June 21st, 2008
11:00 AM ET
15 years ago

Obama: 'They're going to try to make you afraid of me'


Obama: GOP will say ‘And did I mention he’s black?’" Photo credit: CNN.

JACKSONVILLE, Florida (CNN) - Barack Obama told supporters that Republicans will “try to make you afraid of me” in remarks he made Friday at a Florida fundraiser.

"The choice is clear. Most of all we can choose between hope and fear. It is going to be very difficult for Republicans to run on their stewardship of the economy or their outstanding foreign policy.

“We know what kind of campaign they’re going to run,” said the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. “They’re going to try to make you afraid. They’re going to try to make you afraid of me. ‘He’s young and inexperienced and he’s got a funny name. And did I mention he’s black?’"

In similar comments at a Chicago fundraiser last Thursday, Obama told supporters that Republicans would try to portray both him and his wife Michelle as "scary."

"They’re going to try to make me into a scary guy,” he said last week. “They’re even trying to make Michelle into a scary person. Right?" And so that drumbeat – 'we’re not sure if he’s patriotic or not; we’re not sure if he is too black.'

"I don’t know, before I wasn’t black enough," said Obama. "'Now he might be too black. We don’t know whether he’s going to socialize – well, who knows what.'"

Last week, the Illinois senator’s campaign launched a Web site to directly respond to and discredit Internet rumors about him and his wife that have dogged his presidential effort.

soundoff (214 Responses)
  1. Joan Harrigan

    They are not alike in any way except for the eagle. It's a free country, yes we can. But it's not about the seal it's about the man.Can we stick to what really matters?

    June 20, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  2. Schalaine Ellisor

    To Dazed and Confused...Do you have a clue what the word arrogrant means? Obama is the least arrogrant man I can imagine. He is humble and repeatedly stress his humble beginnings. If necessary, spend a buck or two on a dictionary. You might be able to make a more convincing argument.

    June 20, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  3. George

    What scares me is paying higher taxes when I am trying to pay for sky high fuel costs. Bush nor Clinton did anything to head that off.
    Not wanting to "martyr" Osama Bil Laden and instead put him on trial scares me. You are too naive to be president.

    June 20, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  4. Edwin

    They wonder why the public is feed up with politics. I expected some dirt to be flying about Senator Obama, but it has gotten completely out of hand. This election cannot end to soon. I am slowly but surely ready to forget about voting.

    June 20, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  5. Bob

    The race card starts in 3..2..1... It appears we are going to get our first President of "Diversity University"

    June 20, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  6. Lisa

    I have had the pleasure of reading Obama;s books, listening to his stance on political issues and possessing a spirit of discernment. It doesn't take much to see that Obama is the real deal. He has ran one of the best campaigns I have seen in years. He is already making positive changes that shows that he chooses to represent the will of the people and not special interests. Fear simply will not work this time. He is consistent and that is an admirable quality when you have pressure coming from all sides. Stay the course Obama. You are the change that this country needs right now.

    June 20, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  7. verbatim

    i find it interesting that McCain is pictured as the candidate to trust over Obama. Those who are voting for McCain seem to be voting less and less FOR McCain and more and more AGAINST Obama. Oh, "he can't be trusted", oh, "he always lies". I'm not thrilled about either candidate, but come on now, McCain has lied and flipflopped through his campaign as well. And what's more, McCain has cakewalked through until now without anyone questioning his statements. Obama has faced scrutiny from day one. He didn't steal the primary away from Hillary, both of them used dirty underhanded tactics to sway voters....probably because they are both politicians and that's what politicians do. He won, fair and square. When you say things like "I don't trust him" or "he's full of lies" it smacks of ....something else. And please keep in mind, he has not run as an African American candidate to this point, he's been running as a candidate of change.

    June 20, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  8. 1926

    I've been scared of you since I first laid eyes on you and heard your lies. I will never vote for you and wish you would go to your beloved Kenya. You dont love America and you cant wait to get into office to make us pay. Never Happen. And take Michelle with you.

    June 20, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  9. If not Hillary....then McCain

    This guy is using every psychological tool at his disposal. Put it out there before they do, diffuse their critism and make them the bad guy. We saw him do this with Hillary and now he is doing it to the Reps. As a matter of fact, The only thing scary is Obama himself... actually that is giving him too much credit...he is not the master mind behind this, he has a team of manipulators.

    This is marketing at it's best, it is up to the consumer to decide if this miracle drug really cures all the ills like it claims to, or if it is a placebo that only makes you think you feel better.

    I vote for placebo at an extremely high price....the price is our country and I am looking for an Obama vaccination.

    Some people have a stronger immune system (those of us who have not bought the Obama hype). Others are very suseptible (those who have come down with the Obama flu)

    The symptoms are:

    Inability to think clearly
    Inability to differenciate reality from illusion
    Feverish activity boardering on manic
    Paranoia ( of any crtiism of Obama)
    Hearing loss (the truth gets lost somewhere)

    June 20, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  10. Nicole

    don't worry barack we aren't that dumb to fall for karl rove bag of tricks, i.e. racism, bigotry and the list goes on.

    obama 08'

    June 20, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  11. Justin Case

    I wonder why the liberal bias press does not realize that America is not ready to elect Barak Hussain Obama a black liberal radical Muslim to the office of President?

