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. julie

    what happen when McCain said the same thing about HIllary
    this past summer ask CNN for tape.

    McCain talked about pig on lip stick about HIllary health care
    why is this not showing on TV..

    double standard,, double talk

    September 10, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  2. Damon

    If McCain is offended by comments now from the Obama camp, I would suggest wait until you get closer to November. This is only the beginning... and, it's not like McCain hasn't thrown a couple low-blows along the way.

    September 10, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  3. Dennis Philadelphia

    Blue tiger..what should he refute? he wasnt talking about palin, he was talking about their claim to change. I swear to God, you people are NUTS! Just admit it.. you can't win on issues, so you bring foolishness into the race and try to scare people into voting for 4 more years of bush.

    September 10, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  4. Ex-mod-GOP for Obama

    And, please. The pig in the analogy is clearly John McCain's positions. Let's talk about real issues.

    September 10, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  5. Independent Voter

    I agree. Enough is enough. This election has turned into a juvenile debate reminiscent of a junior high school run for student council. Lipstick on a pig is a very common remark that John McCain himself has used (not to mention he used it in reference to Hillary Clinton). Can't we move on?

    As someone who has yet to make her decision to support a candidate in this election, it's maddening to me that these are the types of issues being talked of. What about the REAL issues? Can't we debate on those? My life and my family's lives depend on them.

    This is not a game, and it's not an election for prom queen. I wish it would be treated with the respect, seriousness, and urgency it deserves.

    September 10, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  6. sjp

    did you hear that america, he was talking to you. our future and childrens is about education. not about made up sexism and same old education policies. enough BS from the republicans about hurt pride. more about issues and what our next leaders are gonna do to help our country! again obama shows why he is the right person at the right time for this country.

    September 10, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. VRM

    The Republicans are trying to make a mockery of this election. It's a shame.

    September 10, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  8. enomisa

    Actually... that is how Americans are feeling about cocky, arrogant Obama.

    He with the least experience and no qualifications. He with no track record of achievement. He of no accomplishment dares to criticize others.

    He has done this for 2 years- He can not build himself up- having done nothing but deliver "inspiring" speeches... so he criticizes everything that anyone else has done.

    OBAMA did it with Hillary and he is doing it again: claiming that he is better based on absolutely nothing but his own bragging words.

    Obama has never walked the walk. He is always just mocking and putting down others.


    September 10, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  9. Ovid

    Republicans are the real 'whiners', not ordinary Americans...whimps

    September 10, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  10. Save US

    The real question is why are we insulting pigs??

    September 10, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  11. Hillary Supporter For McCain

    You have no one to blame but yourself Barack and your self centered rascist and sexist followers. This life long Democrat will never vote for your brand of "an end to politics as usual." The Barack campaign is disgusting! No sooner is Palin's name announced and the Barack surrogates launch their "swift boat" attacks (just like they did to Hillary Clinton). Within days, we were subject to the onslaght of name calling where Gov. palin is labelled "Hitler in a skirt," attacked because she has children, attacked because her 17 year old daughter is pregnant, mcoked because she served as a small town mayor, and rudely referred to as "Caribou Barbie." Is this your idea as an end to the "politics as usual" folks??? The whole concept of Obama is insulting to virtually every decent American regardless of political affiliation. I am thrilled that Hillary is not on this sinking ship.

    September 10, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  12. Rob

    Obama nailed it again, phoney outrage and smoke screens from McCain to distract everyone from talking about the real issues that affect everyone.
    the media are supposed to be the refs in this and call em when they seem em and aren't right now. They allow the lies to become truths by not calling them on it when they seem them. It's time to be responsable journalists and help clean up this mess not perpetuate it!

    September 10, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  13. Katrina

    Kudos to Obama! Let's stick to the REAL issues, which the McCain camp seems to be avoiding by trying to distract us with all of this nonsensical media circus hype. I am still waiting to hear how they plan to fix the healthcare, education, and economic systems.

    September 10, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  14. katiec

    When will the lies, distortions, exaggerations by the'
    Mccain/palin ticket stop??
    It is an insult to the American voter for them to run on
    nothing but attacks, fear.
    But, the republicans would have a hard time running
    on accomplishments as they have none. Kinda
    difficult to tout policies when theirs have almost
    destroyed our country. Tough to talk about records,
    as they are miserable.

