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. Sue in Colorado

    Senator Obama's speech today in Norfolk brought me to tears. It was such a poised, mature, and Presidential response to the stupid "lipstick" attack. He reminded us of the real important issues this country faces. The Republican campaign machine is sinking to new lows this past week. I'm glad someone is at least trying to stay above the fray and keep on track and on message for the American public.

    September 10, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  2. yielee

    Obama's technique of delivering campaign rhetoric as if he was a straight-talker is wearing thin.

    Axelrod had better tell him to show a brighter emotional range when he speaks, otherwise his message will not get across.

    September 10, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  3. Pat In Austin- HELLO!

    Doesn't everyone remember at the RNC Convention that McCain's campaign manager said "this election is not about the issues"? They have nothing to run on so they fill the airwaves and the Internet (just one) with sick ads and "poor innocent us" tactics. Hopefully the American people will grow up just enough to realize that we can't afford more neo-con crap!

    September 10, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  4. diana

    Mccain's tactics are tiresome. He should stick with the issues instead of trying to divert his attention to an unrelated topic. Mccain even stole Obama's slogan for the case of change and used it for his political campaign during the RNC. The American people are smart enough to not fall for these political games. I'm glad Obama called him out and said "Enough is enough." Obama-Biden 08!

    September 10, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  5. Dan

    I'm solidly behind the majority of people here...but...when is either candidate going to give us more on their plans for the future. They both want change....but I want to know the specifics. I, for one, won't vote for EITHER candidate without knowing more.

    People, we need to demand more than this kind of reporting. It's so shallow...lowest-common-denominator. This is such an important election I would hope everyone would make their decision based on more than platitudes and crossfire about lipstick on animals. But to date, that's all I've gotten.

    September 10, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  6. Sue

    Sarah Palin owes Obama an apology for the shameful way in which she mocked his community organizer job during the first few minutes of her speech at the convention. No surprise since her speech was written by Bush's speech writer. However, for a woman who claims to be a Christian, her attitude about his job and her lying about selling the government plane on EBay and saying "No thank you" to the bridge to nowhere is very misleading for those who do not check out the facts.

    September 10, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  7. Someone

    You Crats are so funny. Politics from both sides of the isle has become idiotic at best. I personally think the comment is no big deal no matter what he meant. However, everyone wants to be the sensistive police when it is to their advantage.

    Are you telling me that every Crat in America wouldn't stand up and scream in unison if McCain (or any non-crat) said:

    "well you can send a monkey to the moon, but you don't want him piloting the ship"

    I say we impeach every current politician and START OVER!!!!!

    September 10, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  8. mayah

    When it came from the GOV. PITBULL it was cute, cut to the chase, a waste of all the American's DONATION with STUPID ads, WE need change in WASHINTON, NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McPITBULL.. ENOUGH

    September 10, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  9. Enough is Enough

    Push back. Don't let the GOP strategists define this race. They have no record on which to run, only one to run away from, so they're trying to throw chaff into the air in order to distract the public. Slam em!

    Where does McCain get off? Why doesn't he crack another joke at Chelsea Clinton and Janet Reno's expense? Hypocrite not maverick!!!

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

    I really wish that all the Hillary supporters would stop playing right
    into the republican strategists hands. Don't they realize that every
    time a republican says "he should have picked Hillary" they are
    purposefully trying to rile her staunch supporters into punishing the
    dems by voting republican out of spite. The republican agenda
    IN NO WAY represents ANYTHING that Hillary stands for. Don't
    continue to let yourself be used.

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

    John McCain did serve his country...so did thousands of other people. Get over it already. How anyone could vote for the republican ticket simply bafflles me.

    What is so hard about choosing between:

    – 2 highly successful lawyers who teach the CONSTITUTION

    and

    – a sexist 72 yr old, 4 time cancer survivor, who barely graduated from college.

    – an extemist woman who spent 6 years in 5 different colleges to get a BS in Journalism...

    Only in America...

    John McCain isn't a hero. It's the men and women who work multiple jobs to take care of their families...it's the young africa

    September 10, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  12. Stacey Hendricks

    If the media decides to make an issue of this, they are as bad and manipulative as the Republicans. JOHN MCCAIN used the EXACT same statement earlier about Hillary Clinton. Funny. I never heard about that at the time. This should infuriate women because the John McCain camp is using sexism, NOT Obama. McCain is using the fact that they have a female as a vp candidate to make false accusations as though she is the "victim". Sarah Palin is being used by the Republican party just because she is female. So much for women's rights. Sarah, you should feel really proud of yourself. You're setting women back years.

