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. Madison152

    I just head Obama talking.. he's just so amazing. He's so right.. we have to focus on issues.
    Am listening to Palin talking.. how can they use the same speech for over a week and not address the important issues we are facing. I can give her next speech today. .as it's not going to be a bit different from what she has been saying all week long. Who the hell cares if her husband is a snow mobile world champion.. is that going to lower my taxes??? will it make me more safer in this contry???
    When she uses a LIPSTICK comment, she's considered a strong woman.. when she cant face the same comment coming at her, she wants to run away rather than talking a bit about issues. She hasnt spoken anything other than the ill-crafted speach written by Bush's speach writers.
    Please America.. realize that they are just staging a true blunder..
    Trust OBAMA.. he'll bring us the change we need
    McCain still uses his same old message..

    September 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  2. TexicoFrom Mexico

    Listen Fellow Dems....Obama has this all under control. Let the GOP look like fools and in the debates. Everyone in the world knows that the GOP has not and still is not talking about issues even at their own events...they say yad yada...fight with me....yadayada...but he still does not say what we are fighting for? Anyone is the room have a clue? I have listened to every single sppech of theirs that has been aired on CNN here...and I still cant tell you what the GOP stands for excpet the same policies as the current administration...but they keep advocating change. The bottom line is this:

    The GOP has no new ideas so they are going to use the Barracuda with lipstick...hey she said it take focus away from the true problems. I think America is better than that..and smarter.

    September 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  3. Independent voter

    Oh please everybody take a deep breath and don’t waste more time focusing in all the nonsense McCain/Palin want us to focus. How those lipstick comments are going to resolve all the problems our country is facing now.
    I am tired of the candidates going at them about every single comment. We want to hear specifics plans about how they will help the American people to improve by providing more jobs, health insurance, good education for our kids, finishing the war in Iraq, stop the collapsing of the housing market and financial system.
    Enough is enough to all the Politicians that want us to believe talking about lipstick comments will help to pay American’s their bills next month or next year when they don’t even have a job. Please focus on the real issues, stop wasting the time we have to get to know who is the right candidate to be President of the United States.

    September 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  4. jim, kansas city MO

    this is hilarious, republicans are beating democrats on their own game. Obama now out desperation, he thought he had white house withing the grasp, tables have turn. I see the history repeating, its the same situation with Hillary, she could not believe this guy (community organizer) out of nowhere came and beat her. Same thing with Sarah Palin, Obama just does not know what to do. Hillary did say, once powerful republican machine takes him on, his inexperience is going to show. And here you go, Enough is Enough, what r u going to do next take your glove off and slap homebody with
    If your only attack is same as push on McCain, I think Obama can kiss White House good bye.

    September 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  5. seth

    Yes! This is the tough talk we want from Obama! Go, O!

    September 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  6. Pam

    I was a Hillary supporter, one who took a LONG time to come around. I have never been so proud to support Barack Obama than I was today. I will stand behind him and fight to win this election!


    I am TIRED of Republican bullying and whining. I am TIRED of Republicans saying that this election is not about issues. THIS ELECTION IS ABOUT ISSUES! Issues like whether myself or others can afford or obtain healthcare, whether we can pay our mortgages, whether we can buy a gallon of milk AND a gallon of gasoline and not have to choose between them.

    So I say, along with millions of Americans, ENOUGH!!! NO MORE!! to the Republicants. We, the People, are taking OUR White House back!

    September 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  7. Brooke

    Obama is just upset that he is now behind in the polls and realizes that the people aren't buying the snake oil he has been peddling. He is the man who has done more swift boating in his political career than Biden, Palin or McCain put together.

    September 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  8. Karin

    Go Obama! Thank you for bringing the issues out front.

    September 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  9. PS

    If Obama loses this election (which would indeed be tragic) he will not have anyone to blame but himself, for throwing his hat into the ring too early. The woman who deserved the nomination would have ripped McCain to shreds and spit him out. No problem. If Obama would have waited a bit longer, we'd have potentially sixteen years of a Democratic president, and he'd have gained years of valuable experience. It's too late now. I hope he can pull it out, but if the split in the Democratic party is anyone's fault, it's Obama's, not Clinton's.

    September 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  10. Freida, NYC

    You know, Obama i so slick, he does this all the time...whenever he stucks his foot is his mouth (intentionally), the very next day he performs another "major speech" to get attention. The "pig" comment is down right sexist and an insult to all women out there. How dare you Obama, how dare you!!!!!

    Shame on you Obama!

    September 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  11. Reasonable Observer

    A question: If Obama wants McCain to "stick to the issues," why did he make the stupid pig comment in the first place? Looks like Obama is not following his own suggestion. Oh wait, "McCain, YOU stick to the issues, I will do whatever I want. McCain, YOU stop smearing me, I will do whatever I want," said Obama.

    September 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  12. Independent

    McCain voted against equal pay for equal work for woman and yet no one calls out sexism?! Or would women rather debate lipstick???

    September 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  13. william

    Obama is the best!

    Obama 2008

    September 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  14. gia

    GOOD for Obama for caling it like it is! Dems need to get as down and dirty as Reps do to get anyone's attention. Unfortunately, many people in this country cast their vote based on the person, not on the platform. Obama needs to avoid being put on the defensive by the Rep propaganda-and-headlines-only machine, else the Dems will be Kerry-fied!

