September 10th, 2008
11:25 AM ET
15 years ago

Obama says 'enough is enough'

Obama speaking in Virginia Wednesday.

Watch: Obama speaking in Virginia Wednesday.

(CNN) — Barack Obama accused the McCain campaign of "lies" and "Swift boat" politics Wednesday, after nearly a day of claims his 'lipstick on a pig' comment was a sexist attack leveled at GOP VP candidate Sarah Palin.

"Spare me the phony outrage. Spare me the phony talk about change," Obama said at the start of an education event in Virginia. "We have real problems in this country right now. The American people are looking to us for answers, not distractions, not diversions, not manipulations. They want real answers to the real problems we are facing.

Watch: 'Spare me,' Obama says

"I don't care what they say about me. But I love this country too much to let them take over another election with lies and phony outrage and swift boat politics," he also said. "Enough is enough."

Obama's heated response came after the McCain campaign said the Illinois senator owes Palin an apology for invoking an old adage on the campaign trail Tuesday: "That's not change," Obama said, saying John McCain’s policy views were similar to President Bush’s. "That's just calling something the same thing something different. You know you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig."

McCain's campaign said Obama's remarks were offensive and a slap at Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin - despite the fact that the Arizona senator himself used the phrase last year to describe a policy proposal of Hillary Clinton's.

Within minutes, the McCain campaign announced a conference call focused on the remark, which they said was a deliberate reference to Palin's line: "You know the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick."

UPDATE: Responding to Obama's comments, McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said, "Barack Obama can’t campaign with schoolyard insults and then try to claim outrage at the tone of the campaign."

"His talk of new politics is as empty as his campaign trail promises, and his record of bucking his party and reaching across the aisle simply doesn’t exist," Rogers also said.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (809 Responses)
  1. AdamW

    Seriously. The GOP are such notorious hypocrates. McCain uses the same phrase and will then criticize Obama for using it when it benefits him.
    Obama doesn't need to apologize. If Palin is offended she needs to toughen up. She's in teh big leagues now.
    And let's get to the real issues. The GOP has no plan to improve America and tak us into the future. They live in the past and the past is over.

    September 10, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. Translation

    To translate, obama admits, he can't win based on character and personality. Who the hell still uses the adage put lipstick on a pig? Obviously he was trying to slap Palin with that comment. The Obama camp directly referenced lipstick and Palin before the quote earlier in the day, per CNN.

    September 10, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  3. 14th Century

    It's about time we have a prospective leader who calls hypocrisy and hollywood-politics for what they are. Rap the Vote! Obama/Biden '08!

    September 10, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  4. Foreign observer

    When the GOP can´t stand the heat they should leave the kitchen. Even with lipstick the last 8 years look horrible.

    September 10, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  5. Sarah, Missoula MT

    and remember a few months ago when all mccain's camp could do was whine about obama playing the race card?

    now they're playing the sexism card EVERY SINGLE DAY. and laughing all the way to the bank.

    wake up, women. vote for someone who respects us and fights for us: obama and biden.

    September 10, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  6. Sabrina

    When the people who were there stood up clapping and screaming, they knew what the senator meant else why where cheering and clapping. If Sarah had not made the remark about Hockey Mom's, it would not have mattered. What a dumb thing for him to say!! Should have picked Hillary!!!I Indy voter for McCain/Palin

    September 10, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  7. MEP

    Who introduced the pig metaphor in the first place? Please. "Lipstick on the pig" is an old saying that predates Sarah Palin. The Republicans want the focus off the economy and off any real platforms or strategies as we see in Ms Palin's robotic repetition of the same lines in every speech. Joe Biden, get off your fanny and do your job so Barack can put his solutions forward without any more ridiculous distractions. What are you waiting for?

    September 10, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  8. Carl

    Yes, Obama, Please stay on message. Dont get side track with Mcsame and a Hockey Mom.

    September 10, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  9. rob

    How to spell desperate........ O...B...A...M...A ! ! !

    September 10, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
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