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. ohio

    obama slam them hard!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 5, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  2. MLH

    Tucker – the short answer is yes, we are willing to turn our economy and national security over to Barack Obama. If your candidate or his campaign had any substance, you would not have to resort to this kind of crap.

    October 5, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  3. BM

    McCain and Palin are pathetic!Palin needs to go back to Alaska and answer questiins about troopergate. Why isn't she talking about the "Bridge to Nowhere"? She has destroyed her credibility. What is she and her husband ignoring supoenas? What are they hiding? If nothing to hide, why not get it over with? She has the audacity to throw stones with a withccraft praying preacher.
    John McCain, what about the Keating five and your erratic behavior?

    October 5, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  4. Louise Stevenson

    It is sad that Mr.McCain is stooping to such tactics, and uses his pit bull to try to divert attention away from his failing campaign. Shame on both of them. Would a male governor of Alaska, with the same experience and record, have been chosen as running mate? I don't think so. It's a patronising insult to women that such an uneducated, vacuous, woman was chosen to pander to the female vote simply because of her gender, not her qualifications.

    October 5, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  5. Dave in NYC

    John McCain: the American People are tired of attack politics and smear campaigns, we want to hear your ideas and solutions for America, not more George Bush politics!

    October 5, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  6. Sanjoy Das

    Palin's approach is – as AP described – racially tinged. Nobody reacts to McCain's ties to G. Gordon Liddy, connection to Keating Five, or Todd Palin's connection to the Alaskan Independence Party. The average voter nevertheless raises eyebrows when Obama is linked to Ayers, because he is black.

    Just imagine if Obama had John McCain's record:
    (i) a broken first marriage, ending up in an affair,
    (ii) a wife who is addicted to drugs,
    (iii) former "terrorist" friend G. Gordon Liddy,
    (iv) linked to the Keating Five scandal,
    (v) a vile temper, known to use foul language.

    or if he had Sarah Palin's record:
    (i) a pregnant teenage daughter,
    (ii) a mediocre degree,
    (iii) a secessionist sympathizing husband,
    (iv) a nexus with a Kenyan witchdoctor,
    (v) an abysmally low IQ and lack of basic understanding of economy & foreign affairs.

    October 5, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  7. Mark

    It's a good thing the Obama campaign is alert to the Rove style of Swift boat dirty tricks that caused the defeat of Kerry. McSame is so desperate that he will try anything to steal the election. Winning is more important than integrity to McSame and his crowd. This time, the American people are wise to those tactics. Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on us.

    October 5, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. Cho Wanki D.( cameroon)

    McCain's naivety was vividly and persistently expressed in his insistence that age should be a key consideration for voters, forgetting that he's getting out of age. Palin has quickly found the same feat in inexistent terrorist issues. What bones without flesh! Rightly distractions as Obama says.

    October 5, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  9. Charlie

    Maybe if Obama didn't have so many ani-american friends the american public would not ask but the truth is he has and it has hurt his chances of getting elected. How can we elect someone like this. At least with Hillary we knew she was all american...We picked the wrong democrat to run.....

    October 5, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  10. moe99

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

    . . . as opposed, say, to "false facts"?

    October 5, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. Brian Thompson

    Little Record?

    Sponsored hundreds of bills.

    Graduated with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) magna cum laude.

    First ever African American to be elected President of the Harvard Law Review.

    Written two books, which he wrote, not a ghost writer.

    Illinois State Legislator 1997-2004.

    U.S. Senate 2004.

    McCain Keating 5?

    Read the encyclopedia and you will find everything you need to know, unbiased and factual.

    Angry bitter biased people looking to win at any cost are probably not your best source of information.

    Don't be ignorant, educate yourself.

    It is too important to be scared like in the past. Imagine what the country would look like had Al Gore won...I bet we would not have doubled our National debt to almost over 10,000,000,000,000 (TRILLION).

    October 5, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  12. Vern

    It's getting close to the finish line so there will be a lot of mud-slinging going on.I believe that Sen.Obama is way too smart to get "swift-boated".I believe that Sen.McCain is way too clever to do it.It's the GOP campaign that concerns me.The truth is both candidates are qualified to be president,but their policies are the exact opposite.It just so happens that Barack Obama's policies are more in touch with the average American family.That's why he's leading in the polls.

    October 5, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  13. TND

    Americans please see the Repulicans for what they are... desperate!

    Obama and Biden would be within their rights to bring up the Keating Five, McCain's first marriage and his over the top zeal to invade and occupy Iraq. But they likely won't.

    There is no comparison in character, Obama has some and McCain lost whatever he had 8 years ago.

    As for judgement, anyone who would employ Tucker Bounds and appoint Sarah Palin tells you all you need to know about their poor judgement.

