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. LA

    The so-called “News’ Media are not doing their work. This should not be news. Asking McCain and Palin to discuss policies should be news.
    The economy, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, foreclosures, gas prices, unemployment, budget deficit of $407 Billion, education should be the news.

    Like McClellan said if you the journalists did their job, we wouldn’t have gone to war in Iraq.

    Shame on all of you. I am so disgusted. We are all going down as a nation because of a few “self-absorb” people.

    September 10, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. bluebird

    When I heard the pig statement, it sounded like a stupid thing to say to me. It was just plain stupid-whether he meant it in the way the RNC says or not. Get your act together OBama so there is no ambiguity in what you say.

    September 10, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  3. Ryuken

    Spare me the Obama BS. I said I would vote for McCain if Obama didn't ask Senator Clinton to be his VP and I'm going to. I think Obama is the anti-christ and well, men and women died so I could vote for whichever candidate I want and for whatever reason I want!

    September 10, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. Candy West Virginia

    Mark – you must not have mccain and palin at all lately then for you to make that dumb remark. They have done nothing but attack Obama and lie against him. But then you are republican, blind to the truth. You guys only hear what you want and see what you wanna see. Disgusting! And the pig comment was an exact quote of saying you can dress up a policy but its still a pig, referring to one of mccains policy. Obama borrowed mccains quote from last year when mccain made the exact same remark against Hillary.

    September 10, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  5. Not made of brick-no stones


    September 10, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  6. Dean

    I thought this election was supposed to be about US. Why is it now suddenly about Sarah Palin? America, you are being stupid if you allow this 'change' to be what you focus on.

    September 10, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  7. Philip Curtin

    to quote a famous war leader, Winston Churchill
    I like pigs, dogs look up to you cats look down on you but Pigs treat you as equals, so appropriate non sexist equal opportunity phrase is you ask me, show the harvard education was not wasted. Now as for Pitbulls we thats just a nasty animal if you ask me, an oh before you ask no Churchills dog 'rufus' was not a pitbull not even a 'british' bulldog but a poodle, not that that has anything to do with anything

    September 10, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  8. Ronda

    Have you noticed that McCain always fumble with his ring finger whenever he stands next to Sarah Palin? Or is it just me. McCain looks a little uncomfortable.

    September 10, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  9. Sandra Aldridge

    I think and hope that the Palin choice is going to turn around and bite them in the a–! How they could take that remark so personally just shows how insecure and desparate they are. If they actually win this thing, I'm going to have to move out of the country!!

    September 10, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. No McSame/Palin, CA

    McSame used this lipstick on a pig during the primaries against Hillary re her health care plan. McSame's camp is trying to distract from the issues, because they are running on the same FAILED policies of Bush. Obama is sticking to the issues, that is what this election is about. McSame/Palin represent 90% of Bush's policies. McSame will not deliver any change. they are trying to steal Obama's change slogan, because they have no change to offer. McSame/Palin is an extension of the Bush administration. Obama is the TRUE agent of change. Change We Can Believe In. Obama/Biden 08-12

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

    Hang in there Barack – we're with you. Stay focused, keep talking abt the issues that REALLY matter to the American people. Not much you can do about the media, ignore 'em and in the end issues will trump these phony issues from the Republicans.

    Obama/Biden '08!

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

    GREAT GOING, OBAMA!!! It takes a really strong person to have to try to deal with the behaviors we are seeing by both McCain and Palin and their "team" who cannot see the forest for the trees!! You would think Palin is McCain's personal China Doll and the game needs to end. They have nothing to offer but "FIGHT WITH ME< FIGHT WITH ME" and neither can talk to the topics because of it. Both are scary people. I think John McCain has way too much personal baggage from his military family and his NAM experience. He thinks winning a war we started for all the wrong reasons is a win??? Next we will win in Iran??? WE NEED WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND THE WAY YOU ARE DOING IT!! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!

    September 10, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. FEED UP

    I have never been less proud of my country right now! Honestly, McCain cares nothing about the struggles of the average person in this country. Negative attack after negative attack. And just read the comments on this board ....Obambi, Osama, blah, blah, blah. Not one word about how the Republicans have completely screwed this country up. Not one solution as to how they are going to fix it. I don't care if she Palin wears lipstick by the truck load how is that going to fix the cost of gas, groceries, healthcare, education?

    Most of you people need to grow up. I really have to wonder how bad off you are when all you can focus on is the kind of junk being thrown around by the McCain campaign.

    Obama is right ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!

    September 10, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. xargaw

    In 2000 John McCain was viciously smeared by Bush in South Carolina. He cryed foul and said that kind of politics had no place in this country. Today, McCain is running the same kind of vile campaign. If John McCain was ever an honorable man, he has shed that honor. It is the responsibility of the media to report the truth instead reporting manufactured gossip as truth. Will they do it? So far, they have not given much reason for hope. The country is in dire straights. Truth is patriotism. Let's hope there are at least a few patriots left in the media.

    September 10, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  15. Living in the USA

    Palin is being prepped for the debate. Since she loves moose so much who is helping her Bullwinkle. Why is she bring prepped as Governor and Mayor she should be PREPARED. She started this mess the night of the convention. I ain't watching that staged interview with Gibson.

    September 10, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  16. Barbara - GA

    Way to go Senator...way to go!!!!

    Enough is Enough!!!!

    September 10, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  17. Robert

    I guess CNN is now in bed with MC Same...... Big business and the right its going to be the new merger FOX/CNN with FOX being on the top of the


    September 10, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  18. Mr Fix It in Florida

    I remenber McSame using the same phrase referencing to Hillary's healthcare plan.
    I also remenber when they used the celebrity ad, McSame saying "its okay to have some humor in the campaign"

    Question is.... where is the humor now?

    September 10, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. Terrence (Winston Salem, NC)

    That's what we wanna hear, Obama. Get at 'em!!!

    September 10, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  20. Hello!!!!

    What if Palin had said, in referring to the Democratic Ticket's claims on an issue, "It's like the pot calling the kettle black." Would there be outrage?

    BTW, Obama and Biden voted FOR the Bridge to Nowhere, then when the money could have been redirected to Katrina Aid, they voted against it. Get the facts straight, please.

    September 10, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  21. great peril

    it is all politics

    and a good way to divert people's attention from the issues

    it would all be really funny, but our country does have serious problems which should be discussed

    guess we'll just have to wait for the debates and pray for some substance

    September 10, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  22. Enough !!!

    you are turning ridiculous, CNN !!! stop spreading the lies and smears. you needda do a fact check prior to posting any of this garbage. the American people deserve better than that. how can you claim to be the most trusted news network?

    September 10, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  23. Ron

    obamanites are just like their hero, they can laugh and ridicule people and are arrogant as hell. but get a little pressure and they all come unglued. what is Biden and Obama gonna do if they get pressure from Putin or Chavez? Putin is known for frustrating people by lying through his teeth and Chavez will call you an idiot to your face. and they want to run the country cry, cry, cry, just call Hillary she'll take care of it for you

    September 10, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  24. Do as I say not as I do

    Stick to the issues!! They want to debate about lipstick on a pig and not the economy. When she called herself a pitbull in lipstick.


    The American people are really stupid to fall for this game, stick to the issues. Fix the economy, fix the housing industry, stop jobs from going overseas, etc.


    September 10, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  25. Lone Wolf 79

    Way to go, Obama! ENOUGH!!!!

    September 10, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
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