    The survival of our country is at stake.

    September 10, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  15. Raymond Duke

    He likes to play them low ball tactics and then when he gets called on it " He then says enough is enough. Kind of reminds me when he played the sexist card and race card against the Clintons with CNN and MSNBC'S help.I reckon how all you liberals would react if Palin had said " Obama reminds me of a CHOW Dog" they both have purple lips and Black tongues. I do not think it would sale very well and I do not believe what Obama said will , no matter how much the media says it was not directed at her. Kind of like the fish smell in the newspaper crack he made. As far as only uneducated women voting for Obama, my wife and daughter both have masters degrees and will be voting for the McCain / Palin ticket. As far as the liberal blogger saying Palin got where she is due to Affirmative action "How do you think Obama and his wife Michele got into Harvard. It must have worked better for Blacks then whites since she went to a public college in Idaho.

    September 10, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  16. Kevin in Ancorage AK

    I agree! ENOUGH! Focus on the issues. Our Great Alaskan Governor will eventually have to resign her position when she is proven guilt on abuse of power charges are proven; which we all know in Alaska, they will. IF McCain focuses on the issues now, it will minimumize the damage to his campaign which Sarah Palin implodes because of her extremist religious views.

    September 10, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. Chad, Wisco

    Why is it that this man feels that whatever he does is always correct and that everyone else is wrong? Thats not what a good leader does. A good leader isnt afraid to admit he makes a mistake. A good leader is able to learn from their past miscues and grow to become a better person.

    September 10, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  18. Independent but Leaning

    McCain better watch it- the media has plenty of time between now and November to again portray Obama as the victim.

    September 10, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  19. jm for sc

    Mccain will say anything to gain the support of women. He knows that comment was not directed toward Palin. Enough is enough!!!!

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 10, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  20. Greg

    "Enough is enough"? You're not kidding...when will this fool Obama step aside and drop out?

    Obama's "change" is change we CANNOT AFFORD!!

    September 10, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  21. Rudy NYC

    I agree. The GOP has been weeping crocodile tears over Sarah Palin ever since she was introduced as the VP pick.

    The media is not trying to tear down or destroy Palin. The media is simply performing its self-appointed duty to investigate and report the facts on a relative unknown. The public cannot rely on the GOP's claim that she is perfect. Fact checking is allowed and expected. To expect anything different is censorship.

    McCain has used the same metaphor at least twice in the past year. Obama's remark is no more than that. Even the GOP's Mike Huckabee rejected the idea that the comment was aimed at Palin.

    September 10, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  22. Kevin

    A wise politician would not have used those words so soon after the GOP convention. A wise politician would have better judgment than to be friends with Wright,Ayers and Rezco.

    September 10, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  23. Doug

    Welcome to presidential politics. If Palin is so tough, then she can take whatever she hears, even if it isn't directed at her....which this particular comment was not.

    September 10, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  24. Tommy Hussein in St. Louis...not wearing lipstick

    Blue Tiger September 10th, 2008 10:50 am ET

    Strangely, Barack Obama says that "enough is enough" with regard to the "lipstick" comment yet doesn't refute it. During the primary, he had no problem constantly attacking Hillary Clinton (a member of his own party) on non-policy matters.


    I wish you'd give some examples. The worst thing I can remember Obama saying about Hillary during the primary season is that she was playing politics and acting like Annie Oakley to exploit his "bitter and clinging" comments. Accusing a politician of playing politics? Gee, how terrible and shocking. Come on, Hillary's a big girl and she was able to handle it just fine.

    September 10, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  25. Wake Up America

    McCain and Co. are using the same Rove-Bush tactics from the 2000 and 2004 elections...we can not afford to fall for these lies again.

    Do you really want a 3rd Bush term?...that is what McCain and Palin are offering us on a silver platter. It is appalling to see them lie and lie and lie as if we dont know the truth...we need to send these two packing down the bridge to nowhere....

    Dont let them put fear and hate in your heart. This is our chance to make a change and change will not come by voting for McCain/Palin...WAKE UP AMERICA!!!

    September 10, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
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