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. MAngeline

    Neither McCain or Palin is very bright. Hopefully the American people will pay attention to the issues and not vote because someone was a war hero or a hockey mom! They might both be nice people, but Putin and his kind won't care two hoots about that.

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

    Barack: ( I do feel confortable using your first name and there is no time for formalities.) You are becoming frustrated and I can see it in your eyes. Your eyes are a mirror of your feelings. Take a big step back and remember FIRED UP, FIRED UP, FIRED UP. Keep blasting John McCain. Your fighting the BUSH/MCCAIN/PALIN camp not Sarah Palin. Women like Sarah Palin can self-distruct. Years ago it was a disgrace for a man to hide behind a women's skirt; will John "Boy" is hiding behind Palin's lisstick and worst of all she is getting away with all of her lies because she is a women and she is being allowed. As I said once before, I am 65, Irish, Catholic, and I was a cop. Women like myself do not like the Sarah Palin's of the world. Stay focused.

    September 9, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  3. LS

    Goodness, when I read and take in comments from McCain supporters, I feel a lot of hate comming from these comments.

    I am one of the people who wants to have a positive insight for our kids future.

    And for people to shut out the importance of education and risks everyone elses chance for a brighter future for our country and our children just frustrates me. Selfish, thoughtless people. I can't believe you people are so blinded by hate and ignorance, and what's more frustrating, McCain knows this about and is working off of it.

    September 9, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  4. NoMcSame

    If you fall for McSame and Palin you would fall for anything. No wonder so many Americans lost their homes, thet will bite at the first lie that comes along. Obama is a fighter and will fight for the people. He has been tested and he has stood strong.

    September 9, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  5. Election Watcher

    Ha ha, good one Obama. Almost as good as your pledge to use only public funds for your campaign, or your claim that you could no sooner renounce your pastor than disown your grandmother. You're just full of chuckles aren't you?

    September 9, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. CL OT

    You should really worry. It does not look good for you Mr Zero I mean Obama.

    September 9, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  7. still in denial

    Of course he won't say he should have picked a woman running mate (aka Hillary)... it takes him a little while to finally flip-flop! But the writing is on the wall, and he will eventually have to admit it. Thought he could go it without her... HA!

    September 9, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  8. Al from VA

    Here we go again with the Liberals trying to spin everything. They
    know their canidates are nothing but Wash DC cronies and will
    change nothing. Get a life and go with the maverick ticket that
    will change the way the Senate and House operate.

    September 9, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  9. MIKE




    September 9, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  10. Steve

    Why would he need to worry? Obama has an understanding of what the people want. McCain still does not grasp that. Obama will win the election. I have never been as involved in politics as I am now. I have become a certified political junkie! It's all because we cannot elect another Bush administration into the White House. John McCain is 90% Bush administration. Why would we want that? America wake up, Obama is the only way to go. McCain will only say anything to get into office. Palin is another example of that. She said yes to the "Bridge to Nowhere" to get elected as Governor; after elected she voted against it. Perfect example of what America does not need. Another phoney tell you what you want to hear to get elected politician.

    Obama/Biden are sincere people and I truly believe they can turn our country around.

    September 9, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  11. Liz

    I never overestimate the ignorance of the American voter–after all we elected W twice!!! We should probably lose our right to vote. Ms. Pitbull is growing an awfully long nose–wonder if the voters think honesty reflects on one's personality???

    September 9, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  12. lea

    I can hardly wait until Charlie Gibson interviews Palin. Then we'll see.

    September 9, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. Democrats Rule!

    Why do McCain and Palin think that we are supposed to just go along with the program? Hell no! They work for us, not the other way around. They are going to re-structure Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac so that if you don't have the money to invest, you won't own a home. I thought that's what these programs were for to enable people who wouldn't ordinarily be able to get a home, to have one? The rate of foreclosure is so high because all the jobs are going overseas in spite of the big tax breaks the big companies have gotten from the Republican administration. Mark my words, Sarah and John will screw the ordinary American electorate over big time. The people have a right to know what the real deal is with all the candidates. And cut the bull about unfair treatment of this broad. She's a pitbull with lipstick remember? You want to play with the big dogs, then suck it up like a ..... well you know, don't you Sarah? How about the video that's going around on you tube about who your daughters baby daddy really is. And that he's black. Yeah, explain that one will ya?

    September 9, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. Mopy

    he's not worried about the Palin surge. surges never work remember

    he IS worried about his campaign's recent faltering

    September 9, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  15. Bjorlingfan

    Of course there's a poll surge. Palin is a fresh face...she's the first female, VP nominee for the Republican party...she's also a flash in the pan.

