October 29th, 2008
04:15 PM ET
5 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. Blue is my favourite colour

    It's awful that this comes up now. I think racism has always figured into elections, especially if you are African American and have seen so many rich, white men win the presidency. I wonder why no one has ever asked that community how it feels to always be led by a white guy when there are African Americans in the past who have been qualified to be president.

    America is finally getting a chance to show their commitment to diversity if we elect Obama. If not, then we'll show to ourselves and the world how racist we really are.

    October 29, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  2. vahe

    mccains words its like two year old talking..

    October 29, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  3. BLACK GUY IN HOUSTON

    If you are not voting for Obama because he is black then.................VOTE FOR THE WHITE HALF!!!!!!!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    October 29, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  4. Dave, Central Illinois

    If Obama loses, it will be blamed on race. If he wins, any criticism of him will be racists. Obama and his followers are race baiters. There will be no excuse to continue affirmative action policies if he is elected. Continueing to do so will fuel a huge backlash.

    October 29, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  5. Hal, Redondo Beach, CA

    99.44%????? Where did McCain pull that from.

    Is that a result of the No Child Left Behind New Math Curriculum??

    Or is that from the Daddy got me into Yale (Bush), or Annapolis (McCain) Math for Spoiled Legacy Kids 101??

    When will the Republicans learn that being intellegent is a required trait for quality leadership.

    I would bet that 99.44% of all racists are voting McCain!!! So by Republican faulty logic does that means that McCain is palin' around with Racists and we ought to investigate him and maybe do an expose on which Republicans are unamerican racists. . . DUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    October 29, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  6. salem

    HUGE rally in NC for Obama today--and huge voting right after!

    Sure hope Palin keeps talking! Everytime she opens her mouth with her America-hating divisive trash, people send money and votes to Obama!!! Exciting!!!!

    October 29, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  7. Tre

    NEEEEEEEWWWWWWWSSSSSSSSS Flash....... Most of the people voting for McCain are white. Are they racist? No. Leave the black demographic alone and stop generalizing us.

    October 29, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  8. R

    my choice was to stay at home. now that you've picked Palin, I will vote for Obama.

    October 29, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  9. Jackie Rae

    McCain denies it, but hopes like he** race does come into play....it's his last hope.

    October 29, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  10. Andre

    I am tired of McCain trying to taint Obama character. Here is a man who has done everything correct and a role model for so many. They are just using scare tactics and I hope Americans don't fall for this. Both Palin and McCain has skeltons in their lives. Palin's minister believes in witches and he gave an address to an organization trying to seperate Alaska from the USA and she shouts Country First.

    October 29, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  11. LMani

    Thats it! I've had it!

    When you say "We dont know Obama" When you say we should be "scared of Obama" Thats racism. Pure and simple. SO dont say that racism ont play a major role in this.

    McCain has ran one of the most culturally and racially divisive campaigns in American history. So for him to say racism wont play a role, after the garbage coming from him and the GOP is crazy.

    And im not hearing anything coming from anyone saying im playing the "race card." Cause im not. Im playing the "reality card."

    October 29, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  12. Salliesue

    If racisim isn't a part of this election, it's certainly not because the Republican party didn't want to make it part! But I hope Sen. McCain is right – I want to believe in the same America that Barack Obama believes in, where everyone cares about each other and will work together to make life better for all. That's why I've already voted for Obama! He never rose to the bait about racism – he's kept the focus on the issues, not on himself. If you haven't voted already, be sure to do it now, or on Nov. 4th. No excuses!! Barack the Vote!!!

    October 29, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  13. bernj

    McCain and Palin's GOP "know nothing party" is a disgrace to America. The repugs cater to racists and the ignorant among us. It has worked for them in the past. NOT THIS TIME!!!

    Obama will win. Obama is our only hope.

    October 29, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  14. Lance

    GO OBAMA/BIDEN!!

    October 29, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  15. Jasmine in Germany

    Ah, 99 44/100% is what Ivory Soap uses in their advertising to describe its purity level...this might be a big gaffe!

    October 29, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  16. Montana Mama

    Funny, when you're running mate allows death threats to be yelled and cheered for at her events, that is racism to an extreme. When you and your campaign promote division and exclusion, that is racism. I am Native American and when I look at the crowds McCain/Palin draw, I don't see myself represented. I am Catholic and when I hear such insulting, crude lies I question Palin's so called faith in God. My God is all loving and all accepting.

    October 29, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  17. John Stevens

    There were 36 or 38 Black delegates to the Republican Party – the old Republican Party of Linicoln died some time ago as it moved from center-right to right to the social right – even away from the fiscal conservatives.

    October 29, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  18. curtis

    Of course he would deny it. Why then is there always some racial connotation in the attacks? He talked to a Muslim, Palastinian etc... Most of which are non white.

    If you want to find out about this mans real character please read about his first wife and his philandering. This man has a checkered past that is not being explored. The story of his first wife is appalling. Very sad that he dumped her because she had a disfiguring accident. I hope Cindy stays healthy and pretty or he will own half of everything.

    October 29, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  19. vote! OBAMA-BIDEN NOV.4th

    AMERICA, YES WE CAN! RED, YELLOW, BLACK WHITE, WE ARE AMERICA, VOTE OBAMA-BIDEN

    October 29, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  20. vw

    MacCain will be the same victim of race card as Hillary. He will be the victim of AGE CARD as well.

    You know, noone can make any other comments about OB but good words, this is ABSOLUTELY _not_ right.

    October 29, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  21. Purple Alaska

    @ Real Story...

    And that's a real good thing...so can you imagine what could happen in the space of, let's say 4-8 yrs?

    Hallelujah Lord!

    October 29, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  22. Ken

    Some people don't like this notion of "spreading the wealth". But I say to them, you have a choice: you can "spread the wealth", or you can continue to "spread your cheeks" and take the [R] drudging for another 4 years.

    October 29, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  23. dave

    Wow. Referencing the "pure" and "ivory" when "denouncing" racism. Wow. Just wow.

    October 29, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  24. Chi4Obama

    There couldn't really still be racism in America could there???
    (end sarcasm).

    Just ask the residence of Kentucky, W. Virginia, and Tennesse.

    October 29, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  25. joe-6-pack

    Obama T-SHIRT – $10, -

    PLANE TICKET TO SEE OBAMA AT THE CONVENTION – $500, -

    COST TO TAKE A DAY OFF WORK TO VOTE ON NOVEMBER 4TH – unemployment, -

    JOHN McCAIN'S 95-yr-old MOTHER LIVES TO SEE HER SON LOSE THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION TO A NEGRO (SHE USE TO OWNED) – PRICELESS

    October 29, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
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