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

Obama: Republicans must think you’re stupid

Sen. Obama mocked the McCain-Palin ticket for casting themselves as mavericks.

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. H. Charles

    Hey Renee,

    Watch Obama's interview with Bill O'Reilly and you'll see that he does admit that the surge worked. But after the republicans spent almost a trillion dollars on the war. After you do some reading and educate yourself, come on back and say something that makes sense.

    September 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  2. gene

    The RNC was the platform where the Repubs were supposed to share their ideas with the country. What policies did they share? Drill now baby and Obama is a bad man. That was the extent of them sharing ideas.

    What makes me laugh is how everyone waved their flags and cheered every slander and sneer. These people represent the worst of what America has to offer.. and world opinion of us being at its lowest is proof of that.

    Another thing that makes me laugh is how many republicans feel that our place amongst the rest of the world is not important... that because they're not Americans that their opinions shouldn't matter. This is exactly the reason why we're losing our soldiers while the rest of the world sits back and watches.. they don't want to help a nation that's seen right now as imperialistic. We need the rest of the world to cooperate with us to achieve national security.. and repubs just don't get it! Who's going to keep this country safe?

    September 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  3. john

    ENOUGH of the GOP lies!!!! GO OBAMA hit em hard!

    September 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  4. Larry in MI

    Amen. Not only can we [Americans] be stupid, we can be just plain idiotic.

    It's high time that we start demanding accountability from our leaders. It is OUR responsibility to educate ourselves as to what's going on. I care more about John McCain's voting record over the past 8 years than I do about a paternity test on Maury Povich.


    CNN, please post this

    September 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. Rob, Charlotte, North Carolina

    Bravo Obama!

    We will not be duped again. McCain and Palin are frauds. They are cut from the same cloth as Bush and Cheney. They will only continue the downward spiral of our country and threaten our national security with incompetence and a bellicose stance.

    September 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  6. Nick

    I;m afraid to say the public is stupid. We seem to know more about celebrities and personalities than we do about issues that affect our very lives.We were dumb enough to vote in Bush again,put up with torture, ignore supoenas from congress,out a CIA agent , on and on. and still no outrage. But it;s over now.Palin will be toast before the end of september. It's ironic that a gossip news outlet like the Enquirer put away Gary Hart and John Edwards will now do the same to Palin.

    September 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. truth

    obama and biden talk about there ideas while Palin/ repeats the same old speach word for word and cnn reports it like its news,cnn can not let palin mcbush getaway with this how can she not field random questions she is a joke please dont lrt us down her speach wasnt that good the first time they say change they cant even change 1 word and what they keep saying is not true please stand up to this bull

    September 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  8. Rick

    “The republican party is the only party that can fix the damage that its party done” … that’s the best quote I’ve heard. every ones real opinion will not be talked about pertaining to Palin I can blog all day long and try to have a voice like yesterday...90% of the blogs on CNN said they did not like anything that was said at GOP including Palins speech but I guess the media owes her one?

    How come this isn’t news? How come the news didn’t report what people really thought of all the speeches? That they weren’t well received at all but you took all the blogs off from your site…I guess you owe her a few free bees to keep her in the media…everone knows it was a good speech “in that hall" and that’s it.
    Not one speech I heard from the GOP spoke to the America I know and the news media knows it. Can someone tell me who decides what news should be reported? I'd love to give my opinion and it be talked about Why don’t you talk about this poll on larry king and CNN
    Quick Vote
    Will you vote for John McCain?
    Yes 19% 1025
    No 81% 4250
    Total Votes: 5275
    This is not a scientific poll
    Quick Vote

    Which party's convention made the stronger case for why its candidate should be elected to the White House?
    Democrats 58% 115981
    Republicans 33% 64956
    Neither 9% 17386
    Total Votes: 198323

    September 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. Tracy

    Obama is at the top of the ticket and he has not been in Washington a long time. Biden gets him around through Washington. McCain has been in Washington in 26 years. The top of the ticket is not change on the Republican side. Palin is the sidekick 3.0 of Bush. Miss Earmark USA. SHae up their bank accounts and dirty laundry.

    September 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. Toye

    Palin is an extreme on a lot of issues. It's so sad that the party with morals and values actually don't have any!

    September 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  11. Be Afraid, America

    Global warming causing increasingly harmful natural disasters ... 6.1% unemployment ... job losses for the eighth straight month in a row ... sky-high gas prices ... millions forced out of their homes by foreclosure ... reduced funds for student loans ... failing banks and financial institutions ... over 4000 American lives lost in Iraq ... over 30,000 wounded ... Guantanamo Bay ... outsourced jobs ... Walter Reed Medical Center ... inflation ... Katrina ... 46 million Americans without health care ... including 8 million children ... nearly $10 TRILLION national debt ...

    And still, inexplicably, over 40% of Americans want to do it again.

    If you are supporting the Republicans because of "fiscal conservativism" or "small government," you're deluding yourself. Take a look at the numbers.

    If you are supporting the Republicans because of the "war on terrorism," think about whether "foreign policy" means anything OTHER than "bomb 'em."

    If you are supporting the Republicans because of "social values," ask yourself if any of the above are going to be solved by a ban on abortion or gay marriage.

    If you are supporting the Republicans because you're still mad about the "Hillary thing," recognize that, come January, you WILL be living under McCain's policies or under Obama's. In January, whose policies do you want to live under?

