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. Peter (CA)

    Wow. So how dense are McCain's spokesmen.

    A one-on-one debate is not the same as the "town halls". If you want to have a couple of those also, fine. But, let's have a real debate about the issues.

    Good for Obama!

    July 30, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  2. Another Republican voting for Obama

    McCain has thrown the "maverick" out the window.

    McCain has thrown the "straight talk express" out the window.

    Now all he has left are his false attacks.

    July 30, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  3. marianna

    A distant cousin of Wild Bill Hickock, Dick Cheney, who else?

    A family legend? what family, of a single white mother in Hawaii/Indonesia, with an exotic father who fled home after a year or so?

    Any relationship to Bush, by a chance? or Kennedy? How about Queen Victoria, Jesus, or Elvis?

    July 30, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  4. Eric

    Its very clear that this race will be ran on Sen Obama's terms and I love it!

    July 30, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  5. lois

    Maybe these two career politicians could duke it out by slapping each other with wet noodles until one of them breaks. Sounds about as realistic as their supposed campaign promises.

    July 30, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  6. Cynthia

    Now this will be a sight to see. I can't wait until they meet in the debates.

    July 30, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  7. Not sleeping at the switch

    Obama and McCain on the same stage on Live TV in front of impartial audience and moderators = Full on McCain meltdown and end of his run for Office. He will NEVER handle the pressure and doesn'thave the IQ NOR intellect to go toe to toe with Obama. The first time he is questioned about a FACTUAL situation he will cave in.

    July 30, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  8. chris in va.

    I can not wait to watch Obama use McInsane in a debate!

    July 30, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  9. mb--texas

    Nothing off the table but today a flipflop.Now he says he won"t raise taxes been only three days since nothing off the table.

    July 30, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  10. Republican ashamed of McCain

    I felt sorry and angry when Bush unfairly lied and falsey attacked McCain back in 2000. Now we see McCain using the exact same tactics that were immoral then just as much as they are now. What happened to McCain? He even unfairly attacked Mitt Romney calling him a flip-flopper over and over again. Now he wants him to be his VP? But he was just attacking him and calling him a flip-flopper 3 months ago. I still very sorry for McCain but in the same context. Now I feel sorry for him because of the person he has evolved into in just 7 short years. He will not get my vote. I am truly disappointed.

    July 30, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  11. ran

    Now everyone who is willing to open their ears and eyes will see the clear difference between hope and fear; the future and the past when the debates start.

    July 30, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  12. Joan, Ontario

    If I was McCain, I'd be pretty careful about my challenges to Obama. Remember how he kept goading him into going to Iraq? We all know how that turned out. McCain had finished his primary three months earlier when he wanted Obama to meet him in the town hall meetings. Obama was just finishing a gruelling primary at the time. Obviously he was not going to jump at McCain's suggestions. It will be really interesting though when they do meet at town hall meetings this fall.

    July 30, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  13. WarHeroFmrPOW HijaxStr8talkXpress DrivzIn2GutR TurnzCoward XploitsTroopsAsProps UsesPatraeusAs PoliticalPawn

    Yes, "watch" McCain's, "I will not raise your taxes" video when he's already flipped one way and then flopped back again in the last couple days while denying he said either. But CNN won't report that as anything other than a bold NEW stance on taxes, no doubt.

    Boy, if that was Obama, it would have been a screaming headline and talked about for a week.

    Media darling McCain, the maverick, never held accountable for anything as his base – also known as the media – continues to give him a free ride with no scrutiny. P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C!

    CNN aren't you the same news network that never held Bush's feet to fire before invading IRAQ?

    July 30, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  14. Sacto Joe

    "Oil rose more than $4 a barrel on Wednesday after U.S. government data showed an unexpected drop in gasoline stocks as suppliers facing weak consumer demand cut production and imports."

    Well, there it is, folks. We slow down and drive less, the inventory of gasoline increases, prices drop, and the refineries cut production. That in turn bumps the price of oil, which in turn will drive prices up.

