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. Bobby

    Wow. I'm a Christian and I think this guy is an intolerant Wacko. My religion preaches love for your fellow man not degrade them.

    October 12, 2008 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  2. Katie

    I think the last time they prayed it was for rain at Obama's DNC speech in Colorado. If I remember correctly it was a perfectly beautiful and sunny day....keep praying you hate filled loons.

    October 12, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  3. Happy in Arizona

    THIS MINISTER HAS A REAL PROBLEM AND SHOULD NOT BE PREACHING AT ALL. PEOPLE WHO LISTEN TO THESE KINDS OF REMARKS FROM MINISTERS ALSO HAVE A PROBLEM AND I FEEL SORRY FOR THEM.

    October 12, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  4. Vince Pham

    The McCain's supporter's remark is true but incomplete. Not only Non-Christans, but also Christians.

    October 12, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  5. G.P. Carvalho

    Praying is very good to keep a healthy mind, declared a well-known voodoo priest from the sunny Brazilian state of Bahia. But soccer matches, he immediately added, are decided by the best players in the field.

    Voodoo seminaries may not be graduating as many soccer-wise priests as they seem to have done before. At any rate, let us listen to the Bahian priest's advice and keep an eye on the ball.

    October 12, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  6. Tom

    Wow! That is truely mind-boggling. It is amazing that this "minister" felt that it was his duty to tell God that He needed to guard His reputation by making McCain win the election. Does he actually think that God needs his advice? What an ego.

    October 12, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  7. Mike

    Just goes to show you how trying to prod a sensitive issue such as terrorism to push your campaign will eventually blow up in your face. How can people like myself who identify as independents vote for a candidate who is inciting hatred, deep hatred and division at a rally. There isn't any issues being discussed here just twisting words and events to suit their candidate better.

    If Obama really was a terrorist with strong ties, do you think he would ever have been vetted? Or allowed to run as a democrat? No, he never would have. It disappoints me to no end that his campaign allows these kinds of endorsements to occur.

    October 12, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  8. Pat

    McCain is running a Campaign of Intolerance...when we should be celebrating the rich culture and diversity that no other country in the world possess.

    This is just the latest in a series of incidences, either rendered by his VP, campaign staff or surrogates, to seemingly mock or condemn anyone who looks different, think different or feel different. Why? Very sad.

    October 12, 2008 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  9. Deborah from North Carolina

    It never ceases to amaze me the number of UNCHRISTIAN ministers that populate politics on both sides. Jesus would never have taken sides in a political debate – in fact he went to his death refusing to do so. Search your hearts America! If you call yourself a Christian, pick up the New Testament and READ IT!

    October 12, 2008 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  10. gary

    Unbelievable. And he says he is a man of the cloth.Just another dressed up BIGOT FOR MCCAIN.

    October 12, 2008 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  11. msnola60

    Now, I know why McCain picked Sarah Palin. I checked where she is from and .06 percent blacks, no wonder she is sending hate messages on her compaign. She is only saying what she is told to say, checking how many blacks she has really came into contact with. After all McCain voted against Martin L. King's birthday. He had to get someone who feels or thinks the same as him. Now, I understand why he picked her. From where she came she has no knowledge of Blacks.

    She is judging Sen. Obama by the color of his skin and not by his character...SHAME, SHAME, SHAME

    Races in Wasilla, Alaska:

    White Non-Hispanic (83.9%)
    American Indian (9.1%)
    Two or more races (5.9%)
    Hispanic (3.7%)
    Other race (1.3%)
    Black (0.6%)

    October 12, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  12. Anonymous

    Shame on you

    October 12, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  13. Jimmy, IA

    Well, they probably ARE hoping he wins, since Republicans aren't going to represent any other religion's best interest. I wonder why I'm voting straight ticket Democrat . . .

    October 12, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  14. 08 Voter

    I'm a reborn Christian and I want Obama to win too!

    October 12, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  15. Dean Hale

    Dear CNN,
    As a concerned registered voter I am extremely concerned about how the political team of McCain's is running such a dirty campaign and I feel the tone of his latest rallies are paramont of inciting some extreme people in our contry to do things that would hurt our freedom. What his audiences are shouting out during these gatherings is really boardering on criminal. I always thought that McCain was an honorable person, but now I wonder if he has lost sight of what is really important in running for president. As a possibe future president he is not aciting like a man of true honor should act like and I wish he would put a stop to this hatred like AD campaign that he is running lately. I believe he is either getting terrible advice, or he is so worried about losing he will stop at nother to try and win.

    Disapointed, concerned and very worried,

    Dean Hale

    October 12, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  16. AH

    Witch Hunt! Looney toons !! I never knew that republicans in general are cultish and hypecrytical, and very silly and will believe the worst of anyone they deem as different!

    October 12, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  17. Rob

    this is so stupid–God Is God no matter what name you use

    October 12, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  18. amer

    actually from what I learned extremists around the world want Obama to be defeated because it justifies the existance of such groups. they will say to their people,:"see, we told you they are racist and would never elect a now white -even if proclaimed christian" plus they want the policy of this administration to continue, because they believe that such ploicies will lead the U.S.A to self destruction...
    Do you understand that....

    October 12, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  19. James David

    The good minister Conrad is fairly typical of modern day "Christians" and is likely archetypical of McCain and Bush "Christians" in that he apparently has an erroneous concept of the historical Jesus. The "Christian" followers of McCain have shown their true nature by emanating hate and encouraging violence; the values that Jesus promoted are antithetical to this tendency.

    October 12, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  20. bibek

    soooooooooo ignorant.
    Do anything.. say anything politics....

    October 12, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  21. joey

    wow who knew dumb rednecks putting religon into politics

    October 12, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  22. RVW

    CNN, why do you put support these nuts who say these things by giving them press? If no one covered this certifiable lunacy, the United States voters would make their electoral decisions based on facts that they have analyzed to form an ideology, rather than lies and hateful propaganda.

    October 12, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  23. One vote

    This is getting to be seriously sickening.

    Are there anybody at McCain's rallies with access to the switch to turn off the speaker? Are these speakers screened? Does McCain arrive and condemn this behavior in the strongest possible language?

    My guess is, not.

    October 12, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  24. Arkansas Undertaker

    I cannot believe all of these HATE filled so called "People of God". And who said that we are all serving a different God.

    We may all ahve differnt names for him, but he is definitley the SAME LORD AND SAVIOR!!

    I cannot beleive the hatred in peoples hearts and minds after all this time.

    October 12, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  25. John F

    McCain do you think seeing which God is "bigger" at a rally is really less shocking than the comments of a concerned and insulted speaker?

    At least he didn't say we should burn all the witches...

    October 12, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
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