September 9th, 2008
02:03 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama says he's not worried over Palin poll surge

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Obama tells reporters he's not worried about Pailn's popularity."]

RIVERSIDE, Ohio (CNN) – Senator Barack Obama told reporters he is not concerned about the spike in enthusiasm among Republicans since Governor Sarah Palin joined the GOP ticket, or recent polls showing a dead-even race.

“My general approach throughout this process has been not to worry about today’s news or yesterday’s polls but worry about what is it where is it that I want to see the country what is it that I’m trying to accomplish,” said Obama at a press conference in Riverside, Ohio. “I know that after our convention we had a bump, after theirs they get a bump. I think that what you’re going to see settling in, is that the race is going to be very close.”

The Democratic nominee, asked whether he wished he had picked a female running mate given some polling data that indicates women are flocking to the McCain-Palin ticket, said he had no regrets.

Earlier: New CNN poll shows Obama-McCain dead even

“The notion that people are swinging back and forth in a span of a few weeks or a few days this wildly generally isn’t borne out,” said Obama. “These are the same polls that had me 20 down last summer that have swung wildly throughout this process. There is no doubt that Governor Palin has attracted a lot of attention.

“There’s no doubt the Republicans are excited, particularly the right wing of the Republican party, is excited by Governor Palin’s choice. I think that has less to do with gender than it has to do with her ideological predispositions.”

Palin, who has become a hot topic on the trail Monday, appears to be a rallying point for Democrats as well. Before Obama’s Riverside speech, the crowd chanted “no pit bulls!” - a reference to Palin’s joke at the GOP convention that the only difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull was lipstick.

Obama came to Riverside to talk education, laying out $1 billion worth of new proposals to make students in the U.S. more prepared to compete in a global economy. Some of the initiatives include more funding for charter schools, and greater investments and access to new classroom technology. The Illinois senator said the money to cover the spending would come in part from “carefully winding down the war in Iraq.”

In his remarks, Obama also hit Senator John McCain for what he said was a lack of commitment to education reform.

“He has not done one thing to truly improve the quality of public education in our country. Not one real proposal or law or initiative. Nothing,” Obama said. “Do you really believe that John McCain is going to suddenly make a difference now?”

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (248 Responses)
  1. Donna from Colorado Springs

    It is early, and noone should panic about the polls, but Obama NEEDS to remember what Bush did to Kerry when he didn't respond quick enough to their attacks and didn't take them serious enough. He need to keep them very close in his rear view mirror and not let things get out of hand. He needs to do something to strenghten his base. Hillary needs to get really intense with her supporters and convince them to vote for Obama. McBush is grabbing 12% of the white women right now, and I'm not sure why. We can't afford to lose another election to the republicans.

    September 9, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  2. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Democrats, Republicans and others will be voting for Obama and Biden at the polls where it counts.

    September 9, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  3. NG in DC

    Obama better start worrying - because the rest of us Hillary suppoerts who have turned the corner and contributed to his campaign are really starting to wonder if he has what it takes to beat the Republic powerhitters.

    Obama needs Hillary more than anything - starting with some tutoring on how to throw a punch and pulverize the other side - like she did him in the final stretch of the campaign she lost control of early on through poor strategy. Strategy is out the window now - not it's just a fight to the finish - and he needs to start fighting fast.

    September 9, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  4. Dennis

    There are two months before the election. I think we'll see Obama and McCain run within a couple of percentage points of each other until the debates. I think Obama will come out ahead of McCain in the debates in the polls.

    However, none of the means anything. As we saw in the primaries, the polls can be wrong, and they were wrong. It'll be a close election, just like the last two.

    September 9, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  5. BBKing

    Why should he worry?

    The economy keeps going down the tank. We have a 407 Billion dollar deficit thanks to GW. When November comes and things have gotten even worse who will be geeting the votes, Gezzer & Gidget?

    If that was the case I'd be believing that the only party that can fix the mess of the last 8 years is the party who got us in the mess.

    September 9, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  6. Janeal

    Oh are the people polling? most people aren't. Obama doesn't need to worry when he was 4 million NEWLY REGISTERED voters. it'll be 55 million when it's time to actually vote. the polls mean nothing. they are just there for political conversation, and to give the pundits something to quabble over.

    September 9, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  7. Charles in Cincinnati

    Bill in Colorado said "There is no substance to the man."

    I'm sure you speak from years of unique experience knowing Barack Obama personally.

    You don't? Then your statement must be based simply on rumor, fear, or some other mind-control efforts on the part of the Republicans.

    I don't claim to know what's in McCain's heart...I can only judge what's in his platform and his past record. And that has me convinced that he's likely to continue the downward spiral this country's been in for almost 8 years now. Enough's enough!

    September 9, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  8. anonymous

    I don't believe the polls. And I have a degree in Marketing Research!
    America is not dumb enough to vote for McCain/Palin.