    WHERE'S THE OUTRAGE??! And where are the Republicans who should be investigating this blatant price manipulation? Oh, that's right: They, and McCain, are in the pockets of the oil barons.

    July 30, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  15. joe

    Senator Obama is a torchlight, lighting up the streets all across America. He gives us cause to believe that our country will be safer John McCain does not. Senator Obama will win any debate handsdown. John McCain is complaining about Senator Obama wanting to debate now, what is John McCain afraid of?

    July 30, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  16. No Obama

    Duel!? I think he spent too much time overseas. Sounding more and more like a pansy everyday.

    July 30, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  17. Lisa

    All talk and no subtance!

    If you're going to debate him then do it!!!

    July 30, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  18. Abe

    I want them to debate tax breaks for the rich. Why is McSame going to continue the same failed policy of his friend George Johnny McCain Bush? Let old Johnny explain to everybody why should the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

    July 30, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  19. Chris W.

    I love all the "bloggers" sent here directly from McCain's website (chock full of instructions on how to blog anti-Obama sentiments in news site comments).

    Anyway, it's hilarious and gives me something to read at work. The more you type, the harder you try... the better you make Barack look. Beautiful strategy. Keep it up guys!

    July 30, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  20. Andrew

    A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square- You do realize his mom was white, right?

    A town hall is not a debate. A town hall is people in the crowd throwing softballs to you. When John McCain was actually asked a real question from a Vietnam Vet about why his voting record for veterans is poor, Senator McCain said he has received the highest grades from all the veterans groups. WRONG. I can name 3 off the top of my head that McCain has lower ratings than Obama (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Disabled Veterans of America andVietnam Veterans of America). Yet, once he stated that, that was that. No follow up. That's a debate? Are you serious? Give me a break.

    July 30, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  21. it wasnt me

    McCain should donate his Social Security check to people strugling to pay for gas..His wealthy wife should do the same

    July 30, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  22. Retired Veteran from New York City

    A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square:
    I am not sure that you understand what is at stakes in this election. This election is not about McCain Patriotism or Obama. It's about the future of America.

    McCain in only talking about the Surge worked, listen to General Patreus. He even claimed that he knows how to win war. I don't know what war is talking about, the only war McCain is ever been is the Vietnam war, which he was shut down, captured and led him to be a POW in Vietnam. By the way, America lost that war.

    This election is about restoring the image of America that has been tarnished by this current administration. America lost his prestige in the world stage, America is so damaged that countries like: China, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Peru, Iran, North Korea etc. A host of bunch a little country that has nothing to offer is moquered America like nothing.

    With Obama, the world sees changes, the world is waiting for a new direction with a President that has new vision for this great Nation. McCain with his old thinking has nothing to offer except to criticize Obama, and people with little head like you fell for it. Take a good look at McCain, he is tired, that's been shown by the amount of gaffes that he constantly repeated. America deserves better!

    July 30, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  23. A Voter for Intelligence/Honesty in Govt

    Obama took time to establish himself as the leader of the Democratic Party and he is now ready to set the agenda.

    The fact that McCain and his supporters are desperate is revealed in the silly celebrity ad and the high school talk of him believing he is the Messiah.

    July 30, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  24. Haas

    Obama would eat McCain alive in a debate. Hillary was as competitive as it gets.

    July 30, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  25. Chris from NY

    I can't figure out why CNN aired BLACK IN AMERICA when they have been very critical of Obama while they let McCain get away with so many blunders. I watched Wolf Blitzer's Late Edition on Sunday. He watched and listened to McCain make so many claims that were incorrect and he couldn't even call him on it. He wasn't tough on his questioning like I've seen him go after Obama. Dana Bash, Gloria Borger and worst of all Lou Dobbs. Even those they bring on the show. Most of them don't represent Obama's interest. All the media outlets are biased against Obama.

    July 30, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
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