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. White Women 4 Obama

    I can wait to watch Obama being sworn in as our next President. I can't wait for Sarah to go back to Alasaka, and John your so wrong about everything, I think its time for you to think about retirement! You have plenty of homes to live in.

    September 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  2. nerakami

    How can we wean Americans off this soap opera obsession, so they can become responsible, mature decision making adults in these absolutely critical times...

    I am truly amazed at how many Americans are being swayed by the truly juvenile games being played by the GOP...
    My 11 year old son asked me, "what's up with that"" and for the life of me I couldn't answer...

    I eventually told him that sometimes kids are just way smarter than adults.

    ps: the media sucks too....

    September 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  3. Party Crasher

    Anonymous..... It's quite clear that you are not a proud voter when you have to hide your identity to post your support for McPOW.

    Grow a spin and state something constructive other than your make-believe weak support for the democratic ticket.

    If you could not tell the difference between Senator Obama speaking about the policies and antics of the republican party and the candidate then just maybe you need a seeing eye dog.

    September 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  4. jfs Memhis, Tn

    He's correct. If this should accidentally get posted..............Next time you watch one of the million short clips of Pallin's same scripted speech...take a few moments and look at John McCain in the background. He has a silly dumbfounded expression on his face...sort of like Tommy Smothers from the old Smothers Brothers TV Show. I think that the news media should do a short piece on those faces and blank stares.............absolutely HILLARIOUS !!! CNN take a few momments and create something FUNNY in this campaign rather than try to set the tone .

    September 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  5. D

    there's another "country" phrase: "pig in a poke"

    Unless the republicans allow Palin to be subject to the same public and media scrutiny that Clinton, Obama and Biden have been through, they are asking the American public to buy a "Palin in a poke"

    what, are we stupid?

    September 10, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  6. Ed

    Pigs have every right to be outraged by the comparison!

    September 10, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  7. boomer babe for Obama

    Go O!!! I knew you had it in you......

    The McCain/Palin response strategies to any criticism are wearing thin:
    1) Scream Sexism
    2) Attack the media
    3) Attack Obama

    Whatever happened to the issues – you know, international relations; a whale of a national debt; health care; education; civil liberties?

    For the GOP, abortion is the smokescreen and taxcuts are the carrot.

    September 10, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  8. Justin

    Absolutely. With no effective policy proposals to help Americans, the GOP and McCain freak out about the POSSIBLITY that Obama MIGHT have insulted their VP candidate (using language she used in reference to herself in the first place).

    The GOP fights these paper tigers because it knows it has no plans to address America's real problems. Don't be fooled.

    September 10, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. Hate did the dirty work

    I have had more than enough of this arrogant, boastful, do-nothing- promise everything, derisive demagogue.

    The bandwagon carried you WAY too far. Your credentials can not carry you beyond where the Media circus and the celebrity bandwagon and the WAVE of the people carried you.

    The emperor really has no clothes.

    All the pig and lipstick insults in the world will not change that fact.

    September 10, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  10. Pat, Indiana


    obama '08

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

    I have not seen any more "REAL" answers from Obama than he claims aren't coming from McCain. I don't see Obama giving any concrete plans for his vision of change, only vague outlines and glamorous oratory. While I don't see McCain as the ideal republican candidate, I would not vote for Obama for a million bucks. (Okay, maybe for a million bucks, but I would have to give most of it back after he raises my taxes.) but I don't think that's going to happen. I don't like Obama's social programs, or his socialized medicine. I am not a socialist. Do I think our infrastructure needs help, sure, do I think we wasted money in Iraq, maybe, but Iraq is certainly working out a lot better than Obama or the press wants us to believe. If I want to give money away, I will donate it to the cause of my choice, and that cause is not a federal government that forces me to pay taxes on programs I don't use or have no use for and are don't seem to full under the rules of the US Constitution. My vote was going to be for John McCain before Sarah Palin and the Lip Stick comments, but it has greatly solidified my position to see how demeaning and out of touch Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden are with the rest of the world. If Mr. Obama becomes president you can expect change for sure. More taxes, forced government health care, and less national security. By the way Mr. Obama, I am a college educated professional and I like my guns and love my God and I am not disaffected in any way!

