October 29th, 2008
04:15 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain denies racism will determine election's outcome

Larry King interviewed John McCain Wednesday. Watch the full interview tonight, 9 p.m. ET.
Larry King interviewed John McCain Wednesday. Watch the full interview tonight, 9 p.m. ET.

(CNN) - Presidential candidate John McCain denied Wednesday that race will determine the outcome of next week's election pitting him against Barack Obama, who hopes to become the country's first black president.

"Look, there's racism in America - we all know that," the Republican hopeful told CNN's "Larry King Live" in a taped interview set to air Wednesday evening.

"But I am totally convinced that 99 and forty-four-one-hundredths percent of Americans are going to make the decision based on who is best to lead this country," he continued.

"These are the one of the most difficult times in our history... I have faith in the American people that they will make the judgment for the best of reasons."

McCain trails Obama by about 7 points in CNN's national Poll of Polls, and is also behind in a number of polls in must-win states as well.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Louis

    Good for you John–when Obama wins you can say the voters have spoken and not blame the media.

    October 29, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  2. Knucklehead

    I am not a McCain backer, but come on, people. Communism is not a race. They are 8-10 points down, and must attack him on something. What they don't realize (it seems) is that the more they (especially Caribou Barbie) attack him, the further they slide.

    October 29, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. JohnGalt

    McCain knows that the only way he can win this election is to turn the time back to 1970. Sorry to tell McCain & Palin that it's 2008, and American politics has changed, people are interested in what you are going to do for us tomorrow. McCain & Palin believe the way to progress is to berate your opponents. That's why he's loosing this election, this is why McCain's policy to berate, and shun opponents in elections, and in world diplomacy is a loosing strategy. I know that the GOP has a problem with the world "evolve," but that's the real world, you evolve or your replaced with a better model. That's what's happening, and I'm glad to be part of that change. *Obama/Biden*

    October 29, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  4. wakeupamerica

    McCain is the racist. The American people are looking beyond skin color and looking at competency and qualifications to do the job and we're picking THAT ONE – Barack and the real deal Joe.

    McCain and Palin = incompetent boobs.
    McCain and Palin = racist rhetoric
    McCain and Palin = deviciveness
    McCain and Palin = pro America instead of all America
    McCain and Palin = erratic whiners

    We are the United States. Not the Palin states.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 29, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  5. Dave g, Minneapolis

    That's right!
    We're voting for Bob Barr–against bailouts, wants to lower taxes and cut government spending, against the war.

    Obama and McCain are more of the same...what will they bailout next Planes, Trains and Automobiles? When they finally promise that we all will get something from the government, we will realize that there won't be anyone left willing to work hard enough to pay taxes for everyone elses "entitlements".

    Stop the erosion of the American Constitution!! Bob Barr for President!!

    October 29, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  6. I love my Arab family

    Just today Palin mentioned in her energy speech that we shouldn't support or rely on oil from the middle east who support terrorists. I take offense to her insinuating that people who live in the middle east support terrorism. My brother-in-law is an arab from Saudi Arabia (the middle east) , my niece and nephew are Arab-Americans. They in no way, shape or from support terrorism. I would be appalled if any Arab-American would vote for McCain/Palin after that remark.

    October 29, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  7. sabrina01

    Come on democrates go vote we can't take chances on another Republican President

    October 29, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  8. Jim

    IF-Portugal: You are missing the point. The question is whether racism will cause Caucasian voters to vote for McCain rather than Obama. And the answer, in my view, is yes, but not in large enough numbers to change the outcome. This has nothing to do with African(not Afro)-American voters.

    October 29, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  9. King protege

    I will not vote against McCain because of his race.
    But I will vote for him because he is by far the better candidate.
    Dr. King would be so proud.
    :-)

    October 29, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  10. Peter (CA)

    McCain has to hope for racism: it's the only chance he's got.

    Just look at responses like Griff's....hey Griff, pay attention: blacks vote at 90% for the Democrat, be it Obama, Kerry, Gore, or Clinton.

    hurriCAIN PALIN-I'm going to ask you again....you got any substance or are you just going to spew more right wing hate? Go back to your fax machine and get the latest RNC talking points.

    October 29, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  11. Melinda Hall, Black Woman in AZ

    I am overwhelmed by the hate I've been seeing from Republican supporters. These people (oops that could be taken as racist), are threating this mans life. Isn't it bad enough that you hate a person for the way they look, but to want to take his lif because he worked hard to get in the position he's in. Mccain has done nothing to try to speak with the racist supporters, the capaign is providing more ammunition for these hate mongers, with the key words you've seen in all the post above. As a Black woman who is the mother of four boys, I am in fear. I want more than anything for Obama to win, but what will happen to the Black communities in America? Will lynchings start again? Burning of churches, Blacks being found dead all over the country. Someone needs to talk about this before it's too late. Oh and to Real Story the prison system contains many Caucasions just to let you know and many of the bloggers here are Caucasion. Do some research and you will discover that most of the African Amercians in prison are there unlawfully and given way more time than thier white counter parts for the same crime. Plus they wouldn't be commenting on this blog anyway, they have learned to take what the world gives them, they don't believe anyone cares what they think.

