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. Triciaa

    American, Don't let McCain distract us from the real issues which are the economy, health care, education and the fact that we are engaged in two wars. Don't allow McCain to lie about his record and Palin's and then vote for him because he wants to be president no matter what. Our country and the future of our children are at stake.

    When you vote for McCain/Palin and are concerned about the real issues, you are voting against your self.

    Triciaa, NJ

    September 10, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  2. michfelle

    we have people losing their homes and our children can't afford to go to go college. We are engaged in 2 wars and the topic today is lipstick! I am outraged as a woman to think that I would be fooled by this plot to hijack this election with non-essential issues. Rather you are a republican or democrat you should tell your polictian to stay on issues that matters. Like rising gas prices or can't afford to heat your home. Come on people we deserve better than this. Demand better or your going to get more of the same!

    September 10, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  3. Why????

    This election is so ridiculous.. I strongly disagree that Senator Ombama should apology to Governor Palin. He wasn’t referring to her, but the M (men) E (evil) D (den) I (in) A (America) is at it again.

    What will she tell Putin and his countrymen if they made remarks against her? I guess she will be eager to push the red button.

    It is governor Palin that should apology to all the hockey and soccer moms for calling us pit-bull with lipstick. Michelle Ombama deserves a personal apology from Palin.

    We need to focus on the issues which McCain and Company doesn’t wish to do. If those that want to vote for McCain and Company, so shall it be. If they win don’t expect anything but another extension of Bush and Cheney laws and rules. My sons will not be drafted into any war that this group will continue. I would rather see them in jail and not give up their lives for unnecessary wars that will be raged against other countries.

    If you are worrying about lipstick – then vote for McCain and Company

    If you are happen that you lost your home – then vote for McCain and Company

    If you like paying $4 or more for gas – then vote for McCain and Company

    If you like war – then vote for McCain and Company

    If you think this economic is fine – then vote McCain and Company

    If you lost your job because of Bush and Cheney and you deserved it– then vote for McCain and Company

    If your child doesn’t deserve a good education – then vote for McCain and Company

    If you want your children to die – then vote for McCain, Company and War

    If you think you shouldn’t cling to your religion when things are rough (hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, fire, etc) – then vote for McCain and Company.

    If you don’t care about your body and want THEM to make that decision for you – then vote for McCain and Company

    If you don’t want a good healthcare system – then vote for McCain and Company

    Now if the only reason why you will not vote for Senator Obama is because he is black; then close your eyes because this is the only thing you will see if McCain and Company takes office; and that is nothing.

    September 10, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  4. arc, Lugano CH

    The McCain Campaign & GOP complaining about anything are like Nazi Collaborators or the SS concentration camp guards complaining about being 'mistreated' after Liberation.

    Republicans alone ruined and destroyed the nation's economy for 8 years and sent 4000+ young soldiers to their deaths in an unnecessary war. The blame falls solely on the GOP and the GOP alone. The current GOP administration should be sent to The Hague for War Crimes.

    John McCain is an out of touch, sick old man who wants to claim that he is for change by promoting the very policies he voted against before he decided to run for President. We all know he was a POW.

    September 10, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. David of Alexandria VA

    Obama (or his handlers) should have been smarter than to use the remark in the first place. Common use or not, it has a particular polace in the vernacular of this campaign - and he should have realized it. Unless he meant to - hmmm...

    If Obama is so darn committed to focusing on the issues, then why is he spending time on this, anyway? One way or the other, Obama seems to be starting to roll in the mud a lot more than he used to.

    Desperate times call for.....

    September 10, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  6. bill b. from Stratford,Ct

    You go Obama, those Republicans have no respect for them selfs or anyone, like I say all the time they get off being ignorant and being bigots thats what they do and have no shame about. So stop with the so call sexist crap. Hell, Mcsame used the same comment in May of this year and he said it last year about Hillary, and know one said anything about it, but because the black guy said it, now the Mcsame camp is trying to use it to get votes. PLEASE BIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!!!!!!!! IDIOTS (REPUB)

    September 10, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  7. Vet in S.A.

    Obama used it within a week of Palin, coincedence, I think not, he was going after Palin. Now that that backfired for normal people, not most of you obviously, he says enough is enough. Believe me the bashing ya'll are doing to Palin is going to backfire, better be careful.

    September 10, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  8. Ron L

    And what about the McCain ad that trys to make it sound like explaining to kindergardens that you should NOT allow strangers to touch you in certain ways or places as SEX EDUCATION!!!...
    It is funny how an very old phrase, "Lipstick on a Pig" is getting more attention than this TRULY INSULTING campaign ad!!

