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. Phoenix

    Yeah...I agree Frank. He needs to show outrage. How dare the Republicans the eptome of anti-woman play the sexist card. Forget just focusing on Abortion, that's an old card. Republicans have failed to vote on the International Universal Rights for Women. John McCain refused to vote for the Violence Against Women Act, but yet his running mate is a woman. I don't fault him, I fault Palin.

    This message was approved by a real Republican who understands that sometimes your party is wrong. Republicans need to understand that if Mccain/Palin wins, it will be the end of the Grand Old Party.

    September 10, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  2. Ruth

    Enough! This is why people hate politics. The candidates spend more time on trivia & name calling than telling us how they plan to do any of the things they promise.

    September 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  3. Mike Farrace

    This is the kind of candidate I want. Substance, not slogans.

    Whenever it's time to face the music, McCain wants to change the tune. This newly-minted change image is fake, and this latest phony outrage is just another example of his campaign's insincerity.

    September 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  4. Mel

    Go Mr. Barack Obama, your country is with you!!!!!!!!!!! is my greates honor to vote for you. thank you.

    September 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  5. Iack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    Enough IS enough, but the McCain camp won't listen because they're run by ex-Bush campaign aides. All these ex-Bushies know how to do is lie, distort, and try to reframe everything in their favor. Their goal is muddy politics, not clearly stated policy. And they do this because they know American voters would never accept outright the McCain-Bush agenda. Let's not forget the invisible but nonetheless presence of Karl Rove's dishonest and despicable hand either.
    OBAMA/BIDEN '08!!!!!

    September 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  6. Kathy in Elgin

    Fellow Obama supporters, stay strong.

    We knew this was coming. It's just a different type of swiftboating. Putting out lies about Obama and about themselves.

    Get the truth out there and lets focus on McCain and his record. Don't be distracted by the bull. IT IS JUST A DISTRACTION FROM THE ISSUES AND RECORDS THEY CAN'T DEFEND. How CAN you defend the last 8 years?

    When they say the Democrats have been in power for the last 2 years tell them that's not true. We have a dufus in the White House and do not have a veto proof majority in the Congress.


    September 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  7. Napoleon Complex

    Way to go, Barack! The curtain has been pulled back and we see Karl Rove as the Wizard of Odd pulling the strings of the McCain campaign. The polls are bouncing back and you'll win easily in November!

    September 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  8. james


    September 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  9. outsider looking in

    Obama you are right Enough is Enough...
    open all your speech Enough is Enough...

    September 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  10. Steve T

    This is too funny. 10 Trillion in debt, thousands dead, and McSame has us talking about pigs. They really think we the people, and most of all the press, are idiots.

    We deserve the government we have. We truthfully don't deserve Obama.

    September 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. young liberal

    McCain, you said the exact same thing, that sort nullifies you from using the sexist argument!


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

    Uh-oh. Game On! McCain and Palin have gone too far!

    September 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  13. Kevin

    COUNTRY FIRST , please spare us YOUR phony cheerleading. Stop kissing the pig with lipstick. Palin=Cheney.

    Go Obama!

    September 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  14. Aida

    So, Obama can say whatever he wants in his arrogant voice. McCain hits back and he says enough is enough.

    I am an undecided democrat but Obama is turning me off with his comments. He is making himself look sexist with his 'sweetie' comment and now the 'lipstick on a pig' comment. Just words?

    BOTH campaigns need to get back on track. I need answers to the many problems our nation faces, not this childish name-calling BOTH sides are guilty of doing. Obama want to be president, he needs to lead the way and stop his and his campaign's behavior first. I have yet to hear either camp's REAL solution to our REAL issues.

    Don't call out the other's campaign when you are behaving the same way. It makes you a whiner.

    September 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  15. Susan in Canton

    John McCain is running a cowardly campaign...he's letting his "Pitbull"
    ward off any economy or healthcare issues, so he won't have to face them himself. Keeping Palin's discusting family life in the limelight takes all pressure off McCain...good dog!

    September 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  16. Candy West Virginia

    John Mccain just voted AGAINST the bill that would have guarenteed women right to equal pay. Don't take my word, look it up. He knows sexism, he lives and votes for it. And Palin is obviously a racists due her remark right after the primaries of and i quote "The Sambo beat the bitc-" referring to Barack beating Hillary.

    September 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  17. chris, ct

    mccain and palin are incompetent. that's what it boils down to it. americans need to forget all this other garbage and realize who is on their side. at the end of the day, mccain has backed all of the bush policies and it's bs. come on, people, mccain is a fool and we need to realize this before it's too late. this dope does not have one single original idea on how to fix this country. this rove bs is over the top...lets not be that country.

    September 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  18. McCain 08.12

    Finally we dont have to pander to the PUMAS. We won without you Hillary supporters. We have Palin now. PUMAS are a joke and so is Clinton.

    PALIN 2012

    September 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  19. BobS

    The Republicans have traditionally (for some reason) been able to take the low road and make an "issue" out of whatever they choose AND the public seems to buy into it. (They DO get elected!) After they attack on a topic they then want to make the topic off limits (religion, family, experience). Obama wants to take the high road. Although I respect this I am afraid his reluctance to take off the gloves and play by the Republicans set of rules will give us McCain/Palin. No one will be able to debate Palin and she can say anything she wants. Anyone opposing her will be called sexist and some folks will buy it. The only person who can attack Palin is Hillary Clinton. After all, Palin is the Hillary republican "replacement". She needs to do MUCH more direct confrontation than she has done!

    September 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  20. VF

    This is to COUNTRY represent the small minded people in this country who are so ignorant about what's going on in the world. ..all you can think about is you small racist views. You probably didn't even graduate from high school let alone trying to bellittle senator Barck Obama's Harvard education ......why don't you go back to Appalachia where no one even knows or cares that you exist.

    September 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  21. Debby

    Hey Tina just because Obama went to Harvard doesn't mean he can run a country. Our current President went to Harvard to and look where we are. McCain/Palin are just the opposite of Obama/Bush as far as academics go, but sometimes making judgements with common sense wins out vs. Ivy League.

    September 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  22. NC Attorney

    FINALLY!! I am so glad that Obama has said this. The republican party, and McCain ESPECIALLY, have become sad and desperate. They are now engaged in gutter politics (surprise, surprise). McCain should be ashamed of himself. Does he not remember that the same people on his staff are the same people that degraded he and his adopted daughter by implying that McCain fathered *gasp* a black child?? Oh yeah, this is also the same man that joked about Chelsea Clinton's looks when she was a child and called his wife the c-word to her face. Why should I expect anything from this low life? And why are women supporting him when he is willing to joke about rape, cheat on his first wife and disrespect his second? Now all of a sudden he is outraged over a saying that even his daughter has said he uses quite frequently? This man is a joke and God help us if he wins....

    September 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  23. Dee

    Obama need to find a simpler way to say what he is try to say, that's what he is missing.

    September 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  24. McBush

    That's because the McCain /Palin campaign doesn't have anything else to talk about...they can only attack Obama, or talk about being stuck in a prison in Vietnam. Why else do you think they've been giving the same speech since the RNC?

    September 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  25. PAUL

    Talk about the Pot and Kettle scenario. Please BHO, if you can't take the action, don't start it. Your protestations are a bit rediculous, especially the one about "loving this country too much"!!!

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