September 5th, 2008
04:45 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama: 'Not about the issues' comment means making stuff up

DURYEA, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Barack Obama continued to hammer the McCain campaign on Friday for manager Rick Davis’s comments that the election would be more about the candidates’ personas, not the issues. The Illinois senator said he’s not running for president for his “pretty good personality” and that it’s a sign Republicans intend to scare voters away from him with false accusations of Muslim and radical connections.

Watch: "They're trying to run me down," Obama says

“When [the Republicans] say this isn’t about issues it’s about personalities what they’re really saying is “we’re going to try to scare people about Barack”,” he told a small gathering at a glass factory near Scranton. “'We’re going to say that you know, maybe he’s got Muslim connections or we’re going to say that, you know, he hangs out with radicals or he’s not patriotic.' Just making stuff up.”

“I mean I think I’ve got a pretty good personality! But that’s not why I am running for president,” Obama said, later adding, “If you want it to be about personalities, you know, we’ll go out for a beer sometime and we’ll talk but you know you don’t have time, you’d rather spend it with your family.”

Obama has repeatedly hit Republicans this week of for lacking substance at their convention in St. Paul and consistently brands the G0P as out of touch.

“If you’ve got the kind of record they’ve got over the last eight years then, of course, you don’t want to spend a lot of time talking about the issues,” said Obama. He blasted McCain on the economy, called his energy plan “made for TV” and accused the Arizona senator of having no education plan.

“Apparently Barack Obama was not listening when John McCain and Sarah Palin offered their plans to keep taxes low and create new jobs,” responded RNC spokesman Alex Conant. “On the other hand, Barack Obama’s economic policies would only raise taxes and eliminate jobs.”

Obama gave a lengthy defense during the Q&A portion of the event when a woman asked about rumors that he was going to take away their guns, an issue that has gotten him in some hot water in the past.

“I think this is a great question so I just want to clear it up,” he started. “The 2nd amendment is an individual right and it means something: that people have a right to bear arms. What I also believe is that there’s nothing wrong with some common sense gun safety measures.”

“The bottom line is this: if you’ve got a rifle, you’ve got a shotgun, you’ve got a gun in your house, I’m not taking it away,” he said, adding that even if he wanted to, he couldn’t get it through Congress.

“I hope I made that clear,” he wrapped up, “Is everybody clear back there in the back? ‘Cause I see a couple sportsmen back there. All right? Spread the word with your friends. I’m not going to take away your guns.”

soundoff (215 Responses)
  1. charlee

    I am not eligible to vote yet. But I have been reading a lot about what is going on in politics and our economy. Yesterday, the republicans said that they want less government in our business. But with the current economy as it stands today, the lack of regulations in some areas have caused a lot of problem in our economy. Now government is spending a lot of money to bail out the private sector that the republicans do not want to regulate. I feel McCain, Palin and some of the other republicans are not been sincere with us. They are telling a lot of lies in between the lines. My fear is that people are not paying attention. We failed to pay attention when we elected Bush.

    September 5, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  2. aware

    No more lies Obama! You are finished!

    McCain/Palin 08! 🙂

    September 5, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  3. FreeNLovIt

    We can elect officials, but it is up to us, The People, to educate ourselves and understand other cultures and people, so we can help out with the 'National Security' process.

    It's amazing how in 2000, people just jumped on the 'Iraqi Freedom' bandwagon. Later, we all found out, it was really about jumping in on the 'Oil bandwagon'.

    September 5, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  4. Cathy

    Sorry...but either it being about the issues or personality...OBAMA is the next President of the United States of America.

    Obama is truly what the country needs because of how he will handle the issues in America and his genuine and well-tempered personality. McCain is just a cannon waiting to go off . Anyone that has been a POW can tell you that they have serious mental issues. And now Palin is just as angry and over conservative as McCain.

    With McCain and Palin in the White House...America will be doomed!!!

