she speaks of him.
    She's been hiding the "dirty doings" and bullying that she and her husband (who want to secede from America) subjected her staff to with him wielding power like HE was elected. It confirms the negative vibe that I've been getting from the moment that McCain announced her as his candidate. So...could it be that Sarah was extra "snarky" in order to throw the light off of that those unpleasant she knew that she was hiding, and not just her biting personality?
    McCain will obviously say/do anything to win, and to let Sarah, Cindy and FOX and be his "less than honest" attack dogs, says that he will put what he wants first, and not our country as he so often says.
    At this moment in time...that position is far too dangerous for us all.

    October 11, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  20. Suzette

    This entire campaign has taken our respectability, our sensability, and our pride as a country and thrown it out he window. One of the key responsibilities of a leader is to guide those who look up to him/her. This entire attitude that is a direct result of Rove?Cheney/Bush politics and how to lead by fear and hate and falsehoods has brought us to this.

    Politics have always had some dishing out of blows about issues, but this defamation of character stands to further divide us as a nation. We look like fools to the rest of the world. We need not to worry about those outside of the US, at this rate we are imploding within.

    October 11, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  21. Biff Stiffley

    This is what this campaign is coming to, and it is sad. God has to guard his own reputation? Unbelievable.

    October 11, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  22. Barb

    IGNORANCE at its finest. And what's with the "their" God and "our" God?????????????

    October 11, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  23. Deesi

    wao Germany was a racist country that nobody knew that a day will come were there will no more racism in that country but for America i think we have long awy to go

    October 11, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  24. Mike

    Another example of the wedge religion drives between us. Bill Maher may have been on to something.

    October 11, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  25. Brian

    It is so sad that such ignorance and bigotry still exist in this country.

    October 11, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
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