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. A. Burke NYC

    Fmr. NYC mayor Ed Koch endorsing Obama, an interesting read:

    I have concluded that the country is safer in the hands of Barack Obama, leader of the Democratic Party and protector of the philosophy of that party. Protecting and defending the U.S. means more than defending us from foreign attacks. It includes defending the public with respect to their civil rights, civil liberties and other needs, e.g., national health insurance, the right of abortion, the continuation of Social Security, gay rights, other rights of privacy, fair progressive taxation and a host of other needs and rights.

    If the vice president were ever called on to lead the country, there is no question in my mind that the experience and demonstrated judgment of Joe Biden is superior to that of Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin is a plucky, exciting candidate, but when her record is examined, she fails miserably with respect to her views on the domestic issues that are so important to the people of the U.S., and to me. Frankly, it would scare me if she were to succeed John McCain in the presidency.

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

    I am not worried either. I think that American people are MORE intelligent that these two moronic, anachronistic, dangerous lunatics McCain/Palin. Do we need Talibans in this country ?

    September 9, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  3. Chris

    He really shouldn't be worried. He is way ahead in electoral votes, and who cares about a stupid poll? I'll tell you what, it's young voters like me who will be voting for the first time that are going to sway the election heavily towards Obama. I still think and hope he and Biden will win by a landslide.

    September 9, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  4. Pam

    Has anyone here ever been polled? Does anyone here know anyone who's ever been polled?

    September 9, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  5. Chris

    He better be worried .. Nobama is going down
    It is funny, how HIS supporters are talking about Palin as though she is running for President !!

    Mccain '08
    HRC '12

    September 9, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  6. Never let them see you sweat....




    September 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  7. Nada

    The debate will be very important
    However, it is very clear that the GOP strategists are much smarter than democrats... They understands the psychology of American people better.
    American people like to hear words like fighting, fighters....etc. Obama needs to show his muscles and allow his surrogates to show theirs and not stop or contradicts them any time they attack McSame/ Palin

    September 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  8. GARY


    September 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |

    Obama – talking issues, sound judgment, strong moral character

    McCain – evading the truth, risky behavior, lying cheat


    September 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  10. FreeNLovIt

    This election is a piece of cake. Like Hillary said, wait until you see what's waiting for you in the Oval Office....

    i watched Larry King yesterday with Woodward and when they start talking about the Iraqi War and everything else in between, you need a GENIUS with judgment, vision and patience.

    Palin is lacking it. McCain is too old.

    Obama and Biden will make it through togehter, with the help of the fearless Clintons. Sooner or later, he'll have to send the Clintons out to do something...

    September 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  11. beevee

    If Americans are so foolish enough to have another 4 years of Bush they deserve it.

    September 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  12. Steve Rainey

    Please stop the seemingly endless barrage of attacks on Sarah Palin. We are only energizing the opposition and not helping our own cause. Let the media dig up the dirt on her, which they will inevitably continue to find, for the world to see her for what she is. Barrack is staying positive. Follow his lead. Stay focused on the real issues and the significant differences on the issues. That is where our advantage lies. That is where the truth is. After the last election, we all said NEVER AGAIN. For the same reasons, it is happening again. GOP brought on Palin as a distraction and the Rovean tactics are working again. Don't fall for it, please! We will never convince the other side to think like we do. All we're doing with the petty comments is firing up people that normally wouldn't be fired up to vote in spite of you. It's a mistake. If it happens again, shame on US.


    September 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  13. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Very soon Sarah will be changing her theme song from "Barracuda" to "Ebb Tide" by the Righteous Brothers...

    September 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  14. Candy West Virginia

    You have no reason to be worried Obama, most enlightened, educated and decent people will see her as the sham she really is and will flock to vote for you in record numbers because when you really think about it, mccain cannot represent this country, he is too unstable. And paliar, well she isn't really even an issue. She is a nonentity who is giving him a momentary rise in the polls.

    September 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |

    Obama isn't afraid at all, and neither are his millions of supporters.

    September 9, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  16. FreeNLovIt

    Anyone who believes the Republicans can fix the mess they created; also believes the iceberg could've saved the Titanic." — Hillary Clinton

    September 9, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  17. Please educate yourself before speaking

    Issues? Sue
    Please speak on something you know about. I am a proud product of the chicago public school system. My high school is in the heart of Chicago's englewood area. 75% of my mostly african american HS graduates have all gone to and graduated from college. I went on the Grad school of Engineering. The policies set forth via the CPS did not work overnight but they have worked.

    Economy: no need to address your ludacris statement granted I gather you are a McCain supporter who has no economy initiatives with substantial or alternative ideals.. same ole rhetoric

    Healthcare: Newsflash.. extra extra. Clinton and Obama had health initiatives from the start that worked towards a goal of health care for all.

    September 9, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |

    People read the fine print in polls sometimes!!! It usually states that it's a survey of either 1000 to 2000 registered voters. Now you tell me, how the heck does that reflect the american public's voting choice? Get a grip!!!!! Even when Obama was ahead, I didn't believe in it, GOODNESS!!!! Go to wikipedia or do some homework people on past elections!!!!! THEY MEAN NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!

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

    I look at it this way if he was not concerned about the Palin pick he would not even be talking about her at his rallys. They are worried because the American people are seeing someone who is actually for them and trying to work for us. Obama says he is not going to raise are taxes yes he is. He also said the surge would not work and he voted against it. He was wrong there and he is wrong now. Are men and women who are fighting for are country need more praise for what they are doing. They dont need to worry if are government is not going to provide for them. Go MCCAIN/PALIN

    September 9, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  20. Desiree

    If he wasn't worried then why did he dispatch Sen Clinton and other women to campaign for him.

    September 9, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  21. carolflowery

    Is there any truth at all to the stories out there that Obama is not even legitmately eligible to run for the Presidents office, I have never heard any of the tv stations mention it, but is all over the webb, even a lawyer has filed suit about it in Philadephia and the Obama camp have been served the papers. Before anything gets heated up, this needs to be cleared up fast

    September 9, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  22. daniel

    I really don't worry about these things, I'm just trying to get the people to see what I'm trying to have been trying for two years. We get it, fluff, pure and simple. Your trying to run a campaign like a movie script didn't work. In the business, your run at president is going straight to the video store, no opening for you. The blame it on Bush theory hasn't worked, but you continue to beat it to death, as will you do with Palin. Point out one of her questionable past actions and if the press was fair, they could show ten of yours....hundreds of Bidens. The answer isn't to beat mccain and Palin with a stick, the public wants you to answer all of the questions that surround your political life....answer them, not your typical uh and aw answers...It is the only gimmick you haven't tried, the truth, which is why people don't trust your gimmick of """change""" You see, hiding these probable non issues is what politicains do, ergo, no change. Whose betting on "Go home Joe" now before friday???

    September 9, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |

    Why should he worry. The American people should be worried and rethink what they are voting for. Is it the fact that Palin is a woman or the not fact that her views are in line with theirs b/c if they vote on the issues, then Palin would not be it.

    Palin continues to talk but not about issues. The media continue to pound her about her religion, which was all fair game when Obama ran against Hillary but it is not fair game now for Palin b/c she is a woman. If it is hot in the kitchen then get out!!!

    September 9, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  24. Just Wondering

    I'd like for Obama and Biden to explain their hypocrisy in attacking Palin over the Bridge To Nowhere when they both voted in favor of it. And I would like them to explain why they voted against an amendment that would have redirected the money from the BTN to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

    September 9, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  25. Trysh, Los Angeles

    Its the electoral map baby!!

    September 9, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
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