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. Quinton

    No, I think that McCain is using the race card.

    July 31, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  2. Amy

    Why wait until November? Let's vote today and send this idiot old man back to Arizona. McCain is so out of touch.

    July 31, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  3. Lesley

    Divisive, negative, shameful and wrong describes the McCain campaign to a T. They are concentrating on personally attacking Obama more than even setting up their own agenda and making a case for McCain to be elected. McCain apparently thinks that this is the way to go, despite even his most ardent supporters who are telling him to knock it off. He is being called out by the media and still continues on his tirade. I hope this guy doesn't bumble his way into the WH.

    July 31, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  4. Concerned in Alabama

    The truth hurts McShame! Please, the race card has always been a part of this campaign.

    Hello............................Obama is black and race is definitely an issue. Obama is right. The GOP does try to make people afraid of Obama because he is black...come on.

    As long as Obama stays black, the race card will always be an issue.

    Funny how no one ever talkS about his other side..WHITE.

    July 31, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  5. Ronnie, Atlanta, GA

    You fools that claim you have all this "proof" that is so easy to find on the internet that Obama is a liar and an empty suit can you just for once show me some of that proof.

    Also, I am a white male and all of my white, black, hispanic and asian friends are firmly now on Barack Obamas side. The foolish PUMAs and angry republicans can continue to use the lowest stupid and devisive attacks but it won't work this time. So stop trolling the forums everywhere and actually come up with real arguments against Obama. Try something like, "I don't agree with his plan for taxes and the economy" or "I don't think he has a good plan for Iraq". All of this name calling, telling lies and comparing to unfavorables is getting you nowhere. It shows the rest of the world how ignorant you are. Get a real argument or shut up.

    July 31, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  6. Eric ( Minnesota)

    McCain is such a joke. All they do is go negative, and they are trying to pretend Obama is the one who is negative. GIVE US A BREAK!!
    You would think with all of McCain's so called experience, that he would be able to do more than just criticize Obama.

    July 31, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  7. Walt, Ohio

    McCain's campaign NEVER talks about what he wants to do for the country; only negativity.
    This is not 2004. YouTube, and the internet will not allow Bush/McSame to use the swiftboat tactics unchecked. All the "wink wink" insinuations by McSame will not protect him from the voter's wrath from the negative campaigning. The American people aren't stupid.

    July 31, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  8. Laidetea


    July 31, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  9. norml

    john mccain!you just lost my vote!i told you when i donated to your campaign ,that i would not support negative campaign tactics and you have began running them relentlessly.i'm done with this garbage.i'm going straight to obama's website and donating maximum amount.you got $25 because i wasnt sure you'd keep it clean.you went dirty!shame!

    July 31, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  10. VON BISMARK,Vienna.

    If experience is what mcWAR is offering then experience is evil.He must have to borrow a page on experience from the likes of Mrs.Clinton sen.Biden and so on.All these charges will not help him.

    July 31, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  11. Dian

    @ Catty, What rock have you been under? Republicans have been referring to Obama as a muslim... calling his former church racist.

    This is just silly.... I used to like McCain; but, he doesn't seem to have anything to say about where he stands... All I ever hear is Barack this Barack that! At this point everything Obama does is seen as a negative. Why can't we just discuss the issues?

    July 31, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  12. Ed Ward

    Coming from one who is as white as a sheet, I'd say it's par for the course.

    July 31, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  13. Independent-woman-4-Obama


    OBAMA was simply making a joke of McCain's tactics!!! For crying out loud!


    OBAMA IS RIGHT to call a spade a spade! The REASON McCain & his Bushies are upset is because they got CAUGHT!



    July 31, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  14. Michael Shea

    If I were Obama I would call a press conference and run ads,nationwide, and ask McBush when are we going to focus on the issues instead of this juvenile namecalling and questioning a person's 'False patriotism'. John Wayne has been dead thirty years. The party is over.

    Waving the flag and paraising the lord doesn't help a worker who's home is being foreclosed or union job being shipped offshore thank's to McCain's consistent support of corporate free trade agreements.

    If McBush wants to play personal attack hardball then the Obama Campaign ought to investigate McBush's mental health records regarding the advanced PTSD he suffered after being a POW which is why McBush has such a horrific temper. They also need to focus on why McBush abandoned his first wife to chase Cindy's millions.

