July 30th, 2008
04:12 PM ET
13 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. Niccole

    Last time I checked, McCain didn't run Obama's campaign. Just because McCain said in June that he wanted to do town hall meeting with Obama doesn't mean Obama has to do it on McCains schedule. McCain had two months of no real primary and had time to get his campaign together for the general election. Obama just finished the primaries in early June...so give me a break!!! Obama isn't afraid of McCain. Obama is smart and not letting McCain and the Republicans run his campaign.

    Obama's campaign is Obama's campaign....

    July 30, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  2. Unshrub

    Eight years ago McCain was a nice guy, someone I wanted to win the White House, now he has become a pig in politics. He is the reason we need someone like Obama, someone new. McCain has become more personal against Obama than any other Presidential candidate in American history. I now despise the pig. He does not deserve to be treated with the respect one should give a Presidential candidate. And I despise those who support him. For the record, I have never voted for a democrat for President since Richard Nixon, but I will this time, and I am going to give him lots of money. It is time for change and McCain is demonstrating he is not the one to do it.

    July 30, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  3. Mir

    Ah yes, the global citizen strikes again. Obama is from everywhere and related to everyone. INow that his numbers are steadying, he's ready to debate. Wasn't that aggressive back in June when McCain proposed the town hall style meetings...

    July 30, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  4. Greg

    Really? Obama, are you sure? You know that debates will not be teleprompter-compatible, right? Just making sure...

    I thought for sure Obama would have figured out a way to be installed as our leader without any debates with the competition. That's certainly appears to have been the plan up to this point.

    Do America a favor and vote for McCain!!

    July 30, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  5. adam

    I hope they go toe to toe more than the standard 3 debates

    July 30, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  6. Vera /AB. Canada

    Why should Obama do that after the way McSame is bad mouthing him. Go fly a kite Mc Same

    July 30, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  7. Mikey

    Boy, that's an understatement, "they don't have much to offer."

    Look at the posts on this website, day after day. 90% of the anti-Obama posts are simply aspersions like "arrogant", "egomaniac", "socialist", "naive", "empty suit", "dangerous" and the list goes on an on. Almost zero facts and precious few logical arguments are presented to explain why they don't like him – just that they don't – and no arguments as to why McCain is better, other than "experience".

    History shows us that throught our history, or most "experienced" presidents have been among the worst – Buchanan comes to mind, but there are several examples. Perhaps that is because we "settle" for experience when the choices are weak – certainly not the case this time.

    Oh, and they will get down to several debates, you can be sure of it. I expect that the McCain campaign and faithful will really be whining then. Be careful what you wish for. Not a fair fight, Obama vs. the daffy gaffer.

    July 30, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  8. Mike

    Rock Obama used his time to very good effect and did not tie himself to McSurge's Town Hall meeting itinerary. But sounds like he is ready to meet on the street at sundown now. Come on McBush, Lets get it on!

    July 30, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  9. Zelda of Pittsburgh

    If you look at Sen. Obama's life, his upbringing, his time as a student, his time teaching law, his record in the Illinois state legislature, even his limited record in the U.S. Senate, he's not risky at all. Additionally, just peruse his website and really look at his proposals. He's not a cowboy. He's a thinker.

    July 30, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  10. Yay for Socialism!

    Forget the duel... how about a debate, buddy? Put your money where your big stammering mouth is.

    "Uh... we can... uh... run cars... uh... on... uh... alternative... uh... fuels... uh, er... like... uh... rainbows... and uh... er... eh... uh... and uh... unicorns... uh..."

    July 30, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  11. kevin

    i hope sen. obama doesn't do a harold ford jr. and let the dirty politics and the right wing slant get into his head where harold ford went looking for and confronting his challenger like a stalker to prove his point and defend himself. slowly the right-wing talk radio, the republicans, and the mud slingers are working on the pysche of the barack and his campaign to see if and when they can get barack to break. the latest was about barack not stopping by to see the wounded while over seas. man the mccain pounced on that w/ speed. makes me think if this wasn't a setup and if there is a turncoat operative in obamas inner circle. something in the wash ain't clean about this. because mccain and his swiftboat attackers jumped right on this to quick. did they have a heads up?

