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. Workinman

    Too funny, spare me the BS and just focus on the issues!

    Oh sorry, I guess thats beyond Obama's experience to address,,,

    Maybe he should just watch what he says and he won't have such problems, what was he thinking.

    And this is the guy that is going to addresss world leaders on our behalf, man are we in trouble,,,


    September 10, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  2. baby mama

    looks like that skinny boy is beginning to sweat

    September 10, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  3. Diane T

    Bravo Obama for calling the GOP candidates to the carpet for putting a facade on business as usual. It amazes me how the GOP have now staked out any reference to lipstick as a sexist attack on their VP candidate. Grow up! If she can't take the heat (as Hillary did during her long campaign), quit!

    September 10, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. Jeffrey

    Stick to the issues, Obama. Don't lower yourself to the level to commenting on Palin. That's why you picked Biden. Stick with the issues. McBush, McBush, McBush.

    Welcome to McBush and another 4 years. Here's another $400 billion deficit, and 85,000 jobs lost. Would you like fries with that?

    September 10, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  5. Pam

    Obama is crying foul as usual but he seems to have a double standard for himeself......hhmmm. He whines if McCain says something about him and draws the guns when someone corrects him. He is running scared and he knows McCain has definitely gained ground on him. Why shouldn't Obama have to answer for his sexist remark, he can say all he wants that he didn't mean it and knows ______ well it was intentional. Shame on you CNN you are so biased in your reporting. I will turn you off just like I did Oprah.

    September 10, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  6. Susan

    As a country, we cannot wallow in the unnecessary and unproductive attacks that are dominating this election. Obama, stay with the issues and get out of the "trap" that the McCain keeps putting in front of you and stay on the course of the issues at hand. You are so right...enough IS enough and you are seen as a better leader for seeing it that way and moving on with getting this country out of economic deterioration.

    September 10, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. Didine - Maryland

    President Obama, I will support you all the way to the White House. Mc Cain and Palin are losers.

    Obama/ Biden '08-'12

    September 10, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Anybody see Obama on Fox last night? Obama looked like a fool he could not answer any questions directly. He called Ayers a man he knows and said he knows many right wing extremists. When Bill asked who, Obama could not name any person.

    September 10, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. Chuck

    Way to much attention given to a V.P. canidate. Get to the issues!!! It is the economy that the Republicans have destroyed! How are we going to fix it.

    September 10, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  10. Woman who takes it every day

    Palin should stop being such a WIMP. The McCain camp are basically saying that no comment can be made about Palin. She is off limits. Ok, I can see her FAMILY is off limits. But she is not. Just because she is a woman, doesn't mean that she should get special treatment in the campaign by the men, as if women are too DELICATE. Hillary would have been able to take a hell of a lot more, and already has. I say Obama and Biden should keep going. After all, if Palin caves now, who will she be able to stand up to foreign leaders, especially in the Middle East?

    September 10, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  11. former hillary supporter now for Obma

    ENOUGH !!!!!

    Way to go Barack!!!! fight fight!!!
    We need you dont know how much we need you!!

    September 10, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  12. Ladyd

    Can we please start acting like adults and not a bunch of winey kids

    September 10, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  13. Mel

    What Obama SHOULD be talking about is how 5% of Americans will be able to pay for universal health cae and everything else he has promised. I would LOVE to hear the mathematics on that!

    September 10, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |

    So it was ok for Palin to say that she is nothing more that a Pit Bull with lipstick on, but when Obama uses a very old saying that many people used in the past then all of the sudden he is sexist. This is crazy people just hate the truth. Obama is right when you put "lipstick" on a pig, its still a pig, something that is dirty and filthy. The same it to be said about the Rep's they now say they are the party of change, that they are the reformers, but you can say these things all day long but guess what, you still have the same old "Bush" mentality and 4 more years of that is something none of us can handle. Americans make me sick with all of this "Political Correctness", Americans are supposed to be strong not soft.

    September 10, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  15. CJV

    Why does Palin keep repeating, nearly word-for-word, her convention speech everywhere McCain brings her? I suppose it worked for Bush...stay on message, don't divert or answer questions, keep the bar low for the debates and the public will think you are the best candidate. It's so obvious the repubs are handilng Palin EXACTLY how they handled Bush during his campaigns. How did that work out for us?

    September 10, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  16. J.d.


    September 10, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  17. Liberitarians for Palin

    McCain made the pig joke in reference to Hilary's POLICIES, not as an attack on a person. This article definitally isn't telling the whole story. Instead of apologizing, Obama is trying to take the focus off of his mistake by, once again, using nothing but rehoric. It would be nice to hear a democrat sincerely apologize. Just once. They might make history. Lol, it would be a historic event.

    September 10, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  18. Jim



    September 10, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  19. cbk16

    Obama bascially said, Palin is a pig, she is taking my votes away, enough is enough.

    September 10, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  20. Kevin -- Florida

    If Palin is going to refer to herself as an animal, why should be offended when someone else does it?

    September 10, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  21. Mickey D

    He's absolutely right! I even noticed most of the media newstations back away when the RNC tried to lay guilt trips on them. It's time the RNC & McCain/Palin get off of the elementary school behavior and get to issues affecting this country.

    I would argue the reason their not on these important issues is because their policy beliefs are cohesive with the current administration which got us here in the first place.

    September 10, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  22. Bryan

    "Putting Lipstick on a Pig" is a sexist joke toward Palin? That's funny, because the statement implies that the pig was already there and the lipstick was added later. Therefore, I'd see it as Palin being the lipstick and McCain being the pig.

    Thanks Obama for being the bigger man and tell them you're not playing their games. It's like you said, we need answers not drama.

    September 10, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  23. D.Kimbro OHIO

    This stance is outrageous by the McCain camp. If you want to use the sexist card, try it on education, the rights of working women, the right to choose. Those are areas where you can possibly get traction. To use it for something like this, may diminish it's affect on a truly important issue.

    September 10, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  24. Michael, Chapel Hill

    Obama is angry. The Palin factor is working well for Mccain and Obama's campaign is in disarray. So more and more desparate attacks against Mccain & Palin can be for seen. Sometiimes the elitism does not work.

    September 10, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  25. Thomas Culver

    My first impression was he was refering to Senetor Palin. I was horrified!

    September 10, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
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