    Politics has become a bloodsport. Even family members are being attacked. Look at Michelle Obama questioned about her patriotism.
    I quit being a proud American ever since "Reagun" was elected.

    By the way I'm a Vietnam swiftboat veteran.

    July 31, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  15. Kathy

    McCain always pulls the POW card for his military experience. They are what they are. Just talk about the issues and Obama will win. We are sick of the Republicans and their negativity and ruining our economy.

    July 31, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  16. Joe

    You don't need to play dirty politics to beat Obama.
    All you need to do is keep doing your townhall meetings, keep talking tax cuts and drilling and keep reminding Americans of your independent leanings.
    Just let Obama fizzle on his own.
    He (Obama) has been fading since the Rev. Wright Videos broke.
    McCain, just stand back and let Obama beat himself.
    That's all you need to do.
    This election will fall right in your lap.

    July 31, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  17. terry,va

    Yes, let's debate the issues!!!!!!!!!! BHO won't face McCain on the issues. remember when he was running against Hillary and he said I look for to debating McCain any where any place? He has dodged debating McCain for 2 months. Why? Because he can't read his answers off a teleprompter. BHO will get his a*s kicked if he did.

    July 31, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  18. Whats left in your wallet?

    A vote for McCain is a vote to give your last dime,the lint in your pocket and your childrens piggy bank to Big Oil.

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

    I'm looking forward to seeing Roland Martin's head explode on live television tonight.

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

    it riles me up when media says that most of the people know who McCain is but few people know who Obama is. Are you kidding?
    Yes, may be 50% of the people know that McCain was POW in VN. What more do they know? Do they know that he was member of Keating 5 that tried to get the crook Charles Keating of the hook for the last banking debacle, do they know that he has gone back on most of his policy positions just to get the nomination – and he has the gall to have ads and say it personally that Obama was willing to lose a war so that he could get the nomination. We know a lot about Obama and we know that he will take this country into a new direction and make us proud to be Americans again. McCain has nothing to stand on (because everyone knows that his presidency will be the 3rd term of Bush) and everyone knows very well what that will do to us. That is why all the republicans can do is keep on attacking Barack.

    July 31, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. Emily

    The bigger picture is this:

    If Barack is not one of us, he must be one of "them". When McCain says "them" it could be anything–foreigner, black, Muslim....you fill in the dots.

    We're not buying the slick, under-handed mud-slinging of the past. Americans are moving on to bigger and better things, like a president who will make us proud.

    I can see McCain in his rocking chair now saying "What happened?" Yes, he'll be watching Barack on TV being the wonderful president that we know he will be.


    July 31, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  22. andyd

    McCain consciously Race-Baited Obama last week, with his sudden and out-of-context statement about affirmative action. Rove's second in command, who runs McCain's campaign, created a situation where race is the issue and Obama cannot say anything at all without the potential for John McCain to claim the Black Liberal is more racist than the White Republican.

    The media, of course, is to busy with gossip fluff to dig an inch of top-soil dow into the stpry of the day.

    It is a sad indication of how devious the Republicans will be and how bogged down the Obama camp is about responding.

    McCain is doing to Obama what Obama did to Clinton last year: He is winning the critical margins of the electorate while Obama is doing nothing of tactical value for himself. Rove's machine owns the witless news cycle, Obama's campaign is to crowded with love and joy and hopefulness to take initiative where it matters.

    The low opinion of the voters with America's "direction" should be a no-brainer for any Democrat to use almost every day against the GOP, but Obama has become too afraid of making a mistake to do anything right.

    By next month Obama will be the long shot and Rove's tacticians will have stolen one of the most disappointing election in either party's history. Without even using a staged terrorist threat.

    July 31, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  23. Oops



    July 31, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  24. Linda31

    Willy – If you think the series Black in America was helpful towards Obama, you must be blind or deaf. The McCain camp was looking for an opportunity to eject the "race card" card so that they can use race more so later in the election process. This is just a cherry on top a horrible McCain campaign.

    I amazed to hear from my die hard Republican friends turning away from their party in disgust. Keep it up McCain.

    July 31, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  25. Robert Wooller, West Yorkshire England

    After this and also comparing Obama to celebrities, it just goes to show that McCain is out of any real, constructive ideas that will get the US out of the hole it is in i.e. with the economy. People have had enough of Bush, McCain politics and this will be proven when they vote for Obama later this year.

    July 31, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
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