    September 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  15. Rodham Democrat

    Does anyone else not see that John McCain is desperately trying to keep Sarah Palin in the news at all costs?

    Over the last 8 months, John McCain proved he can't generate excitement about his candidacy on his own so he's trying to smear Sen. Obama as a way to keep himself and Gov. Palin in the news.

    WHO'S RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT – Sarah Palin or John McCain?

    September 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  16. concerned parent

    Palin put herself out there by making the comment " the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull, is lipstick." That was a stupid thing to say. I am a little league mom and I do not want to be sized up with an animal. The comment "lipstick on a pig, still a pig", has been around for years. Did anyone think McCain was making a swipe at Hillary when he used it? No, everyone was focused on the policies in question. I want McCain/Palin to talk about real issues. I am offended as a mother of a teenager, for the Republican party trying to paint Bristol Palin's pregnancy as a good thing. Even though babies are a gift, it is still wrong for a child to have a child. While I applaud Palin for supporting her daughter as any good mother would do, she still made a mistake, by having unprotected sex and not using birth control. Bristol could have gotten something worse then a baby, AIDS.

    John McCain, tell us what you really can do for the country, and stop looking for small comments to paint the democratic party as bad. You put Palin out there when you made her your running mate, just to get the female vote. There are women who are offended by the fact that you think we are so stupid, that we would vote for someone just because they are female, instead of their views on the issues. And, as for religion, I don't care what religion you are, as long as you put the economy in good standing.

    Voters, make sure whoever you vote for, can address the issues and make things happen and not because they wear "lipstick". Remember, when looking at your VPs, understand, that if anything happens to the president, this is the person that will take the lead.

    September 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  17. jim in indiana

    I agree...enough IS enough.

    McCain..I am a war hero....I was a POW


    September 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  18. Independent leaning Obama

    Come to think of it, the preamble about Obama pigs statement was about Bush policy which McCain seems to have adopted, so if they don't understand his english, i think the should hire some people to tech teach them.

    September 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  19. wanda davis

    i reallyfear for our country with THAT women Palin running in the race with the so callMAn Mc Cain I guess my quetion is just who is running for President in theRepublican Party It,s really scarry!!!

    September 10, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    Enough IS enough. Stay on message Obama. Don't let them distract YOU.

    September 10, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  21. scared

    Mccain better stop talking about "i have the scars to prove it" so do thousands of soldiers. The question is do we need a soldier or a President with outstanding judgement and tempermant like Obama. Mccain is a bully "fight, fight, fight with me" I don't want to fight anymore. I want to be able to afford to send my three girls to college, pay my mortgage every month and have health insurance for my family.

    September 10, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  22. Jan From Boca Raton

    McCain is doing everything to take the focus off the issues.
    Why are they still saying Palin was against the Bridge to no where?
    Palin and McCain are pathetic.

    September 10, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  23. Hello!!!!

    Well, Wolf Blitzer said Bill Clinton wasn't acting very presidential when he made comments about the "war" speech Obama was running on early in the primary. What does he think of Obama now? Is he acting Presidential? Or is he acting defensive like a child?

    This nationally little-known Governor of Alaska has got the entire Obama Campaign and the Democratic big-wigs' panties in a bunch. This reaction solidifies Obama's inability to handle things he can't control. When McCain's campaign was out of money and all the experts were calling him dead, he pulled himself up and fought on and won the nomination from his party. When McCain was down in the polls, when the media was fawning over Obama's trip to Iraq, and virtually ignoring McCain, McCain didn't fall apart as Obama is doing now. He stayed the course and fought on. He's proven his leadership and ability to handle being knocked around. He hit a grand slam with Palin to boot.

    September 10, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  24. Traci

    This is hilarious – Obama is supposed to be able to say whatever he wants, and that's not an attack. When the Republicans take an exception to it, that's wrong.

    What's happening here is that Obama is no longer the media darling who can skip away after doing just about anything. His true nature is showing in his desperation and anger. You're angry, Barack? Now perhaps you understand how angry and betrayed Hillary Clinton's supporters have felt over these long months, as you and your supporters ran over the top of us – telling us how stupid, petty, unneeded we were and what a horrible person our candidate was. Well, we aren't stupid, and we certainly aren't blind.

    I do think the McCain camp should drop this, although there's no doubt Obama meant it exactly as it was interpreted. Obama and his crew will sink themselves – the Republicans need to get back to the issues and continue forward. The debates will show how worthless both Biden and Obama are.

    September 10, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  25. Elle

    That's right, Obama, FIGHT BACK!
    We just got our first wave of Attack ads here in Washington State and, let me tell you, that's all they are! Attack, attack, attack. No issues, no stances, no substance.

    Please people, look at the issues. Don't be fooled into thinking another Republican can turn this country in the right direction. We need someone who can quickly, professionally, and intelligently turn our economy around and get us back on track of being the most powerful and respected independent nation in the world. I want proper healthcare for my kids. I want my small business to succeed – not be bankrupted by insanely high taxes and a continually falling economy. The Republicans won't get us out of this hole – they'll dig us deeper.

    If you care about your family, your health, your paycheck, your business, your kids, your FUTURE, then you know what you need to do. Be smart. Vote for Change. OBAMA/BIDEN '08

    September 10, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
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