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. Irony

    What is the difference between a pitbull and a pig?

    Pigs are cute, taste better when roasted, and are less likely to go berserk and bite people.

    Really now, she called herself a "dog" and Obama insinuated she was a "pig"

    Pig IS more accurate considering all of her pork in Alaska!

    September 10, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  2. Rev. Wright

    It appears that the negative reaction to Barack Obama's recent "lipstick on a pig" comment is karmic justice for all of his race card playing during the presidential campaign.

    I guess you could say the pigs have come roost. 🙂

    September 10, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  3. Timi

    Honestly, CNN I am dissapointed that you would make this a headline/an you really think he was refering to Palin? Its a shame

    September 10, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  4. msdx

    I meant that McCain says he will get us off of oil sorry I had a couple typos in that

    September 10, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  5. simmerdownow

    Senator....please do not waste another second worrying about this ridiculous thing. McCain said the same thing about Hillary and even if you didn't intend it to be a slam against Governor Palin...BRAVO! She is getting under your skin...don't let that happen. Let Senator Biden take her on-and by the way Joe, don't hold back–let her have it. Once she grows a spine and will sit down with some serious journalist and have to explain herself, people will see her for what she is...a very out of touch right-wing puppet.

    September 10, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  6. Anonymous

    His arrogance is sad.
    I am not a member of a swift boat group.
    I am not a shill for the GOP.
    I am not making thing up.

    I AM A VOTER!!!!!!

    You insult me with that response.

    You think I take my cues from the GOP?????

    I think you are mattering less and less.

    You need all the voters you can get and you have gone very far Sen Obama of loosing a voter and McCain may have just gained another vote for his run for the white house.

    You think make a big mistake when you belittle people that have a concern with something you say by saying it is a McCain trick.

    You are out of touch and have you ever thought most people concerned with that pig comment have NOTHING to do with the McCain campaign.
    After that speech I am not so sure you helped your cause Sen Obama

    Make jokes about how I feel. You are the one sir who must think the American people are stupid.


    September 10, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  7. Independent-Gurnee, IL

    Finally... Enough is enough... the GOP had buttons stating Palin was the "Hottest Governor from the Coldest State" which apparently to McCain isn't sexist, but an old cliche stated by McCain himself back in 2007 is??? Give me a break...

    The GOP, Palin and McCain are a complete distraction. I wish the news media would call a spade a spade and stop recycling this trash!

    September 10, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  8. prairieguy

    Glad he blasted them this morning about all their BS issues and said ENOUGH is ENOUGH!!!!

    Barack will debate and present the issues and McShame can do whatever he wants!!!!!!

    September 10, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  9. Who's on First ... who ... The guy on 1st base ... who

    Only one Presidential candidate DERIDED the work of a female politician by saying, “you can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig”. That candidate was ….. Senator John S. McCain … when talking about Hillary Clinton’s healthcare plan in early 2008.

    September 10, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. JusLaugh

    I agree. The whole argument is stupid and irrelevant. Especially when McCain said the same thing about Hillary back in October.

    What is McCain's healthcare plan? I'm guessing it's the same as Bush's – Don't get sick.

    What is McCain's plan for education? So far, he doesn't seem to think any type of education is very important.

    What is McCain's plan to save the environment? Kill the polar bears and drill for oil?

    What is McCain's plan to help the economy? Give more tax breaks to large corporations and his rich friends?

    Let's get back to the problems that are affecting me, my family, and other regular people. This bickering is rediculous.

    September 10, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  11. gpenn FL

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. McCain has some nerve. His new education ad is an outright lie and it is about as low as you can get. It was confirmed yesterday that Rove is working for McCain and these ads just further prove it. McCain is using Bush tactics, because he is just more of the same.

    Say no to McCain
    No Pete and Repete

    September 10, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  12. angie - dallas -28

    See the BIGGER man taking the high road.
    Yes enough if enough, get on with the issues AMERICANS!

    September 10, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. Osama for Obama

    It would be like McCain saying "you can put a tie on an ape, but he's still an ape" and then being surprised when there's a backlash. Sarah gave us the "lipstick" joke at the RNC and this was a direct, sexist attack on her.

    It was followed up by Obama noting he didn't know how she keeps up with five kids because his two wear him out. Let me interpret that for you: she has too many kids to be VP, why doesn't she just go back to being a mom? Obama doesn't have the experience yet to be President and it shows. Nice guy, just too inexperienced.

    September 10, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  14. Lin

    Enough misogyny? ya I'm for that.

    September 10, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  15. Kar

    Good for you Barack!! Don't give Mccain's ridiculous claim another moment of airtime! Stick to the issues and make the republicans look worse than they already do!

    September 10, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  16. Mike Smith

    Enough IS enough. Obama stop back peddeling. If it was not a swipe at Palin, then who were you talking about? Come on, we are smarter than that. You apparently are not.

    September 10, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  17. Bill NY

    The pig is fair game

    September 10, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  18. Ex-mod-GOP for Obama

    Enough is enough. The Republicans lately have been campaigning on a strategy of saying whatever they think they need to say to win and trying to make the Democrats look weak and whiny when they correctly point out the exaggerations and outright lies. It's not working on me and it darn well ought not to work on the American people.

    September 10, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  19. Betty Webster NY

    How come MCain can say it and Obama can't? Oh wait, MCain said it about Hillary before Palin was chosen. Now its taboo. Right......

    September 10, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  20. lets be honest

    COME ON...






    September 10, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  21. Mark, Ohio

    It is obvious what the McCain campaign is trying to do – but I guess with all the economic problems in the US especially independent voters will not go for these smears.

    September 10, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  22. Robert - Santa Rosa, CA

    Enough! Indeed.

    A recent McCain ad falsely accuses Obama of advocating "comprehensive sex education" in kindergarten (with a weird picture of Obama smiling and looking down) when in fact there was something in the law about warning children about pedophiles.

    Now, that was truly offensive and deserves an apology.

    September 10, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  23. SDB

    Yes it was...Obama knows it and we know it. Obama has no "plans" he gives us generalities that we already know about...and "general" answers that we already know as well...blah..blah...we have to compete with China and India...blah..blah...we have to improve schools...blah...blah..more teachers...blah..blah....yeah? What else? You cannot force kids to be what they do not want to be...and most kids in the US do not care to be what he is describing...when a moron like Obama can possibly be the president...well that says it all doesn't it?

    September 10, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  24. sarah

    Obama, stop being a baby ! Do you need a news conference for all the gaffe you create?

    September 10, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  25. Jason from Seattle

    I can't stand this flip-flopping, elitist, weak and insulting guy. I am an independent that was originally a hard campaigner for Hillary Clinton. Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi chose Obama no matter how you put it. It was a disappointment and his actions are not that of a candidate I would want to support.

    McCain/Palin 08

    September 10, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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