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. Johnny

    Oh yeah, Palin is REAL qualified. McCain says she has foreign policy experience because Alaska is in close proximity to Russia. Then he says she has executive experience because she was a member of the PTA. This is great stuff! And the Republican SHEEP are buying every word of it.

    September 10, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  2. LYNCHBURG Va

    All the media outlets are as guilty as the McCain campaign in promoting this "lipstick on a pig" gambit. When are reporters going to finally report on issues, and challenge/ correct misrepresentations by EITHER candidate. Obama is right, ENOUGH of this Rove style crap. I am starting to believe that Americans ARE too stupid to vote for their own true interests.

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

    Another four years of the same ought to do it....we're toast!

    September 10, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. The Oracle

    Lol. This is ridiculous. The repugs have some nerve. The fact that they have nevr supported laws for women, or minorities speaks to the fact tht they truly don't care about them. This is the real reason they picked Palin folks. If HRC hadn't run, Romney would have been VP. She was picked so they could play the gender card. Like McCain's people said, "It ain't about issues". WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!

    September 10, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  5. Obama Rocks!

    Good deal, Obama! You need to get tough on the insulting, lying BS the Republicans keep shoving our way.

    September 10, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. Natalia Eason

    Can anyone explain HOW is Barack Obama going to make all these wonderful tax cuts happen? The recent bail out of Freddie Mack and Fannie Mae is going to leave a HUGE, did I say HUGE???? deficit that will be paid guess by who?? The american tax payers!!! Yes!! The bill is soo eye popping that it will make nearly IMPOSSIBLE for anybody who wins this comig election, Republican or Democrat, to give any kind of tax relief to anyone, after all the bill has to be paid!! Come on people.....go get informed and stop listening to and believing in all these lies!!!!!

    September 10, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  7. B.V.Raman

    I think Barrack Obama's comments were in bad taste. He has enough going for him & need not stoop so low.

    September 10, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  8. Tony

    This is exactly why Sarah Palin was choosen for the VP pick. It had nothing to do with political skill. It was a diversion of trickery instead of an introduction to substance and an intelligent leader type of individual. In the end, the GOP and coporate contributors to the media will have a rude awakening after the election.

    September 10, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  9. Jordan

    I find it hilarious that Obama said 2 or 3 metaphors which had NOTHING to do with Palin and the McCain camp says that the pig reference was to her. That sounds to me like the McSame camp is the one referring to her a a PIG.

    September 10, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  10. Al Mellen

    For all of the talk about how he has and is still serving our country,,,,, Senator McCain has become very reckless in his desire to become president. I watched the Senator and Mrs. Palin in Lancaster ,Pa yesterday. The Senator acted more like Forrest Gump than Forrest Gump himself. The Senator is obsessed with becoming the next president,,,,,,come hell or high-water. A better choice for his running mate would have been his wife,,,,,,i am sure she knows how to run a big business,,,,,,much better than Sarah, the former beauty queen. When this race is finished,,,,Senator McCain should retire to Arizona,,never to be heard from again.

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

    The "lipstick on a pig" saying is as old as the hills...my grandmother used to say and she died 10 years ago so it's nothing original that was created during this campaign...

    September 10, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  12. Mccain is a Liar and Palin is a Liar

    Barack Now is the Time to go after those Republican they are trying to lie there way into another election. Time is now to Respond forcefully!

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

    I would agree with Obama, except that "phony outrage" should be his middle name – along with "dripping sarcasm." For "enough is enough" to work, someone has to stop doing it first. I don't see that from Obama or his team.

    September 10, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  14. JUDE CT

    McSame wants to play dirty politics. But that's not what many of his supporters want of him. He should've learned from the Clintons, when Obama zooms in on anyone, it's game over. I think as president, Obama is going to go after Bin laden and the other bad guys with the same intensity. We want our country back. And we the American people have chosen Barack to lead the charge.

    September 10, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  15. Sarah (Barracuda)

    Republicans are the WORST PIGS I've ever seen!

    Go Obama – Get Oprah back on track!!!