    September 9, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  9. Kathleen in RI

    Someone in an earlier post made a dangerously sweeping statement that the majority of independents and women are flocking to the McCain/Palin side due to McCain's choice of VP in Palin. As a woman and an independent, I'd have to say that's probably not true. Personally, I was insulted, as a woman, that he picked Palin as his running mate. If his major purpose was to persuade independents and women to vote Republican then he was sadly mistaken. I'm sure some in these groups will be turned by the Palin pick but I thought it was a poor choice. I'd have been more impressed if he'd chosen Kay Bailey Hutchinson as his running mate. I wish the Republicans would give women and independents a little more credit than to shove an inexperienced VP candidate (who is definitely not ready to run this country) and hope we'll buy it.

    I think it will be a close race but I'm pulling for Obama...he gets my vote, and I'm certain many other independents and women as well.

    September 9, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  10. John McPain

    You should be. You underestimate the stupidity and ignorance of America. You keep saying people are smarter than that and they will see the truth. LOL Really???? Take my advice and don't let the truth get in the way of a good story. Also be nice to my VP Pai(l)n bc she will be president after I croak.

    September 9, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  11. Tom in CA

    ...just keep hammering McCain and Palin on the issues, point out their lies and don't stand down to their campaign's pissy protests. With McCain supporting Bush's policies 89% in 2006, 95% in 2007 and 100% in 2008 – do you think the elephant can change it's color by just adding lipstick?

    The only change will be that Bush is in Crawford and McCain will be in the White House. The policies will remain the same.


    September 9, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. J J

    I keep reading on these message boards on how great Biden is. I then have a question, why has he not been elected president in his many attempts?

    As far as the argument that McCain has voted with Bush 95% of the time, I guess that means that he has gone against his party 5% of the time during the Bush admin. What is his percentage of going against the Republicians over his career.

    Better yet with Obama's limited voting record, how often at the state or federal level has he broken with the Democrats?

    No matter who makes a negative comment, the other side is going to think its unfair. Get over it.

    September 9, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  13. Khal Houston,Texas

    Why worry, that "wild women" from not going to be any one VP. or President....God will not let this happen. We simply can't afford to have such in the W...hite House. This goes to show you that the Repubs are willing to "scrape" the bottom of the barrel to get a candidate.

    September 9, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  14. Chuck

    The Mccain camp's response via Ben Porritt about Biden's stem cell research inquiry was so outrageous I misspelled Palin's name in my initial response. We should all still be seething over such whining by the republicans and down right ludicrist response by Poritt to a perfectly good question by Biden.

    September 9, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  15. margaret

    John McCain may become the only president who rides on the coattails of a woman to the White House.


    September 9, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  16. Adam - Texas

    He's freaked out. The whole campaign is. This would have been game, set, match had he picked Hillary.

    What a moron...his ego will be the demise of the Democratic party.

    September 9, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  17. Lisa M

    Once the American people look past the wrapping on the lipstick coated pit bull/barracuda, they will see there is nothing.

    Senator Obama has his eyes in the right place:

    On the future, not on what actually might end up being John's next trophy wife.

    September 9, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    When the dust settles and the real truth comes out (like in the past about many of the SMEAR and LIES told regarding Gov Palin) Obama and his supporters will do what they do best and repeat the same old .... yawn... mantras
    No more Bush....yawn..... more of the same...yawn

    Obama must really think the American people ARE idiots but its clear McCain IS NOT Bush only those who wish it to be true believe it.

    Don't know who I feel sorry for Obama or his supporters he mislead and gave FALSE HOPE to all these months.

    September 9, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  19. Charlene

    Way to go Biden- call it like you see it. I am sick and tired of McCain/Palin- can't say anything because she is a woman. In the last few days, some of the things she said in her speech are untrue. She only said the first part of the sentence and then stopped and left out the true part. Well Pit Bull you better put your lipstick on because the truth is going to come out!!! No Way, No How, No McCain/Palin. Her stardom has worn off. You know when they say something is too good to be true, it probably is.

    September 9, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  20. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    I agree with Obama that there is nothing to worry about. For one thing, 80% of the country correctly feels we're on the wrong track. Once they see how the McCain/Palin ticket will be offering the same disastrous economic and foreign policies we've had under Bush/Cheney, there's NO WAY McCain/Palin will be elected! For another, once voters realize how dangerous it will be having Palin only a heartbeat away from the presidency, and what it would mean if she had to sit down with the likes of Putin or Ahmedinijad during a serious world or military crisis, voters will NEVER choose McCain/Palin! We Americans don't like getting beaten up repeatedly or cutting our own throats!
    OBAMA/BIDEN '08!!!!

    September 9, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  21. That's fine

    Clubber Lange was not worried about Rocky either.

    September 9, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  22. John in Ohio

    Obama's been up, he's been down, and his candidacy has always pulled through. The primaries were tight, but we won those also. We're gonna win in November.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 9, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  23. Jeff Long

    Yes he is and so is his donors!! LOL!!

    September 9, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
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