October 5th, 2008
03:54 PM ET
13 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. Bob

    Summerlover, McCain was 58 years old when he was sitting with Keating. Remember Bush used scare tactics but it's not going to work this time. The American people realizes that McCain is trying to avoid the truth by slandering Obama's character (another Bush tactic) and if he becomes president he will try to promote policies by also using scare tactics (WMD = Bush tactics =Iraq). Mcain and Palin represents a ticket of Bush's scare tactics. They are the ultimate hypocrites! (Keating 5, toopergate, married to a known successionist, witch doctors, distortion, lies, betrayal). Bring it on......

    October 5, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  2. Patrick Bloembergen

    I am not a voter.
    Neither am I an Obamafan.
    But I am a fan one can say of straight on politicians who represent a certain level of values.
    I am Dutch and we have a worldwide reputation of sticking with our both feet in our muddy ground when it comes down to making judgements.
    My judgement is that the average American with a minimum of common sense in his head does not accept that this cheerleader by the name of Palin smears the reputation of American people abroad.
    Because not only me, but many others here (may be you don´t care about that, but let it be said) wonder how it is possible that a politician makes such a completely irrelevant and immature foolish statement while the country´s financial system is at stake as well as the stability of millions of households.
    Be proud of the US and let this lady sell hotdogs before a hockey match or something...

    October 5, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  3. BKoi

    Desperate times call for desperate measures! That's the new STRATEGY of the MCCAIN/PALIN ticket, and a tactic is to SMEAR Obama anyway they can! See Sarah? I know the difference between a strategy and a tactic, ya betcha! When God was giving out BRAINS , you thought he said TRAINS, and decided to take the later one!!

    October 5, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  4. Sue T

    The republican party has just shown how low, dishonest, unworthy, sneeky, sleezy, and the biggest bunch of liers in this country.....and for anyone to vote for McCain they must have the same standards that he has, that Palin has and the whole of the Republican Party. MCCain is putting little miss joe six pack out there to do his dirty work and she is so stupid she can't see that......he is using her. Every time she opens her mouth, Obama goes up in the Polls, every lie they tell makes Obama win another state.........so GO PALIN GO

    October 5, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  5. Mikey

    Tucker Bounds is a shameless, unrepentant liar. Whether these jerks like it or not, Ayers paid his debt to society and has become a legitimate figure in Chicago. Further, Obama's connections with Ayers are slight; a fund raiser at Ayers home and serving on one or two charity boards together. Anything to try to discredit since the McCain-Palin ticket is pretty bankrupt otherwise, especially on the issues most important to America.

    October 5, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  6. Charles in Salt Lake City

    The so-called list of "issues" are the real distractions. They're always going to be there, they never really change, both sides will claim explanations and solutions for them that appeal to their followers, etc.


    The only thing that ever really matters is quality of character. Stop being afraid to answer questions, or calling it "smear" when the questions are raised.

    October 5, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  7. Dan J

    People here in Chicago know that Obama had a few shady relationships, and that his relationship with Ayers far outstretched the "mere acquaintances" position that he is claiming. Obama cannot be trusted on his word. Therefore he cannot be trusted, period.

    October 5, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  8. eye opener-open your eyes America-PA

    Here we go again,
    the McCain/McPlain/Insane/Mcvain have no plans for, let along an exit stratigy for Iraq, a plan for the economy, health care, job lost or anything else. As Obama said, they have no new plan, new idea and they are running out of time. All they have is a bunch of lies and they're ill tactics towards (you) the veterans who are truly Mavericks, hardworking-taxpaying, college students wanting the best for their lives and good jobs when they finish their education. America I know you are awaken, and you have awaken from this long 8 years of a nightmare. Enough is enough already.
    The Children of Israel wandering in the wilderness for forty years, During that time God kill off those who were of unbelief, and God took those in the Promise land that beleived.
    It's time to make a change, change we the people believe in, and thats in God.

    October 5, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  9. Chris

    The McCain campaign motto:

    No ideas? No substance? No chance? Attack!

    October 5, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  10. republican-Obama

    Beware, Rove's "event" and the usual Republican October Surprise. Beware the Ides of October!

    October 5, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  11. Thomas

    Typical Rovian, Lee Atwater politics. I kind of hoped McCain would be different and not get into lies and distortion. But, he has turned out to be a frustrated and erratic old man wsith no answers to our problems. Hope the people do not fall for this.

    If McCain was elected, he and his complete idiot VP would further bring this country down.

    October 5, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  12. Brian

    McCain/Palin just following the lead....
    "I do not recall." – Ronald Reagan.
    "Read my lips, no new taxes." – George Bush
    "I did not have sex with that woman." – Bill Clinton
    Bush, McCain/Palin – everything that comes out of their mouths. LIES LIES LIES. This presidential race shouldn't be close. Why is it close?

