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. buba, cincinnati oh

    Let's see:
    It's fine when McCain uses the same expression directed at Hillary but it's wrong when Obama is directing it at the republican ticket.
    Do you smell some hypocrisy here?
    If Palin can't play in the the big league with the 'old boys', mabe she should take her lipstick and go home.

    September 10, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  2. Blue Tiger

    Strangely, Barack Obama says that "enough is enough" with regard to the "lipstick" comment yet doesn't refute it. During the primary, he had no problem constantly attacking Hillary Clinton (a member of his own party) on non-policy matters.

    September 10, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  3. Kelby from Houston, TX

    I heard Obama's comments and the fact that McCain got on it quick, fast, and in a hurry proves that he, his surrogates and his VP pick are playing a game of Gotha! Everytime Obama even mentions something feminine, in this case lipstick, McCain is going to scream sexist.
    It is so obvious what they are doing that it is going to become fodder for late night talk shows and comedians around the country. Their attempts are laughable. Hopefully common sense will rule the day, because this argument is absurd and ludacris.

    September 10, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  4. sick and tired

    Enough is Enough!!! McCain uttered the same line before and now it's something someone else should apologize for using. I thank Mike Huckabee for taking a stand on this in favor of Obama. I'm tired of the double standard game the Republicans are playing. It's a personal matter when something applies to them but it's something totally different when it applies to Obama. Talk about the issues. John McCain is playing games. The Republicans want to say McCain is honorable, patriotic and any other adjective they can come up with but he's doing exactly the opposite of what type of campaign he would be running. Democrats please unite and stand together. I've had 8 years of Bush and I don't want 4 more of McCain-Bush. 8 is enough and I'm sick and tired of the same ole Republican political machine.

    September 10, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  5. Jim G pa

    Amazing..When Hillary complained (rarely) about sexism the right wingnuts would mock her and say get tough. Well all I can say to Palin the moose hunter and the rightwing nuts is suck it up and get tough. She's been able to hide from the media since the convention but eventually they'll catch up with her. Hopefully she won't cry when they ask her a tough question.

    September 10, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  6. Sandy

    Glad to see you taking a stand...stay away from the broken records and stale jokes of the McCain/Palin, it's poison.

    September 10, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  7. PA Independent

    That would be "Enough!" with a capital "E". The republicans are playing a very dangerous game here, one that could easily backfire on them if they don't shape up. National politics is tough, but the downright nastiness and transparently obvious double standard they are using is appalling. At least Obama is talking about the issues, whether you agree with his stance or not. Has McCain or Palin even touched an issue, other than to collectively tout her questionable record on earmarks? If there was anything other than name-calling, meanness, shallow one-liners devoid of any reasoning and just plain old screeching to listen to on the republican side, I'd listen.

    September 10, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  8. Brandy

    Funny how when Mr 90% and his crew of attack dogs with the ring leader being a self-proclaimed pitbull say something, you should take or will be called "testy"

    but when Obama says somethings it's

    "You are crossing the line"
    "You have sunk to a new low"
    "This is sexism"

    Mr 90% has used the phrase several times himself. NO ONE said he was being sexist when he referred to Hillary with this line

    The reason that Repubs get away with this is because they know their base and several others are flakes and only want to believe what they are told.

    September 10, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  9. Don from California

    McCain is freaking out because his convention bounce wasn't big enough to shift the electoral map. Not enough white women, so he screams sexism. I think the latest Rasmussen put Obama up by 1.

    September 10, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  10. msdx

    I agree enough IS enough. The only thing that McCain has proven is that high school bully tactics appeal to some people. The only thing coming out of McCain's camp right now is lies and accusations. I mean the guys promises to get us of oil and OIL LOBBYISTS are running his campaign. I mean come on are we really that stupid?

    September 10, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  11. Chris from VA

    The GOP will say anything to win an election even twisting/spinning context of words into sexist comments. Seriously, is America that stupid to fall for the same Karl Rove tactics to winning an election. Wasn't 8 years enough? Look at the issues people, who really reflects your values? Don't play into the propaganda babble, its all GOP nonsense. He was clearly talking about the policies of Bush and not Palin. Women who see this as sexist need help. Note to those women: McCain said the exact same thing, but his context was definitely referring to Hillary.

