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. Doug R.

    Palin is a pig with lipstick who rolls around in the mud.
    Grandpa McCain is a fraud who has offered nothing to this country except lies and trash talk. He's certainly not honorable or a patriot in my book.

    September 10, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  2. Lori in West Virginia

    The comment is commonly used by politicians and was not directed at Sarah Palin. What is really disgusting is the McCain ad accusing Obama of advocating sex education for kindergartners when the actual policy, before the McCamp spinned it into filfth, was to protect young children from predators. SHAME SHAME on McCain.

    September 10, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  3. Michelle in Philly

    No Obama we are not stupid, I know exactly what you meant yesterday, just like when you gave the finger to Hillary. I will never vote for you!!

    September 10, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  4. Joseph

    It's about time!

    This election is about us and about real issues. John McCain and his clown crew don't understand that, but we all do.

    September 10, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  5. GO Obama!

    McCain and Rep. spin is again distorting truth. Obama was not referring to Palin. This is the quote:

    “That’s not change. 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. You know you can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change, it’s still going to stink after eight years. We’ve had enough of the same old thing.”

    September 10, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  6. Former Hillary supporter

    Was this the same phrase that Hillary and millions of us had shouted at you and your supporters early of this year? What goes around comes around!

    September 10, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  7. Cindy

    Who is on the top of the republican ticket??? I forgot??? Oh and where exactly do they stand on issues that matter to all of us, like the economy, energy, education, foreign relations??? Oh yeah they haven't said a word...

    I guess the republicans believe that the run for the most importnat job in this country has more to do with a pretty face and popularity than having a "real" stance on the important issues this country is facing!!!

    The chnage they're talkign about is what color lipstick will Palin be wearing today.... They'e a JOKE!!

    September 10, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  8. Jon, Pittsburgh, PA

    Obama is 100% correct on this. McCain is desperate and his Rove-style campaign tactics should be attacked by our news media as being just that.

    McCain and Palin – will you discuss the issues and your policy positions? When hell freezes over.

    September 10, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  9. Marie in California

    Maybe Obama should put on some lipstick and look in the mirror.....

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

    This the most ridiculous claim ever. Remember if the same type of thing was said and the Obama campaign said racism, people would be having a fight about him injecting race into the campaign. Bottom line is that Obama and Biden are for universal healthcare, cutting taxes, cutting America safe, ending a needless war, having a clear plan for education, closing corporate loop holes and many others. I honestly don't know what McCain is running on besides "Maverick", "reform" and "shaking things up", his stump speech I can give because THERE IS NO SUBSTANCE. America please look out for your best interests. I understand McCain/Palin may relate to folks but I relate to my best friend doesn't mean I want them for President. A lot of folks I'm sure relate to George Bush, doesn't mean they should be President, it comes down to issues and substance and who will do the best for your family.

    GO OBAMA/BIDEN 2008/2012 AND HILLARY 2016/2020

    September 10, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  11. Cody

    If you want to read some undeniable, mean-spirited, sexist remarks, research John McCain's joke about 12-year old Chelsea Clinton.

    September 10, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  12. James


    OBAMA 2008!!!

    September 10, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  13. Brett

    Barack – the game is over. REALIZE IT!

    McCain-Palin '08!

    September 10, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  14. Spencer from VA

    Hit him were it hurts Barack. McCain is running his campaign on falsehoods and it's about time he be called out on it.

    September 10, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  15. APS in Hawaii

    Amazing how Obama gets caught with a flat out sexist remark and he says enough is enough. Yes, it is enough!! Enough of the lies and the hypocritical statement about how you are going to talk about the issues and then the Obama side uses dirty smear campaign tactics. What is the matter with him and his supporters? Don't they get it? They are going to lose when they mark all of these sexist remarks. I have been a life long Democrat, however, Obama just makes it too hard to consider voting for him with his Rove style attacks on women. Now he can feel the pain, and with it he is losing any hope of the Presidency.

    September 10, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  16. American Expat

    If you can't stand the heat, get outta the kitchen! Nuff said.

    September 10, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  17. Brenda Wright

    Yes, it is about time that Obama shows that he does not bow to McCain and the republican party. Yes, to the New Commander in Chief and the Commander for Change. McCain, out with the old and in with the new. Does anyone see what I see? Why would McCain be placing his election on Palin? Should it be the other way around?

    September 10, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  18. I smell the fear

    The ugly side of the petulant Obama is showing agains.

    Just like when Hillary was knocking the socks off of him and he turned to mockery and jeering and flicking of his shoulder.

    Obama only plays nice when he is overconfident and thinks he is winning. When he starts to slip and slide- He is a Jekyl and Hyde.

    September 10, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  19. Akinola - Houston


    Hit the pig and the old fish where the sun dont shine.

    September 10, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  20. peakarack



    HILLARY 12!

    September 10, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  21. Deb in Vegas

    The personal attacks need to stop...from both parties. As a Presidential candidate, don't bother to tell me what's wrong and who's to blame for it. I know the current state of our country. I know what's wrong and what needs to be fixed. I don't really care who or what group of "Who" is responsible. What I care about is HOW it's going to be fixed. When you get up on a stage and start talking, tell me what you're going to do. Tell me how you're going to get Congress and, if necessary, the Supreme Court on board with your "HOW".

    The bottom line is one person does not run this country. If one person did, then this would be a dictatorship and not a democracy. Read the starts out with "WE THE PEOPLE" not "I, the President".

    If either of you want my vote, then tell me the "How" and stop the attacks. It just makes me change the channel.

    September 10, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  22. Patrick

    Obama was simply referring to Bush policies... you really can't put lipstick on a pig.

    Any other interpretation is out of context.... if you republicans can't take a punch... TOUGH.

    They're like schoolyard bullies... can dish it out... but can't take it.


    September 10, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. Done with Dems

    Get this controversial liar out of my state please. Now!!!!!

    September 10, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. Dee

    I did not hear Obama say he didnt mean them and guess what I think he did and he knew exactly what he was saying. His supporters will say anything in his defense. Face it, its over dems..Hillary and Bill were right..your messiah is unelectable.!! shoulda voted for Hillary ..You guys have nobody to blame but yourself! Go Mccain/Palin!

    September 10, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  25. Am

    Finally some truth

    September 10, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
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