    We are a smart people. THINK before you vote.

    September 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  12. Florida Voter

    Has anyone notice that Senator Obama has been leading the republicans around by the nose. Between Bush and McPimp they have been standing still and reacting to Senator Obama.

    1. Strike on Taliban stronghold in the mountains.

    2. Beef up fighting force in Afgan war

    3. High level talks with enemies

    4. Diplomatic answer to Georgia/Russia

    And now McPimp wants to change something. The only thing he has been changing lately is his positions. Flip-Flopper.

    Senator Obama has been leading from the very start, and now McPOW wants to try to pull everyone together. I would be funny if it was not so serious.

    September 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  13. Phil

    Yes, the GOP thinks Americans are stupid.

    Bush was like Jesus in 2000 for the religious right. Now he's invisible and his name isn't mentioned.

    Now they bring you Palin, a female Bush, more of the same religious extremism in a soft fluffy fake-"moderate" package. She's an "average person" just like Bush.

    Jesus, the GOP is a pack of rats and full of lies.

    September 6, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. Obama/Biden

    You tell them Obama... I have seen your record and I have seen Palins record and you have accomplished more than she has.. and this is not you against Palin... she is a VP contender!! Or is she running for Pres now???

    I saw she got over 20mil earmarks... yet she states she never asked for earmarks or got them.. yeah right!!

    They are not Mavericks... mavericks of what?? A small town?? Anyone just about do that, I bet 90% in politics can do that.. that has no bearing at all on whether she can lead or help lead a country!!

    McCain is now taking the slogan of change.. I think Obama should have patent the slogan LOL... Just about everything the Dems are doing the Republicans are trying to copy. Woman leading for one of the head seats in the whitehouse, Change as part of a campaign, what is next McCain?? WE all know you are full of lies!! You already promised all these lobbyist to save their behinds, for all their huge donations... and then you try and fool us and say you are going to change this stuff?? We are NOT STUPID!!!

    September 6, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  15. Barbara

    American – we have got to pray – seriously.
    We are headed for economic disaster and McCain and Palin are dividing this country!
    Obama never sort to divide but bring us together. When America is bad – it's bad for everyone!
    I'm afraid and I hope that millions of Americans are afraid with me – because, they have yet to talk about the economy! Palin is raising hatred like never before – all they do is attack personally. Neighborhood organizers help everyday people who are struggling with bills and job loss and everyday life. This is so hurtful.


    September 6, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  16. Susan in NC

    But, Tucker, "my friend" (as your John McSame would say), did Governor Palin return the federal government's money that was "earmarked" for the "bridge to nowhere"? Me thinks not!

    Obama for America!

    September 6, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  17. Barb

    I guess McCain can say he's a candidate of change. Just look and how his campaignchanged when he added his little beauty queen, "pit bull with lipstick". He probably thinks all these people turning out at rallies are there to see him – funny they weren't there before.

    September 6, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  18. EUNICE

    What has Obama ever done for America? Z–E–R–O, Z–I–P.
    Obama is worried now that finally soemone has put him exactly where he belongs.

    Obama is all words and no action. Take away speech and he has nothing to offer.

    Please people, do not be deceived.

    Vote McCain/Palin '08

    September 6, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  19. Go Obama!!!

    Tucker Bounds is so ignorant! That or just a pure liar. It's unbelievable that he would continue to say that Palin denied earmarks for the Bridge to Nowhere when we all now know that she took the money and used it for something else!

    Obama and Biden actually do "get it," they actually put "country first," and they will actually bring about "change"

    September 6, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  20. Shirley-Ohio



    September 6, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  21. Ken

    No Obama! they don't think Americans are stupid, they know Americans are stupid, that we 'll buy into any fraud and fraudsters. Why do you think this race is still close, when even Stevie Wonder can see from afar that these two ain't nothing but hypocrites with no solution for this country.

    September 6, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  22. mike

    do you guys at cnn have the guts to call mccain on his lie today? "obama has never worked across the party lines, not even once" this is untrue and he keeps repeating it!!! but you guys are to afraid of the right wing.

    September 6, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. gerry


    September 6, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  24. Cindy from NC

    Obama is so right. Republican's just follow the lead of real leaders, then discredit them and take credit for their work.

    Funny how the want to follow the lead of CHANGE from a COMMUNTIY ORGANIZER. RepulicCONS who do this and support them are pathetic.

    September 6, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  25. RA Crouch, Michigan

    I am so glad this subject is addressed. I thought the McCain Palin ticket was trying to usurp Obama’s theme of change message but I am seeing the SAME thing going on as I have seen for the last 16 years. In McCain’s attempt to run on Obama’s theme, McCain has demonstrated that he has not had one unique idea in this campaign.

    “Ms. Palin, after pledging for weeks that she would cooperate with the investigation, has in recent days begun to challenge the Legislature’s jurisdiction in the inquiry.” NYT 6 SEP 08 “The increasingly adversarial relationship between the lawmakers supervising the inquiry and Ms. Palin’s office stands in sharp contrast with the spirit of cooperation she had promised to bring to the inquiry, even as she questioned the need for an outside investigator.” NYT 6 SEP 08

    After 8 years of Clintons and 8 years of Bushes are we supposed to be use to politicians claiming executive privilege to avoid testifying against themselves? Palin’s actions are not CHANGE—just more of the SAME.

    September 6, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
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