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. John

    This is the most ridiculous campaign I have seen in my whole life. How in the world Mc/Palin campaign can run away from these kind of comments saying they do not believe in it when it is said in one of their own campaign to their supporters. If they want to correct these kind of pastors, they should do that in front of that same audience right there, not afterwards. It looks like they are trying to really dividing this ailing nation and not sure where is their true love that they claim for the country. I am simply amazed how a true Christian will ever say some thing like this!!!

    October 12, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  2. sam Sackllah

    I enlisted at 17 in the USMC and volunteered for Vietnam, I served with marines from all walks of life and all religious and cultural backrounds. I strongly urge all the media invloved to denounce the racist remarks whether they be cultural or religious. Make these bigots stop by interviewing them and make them look like the morons they are. My grandfather served in ww1, my uncle died in ww2, my uncle served in korean war, and many of my cousin's served in vietnam. We are all Palestian americans. (Arab) , I hope Senator Obama wins and maybe the religious and cultural racists will be put in their place. This Presidential race is too important to clutter it with bigotry. We all bleed red blood.

    Very Angry

    October 12, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  3. Mike, CA

    I prefer to think positive. While my vote was signed sealed and delivered right about the time Obama chose Joe Biden and John McCain chose Shameful Palin, I honestly believe John McCain is a good man with good intentions. Unfortunately, he surrounded himself the same people who GW Bush used to run our country into the ground. John, please put "country first" and try to heal the wounds your followers have done to the USA.

    (24-year old black male college student INDEPENDENT voter who voted Bush in 2004 and is extremely apologetic to the entire country for a bad decision)

    October 12, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  4. A TRUE CHRISTIAN

    cnn please print my coment it has been waiting for moderation for a while now it is very importent to me that you do.

    October 12, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  5. Religulous

    I hope the old (not his age, rather his self prior to the past 4 years) John McCain sees why he has always distanced himself from these extremely radical and sheltered right-wing, uber separatists, EVANGELICAL Christians who have a very segragated views on anyone that does not look or talk like them.

    We need another round of evolution to hit these people over the heads to expand their brains with the capacity to understand!

    October 12, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  6. Mike, UT

    wow, just wow...it's getting scary.

    October 12, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  7. sneaky pete

    Honestly! Who cares what religion people are? Well besides the ignorant red necks out therein McCains town hall meetings! Even if Obama was a Muslim, I would still vote for him and it wouldnt even make me hesitate. i am a 26 yr old white Catholic in CA.

    October 12, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  8. james

    Seems the only ones wanting a John McCain win are the unintelligent brainless morans like this preacher and the white trash that seems to collect at McCain/Palin rallies.

    October 12, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  9. Keith

    Keep your religion free from governance, politicians!

    October 12, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  10. Christian

    This is amazing that a minister would say that. Barack is a Christian, how many times does the man need to say that. The difference between your stupidity is that God is just a name. This can't be the same party that speaking about hate, and have folks hollering Kill him.

    Wow, I pray that God will continue to protect Barack! after all the bible says "NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST ME SHALL PROSPER" If you know what that means, than may I encourage you to ask God to come into your heart right now you moron.

    October 12, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  11. Paul

    You idiots prayed for George Bush to win too. Look where that got us!! Morons. All of you.

    October 12, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  12. Matt in Austin

    As a Christian for Obama I'm appalled at this pastor.

    Anyway, we've already seen God's sense of humor in this election cycle... wasn't there a group praying for rain on the DNC in Denver only to have a major storm hit Texas and force the RNC to make changes.... ????

    October 12, 2008 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  13. bill

    Wow, these McCain supporters have got themselves a case of the crazies.

    October 12, 2008 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  14. RT

    As a Hindu, I want to hear McCain and Palin condemn this prayer. In case the GOP ever wonders why minorities vote Democrat, here it is.

    October 12, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  15. Michael in NC

    This election is crazy. I hope America makes it through intact.

    October 12, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  16. Reggie

    I can't see how God or Jesus would condone the actions of some of these so called "Religious Right". Once again a religious leader is trying to use religion to push an agenda. Hey idiots out there, Obama is Christian! On the one hand you want to kill him for going to Rev. Wright's church for 20 years, then on the other hand you call him a Muslim. You do know his church is not a Muslim church correct?

    If you don't want a black person to be President, just come out and say it. Stop making up or trying to find some reason to not come out and just speak your mind.

    October 12, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  17. Army Black Vet

    Ignoarant racist man

    October 12, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  18. miss yawning

    so sad...

    October 12, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  19. Desmond Sequeira

    This so called minister is so stupid, it is not surprising that even the McSame campaign is distancing itself from him, even while it fans the flames of rhetoric like his. Rep Lewis, Georgia-Dem, is so right!

    October 12, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  20. Jim

    This is the TRUE definition of taking God's name in vein! Using Gods name for anything other than prayer is wrong, as stated in the bible. As a Christian we should be wary of those who would break Gods commandments in order to advance a political agenda. It is a disgusting miss use of religion, and religious power. These are the same people who said God wanted Bush in office. This is preposterous, and shameful, and a SIN!

    October 12, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  21. Kirk

    Wow... I had no idea that God was so worried about his reputation.

    October 12, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  22. Cathy

    So is John McCain going to denounce this statement, along with his supporters who yelled "kill him", "off with his head", "terrorist", "terrorism"....during McCain/Palin rallies???

    NO...!!!

    Republican Double Standard In Full Effect!!!

    October 12, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  23. swing voter in VA

    And McCAin wonders why people are saying he is running the slimmest campaign. I am a Christian. I go to church EVERY Sunday and I teach bible study AND not only am I voting for Obama I am volunteering for his campaign.
    I think people who support McCAin and his nasty fear-mongering, hateful, angry campaign are not true Christians!

    October 12, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  24. Larry

    Incidents like this prove out John Lewis's observation. Sen. McCain's campaign is spearheaded by theocratic bigots and xenophobes.

    October 12, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  25. Pat

    I really, really resent that kind of activity...praying for an Obama defeat. So what does that mean for us Independents, who don't support either party and support Obama? As a Christian, all I have to say is, "judge ye not lest ye be judged." How dare they think they are the only Christians. At least McCain did the right thing. You know radicals can be both from the left and right wing.

    October 12, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
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