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. ANGIE

    He knows no need to worry when the excitement of palin wears off the truth comes out about her and people get to know her values her policys her belifs SO FAR SHE IS A LYING FRAUD the polls will bounce back his way relax obama supporters WAIT UNTIL THE DEBATES AND JOE BIDEN CRUSHES HER ON FOREIGN POLICY! she can go down the road to nowhere!

    September 9, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  2. Will in Richmond, VA

    Palin will fall apart in the debates.

    September 9, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  3. RGB in MN

    His hopes are like his rhetoric. Dreamy and based on nothing.
    Game, Set, Match, McCain.

    September 9, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  4. tg

    Exactly Obama, we dont care about polls, we care about the issues and if mccain and gop would allow her to MEET THE PRESS, sorry cnn, but Yes, do interviews we would learn a whole lot more about Sarah Palin and those polls would drop so low, it wouldn't be a need for an election.….stop hiding her behind the podium giving nonsense speeches full of attacks and let her ANSWER Questions.

    September 9, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  5. rinny

    wait a minute the democrats are acutally talking about the issues!!!!! mccain camp is just using palin as a poster child!!!! how pitiful

    September 9, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  6. Herman In LA

    He isn't worried, Barack Obama is going to be ok either way this election goes.

    It's the American people who will suffer 4 to 8 more years I guarantee you.

    All of you that are supporting McCain think Bush was bad wait until McCain / Ms. Pit bull Lipstick gets in there if he/she does your going to be really crying and catching heck and wished you have voted for that black man.

    September 9, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  7. PA Independent

    We all know the polls have been wrong more than right in this election cycle, and we also all know the Electoral College is what determines who wins the White House. Bounces last until the next news cycle, but policy and vision, combined with experience and REAL straight talk, will outlast the latest fad in lipstick.

    September 9, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. Jimmy Ortega

    He wouldn't be in this mess if the picked Hillary. The election would have been over. Since Obama has a ego that is as out of proportion and gigantic as his ears, he did not pick Hillary. And now, it is possible that the democrats could loose an election that couldn't be lost. That's what happens when we democrats pick a weak candidate.

    September 9, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. TexicoFrom Mexico

    Sounds like Issues Sue has some issues and really does not understand the issues herself. Must hate African Americans.

    September 9, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  10. Shari, NY

    They have not yet polled the majority of the Obama supporters.

    September 9, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  11. Enlightened Voter

    The only time you should worry Obama is if those two get elected. I shudder to think of a mccain/palin white house, scares me to death!

    September 9, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  12. Emily

    He should be worried a bit. His policies are much better to women. Someone commented saying he adopted Hillary's healthcare, which Hillary truly fought for to help all of us, women of middle America. Yet, women are not coming along to support him yet. I believe we will at the end, but not yet.

    Does not this tell him that he needs to work on something? He got everything he needs to appeal women. He just needs to speak to us. He just needs to explain his policies to us. I hope in the coming debates he will be able to do so, but he has not mastered the subtle communication skills. Of course, he can not meet everyone of us, and he has to do it through TV screen. He needs to think about it. I really think if he can get his message across, women will be convinced with his policies.

    September 9, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  13. J Kay - KCMO

    Obama.......just keep using the patience that has served you well. The Palin spurt will implode.

    September 9, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  14. John

    People think we are stupid, so they play on us. From the 2 years ago, the only one person called out 'Change' was Obama. That time people was teasing him. Now, McCain-Palin followed Obama's lead and went with 'Change', so who has better judgment, who is real commander-in-chief in this election ?

    September 9, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |

    ROVE CHOSE PALIN FOR MCDRAFT your kids and grandchildren,
    allowing no "special treatment for them in the line of fire in Iraq. Remember, McCain does not really want to end the war. Should he
    win, and Rove and the evangelical vote will see to it that McCain-Princess will win!!!! They will not lose!!!!!! WILL NOT LOSE!!!!!

    McCain will follow Bush to the sun, moon and stars. Bush will continue
    to run our country WHEN MCCAIN-Princess wins.

