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. Janet - MiamiFL

    No! "Spare me" Obama – you're rhetoric gives out migraines

    McCain/Palin 08'

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

    I'm loosing all respect for John McCain. He claims to run an honorable campaign. I hope people see through this

    September 10, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  3. McCain is too old

    Obama gave Palin an undeserved compliment...really, aren't pigs supposed to be intelligent?


    September 10, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. Moses

    Let's see, who else would Obama be referencing. Shame on Obama's speach writers!

    September 10, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  5. olga

    If you look at Obama's body language when he said the comment, the timing and the reaction of the crowd, it is clear that he knew what he was saying. People wise up and do not allow him to talk to women like this!

    September 10, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  6. California lib

    I listened to Sen. Obama discuss very important issues this
    morning. I heard a lot of good points being made, however
    as soon as Cnn broke in the comentators first words were
    "so that's how Sen. Obama addressed the lipstick issue?"
    Hello, did they not hear anything else. I wish the Media would
    help by sticking to the issues and not appeal to the brain dead.
    Go Obama!

    September 10, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  7. Mel Joyner

    The Republicans are hypocrites. McCain said the same thing about Hillary, and there was no outrage! The issue here is a double standard. The Republicans are afraid to admit that the main issue in this campaign is not McSame's war record, but rather the economy!

    September 10, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  8. Midwestern Mom

    I'm delighted Senator Obama exposed this vicious and distracting nonsense for what it is. I hope he continues to do so. The McCain campaign wants desperately to distract the public from real issues. I want to hear the two candidates talk seriously about where they want to take this country.

    September 10, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  9. marcel

    Senator Obama is correct in saying that McCain is trying all the diversions in the books. It is because McCain/Palin having nothing better to offer. Using himself as a Reformer, when Senator McCain has been in Washington for how many years. What a joke! Obama/Biden 08

    September 10, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  10. Sharon

    Its exciting to see McCain/Palin together. They will make an excellent team in Washington . If you would just listen to their speeches you would realize real change is on the way. Palin will break the 18 million cracks in the ceiling that Hillary started. I knew Obama was not "MAN" enough to apologize.

    September 10, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  11. Experience in GA

    Palin has more experience than Obama September 10th, 2008 11:08 am ET
    Yes she having babies.

    September 10, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  12. Baron

    Thank you Sen. Obama. Phony outrage you bet! You don't have to play the same tit-for-tat, but you can put your STOP to it by saying what you did. Thanks again. Enough is Enough!

    September 10, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  13. Nick - NY

    Enough is enough with the McCain camp and their double standards!!. They are using Palin as a shield..up front and center, while McCain hides behind her. It doesn't matter what Obama or Biden or any democrat says, they turn it into an attack on Palin. They have turned this whole election into a freak show. You question Gov Palin's record, experience, views you are sexist. You question Sen McCains views, record, experience you are again labeled as sexist, since the republicans turn it into an attack on Palin. And they have the nerve to say "Country First" looks more like the Republican Party First and the rest of us can have the leftovers once they are done.

    September 10, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  14. smokesignals

    Thank you, Barack Obama!
    Fire 'em up!
    I'm sick of the ridiculous lies blasting me from the television screen from the McCain camp.
    Call it like it is.

    I also, read the article yesterday concerning how the polls have shifted their percentages of calls and how that has possibly skewed the results. CNN should be more upfront about that and how polls are just not that accurate. Certainly could not tell around here that women are not for Obama! They are mad as hell and are organizing! Yea!!!!!

    Go, go, go.

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

    Actually what is so amazing is 98% of all these comments posted are from die hard democrats and on CNN? Wow now is that a big surprise to everyone? My question is this Mr.Obama, can you name me one thing you have done while in office so far? Name one bill that was started by you? I really think you should stick to the neighborhood watch program. Then again CNN is not going to post this anyways because it's not for the democraps

    September 10, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  16. Angus' Mom

    If John McCain wants to make the "lipstick on a pig" a reference to Sarah Palin, that's his reference, not Obama's. Everyone with a functioning brain cell knows this is a commonly used phrase and has no reference to the sex of an individual.

    I think McCain needs to be more concerned about the constant lies that he and Palin are preaching on the trail. Another example of "You can put lipstick on a pig and it's still a pig."

    People need to wake up and face the facts as they are being revealed about Palin, not Palin's version of the truth. There is a BIG difference.

    Obviously, voters must have collective Attention Deficit Disorder... Show them a shiny thing and they're all over it. Palin's shine is showing a lot of tarnish!

    September 10, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  17. Paizley

    Stop playing this game with the repubs by reporting the non-issues. Report when they actually say something of substance. If you do that they will never be heard from again.

    September 10, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  18. rhoward

    Anybody who heard the entire comments Senator Obama made knows it is NOT about Sarah Palin. The Republican and news media spin of taking this remark and twisting it totally out of context is disgusting and despicable. Just another way for the Republicans keep the election about personality and NOT about issues because they don't want this election to be about issues.

    September 10, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  19. Rebecca

    A pig with lipstick IS still a pig and a extreme left wing radical is STILL a left wing radical

    September 10, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  20. Alice

    Go Barry!

    Enough IS enough.

    September 10, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  21. Can-Am Dual Citizen

    Palin-McCain are too much like Bush and will do anything to win for there own benefit and not America's benefit. Obama is all about politics. He could care less about personal issues within the campaigns. And why does it seem like Palin is running for President and not McCain. And using PERSONAL reasons to get votes... A "tough" woman who shoots moose and has a downsydrome child... Please people. Vote for the candidates that fit the job and not because you have something in common. I think using her child and saying that everyone with downsydrome children will have a voice in the White House is exploiting her childs condition. Nothing to do with politics. Palin-McCain=Greed & oil profits for them and her husband who works for an oil company. Maybe McCain should try taking the skirt off because right now he looks like the Vice-President.

    September 10, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  22. brian

    McCain's blabber is just as transparent as the first 50 comments here suggest. Two-faced hypocrisy in an attempt to manipulate the media in his favor.

    I can't wait to see Palin debate Biden. Is she going to cry sexism every time he nails her with something she can't handle?

    Oh, and for the record, Palin's face is the lipstick on her policies – the pigs.

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

    I am a white female. Why was it okay for Palin to say hockey moms are dogs with lipstick?

    September 10, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  24. Anonymous

    My God does Obama sound whiny!

    September 10, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  25. mike from fl

    Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't it Palin who said Hillary was whining about sexism?? Apparently, the rethuglicans are mere infants, as all they have done since the convention is whine about sexism.

    September 10, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
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