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. Tori

    I'm a female and I am outraged that McCain is outraged. He has used the line SO MANY TIMES. Focus on the issues! I don't care about this. The economy is in the toilet!

    September 10, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  2. Missy

    The more of this John McCain pulls, the more i can't stand him. Whether you agree with Barack Obama's politics or not, there's no reason to dispute his 'decentness' as a man. There's no way someone of his character would have had Sarah Palin in mind when making the 'lipstick on a pig' comment.' I wonder about the character McCain though. Actually, it's clear to me he is a man of very WEAK character.

    An even more disgusting trick: In recent days McCain has also put out an add misleading people into believing that Obama was some kind of pervert who was pushing sex education for Kindergartners (NOT true. He took steps to protect them.. look it up). In the ad he included a picture of Obama smiling in a way that added to the horrifying misconception (the picture, obviously taken during a completely unrelated time). How awful to try to paint the father of two young girls as a pervert. I'm so sick to death of McCain. God willing we won't have to endure any more of his personal, made-up attacks after November.

    September 10, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  3. Ioan

    It was always clear about Obama's dirty character; he is changing his believes as often as I change my pants; the true value of a leader is shown in the moments of desperation, not in the moments of glory, and his dirty comments shown a desperate weak men who may become the president of the strongest nation on Earth. Have you all noticed how often he is changing his position to say what America wants to hear?
    He will put America on its knees if elected.

    September 10, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  4. AnotherObamaMomma

    McCain is a walking billboard for dimentia. Clearly he can't remember a lot of what he he's proven in his politcal career. This is no different. And apparently it's contagious, since Palin forgot she said women whining does a dis-service to women everywhere. Make up your mind, either you're going to be a hockey mom or a pitbull....MAN UP!

    September 10, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  5. Debby

    Obama promises alot but never mentions how he is going to pay for things in his town hall this morning. Talk is cheap Barack.

    September 10, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  6. Jonathan Walsman

    What's wrong Barack?? Now that you are trailing we're hearing a lot of belly-aching. You are sexist! Period! The way your campaign treated Hillary and the fact that you ignored her during the VP search. These comments about Palin prove it....Obama is sexist.

    September 10, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. oge

    i think Palin/Mcain should please take a chll pill!!! they have nothing to discuss so they talk about Obama all day, Palin you are a disgrace to other women, you get a chance make history, do something good and instead you resort to playing games and lies straight out of Karl Roves book...heck pick a number and stand in line there are many before you in lipstick who are actually dealing with issues!!!!

    September 10, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  8. GaryofCircleville

    Issues, only the issues! Each fool needs to tell the American people how they will pay for their grandiose schemes. Better yet vote out all of the "political prostitutes" and start over. Completely eliminate outside sources of income for all elected officials; if you don't like the pay for the job, do not seek election. All decisions will be based on the benefits to the greatest number of citizens, not lobbyist, not special interest groups, not friends; only what is best for the greatest number of citizens.

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

    B E T T E R--–E X P L A N A T I O N :::::: P O O R--C H O I C E--–

    O F---W O R D S

    September 10, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  10. Will the real John McCain please stand up

    Will John McCain's PULLTOY SARAH PALIN ever break free and tell us what she would do to improve or change from the disastrous policies of the past 8 years.



    September 10, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  11. McCain + Sarah = empty suits

    Pepole who say Palin has more experience than Obama have a IQ as low as McCains age and as efficent as Palin's abstience only program.
    McCain is a fraud.
    72 years, you've been running a campaing for two years with no message only to steal Obama's message.
    For sure people with air in their brains bought the message.

    September 10, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  12. holyman



    September 10, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. John McCain/Roseanne Barr 2008

    John McCain, Sarah is not a pig. She's Roseanne Barr in Sarah's body. Listen to her voice!!!

    September 10, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. Independent in DC

    Props to Obama for calling McCain on his bs. This is getting ridiculous. Nobody's gonna continue to walk around on eggshells to appease their fake outrage in an effort to manipulate and distract people from the issues. Those of you falling for this bs are nothing more than puppets and McCain is pulling your strings. GET BACK TO THE ISSUES!

    September 10, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  15. Carol O

    McCain himself used the exact same phrase to describe Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's health care plan just last year. "I think they put some lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig," McCain said in October of 2007, describing Clinton's universal health care plan when she was running in the Democratic primary. He also, in February 2007, used the phrase to describe conflict over a resolution on the Iraq War. "It gets down to whether you support what is being done in this new strategy or you don't," McCain said at the time. "You can put lipstick on a pig, [but] it's still a pig, in my view."

    Time to move on to the next McCain smear!

    September 10, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  16. Victoria Anderson - Seattle, Washington

    I'm sooooo proud of Obama. I believe he is going to win. He is sticking with the issues. John McCain with his horrible ads and negative responses plus the cheerleader/pitbull with lipstick makes my stomach turn. I'm really getting sick in tired of this whining and stupity that comes out of their mouths.
    And to the media, if the reps want to keep Sarah away from the media then you should report less on her and more on Obama... Forget her if she ain't ready for the United States because personally I'm tired of the same speech.

    September 10, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  17. Warren

    If Palin want to be a pitbull, then the McCain camp need to stop protecting her. Let's talk about the issues Mr. McCain. Stop the swift boat politics. Stop hiding your VP pick and put her in front of the media to answer the hard questions. Obama is right about the McCain campaign. All McCain is doing is putting lipstick on a pig and trying to fool the American voters.


    Would someone please wright Palin a new speech? I am sick and tired of hearing about her plane, husband snowmobile race, and cheif. Enough.

    September 10, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  18. John Parsons

    Every time "The Prophet" is off teleprompter he sticks his foot in his mouth. And instead of apologizing to Gov. Palin he attacks, because he can never admit he is wrong. Sen Obama is one of very few people who can make George W. Bush look like a genius.

    September 10, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  19. Ann

    And if the lipstick remark was a dig...all the better. Finally someone is giving the slimy Republicians a taste of their own medicine.

    These Obama remarks have finally turned me into a Obama supporter.

    September 10, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  20. Rodham Democrat

    Would John McCain call himself a sexist for using the "lipstick on a pig line" on Hillary Clinton's policy ideas?

    September 10, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  21. Joe

    Right On!!!. I'm sicked and bored of this false controversies when is McCain gonna come from under Palin's skirt and talk about what is he going to do with the country.

    September 10, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  22. Independent


    September 10, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  23. Ron

    Finally, Obama gets angry. He needs to stop playing nice guy. The republicans have stolen elections for years and will steal this one as well unless Obama puts them in their place.

    Bottom line is this:

    If you are happy with the current status of this country, vote McCain because things will remain the same.

    If you are not happy with the current status of this country, vote Obama and lets give the democrats a chance to change things.

    I personally am NOT happy with what the republican president has done to this country since 2000 and will vote Obama this year.

    I have NEVER voted Democrat before until now.

    September 10, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  24. greg allen



    September 10, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  25. Sue in Colorado

    Yes! McCain totally campaigns like a coward! That puts it so distinctly. Obama is the real hero here. McCain's days as a hero are OVER!

    September 10, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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