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

Obama says he's not worried over Palin poll surge

Obama tells reporters he's not worried about Pailn's popularity.

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. Truth teller

    How can she be ready to lead if she's not ready to answer questions?

    "Why would we want to throw Sarah Palin into a cycle of piranhas called the news media?" -Rick Davis, McCain campaign manager

    Shouldn't a barracuda be able to handle a few piranhas?

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

    Of course he's concerned. He attacks her everyday.

    September 9, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  3. Maria

    People will see her true colors soon, I hope.

    And now that she's on the Ticket they are saying they are the true change??? What a joke, just PLEASE let me know what policy they are supporting differs from Bush's? It's all the SAME!!!

    Who wants 4 more years, WHO???

    And for her to call herself:
    Pitbull with lipstick & a Barracuda
    It's scary

    September 9, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  4. sabdra

    we need this kind of confidence GOING FORWARD.

    obama 081

    September 9, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  5. mark from NY

    this election is not about issue it is about obama the black guy who cannot be president under the watch of whites supremacy. this is the fact people. when some white people say that obama does not share their values that mean he is not one of them. he is black. that is ashame for america

    September 9, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  6. Sally from Cali

    Palin is the elitist. She and her pals call themselves the Elite 6.

    Palin has made this election a farce about personalities and not issues. And women all over America are falling for it hook, line, and sinker. I have to give it to the lobbyists who are running McCain's campaign. They really do know how women think (or rather don't think).

    The presidency used to be the highest achievement possible. Now it's a joke. The Republican party is conning America ... again.

    September 9, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  7. J from DC

    Yes John McCain is switching his colors and talk to match Obama's. Conservative Republicans are running as Democrats now. But be not fooled. This is not the reason for his recent poll bumps.
    Stop looking for dirt on Palin because she is clean, maybe vindictive at best. The hard reality is that women identify with her because she looks and feels familiar to them. The problem is that they really can’t see how different she is from most of them. When they switch the Supreme Court next year, pro-choice goes out the window with it. But not for 4 years, but for the next 20 years. That is the wool being pulled over women’s eyes.
    Problem is, women are not carrying this critical issue (their right to choose) in the forefront of their minds. They won’t get it tell it’s too late, and after the price for Palins seat proves too expensive in personal rights.

    September 9, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  8. TyWebb

    Worry is not the key...Barack should get more direct with his answers to questions. Instead of saying, "You'll have to ask John McCain..." when asked about Palin's readiness to be the next Presidient, let alone Vice President, just say – NO! The Republicans have done it enought to him. Get sharper and more focused, Barack.

    September 9, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  9. Tom From California

    Obama needs to do inspirational speeches again. That's how he get attentions and motivate young voters. It's also a good way to distract the media attention to Pallin right now.

    He needs to go back to his winning strategy in the primary race. Republicans cannot accuse him of a celebrity anymore, since Sarah is a true celebrity with no real experience.

    September 9, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

    If this woman were running the local cub scout troop I would pull my boys out. I can't fathom how anybody with an IQ over 80 would want Her running the country. Whats your IQ ?

    September 9, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  11. Gerry, Indiana

    Really now? Remember how Hillary felt? He will now know what it's like when you "think" you have it, and then someone comes out of left field – and takes it all away.

    McCain/Palin 2008!

    September 9, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  12. the real Abby

    stick to the truth and with God's help you will win. No weapan formed againt you will prosper 🙂

    OBAMA / BIDEN 08

    September 9, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  13. No Way, No How, NObama

    How many "Present" votes = "Change?"

    September 9, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  14. African AMERICAN

    I find it hard to believe that McCain will pull this out though I'm sure repubs would like to believe that. The truth is America at large is tired of the same old same ole. We are in a rut and need to break free. AIm sorry but a 72 year old Washington insider and a wisecracking hot chick (whose pics in a miniskirt and swimsuit are circling on the net as well as her kids with guns and alcohol) are not going to do it. Good try though.

    September 9, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  15. yed

    Oh he's worried alright. However, he wouldn't be if he had picked Hillary. Now he is going to lose...and that's exactly what he deserves.

    We're getting 4 more years of Bush I'm afraid.

    September 9, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  16. The Voice of Common Sense (Independent Voter - Charlotte, NC)

    Well, you should be, Obama. You should have chosen Hillary!

    September 9, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  17. Maggie

    You had better be worried. If you think you can cheat in this presidential election like how you cheated in the primaries, you had better think again. People are getting tired of you now. You are stale news now so you had better take the back seat. It is so good to see and hear someone like Palin because she is a 100% better candidate than Obama and Biden. I like the change they are talking about because their campaign has become so negative now that its does remind of the old style of politics. So all you Obama supporters who are looking for a change, you had better look somewhere else for that because Obama is and will never be about change. Maybe the only change there is with him is that he is black.

    Obama really thought he had this won but we now see that McCain/Palin are giving him the fight of his life. Don't ever take things for granted which is what he was doing. Now he wants Hillary Clinton to fight his losing battle for him. I suppose if he does lose in November, he and his ignorant supporters will go back to blaming Hillary for his loss.

    September 9, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  18. Think it through

    Something has changed in last few days in the Obama camp, he is going off the cuff a lot with remarks that are easily proven wrong, they seem to be shouting a lot (Biden for sure), and just seem unorganized in general. The McCain camp doesn’t need to do anything but stand back and watch the temper tantrums being displayed by Obama/Biden

    I am not speculating as to why, I am just making an observation. I am looking forward to the debates. Mr. Obama may do great things for our country in a few years, however his arrogance pushed him to move too soon.

    September 9, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  19. Patrick Henry, Fort Myers

    I don't think he seriously understands how important those undecided 13% of voters are.

    And lets not forget those millions of disenfranchised life-long Democratic conservatives who feel they have no place left in a party that has been overrun by the extreme left and is being ripped apart by the petty brawls of the interest groups.

    September 9, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  20. David, Silver Spring, MD

    I'm ready for an adult in the White House, with a calm demeanor and a willingness to work with others.

    I don't need a president who challenges me to fight with him.

    Obama 08

    September 9, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  21. Ed

    "What, me worry?" – Captain of the Titanic

    September 9, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    My only question is why is McCain allowed to do all the attacking but when Obama or Biden does its a problem

    September 9, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  23. Bill in Colorado

    No need to worry. It is all but over for him and he knows it.

    There is no substance to the man.

    September 9, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  24. C Spurgeon

    Right on again. This country needs to stay focused on the issues facing this country and not let the far right or the far left dominate. It is time to fix things and move forward. Instead of fighting, watch debates and go vote your head...

    September 9, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  25. beevee

    I don't see anything wrong in what Biden said. Really if one cares about their own children with disabilities they surely must support stem cell research that has the potential to provide a cure for such develomental defects. I have not heard a single statement form the republican nominees on this issue because they may not care about it much.

    September 9, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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