    September 10, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  16. Jon

    Obama purposely chose to use the word "lipstick"...we in ordinary America know that...he may not have been calling Palin a pig, but he intentionally used a word that 38 million people had in their frame of reference from Palin. Don't insult our intelligence. Look at the crowd...they took it the same way...whether or not he meant it that way. If he is as politically astute, he will avoid such gaffes...even if he technically has some excuse.

    September 10, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  17. VA voter

    I was a Hillary supporter and I'll vote for McCain/Palin WHEN PIGS FLY!

    September 10, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  18. Erin in Edmonds WA

    Even though we are in the countdown to the election, there is still time to get back on track for Obama, and he does that more easily than John McCain. McCain is sitting in the back seat and watching as Sarah Palin makes his numbers go up. People are in favor of McCain not because of what he's doing, but because she is such a novelty.

    McCain is allowing Sarah Palin to take the focus off of him–she is campaigning like she's number one on the ticket. McCain is getting lazy, and continues to throw out phrases and promises without actually letting people know how he'll change. Obama is for change, McCain is for "reform", and reform has been a word that has been used in campaigns for years–and it still hasn't happened. McCain isn't change, because he CAN'T CHANGE. His campaign is about Sarah and the do nothing ticket and he thinks he can win on spouting empty air. Obama got off message, but he's back on and will continue to be on message until the election. People will listen to Obama's message because it will resonate more with them.

    McCain, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    September 10, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  19. Debbie

    Senator Obama is right, McCain's outrage is phony, just like McCain calling his campaign one of change is phony. Everything about McCain lately is phony. This whole concept of him being a Maverick is phony. Only in the Republican party can you disagree with your party a couple of times and be considered a Maverick. If he were a true Maverick he would have left the party in 2000 when he actually considered it. If he were a true Maverick he wouldn't have voted with Bush on almost every single thing. If he were a true Maverick he wouldn't have picked a right wing conservative on his ticket just to appease conservatives. If he were a true Maverick he wouldn't have gone back on his word on his own immigration plan, or the environment and he wouldn't have hired so many lobbyist to work on his campaign! McCain is a phony and that's why he has to try and steal Obama's campaign theme of Change. He may temporarily be fooling some people but the voters saw through him before and will again once the haze of the Palin buzz dissapates.

    September 10, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  20. clm

    The Republicans are a bunch of hypocritics. It is amazing that they can insult Obama, but if Sara Palin is insulted, then she is owed an apology. I am with Obama, these are distractions. Now they want religion and families off limits. Where was the off limits when the Republican party constantly attacked Obama about Rev Wright. I say you reap what you sow. This is what happening now. Deal with it republicans. Way to go Obama.
    The issue is the Republicans want to dish it, but they can't take it. Apolgizing to Palin is ridiclous and it is not an issue the American people are concerned about. We are concerned about this economy. The republican party has been attacking Obama the entire campaign. It doesn't feel good when it on the other foot huh- LOL.

    Obama/Biden '08.

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

    Shame on the McCain campaign. Yes, after the way McCain was treated by his own Republican party in 2000 you would think he would want to run a different kind of campaign. Furthermore, no one has called Palin anything-she characterized herself as a pit bull with lipstick. The treatment of Kerry, Hilary Clinton, and Barack Obama on the web is cruel-and meant to be so. I have heard neither McCain or Palin address that. As far as I am concerned the fish wrapped in paper has been stinking for 8 years-throw it out-all of it. We need a sea change in government and in this country-no Bush third term-no more stinkers.

    September 10, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  22. Unempressed

    McCain used the SAME line on Hillary

    Palin said the difference between her and a Pit Bull is... "lipstick"

    Stop the WHINING McCain!

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

    When Michelle Obama has lipstick on does she look like a PIG?

    September 10, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  24. David

    John McCain and Sarah (I don't know what Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae do) Palin are whiners. Oh, I forgot. John McCain's economic advisor thinks we as a nation are whiners.

    September 10, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  25. Ben

    McCain is coming across more and more as a whiner.

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