    October 5, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  14. BM

    EWhen you have nothing of substance to say, of course you attack, and that's what a Palin/McCain ticket will do is cost us more money to fight more unessary wars.I said it right. Palin/McCain. It appears that she is calling the shots, her and the first dude.If McCain should by chance win, he better have Cindy do a taste test.

    October 5, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  15. Deborah J Phillips

    Is John McCain trying to say that Barack Obama is not as much in love with this country as he is?? Hog Wash!!! McCain start talking about substance! And, send Sarah Palin home to rest!

    October 5, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  16. AZVoter

    If the republicans are able to trun this election using smears and lies, then it is up to us to hold them accoutable for the damage they have done too this great country.

    That means not just the republicans who take office, but the republicans who vote for them as well.

    October 5, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  17. Marie

    Obama is rigtht! McCain and Palin don't have a clue as to what's going on with the Economy. All they can do now is what Republicans always do, make false statements about Obama and Biden. McCain stand there with that grin on his face like Bush and just keeps saying the same thing over and over again. Just recently, he stated that the Economy was strong. The sign on his podium says "Country First." Which Country is he talking about? It certainly isn't the United States. It must be Iraq. He's been out of touch with the American people for too many years. There's no turning back for him now. We're also tired of his time in Vietnam as a POW. At least he got to come home and marry into money. Many of the soldiers and journalists are still MIA, and many are still homeless because this Country was ashamed of the Vietnam War as they are about the war in Iraq. Someone should tell McCain that. He also stated that he can't wait to introduce Sara Palin to Washington, yet he kept her hidden. NOW WE KNOW WHY! She just goes around the Country blabbing and blabbing about issues she knows NOTHING about. What we need is what Obama and the American People have been talking about for years, and thats alternative sources of energy, not Drilling for more oil in Alaska. Brazil in oil independent. We have many other sources for fuel, but then the Republicans wouldn't have any reason to go to War for Oil. We need to stay focused on the Issues. Times are too hard for the American People to be listening to someone with NO experience whatsever just talking for the sake of talking so that her and McCain don't have to face the Issues because they're unable to!!!!!!!!! The Media is at fault also for giving her so much coverage. Please give us break.

    October 5, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  18. sacto joe

    All the Republicans can do is reach down into the cesspool for their dirt.

    Governor Palin, you're beginning to smell less than feminine. Could it be the filth you've been grubbing for?

    Some of us never expected anything more from you. Thanks for living down to our expectations!

    October 5, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  19. Dave

    I am deeply disappointed with John McCain's campaigning on "SwiftBoat" style lies and deception and mistruths after commencing his campaign with the idea he would be honest and factual.

    He appears to me to be a deceitful person who would lie and direct Sarah Palin to lie to win an election because he is devoid of the leadership necessary to lead this country when we have the worse economy since the depression.

    Thank goodness CNN and others have responded against Swift Boats with quick fact checking so as to support the people of this country with true facts

    October 5, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  20. dan - N.M.

    Heavily Catholic and anti-abortion New Mexico favors Obama-Biden, even though McCain-Palin oppose abortion, while Obama-Biden will provide free abortion, on demand. This doesn't say much about the true religious conictions of Catholics anywhere, especially in traditionally Catholic New Mexico.

    October 5, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  21. Independent


    October 5, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  22. elvera

    McCain campaign and RNC continue to throw dirt, spout lies, misrepresentations, and smears. Shame on you, McCain! Joe Klein (Time Magazine) wrote in his article ‘The Lying Game’: The McCain camp had decided that its candidate can’t win honorably, on the issues, so it had resorted to transparent and phony diversions. …Worse than lies have been the smears. …These dreadful weeks should not be forgotten. McCain has raised serious questions about whether he has the character to lead the nation. He has defaced his beloved military code of honor. He has run a dirty campaign.’ I support your opinion, Mr. Klein. I sincerely believe that McCain is the worst candidate for president in the US history.

    October 5, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  23. Rauby

    It's a pitty to go low and attack a candidate on false facts rather than addressing the core issues that interess the people. This is what people don't like with politics. What we need is to deal with matters, propose a constructive plan for the future instead of distracting us with distructive plan for the campaign sake. The United States deserves something higher than these shameful tactics in politics. That is why wa are all happy to commit ourselves to Obama/Biden.

    October 5, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  24. flavoter

    McCain has proven he is not trustworthy, he stated he would run a honorable campaign!!! Why can't he run on the issues?

    He is asking to be the president of the United States, not just a few people / his base.
    I see racism not just against blacks,in there gatherings why is it when Palin is at rallies all you see is mainly her surrounded by white females? Thats not being for all the people!!!!!

    October 5, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  25. joe

    ayers,rezko,rev wright and the columbia professor who is a jihadist all are part of obama advisory group

    October 5, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
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