July 31st, 2008
04:19 PM ET
13 years ago

McCain says 'race card' charges are fair

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/31/art.mccainint.cnn.jpg caption="McCain talked with CNN's John King Thursday."](CNN) - John McCain told CNN Thursday it is fair for his campaign manager to claim Barack Obama is playing 'the race card.'

Watch McCain: Obama's playing the race card

"I'm sorry to say that it is. It's legitimate," McCain told CNN's John King. "And there's no place in this campaign for that. There's no place for it and we shouldn't be doing it."

Earlier Thursday, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis lashed out at the Democratic presidential candidate over his comments that Republicans are making an issue of his race.

"Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck. It's divisive, negative, shameful and wrong," Davis said in a statement sent to reporters.

An Obama spokesman immediately denied the assertion, but noted that the presumptive Democratic nominee believes that the McCain campaign was “using the same old low-road politics to distract voters from the real issues.”

At three stops in the battleground state of Missouri, Obama told audiences that his opponent is trying to make voters “scared” of him because he doesn’t look like past presidents – an apparent reference to being black — and has a “funny name.”

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (526 Responses)
  1. Jenna

    I am really glad someone had the guts to finally call Senator Obama on playing the race card it is inappropriate for Obama to state that the GOP is trying to scare people becuase he does not look like the president on the dollar bill. If the GOP does not meet this head on, the Obama campaign will be getting away with giving the impression that they are racist. This is precisly Obama's plan and this Plan is out of line and definately the Obama Low Road of politics...

    Democrat from California

    July 31, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  2. Antoine in Alberta

    Obama didn't say "HIS OPPONENT". He said "THE REPUBLICANS." There is a difference here, and I hope people actually pay attention. McCain hasn't played the race-fear card YET, but the Republicans have, and that's what Obama was hinting at.
    BUT having said that, Obama has to be careful not to talk about the "cards" until he gets provoked. 'Cause they will go ahead and play the race card, while he cries wolf.
    CNN, I'm a big fan of yours, but please quote the candidates word for word.

    July 31, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  3. Biffington, Biff

    Can SOMEBODY tell me how it benefits OBAMA to play RACE????


    DUH !

    July 31, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  4. Lynn, Missouri

    What makes us think that his saying he doesn't look like any of the other pres. is the race card? It could have been the age card. Besides, it's the truth. He doesn't look like the others. McCain looks like an Eisenhour dime to me, but I'm going blind. McCain is pushing the envelope and drawing at strings. I guess McCain's going to dissect every sentence Obama says. What a waste of time and money. I hope Obama rises above it.

    July 31, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  5. William in Illinois

    Talking about the race card is a great tactic when your campaign is starting to see the horizon. [Nov. 08] Using the patrotic card is also not a bad idea. The media blamed Hillary for whining about the the Obama campaign this spring. I guess the media will not do the same for the Mcsame 08 campaign. Ratings need rule the media.

    July 31, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  6. Oh Poooooleeeezzzze!

    I'm so tired of race card politics. If anyone needs to play the race card it's Caucasians being discriminated against because they are what they are. It's like apo;ogizing for being alive and breathing on the planet.

    July 31, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  7. Race CARD ?

    McCain campaign was “using the same old low-road politics to distract voters from the real issues***”An Attack a Day will keep the Issues Away**** Can we all get alone …H_LL No! HA! HA! HA!
    This is funny Grown A_S Men ..he's playing the Race card no he did it during the primary ……Shut the H_LL up I need some Gas in my SUV and some Food Stamps

    CNN Plz Post 3rd try

    July 31, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  8. Goldstein

    Mcstretcher is really at a point of having nothing to stand on. He is old
    grumpy and whining. please call the nurse and give him a sedative.
    he is loosing his marbles. what happened to honesty. NO STRAIGHT TALK.

    John McCain is loosing it !

    July 31, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  9. TO NFIL

    Guilt trip? How about 'I'm a poor victim POW in a hospital bed -vote for me-McCon artist ads?

    July 31, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  10. john

    Is MCain not playing POW card. When you're dumb and you are shot down at war and you think that qualifies you for president.

    July 31, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  11. A Canadian

    Please someone explain to me what a "race card" is and how a person of a certain race can pull "a race card" on his own race? Why are Americans still so concerned about race?

    Seems to this outside observer, Obama is fighting the inaccurate smears that he has faced right from the primaries. I would think the best way to debunk these is to openly challenge them.

