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. shadowgovernment

    Oh hey, CNN, don't forget to mention that McCain said "there is nothing that’s off the table" when it comes to raising taxes rather than cutting them, as you promote McCain's "I will not raise your taxes" video.

    ~ the Shadow Knows

    July 30, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  2. Dave C - NJ

    I make less than 250k.

    So do all of my friends.

    And we are all sick of the GOP. And sick of Iraq.

    Obama has got it easy...that's why he seems confident. Cause it's an EASY WIN.

    July 30, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  3. wendy

    As far as the Town Hall debates, McCain should be careful what he wishes for. Look at what took place on Obama's Trip.

    July 30, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  4. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    I have to laugh at the McCain camp countering about why Barack would not agree to a series of "town halls" with McSnoozeButton...BECAUSE a town hall is not a debate, Johnnie...McCain wanted town halls in lieu of debates because he would get free publicity out of the deal but beyond that, he knows that he will LOSE the duel with Obama come REAL debate time (especially because, and CNN will probaby not print this post, in dual "lingo" McCain is essentially an unarmed man, and that is no slam against his arm problems due to his POW status/aka the thing he is staking his bid for the presidency on, he was in the military and was a POW).
    OBAMA '08 & '12 –YES WE CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  5. Rich in Seattle

    Because ten town hall meetings would be STUPID!!!!! This isn't a TV reality show no matter how the McBush campaign would like to try to make it one.

    July 30, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  6. Turnabout is Fair Play

    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?”

    BECAUSE, you don't go to the enemy and fight on THEIR turf, you bring them to YOUR turf where YOU have the advantage. What a tard to say something as stupid as that.

    July 30, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  7. brenda

    Everybody knows that town hall thing is just another way for McCain to run things and use a small format – the only arenas he can fill are town halls. Obama can use that time to reach huge crowds and thus use his time more effectively. Obama will win this duel! True leadership is not always letting your opponent make the calls.

    July 30, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  8. Peter

    No duh...

    July 30, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  9. Tejano

    Wild Bill Hickock is turning over in his grave. Obama you are killing me with those ancestors you pluck out of thin air. How distant?
    I am a distant relative of Fidel Castro so that makes me a communist?
    How about Abe Lincoln or George Washington were they distant relatives too.

    Now who is shooting from the hip...

    Why won't he tell us about his tax plans for America.

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

    Obama should avoid appearing on the same stage with McNasty for two reasons: it would give McNasty publicity he hasn't earned, and would subject those who want to hear about Obama's plans to McNasty's mindless obfuscating vitriol. Only after the RNC stops spiking McNasty's geritol with sour grapes should Obama consider sharing the stage with him.

    July 30, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  11. Sac Rob

    Tax cuts to help the economy, better oil security and more reliable supplies by drilling off the coasts, a plan to engage the enemy overseas instead of running away and crossing our fingers hoping they won't hit us again with another 9/11. Sounds like McCain has more of a plan than anything Dr. Nobama has come up with.

    July 30, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  12. New Voter for McCain

    How about a debate NOBAMA, or are you such a girlie man you can't face the nation and also a real man? Get with it, you are no different than any other candidate.
    We are looking at you not as a black but as a man, step up to the plate like all men have done before you. You are becoming a joke! Looks like I might have to vote McCain if you don't clean up your act and face down McCain.

    July 30, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  13. Ian MacIsaac

    Obama speaks truth.

    July 30, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  14. Glad to be an Independent

    I am ready for Obama vs. McCain in a presidential debate. If Obama does well, then it is over for McCain. McCain needs a good performance at the debate or he will be in serious trouble. A bad performance at the debates by McCain would mean a landslide victory for Obama.

    July 30, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  15. Brandon Hillary PUMA 4Mc

    Then why are we not seeing town halls Mr Hussein? Is it because your afraid of a repeat Pennsylvania performance? If your ready to duel it out step up to the plate and debate Mc Cain. Mc Cain has to call you out on your lack of substance the media certaintly has not and will not.

    Dont let the media do to Mc Cain what they did to Hillary.
    No Double Standards and biased coverage.

    July 30, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  16. Mike in MN

    Obama will raise taxes on everyone or he will run the deficit up to all time records or he will have to break promises. No matter how you look at it he is a lier.

    July 30, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  17. California Voter

    Obama's a "quick draw"?? Watch out folks. I wonder who would who would break first under torture by the enemy??? Guess!

    July 30, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  18. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

    "than why did he and his entourage run for the hills when John McCain challenged him to ten town halls?”

    are these buffoons for real? it is hilarious to even imply that obama is afraid to debate Mr. Forgetful No Knowledge! and we all know that mccain's "townhall meetings" were a complete joke! since when is a "townhall meeting" held in a conference room of a major republican donor-completely ridiculous!

    and yesterday mccain's staff actually said, about something mccain had said THAT day: "john mccain was not speaking for the mccain campaign when he said that..." you mccain supporters are getting fewer and fewer excuses to vote for the mess.

    July 30, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  19. Vig

    What you will see with these "duels" is a straight talking, down to earth McCain, being as honest as he knows how to be and Obamaspeak – saying alot and saying nothing.

    July 30, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  20. dan

    run for the hills? Just because you dont accept the first proposal is running for the hills? What about the proposal Obama's camp issued back for 6 debates that McCain rejected? Why not talk "running" from that challange?

    July 30, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  21. Andy

    Why is McCain afraid to participate in a conventional debate. The kind that Reagan and Carter, Kennedy and Nixon, and Bush and Clinton used to do? This false bravery is not very convincing. It's obvious that, like Dubya before him, he's wary of having to perform well in a conventional debate format, so he wants to do it his way. So instead of kindly requesting to do it his way, he pretends like Obama's scared of the town hall format. In my opinion, Obama will destroy him in either format.

    July 30, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  22. al






    July 30, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  23. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Obama has stated clearly that if you make $150 thousand dollars or less, ther will be no new taxes on you. period. What part of that sentence does McBush not understand? I know! He's not used to hearing the truth coming out of anyones mouth, especially his. McBush doesn't want to debate the issues,especially taxes, because he is the master of the flip flop. He says maybe to raising taxes, then changes his mind again when the conservatives giving him money and running his campaign object. I would love to see a good old fashioned duel between Obama and McBush. Of course Cindy would have to be there to prop the old geezer up and poke him in tthe back when he says something stupid.......which he will. What it boils down to is that Obama is not a celebrity. He's just 100 times more popular than McBush is and McBush just can't stand that. McBush is jealous of the press he gets because of his personality, and that this country is desperate for a change in Washington. We don't want the same crap,different guy. Grow up John! You have the personality of a cadaver!

    July 30, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  24. Tim

    That's laughable. McSenile can't even compare to Obama. A debate with McOld would be just as funny as watching him try to answer the birth control Viagra question!!! Duh!!!!

    July 30, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  25. The McCryptKeeper

    While a HUGE Obama supporter, I will call it like I see it, and I have to agree with the McCain spokesperson a bit.

    Obama SHOULD debate McCain in an open-un-scripted town hall. Obama is right on the issues and would mop the floor with McCain so I don't see why that is a problem.

    OBAMA '08!!!!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
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