    September 10, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. NG in DC

    Well if the high heel shoe fits ...

    Evidently, when McCain and his campaign lobbying cronies hears the word pig, they think of Sarah. She'll be kept in the White House pen where she'll be left to grunt and snort and roll around in the mud she's been slinging since she first walked out of the woods to trample in decent American's homes last month.

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

    mccain and palin are proven liars.. and even when confronted with the truth, they still keep on with the same lies over and over.. never admitting they are saying something that is proven false...

    sound familiar.. it should to every america.. its the same tactic that we have seen for 8 years.. no mcsame,

    obama/biden 08... because we need to teach our children that lying is wrong.

    now back to the issues, yes .. you john mccain, i know you dont know much except how to be a hypocrite. but at least give the issues and the truth a try... who knows, you may even get some more votes that way... doubtful, but who knows

    September 10, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  14. Sheryl in Virginia

    One would think that a person of 72 years would not act as McCain does. This is not high school (where he was known as a bully).

    John and Sarah should take a LONG hunting trip to Alaska. Be sure to send back pics of all your gory kills.

    Meanwhile, I'll be voting for the more mature Obama/Biden ticket.

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

    Just grow up republicans

    September 10, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  16. Les from Springfield, VA

    The American voters had better wake up before it is too late. The political game machine is in full force. We were warned about the last four years, we didn't listen; sadly.

    September 10, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  17. CTM

    I have lost all respect for McCain. This seems like something Palin would do, but it is just sad to see how far McCain has fallen from what he once was.

    September 10, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  18. kat

    About time the dems start hitting back. The republicans need to start answering for the mess they put this country in and I for one want to see them answer....

    GO OBAMA!!!

    September 10, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  19. Frank B .

    The Rupublicans can stop the whining and try to act like they have something worth listening to. Once McCain nominatyed her for VP HE put her out there for the press and everyone else to comment on. It is not sexist at all, she is a politician of sorts and as such her sex is meaningless in regards to her competency or lack of it.

    September 10, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  20. J from DC

    So what’s the real deal, McCain picked Palin not because he is worried about women, but to distract voters from Biden. McCain was worried about Biden getting media attention. Biden has been in DC longer. Who else know McCain better then Biden? Who else can challenge his record, or reveal whatever else he may know about McCain over the years. Question is, what does Biden know???

    September 10, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  21. Richard Rodriguez-Perez

    Go, O, Go!!!

    September 10, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  22. linda n carolina

    America ! After 8 years of Bush and Cheney are we going to let this happen again? Same old rovian tactics again and again.God almighty can we be this stupid to allow the smears and lies rule this campaign? Is the media bought and paid for by the Repubs? Charles Gibson, the world will be watching your interview this week and we will see if there is a journlist left in America. Donate to Obama, volunteer your time to help voter registration. This is our time and never before have we had the chance to take this country back....get moving America.

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

    To Anonymous:

    Why are you so upset? Obama is forced to defend himself over a comment he made that compares the current government policies to that of possible future policies made by a McCain administration. I in no way saw it as an attack or comparison to Sarah Palin's RNC acceptance speech comment. The "putting lipstick on a pig" comment is used everyday by many people in this country to refer a bad thing being dressed up to make it look more appealing.

    I realize you are a VOTER but think through your emotions. This race should be about prospective policy changes that either of these two possible administrations can make to better America and not about which has the better personality. Please try to ignore the middle school attitudes of all of the political handlers as they push their spin and play the "he said\she said" game. Real life is about us grown ups and this is clearly one of those childish political games in action.

    In the end, the accusations by the GOP handlers is "shameful" and not his response.

    September 10, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  24. Let's Unite

    Now please stop responding to them. You are the only candidate in this election. Talk about your insightful policies and ignore the shameful politics.

    September 10, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  25. Matt

    Dear "Palin has more experience than Obama":

    Sorry, saying things over and over doesn't make imagination land into a reality. Obama clearly has more experience.

    Palin: Mayor of 6,000 from 1996-2002, governor 2006-2008.

    Obama: State senator 1997-2004, US senator 2005-2008.

    Go ahead. Use Wikipedia. The FACTS are all right there, with citations to reference materials as EVIDENCE.

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