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. Sej

    How extremely ignorant. I am scared for my country (the United States) and fellow non-ignorant citizens who like myself have been in the delusion that we live in one of the most open-minded countries in the world. I will pray (yes Mr. Evangelical-I am a Hindu) for Obama and his well-being with nuts like this around.

    October 11, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  2. America think

    One thing I know is that Barack Obama's God is Jesus christ. I do not know where you get that scare tactic. These are smear. These are all they have left lies, smear shame on them

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

    This campaign has taken on a whole new tone since the McCain camp started the innuendos about Barack Obama and it scares the heck out of me. I sure hope that the security around him is of the highest caliber. If anything happens to him because of all of this hate speech, his blood will be on the Republican's hands. This is just insane.

    October 11, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  4. Another Republican for Obama!

    Unbelievable!!!! For the last time– Obama is not a Muslim. He is a Christian man who is someone's son, someone's father, someone's husband! He is just like you and I.

    October 11, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  5. M in Maryland

    Now, THAT is offensive. I am a Christian and I find this man's comments incredibly offensive, as should every other American. This sort of thing is about as unAmerican and unChristian as it gets. This man should be ashamed.

    October 11, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  6. Obama Supporter

    I am an Obama supporter and a Christain. I do not know who these people are to think that they have the block on christianity. I cannot believe that in 2008 we are experiencing such racist comments. John McCain if elected which I am doubtful will not be able to govern with a divided country.

    He has allowed the so call Christian right and Palin to lie, instill hatred and divisiveness into this election. The God I serve is not in the midst of these hate filled rallies and anyone who is a believer would not support this.

    As long as you all continue to spew hatred and discord just, individuals who have the love of Christ realize that you are not of God. God has not given us (Obama) the spirit of fear but love and but love, life and sound mind.

    I will pray that Barack Obama is the next president of the United States of America and though I totally disagree with what is going on in the McCain campaign–I will pray for forgiveness on those who seek to destroy Senator Barack Obama. This reminds me of the 1960's when black men was beatened, lynched and hanged for looking at a white woman. The only difference is you have a black man looking at the white house.

    Obama-Biden '08!

    October 11, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  7. Jack Nuller

    wow this is gone way past the line, I would say pathetic, but this is just disgusting behavior coming out from these mccain/palin rallies. I mean lets grow up people, unfortunately about half the country in the people will believe anything...its just sad.

    October 11, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  8. roflcopter

    McCain has opened Pandora's box.

    October 11, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  9. Dana Knight

    This is a perfect example of how nuts McCain supporters really are...to "pray" that Sen. Obama doesn't get elected only strenghtens my belief we should give IQ tests prior to allowing people to vote. What a joke!

    October 11, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  10. frank Honolulu HI

    Who thinks they can claim possession of righteousness? Certainly not someone who thinks they do.

    October 11, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  11. Donna

    Well folks prayed for rain during the DNC and look how that turned out...when you try to wish and pray for someone else's downfall, then it normally happens to you..

    He isn't very familiar with the teachings of the BIBLE, is he?

    Pitiful..........

    October 11, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  12. Pat

    Already God is fighting for Obama with all the natural and unnatural disaster since convention.
    While the racists Evangelicans are hiding under the issue of prolife, they share in all the atrosity that happened under Bush. Common sense will protect life from unborn till senior.

    October 11, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  13. Not This Time!

    OK, this is just getting scary. Where are the republicans finding these people? Time to make the intelligent choice people.

    October 11, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  14. Jeff in Phoenix

    Yet more and more reasons to support Obama and Biden in 2008. Whatever happened to separation of church and state?

    October 11, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  15. Lisa (PA)

    All people of different religions and non-believers want Senator Obama to be the President of the United States!!!

    How dare these so called Christian people think that they have cornered the market on the presidency. Didn't Jesus teach you every one tolerance and peace!!! Our country is very diverse...learn to accept different people and religions and cultures!!
    God bless America during these times when people are afraid of Senator Obama. May God bless all of you igornant people who think so shallow and incite fear!!!

    October 11, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  16. Ron was a REP now a DEM

    Tell him to speak for his hateful self not for me

    October 11, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  17. Independent but Leaning

    And what exactly is the problem with saying his middle name? Are Christians not allowed to speak his Muslim name?

    October 11, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  18. zoe monster

    Here's one CATHOLIC who's voting for Obama....
    Sick of this Republican rhetoric...and the hypocritical nonsense they pump out about right to life when they're bombing the Middle East to kingdom come...

    October 11, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  19. Jim Smith

    We have some dim people in this country. It's sad.

    October 11, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  20. spiculari

    the mccain campaign should not be playing with those sentiments... how very low of them...

    October 11, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  21. McPalin

    McCain was probably behind this. He now seeks to portray Obama as the anti-Christ.

    October 11, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  22. Jim

    I'm a Christian, and I want Obama to WIN.

    You don't speak for me, Pastor.

    October 11, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  23. Pete

    Hahaha. The desperation continues. In 24 days, McCain gets trounced and the stupidity seen on the other side of the aisle can go on hold for a few years.

    October 11, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  24. Larry

    Why shouldn't people of other faiths pray for the same thing we Christians are praying for? End the hate and bring us an Obama/Biden win this November!

    October 11, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  25. dustin

    well we're definitely seeing a trend with the mccain supporters, as an agnostic, i wish i had a candidate who would say they didn't know if god existed or not and we brought some logic to the presidency. Its sad when that we hold our candidates to the "christianity test."

    October 11, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
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