    September 10, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  9. carepi,nj

    republicans are inmune to anything... they are superheros, untouchables, remember, they are mavericks, she is a woman, and he is a war hero, so, they build this "barrier", were nobody can say a word about them, nor question their judgement.

    Karl Rove in the Works!!!

    September 10, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  10. BR

    Look at the thin skinned cry baby liberals on this one. They had no problems with the media was baggin on Hillary, but the moment they take a swipe at the great Messiah, look out.

    September 10, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  11. laura

    Chris = I'd like to applaud John McCain for thinking that Sarah Palin is a pig.

    LOL!!!!!!

    September 10, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  12. Gianni

    McCain is an idiot.But guess who the bigger idiot is?
    The stupid americans who would vote the senile fool.

    September 10, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  13. Susan

    This is starting to feel like a discussion between a college professor and a first grader. Obama/Biden are so clearly superior to McCain/Palin that I almost feel sorry for them. It would be amusing if it were not for the horrifying fact that 50% of the US population seems to be buying into the GOP's ridiculous propaganda.

    Calling all first graders…PLEASE GROW UP/WAKE UP and stop making a laughing stock of yourselves and the U.S. by default.

    September 10, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  14. Annie

    I see. John McCain can make this comment and that's ok. Barack Obama cannot. Using McCain's/Rove's logic, isn't that racism?

    September 10, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  15. joe

    LUCKY palin is in US. In countries like kenya and indonesia women causing anguish to men would end up in deep trouble.It is a good culture.Women with head covering veils and all.obama is a good guy so he only called palin a pig for taking the thunder from him.

    September 10, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  16. An American Whiner

    The RNC HAS NOTHING!

    ALL THEY HAVE IS DISTRACTION AND LIES! THIS ELECTION IS ABOUT THE ISSUES!!!

    GOOD JOB O.

    September 10, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  17. Al

    It's about time for Obama to pull the race card out of the deck and play it. His campaign is in the trash and I wouldn't put it past him to do whatever he thinks will get him some traction.

    Obama = Peanut Carter's second term.

    September 10, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  18. Jeremy

    Wait a minute its ok for the GOP to say and do things as they please, but as soon as someone from the Dems say something its way out of line! Well i guess they can dish it out but they dont want to take it ! Besides it wasnt even towards Palin....Actually a reference to what McCain said about Hill-Rod! Grow up republicans dont forget your the reason our country is in trouble!

    September 10, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  19. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

    Put her in front of the REAL press so we can find out how she handles herself under pressure OR keep quiet. I'm dead sick of the standard GOP BS

    September 10, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  20. Andrew Fogiel

    Obama need only quote McCain's own daughter who, when asked what she thought about the lipstick on a pig comment, declined to comment because her Dad uses that comment often. Folks, do you see what the Repubs are doing? Distracting you from the fact they talk change, but have nothing concrete to offer, other than continuation of trickle down economics that is making a few rich people richer at the expense of the rest of us.

    September 10, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  21. Chris

    How bout ..
    Pot calling the kettle black !!!
    Is that a racist comment .. or a metaphor ?

    Depends in what context it is used .. in normal interaction it is a metaphor .. when referring to BHO .. it becomes a racist comment ..
    so too .. with the pig and lipstick ..

    I think BO is showing is true colors, hope his followers wake up and see him for what he is .. an empty suit with a spout !!!

    Mccain '08
    HRC '12

    September 10, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  22. Greg

    How can any true American vote for Obama after he voted NOT to make English the official language of the United States? You talk about the ultimate pandering to the Hispanics legal or not! Obama is truly an obimination and may have 666 on his head.

    September 10, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  23. Greg in Annapolis

    Get him, Barack! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!! We can't lose this election to thievery again!

    September 10, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  24. Al Ram

    Sen. Obama if you are man enough and I know you are, you should apologize to Gov. Palin. How dare you call her a pig with lipstick. Is it because you are now behind in polls so you call her names. You are behind the polls now because of your own doing. You did not pick Sen. Clinton to be your running mate.

    September 10, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  25. Tina

    WAY TO GO OBAMA. I agree with you.......John McBUSH you need to Stick to the things that are important and that will make a real difference for the people of this country. McBUSH wants to use distractions to from the real issues because he has NO SOLUTIONS.
    McBUSH is just a big windbag.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    September 10, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
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