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. Reagan

    You can put an Armani tie on a chauvinist pig, but he is still a pig.

    Enough Obama! You have called women "Sweety", you have dissed blue collar working men/women as "clinging to their guns, and religion", you have demeaned the U.S. soldiers saying it wasn't their efforts that is finally breaking down the violence in Iraq but rather the new tactics being used by the military commanders. Your VP has made racist comment's against indonesians, and proposed forced segregation to the people of Iraq as the means to end the war.

    These are the reasons you lost my vote...Pig!

    September 10, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  2. Amy

    A-friggin'-men!!! Can we talk about issues so Obama/Biden can kick your tails.

    September 10, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  3. Jimi NY

    You can put lipstick on a dog, but it's still a dog . . . You can put lipstick on Sarah Palin and she's still a dog . . . I mean, pit bull.
    Sarah Palin is an insult to pit bulls.
    I am really sick of these people! It's okay for McCain to say it, but not Obama? It's okay for McCain to say Chelsea Clinton's ugly becasue Janet Reno is her father? It's okay for Palin to say yes and then no to the Bidge to Nowhere, but still keeps the money?
    These two our going to ruin our country even more . . . if we let them.



    September 10, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  4. Blind voter

    Voters, this election is about your needs not the candidates' personality. Obama is as american as mccain but mccain is as bush as Jebb. Pay attention to details. Mccrazy is trying to conceal his bush traits by bringing in palin to distract the real issues. Obama is not perfect but he is better than mccain and he is the best man for this country. Vote with your eyes close.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 10, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  5. Jennifer, Illinois

    CNN, quit fueling the fire by putting up these rediculous articles! What's the matter? are you afraid that if you report fair, unbiased stories that you will lose ratings? YOU KNOW DARN WELL that he was NOT referring to Palin. This is just another attempt to confuse the public by drawing attention to the McCain campain and their outright lies and BULL@#$T. Gotta keep people coming back right? WRONG. You just lost me as a viewer.

    How about reporting on real news, like the issues we are all facing? Grow up CNN.

    September 10, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  6. Yam

    I think women should be ashamed. They are playing us (or THEM rather) like violins, and you (you refers to the white women who say they now support McShamble/Pain bc he has a vag-ji-ji on the ticket) are falling for it. As a woman, I feel if Obama or Biden or anyone who interviews Palin takes it 'soft', I feel that's sexist. Like bc I am a woman, you have to be gentle with me. Sarah is not gentle, she is (in her words) a pitbull in lipstick! So be fair and treat her that way. I"ve heard that Repukucans know how to win elections, but really where is the honor if you don't win fairly? I don't see how anyone can align themselves with this shameless, lying, deceitful party, whose leader (G W Bushwacked) lied to get us into war. Then this lady Palin has the audacity to suggest that the mission is from GOD! Newsflash folks, GOD DOES NOT LIE nor does he support liars. That fact itself should negate her claim that the war is from GOD. I hate when people use GOD when it's convenient for them. I think God will punish them the most for using his name in vain.

    September 10, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  7. Dee

    Obama is obnoxious., sexist, no women /elderly vote for him.
    Go Palin McCain/Palin -08.

    September 10, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  8. proud dem

    cnn cnn cnn cnn get off your duff and cover this news like you did earlier in the election . you are setting back being manipulated by the mcsame political team?????????????????

    September 10, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  9. R.M.

    Kudos!! We are the change we have been waiting for. Obama gets it!!

    September 10, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  10. All Right

    I've had enough of Obama's sexist remarks and his dirty campaign!!
    How did the dems pick such a woman hater, it's obvious now why he didn't pick Hillary as his running mate...

    September 10, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  11. Phil in KC

    GOOD! Let's get back on track and have a discussion of the issues. The problem is, McCain cannot compete on that level. So he resorts to distraction and obfuscation. He invents ridiculous claims and the media bites on it.

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

    Please...there are other phrases he could have used. The direct reference to 'lipstick' shows that it was aimed at Palin from her recent comments. Obama is just using the 'blame game' again!

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

    Don't you see what's going on here....the RNC is playing the media and the half smart people listening to them. McCain can say or do anything and not get half the attention by the media but when it comes out Obama's mouth they run with it for a whole week and weeks....This is the most bias election in history and sorry to see it has just begun. What about the issues???Nothing of substance from the RNC expecially Palin since she has been picked – all I is about this bridge to nowhere – and it's a lie. I really can't take it anymore – I'm sorry but it's going to end up just like the last eight years with McCain and people just can't see it but I wait to remind people in the next 1 or 2 -see I told you guys.

