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. Roger from CA

    Good. I'm glad that Obama is starting to hit back hard. He was WAY too distant and "ivory tower" aloof. I love his speeches with their lofty thinking, but he desperately needs to work on the direct, blunt, clear answers to kitchen-table concerns. If he can get himself to step out from behind the podium and do that, he will win big.

    July 30, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  2. Brian

    My question exactly. Let's see some town hall debates! And no Obama, if you make less than $250,000 a year your taxes won't increase, but you just might be laid off when taxes go up on businesses.

    July 30, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  3. Chuck, Euigene Oregon.

    Why should Obama give McCain anything, particularily free air time. McCain has been struggling to put his campaign on the road, and in his words the high road; however, all he has been able to muster is bitter, resentful, jealous retoric these past few weeks. McCain will be his own undoing.

    July 30, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  4. Canadian black man for Obama.

    Once a man twice a child>This is Senator McCain second childish behavour. McCain is now behaving like a child with his ad attacks.

    To compare a fello senator popularity as a celeb without real contrast with the celebrities in question, is very childish.

    When will McCainflip flop goind to learn?

    July 30, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  5. Aaron Hussein

    I can't wait for their first debate. All those smucks who say Obama needs a teleprompter to speak. Come on, he's a harvard grad and was the 1st black human to be president of the Harvard Law club. Obama is smarter and tougher then McCain. Can't wait!

    July 30, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  6. GO GET EM !!!!!!

    Obama: 'I'm ready to duel' McCain over taxes***Hit him in that old Hog JAW***

    July 30, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  7. Dave, Illinois

    Ha Ha, Obama ready to dual? He is to afraid to even hold a townhall meeting among real people. McCain has been doing that and has answered some pretty tough questions and listened to some very vocal people critical of his stances. He remained polite and responsive each time. It takes a real leader to do that.
    Obama is a scripted, empty suit. He will be slaughtered by McCain in a fair debate or townhall meeting.

    July 30, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  8. LatinosforMcCain

    This is the time when McCain will dominate Obama. The polls are starting to reflect TOWARDS McCain. Latinos open your eyes there is a Rotten Rat in obama.

    Latinos for McCain

    July 30, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  9. Tom

    "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"

    Remember this in a year people... Obama just did a "read my lips"

    July 30, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  10. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    When Clinton upped the tax paid by the upper 1-1/2% of the wealthiest Americans, he created a surplus and 23,000,000 new jobs.

    That's called a blueprint for success!

    July 30, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  11. Lisa

    Yeah Obama we heard that before!!

    Day 75 that Barack refuse to debate Mccain.

    July 30, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  12. Independents for Obama

    John "Mr Magoo" McCain hasn't a chance against Obama.

    July 30, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  13. Will, NJ

    Time to break out the ol' six shooter agenda.

    July 30, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  14. Denise Groves

    whatever you do, obama, be gentle on the old, decrepit, grumpy, tempermental, cancer ridden, jealous, envious old coot!

    July 30, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  15. curmudgeon

    Screw town halls and McCain's comfort zone. Let's see him stand up under the bright lights of a real debate with Sen. Obama about the issues–then ole Johnnie can reitierate his loyalty to Bush.Cheney. Iraq War. tax cuts for the rich. Republican overspending-budget deficits, etc., etc.

    July 30, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  16. Aaron

    There goes that race card again. Senator, the only person that mentions that you are black is you.

    Not the post-racial candidate he was billed to be. I had hope.......

    July 30, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  17. Bob

    Obama wont do a town hall with McCain because he has no character and he is afraid to answer the tough questions. All talk and no(bama) substance.

    July 30, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  18. carol

    Yes we can! Over with Mccain!!

    July 30, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  19. Jon

    McShame camp is wrong again . McCain wanted townhalls on his terms, Obama came back with a counter offer McShame said no. If I was McShame I would want to be standing next to Man everyone wants to see. When McCain has a townhall meeting and what 50, 60 people attend. Obama has stop-over and 5000 attend or gives a speech in Germany and 250,000 turn-up. Obama is a man that people want to hear. I think everyone is sick of McCains whinning about Obama.

    July 30, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  20. Frank

    It should also be noted when McCain's folks mention the candidate "challenging (Obama) to 10 town halls," a "town hall" is hardly a legitimate format for proper debate.

    The best of all possible worlds, really, would be if the League of Women Voters took back control of the debates. Sadly, neither party perceives such a thing as being in their own interest. Everyone wants to control the format and setting somehow.

    July 30, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  21. Another Republican voting for Obama

    Experience is only as good as it's possessor

    Incompetent people have so called "experience"
    Idiots have so called "experience"
    Criminals have so called "experience"
    Liars have so called "experience"
    Cheaters have so called "experience"

    Experience is only as good as it's possessor

    July 30, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  22. Don Anderson

    I'm sick of McCain. He never was a war hero, merely a war victim, and that is sad. As a senator, he never accomplished anything of note. As a presumtive nominee, he has proven to be a liar, a cheat and a fraud. Some people age and acquire wisdom. McCain merely putrifies.

    July 30, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  23. Another Republican voting for Obama

    The Republican Party under the rule of George Bush and Dick Cheney will say anything to get the American people to believe that opening enviromentally sensitive land will bring down gas prices.

    The real plan is to get as much land freed up for the big oil companies before George Bush and Dick Cheney leave office.

    So what the latest polls are saying is that we have a bunch of naive Americans willing to believe the lies coming from the Republican party. Haven't they fooled us enough? How much more of beating can we take?

    July 30, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  24. Sue/PA

    10 town halls?? McCain just wanted a "free meal ticket. "

    Dont fret McCain camp..you'll get your debates... I cant wait to see you stumble, gaffe and lie. Not to mention get very very angry....its just below the surface and it shows. Time bomb..tick, tick, tick

    July 30, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  25. tigerakabj

    That's right Obama. Spank his butt in those debates so 80 million viewers can see what a moron this guy is.

    And I thought Bush was an idiot. McSenile corners this screwed-up market on that.

    Obama/Sebelius 2008/2012.

    July 30, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
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