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. Jim

    Looks like it is business as usual for the McCain/Palin!

    October 11, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  2. Marie

    MCain running mate has her own baggage. Why don't you people worry about your own issue. We are in a deeper problem. I am a mother of two, don't even know what to feed my kids one day to the next. Talk about the economy STUPID!!!

    October 11, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  3. suzyku

    mccain and his cronies are really disgusting! these idiots are just over the top!
    OBAMA/BIDEN The Intelligent Ones

    October 11, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  4. ohiolady1

    Guess what? There are lots of other born-again (white) Christians who are praying for a McCain-Palin loss. I guess the people who are the kindest to their opponents will win! Let's put some truly kind people in the White House. People with some morals. Barack and Michelle Obama! They don't allow monkey dolls of McCain at their rallies, or allow people to shout "Cut his head off!" "Terrorist!" and
    "Kill him!" at their rallies. Sarah Palin is the worst. May God expose who SHE really is. She got booed tonight in Philly. Some people are not fooled by her rhetoric. Who's like Paris Hilton, now?

    October 11, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  5. kyra

    Although there's various types of organized religions, there's only one God. Stop finding ways to divide us...

    October 11, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  6. Raymund

    Sick. sick, sick. I am a Christian and I AM PRAYING VERY HARD THAT BARACK OBAMA WINS. Obama is not only going to be an instrument for America's hope but the world's.

    Both McCain and Palin have sown divisiveness and hatred. How can they be the true messengers of Christian faith? McCain-Palin tandem will, because of their arrogance, create enemies rather than win allies.

    Yes, I am putting my country first . . . and that is why I am voting for OBAMA.

    October 11, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  7. Charlie

    How interesting that McCain has to "distance himself" from so many of the people introducing him at his speeches.

    October 11, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  8. dennis from AKRON

    non christian religions praise OBAMA. MY GOODNESS WHAT DOES THAT MEAN IN A JUDEO CHRISTIAN NATION LIKE THE UNITED STATES...WHAT IT MEANS I GUESS IS THAT OBAMA [ AIN'T THAT ONE] GOD SAVE AMERICA FROM THE NON BELIEVERS... hint if obama wants to be PRESIDENT he should go back to KENYA where his GRANDMOTHER says he WAS BORN//// IN FACT 'IN GOD WE TRUST' MUST BE STRICKEN per order of THE KING/// GOD SAVE AND BLESS AMERICA ' IN GOD WE TRUST" amen

    October 11, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  9. Grimm in SC

    If Bush can become "God's candidate" for being anti-abortion then why can't McCain become "God's candidate" for being white?

    I sincerely hope that people of true faith recognize false spiritual leaders like Arnold Conrad as the simpletons they truly are.

    October 11, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  10. Derrick

    So now his supporters are insulting Christians... Who is next on the list to be insulted?

    Ok, everyone stand-up so the McCain Campaingn can put you on their list to be insulted!

    October 11, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  11. Linda Pisani

    Do you beleive in your country? and if you did wouldn't you pledge the flag of the united states if you were going to protect your country.. So why doesn't Obama pledge to the american flag ??? I like someone to ask him that question...Thank you just a regular american girl who beleives in her Flag...Thank you

    October 11, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  12. Teresa

    I love how the pastor quoted says that other religions are praying to "Hindu, Buddha, and Allah"... People who are Hindu are polytheistic, and they don't pray to a god named "Hindu". Seriously, ignorant statements like that don't help the Republican image.

    October 11, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  13. Alexander

    they should pray for whoever has the best ideas , isn't their slogan "Country first"?

    October 11, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  14. louise

    When is this going to stop?

    October 11, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  15. Muz

    Last time I checked neither Hindu nor Budda was considered a God. I don't know why these ignorant racist people are allowed to give speeches.

    October 11, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  16. Virginia Shelton

    McCain said in the first debate that Obama just didn't know the difference between tactics and strategy. I don't know if it is strategy or tactics they are using to incite crowds to hatred and bigotry. It makes me ashamed to be an American. I am a senior citizen, white female, educated and I will vote for Senator Obama. He is qualified to lead us, and McCain definitely is not.

    October 11, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  17. Dave

    Does tbhis mean that if Obama wins, God is toast. with the Repugnants?

    We can only hope that , if he does win, they get the message that God ain't listening to BS artists.

    October 11, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  18. Bigboxes, Arlington, TX

    I'm a christian and I'm praying for an Obama victory because it's what Jesus would want.

    October 11, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  19. Alan Blue

    It is so sad and sickening to see this type of ancient ignorance still alive. Too many are blinded by their bigotry and ignorance. America's true greatness is being overshadowed by what I hope is a small portion of blind racist sheep that will believe and follow anything, including following McCain and Palin off a cliff. Your extremist views are only a few steps off from those this country fears most.

    OBAMA '08

    October 11, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  20. guitarmama

    What makes anyone think that God has chosen a side in this election? I'm sure there are also CHRISTIANS around the world who are praying for Barack Obama to WIN the election. Christians are not bound to any political party, and neither is God.

    October 11, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  21. jason papile

    I cannot believe in this day and age with all this information at people's fingertips that 1) People still don't seem to know (care) about Obama's religious affiliation and 2) people are still woefully ignorant about world religions. I mean, who doesn't know that Allah is the same god as the Christian god? Or that Buddha wasn't a god but a person who came up with a way of living, not worship? Get informed so you don't seem to be a moron in front of the country!

    October 11, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  22. Chris

    This preacher does not know God. End of story. He is not a Christian. Barack Obama is a Christian and we Christians will pray for his well-being. And we will hope that he wins this election.

    October 11, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  23. M. ELIAS

    THAT IS SICK. SARAH PALIN AND JOHN MCCAIN HAVE
    DONE A REAL NUMBER ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
    THEY HAVE PLANTED THE SEED OF HATE AND RACISM.
    AND THE CROWDS, IT AMAZES ME THAT JOHN MCCAIN
    HAS LET LOOSE AN ATTACK DOG THAT IS WORSE THAN
    ANY I HAVE SEEN IN MY LONG LIFE. YOU ARE TOTALLY
    RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY UGLINESS THAT COMES OUT
    OF YOUR SPEECHES FULL OF HATE AND FEAR. YOUR
    HANDS WILL BE DIRY AND BLOODY IF SOMETHING
    HORRIBLE HAPPENS, AS A RESULT OF YOUR HATE.
    SHAME ON YOU AND YOUR PIT BULL..............M. ELIAS

    October 11, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  24. huh

    This guy's a real brain. Buddah is not a God. Geez these ministers are simple!

    October 11, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  25. Independent Dave, Iowa

    Is it any wonder why membership in the Republican party is on the decline?

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