    July 31, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  12. john

    America, in the 21st century do you want to be led by a 72 year old jerk who does not know how to use computer. Are we going back to the stone age

    July 31, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  13. Danielson

    What should we be talking about more...Obama's statement in reaction to four consecutive negative ads...

    or not knowing the difference between Sunni and Shia (John McCain)...

    or flip-flopping on offshore drilling (John McCain)...

    or supporting the high wage earner tax cuts of George Bush (John McCain–the same tax cuts he OPPOSED for 5 years prior)...

    Or FORGETTING how he voted against insurance companies covering birth control like Viagra, forgetting that he opposed the new GI bill and 2 other pieces of troop-friendly legislation, forgetting that the so-called "Anbar Awakening" happened 5 month prior to his precious surge, or forgetting that he predicted the Iraq war would be a short affair that would only cost us a few billion dollars AND we'd be greeted as liberators, to boot.

    Now. WHO LOOKS like a President here?

    July 31, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  14. Dadedi

    They are trying to make "blue collar" Americans more blue collar by making them believe that Obama is not "one of us". They know how to play the race card and turn it around when Obama uses the same words they used. The Republicans are so low. I cannot understand how Americans vote for these people. These are really low humans that do not deserve to be Americans.
    Obama '08

    July 31, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  15. lil

    John Mccain is one nasty minded old man and he scares me.

    July 31, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  16. art

    McBush can't seem to discuss issues intelligently so he attacks him for the popular reception he got overseas. Unlike a Bush visit Obama was well received and there was no protesting and burning of american flags. McBush has milked his POW status for years and now he whines like a child who has no friends. He seems to have forgotten the thousand of other POWs who chose not to exploit their captivity. If not for the rank of his father he would be just another POW, that's the only reason he was offered an early release. Get over it McBush today's first time voters, don't care when they see the struggles of their families and they certainly don't want to look forward to 100 years of war. Act like a grow-up!

    July 31, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  17. Not sleeping at the switch

    LOL just heard his manager. They are desperate and going down in flames!

    July 31, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  18. Concerned Citizen

    Sad to see Mccain like this. He's let Rove dictate what to do. Each day Mccain stoops lower than the day before. It's really unfortunate because he is only hurting himself and his chances. At times, it seems as though he really doesn't care (oblivious) about what he does or says. Probably because others are running his campaign and he's only notified later about what transpired. I don't know what's going on there (at Mccain campaign) but it went from being funny to just being pathetic and sad.

    After many gaffes, he now lets his people say things for him, he is planning to limit media access and let the superlatives do the talking. From what I gather, Mccain believes that Bush won by being mean and negative. He thinks that is how to win, he's letting other people run the show the way they see fit. They see Americans are gullible fools.

    Nonetheless, we should cut Mccain some slack, the man is OVER 70 and it's ok to make gaffes and mistake (more often) at that age. For a few months, Mccain has said little to nothing about issues. He is seemingly obsessed with Obama and talks in a way that he is really angry at him, can't bear the notion of someone challanging him. Temper? Mccain is the oldest person to ever run for President. He runs a lame campaign and any person with good head on their shoulders, logical people (not the ones using Rush's talking points) can see that he is simply too old and can't fix the monumental problems facing America.

    Obama knows that there are people who simply will not vote for him, they're not concerned with the issues facing America today, only to militantly oppose Obama and make no secret of their obsession with him, as well. This election, thanks to Mccain, Rove, has taken the shape of the '04 election.

    July 31, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  19. David

    What race card has been played?! McCain says that a race card has been played, but doesn't elucidate as to what that specific card was.

    Quote or it never happened, McCain.

    July 31, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  20. joe

    As low as he can get...sick and tired!

    July 31, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  21. KG

    McCain shouldn't have to defend himself. Obama DID throw out the race card. He did it during his campaign against Hillary and he's doing it now. It's become his standard operating procedure. Throw the race card out there. Then when he's called on it tell everybody "poor me, they're attacking me because of my race again." It's become so predictable, it's laughable. And, you people keep falling for it every time. Get off the Kool-aid and come back over to the reality side of the fence.

    July 31, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  22. Ian

    I hope McCain loses his seat in the senate as well!

    July 31, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  23. grandma

    John McCain is angry and old nothing help him he need to go home and chill out. He is winning and gallous of Obama 's trip and love that people have for him. I still remember his interview that he had and said we do not want negative Campaign HA HA HA . McCain may have experience, too much experience as a solder, but I worry about his judgment in coming years as president

    July 31, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  24. enough of mcLAME


    July 31, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  25. Peter - Denver

    I'm actually scared if McShame is elected. His rhetoric would be worse than W's when it comes to dealing with the "Axis of Evil". So far McShame is only offering rhetoric and no substance (wait didn't his Spears ad just accuse Obama of this), except that McSame's words definately will not change the tone in Wasington.

    July 31, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
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