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)
  1. Terry

    Don't let the other side scare you? How about don't let Obama make you be naive in thinking he solve our country and the world's problems simply by repeating CHANGE and YES WE CAN again and again. Silly Obama... That's inexperience and BS for u.

    July 30, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  2. marc

    If I were a financial supporter of MaCain I would be more than PISSED!!! Such ads are such a waste, lack any substance. It shows MaCain has no financial judgment and responsibility. Scary! Very scary!!!

    And MaCain questions Obama’s “celebrity” status?!?! They both are public figures. Obama is just more on top and MaCain is acting like a jealously little kid! And MaCain questioning Obama’s ability lead, well I would like to point out that the US needs more than experience to create true change. And a hero title will also not help us either.

    July 30, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  3. David Newport, OR

    Time to call on the youth to fix the ills of this country. Our parents have bankrupted our future. There are more of us than them. Are you going to continue to be apathetic losers...or do you want more than what is being offered? Register and vote...or be resigned to a life of nothing...that is your choice.

    July 30, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  4. MCD, San Francisco, CA

    As was pointed out in a recent Doonesbury strip, the presidency is not a popularity contest. Sure, poeple said they would love to sit down and have a beer with bush. And just look what that fun-loving, popular guy has done to our country in the past 8 years. We need a competent president... a leader.... not a party guy (oops... pun). T

    July 30, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  5. NPA

    So really what does McCain stand for, besides Bush?

    July 30, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  6. Jon in Northern Califia

    Does the disrespect and contempt of the Republican attack dawgs know no bounds?! But more importantly, do they not realize how petty and childish this makes McCain look?

    On the face of it, it's absurd. Obama clearly does not equal Spears in anyone's mind. Even to hicks in the sticks, they are worlds apart. So who's the target audience anyway?

    I think McCain's campain is jealous and envious. Not long now before the issue of old-priviledged-white-dude racism moves front and center.

    He's self-destructing.

    July 30, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  7. DaveS

    For someone who is sold as a "post-racial" candidate, this guy sure spends a lot of time trying to get everybody talking about his race. This is the second time, now, that Obama himself has made statements about McCain trying to scare people over Obama's race.

    Why, you'd almost think HE is the one trying to stir up racial tensions!

    July 30, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  8. Viva Obama

    My friend just because you are a stunted tree doesn't allow you to throw rocks on this superb tree with so much fruits.

    July 30, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  9. Lorna, NY

    I am convinced this is a country of Idiots! All you have to do is a little research to find out that there are some serious mental issues with McCain. I think he suffers from post traumatic stress syndrome. There is no way a person can be held in a prison camp for 5 years and have no mental effects. We need to demand a copy of his mental record, I am sure it is filled with interesting information.

    July 30, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  10. Vigla

    John...what? Is that English? Republicans are scared they will get pummeled this fall. They have to raise Obama's negatives, but so far, people don't buy it because the attacks are ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous.

    Republicans are the party of NO ideas...and they prove it daily with the way they are running their campaign.

    July 30, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  11. Al

    Same old Republican crap I've seen the last two elections employed by the Republicans. Let's hope Obama has the 'balls" to shove the crap back at them unlike Kerry in 04. Hey Mr. McCain, how about talking about how you are going to bring down fuel prices (besides the irrelevant idea of off-shore drilling that won't help us for 10 years). How about what you propose to do about unaffordable health care or the biggest housing debacle in decades. In other words Mr. McCain, why don't you address some of the issues we really care about. The ones that affect our families and our future. The majority of us out here struggling could care less about Britney or Paris.

    July 30, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  12. Tim

    The only hysterical people are John McCain and his handlers. What ugly attacks on Obama we have seen in the past few days. Also it isn't particularly intelligent to attack your opponent by saying his doesn't care about troops (while using a picture of Obama with the troops) or to criticize him by showing him in front of a huge crowd of people cheering and waving American flags?

    Such is the paradox of the McCain attack: How is Obama both too much of a stupid celebrity and inexperienced politician to lead the country but yet also responsible for the high price of gasoline?

