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. Matt

    LOL, to quote Anonymous Republican Plant: "nuh uuuuh, you are." Is that all the McCain camp's got?

    September 10, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  2. Betsy

    Go Obama! You are fighting for us because their is too much at stake! I am a woman and I will not vote for McCain/Palin because they want to take us back in time! Bye bye GOP!

    September 10, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |

    What else do you expect from McCain/Bush '08? The contradictions of the Republican party's campaign just never cease to amaze me.

    And let me guess – the mindless McCain Klan followers are saying this is sexist, right? Where were you a year ago when McCain said the same thing about Hillary?

    September 10, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  4. Jerry Ohio

    Barack is telling the truth enough enough I dont think Obama was not refering to Palin as a pig,,,,,I wondering who running for president McCain or Palin I dont know who,,,,The media is not telling the truth about the polls because in Ohio people are energize to get the vote out for Obama.....I see Obama staff with signs in the street if you going to vote for Obama blow your car horn and you see how many blowing horn for Obama and not only black people it white and black, hispanic and mostly women and older women....

    Ohio for Obama/Biden 08

    September 10, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  5. Spirit of America

    "lipstick on a pig"!!!! Misogyny running wild in the Obama camp and still no apology or penance. This is progress???

    September 10, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  6. Dana

    All I have to say is AMEN to that!!

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 10, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  7. Alaska hillbilly

    This is an election in which people have two choices.

    1. Elect a president who is advocating war to solve problems. War which kills thousands of Americans, hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, uses hundreds of billions of taxpayers money to increase the profits of the big weapon companies. War which makes the US being more and more hated around the world.

    2. Elect a president who is advocating peace and diplomacy to solve problems. A president who would use the taxpayers money to improve education, health care, infrastructure, small business, Social Security instead of using all these hundreds of billions of dollars to make war.

    The choice is simple. The choice is yours.

    September 10, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  8. M

    His comments were obviously referring to a comment McCain made about Hillary May. Obama was not talking about Palin! I am glad to see Obama getting his campaign back on track. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and the Undecided..please vote for Obama! If you do not see right through McCain and Palin...LOOK A LITTLE CLOSER!!!!

    September 10, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  9. Ron

    Time for Senator Obama to get tough and start calling it like he sees it. I want answers to our problems and so far Senator Obama is the only one who has stood up and given us a detailed plan of how he plans to enforce them I may not agree with all of them but I grow tired of this vague statements from Senator McCain that offer no real substance.

    I want a President that is going to make things happen, not talk about the good old days and we just need to sit back and ride it out. This campaign is starting to look more like and Andrew Shepard/Bob Rumsfeld election as portrayed on An American President.

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 10, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  10. Chris

    Can I please ask a serious question because I am confused beyond reason. How can anyone, and I mean the lowest common denominator, think for one second about voting for McLie and McLipstick? Do you people not get it? Are you even from this planet? It is depressing to think that there is even a small group of people willing to vote for another 4 of McIgnorant. Wake up you drones of GOP about being part of the solution for once in your miserable test tube existance.

    September 10, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  11. Amber

    Yes, enough IS go back to Chicago, Barack! We've had enough of you and your ego.

    September 10, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  12. Judy in Minnesota


    It's about time that Sen Obama fights back against the Republican machine. Fighting back against lies and innuendo is not arrogance, it's standing tall.

    September 10, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  13. Bruce

    It is time for MCain to begin to discuss what the policies are and how they differ,,not attack.
    The comment was nto aimed at palin, and anyone listing to the whole thing knows that. McCain said the same thing when talking about Hillary's policy and no one screamed sexist then,,
    it is saying...everyone needs to get over it....

    September 10, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  14. Jay from New Jersey

    Actually, Obama, there is REAL outrage over what you said.

    September 10, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  15. Matt

    Sadly, Obama doesn't want to talk about issues.

    All he wants to talk about is Bush, and hope and change.

    We need somebody with real ideas.

    McCain/ Palin have it.

    America knows it.

    Goodbye Obama!

    President McCain

    Vice President Palin

    Get used to it.

    September 10, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  16. Z

    This should be about the issues....and Barack needs to bring it back to that. But I agree, enough is enough. The McCain camp is using everything BUT the issues to attack the other side...even when McCain said the same thing less than a few months ago.

    September 10, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  17. Nic

    He should run an ad featuring McCain calling Hillary's health care plan "lipstick on a pig" and shut them up for good. This is ridiculous and shameful. It's bad enough that their trying to call sexism on the use of a common, well-worn expression, but...they used it themselves! Anyone who falls for this nonsense, or accepts it, is a fool. Plain and simple.

    September 10, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  18. Kool-Aid-Drinking

    Is it true that if you put lipstick on a pig it is still a pig? If you can answer yes than the outrage you are showing is a sham.

    You can talk all you want about change, but if you have 7 lobbyist in your campaign the only change you are referring to is what will be left in my pocket when you get elected. Thus the pig and lipstick comment.


    September 10, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  19. Scott in PacNW

    That should be the new Obama ad campaign: McCain/Palin = Lipstick on a pig

    September 10, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  20. St Louis for Obama

    Seriously, the repubs need to step up to the plate, stop their whining and give us some clue as to how they're going to address the issues. They have been so negative in their campaign, that it's ludicrous that they should complain one iota about any comment made by the democrats. Fair is fair. Let's talk about the issues.

    September 10, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  21. Kim

    I have yet to hear issues from the Republicans! There only talking points are accusations of a liberal media bias and sexism. I want to hear about the Economy, Health Care, Education, the troops in Iraq. Are the American people really not seeing this? Palin was brought in as a distraction from the issues. Period. Country FIRST? Are you kidding me? Was McCain thinking about country first when he brought Palin on the ticket?!!? Or perhaps was he looking to USE her for votes to win the campaign. How will she handle a 3am phone call when she can't handle a single reporter over the past two weeks. This is a complete outrage!

    September 10, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  22. Abby

    Beautifully said. This election I s about Big issues not small petty things. Keep it on the high road as much as possible, sir. Those who have ears will hear and hopefully we are the majority. If not, we can live with it ( I hope those with lower incomes can live with their choices too) .

    September 10, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  23. PigWithEyeLiner

    I say if Obama, consciously, or subconsciously was referring to Palin when he used the 'lipstick' comment, it is more or less justified.

    September 10, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  24. Frank, Atlanta, GA

    Barack Obama is right.

    Enough is enough and the American people have had enough of George Bush and John Mcain.

    We need a real, effective and positive change in American politics and Barack Obama will deliver it.

    Obama / Biden for change 2008

    September 10, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  25. Tony

    Hey! If this "Barracuda" and "Pitbull" dishes it out she'd better beable to take it! You can't have it both ways honey. You can't yap your head off and then run with your tail between your legs complaining.
    OBAMA 08!

    September 10, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
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