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. Disgusted voter

    Hello people, Obama votes with his party 97% of the time.
    Hardly what would be called moderate.

    Get a clue, research his record, see that he has done nothing except for run for office and ruined the country's chances of at least having a decent choice between Hillary and McCain.

    Just because you don't like the George Bush speaks, doesn't mean we should vote for someone who speaks really well, but has done next to nothing.

    September 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  2. dan

    HILLARY 2012 !!

    September 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  3. Democrat for McCain/Pailin

    African Americans can vote for Obama but how dare women vote for a woman.
    Maybe we want some representation in the White House too ?
    Haven't you heard of nannys and husbands who stay home, millions of mom's depend on others as they venture out into the word of success and influence. Sorry if it does not fit in with your very limited idea of a woman's ability. Children need love and care, I'm certain Palins children receive alot of both.
    I am pro-choice and hate fur, but I think Pailin may be the right gal for the right job at the right time. The left , well better luck in 2012.

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

    Finally, someone said it!

    September 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. Hoosier Values

    The McCain of 2000 would have tore into the McCain of 2008.

    Everytime I see McCain I now think "Sell out!"

    Most importantly, the Republican Party will not let McCain 2008 accomplish anything McCain of 2000 would have wanted to do.

    Obama 2008 is McCain 2000!!!

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

    "when you’ve been taking all these earmarks and then suddenly you’re the champion anti-earmark person, that is not change." um, that's the definition of change.

    "words mean something." the hopeful slogan of the obama campaign. unfortunately actions mean more.

    September 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  7. Sarah C

    All you people in these comments who keep saying "Obama hasn't been an agent of change" or "Obama hasn't worked with Republicans" or "Obama hasn't done anything in the Senate" are SERIOUSLY IGNORANT.

    Never heard of the Lugar-Obama Non-proliferation Bill, signed into law in January of 2007? The Obama-Hagel Nuclear Threat Bill? When Obama and Republican Tom Coburn got together to write a bill increasing transparency in Congress by making a database of all grants and federal earmarks?

    Educate yourselves, people! This information is readily available on almost ANY major website profiling the candidates!

    September 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  8. William, from Cali!

    They are hoping that we just vote, "stupidly for them"!........................

    September 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  9. Medee

    Obama couldn't have said it any better "Republicans must think we're stupid". Lets not forget McCain voted with Bush 90% of the time, this means during Bush's 8 years in office John McCain supported his decisions 90% of the time. NOT 30%, NOT 60 %, but 90% of the time McCain thought George Bush made the correct decisions while in office.

    In the words of Barack Obama, "Republicans must think we're stupid".

    Obama/Biden 08'

    September 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. Ryan

    She may have vetoed the Bridge to Nowhere, but that was only after she fought for AND more importantly KEPT THE MONEY ANYHOW

    September 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. A

    Obama is inexperienced and calls himself the change agent – maybe true, but he avoids though votes, has not started / co started a piece of legislation and does not work across party lines. And what does he do? Pick Joe Biden, one of the oldest Washington insiders. Democrats will ruin this country even more. Look at congress – 9% approval rating!

    You say you would be worried if Palin in VP, but what about Obama? Palin and Obama have about the same amount of experiance. A question: why do you support Obama? Do you actually know where he stands on the issues? Did you see Obama's performance at the Saddleback forum? He dodged questions and avoided giving straight answers whenever possible. Don't give me this **** about McCain violating the cone of silence. Its a bunch of **** and you know it.

    What nerve all you Obama suporters have for attacking McCain. Why is it the only thing you can say is McCain is Bush? Why, because that's all you can think of. Oh, and by the way, it isn't true. You fail to realize McCain has been bringing change to Washington for years. He regularly works across party lines and often goes against his own party. If Obama is elected he will be the most liberal, inexperianced president in American history who will refuse to work across party lines.

    One final question: Would you still like Obama if he was the Republican and McCain was the Democrat? Answer: no – this election is all about the party brand. Get over it, and vote McCain.

    McCain '08

    September 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. The Artful Dodger

    McCain is right. Americans ARE stupid. Half of them seem ready to vote for a third Bush administration, and more than half voted for Bush's re-election, even though we were mired in an immoral war and already in the throes of an economic disaster in the making. Many Americans seem to be fooled by the Palin fiasco. They don't read history, don't understand the context of our international dilemmas, and are easily swayed by the "patriotic" vitriol of Republicanism. Those who say McCain is different than Bush fail to realize that he will keep the same basic people in the administration if he is elected. that's why they call them administrations. He'll change a few people at the top, but most of the administration that has served up the last several years of agony will remain. And Americans will have only themselves to blame for their misery.

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

    After watching the Republican GOP I was totally turned off by statements from Sara Palin.

    I am from Juneau Alaska, we all watch her make incredible untrue statements like: selling the jet on Ebay which was not true. The State of Alaska Government pulled the lame jet off Ebay because it was not selling.

    The "Bridge to now where." Sara Palin supported the Bridge to nowhere when she ran for Governor of Alaska!

