September 6th, 2008
04:30 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama: Republicans must think you’re stupid

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Obama mocked the McCain-Palin ticket for casting themselves as mavericks."]
TERRE HAUTE, Indiana (CNN) – Since leaving their convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, John McCain and Sarah Palin have tried to cast themselves as mavericks, Washington outsiders, the real agents of change.

Barack Obama isn’t buying it and wants the label for himself.

“Everywhere I go we’ve been talking about change, that’s been the theme of this campaign,” Obama told supporters in a show barn in Indiana. “And we must be on to something, because I notice now everyone’s talking about change now.”

Watch: Obama jokes he's never been to Alaska

“Suddenly [McCain’s] the change agent!” Obama laughed. “He says, “I’m going to tell those lobbyists that their days of running Washington are over.” Who’s he going to tell? Is he going to tell his campaign chairman who’s one of the biggest corporate lobbyists in Washington? Is he going to tell his campaign manager who was one of the biggest corporate lobbyists in Washington? Is he going to tell all the folks who are running his campaign who are the biggest corporate lobbyists in Washington?”

“Who is it that he’s going to tell that change is coming?” he added, “I mean come on, they must think you’re stupid!”

Obama said Thursday that he’ll focus on McCain because he’s running against McCain and not his running mate Sarah Palin. But Saturday Obama singled out Palin for the first time for flip-flopping on earmarks while governor of Alaska.

“She is a skillful politician,” said Obama, “but when you’ve been taking all these earmarks when it is convenient and then suddenly you’re the champion anti-earmark person, that is not change, come on. I mean, words mean something. You can’t just make stuff up. You can’t just make stuff up.”

The McCain campaign shot back saying that Obama is all talk.

“Barack Obama has requested the equivalent of one million dollars in new pork barrel spending for every working day he's been in the U.S Senate,” wrote McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds in an e-mail to reporters. “While John McCain has never once asked for an earmark, and Governor Palin has vetoed hundreds of millions in government spending including killing the infamous 'bridge to nowhere'.

When a former Republican asked the Illinois senator if he would welcome ‘converts’ like him, Obama took the opportunity to accuse McCain of hypocrisy.

“I have to say, when John McCain says in his [acceptance] speech that he wants to reduce the rancor in Washington and I’m thinking, did you pay attention to the last two days of your convention?” Obama chuckled, “were you not watching? Did they not get the memo?”

“When it starts getting personal, when you start just focusing exclusively on trying to tear the other person down instead of what you are going to do on behalf of the American people to deal with this economy, then that’s not serving Democrats, that’s not serving Republicans, that’s not serving anybody.”

soundoff (177 Responses)
  1. Gina

    No! I'm not stupid. That's why I'm voting for Senator Obama.

    September 6, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  2. Joanne

    John McCain is talking change because it works.

    He does not represent change but if he does not put on a good show he will not represent anyone. He is doing what he has to do to try to win an election.

    He voted with Bush 90% of the time and now wants to be called a maverick.

    WHAT A JOKE. Unfortunately some people are stupid enough to believe it as long as he waves our flag at all of his rallies.

    September 6, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  3. Melly

    What nerve MCCAIN has to think we are that STUPID. After 26 years in Washington and not talking about any substabce and issues in this campaign or convention, He really has nerve to think that we will be that STUPID to vote for him and his unqualified Attack Dog (Palin). She just keep repeating the BUSH speech writer's words that she memorized during the convention on the road. WHY, because she has no substance or record or experience or qualification to talk about anything else other than HOW BAD OBAMA IS.
    PALIN reminds me of a JUNIOR CHENET with all the divisiveness and negative personal attacks. I am scared to death to see her as VP.

    September 6, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  4. Remember, remember

    The truth in November

    Speak the truth Mr. Obama,

    Keep the lights on

    Some may cover their eyes and wish to return to the darkness

    But there are more who want to live in the truth, and expect it from our politicians....

    Reject the Republican request that somehow your'e safer, better off, when you abandon logic.

    September 6, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  5. truth-in-media

    "You can't just make stuff up!" - the rallying cry of every half-way decent person who runs into the rats (and pittbulls) of this world. Everyone who's been faced with bald demonstrable clear shamless lies knows the feeling. It almost makes him look naive to be so upset - but only almost.

    September 6, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  6. Teacher in WA

    Thank you Sen Obama for setting the record straight. I was thinking the same thing when I heard McCain's speech – did he not KNOW what Guliani and Palin were going to say the night before?!
    They were so demeaning, not just to you, but to so many hard working Americans. It did motivate me to make a contribution to your campaign.

    BTW – Palin only renounced the 'bridge to nowhere' after the national outcry. But she still took the money! The bridge was never built but Alaska still got the money – so Republicans need to stop talking about that. We are NOT stupid!!

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 6, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. I at a lost

    Im upset with the system answer these question!
    Why is Sarah not answering any question?
    Why is she off limits to the Media?
    Why is McBush camp covering up for her?
    Why is not not going out on her own?

    Answers I came up with
    Because she doesn't know anything
    Becuase she is smart in only Alaska
    Because they know, if she supported most of Obama ideas
    Becuase no one would go out to hear only McBush!

    Barack was question from day one!
    Barack was put on the spot many times!
    Barack friends and pastor were on TV everyday for 3 months
    Barack was beat up time and time again by the media

    Media, do your job! Question this woman! She doesn't deserve to get a free ride!

    September 6, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |

    Great point Obama! They are not change! As sad as it is there are people who are that stupid, they beleive everyhting that he and Palin are saying!!! The puppets of the conservative party!!! So sad!!!


    September 6, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  9. Jorge

    If Palin is so smart, why won't she come out and face the press?