    September 10, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  14. RT


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

    Yes, Obama let it go.... Let Joe whip her!

    September 10, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  16. brian

    I like how Obama asks to focus on real issues, then CNN runs an entire story about the lipstick boloney. What is wrong with CNN's news judgment?

    September 10, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  17. Eddie, NY, NY

    It's interesting how someone can have such strong opinions but can't sign their name. No more anonymous comments please, sign your name. Show some courage of your own.

    John Mccain still does not have a plan to create jobs and get people on their feet again. NEWSFLASH: OPEC has decided to decrease production of oil. Gas is going back up and we need solutions to the energy crisis. John Mccain doesn't have anything. He has a tired POW story and a dishonorable campaign pushing increasingly negative, deceptive and downright nasty ads.

    We don't need the GOP.

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

    Unfortunately for the Democrats and this country Obama's pick of Biden and his overt overlooking of Clinton as a running mate has opened his campaign up to this charge of sexism. The Democrats didn't recognize the support Clinton got from woman when they thought she was being dumped on. The Republicans know what the Demorcrats can never seem to get. You have to win before you can govern. This means you do what it takes to win then you work out governing the country. The Republicans know it dosen't matter whats true they know it matters what they can get people to believe. By not picking Clinton the Democrats left their back door open and the Republicans walked right in. How could Obama not realize that just like blacks flocked to him because he was black that woman would flock to a woman candidate because she was a woman. Is he that arrogant or that dump to think his blackness had aything to do with his 97% rating among black people. How could he not think that woman would feel the same about one of their own. This is the third election in a row where the Democratic ticket is clearly superior to the Republican ticket yet in all likelyhood it will lose again. WE Democrats may hate Karl Rove but he knows the American people better than the Democrats. He knows more Americans will watch the Gong Show than Masterpiece Theatre and thats the crowd he and the Republicans play to. It wins everytime.

    September 10, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  19. Nick G

    The most troubling thing about this is WHERE IS PALIN? If she is such a tough lady, why is she in hiding? Why does she need Republicans to defend her?

    Why does she REFUSE to face a press conference?

    Why are Obama and Biden not mocking her as the COWARD she is.

    Sorry Palin supporters but SHE IS A COWARD. Almost 2 weeks since she was picked as VP and not one press conference? What are you AFRAID of Sarah? That people might see how totally unready you are to lead if McOld kicks the bucket?

    September 10, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  20. Hillary Democrat

    Obama feels the crunch and he could lose this election for not choosing Hillary as VP. THis democrat will vote McCain in 08 and Hillary in 2012.
    The democrats really messed up this election.

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

    hahahaha, great comment by anonymous, nothing like speaking the repub line. obama just talked about a very important issue- EDUCATION. instead you chose to concentrate on an old joke that was the truth about mccains economic plan. an informed voter who cares about america? i think not, just more political BS spouted by a obama/ biden hater. keep drinking rush's koolaid and keep complaining about how bad things are, becuse it is knee jerk reactions like this instead of informed ones that got this country where we are in 2008.

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

    Instead of being outraged by this remark which meant nothing, why isn't anyone screaming about the fact that Palin is allowed to say whatever she wants to about her record, lie like a dog and never have
    to face the media or be called upon to support the lies she is t elling?
    She is spirited away, no media questions, no questions from the crowd. Now she is finally going to have one interview. Will this be carefully scripted or an open honest way to find out where she really stands? Don't we have a right to know about this woman beyond her campaign speeches and stock lines? This is too important to ignore
    We have the right to vote, don't be have the right to know what we are voting for or against? .

    September 10, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  23. MD

    MC CAIN....BUSH.....ROVE


    September 10, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  24. LBD

    I find it strange that we have a man running for the Office of the President of the United States running against a woman running for the office of the Vice President of the United States. Cheeze they must really be worried about her! When Obama comes up at a loss for words during a talk (watch the video) he comes up with the lipstick comment? Now that IS thinking on your feet! I wonder if he will use that tact when he is in office? Same stuff different day, slap the opponent and when the opponent retaliates, scream foul and make it look like it was their fault. I am not impressed.

    September 10, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  25. Martha/VA

    That's rich. The woman who referred to herself as Pitbull with lipstick is now offended by pig with lipstick. Chinadoll, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. McCain, stop the distraction and focus on issues that affect Americans.

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