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. xyndau

    Obama – you are the phony. Why is it every time you stick your foot in your mouth you come out and give some phony self-serving obfuscated speech? It was very clear that your a pig is a pig comment was meant to play off of Palin's lipstick remark at the RNC convention – you need only look at the smugness of your expression when you said it. And, I am a democrat and not voting for your phony change.

    September 10, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  2. Bush/McCain let bin Laden go free

    George Bush-John McCain: Where is Osama bin Laden? Where is his number two Al Sawari? While you have been throwing ridiculous amounts of money and manpower at the Iraq mistake, these al Queada leaders are still running loose and plotting against the United States. On the 7th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attack, we should remember that those responsible for the attacks have not been brought to justice. We have wasted our resources and prestige on a foolish war that seems as though it will never end in Iraq, while the real enemies are still free and working against us in ways we can only imagine. The Taliban is having a resurgance in Afghanistan and Pakistan. If we had been devoting 10 billion dollars a month to going after al Queada instead of pissing it away in Iraq, we should have captured or killed them both by now. As George Bush's biggest cheerleader on the Iraq War, John McCain is responsible for this reckless diversion from what should be our true mission. McCain, if you really put 'country first,' you would want to pull us out of the Iraq blunder and go after Taliban/al Queada targets.

    September 10, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  3. No Brain MCain/Empty Pantsuit Palin

    Actually ... if given the chance, I would never compare Palin to a pig; it's an insult to the pig! I think pitbulls deserve more credit, too.

    September 10, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  4. george

    palin , is running like for president and mccain is standing there stupid like a vice president candidate should 9/10/08

    September 10, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  5. Maddie, Hartford, Ct.

    Good! No more walking on eggshells...Sara Palin has been a huge distraction in this election. It's time to get down to the nitty griity and start talking about issues.

    September 10, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  6. Dan, Maryland

    It's refreshing to hear a candidate call these things what they are – phony outrage to drum up base support and attacks. Obama was talking about policy issues in his statement about how no matter how you wrap your policies, if they're the same as Bush's they're the same as Bush's. Also, if Palin and the McCain campaign were so worried about lip stick becoming an "issue" in this campaign she shouldn't have compared herself to a pit bull. Obama's right....there are far more important things this country is dealing with than to have to hear false cries about a lip stick controversy.

    September 10, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  7. bettyc, Havre de Grace, MD

    Enough of the silliness and gotcha politics. Let's us have a discussion that helps us know who would be the best leader. Obama did not compare her to a pig. That she isn't. She is such a liar and hypocrit that to call her a pig would be an insult to pigs.

    September 10, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  8. Tony in Mocksville, NC

    The McCain campaign has been nothing but a distraction since the Republican Convention. Neither he nor his VP wannabe have addressed any of the issues facing this great nation since he picked her. They are riding the rockstar image that they lambasted Obama for, ignoring the current Prez, who policies they embrace wholeheartedly, and just patronizing women in an effort to gain support from disgruntled Hillary voters.

    I think Obama should ignore them, focus on the issues and continue to remind voters that there is no difference between McCain and Bush. No difference means no change, period.

    September 10, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  9. Rick atl

    He's Right America is tired of lies and negative attack adds but thats all the GOP gots and its just sad.

    September 10, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  10. Mi Yow

    I am starting to believe that they brought Palin on just so they would have a target to use themselves – to divert attention away from McSame. It is becoming more and more apparent how often Republicans use scare tactics and diversions to get people to believe they are either correct, noble, or to get their attention off of their own weaknesses. Americans are tired of this double-standard crap. It is a waste of media resources to even cover this evangelical waste.

    But, don't mind me, I'm just white guy in the south screaming GOBAMA!

    September 10, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  11. C!

    LMAO@Pig in Lipstick.. WORD!

    Obama and Biden speak on issues!

    The Republicans speak about themselves *yawn*...

    OBAMA/BIDEN `08!

