July 30th, 2008
06:16 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama: Don’t let other side scare you

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/29/art.obama.nevada.jpg caption="Obama criticized McCain's campaign tactics."]ROLLA, Missouri (CNN) - In the wake of John McCain’s new ad that paints Barack Obama as a global celebrity on par with Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, Obama told supporters at a rally Wednesday, “don’t let the other side scare you,” and said McCain is attacking him because Republicans know they don’t have the answers.

“He’s spending an awful lot of time talking about me. You notice that?” Obama asked a crowd of just over one thousand seated in a university gym. “I haven’t seen an ad yet where he talks about what he’s going to do. And the reason is because those folks know they don’t have any good answers, they know they’ve had their turn over the last eight years and made a mess of things."

“They know that you’re not real happy with them and so the only way they figure they’re going to win this election is if they make you scared of me,” Obama continued, repeating an attack from earlier in the day. “What they’re saying is ‘Well, we know we’re not very good but you can’t risk electing Obama. You know, he’s new, he doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency, he’s a got a funny name.’”

Obama was more serious with a pool reporter at a diner stop on the way to Rolla when asked about McCain’s new ad, saying, “You need to ask John McCain what he’s for and not just what he’s against."

McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds responded in an e-mail to reporters entitled “Baseless.”

“This is a typically superfluous response from Barack Obama. Like most celebrities, he reacts to fair criticism with a mix of fussiness and hysteria,” wrote Bounds. “Barack Obama’s plans to raise taxes on energy and opposition to offshore drilling show that he fundamentally lacks judgment and experience, and is not ready to lead.”

After a question-and-answer session with voters at the town hall that included questions about Darfur and Cuba, the Illinois senator concluded by reminding his supporters to ignore McCain’s attacks.

“Don’t let the other side scare you away from what you know in your gut,” Obama said, “You know we have to bring about change. And this is our best chance to fundamentally change America so that Washington is working for you.”

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (248 Responses)


    July 30, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  2. Vietnam Vet

    Its apperant McWar has no agenda or solution to the current problems with the economy or other problems in the world. so he does what any true republican do, fall back to the old republican standby fear and miss information. I am waiting for more information which I know is coming soon on the so call war hero McWar real record and his Billionaire wife tax record.

    July 30, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  3. Bob, Dallas TX

    I was a huge McCain supporter in 2000, but McCain's given up every value that made me like him, and G-d help us if he wins this election.

    He certainly won't be cleaning up 8 years of Bush corruption given that his inner-circle is full of Bush cronies. Ordinary Americans can't survive more trillion-dollar wars that make more terrorists than they kill and tax breaks for filthy rich bastards who've never served their country in uniform or in our inner-cities.

    My initial reaction to Obama was negative - afterall, who wants an inexperienced black dude who knows nothing about me - but I have to give the man credit where it's due. He's god fearing just like me, loves his country just like me, and his policies just plain make sense. It is time for change, Obama's worked hard to serve his community and I'm going to give the man a chance.

    He certainly can't be any worse the republican party that turned it's back on me long ago.

    July 30, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  4. Donna

    Amazing how the McCain's camp response was still harping on the "celebrity" theme...jealous much??? everyone loves a celebrity..guess McCain is no different...

    July 30, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  5. pam Eugene OR

    Ditto Phillip
    I could not have said it better!

    July 30, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  6. American living in Canada


    Barack has never been scared we have klnown racist like all of our lives – what you have yet to learn is that love will always override Hate

    OBAMA 08

    July 30, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  7. Dave

    I think I could lead the McCain's campaign. Simply fill in the blanks to this statement in response to ANY issue: " Barack Obama, by xxxxxx is acting like most celebrities, and in xxxxx and xxxx shows that he lacks judgment and experience." Repeat a lie often enough and people start to think it's true. The problem is, if you can win an election this way how can it be good for the country?

    July 30, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  8. yup


    Change is scary.

    July 30, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  9. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    john, I have to congratulate the republicans for doing all that they have done so far, because they are really trying their best. They know Obama isn't afraid of them, and that he is a lot smarter than they are.
    And still there is time at the present time he and mccain are both presumptive nominees. When they both becomes their respective parties Nominees, then things will become entirely different.