    June 20, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  12. Don't blame me, I voted for Hillary

    Isn't this an example of playing the race card, something he said he'd never do?
    This is even more proof that the Clinton's were innocent of race-baiting

    June 20, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  13. Ula Nejad- Sacramento Ca

    Baloney! They are going to make people see the possibilities of chaos of an inexperienced leader. The headscarf scandal was misjudgement of an inexperienced decisions and calculation.

    What happened to " we will choose to unite and not divide" ? The damage is done and the case made on a simple blunder in their eyes. The apology little too late. Sorry!

    June 20, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  14. No McCain!

    Yeah! There are a bunch of bigoted people who would not vote for a black man! Also, based on some of the things the GOP attacked Obama over, they are more than willing to pull off the "he's black!' thing. They used something similar to elect Bush twice!
    People will finally wake up and NOT listen to racist BS. And if they don't... it'll really show America- a nation willing to elect a man who votes for Bush on 90% of the issues (that have failed) over a black man.

    Obama '08!

    June 20, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  15. Kyle in Santa Barbara

    What is all this crap about Obama "playing the race card"? What he says is completely true. Let's face it folks, racism is alive and well in the US in the 21st century. And there's no doubt that many (Republicans and others) will want to capitalize on the racism to scare us away from Obama... as we can see it's already working! I am thrilled that he is talking about race and I don't think that we should all just pretend that racism doesn't exist. I cannot wait until we elect him our next president. Yes, we can!

    June 20, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  16. Cheryl

    Mr. Obama, only those folks that are idiots would be afraid of change for the better. Go Obama 08!

    June 20, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  17. EternalOne

    I am thankful we live in a country that allows for desent. Unfortunately there are many on the Conservative and Liberal sides...mainly Cons. that are willing to turn our country into one of absolute rule, absolute power by one group, and absolute destruction of our constitutional rights.

    June 20, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  18. aware

    You and your supporters do that all by yourselves but Obama plays the blame game with hypocritical charm. 🙁

    Obama, the ruthless politician with machavalian ambition who would throw anyone or anything under the bus if they or it gets in his way is mainly hidden by the soft spoken professor with the smile in varying degrees, and charismatic reading style!

    This former Democrat will not vote for Obama, the arrogant, power hungry egomaniac!

    June 20, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  19. GENA



    June 20, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  20. NObama

    I'm afraid of children driving, but Obama in the White House is absolutely terrifying. Guess I'll go back to my God and guns.

    June 20, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  21. RRT

    Sen. Obama is totally on his game. . . he knows of what he speaks. He is a genius! Historically the dominant white "christian" populations have maintained a pretty consistent attitude of "fear of the unknown" and African Americans being the ultimate target of that fear because whites refused to accept, learn, and integrate the diversity of this nation. The younger generations, (THANK "THE HIGHER POWER OF YOUR CHOICE"!!) are color blind. They do not have the fears of older generations who refuse to accept diversity. Obama may be African American, but he is the least of this NATION'S REAL FEARS! FEAR 100 more years of Iraq, FEAR $10/gal gas, FEAR a lack of motivation to move us away from oil and into new technologies, FEAR what would be another 4 years of Republican BS! FEAR MCCAIN–he should scare us because WE KNOW what he is and what he represents.

    My parents had JFK as their generations symbol of hope and PROGRESS. . . my generation has PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA!!

    June 20, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  22. Kishon

    I think that mcshame and his followers need to go straight to hell,
    and don't come back due too the fact that he don't know anything about politics he's old the war that he fought in is old, and there is no
    no change coming from an old fort that can't even manage gas!

    June 20, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  23. change??

    It won't take the Republicans to make Obama a scary choice. Have you heard the word hypocrite lately? If he can't keep a promise – of which he supposedly believed in – BEFORE he's elected – just wait. How did we wind up with such poor choices out of all the people in the United States?? Do you think it's time we elect someone OTHER THAN AN ATTORNEY? Just think about the jokes for goodness sake. They may be jokes but they are based on facts. Lawyers can not be trusted, how can you trust someone that speaks and writes in a language that any "outsider" can not understand, and yet they are words to protect us?? No, they are choices that others are making for us, because they benefit. Obama IS A POLITICIAN. There is no change here, only blinders...and if you take them off you will see that he is a puppet and we have no idea who the master is other than he has enough money to buy our President. Mr. Obama is trying to say the Republicans are going to take our blinders off and discover he is black...this makes no sense – who cares? Apparently only Obama as it seems he's trying to make a RACIAL ISSUE. I believe it is Obama that needs to forget he is black and remember he is a man.

    June 20, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  24. Richard

    The Presidential Seal idea is a brilliant idea. But what else should we expect from a brilliant thinker and orator. This country is going to be so great under his leadership. Finally we will be moving away from the criminality and lack of credibilty of the current regime and elect a man the world community is already excited about as is more than half of our own beloved country.

    June 20, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  25. Marie

    All of you that wish John Mccain wins, (he want) and only if he did win,
    Don't do all of that crying like you are crying over the the things that Bush have messed up. Because you will have another Bush in "The

    June 20, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
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