October 5th, 2008
03:54 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama accuses McCain of looking for distractions

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/10/05/campaign.wrap/art.obama.gi.jpg caption="Sen. Obama slammed Sen. McCain's health care plan at a campaign event in North Carolina Sunday."]
(CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama on Sunday charged that Sen. John McCain's campaign is launching "Swift boat-style attacks" on him instead of addressing the country's problems.

Watch: Obama fights back

"Sen. McCain and his operatives are gambling that they can distract you with smears rather than talk to you about substance. They'd rather try to tear our campaign down than lift this country up," Obama said at an event in Asheville, North Carolina.

"That's what you do when you're out of touch, out of ideas, and running out of time," he said.

The comments come a day after Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain's running mate, claimed that Obama associated "with terrorists who targeted our own country."

The McCain campaign shot back on Sunday, saying its accusations are "true facts," and not "smears."

"The last four weeks of this election will be about whether the American people are willing to turn our economy and national security over to Barack Obama, a man with little record, questionable judgment, and ties to radical figures like unrepentant domestic terrorist William Ayers," McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said in a statement.

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soundoff (596 Responses)
  1. john

    Obama has the plans for a brighter future!! Mccain wants to ignore the issues and play high school politics.

    October 5, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  2. number 894

    dear Mr. Mc Cain,
    we're tired of this lame tactic. IT WON'T WORK. go back and study harder for your debate. that's the problem when one graduated 894th from 899. we don't want Joe Sixpack. we want SMART people to run this country. PERIOD.

    October 5, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  3. SDunn

    stacy October 5th, 2008 7:30 pm ET

    smear my foot, what about all the millions of contributions Obama
    campaign has received from foreign countries?
    show me the proof sheep. I guess you believe everything the Republican party says, huh? Show me where you found this information and stop spreading lies.

    October 5, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  4. RLT

    Mccain said at first that he'd run a 'clean' campaign because he thought American people would fall for hus mess. Now he's grasping at straws...and trying to find anything because his campaign is at an all time low.

    October 5, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  5. Go Away !!!

    Beverly Nelson October 5th, 2008 7:30 pm ET
    I want to comment on the lopsided journalism and the press. I used to watch alot of CNN but I feel it has not been as fair as it should be with both our Presidential candidates. It seems to me that the press has been in Obama's pocket and the liberals have the cards stacked. I have been talking to alot of people who feel the same
    ** Watch Fox News**I am sure you will be Pleased!!!

    October 5, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  6. mc shameful mc senile, mc dummy, mcsame

    this is all mcbrute knows to do

    blame others
    be a bully
    be negative
    and say lies

    fight me fight me fight me

    oh please mccain we americans are not as dumbs as your VP

    sorry fear adn smear will not work this time like your predecesor mcbush
    people are tired of this circus...

    October 5, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  7. Sore Liberal LOSERS in 2008

    Well, well, well, OBVIOUSLY Obama and all you Obama-bots will be out in full force, because YOU KNOW his connections to terrorists, a radical preacher, and shady real estate moguls ARE REPRESENTATIVE OF HIS LACK OF JUDGMENT!!!!!!! You liberal lib-tards just can't have it both ways, accusing Bush of poor judgment on a number of issues when your own straw puppet Obama is the worst of them all in terms of judgment. This guy IS THE MOST LIBERAL SENATOR ON RECORD, and has COWARDLY chickened out and voted "present" at least 94 times in the Senate!!! Wow!!!! What a hard decision...hmmmm, should I vote YEA, or NAY??? Uhhhhhhhh, errrrrrrr, ummmmmmm.....arghhhh! I just can't do it!!!! Oh well, I'll just vote "PRESENT"!!!!!! Way to man up and take a stand for what you believe in NOBAMA. When will you idiot liberal lemmings wake up? Oh wait, lemmings don't. When your shady Chicago Teleprompter Speech named Obama has lost the election and is plunging off the Cliff of Poor Judgment (located on the Isle of Inexperience), you lemming liberals will all be screaming aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 5, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  8. Ilene

    Two words McCain....Keating Five.

    October 5, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  9. I Just Said Thanks, but No Thanks to Another 4 Years of g.o.p. corruption, arrogance and incompetence

    Say it aint so, joe, there you again, pointing the finger backwards . . .

    October 5, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  10. Karen - Missouri

    I say Obama and Biden stay on message on the economy. We're sick of hearing crap that McCain has.

    Besides, McCain IS chummy with Keating AND G Gordon Liddy (Watergate crook...spent 4 years in prison and in 1994 threatened to shoot federal agents)

    McCain is using stupid attacks that don't hold water. Obama was 8 when Ayers did that and changed for the better. But we all know now about McCain's Keating and G Gordon Liddy!

    October 5, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  11. Corve

    Obama needs to stop crying and whining when his opponents make comments like this. If he is elected CNN and other main stream media will still be critical of his every move. Are they tearing down the country when they do this?

    McCain has the right to critique and make his comments. Personally I do not agree with voting for someone who is a 'baby'.

    I'm voting for McCain/Palin.

    The maverick and change experience that's what we need in Washington.