    According to McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds, "Gov. Palin was fully vetted as previously described and we are no longer commenting on the vetting process, She was selected, is qualified and is ready to serve."

    Apparently being"qualified" and "ready to serve" doesn't mean answering questions and defending her record and positions and the party platform.

    September 6, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  10. c silvers

    The sight of Rudy Gulliani snickering attempt to trivialize community organizing was a particularly nauseating sight (among many at the RNC Convention). As mayor, his disorganizational style contributed to the loss of life at the WTC (while being particularly adroit at organizing a cover-up of his use of city resources to hide his adulterous behavior). He ran the most disorganized presidential campaign since Pat Paulsen. These hypocrites are like tics sucking on the blood of the left side of the bell curve. They have no shame. They have no conscience.

    September 6, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  11. Irony

    Lets face it, people who vote for Republicans, against their own self interests, are in fact, stupid!

    September 6, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  12. Democrat for McCain/Pailin

    We are not stupid we just do not believe your lies and left wing propaganda.
    Please ask Pelosi to go back to Washington so when Biden tells us he cares about our kitchen table we can believe him.
    Stop smearing Pailin, we watched you smear Hilary with lies and our wounds are still raw. Pailin is also one tough cookie and guess what, I trust her 100% to answer the phone at 3am.

    September 6, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  13. Lisa

    Of course they think we're stupid...and we are. How else do you explain Bush got reelected??

    September 6, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  14. Corey Gillingham

    Obama has begun to speak like a man who is getting nervous – almost afraid, and he has good reason to be. As a Democrat myself I still have to applaud McCain for his bold, historic and brilliant choice. Say what you will, Sara Palin is firing up not only the Republican Party but American politics in general. Obama should have chosen Hillary – a catastrophic error which we all have to soon acknowledge. I can now see that we are very likely bound to lose to this new, maverick team. McCain has never looked nor sounded so good. He is completely invigorated by the excitement Palin has created and it shows in everything they have done together since her announcement. They will be a VERY tough team to beat and I have to say that if they win I wont be as sorry as I previously thought. For the first time in an American election we have two fasinating opponents – very closely matched in experience and wisdom. I wont be sorry now if McCain wins with this amazing woman by his side.

    September 6, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  15. Independent

    Thank you Barack. We are not stupid like Palin and McCain think.

    McCain has insulted America with his pick of Palin.
    And Palin has insulted America with her lies about reform and her lies about her experience in Alaska.

    We can see, read, and hear truth in Obama's positive message and will vote for Obama and a better America on Nov 4th.

    September 6, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. mary va

    Wow well say. Plus McCain need the pitbull lipstick with him to campain like a puddle.... And McCain campain don't want her to meet the press, to scare to show are nut she is...

    September 6, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. Marlena Amundson

    Kudos to Senator Barack Obama. I was a "HUGE" supportor of Hillary Clinton, but I will support and stand by Senator Obama as if it were Senator Clinton. He is the change that Americans have been waiting a long time to stand up to Washington and I know he will not let us down. If McCain really "is" about change, then why has "he" not accomplished some significant change in all the time he has been in office as a Senator? We need new blood in Washington to make serious changes, and Senator Obama is the person who I believe will do just that.

    September 6, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  18. ella

    Obama: they bought your "change," why shouldn'y they buy others'??
    It's a free market in this country (still, I'd say!!!!!).

    September 6, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  19. Mom In Monroe

    How can Obama say anything about anyone flip-flopping? I mean...come on! He's been flip-flopping since his campaign started!

    Yet so many people hang on to his every word. Come on people, think for yourselves – that's the real change we need! Don't let the media, and Obama, do your thinking for you. They are the ones who believe you're stupid! And you only prove it by buying into everything they say!

    September 6, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  20. trc

    Whatever, Obama. You flip-flop more than anyone. Pot. Kettle. Black.

    September 6, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  21. ZYEDCO D

    America is bening tested....We will see how smart Americans are on November 4th. If Americans vote McCain and Palin in the world will see how stupid we are. God help us if Obama is not our new president. The hole will get deeper and our children will be left with a mess beyond repair.

    September 6, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  22. Howie

    How can you be for change if you select a "good old Boy" for VP that has been in Washington for years and years who is a part of the problem, change, hmmmmmmmmm

    September 6, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  23. John

    What exactly has Obama ever done to suggest he represents change? Select a 6-term senator as his running mate? He played the Chicago politics game for years and hung-out with some of the most unsavory characters this city has to offer. More importantly, he has never crossed party lines once on any issues of substance - that's how you become ranked as the most liberal senator in America. Lastly, don't you find it amusing that he is battling Sarah Palin on the experience issue and not McCain, his primary competition at the top of the ticket? The country is growing increasingly tired of Obama's speeches and empty promises, and it's starting to reflect in the poll numbers.

    September 6, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  24. yellowdoggie

    Of course the McCain/Palin dog and pony show thinks we're stupid. We somehow let Bush into office, and then in 2004 he was reelected, even though the Iraq war was a disaster and the Repubs were foreced to use fear tactics.

    Now Cheney is all puffed up about Russia and they're doing it again. "Elect McCain if you want to keep America safe." It makes me sick. That old man has nothing but bluster to offer, and as for that painted, gun-totin' granny Palin, give me a break. She's a fraud.

    Obama-Biden 08

    September 6, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  25. Ex-PUMA for Obama

    McCain would rather lose a war to win the election.

    He proved that with his VP pick out of desparation.

    McCain, you sir, are not a Maverick. A maverick chooses who he wants for his VP and not listen to Karl Rove and his dogs to tell you how to win. They talked you out of choosing Liberman and the others on your short list. I thought a Maverick holds his own.

    You sir, is not a maverick. Niether is your running mate.

    OCTOBER SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 6, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
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