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. Sue

    William Ayers is and has been a respected professor for years. Of course Obama would have known him when he was a community organizer. McCain was part of the Keating 5 who got off, does that make everyone who knows him now a sympathizer? It appears that people will believe whatever blather is spouted by McCain and Palin, no matter that 99% is lies. I know, she's cute. Can you imagine what would have been said about Hillary's Presidential aspirations if she had spent a debate avoiding questions, talking hillbilly, and winking? The woman should really grow up, go home, and take better care of the children she says she loves so much. I'm not seeing anything that she loves except herself, and I'm certainly not seeing any qualifications to be VP.

    October 5, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  2. The Republican Conscience

    Barack was 8 years old when Ayers was bombing buildings and had nothing to do it.

    John McCain was 56 when he was indicted by the federal government for his involvement with the Keating 5.

    This is a distraction, and people see right through it. Lets stick to the economy, our wars and the other issues. Or is that more 'gotchya' journalism?

    October 5, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  3. Cheryl in Florida

    With the polls showing McCain and Palin going down we knew this would happen. Since they have nothing else to run on of course the smears are the next step. Just speaks to their real character or lack of it.GoObama/Biden!!!

    October 5, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  4. Sherry for Obama

    Shame on you McCain.....you offer no new resolutions to getting America out of tis fix.....So you will try to smear Obama to try to take america looking at you for some resolution.....You are a joke sir and you should be ashamed at yourself.....America will suceed and pervail with Obama.....

    October 5, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  5. Jane in Colorado

    desperation tactics is all McCain has left – does he really think Americans will fall for this again? burnt one, shy twice, but not this time. enough is enough.

    October 5, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  6. lovable liberal

    You really cannot believe a single word that comes out of Tucky Bounds's mouth. Usually, whatever he says is diametrically opposite the truth. He can do it with a straight face because he's a Republican flack.

    October 5, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  7. GOP Supporter

    I can't wait til this is over. Where have all our leaders gone? No leadership, just a lot of finger pointing. After 4 years you all will hope that GWB was still President

    October 5, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  8. Chris from NY

    A 90 year old woman in Ohio shot herself for her mortgage crises and all McCain can offer her is same attack George Bush used in 2004 against John Kerry. McCain, tell this woman who is very much your moms age how you plan to help her than attack your opponent. The world has started to feel same economic pinch as we Americans are. Send them a signal how you plan to stop the bleeding and help them than attack your opponent.

    October 5, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  9. Me

    I am not going to vote for a conspiracy theorist like McCain, that's for sure. What's next? Is he going to accuse Obama of being a reptilian?

    October 5, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  10. question

    Obama said he was only 8 when his friend Bill Ayers committed the domestic violent acts. My daughter was 8 when Osama bin Laden attacked us on 9/11. Does that mean it's okay for her to be friend with Osama when she is 47 years old? If she did, I would feel ashamed.

    October 5, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  11. conny

    I tell you. the real battle is with McSame and Pafalain, she knows that it is a GOOD OLE possiblity that she will become president and she's giving this her best SHOT. I's amazing how she is trying to run things with Mcsame's help. But, both of these people are power hungry. And every time i hear about the investigation in Alaska, it really upsets me because i know that if it was any of American besides Mcbush, Mcsame or Pafalain you will NOT COLLECT TWO H;UNDRED DOLLARS .....STRAIGHT TO JAIL YOU GO So dig on folks!

    October 5, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  12. Ken from Michigan


    October 5, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  13. Steve A. , New Braunfels , Texas

    Try as they may, the republicans are desperate for some good news, the McSame/Palin ticket is a sure looser, " a drownding man will grab at a straw " anyway, even if everything they say about him is true I'll still vote for him over that Bush clone. May I call you Sarah is doing Obama more good then harm, I hope she keeps it up.

    October 5, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  14. Erik

    The Democrats should fire back with attack ads about McCain's adulterous affair leading to his latest marriage to a prescription drug abuser, his history with the Keating 5, his running mate's support of a fringe political group striving to separate Alaska from the United States, and the ethics investigation into his running mate's possible abuses of power.

    October 5, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  15. Joe

    Palin please dont show up for the TV Interviews becoze You might loose your governers job if you speak more and more... If you become a VP of this country, terrorists will come here and take over WH and Macsame will become a POW again.

    October 5, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  16. JC

    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!!!

    October 5, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  17. chicago

    Not even taking into consideration the long list of horrible things Mccain has said and done, the number one reason for not voting for him is, out of all the brilliant talented women he could have chosen for a vice president he chose this pathetic knucklehead

    October 5, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  18. Beverly Nelson

    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 way I do and I think there will be a backlash against the bias press. I now get most of my news from Fox News and they seem alot better keeping things fair and balanced. No matter which candidate wins the losers will be the news media. Try not to be bias and try to be fair .

    October 5, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  19. ohio

    obama will win and mcdrill will suffer. palin will be punished by god

    October 5, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  20. The Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Obama quit crying and quit lying about McCain's record.

    You obama are a gamble and a dangerous risk to all good Americans.

    You will tax us and tax us and give the money to the New Welfare Queens and the homeless in Kenya.

    October 5, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  21. Mike

    Tucker Bounds is a fanatacal wack job and part of why the McCain campaign is struggling so much.
    Where is the 'Mavrick' of 2000?
    He sold his soul to the right wing of the RNC.

    Sad days for him.

    Go Obama/Biden

    October 5, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  22. texas democrat

    John Mccain was a senator form Arizona when he got involved with one Charles Keating and his wife Cindy and her dad made deals with this corrupt man who was over Silverado Savings and Loans that cost taxpayers 3.4 billion dollars to bailout . His wife started doing drugs and stealing from her charity foundation. Any poor person would have had to serve time in prison but she did not. And John Mccain had to appear before a committee that found him to have not used good judgment. Charles Keating served time in prison. Talking about corruption.! Some maverick!

    October 5, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  23. sandee in Portland

    This on top of the RNC demanding an audit of contributions. The republicans will stop at nothing to get McCain elected. As far as the Ayers story, it's been proven Obama was only 8 years old at the time, and not only that, but people change. What Ayers did when he was young as nothing to do with the kind of person he is now. We all did stupid things when we were young. Sit-ins inresponse to the Viet Nam war, drugs, etc. It's called experimenting. If you've never done anything you shouldn't have, go ahead and cast he first stone. But...I would be willing to be that even Republicans have done things when they were young they wished they hadn't.

    I've never had a strong feeling about the opposition's candidate until this race. I actually hate Palin and McCain and hope they crawl back under the respective rocks they came from. To try to divert our attention from the most serious thing to hit our nation in years, they are throwing dirt. When will they realize they could get more votes if they just addressed the issues like Obama. McCain has the most stupid campaign manager ever.

    October 5, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  24. stacy

    smear my foot, what about all the millions of contributions Obama
    campaign has received from foreign countries?

    October 5, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  25. Not a hockey mom or Joe 6 pack in Ohio

    McLame and Palin please stay on task and talk about the issues. Stuff is way to serious right now. It's not about Obama or you guys it's about this country. You are too old and washed up and Palin is an absolute joke.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 5, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
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