    September 10, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  12. obama supporter cant believe americans are such followers

    Country First McCain/Palin says: You can send an "idiot" to Harvard – but he's still an idiot.

    What school did you go to? Because you could say anything less than that would say that you are not even at the level of an idiot. I dont know, watch what you say, sometimes you leave yourself wide open.

    September 10, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  13. rickG

    Think it was the typical Obama smear he used during the primaries. Now that he's being challenged and people see him for what he is, he is now being indignant. This guy is an empty shell and has no credibility. I am still a Democrat and have said from the beginning this is not the guy we should nominate and I cannot follow my party blindly. We picked the wrong person and I'm voting for McCain.

    September 10, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  14. Suzie M.

    You can mix raisins with turds and you still have turds.

    Senator Obama just found a more gentlemanly way of saying it. This is NOT a reference to Senator Palin and any reasonable and rational person would see that.

    September 10, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  15. Will the real John McCain please stand up

    Enough is enough. Time to ask John McCain the most serious question of this era. If war is necessary with Iran, Russia or any other country will he keep his word to re-implement THE DRAFT?



    September 10, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  16. Catherine

    I have just made another donation to Obama's campaign. The divisive tactics the Repubs are using are dangerous and threaten to degenerate this country into nothing but another third world country. We need to put an end to these shenanigans. Enough!

    September 10, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. Mr. Golden

    Democracy has Failed America. We are headed down a one way street with a blindfold on. The only real difference between the two candidates is that one is honest about the inevitable war with Iran, the other claims "Change" by getting out of Iraq, but he will just re-deploy OUR troops to Afghanistan and eventually go to war with Iran. So, either way, we are going to war with Iran. Two Roads, one is a rough country road that leads straight to War, the other being a nicely paved Toll road that goes up and around, but ultimately will lead us to War.
    I cannot believe after eight years of watching our government pursue private interests in the Middle East, we just sit back and wait to vote in another Corporate puppet. Once again, WE THE PEOPLE are stuck with the "Lesser of two EVILS" choice and it is absolutely pathetic. Why can't America produce a Presidential Candidate who isn't EVIL?
    OUR Freedom and OUR Voice is being Stripped from us and WE do NOTHING?

    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it the superficial appearence of being right." – Thomas Paine

    September 10, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. Anita

    Face it, Obama puts his arrogant foot in his mouth. The 'lipstick' comment was clearly a slam against Palin, given her pitbull/lipstick remark during her big speech. Oh, but wait, he doubled-down and basically called her a tuna taco, too! Obama seriously knows how to endear himself to women. So very charming.

    September 10, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  19. goodnightmoon

    LS, i couldn't agree with you more about the 'rove' like tactics used in the mccain ad. that's a much bigger issue than playing semantics about old adages. the latter is a simple issue of the intent of a statement while the former is a complete reworking of the facts. anyone willing to dig a little deeper knows the motives behind obama's education bill. as a father, it couldn't be more important to me to ensure that my child is fully aware of the REAL LIFE threats that children face by adult predators.

    September 10, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  20. Tina B

    BO, your form of politics is an inspiration the world over. Too bad there is so much negativity in the world.

    September 10, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  21. alicia


    September 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  22. lawrence blocker

    It's amazing to me that every time I watch the republicans speak, It's always Mrs. Palin doing all the talking while McCain stands there looking stupid. This election has turned into a joke. It seem to me that Ms. Palin is the person running for President and not Mr. McCain.

    September 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  23. Mary

    Mr. Obama is 100% correct.

    September 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  24. Joe

    I can't believe that there are people who are capable of leaving a comment on the cnn website but are uncapable of looking up the actual CV's of Palin and Sen. Obama using google.

    How is it possible that somebody still thinks that Palin has more experience than Sen. Obama???? It blows my mind. I guess it proofs that campaign spins work.

    September 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  25. Mark

    Nobama – If you can't take the heat then stay out of the White house. You are the one making the childish remarks. Why don't you stick with the issues instead of talking about lipstick? You are one desperate person.

    September 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
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