    Look, Palin's nomination has energized the ultra-conservative base. These are people who most likely have been undecided for quite a while due to McCain's reputation as a moderate Republican, are only now throwing their support behind the ticket. Also, moderate Republicans and independents who have been supporting McCain thus far are sticking around specifically because Palin has helped energize the party as a whole.

    The problem is, voter really don't know that much about her. Where she stands on policy, what her personal views are, what kind of person she is. Remember, she's new to the political scene. I think once the novelty of Sarah Palin has worn off and voters begin to see what extreme, conservative view she has, McCain-Palin will begin to lose those moderate Republicans and independents to Obama-Biden, or they might become undecided.

    This is nothing more than Palin fever. As soon as voters realize how extreme her politics are, how inexperienced she is, and how dangerous it would be to have her a skin growth and one 73-year-old heartbeat away from the Presidency, they'll pull their support.

    September 9, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  16. JB

    Don't try and make this election about race Obama supporters not unless you want to talk about 90% of blacks voting for Obama. This election has everything to do with common sense. Hillary Clinton supporters for McCain/Palin 08 the best choice.

    September 9, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  17. Ed

    Voters are slowing starting to realize that McFragile & Piranha are not what they pretend to be. Obama has the clear advantage and you'll see polls in his favor again once more voters begin to pay attention and realize that McSame is just 4 more years of Bush. Piranha is too much of a right-wing extremest and liar for anyone with half a brain to take her serious – she's just a cheap gimmick by a desperate campaign.

    Vote Obama-Biden !!

    September 9, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  18. nobama

    Obama is no longer the hot shot in the news and he's unable to accept that. With Palin on the ticket, she has energized voters and will prove to be a very wise decision by McCain. Obama's continued arrogance is the reason I will NOT vote for the democratic ticket.

    September 9, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  19. Central Scruitinizer

    I Love the way Obama will give a great speech at his rallies and then he does something I think is soooooo cooooool. He takes questions from the crowd!!!! Not just fluffy little question some are pretty tough. He gives answers that seem to be coming from hyis plan. I would LOVE to see Senator Mccain try doing this. Or better yet, his new Poodle-headed Bouncing Bimbo , Farah Failing. These 2 are so afraid to face the nation and present themselves with honor and courage, to dispel all fears about their ideas???? Is it so unreasonable????He has said OK This is Sarah..... ATTACK SARAH ATTACK THE DEMOCRATS!!! GOOD GIRL GOOD GIRL ....NOW GET BACK IN YOUR CAGE AND ILL KEEP YOU SAFE FROM THOSE PESKY MEDIA TYPES AND VOTERS BACK YOU SEXISTS BACK>>>>>

    September 9, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  20. a vet

    Obama should consider Palin as more of a diversion than anything else. It appears she is successfully diverting attention away from McCain, allowing him to run a continuous stream of negative ads in an effort to gain support.

    Let Biden deal with Palin. Let Hillary deal with Palini. Let Palin's own lack of understanding of the issues deal with Palin. Yes, Governor, not all of us are hockey moms.....there are issues that need to be addressed. And yes, not all of us take yours or the media network's word as gospel (no pun intended).....we do our homework and learn the facts as they actually happened. We know when you're telling the truth and when you're not.

    Obama needs to stay focused entirely on McCain.....who before this all began said he would not run a negative campaign, yet has done so since day 1. We can all see how much McCain stands behind his word.

    Being a 20-year retired veteran, I have complete confidence in McCain giving just as much support to this country's citizens as he has to those of us who have served. One look at his voting record says it all.

    September 9, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  21. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    They polled 1,022 people with land lines...out of a possible 300 million people in this country...not to worry, PRESIDENT Obama!

    September 9, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  22. Rob

    I am worried. About my country and it's future. About a ruined economy.
    About my grandchildren trying to pay off Bush's trillion dollar debt. 'About WW3 being fought over oil. Come on America! Can you really tolerate four more years of Bush?

    September 9, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  23. A Woman In California For Obama:

    That's right Obama. The press is "worried" about it. The majority of the country has proven they want to move forward. They are not going to elect a 72 year old man and some redneck from the backwoods of Alaska to take us back 50 years. The poll in November will be the only one that matters.

    Smart people for Obama/Biden.

    September 9, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  24. Nikki

    j williams- are you serious, do you really want too tackle the teleprompter? After the Repub convention this should be the last nasty attack anyone should use. Stick with the issues.

    September 9, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  25. FL Dem

    Obama, I love you man but you better fight back.

    Democrats lose elections because they are not good at being.....well, at being corrupt stupid politicians.

    Remember Obama, Americans are stupid and they like what is popular and what is the latest have to make sure the excitement around your campaign does not diminish before November.

    Several months ago there was a real spark to your (Obama) better bring that back or these idiots are going to vote for McSame and the country is going to literally fall apart.

    My pocketbook cannot handle another 4 more years of the republican policies.

    September 9, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
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