July 30th, 2008
04:12 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama ready to duel McCain


Obama: 'I'm ready to duel' McCain over taxes.

SPRINGFIELD, Missouri (CNN) – In his first interaction with voters since returning from his overseas trip, Barack Obama is focusing on the economy on a bus tour in southwest Missouri Wednesday where the Illinois senator took his regular challenge to debate John McCain on taxes to a new level, invoking alleged local heritage.

WATCH Obama: 'I'm ready to duel'

“I was just reading that Wild Bill Hickock, he had the first duel in the town square here in Springfield,” said Obama. “The family legend is that Wild Bill Hickock, he's a distant cousin of mine. I'm serious. This is part of the family legend.”

“So we're going to research that ‘cause I'm ready to duel John McCain on taxes,” Obama added to laughter from supporters, “Right now, right here. I'm a quick draw.”

WATCH McCain: 'I will not raise your taxes'

A McCain spokesman shot back quickly with an e-mail to reporters asking, “If Barack Obama wants this so-called ‘duel’ than why did he and his entourage run for the hills when John McCain challenged him to ten town halls?”

The McCain camp has consistently argued that Obama will raise taxes, an accusation Obama tried to lay to rest Wednesday.

“You're going to start seeing ads. This is what happens every election season. They're going to say, ‘Aw, he's a tax and spend liberal Democrat. He wants to get into your pocket. He's going to spend it on all kinds of crazy pork barrel projects,’” mocked Obama. “They just replace the name each election cycle, but it's the same ad over and over again.”

“Let me be absolutely clear,” said Obama, “if you are a family making less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes go up. Not your capital gains tax, not your payroll tax, not your income tax. No taxes. Your taxes will not go up.”

With a new McCain ad out Wednesday calling Obama a celebrity and asking if he’s ready to lead, Obama shot back at the notion that he’s the risky candidate.

“Nobody thinks that Bush or McCain have a real answer for the challenges we face. So what they are going to try to do is make you scared of me,” he said, “[they’ll say] ‘he's not patriotic enough. He's got a funny name. You know, he doesn't look like all of those other presidents on the dollar bills.’”

“Seriously, that's basically the argument, Obama added. “It's like, ‘well we don't have very much to offer but he's risky.’”

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Economy • John McCain
soundoff (220 Responses)
  1. Tennisguypitt

    This is going to be good...

    Obama will eat McCain alive. Just refer to his numerous flip-flops, "gaffes", adherence to Bush policy, and worst of all his "jokes" about killing Iranians.

    McBush has too much to defend. GO GET HIM OBAMA!!!

    Obama '08

    July 30, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  2. Jim

    To John G
    your statement already tells me that you are a racist..period, and if you don't vote the right candidate cos of your color too bad

    July 30, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  3. PUMA 4 HILL

    BS Obama... you are ready when McCain's not around. What about the town hall challenge McCain's proposed??? Empty suit you are...

    Where's the Beef Obama? No beef on your buns..

    July 30, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  4. Xavier

    I cant believe some of you re still complaining about Hillary Clinton not getting the nomination. What you all should do is band together and send her 1.00 each. If there really are 18 million of you then you should be able to wipe out most of her debt. Also, if Obama did the townhall meeting with McCain, then McCain would be getting free press. Let the old man pay for his own adds!

    Republicans, the democrats own you this year.

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

    Obama did not run and did agree to a couple of town halls, not the 10 that McOld wanted..after all he is campaigning...when the debates come and you see YOUTH versus PREHISTORIA it'll be all over for gramps...hopefully he'll have enough Gingseng, etc in his system to get him through!!!!

    Now if he doesn't put his audience to sleep, it'll be a win-win for everyone!!!

    July 30, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  6. Mark

    A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square- you should get your facts straight... and you better check up on the time, oh yeah, when John McCain was Born in Panama, and in reality owes Barack a great deal of thanks, as if it were not for him, and a few others, he would not be recognized as an amaerican born citizen and able to run for the POTUS....

    Mike, Syracuse, NY- Go back to PUMA....you republican...

    A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square- In reality we are all related to everyone, if you look back far enough and believe in Adam and Eve, we are direct decendants of everyone, and also on his point of wild bill, you should read a bit better..it was satire...