    September 10, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  12. Jean

    KEEP PUSHING YOUR POLICIES!!

    September 10, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  13. Jim, Minneapolis

    McCain is a tool. Palin is a scary idea.

    September 10, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. ann

    sad Barrack,don't used to be left out!now be a sport now,don't badmouth the gal

    September 10, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  15. Matt

    McCain said the same thing in reference to Clinton. Go ahead, look it up on YouTube.

    Stop pretending there is an actual controversy and report FACTS. You're supposed to be journalists, not tabloid garbage. He-said-she-said may spike your ad revenue, but it hurts the American public.

    September 10, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  16. Tommy Hussein in St. Louis (I only have one house...that I know of)

    Look...Sarah Palin does *not* have a monopoly on the word "lipstick", and not every mention of the word is a reference to her, just because she made a stupid joke about it at her convention. The world does not revolve around Sarah Palin. Thank God.

    September 10, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  17. debbie

    He levelled sexist attacks against hillary and he is doing the same against Palin. Is this the change I want? NObama

    Democrat voting republican for the first time!

    September 10, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  18. fella from Chicago

    Should have thought of the consequences. That's why you won't be President.

    September 10, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  19. Phantom of the Oprah

    Obama did the same thing to Hillary towards the end of the primary.

    It was clear Obama's momentum was in decline and Hillary's momentum was climbing.

    Obama got scared and he started to taunt, mock and jeer Hillary. And Hillary was a member of his OWN party. Remember the Annie Oakley mimicing act? Remember his macho, cocky brushing Hillary off his shoulder?

    It worked against Obama then and this relentless personal attacks, sarcasm and mocking of Palin will also work against him.

    The democrats have been the hateful, vitriolic ones in this election. Obama inspired an army of vile, vulgar, filthy, nasty, abusive NEW democrats.

    That is when the democrats LOST this election. So much for Obama's ability to unite. So much for his new way of politics, so much for hope and for change.

    Millions of democrats were shocked and appalled when Obama tore into Hillary with derision, and sarcastic putdowns. We were put off when his supporters hated on her and spewed vitriol and hate. It was sexist and it was misogynist and seemed so out of place from the man preaching unity and change.

    September 10, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  20. Phyllis

    "Lipstick on a pig" is a common metaphore. It's obvious Obama was using it to describe the current administration. The McCain camp is insulting their own candidate by saying..."He said 'pig'! He must be talking about Palin!"
    The Republicans are showing us how many bad sides they have. Their behaviour on this campaign is deplorable.
    It makes me sick that half of America thinks this is OK. I wouldn't let my children act like they do.

    September 10, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  21. Austin

    Perhaps the McCain camp should check out Urban Dictionary (if they even know that it exists....)

    putting lipstick on a pig
    A term used by many, generally in reference to someone who may be trying to make something or someone look appealing or attractive when it quite clearly will not work, or will only deceive the dumbest of people.

    Hasn't McCain used that same phrase idiom, too?

    September 10, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  22. pbd

    Good for him!

    Every day that the campaigns are talking directly about the ISSUES - economy, health care, foreign policy - is a day that Obama does well.

    Every day that the campaigns get derailed from the issues and end up talking about lipstick, pigs, POW, muslim, God, etc - is a day that McCain does well.

    September 10, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  23. Fighting for Obama Since he is too political correct!

    McCain said the same thing about Hillary. Tell that Gal to toughen up her pig skin. She wanted to play this game, Now play it!

    Stop hiding from the media, Palin. Come out Come out wherever you are!

    The country is waiting.

    September 10, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  24. Former Hillary Clinton Supporter

    You go Obama.. I hate politicians who like to beat people down but cry when you call them on it. Way to go !! Enough is enough. We have serious issue for these serious times. Enough Mccain your old school politician Karl Rove style isn't going to work this time. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    OBAMA/ BIDEN 08

    September 10, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  25. SB for BO

    Thanks Obama!! That should be your mantra with the Rethugs, ENOUGH!!!!

    If she threw out the lipstick comment, she should be able to take it how it comes. Even though it wasn't directed to her personally, the rethugs should move on.

    Obama/Biden 08/12!!

    McCant/Paleese NEVER!!!

    September 10, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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