    October 5, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  13. Lim

    Has Obama renounced Ayers yet? Or does Ayers need to go on
    national TV like Rev Wright?

    October 5, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  14. Arin

    Any chance CNN will look at Sarah Palin's best pal, Todd Palin and his Alaska separatist views? I think the Palins could be up for Treason.

    October 5, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  15. E

    This Ayers crap has already been disproven in the SAME article in which it was first brought up! How many radical right wing nuts has McCain shaken hands with? how many crooks has he met at a coctail party. You think Palin hasn't met her fellow Alaskan currently being investigated?

    What a joke.

    October 5, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  16. Dan J

    Ron L: Yes Palin has only run a state with 650k people. What has Obama run besides his mouth?

    October 5, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  17. Pamela Rainsong

    McCain/Palin are desperate because they're losing. They are showing their true colors. I have no respect for her and I've lost it for McCain.

    I wouldn't vote for McCain/Palin Now if they were the only one's running. Not only do I not agree on the stance their taking, I don't like Palin's stance on the Polar Bears... Alaska is suing because polar bears were listed as threatened. Google it. Palin policy allows Aerial Gunning of Wolves in Alaska. Google the video. Ms. Winky – Golly Gee Wilikers has a new name: Appalling. When it comes to Alaskan wildlife, she's the terrorist.

    October 5, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  18. TRUST

    When McCain say to the people ( My Friend) American look for a cut in your Back because we are going to blood (McCain/ Palin) = No Jobs, No Healthcare and not able to take care of your family. Sarah Palin talking about who Obama is running around with which she is a liar.
    What about her running around with her husband business partner Oh!!!!!! it got so good guess what! !!! you know it they had a LOVE AFFAIR talk about trustworthy she don't have she can't be true to her own husband. How is she going to be truthful to the American people!
    It time for her husband todd to come out with the tell all book. Todd and Mrs McCain better watch them both if they have cheated before
    Sarah Palin is alway talking about shaking up the white house she just might shake up your (HOSEHOLD ).

    October 5, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  19. Erin

    How is this news? McCain is desperate for votes. Period.

    October 5, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  20. Florence in Oregon

    McCain will do anything to talk about something other than the facts and what he will bring to the America people.

    A man who wouldn't shake Obama's hand on the Senate floor when Obama crossed the aisle to greet him is an angry white man. Is McCain going to do that with our enemies? Oh, that's right, he'll attack them first and then try to talk with them.

    McCain hates Obama and treats him like he's dirt under his shoe. McCain thinks this election is owed to him, plain and simple and he'll throw any garbage he can to see how much sticks. If you want to swallow his garbage you deserve what he will do to you. I'm voting for Obama because I'm reading the pro articles and the con about both candidates and McCain has yet to prove any of this allegations against Obama. I'm waiting for the night McCain calls Obama a black man and then you will all see the real John McCain. Palin the Puppet we already know is a racist, we're just waiting for the fuse to pop out of McCain's mouth.

    October 5, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  21. Owanemi Iyalla

    I think the McCain campaign has made a huge mistake by trying to tie Obama with "terrorists". It is obviously another gamble like the one McGramps tried to pull last week (Mr McCain goes to Washington) which fell flat. What the McCain camp fails to realise is that the American people are still very much focused on the economy and not lipstick politics. I believe this new strategy of smear politics will work very heavily against McGrumpy and Palin. Instead of trying to come up with a programme that helps the people all he does is attack, attack, attack. And to think he said he would run an honorable campaign. Ha! The only thing honorable about McCain is his age.

    October 5, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  22. TRUST

    in my comment i mean we are going to bleed

    October 5, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  23. Charles in Salt Lake City

    Speaking of smears, it occurs to me why so many Democratic women feel such an unnatural hostility toward Sarah Palin:

    1) She has never licked another woman's genitals,
    2) She has never groped her way through Bill Clinton's zipper,
    3) She's never even had an abortion.

    In other words, she seems to have nothing in common with the vast majority of Democratic women.

    October 5, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  24. Isabel


    October 5, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  25. Democrat for Big Mac

    Looking for distractions..............hmmmmmmmmmm

    what about the charges that you have been accepting donations from foreign nationals. The fact that when identified, you returned $33,000 from the donor in GAZA.

    Some of these foreign national could be backers of Osama.
    Now we know why you, Se. Obama, are looking for distractions and why you are doing so good just because of so much money that you pouring to win this election, financed by you internet donors, some of whom, are "FOREIGN NATIONALS" as charged.

    YOU DECIDE...............................that is, if it ever gets posted on this liberal blog.

    October 5, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
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