    July 30, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  7. Scott L

    McCain is chomping at the bit to debate Obama. He won't have to prepare for anything. Obama is going to get trounced in the debates. He will wave his hand with his single finger and wrist spinning in circles trying to get across his point, but people watching the debates will see it as talking down to McCain and disrespectful. Obama is going to get crushed...

    July 30, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  8. Xavier

    Afraid of your neighbors? What a sad and pathetic thing to say.

    July 30, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  9. Mark

    Spider- John McCain shys away from Real Debates, as he can't fill the audience with his own supporters...

    its called a LEVEL playing field... real debate, not a townhall, I have seen quite enough of those to know I don't want to see anymore

    July 30, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  10. ex-Republican for Obama

    Obama will trounce McWar in the debates. Bring them on!!!!

    July 30, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  11. TheTruthHurts

    Obama has not done open-mic town hall meetings. He's never ducked a debate. I frankly think town halls are bad for both of them. Many of McCain's gaffes have come at them and Obama knows he won't get the benefit of the doubt McCain has gotten on those gaffes because he's fighting the inexperience label.

    They will debate in a controlled format though. Obama is smart. Any fool who thinks he skated through Harvard Law magna cum laude is a straight idiot. He will be fine in a debate. McCain will probably do fine as well. But at least then, we'll see the DRAMATIC contrast in their proposals and frankly in their ability to do basic math.

    July 30, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  12. REA


    July 30, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  13. Vietnam Vet

    Its amazing these republican nit wicks keep over looking the fact, Senator Obama is a highly intellegent person. Town hall meeting are just what it is ,a forum for BS like McWar is currently doing. when the debates start with no teleprompter or someone whispering correct information in his ear, he is toast. The fact is, he should be grateful the press don't follow him around, all of those senior moments he has been having he would be toast already.

    July 30, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  14. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    CNN, why don't you write on how john mccain ran into the arms of the Viet Cong? 'saying ,
    please, please save poor me, I'm a admiral's son from across the seas.
    I'll tell you what you want to know, so please don't torture me.
    Just put me in the hospital and is that a hotel over there I see.
    I will denounce the USofA, time and time again
    if you will just take care of me.

    Today, 600 pages of mccain war records in the viet nam war is sealed.

    CNN if you don't print this, At least I know you read it.

    July 30, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  15. susie

    Obama is getting to be a joke. Now, he is related to Wild Bill and wants to duel McCain. Do that after the debates you said you would have with McCain. Obama is all words and no action.

    July 30, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  16. jane jones

    Obama cannot debate mcCAIN until he returns from chechoslovakia located somewhere near the afghanistan iraqi border.

    July 30, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  17. aware

    Give it up Obama!

    Never underestimate or ridicule an American hero! You are going to lose! 🙂

    July 30, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  18. jaison Biagini

    are you people just dumb or do you have selective memory?
    john mccain wanted 10 town hall's and 0 real debates.
    obama replied with the 3 real debates that are held every year and 2 town halls.
    mccain said no, because he is afraid of a real debate.
    these town halls are lame and have no hard questions or follow-ups. mccain is the one afraid to debate.

    July 30, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  19. Trans

    Why is CNN only posting comments today that speak against Obama and for McCain?

    McCain is simply too old (72 years old) to lead this country in the 21st century. All he knows how to do is fight wars so rich CEO's of companies that make military weapons can continue to make billions. In the meantime Americans are hurting because of a poor economy, unemployment and increasing gas and food prices.

    How many more good men and women will have to die for a war that was not necessary? How many more billions of dollars will be wasted? How do you pick up where you left off, when you are twenty-something and your arms and legs have been blown off.

    McCain and the Republicans have nothing to offer America this year but negative attack ads, the same as before.

    Less end this war and bring our troops home with dignity and honor. They will need our help. Let's show the world that we are a nation of peace and not a nation of war mongers.

    July 30, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  20. S. Boatman

    Mccains Town Hall Meetings Are A Joke! No One Every Ask Him Any Real Questions And The Entire Audience Is Screened Before You Can Even Get In! That Has Been Proven And Is The Reason Obama Doesnt Wants Any Part Of Mccains Phony Town Hall Meetings! All Of His Questions Are Written Out Before So He Doesnt Fumble On His Phony Answers While Giving His Yellow Tooth Grin!

    July 30, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
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