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. Fritz

    The low road is the only road McCain has travelled on since 2000.
    McCain was a fantastic man and an exceptional candidate in 2000.
    In 2008 McCain is simply a Bush clone. He pledged to make this debate about issues and found that his positions were bad for the country and nobody liked them. So he decided to go for the personal narrative approach and decided to lie about every issue.
    He feigns outrage about this lipstick on a pig comment – he feigns outrage about any comment about him or his running mate. A week ago, he said the liberal media was out to get him.
    McCain simply cannot handle any criticism and is not the person we Americans want running the country.

    September 10, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  2. Sean

    I received a McCain ad mailed to my house yesterday.
    On the front.......
    1) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
    2) Hugo Chavez
    3) Osama Bin Ladin
    and 4) Kim Jun Il

    Trying to scare old folks John? I hope my grandma isnt that dumb....

    September 10, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  3. Brian


    The McCain campaign is disgusting and shameless. America, reject these politics!!!

    September 10, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  4. jimmy


    September 10, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  5. Lorie

    Obama is absolutely correct. Enough is enough!

    The McSame folks need to cut the crap and stick to the real issues. They're making themselves look ridiculous.

    September 10, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  6. hrg

    Learn the facts about this remark and you will understand why Obama responded this way today.

    There are too many people who listen to sound bites and don't bother to find out the whole story. A nation of sheep – that's an old phrase coming back to life.

    I hope all those people who think McCain will change their lives don't have a mortgage so they won't lose thier house, can afford healthcare, and are guaranteed to have a job in the future. Otherwise they are following the herd, being deluded by McSame's empty promises. HE WON'T CHANGE ANYTHING and his record proves it!!

    September 10, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  7. Morningstar

    Blue Tiger, All candidates during the primaries where attacking each other, it is not that Obama was the only one attacking Hillary and Hillary was not attacking Obama. Where have you been my friend? The same things happen among the GOP candidates, so singling out Obama alone is neither fair nor truthful.

    September 10, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  8. bitter_in_pa

    Theres no doubt he was refering to Palin as the pig (who else could it be?).. and the "old fish" would be McCain. I thought it was pretty funny and I'm disappointed that Obama is denying it.

    September 10, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  9. proud liberal

    Mccaine is a loser, he excited nobody even the right care less about him. To get some attention, he picks a right wing woman who will take all books from libraries and make a woman's right to choose criminal. Now the right is fired up, they are talking of lipstick, Paris Hilton, Drill Baby Drill and more billions for Iraq. What about the suffering American people?
    We need CHANGE,only OBAMA will bring change, for Mccaine start looking for a long term care facility for yourself. For Palin you sound scarely

    September 10, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  10. Ann

    This is the first time I have had any respect for Obama. I am glad he said this. Way to go! Enough is enough!!

    September 10, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  11. FreeNLovIt

    GeorgeWashington September 10th, 2008 10:45 am ET

    Please fellow Americans, keep your campaign to issues, policies, and plan of action. Campaign and act like adults planning to serve this great nation.

    to: GeorgeWashignton

    You hit it on the nails!! We need to stay on the issues. We need to say what about the economy? healthcare? energy?

    Let's DEMAND issues be talked on..

    300 million americans and we MUST DEMAND perfection from the greatest country

    September 10, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  12. Chipster

    Blue Tiger: There's nothing to refute. The comment was about bad policy. Should he apologize to the bad policy?

    Let's talk about policies: McCain has supported Bush's policies that have undermined our Constitution, turned America into a nation that tortures prisoners, crippled our economy, outsourced our jobs, etc.

    You can worry you're pretty little head about cliches all day but most of us are concerned about health care, mortgage defaults, and an endless war against the wrong enemy!

    September 10, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  13. chris

    Thank you Obama,

    The media should be playing clips of John McCain saying he would run an honorable campaign juxtaposed to the irony that they tried to make a plan to make kids aware of child predators look like early sex education. Despicable!

    I know who I am voting for.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 10, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  14. Bill Charlotte,NC

    Obama makes a joke used my other politicians including John McBS and he gets a media frenzy plus the latest crocodile tears from the Karl Rove McBush led campaign. While all the while "Girl in a Bubble" Palin repeats her same speech, vebatim, complete with the same lies time after time and the media laps it up. This needs to stop by both parties. I am hurting enonomically and we get two parties of food fights.

    By the way, if Palin is the "change, the new superwoman, the maverick," than why are they keeping her in a bubble? Palin is not "super maverick"... she is nothing more than a gimmick that should better be called "Bubble Girl."

    September 10, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  15. Enlightened Voter

    My 73 year old neighbor went to Lancaster PA yesterday to see mccain and palin speak. My neighbor is a staunch republican and has been all of her life. She is also very conservative and an evangelical christian. When she came back from the rally she knocked on my door and asked me did she have to do anything to be able to vote Democratic in november. She said she could not vote this republican ticket. And this coming from a woman who voted for bush, twice.

    September 10, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  16. Rick in NC

    Finally someone has said what needs to be said. Cut the crap and get down to the issues. The cadidate that can accomplish that will really make some change in this country. Let's get back to the job at hand and make a a change for the better regardless of who it is.

    September 10, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  17. Regina Roberts

    Thank you Senator Obama. I am tired of the distractions and ready to hear more about the issues.

    September 10, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  18. will

    I'm not offending by his comment, BO's arrogance and pretending he wants to talk issues when he really doesn't and the media lets him off the hook does offend me.

    September 10, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  19. wycliffe, NJ

    kudos for obama, you get my vote

    September 10, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  20. No2GOPGimmicks

    Yep, that's true Obama....

    But to the GOP and it's supporters, this is all a game.... who can out gimmick the other and win in November...forget the issues.

    America seems to be falling for it, though... I think we over estimate the overall intelligence of the American people....

    This is why we had 2 Bush terms, and perhaps yet another in the form of a McCain term.

    September 10, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  21. Independent

    After of 8 years of economic in prison now America is sailing to 4 more years to nowhere? 407 billion dollars well spent for your pocket and grand kids to pay for it. Wake America you better than this.

    September 10, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  22. Randy

    I am sick and tired of the lies being put out by the McCain camp. I saw the "lipstick" comments by Obama and at no time did I think he was referring to Palin. This is ridiculous. Looks live Rove is running McCain's campaign as well. And shame on CNN and all the other networks for even running this bs story.

    September 10, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  23. Woodring, Pennsylvania

    Obama should practice what he preaches, Oh come to think of it he is just a preacher, nothing more...............he shames America

    September 10, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  24. Danny, OH

    When McCain says something, it is Hallelujah but when Obama says the same thing, it is Crucify Him. What a Country.

    If the Republicans don't want anybody to talk about her, then she should get out of politics and take care of her kids.
    Its just unbelievable.

    September 10, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  25. Joan, Ontario

    He's nailing this speech. This is exactly the kind of speech a real President makes. He briefly confronted some of the political silliness for what it is and then moved on to excellent, common sense solutions to some very serious problems in education. Isn't that what is most important?

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