    July 30, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  13. Ian MacIsaac

    Today he's a "celebrity?" Well, since more people voted in the last American Idol election than in the Presidential one, I don't mind if Obama's a celebrity, hehe...

    July 30, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  14. Denise

    Mr. Obama, you have scared me into voting for a Republican for President for the first time in over 20 years of voting. Maybe spend more time adminishing your hideously sexist and hate-filled supporters and stop accusing everyone who doesn't agree with you of being a racist. Just an idea.

    July 30, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  15. Ron Nebraska

    Why not hold McCain accountable for all his misstatements and contradictory positions instead of just reporting the latest nasty thing he says about Obama?

    July 30, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  16. Lorna, NY

    The media have got to do their jobs!

    July 30, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  17. Daniel, Loganville. Ga.

    Not this time.

    OBAMA '08

    July 30, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  18. The Truth

    Sure you and your tired old man aren't scared...LOL.

    July 30, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  19. tricia

    Poor mccain and crew! they're so out of touch, they can't even spew out an effective smear ad–which can't be difficult. I mean, they're learning from the mudslinger emeritus, Karl Rove!

    Britney Spears? Paris Hilton? What year is this, 2004?

    Someone needs to teach the old man how to use "The Google" to come up with some celeb names that would actually lend their low-road smear an air of authenticity at least on ONE level!

    July 30, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  20. james , FLL

    Really John
    you scare that an african american has a chance to become president of the unites states, you scare that now black people may start to realize that they are not inferior like many want them to believe, that with good education one can breach what was tought to be unbreachable , that the american peole in their tolerance, acceptance, understanding , respect and muticultiralism will show to the rest of the world that skin color can not keep a qualified politician from accessing the highest position in the white house, maybe you scare that you will no longer considered yourself as entitled.

    i fell sorry for you cause i know it's going to be very hard to live with the fact.

    July 30, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  21. Silliness from Mr. "Free Ride"

    This is the limit. The McCain campaign has no valid argument to make on the issues so it is pathetically trying to turn Obama's charisma against him.

    When oh when is the media ever going to call John "Free Ride" McCain on his crap? Or, as Obama suggests, just ask McCain about issues instead of giving his mindless-attack commercials free air time in the name of "analysis." Talk about bias!!

    July 30, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  22. Frank

    First, take back what your campagne said about that idiot Ludicras, calling him "talented"! You don't have the guts to say that such fools are the low lives of our society and that it is their garbage that has poisoned our society and our youth for a long long time. And now you don't have the guts to say that, and you only say that he should be ashamed of the lyrics of that nasty rap song!

    July 30, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  23. Joe the Troll

    Tucker Bounds obviously doesn't know what "superfluous" means. People with small minds should NOT try to use big words.

    So Obama claims that McCain has nothing to say for his own plans, just criticism ofObama.

    McCain's camp responds not by making a policy statement, but by criticizing Obama.

    That's mighty telling.

    July 30, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  24. Mike in Cincinnati

    Obama has come into this campaign with a message that has genuine content. New ideas, ideas about the future, about changing the direction we are headed in. Some may not agree with all those ideas, but at least the content is there. And he has backed it up with his outstanding performance as the leader of his extremely effective campaign, and most recently, as a representative of the U.S. on the world stage.

    McCain's campaign seems to be simply one of criticizing Obama, leveling personal accusations in a way that tries to paint an image about his character that is blatantly false. No new ideas in his message. No sense that he will work to solve, or that he even has any idea of how to solve, the horrific problems that the last 7 years have left us with. Just personal attack and inuendo.

    It is clear to me who is taking the high road in this campaign, and who has the skills to deal with the complex problems of the coming decade. Again, you may not agree with all of his ideas, but Obama is a pragmatist who will indeed work for the solutions that we need.

    July 30, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  25. Miranda

    McCain's camp is just woeully inept...who is his campaign manager? Barney Fife?

    July 30, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
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