    Talking about scared, you should google: Songbird John McCain and see how he sang during the Viet Nam War.

    July 30, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  10. American living in Canada

    Barack has never been scared we have known racist like You all of our lives – what you have yet to learn is that love will always override Hate

    July 30, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |





    July 30, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  12. miyaki

    Why should they scare them? Your thin record speaks for itself, and that scares people more than what the Republicans can tell them.

    July 30, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  13. glittergirl

    McCain's team shouldn't use words like superfluous when their leader does not know its meaning.

    john- ??? "the other side doesn't scare you do?" What does that mean? Are you part of mccain's super intelligent team?

    July 30, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  14. Olivia

    Obama tried this tactic before and it was mostly successful.
    He uses the "you guys in the audience and I know, WE know, what this guy is trying to do" tone, and then get the audience to laugh with him on some stupid one liner about the situation. He did it with Hillary also.
    It's Obama that's the scary one. The audacity of fake.

    July 30, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  15. S. Boatman

    We Wont Be Scared . . . We Are Going To Be Smart . . . By Voting For Obama!

    July 30, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  16. Willow, from Iowa

    After Obama said that about MCCain needing to talk about what he's going to do, instead of what Obama is going to do, McCain's committee came back with the same old same old line, I want to hear the issues and their ideas of what we can do to fix things. Obama is really starting to focus on the issues, McCain is still stuck in insulting Obama.

    July 30, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  17. Peter, San Rafael, CA

    I can't wait for McCain's next ad, "Obama's Got Cooties, and He Smells, Too!"

    July 30, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  18. jefflz

    Since Karl Rove's minions have slimed their way into the McCain campaign, it has taken a major shift to the dark and the dirtier side. No surprises there. Where is the straight talker now ? The champions of the Big Lie and Smear are now managing McCain to keep him on track and on message. The stench that arises from the Swift Boat style attacks on Obama is all too familiar. McCain himself was a victim of this filth in 2000. The fact that he needs to rely on this type of "thuggery" is proof positive of his feebleness as a candidate.

    July 30, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  19. Wale

    Nope, not this time. The GOP can let another terrorist attack happen just as MCsane adviser had wish for. do you remeber Black?. The fear card is not going to work at all this time. It seems to me that the public can now use their senses after 8 years of Bush, Cheney, and Mcshame mess.

    July 30, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  20. bakersfield

    isn't saying mccain is like bush a scare tactic

    July 30, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  21. Rise America Rise

    So now the republican tactic is to brand Obama a celebrity? They tried elitist, they tried arrogant, now they will see if celebrity will stick. It doesn't really matter, the only label that will stick is Mr President in January.

    July 30, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  22. proud army and navy mom

    Lets see Rev Wright, Rezko, Ayers, Flager and now Ludacris…….Let me take a wild guess "That is not the Ludacris I know"

    Obama claims he has 11 of the racists songs on his IPOD and that he is very talented. The pattern of Obama's friends all seem to have one thing in common.

    I am probably just reading into all of his friends to much……I am sure they are all just misunderstood.

    I am sorry I forgot the honorable Louie Farrakhan….How did that happen

    July 30, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  23. McCain is 71

    Gas tax holiday? Ridiculous idea that benefits oil companies and hurts average Americans.

    Offshore drilling? Ridiculous idea that benfits oil companies and hurts average Americans.

    Iraq war? Ridiculous idea that benefits oil companies and hurts average Americans.

    Deregulating oil futures markets? Ridiculous idea that benefits oil companies and hurts average Americans.

    Corporate tax loopholes? Ridiculous idea that benefits huge corporations and hurts average Americans.

    Bush tax cuts for the wealthy? Ridiculous idea that benefits 1% of the country and hurts average Americans.

    How many of these do I have to list before people understand what is going on here?

    July 30, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |

    Mr. Obama... You are the other side and it's pretty scary.

    July 30, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  25. Lyn

    Barak does scare me. An egotistical candidate who had the gall to re-design the Presidential Seal, makes merry with European socialists, wants to raise everyone's taxes, loves $4 a gallon gasoline (he must love it, because he is against drilling).

    July 30, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
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