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. Kris K from CA

    McCain is nuts out of his mind. If anyone votes for him we are in trouble.Voting for a white crazy man is better than a progressive black man? I think not.

    July 31, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  2. Wise Owl

    Obama has played the race card since the beginning and no one stopped him. He started it, blamed the Clintons, and now he is blaming McCain. Grow up Obama.

    July 31, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  3. Martha in Lake View, SC

    Well, I am reminded that the current President looks somewhat like those past Presidents. However, I am also reminded of how dissappointed I have been in the current President's leadership. Maybe that is why a completely different way of doing things is so appealing. I just wish that Obama would let us know with whom he will surround himself if he achieves the office of President. I would still feel better if I knew that Hillary Clinton was Obama's VP choice.

    July 31, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  4. Jamal

    Tara Wall is Horrilbe,she should just go bleach her skin

    July 31, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  5. Denise Groves

    Obama did not play the rce card. he was saying what he already knows. the racists gop ALWAYS play the race card.

    July 31, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  6. McBride, SLC, UT

    Oh McCain Camp. The truth hurts doen't it. You are pathetic. The American People have had enough of your party and your kind.

    July 31, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  7. TC, Fl

    Obama will play every trick in the book = same old politics. All McCain's camp did was call him out on this, as they have been doing all along.

    I love the excuse given by Obama's campaign –
    “What Barack Obama was talking about was that he didn’t get here after spending decades in Washington,” Gibbs said. “There is nothing more to this than the fact that he was describing that he was new to the political scene."

    "New to the political scene"? Finally some self-truth about Obama's lack of experience.

    July 31, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  8. Ronda

    I am amazed that people in America don't realize that this race is a factor in the election. If there were two white men, this would not be an issue. Face it, Barack Obama is getting 98% of the black vote because traditionally African Americans vote party lines usually voting for a Democrate.

    Let's face it, there are some people in America that are racist or an undercover racist. Some individuals are not telling the truth. Be real.

    This is the first time America is faced with the first African American candidate. Most Americans cannot relate to Obama, he has a rare ethnic background.

    Race is an issue.

    We need to get real on this issue.

    July 31, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  9. Omama to the rescue

    McLame doesnt have time to keep track of the ads he is toooo busy with those many thousands of folks standing in the weather at his Town Halls to see this dried up old man repeat his previopus message SurgeSurgeWar War ,Bomb Bomb Iran and keeping up changing depends and naps take the other part of each day .
    He is an avid fan of Star Wars

    July 31, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  10. Sarah

    Most people who claim to have seen Obama play a "race card," even on these comment boards, seem to go on and say ridiculous things like how he "whines" or demands preferential treatment because he's black.

    But making other people's racism apparent isn't playing a "race card."

    I think people would (and often do) accuse ANY black politician of playing a "race card." Obama could literally be the savior of the world and it wouldn't matter to those saying he was "arrogant" (read "uppity") or an "affirmative action candidate."

    July 31, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  11. Travis In Colorado

    I think it's about time SOMEONE said it, and I'm glad that McCain did. Obama used sexism and race against Hillardy Clinton, and he has been using race against McCain. Obama and his supporters have been making everyone feel that if they don't vote for Obama, then they're racists. If anyone has taken the low road, it's been Obama all along. I am proud of McCain for standing up to this sort of stuff, when everyone else is too afraid of being called a racist for not voting for Obama. Thank you Senator McCain, this is exactly what we need in Washington.

    McCain 08!

    July 31, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  12. Chris in Va.

    CNN when will we be introduced to the 10 year old little girl who is runninng McSlime's Campaign? If McSlime is "proud" of the juvenile Spears, Hilton ad he is the most immature 71 year old on the planet and is in need of psychiatric help. John McSlime= PATHETIC!

    P.S. To all of those McSlime supporter morons calling for a debate, be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. Just get used to saying President Obama!