    July 30, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  12. Swanaay!

    Ding! Tell um what he's won Chet!

    Barack Obama! You've won a four year trip to the WhiteHouse for correctly identifying the pathetic Republican strategy to defeat your Presidential election run!! You'll be flying roundtrip for the next few months to campaign and continue to lay out your plan, while the rest of us stick up for you and dispell these ludicris rumors.

    Go Barack!

    July 30, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  13. will

    im in your corner barack. dont start playing the race card. innexperience doesnt equal racism. sometimes its okay for people to object to a lack of inexperience doesnt mean they are attacking your lack of whiteness

    July 30, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  14. David Newport, OR

    bring out the gloves and let's get ready to beat each other to bloody pulps. Democrats know that this will get dirty, because that is the only way Republicans can win. Create fear and spread lies. It works because most Americans are too stupid to see it for what it is.

    July 30, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  15. linda from South Dakota

    well th isnt a duel,, it should be a debate,,,, come one guys,, grow up and have a honest debate( but this could get interesting watch mccain flip-flo and get caught on it),,lol

    July 30, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  16. Obama 08 - rocking it baby

    To answer the question about why Obama didn't do the ten town hall meetings is because he did not need McSame riding on his financial coat tail.... Obama was adminstering to America and Abroad letting us know the issue at hand.... we have heard him loud and clear and now it is time to duel with McCain which he will win with one hand behind his back .... come on McSame lets get the debating started? Or run for the woods ....

    July 30, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  17. Julie

    Good Job Obama, keep putting McCain and the GOP in their place.
    When all this first started McCain said he wanted a positive election.....
    he had made it positively pitiful with his attack ads on Obama, some of them so dumb it make me wonder if he really is fit to lead.

    July 30, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  18. Oregon calling

    10 town halls is too much, I am seriously going into political overload. I think that perhaps maybe a couple, say two or three with the scheduled debates would be fine. As far as him not agreeing to all ten, come on, McCain aren't you getting enough free "publicity" as it is with the media playing your ads (so-called) for you?!?!?

    Obama 08

    July 30, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  19. Stop Obamunism

    Barack Obama's tax plan: "Ok guys, here's what we're going to do...the economy is struggling so let's raise corporate tax rates and taxes on investment returns so that investments in the U.S. economy will decrease even further."

    Great plan....NOT!! Barack's goal is to steal from businesses and hard-workers to give to the lazy.

    July 30, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  20. Jill in Chicago

    First Hillary is referenced as Annie Oakley, and now he is invoking Bill Hickock. The wild west references are disingenuous. And yes, some people really think you are unpatriotic. I think he needs some rest.

    July 30, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |

    Duel?! Man, he did spend too much time overseas. He sounding more and more like Obambi everday. I can see him with his little Hat and White Gloves....Man what a pansy.

    July 30, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  22. EDW

    McCain said in an interview with George Stephanopoulous that if raising taxes was on the table then he would consider it. Just like he would consider the 16 month time table to pull out of Iraq.

    July 30, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  23. Dan (Redmond, WA)

    Sen Obama is 100% correct. This is and has been the Republican strategy for years. Cut and paste the name of the candidate and make attacks.

    July 30, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  24. Chris N.

    I have been undecided (I am a moderate Independent) so far, but when the mud-slinging starts – the candidate pushes me away.

    Obama's positive message is pulling me in closer and closer everyday. I was worried he was a little too liberal for my taste, but he has shown better character in this race then McCain has. McCain really is looking like Bush to me now and our country cannot afford anymore of it!

    How I miss the McCain of 2000!

    July 30, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  25. Johnny

    Senator McCain has no vision no specific plans for the United States his only platform is to bash Obama. He offers no solutions only critisisms. He dosent remember from one day to the next what it is he is supposed to be talking about , he dosent have a clue about the economy,his policy on Iraq is rooted in the past, he and his party are running scared throwing everything against the wall & nothing is sticking. Before this is over he will respect Senator Obama, comon America Mr. President has a nice ring to it dosent it?

    July 30, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
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