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. A Woman In California For Obama

    The truth is blame Hillary. She gave the republicans all they need to win this year against Obama. Yes, I know many don't want to hear this but it's true. She did. McCain is just finishing up where she left off. I don't hold him responsible on this one. He's just using what she already used. Why not? There are plenty of racists out there just willing.

    July 31, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  2. Phil Newton Murphy, Oregon

    "It's divisive, negative, shameful and wrong,"

    If the McCain handler is talking about their lobbyist tabloid trash, he's right.

    But McCain is "proud" of his bimbo ad.

    Go home.

    July 31, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  3. Milo of Atlanta

    McCain is the one mentioning "The Race Card," therefore he is the one who is playing it. The very term "Playing the Race Card" is racist because it implies that a black man is not permitted to defend himself.

    July 31, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  4. Progressive Progressives for Progress in Progressive Progression

    "What's that... you're challenging me on my imaginary economic plan? You don't agree with my 'soak the rich' tax plan either? Then you Sir, are a racist."

    July 31, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  5. A Woman In California For Obama

    On another note: Let me address this "empty suit" theory. IF Obama is just as some of you say "an empty suit", I'll take that empty suit anyday over the one filled with moth balls.

    July 31, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  6. Shawn

    Hey McCain, how about talking about the issues instead of trying to use fear and slander to smear Obama?

    Oh right, cause you haven't got any new ideas to get things done the right way in America.

    McSame for the lose.

    July 31, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  7. RML

    Does anyone have a hanky??? Let me get this straight...McCain can put out an ad likening Obama to notorious celebrities but Obama is not allowed to reference a legitimate argument Republicans are making concerning his ethnicity?? I bet McCain didn't play in the sandbox well with others. What a cry-baby!!!

    Is it not enough that there are a vast array of policy differences among the two candidates that we really need to see commercials about Obama's celebrity status??? Who cares??? My guess is that McCain is jealous...and to say that Obama's reference to being black is devisive but that commercial isn't is absurd!!!

    God help us if McCain is our next president...

    July 31, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  8. Malcolm Little

    Some of us are smart enough to know what McCain and the Republicans really mean when they call Obama arrogant.

    We need not say any more ... but we will remember and hold the GOP accountable.

    July 31, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  9. Brittnay

    While, I agree that maybe Obama's statements were racially charged, I do believe that he has a good point. A lot of the republicans that I work with have been spouting comments, such as, "Obama is a muslim" and "Obama=Osama". It is comments such as these that fuel the fire and force him to publicly state that he is just another American even if he has a funny name and doesn't look like the other candidates. The Republican party has been undermining themselves and their goals by pointing out these differences because it makes them look petty and childish. And we should hold the people that want us to elect them to higher standards. I would also like to point out that JFK went through the same difficulties that Obama is especially with the older crowd. He was younger, good looking, and different. Both Obama and JFK may have star-like quality but it doesn't and didn't negate their ability to lead. Wouldn't it be nice if we had a president that could speak English properly, didn't make ashamed that we were from Texas or the United States, perhaps one that gets us away from the "good ol' boys" who play favorites? I'd also like a president who didn't lie to me and gave me hope, but that may be too much to ask for. God, forbid we actually think the person we are voting for is a decent fellow and likable enough.

    July 31, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  10. Jeff Long

    Obama has used even stronger language. According to a June 20 Reuters wire service story, Obama said at a Florida fundraiser,"they're going to try to make you afraid of me," Obama said. "He's young and inexperienced and he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?"

    July 31, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  11. James

    He has been since day one and the press only helps him by trying to make the other side to blame.

    July 31, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  12. Cathy

    Obama doesn't have to bring up race because a lot of McCain supporters have done so already. I have seen so many blogs and interviews of McCain supporters that say they would never vote for a black man for President. It's a shame that Obama's strong policies and issues, Harvard education and high integrity of a man still isn't good enough for some people.

    Whatever!!! It's good enough for me and is good enough to lead this country!!!!

    July 31, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  13. Daniel, VA

    I agree. Barack will do anything to bring in his race card. he wants to have sympathy from hardworking american people. It shows that he is lacking experience. It was too soon to get into Presidential race. Barack has no achievements and no decency.

    July 31, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  14. Dan, TX

    McCain is getting to be a joke.

    Obama's tax plan LOWERS taxes on everyone here than McCain's plan does. Obama's health plans cover MORE people than McCain's non-plan. Obama's plans lead to a LOWER deficit than McCain's plan. Those are FACTS – google it.

    Obama is for lower taxes and a lower deficit. That's conservative ideals I can believe in. McCain provides fewer tax breaks to those making less than $230,000 a year and gives us a bigger deficit to boot. The republicans are lying to you about their economic plans. Don't be fooled.

    July 31, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  15. BlackMan4Mac

    HAHAHAHA !!! That wussy O-bambi is just as much girly as Brittney and Paris anyway. Quit whinning already, you are lucky I am not the one putting those ads together. I would explain just how close a friend and partner Rezco the project lord is to him. And just how the people of Chicago have suffered under Rezco and just how much O-bambi has recieved from Rezco. So just QUIT YOUR WINNING, Hillary is more stronger than you are. You don't like the ads, TOO FRIGGIN BAD !!! If the shoe fits wear it. If you don't like people exposing the true O-bambi, then man-up and quit acting like a girl. HAHAHAHA !!!

    July 31, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  16. Michael S

    Sandra, You think your special, he wasn't talking about you african americans....he was talking about the democrat positions. You Idiot, always trying to find a racist comment in a simple statement. Oh and I'm democrat btw.

    July 31, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  17. nelda

    McCry is an old senile man who desperately needs a lot of growing up to do. The SAME mud that he throws out to Obama comes back and slaps him in the face. What does he expect? The man needs to GROW UP !

    July 31, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  18. TerryDo--PumaPac-40+

    You play the race card when you declare that people will not vote for me because my face is not like the faces on the American currency.

    You play the race card when you accuse ex-President Clinton, of all people, as playing the race card.

    You play the race card when you accuse people who will not vote for Obama and call them racist.



    July 31, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  19. Veterans for Obama

    McCain makes me sick!

    July 31, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  20. gary


    July 31, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  21. BlackMan4Mac


    July 31, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  22. Noah

    You all scream about "distractions" but have you ever noticed that this is the crap you live for. Blogs on here about issues never get many hits, however, throw race in and it lights up with comments. The problem here is you.

    Now as for Obama...he does use race as a shield. He has done it from day one, used it to make many hate Bill and Hillary, and now his campaign will roll it out again. If Obama wants to be treated like everyone else, he should stop making comments that create the race debate.

    July 31, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  23. Montana is Obama Country

    Barack brought up a point of the Repubs trying to define who he is.. His comments are not race playing cards... McCain is working the spin doctor to try and look humble.. listen to his tone and THAT "my Friends" is because McNegativead has been called grounchy, confused and angry..

    quote yesterday- the "grouch-n-chief.." ..

    Beside - Barack is right... he DOESN"T look like anybody on money.. They are ALL green..!!

    The only one trying to drive the race card is the distress talk express..

    July 31, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  24. Tom

    We watched it with Hillary and now Obama pulls it out with McCain. The media calls it white guilt. Could someone please explain that to me. What is white guilt. I was hoping to vote for the person who would be able to move this country forward and clean up Bush's 8 year mess. The problem either Obama or McCain are not capable of doing it.

    July 31, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  25. Sarah

    These are signs of dementia
    Please excuse him... This is really unfortunate

    July 31, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
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