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. larry from minnesota

    This new politically correct John McCain campaign–demanding an apology for the insensitive "lipstick on a pig." His campaign managers must be hires straight from Comedy Central.

    September 10, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  2. Andrea Dibb

    I agree Mr Obama, enough is enough. And i had enough of you.

    McCain-Palin 08!

    September 10, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  3. pam

    he's right mccain is just trying to get away from the issues; plus the fact that he's to old.

    September 10, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  4. Woman from Texas

    Amen! I am a woman and if women want to be treated as equals then don't complain when the tough get going!

    The lipstick remark has been made by people in the past. McCain/Palin cannot hide and be so sensitive! It's about the future and we're fighting for it!

    September 10, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  5. Kurt in PA

    Hold your ground Senator Obama, we're proud of your no-nonsense...

    September 10, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  6. Drew

    wow cnn, such freaking bias against democrats, We know his tax plan will increase your taxes (for you making 600k+) but seriously this is ridiculous. Cover something on Palin's views rather than point counterpoints to ridiculous slandering. Show some journalistic integrity once in your life and cover equal news. Dont get scared of covering Palin. She wont shoot you in the face like Cheney did, that's something only a VP can get away with. This is not news, this is stupid.

    September 10, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  7. Brian, NJ

    This is the dumbest thing I have seen. Why is the media even giving the McCain campaign the news cycle on this. Obama has said this line over and over, as has McCain. It was not a swipe at Palin and anyone with half of a brain (which unfortunately many of the US electorate does not have) knows it.

    Can McCain please explain his healthcare plan, energy plan (outside of more drilling), education plan???? That sound you here from their campaign is silence because he does not have any plan.

    Also amazing that the candidate for VP is NOT AVAILABLE to the media. How is this not a HUUUUGGGEEE story????

    September 10, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  8. jimmy

    NEVER HEARD OF A PROUD REPUBLICAN (UNLIKE
    SALLY) WHO WOULD NOT BE OFFENDED BY THE LIPSTICK ON A PIG REMARK BY OBAMA.. FOLKS !!!! HAVE YOU NOT NOTICED?
    BOTH DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES OBAMA AND BIDEN ARE ATTACKING THE NUMBER 2 NOMINEE ON THE GOP TICKET ? THAT IS TWO GROWN MEN RUNNING FOR THE HIGHEST OFFICES
    IN THE LAND TRYING TO PULL DOWN A WOMAN RUNNING AS VICE PRESIDENT ON THE REPUBLICAN TICKET.? UNHEARD OF IN OUR MEMEORY . FURTHER , THE RHETORIC HAS GONE TO NEW " LOWS" IN NEGATIVE TERMS.

    September 10, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  9. Hillary 2012

    Sweetie in Michigan

    Now is pig

    Give us break

    Mc Cain 08/ Palin 08

    September 10, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  10. mj it

    It was in reference to McCain's economic program. Lipstick on a pig is still a pig. And it's true.

    September 10, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  11. Michelle in Philly

    The only thing I have had enough of is Obama!!!

    September 10, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  12. J Allen of PA

    Lets not forget that Gov. Palin is not running for President, McCain is. If she would have ran for the nomination against McCain they would have ripped her apart. There was nothing sexist about his comments. When are the Republicans going to talk about the real issues. When are people going to wake up and see that they are just using Ms. Palin.

    September 10, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  13. Lisa

    This is no longer the McCain campaign, I wonder how he feels knowing his VP pick is the only reason people come to the rallies now. How can the Republicans think this is a good thing. She is taking over and the funny thing is McCain doesn't even realize she is,Palin is the only thing people talk about as for as that campaign is concerned. Very sad and pitiful. JM said the same thing about Hillary so he needs to put this thing to rest, is he kidding who does he think he is fooling with this. His own former press secretary wrote a book called Lipstick on a Pig!!!

    September 10, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  14. yappy

    I live in fairbanks and I am very worried that Palin could be VP. This is such a different place then the States. We have very little in common and are very isolated from the goings on down there. The TV is what keeps me tied to the lower 48. The governing that she has done up here NO way qualifies her to be the VP. I find it spooky that after 1 speech everyone down there is gaga over Palin. have we all lost our mind ? Please people......vote with a steady mind NOT with a crush. They ALWAYS end...

    September 10, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  15. Redneck from Kentucky

    Good for Obama! Its about time someone spoke up and pointed out that all McCain is doing is buying time by attacking Obama so that he doesn't have to talk specifics about the REAL problems we are all facing. The simple truth is that he doesn't have any worthwhile policiies, just more of the same that we have gotten grom Geoprge W. Bush. So he is trying to divert attention away from the real issues by making headlines with his attacks on the man who does have real policies.

    September 10, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  16. FL Dem

    Yes!! Get strong!! Expose McCain for this ridiculous idea that he is going to be different....how long has he been in D.C.!!!

    Fight hard Obama and end this crap we are hearing from the republicans. There are too many stupid people in this country that will believe it.

    September 10, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  17. Chi4Obama

    I'm sure that Obama didn't mean to take a swipe at Palin.

    But hey, if the shoe fits....

    September 10, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  18. John

    Talk about phony outrage!!

    Obama, go back to Chicago. Your 15 minutes is up.

    Good Riddance.

    September 10, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  19. Amazed to read all this

    McCain's comment was about policy. Obama's was personal. As with most liberals, when caught out, he claims he meant something else – just like Clinton – trying to lawyer his way out of things by saying that is not what he meant.

    Perhaps Obama should focus on trying to match up to the Republican Presidential candidate, who he is supposed to be opposing, rather than taking shots at a woman with more executive experience and a wider support base than him. Shouldn't he leave the VP baiting to his own VP nominee ? The more Obama compares himself with the Republican VP nominee the less presidential he looks

    September 10, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  20. mom in PA

    "News" organizations should be ashamed of themselves for reporting these fake stories and not reporting the news. This story is the top story at CNN right now. CNN has become the same as the tabloids! I am very sad today because I falsely beleived that you – CNN – was on the side of the American people. YOU ARE JUST OUT OF HEADLINES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SHAME ON YOU CNN!!!!!!!!!! AND THE REST OF THE NEWS ORGANIZATIONS!!!!!!!!

    American people are hurting – hundreds of thousands of people are without jobs – and you, the "news" organizations have become like soap operas.

    September 10, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  21. Peter of Oregon

    If anyone hasn't noticed McCain and his phony outrage you have to be in self denial. McCain's campaign has been dishing out every and any possible attack on Barack Obama, but they take huge offense to any remark that's against the persona they're trying to portray. They want this election to be about personalities, but it will be about issues.

    September 10, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  22. David

    Hey Barry Obama forget it, it's over. Just like your campaign.

    September 10, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  23. Spencer from VA

    I will love to see Palin on the Bill Maher show. Bill will eat her alive.

    September 10, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  24. Ariana

    Im not exactly sure what the problem is. Isn't she the one that brought up lipstick???? Palin is a NUT!

    September 10, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  25. Renee

    OOOOOOHHHH, I'm scared! The big man, sexist Obama says "Enough is Enough". Practice what you preach, buddy.

    September 10, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
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