    OBAMA / BIDEN 08

    October 29, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  12. Joshua College Station Texas

    McCain must never have lived in Texas.

    Just look at the electoral map. The entire south is red red red. And it's not because they are "Bush" states. Those states have many things in common. They have higher rural populations, have historically been agriculture-based, originally practiced or supported slavery, and have traditionally scorned excessive federal influence. Many of them have a high proportion of low-income citizens with comparatively less formal education. For many in those places, tradition is the strongest cultural influence.

    We fear what we don't understand, and we tend to understand less when we have relatively limited formal education and exposure to cultures and people other than our own. The Republican party knows this and for decades has built a huge support base by exploiting the fears of uneducated rural white citizens on the fears of "big brother" government and on anything foreign to us, whether it be people of other countries, languages, religions, or skin tones. Theirs is a very centric and intolerant view.

    October 29, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  13. FL for OBAMA

    This would be the time for McCain to denounce his misguided supporter (Ashley Todd) who created a self-inflicted, racial hoax. Will McCain make a public repudiation of this divisive act, because it is the right thing to do??

    October 29, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  14. AZ Demo and Wife of Former Marine

    This is for all you Vets, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Look at McCain's voting record on Veterans. He didn't show up for the vote on the new GI Bill, he was too busy at a campaign rally. Obama voted for it.

    BTW, Spence/Virgina in Arizona; McCAin 46 Obama 44, Arizona Daily Star 10/29/08. Margin of error +/3.

    October 29, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  15. what?

    Of course race has a part in this. If Obama weren't black, then a record turnout wouldn't be expected. Race works both ways.

    October 29, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  16. James

    It is not about race. Way to make nothing into something...tools

    October 29, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  17. Will, Houston

    Sans racism, McBush would get no more than 30-35 percent of the overall popular vote.

    October 29, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  18. SONGBIRD MCCAIN

    Get off of my lawn!!

    October 29, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  19. arche

    I'm 99 and forty-four-one-hundredths percent certain that Obama's going to win.

    Obama/Biden 08!

    October 29, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  20. Steven

    Already voted for Obama. I can't wait for this election is over and all the violent nut jobs have something else to focus on. Every time I hear a republican on the news I just press mute.

    October 29, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  21. McCain Is The Man

    To Redneck (5:35)

    The fact that you let someone Divide & Destroy your beliefs in the past, ALREADY says something about your mentality.

    October 29, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  22. Irma in North Carolina

    It is defintely so that you have sparked the race issues again by the hate rallys Sarah has run. And also all the words you use to describe Obama. You and Sarah are the biggest racits that America has. I am sure that God will let it be a task of this to come back and haunt you and let you too loose the election.

    October 29, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  23. Joseph

    PLEASE EDUCATE YOURSELF ON DEMOGRAPHICS! BLACKS ALWAYS VOTE HEAVILY FOR DEMOCRATS! KERRY GOT 88% BILL CLINTON GOT 86% OF THE AFRICAN AMERICAN VOTE DESPITE BEING AS WHITE AS YOU CAN GET, BLACKS ARE ENTHUSIASTIC BECAUSE NOT ONLY ARE THEY VOTING FOR A CANDIDATE THAT SHARES THEIR POLITICAL VIEWPOINTS WITH EXTREME INTELLIGENCE AND LOGIC, BUT HE IS ALSO THEIR RACE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY, GIVE THEM A BREAK. QUIT SAYING ITS ALL ABOUT RACE IT JUST SHOWS YOUR BITTERNESS THAT YOUR CANDIDATE IS ABOUT TO LOSE BECAUSE HE HAS RUN A GOD AWFUL CAMPAIGN WITH INEFFECTIVE ECONOMY AND TAX POLICIES AND A VERY INEFFECTIVE VP.

    October 29, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  24. Dr. Ted Baehr

    Isn't 99.44% the purity of Ivory Soap, according to the Ivory commercials and the packaging??

    October 29, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  25. Phil in KC

    Of course he has to say that. Because if he wins, he doesn't want anyone claiming it was because of racism (they will any way). And, if he loses, it will make his loss seem even worse because he couldn't overcome an opponent with a political handicap.

    October 29, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
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