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. Dexter in Houston TX

    Dear Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous
    Obviously you did not hear Barack Obama speak in Lebannon VA. He did not refer to that woman as a pig. The only shameful act happening here is the McCain campaign. The Republicans are having an identity crisis and will say and do anything to keep the American people distracted from the real issues. Get it right!!!
    DX in TX

    September 10, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  2. Debbie H

    Thank you, Senator Obama!

    Obama/Biden '08!

    September 10, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  3. Luis

    Typical Liberal.....nothing is ever his fault.

    False Messiah, the landslide loss in November WILL be in large part because of your ignorance and arrogance.

    have a nice trip back home to Chicago.......

    September 10, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  4. James

    Easy math:

    Bush campaign = McCain's campaign
    President Bush = President McCain

    = disaaster for our country

    September 10, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  5. Interesting

    Thank you Obama!!!!!! We now know why McCain chose Palin and now her supporters know. They are going to play the sexist card every time someone attacks the McCain campaign's policies. How dare he attack Obama over the same phrase he said a few months ago. We're not that stupid. McCain stick with the issues. Talk about home foreclosures, women's rights (or non rights) if you're elected, an unjustified war, low paying jobs and unemployment. All of the things that suffered under the Republican's reign in the White House! If I hear about how you are a war hero one my time I'll throw up. Be hero enough now to stick with the issues.

    September 10, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  6. REality Check

    John McCain is a COWARD. He is hiding behind a phony skirt and phony outrage. If you've got fake "sexism" charges to make Fly Boy, step up and make them yourself. You won't because you know they're total nonsense. Can't believe Americans are stupid enough to fall for this manure.

    September 10, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  7. JC

    I couldn't understand what Sen. Obama was saying- his foot was in the way.

    September 10, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  8. Robert

    Vote for McCain people. I'm choosing between a Lincoln and Jaguar and could use a hand. Don't worry, I'll be sure to take care of the less-fortunate people at some point.

    September 10, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  9. Tim

    Anonymous comment posted by a typical McBush fan boy.
    Glad I'm not in that club.


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

    Anonymous: You need to readdress the issue Obama was referring to. I think you missed the point. I mean, really missed it. But when you want to hate someone, you don't care about facts or points.

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

    First of all, Obama did not say anything TO McCain. He said it to a group of Liberals, at one of his speeches, to get them all fired up! Oh, just like McCain and Palin say things in front of their folks, to get them all fired up!
    As an Independent voter, it is sad that Obama and McCain keep addressing each other, and not the issues – as Obama says all should be doing, but even he doesn't.
    Second, just because the other side says something about you or your partner (and don't pretend Dems that Obama and Bieden aren't), does not mean that you need to come back with a witty retort. If he is elected, is Obama going to respond to every other nation's criticism of his policies or decisions. If he is, how will he ever have time to lead?

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

    Sarah Palin can dish it out as well as any man. She was asking for it.
    Senator Obama was just saying what everyone else was thinking, and
    doing what the media refused to do, to call this woman out on her lies.
    He did. Now I agree, let's get on with the REAL issues.

    September 10, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  13. Pam

    Good, it's about time! It's time for the McCain campaign to start behaving like adults instead of like 3rd graders on a playground at recess.

    September 10, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  14. Mike D

    McCain refers to Hillary Clinton as a "pig in lipstick" 10/07– look it up.

    September 10, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  15. peakarack


    September 10, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  16. midwestrn grl_stl

    CNN why are you not seriously addressing the fact that John McCain just released an ad saying that Barack Obama, a man with 2 daughters under the age of 12 years old, wanted to teach sex education to kindergarteners where the average age is 5-7 years old. CNN it has grown increasingly obvious that the republican bigwigs that control this network are giving it to you guys hard and deep to make sure that McCain has free reign to do and say whatever he pleases and hammer Obama on false controversy. I am ashamed to be an American at this time; and I am a 23 year old African-American female. How any American can vote for the same party and a man that agrees with the worst president EVER, is mind boggling!. America., be stupid b/c thats exaclty how the rest of the world will look at us. StupidAmericans, voting for popularity, religious and social issues that have nothing to do with gettinga raise in their own minimun wage checks, healthcare for their children, or equal pay for women. we deserve everything that we get when McCain/Palin get into the White House and what we get isnt what we will want. Mark my words.

    September 10, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  17. La Raza

    Sarah "plain" Palin,

    Is a clever distraction, but a distraction nonetheless. She has proven to be a broken record with her rants of "thanks, but no thanks", and " I sold it on Ebay." This is mere fluff from a woman who is being forced on the public for the sole purpose of political posturing from the extreme right. White women are enthralled by her because "we relate to her." I even heard they have an action figure of her? Please, is this what this country has become. A nation so divided that it would risk everything on a roll of the dice? This isn't Vegas folks, the is real. Only those who are reacheable can be reached. God Bless Us All.

    September 10, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  18. Hypocracy has no bounds

    Obama is a man who calculates things before he says them. On this instance he knew that the McCain camp would strike back come back at him in this manner. Those words were chosen precisely so question is why would he use those words. This latest rebuttal could be an attempt at a backfired attack or what he was wanting. Only obama and his staff knows. But by no means was McCains response not expected, its what the people percieve the comments to mean which determines Obama's next move.

    September 10, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  19. FreeNLovIt

    We need to project a profesional image to the world, but you know, I like that lipstick on a pig line... it's awesome!!

    September 10, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  20. barbara

    Way to Go Senator Obama!! I'm watching you speak and I have a renewed sense of hope!! You and Senator Biden are what we need.

    September 10, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  21. Inessa you think you know what the American people want and can provide it for us....I highly doubt that, please do not use the presidency as practice to further your political career! LEAVE THE POSITION OF COMMANDER IN CHIEF TO THE BIG BOYS, a true American that has served his country in ways you would never imagine...John Mc Cain

    September 10, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  22. Brian

    It's about time you said that Obama!! Stop attacking Palin because it only makes her look stronger.

    Keep hammering after McCain for avoiding the issues, taking the low road, and constantly lying!! If you stay focused and professional and let McCain continue to take the low road, you most certainly will be the next president.

    September 10, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  23. Jeff

    Obama is right about one thing, we have serious problems in this country and we need serious people to deal with them. Obama is an egomaniacal lightweight who is no more prepared to deal with the nation’s problems than I am. I have been a lifelong Democrat and this is the first time I will not be supporting the Democratic candidate for anything.

    September 10, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  24. darko

    Obama can't 'talk' about issues until he's blue in the face. However, he'll run as fast as he can from a 'debate' about those issues.

    He can claim McCain is all about personal attacks and not the issues, while all the while, his campaign and lap dogs are attacking relentlessly.

    The smoke has cleared and Barack is slowly revealing his true character...and America doesn't want it. Take your Socialist, Communistic butt elsewhere.

    September 10, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  25. Ben

    Way to go Barack!! Tell it like it is. I am so sick of the McCain and Palin smoke and mirrors. They are good at insulting, lying, and distracting us from the truth.

    OBAMA BIDEN 08!!

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