    September 5, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  5. gwen

    The more I watch the campaigning the more I feel America is bias like the men and women in the middle east, (women being seen but not heard). I only hope here in America the women can a lest have name band sheets, slipper and boots to wear . In a family the women is the back bone, make all the decisions the husband is the head he calls the shots, he agree or disagree with her decision and his word is final. This is the way I see McCain and Palin, it is like a marriage committee to each other to do a job for the American people, we put our life into their hands to help us grow.
    She can speak, for the woman of American we have a voice. But women can never take the place of the man. Women are not trying to take away from the men but to help build him up and make them stronger . Women are not weak, we are here to help the men to make the world a better place. Stop putting women in the back. We can walk side by side with the men. God,“said treat a woman as the weaker vessel- 1st Pe 3:7 not that she is weak. Palin was stronger in her speak than McCain, because she is just being a women. If men knew women better than just making babies they would under stand she is only being a woman like any other woman, that’s alright her speech should be stronger , But she can’t over power McCain, what he decides will go no matter which way she put it. Can it be men are afraid of woman? That’s why they push women out of everything. If Obama wants “CHANGE” start first with changing the way you think about women. That goes not only for Obama but all men in the United State of American for which it stands One Nation Under God individual with liberty and justice for all.

    September 5, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  6. Festus, Montana

    Sarah Palin reminds me of a cult follower who needs to be deprogrammed. The only thing missing is a basket of flowers and a pair of Birkenstocks. John McCain should be ashamed of himself for exploiting this woman.

    September 5, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  7. Festus, Montana

    Sarah Palin reminds me of a cult follower who needs to be deprogrammed. The only thing missing is a basket of flowers and a pair of Birkenstocks. John McCain should be ashamed of himself for exploiting this woman.

    September 5, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  8. Truth

    I think that John Mccain is a good person, I really do, But he has too many issues with his own party to think on his own. his positions change too quickly for my liking.

    Barack is clearly the only candidate who wants to stop the death in Iraq, which is now-Thanks to our current government- a bigger terrorist training ground than Bin Laden could have dreamed of!

    PS where is he anyway? buying new furniture for his cave-condo?

    September 5, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  9. Lone Star Wolf

    An empty suit calling someone lacking substance. Come Brother lets tap our way out of here.

    September 5, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  10. Webster

    uh pretjene...the McCain camp picked Palin strictly for politics...not country. Get with the program.

    September 5, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  11. julie

    The Republican convention was terrible, first where is all the young people and people who are not white? Then how many times do we have to hear about POW McCain is that all you got ? Then Palin, talk about smug, I first felt sorry for her, being used as a political play by " Country First " McCain, not anymore, now I feel sorry for the American voter who have to listen to this women's half truth's and her appalling attitude towards community workers what happened to serving your country Palin?? Then to top it off, we get to see the smiling proud as can be 18 year old boyfriend holding hands with the knocked up 17 year old daughter of the Republican VP what a bunch of hypocrite's, if that was the Democrats VP daughter they would be screaming "where is the outrage?". Finally McCain speech was awful same old list of issue ideas that Bush had back in 2000 .

    September 5, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  12. PJ

    Over 1.2 million homes in foreclosure. High unemployment rate, the ever increasing cost of fuel (think you are crying now, wait until the home heating season kicks off). Increased crime activities, horrible public education system, families struggle to put kids through college, steady increase of teen pregnancy, sons and daughters lost as the result of an unjustifiable war, billions of our tax dollars sent to Iraq to help with building infrastructure while ours are crumbling all around us. This is "Putting America First" John McCain and Republican STYLE.

    September 5, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  13. NY

    To PUMA PALIN: " Well Senator…. you were there for the last two… you know… when it started going bad!"

    That's why he is running for President or are you too ignorant to see that! BTW John Bush was there for 26... maybe you have a case of dementia!

    September 5, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  14. george

    barack's idea of economic reform is welfare checks for everyone. welcome to marxism!!

    barack better HOPE it's not about the issues because he has no ideas for ANY OF THEM.
    he's only the frontrunner because reid thought minorities and white guilt libertards who compromise the democrapic party would accept it when he coronated someone in their name rather than letting the stronger candidate hillary clinton win through popular measures.

    September 5, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  15. Independant Thinker

    Obama sure likes to LIE about what others are saying about him.

    September 5, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
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