    September 9, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  16. Benjamin

    How does this man plan on raising the $1 Billion dollars to fund his education program? Doesn't anyone realize that as many promises as this man has made he will have to tax, tax, and more tax to pay for it. Where will the tax cuts come from? Are you going to run up the deficit even more than it already is?

    Wake up Americans. McCain/Palin, for less spending, less taxes, and less government!

    September 9, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  17. I LOVE IT!!

    I love it when Obama talks about whats facing America and the world verses trying to figure out the flip flop in polls because of popularity instead of substance. He's right the "Palin hype" will cool down when America finds out who she really is and what she stands for.

    This is the Oct surprise.

    September 9, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. Obama- Next Stop.. White House

    We Shall Overcome.....

    In the famous words of Public Enemy........ Dont Believe The Hype!

    September 9, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  19. katiec

    All the buzz on Palin will die down, especially when all their
    distortions, lies are exposed. That is if the media does the
    job they should.
    How anyone could want another four years of Bush
    policies is beyond me.
    As a woman, this one really frightens me. For her to
    make speaches and spew the lies she does, make
    false accusations about honorable, caring opponents
    makes me wonder who in the heck does she think
    she is. From what I have read, guess we all wonder
    Mccain/Palin are very dangerous people, throwing the
    future of our country to the wind.

    September 9, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  20. Michael

    I'm sure he has no worries whatsoever. That's good. His surprise will be multiplied when he loses.

    September 9, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. Done with Dems

    Thatta boy....keep that head in the sand.

    September 9, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. CapoCastillo

    I find it interesting that the GOP strategy is to make the race Obama against Palin. It certainly has provided for an interesting side show for the RNC and the following week, but there will come a point where America will ask "If Palin is what draws all the strength to the Republican ticket, then why is John McCain's name listed at the top?"

    McCain still hasn't outlined a plan for the economy in any kind of specifics, nor education, the environment, or Afghanistan/Pakistan. His energy policy is pretty much 'Everything Obama said, plus offshore drilling', and he thinks somehow he'll get traction by saying 'we're /thiiiiiiiis/ close to winning the war in iraq [that we had no business starting], let's hang in there a little longer'.

    Flash in the pan politics. Without substance McCain/Palin are just wasting their, and our, time.

    September 9, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  23. Jason from Seattle

    He is such a fake!!! I was an undecided voter but I have seen more and more of his selfish condescedning attitude that really turns me off. He wants this election for himself not Americans.

    September 9, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  24. Amanda

    Wake up America! McCain is playing GAMES with you! Even Rollins, CNN's Republican strategist, said that Obama should have picked Clinton because then McCain "probably wouldn't have picked Palin". McCain knows that Palin is not QUALIFIED to be VP – he only picked her to cause a sensation and to win some votes. So much for country first!

    Don't fall for his games. Notice that he's not talking about issues at all these days? Notice how he and Palin are just repeating lines from their convention speeches? All he cares about is the election. Obama cares about the issues that everyday Americans are facing.

    If you let McCain play you to his side, then you deserve the nation you will get if he wins. Unfortunately, the rest of us will just have to keep suffering right along with you.

    September 9, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  25. Josh

    This is Obama's problem, he doesn't exude a sense of urgency. There are less than 60 days to go and McCain threw this race for a loop. Obama has been on constant defense, getting into verbal sparing matching with the VP candidate. Now his donors are not ponying up and he'll have to spend the month of Sept. attending fundraisers. Even the NY Times is quoting Obama peeps who anonymously say that opting out of public financing isn't working. They call their own fundraiser's efforts "anemic" and HRC donors aren't giving. Of course Obama sent Joe Biden (???) out to reclaim HRC voters. Don't send a man to do a woman's job. HRC was the obvious choice and not Obama is being out "rock starred" by Palen and when you an empty suit like BO and have nothing of substance, once you lose your rock star appeal you are left with just the empty designer suit on your back.

    September 9, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
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