    Sara Palin is not kidding anyone in Alaska. She can decieve her supporters in the lower 48, because they do not know her.

    Sara Palin running of the mouth. She is not a Barracuda what so ever, I find her dysfunctional in her words, as a person and as a woman.

    She is not a friend of mine!

    September 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. D.C.

    McCain a maverick? A Washington outsider?

    The same McCain who himself has admitted on camera that he's voted with Bush over 90% of the time, and I quote "more than even most of my" fellow Republicans? Get real, grandpa...

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

    "Obama: Republicans must think you’re stupid"

    Exactly. Well said.

    Anyone who votes GOP this time is a total IDIOT DUPE!

    September 6, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  16. Jerry Thomas Burleigh, in Gilbert, Arizona

    I used to like McCain. He's changed.

    Palin is a mess. The church she attends sounds like they preach stuff 10x more inflammatory than anything out of the mouth of Rev. Wright!

    The Republicans have had their big chance and blown it completely. No way in heck am I going to vote them back in. Obama is the true straight-talker here. I look forward to his presidency!


    September 6, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  17. merm

    Well at least Sarah Palin realized she was wrong to like them in the first place – of course, Obama has never seen an earmark he didn't like. It takes a Stong person (WOMAN in this instance) to change and do what's right – Obama refuses to admit he was wrong about the surge. Keep talking BO – and reminding us all just how much you like earmarks and pork spending – you are turning into the Republican's 2nd best weapon, behind Sarah, of course.

    September 6, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  18. Thed Weller

    I'm watching CNN...while McCain/Palin are repeating the "clap lines" from the RNC, Obama just had a press confernce about the US planned bail out of Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac. Hmmm, let's see, which sounds like the activities of a Future President?

    September 6, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. Annette, Washington, DC

    Well, there's some truth to that, why else pundits keep asking why hasn't Obama gained more in the polls of polls with a weak economy and the low approval rating of Bush??

    September 6, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  20. PTlegend

    McCain believes that Palin will give him the advantage to win some of Hillary supporters; however. democratic party women are smarter than this desperate attempt for McCain's last chance to run for the Presidency.

    September 6, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  21. linda n carolina

    Keep it up Obama day after day after day. Speak the truth. Smack down every lie. We want nothing less than that from you. Take off the gloves and show them we're not going to play nice. In your face McCain...YEAH BABY

    September 6, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. Bennie G

    Obama needs to watch what he says about Palin. It will come back to haunt him. I am a Hillary Democrat and am still considering how I will vote. Obama is quickly losing my confidence with these types of attacks.

    September 6, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  23. Maestroh

    How can any thinking person say Obama is an 'agent of change' when – as Palin pointed out – the man has written TWO memoirs but sponsored ZERO legislation – including the entire two years the Democrats have run Congress?

    This 'agent of change' picks a Washington insider of 30 years – and says he's still about change?

    I also see Democrats are starting to whine about attacks (funny how they never call them 'attacks' when they do it, though). Is it the attack that bothers them?

    Or the fact the attack might cause them to lose?

    September 6, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  24. Cardi

    It's common for politicians copy each other's lines, but what McCain has been doing is so blatantly copying practically ANYTHING that was originated by Obama. McCain decided that they want a "historiy making" candidate since Obama is one, so they whip out Palin. Then all of a sudden McCain/Palin are "change agents" when it's been Obama's slogan for 20 months, What's next?

    The only thing I have heard that is truth that came out of Palin's mouth is that she is pitbull. Apparently, she is so overly aggressive that she will mow down anything that comes in her way of getting what she wants, that if you do no agree with her, she takes it personally and will make you pay and her ambition lies above and beyond her family and her integrity. Is this what America wants to lead this country? Give me a break.

    September 6, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  25. McCain's idea of 'hope' is getting to be the commander in chief in war

    It's not about an American Idol for President. We have issues in this country that are SO SEVERE, if we don't fix them in the next few months, our country will be dying an unnecessary death. We need a credible "EMT" for our ECONOMY, our HEALTHCARE system, to end the WAR immediately, to fix the broken SOCIAL SECURITY system, to immediately REPAIR OUR GLOBAL standing, and to fix our EDUCATION system.

    Not an easy job. Not easy to be qualified. Not easy to have the discipline to have the bigger picture. But EASY to understand that if we don't vote on ISSUES, our entire lifestyles will be SEVERELY HURT. Your entire savings and pensions depend on your researching the ISSUES.

    When you look at the ISSUES every Ameican is concerned about, McCain and Palin are no where near the level of competence required to work well on any of these issues. With McCain voting the same as George Bush 95% of the time, there is NO WAY he's representing 'CHANGE'. He is representing a lie.

    I'm in no way willing to take the chance on McCain that the 5% of the time that he wasn't taking the George Bush road will be for anything substantial to help this country. Too much is at stake, McCain blew his chance when he voted with George Bush repeatedly 95% of the time.

    September 6, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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