    September 10, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  13. Palinocchio

    They're going to have to pay people to come watch McCain talk when Palinocchio goes her own way!

    Typical Republican response, of course they totally ignore the fact that McCain used that phrase as well directed at Hillary, McCain and Palin must carry a mirror for each face!

    September 10, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  14. Lyman

    He is right enough is enough. However it's enough on both sides I for one would like to see a positive campaign. Most people are fed up with the politics as usual. it is disgusting.

    September 10, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  15. onk-onk

    Palin makes a statement earlier this year on a radio talk show that Hilary Clinton should not whine and certain things should be expected in the presidential election.

    Then she gets in front of millions, refers to herself as a dog and now is whining because she is being compared to a pig. She and John McCain's willingness to steal Barack Obama's "change theme" opened the door for the comparison.

    Instead of picking over and stealing every part of Barack Obama's speeches, why don't they respond to the biggest insult out there....

    John McCain has voted or sided with George Bush over 90% of the time....

    Not one time have I seen a rebuttal saying "this is a lie or simply untrue". Not one time have he said I was wrong and this is what I intend to do different this time...

    Respond to the things that matter to the American people and stop wasting our time with bull!

    September 10, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  16. Kenneth

    The McCain Camp is just waiting for Obama or Biden to say anything about poor little Palin. Obama and Biden have the right to speak up against her because she is running for office and she talks stuff all of the time. The McCain camp is going to try and get the American public to back-up Palin against anything that anyone says just because she is a somewhat attractive woman. After all the stuff the American public has already heard her say, everyone should be cool with Obama and Biden hitting her back.

    September 10, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  17. Suzanne

    Americans deserve to hear discussions about issues from EACH candidate. I am an outraged American sitting in front of my TV, reading my newspaper and online commentaries and trying understand and focus on the real issues. When will I see them discussed?

    September 10, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  18. Ted

    This phony outrage is evidence that the McSame campaign only wants to make it about personalities not the issues. Can anybody say Karl Rove? I do not want a 72 year old POW with untreated PRSD as the next president nor a Holy Roller as VP.

    If McSame and AhPaulin would stick to the issues they would not have anything to talk about so they turn to the only thing they know, Mud Slinging as taught by Karl Rove!

    September 10, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  19. kathy

    I'm glad obama and the democrats are geting back to the issues. no apology necessary for lipstick comments...mcsame said it first against clinton. mcsame picked palin as VP and now he hides her from the press and the real questions...scripts her speeches, and probrably has "wardrobe" pick her shade of lipstick...HA. we don't care about mcsame and 4more years of bush!...we want the issues dealt with and obama...we need you and good ol' joe to bring it home.......show the epople what 4more years of the same will bring....and for those of you who are listening but wrestling with your prejudice....it's okay to vote for a black man...he's for the people...obama "gets it".

    September 10, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  20. yen

    It is heart breaking sad to see the maverick engage in such petty remark by Obama. Yes, McCain is so rich that he has time to talk like this.Please I want to hear the candidates both tell us what they will do to the American people to alleviate their pain. Please just now think of the people suffering as a result of the three successive hurricane.

    September 10, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  21. Jane

    I am a republican female disgusted by the republican party's same tactics, politics of lies and destruction! Senator Obama should just stick to the issues get his people out discussing the issues and completely ignore this senile 72 year old man who obviously has nothing to offer this country. From where I sit my republican friends are not buying into this new republican VP pick! It is a hoax, an our feelings are strong this man did not put his country first. That his fellow republicans have been intimidated into silence is the most scary of all.

    I strongly believe Senator Obama has put his country first by the way he has handled his entire campaign and most of all his VP pick. I will be voting for the democrats this time around – the country desparately needs change, not self serving divisions topped with messages of hate. Enough is enough encourage other americans to see through these phonies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Republican for Obama/Biden and with great pride!

    September 10, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  22. Isaac

    So what? When did Sarah Palin trademark the word "lipstick"?

    September 10, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  23. Carol

    Way to stand tough Obama. McCain wants to be president so badly he'll I guess he got confuse guns, hunting, pigs Sarah Palin ....

    September 10, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  24. ClintonDem4Cynthia08

    How refreshing it is to know that the Obama doomed his campaign by invoking a pig when referring to Sarah Palin.

    September 10, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  25. denver

    I watched Bush/Rove swift boat Kerry so I am not surprised the right winged media are taking and running with this. I watched the video I guess unlike some of the people who commented, it was clearly in context of McCain and Bush's policies. But go ahead McCain let's see how many advertisements will just take Obama's one sentence and make it sound like he said it about Palin. The countdown begins....

    September 10, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
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