September 10th, 2008
11:25 AM ET
13 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. Robert

    I am fed up with the McCain campaign. He said he would run an "honorable" campaign, but he has not done so. On so many levels, the Republican campaign is back to the same old tricks, smearing the opponent, dividing the electorate on wedge issues, and demeaning the character of the opponent. Sarah Palin is put up as a running mate, but she is still off limits to the public and to the press, and any criticism directed her way is labeled "sexist."

    September 10, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  2. Tim

    Since there is no ability to comment on "How does Palin balance work and family?" I'm wondering if CNN is going to run the "How does Obama balance work and family?" story tonight.

    Sexist pigs.

    September 10, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  3. Martha

    So, Obama is supposed to be an agent of change, and he surrounds himself with Clintons, hires a 30 years insider, Biden, as a VP, and can't stop talking about Bush???

    I want real change.

    I'll vote for America.

    I'll vote for McCain/ Palin '08!

    September 10, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  4. Bendo

    Just win BO, even if its just by one EC vote, just win even if its a tie, you win in the house...gotta win Mich! gotta keep the right wing talking in tongue whaco's out of the WH...hey how about a day of new endorsements from: Chuck Hagel, Colin Powell and float HRC as a Supreme Court nominee.....interesting uh! and....Bill Clinton as Sec. of State!

    September 10, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  5. kathryn westgard

    If you want to win you better keep it up. Give Aaron Sorkin a call! Take it up and take it strong! This is serious, a time for great, transcendence. Power! DOn't let the Reps define this race and dumb it down. We have to be as strong and stronger than the unflinching, uncompromising right. RIght to the heart, clear and committed to our ideals. Our starved souls deserve this kind of power. Don't hold back now.

    September 10, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  6. R J

    NObama once again demonstrates poor judgement with the lipstick comment, proving again he's a racist, sexist buffoon, unfit to be our president. Did he really think there'd be no outrage from this? Dumb!!!

    McCain / Palin '08

    September 10, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  7. K of TX


    I have had ENOUGH of the media being a platform for Republican talking points!!! They are betraying their country by refusing to vet and report ALL of the candidates' records. They keep saying Obama is new but have been sifting through every part of his life for almost two years!!!
    But when it comes to Palin, they take her word at face value and brand her a reformer when anyone with google can see that her AND McCAIN'S record is LOUSY!!!!



    OBAMA/BIDEN '08, '12

    September 10, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  8. Dave, NY

    I would love to see Barack and Joe both call the republicans on this FAKE OUTRAGE about Ms. Palin and any questioning at all is sexist. What should outrage women is this campaign of crying wolf and diminishing the concept of sexism. Sexism is real and all around. This is not it and the more they claim sexism erroneously and gratuitously, the more they diminish it.

    Republicans are skilled at the game of running campaigns and to sell you John and Sarah.


    The whole republican crowd don't want you to focus on the fact that many of the same people will be in power as undersecretary's and management of the country if McCain were to win. Why would anything be different? It won't.

    Obama/Biden 2008 and 2012!

    September 10, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  9. Petey

    Obama is quickly becoming less relevant and totally off his game / message. Fabulous. Can't wait for the debates. Both sides. O'Reilly got him backpedaling from his positions in the primaries to a more "moderate" view. Intelligent Americans – the ones that aren't Obama Zombies will see right through it.

    September 10, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  10. bmore4real

    did anybody complain when sara made the comparison between a hockey mom and a pitbull? i thought that was offensive and i thought hockey moms and women in general would have been outraged but everybody cheered and embraced her. what is going on?

    September 10, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  11. Andy Houston, TX

    It's funny how the Republicans can wear buttons that say "Hot VP" or "Hot Chick" during the convention and it's not sexist but Obama mentions lipstick on a pig and it's sexist. Talk about a double standard. I'm surprised they didn't go after the fish comment Obama made right after the pig comment.

    September 10, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  12. Denver Bob

    Anonymous: You are stupid. Sorry. McCain is using you and your lack of understanding how his game to get your vote. There is no sincerity, only his quest to be president in which he'll do anything – including finding way to fool those who aren't intelligent enough to grasp his game.

    September 10, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  13. Tell It Like It Is

    How do like the turn of the table?

    I'm sure Hillary and Bill didn't appreciate it either.

    September 10, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  14. dlauthor

    More phony outrage, from "anonymous," no less. Ho hum.

    I think there's a transcription error in "phony knee talk," there. Someone ought to fix that.

    September 10, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  15. shmnark

    I, too, am listening to Barack in VA and proud how he is standing up for himself and restating the issue of same old politics. I refuse to have spent all these past months supporting this man to stand by and watch the Republican party try to drag him down over this non issue. If his campaign needs money, lets all show the McCain-Palin group that we are still there for Senator Obama. Actions speak louder than words and those of us who believe in him can show our support quietly by giving what we can to allow him to continue this race strong. I agree with Barack Obama...."Enough, Enough".

    September 10, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  16. Cynt

    ENOUGH already of McCain's lame diversionary tactics...for anyone with good sense can see the blatant hypocrisy that he is peddling to the nation. Sadest commentary of all is that many are buying the fallacies of the "red herring."

    It's about the ECONOMY STUPID!

    Now, can we get past the trickery of the dishonorable P.O. Dubya and his cronies. America is in some serious trouble; being propped up my Bush's propaganda and his puppet.

    Not this time!

    September 10, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  17. Palin has more experience than Obama

    He starts throwing mud (forget that he said he is about change) and he is crying that it gets thrown back at he.

    Poor Baby Obama

    September 10, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  18. mama4obama

    I love this guy. He is a straight-shooter with a plan. He has less to gain as POTUS then that wrinkly dude and the savage that stands next to him. McCain has everything to gain....protector of the rich.


    September 10, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  19. Erin

    Good job Obama. But time to move on and put your money where your mouth is. Stop making jabs that will later open you to attack and focus on the issues at hand. YES, YOU CAN. We have to win this race.

    Sarah Palin is a sorry excuse for "woman" and human being. If half of the American public was actually educated as to what democracy actually means and truly understood the priciples this country was founded on, they would see right through her and McCain. But Obama, you need to cut through the crap and keep "trucking" on.

    September 10, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  20. Shon

    To: Annonoymous

    They said that these McCain gimmicks are aimed at a certain shall I say "ill-informed" segment of the population. I guess they were correct. You are the one that is shameful. The fact that you were insulted by that comment merely solidifies the fact that there are some people in this country that are just too ignorant to be rationale. And if you were insulted by that, you were voting for McCain anyway.

    September 10, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  21. fafa


    September 10, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  22. Nabeel

    Politicians are so petty. That's all I will say.

    September 10, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  23. Kim

    Republicans- Fight back with the issues!!!! Quit distracting the real issues with this nonsense. Accusations of media bias and sexism is not the way to get votes! Quit distracting us with this malarky!

    Obama/Biden 2008!!!!

    September 10, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  24. Tina

    To COUNTRY FIRST McCAIN/PALIN: It's pretty funny that you can call Obama the Harvard graduate an idiot but get behind a lady with a BA in jounalism who repeats the same monologue VERBATIM every campaign stop and refuses to take ANY questions.

    BTW, do you think YOU could get accepted to Harvard?

    if you are so much smarter than Obama then wy don't you run or president?

    September 10, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  25. Wes

    More proof of the honor of Barack. I wish the American public were smart enough to realized what is going on. It's times like this that a good education is important to know the difference.

    September 10, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
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