    October 5, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  12. welches, oregon

    I can't believe the REpublicans would actually spent money on issues that have been debunked for months. Don't you think if there was ANY dirt to be found Hillary would have found it. This is all just distraction. Shameful and pathetic.


    October 5, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  13. SDunn

    JC October 5th, 2008 7:29 pm ET

    Obama is distracting from the issues by CONSTANTLY accusing his opponents of trying to distract from the issues. I am so sick of Obama, the candidate who contradicts himself over and over again and gets caught in his own hypocrisy! Anyone but Obama!!!
    You have just proven that McCain supporters are not mentally stable. Your campaign has been going around smearing Obama for months now, but Obama shouldn't stand up for himself? What hypocrisy?? Your campaign is one of the most hypocritical that I've ever seen! McCain boasts about loving Veterans, but cut off funds for troops and voted against every single initiative that would increase Veterans' benefits or their pay! You all are the hypocrites but you're too blind to see your own hypocrisy! Stop whining and ask your candidate to talk about the issues which he can't do because he's a clueless, lying, pandering nutcase.

    October 5, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  14. Lark

    It's obvious to even a blind man that this Republican party will do anything to stay in power. They themselves admitted they want to smear his character instead of arguing about issues that is important to the American people! This party is an absolute disgrace. They are attempting the fear tactic and if they doesn't work I wouldn't be surprised if they tried to use force to make sure they stayed in the White House.

    October 5, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  15. Carla

    The slash and burn tactics of the McCain campaign will not work this time. American voters are interested in a plan to help us with our bills and the cost of living. We are interested in getting out of the war and saving the lives of our brave soldiers. We are interested in healthcare. We are interested in saving our retirement accounts. We are interested in a President that talks about the issues are not about trying to tie his opponent to someone he barely knows. Senator McCain had better be careful or his past may come back to haunt him. The Keating Five is a time when Mr. McCain showed bad judgement. As a matter of fact his choice of VP shows very poor judgement. We want to hear what he is going to do about the economy, the war, the climate change, jobs, education and healthcare. Just having Palin trash talk and wink is not going to win him the election.

    October 5, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  16. Wes A

    So if he was committing terrorist acts at 34, why was he not in jail? Why is this man professing at a well-known university and roaming the streets as a free man? I can't wait, and sincerely hope that Obama calls McCain out for this on tuesdays debate. I want Obama to tell him how low it is to suggest a fellow senator is "paling around with terrorists." I'm sure he will answer that his Pitbull was simply citing a NYT article, but then why did she fail to mention the conclusion that Obama and Ayers had no close relationship? I guess when you read "All newspapers and magazines" you don't have time to read the complete articles. This will backfired on Republicans big time. They lost many votes after the "pedophile" ad, they will lose even more with this one.

    October 5, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  17. David

    This is absurd.

    The McCain camp is trying to get us to believe a sitting U.S. Senator has ties to terrorists, when the so-called terrorist is himself a college professor at a major university?

    Meanwhile, Sarah Palin's husband was a member of a political party that promoted secession of Alaska from the Union. How patriotic is that???

    October 5, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  18. Sylvia

    McCain and his Bimbo running mate can't beat Obama politically so they have to come up with a smear campaign, sooooo George BUSH style. Obama is smart, honest and has a good character.The grumpy old mean man McCain should look in his own back yard if it comes to his own character. Left his first wife for a young, rich wife Cindy Hensley, after cheating repeatably on his first wife Carol. Carol who was handicapped after a car accident while he was a POW. She wasn't enough for him anymore, a cripple, it's all about image for him. He called Chelsea Clinton in 1998 UGLY. A grown man calls a little girl that, which she is far from ugly. He is the ugly one, inside and out.

    October 5, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  19. Rick

    Sarah Palin and John McCain are demonstrating that the Bible has a place on their shelves collecting dust and nothing more. Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 both list the 10 Commandments and in both place the 8th Commandment reads "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor"

    Both are guilty of this smear and McCain is a hypocrite because he was the one in 2000 who was screaming mad at Steve Schmidt and Karl Rove's tactics against him in South Carolina. I guess since McCain is now paying Steve Schmidt to do to Obama what Schmidt did to McCain's daughter 8 years ago tells me more about McCain than anything else I've seen.

    The possible responses in kind against Palin and McCain are numerous but none address the real issues facing us anymore than accusing someone of consorting with folks accused of terrorism 40 years ago. Obama was 8 years old then so give it a rest as McCain and Palin only destroy their own credibility.

    October 5, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  20. ron

    Like most Americans, I have been so impressed by the celebrity, charisma and good looks of Barack. He really has a nice personally and will make fun president. I don't understand why the evil Republicans keep harping on Baracks experience, background, princples and his voting record in congress.

    October 5, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  21. Francheska Georgia

    As the saying goes "Never argue with an idiot. He'll drag you down to his level and beat you with experience."

    The McCain/Palin camp wants to get into silly mode because they do not want to have a serious conversation about the real issues that face all Americans. Palin can't understand the issues and Mccain is too out of touch.

    Anyone who says that Obama was 34 when he was Ayers living room should also say that McCain was a key figure in the Keating 5 S&L mess that cost tax payers millions when he was a senator.

    October 5, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
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