    July 31, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  13. Nil

    Yes, Obama has been playing the race card for his benefit, since the very beginning. Search for the % of black donors in his campaign. If Obama has the 94% black voting for him , how come he shows 98% whites sitting behind him on every rally?

    July 31, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  14. Peter of Oregon

    Wow... Now McCain is trying to race bait... after all of the negative campaigning he's been doing. All this after promising to run a positive, respectful campaign.

    Americans need to ask ourselves is McCain worthy of the American people?

    More importantly... has McCain completely lost his mind?

    July 31, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  15. Peter of Oregon

    Of course he thinks they're fair. As long as they get him into the White House. Whatever it takes ehh Old-Politics McCain?

    July 31, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  16. McCain is too old

    Let's play the age card McCain:

    McCain is too old.

    Bad breath OLD!
    Wrinkly skin OLD!
    Shuffles around on stage OLD!
    Can't remember the difference between Shiite and Sunni OLD!
    Doesn't know how to use the internet OLD!
    Falls asleep in the Senate OLD!


    CNN and their love fest for McOLD wild probably not even post this!!

    July 31, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  17. Patrick

    John McCain. Gettin' ready to scare the white folks! God this is sickening. I am a White male – Portland, OR. How could this country even think about rewarding this ridiculous, murderous, economically reckless party with another 4 years? We can't let it happen folks.

    July 31, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  18. Belle2

    Well when you are nothing else-do nothing, say-anything, ineperienced, empty vessel-you gotta do something. Obama has to use the race card, that is all he has. Vote for me or you are racist. No way anyone could doubt or disagree with the messiah.

    July 31, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  19. McLiar !!!!

    McCain campaign “using the same old low-road politics to distract voters from the real issues.”Karl Rove Play book !!!

    Mccain Old pissy Pants !!

    July 31, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  20. Martin California

    Too bad CNN has become a pimp for McCain. You guys accept this stuff and throw it out to the public giving credence to the lies. Do your jobs or just admit you are entertainers.

    July 31, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  21. California Voter

    Give me a break. The Obama campaign from the very beginning has defty made race an issue. His campaign stump speech refers to how he became a "community organizer" in the South Side of Chicago rather than a big time money making lawyer. His surrogates blasted the Clintons for their "racist" remarks. Come on America! Obama has used his race to his advantage by accusing anyone who says anything remotely negative as being racist. This detracts from the real issues of his errors in judgment (Rezko, Wright for example) and his charactert (20 years a member of a black liberation church where the pastor preached words of hate and racism) and his super light resume.

    July 31, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  22. Nya

    It's not playing the race card when people believe things about you that are not true and the lies are based about your race. When you tell someone to not look at you only for your skin color and to not fear you because of your name, that is not playing the race card. That asking people not to be simple and idiotic. Please people are you really going to fall for this?

    I am sick and tired of people complaining about people of color "pulling the race card." Well, when people treat you due to your outside appearance, accent, or whatever and you get called on it. DON'T GET MAD. If you really believe "we're all Americans" then treat everyone accordingly.

    July 31, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  23. Patrick

    Maybe McCain will have a heart attack. Call it cruel. My Nation has been under attack by these lunitics for 8 years. This is no place I want to leave my kids. DISGUSTING OLD MAN. SICK.

    July 31, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  24. Mary

    Obama is a "race baiter". He used the same tactic in the primaries against Bill Clinton.

    Obama may be inexperienced on the national scene, but he sure likes to show his slimy Chicago-style political savy whenever he can. I think he will do anything to get elected.

    I hope he loses the election as I really think he would be better as a model in GQ Magazine. His poses all seem so picture perfect. Phoney, but picture perfect.

    July 31, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  25. wiser

    This is same type of treatment the Obama campaign did to the Clintons. Senator Obama is despicable and does not offer anything but words. They are always playing the race card.

    America will not be fooled by this shallow, inexperienced politician. I guess he thinks portraying a victim is a winning strategy.

    We will choose experience, judgment, and a genuine war hero over a zero every time!

    Democrats for McCain!

    July 31, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
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