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. Tiaunia, Dallas

    Those with enough common sense can realize when "distractions'" are taking place. If the spotlight is not on the RNC they are sitting back crying.

    When you hear speeches from Obama directly, it's related to him campaigning. He now has to defend himself constantly with malicious lies, unsubstantiated and exaggerated truths. This is ridiculous.

    October 5, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  2. Gia in Los Angeles

    Swift boat McCain will not fool the American People. We are smarter than that. We can see distrations for what they are. McCain doesn't have any answers, so all he can do is attack and throw out lies and misleading/incomplete talking points.

    October 5, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. Ron, Wisconsin Dells .WI

    Thats Okay the republicans are done they will never get in the Whitehouse for alongtime.Now we must talk about dismantling the republican party and making it more agreeable to fixing this country then they will only have themselves to blame for being so lame.They are up a creek without a paddle.Hey Republicans,I got a paddle for sale ha ha haaa NOT!

    October 5, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. Loretta

    We all know that "It's the economy". We feel it. We live it. There is no way that we can be distracted from this crisis.

    October 5, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  5. Trollmaster

    How would Republicans feel about a presidential canidate that had ties to one who advocated shooting federal agents in the head and groin? How would they feel if that canidate went to that person's house in a fundraiser?

    McCain did excatly that with G Gordon Liddy in 1998.

    Funny how right wingers are silent about that. How would they justify and explain this?

    October 5, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. Elizabeth from buffalo, NY

    THis is rediculous that they are trying to link Obama to terrorist.. unbelievable!!! seriously.. because obama lives in the same neighborhood. as bill ayers, and was on the same school counsil as him, and attended a fundraiser of his.. they are best friends.. I live on the same block and have been to parties with people that are not good but the cause was good.. dosen't mean that I am even close to being friends with those people.,...this is absoulutly rediculous.. this has nothing to do with Obama's judgement.. this is plain as day lies.. and griping at trying to take the trust people have for obama and ruin it.. IT literally makes me sick.. about the McCain campaign.. I would spit on sarah palin and McCain if I could.

    October 5, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  7. Pam

    It's not an accusation, it's fact.

    October 5, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. Arielle Yanaba

    Tucker Bounds had better slow his roll or else Cambell Brown will interview him again...lol! that was the funniest thing, what a joke!

    October 5, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. Rose

    Why is Sarah Palin sooo interested in something that happened 40 years ago, but doesn't want to discuss the Last 8 years of the Republican administration?

    October 5, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. Chibeardan

    When does a True American Hero's political capital run out? I think that is the question that may be answered in this campaign.

    The John McCain of 8 years ago called these kinds of attacks dishonorable and despicable. He knows their lies. Every major news organization has already debunked them.

    I don't think this is how he wanted to run his campaign. I think he is letting the Atwater and Rove disciples run his campaign. His recent plummet in the polls is most likely due to his inability to control his campaign operatives. This has been McCain's greatest failure of leadership.

    When will he get off that course and get back to the independent John McCain that so many Democrats and Independents, including myself, would have voted for in the 2000 election? If he does somehow pull this off, I sincerely pray he will not let the idealogues running his campaign run the country, but I have tremendous doubts now.

    October 5, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. hometowndemocrat

    John McCain is despicable!

    October 5, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. Yikes

    While we watch our country slipping into the worse economy in 70 years, the GOP is wasting time and money on this mindless crap. Watch the stampede of voters rush to Obama!!!!

    October 5, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  13. Another grumpy old white woman for Obama

    What a bunch of desperate pit bull crap. They are lying their faces off out of desperation. Do not believe anything they say! Ever!
    John and Sarah are pathological liars. Just like Bush.
    Slimey bottom feeders. Both of them.
    Sit down Sarah and give Johnnie another lap dance.

    October 5, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  14. Nimi from NY

    That's the Republican's M.O. If you can't win on the issues muddy the water. They know how to campaign but don't know how to govern. For years the Democrtas were in control of both houses and the Republicans fought them on it. They finally got their wish when they contorlled all branches of the government and what they did they do?They left us with two wars and many trillion dollars in debt. Now they are asking for four more years. If the American people can't hold these people accountable for their actions I don't know who would.

    October 5, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. TEW

    It appears that the RNC is on the verge of losing its sanity on the notion that Sen Obama will win the election. They appear to be throwing the "kitchen sink" at the Sen Obama in hopes that something will stick. Sen McCain makes a claim that "he knows how to win wars" can someone please advise what wars Sen McCain has actually won that supports his claims

    October 5, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  16. Thompson

    Gov. Palin, since you are starting to talk about old new, why not talk about that bridge to no where or the road to no where you built in Alaska. Better yet, talk about the debt you left Wasilla in as mayor. Maybe you can talk about those earmarks Alaska received this year. I am glad you are starting to read...or did you debate coaches put that in you speech. Gov. Palin, your credentials are weak just as your debating skills are.

    October 5, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  17. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    of course... what else can GOP do but offer another 4 years of Bush....

    GOP never talks ISSUES, just a bunch of baloney to distract voters from what's important.... and Palin is a moron to boot.

    October 5, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  18. Jon

    What sorry tactics for a once great, man. Isn't a "maverick" supposed to be someone who doesn't cave to political pressure–someone with backbone? This is desperate and pathetic. John McCain is wilting like a flower in the Arizona heat.

    October 5, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  19. indy chris

    "I didn't decide to run for president to start a national crusade for the political reforms I believed in or to run a campaign as if it were some grand act of patriotism. In truth, I wanted to be president because it had become my ambition to be president. I was sixty-two years old when I made the decision and I thought it was my one shot at the prize." John McCain "Worth the Fighting For: A Memoir (2002)

    How many times has McNasty committed adultery? Can he even count them? Didn't he begin his political career by USING his mistress' wealth and connections? Does his sordid history scream "Character"? Obviously, the religious right is a viper pit of hypocrisy. Jesus hates hypocrites and the blindly ambitious.

    October 5, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  20. rosieg

    We need to hope that the Obama campaign has learned the lessons of the Dukakis/Kerry floundering under attack, and will demonstrate superior tactics. Let's hope Americans are a bit more sophisticated this time around -and that the younger voters, in particular, will be the "X Factor" that prevents the swiftboat tactics from achieving their goal.

    October 5, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  21. Twinkle*

    I wonder how McCain expects anyone to vote for him if the only thing he can talk about is Obama? What about the economy, the jobless rate, education and healthcare? THese are the issues that matter to me. Really, I wish the McCain and the rest of the Republican party would talk more about the issues, and talk less about Obama. I'm voting for Obama. At least I know where he stands on the issues that matter.

    October 5, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  22. UniteAsOne

    Palin’s remarks about Obama palling around with terrorists is such an evident blatant lie that one wonders just how low she is willing to go. Palin is a whiner, self serving individual.

    The fact that she absolutely failed to follow the program at the VP Debate is such a telling sign of her weakness in her knowledge of so many issues. The fact that she right off the get-go tells Gwen Ifill, “And I may not answer the questions that either the moderator or you want to hear, but I'm going to talk straight to the American people and let them know my track record also.” tells everyone she did not respect Ifill or honor the stage she is upon. We know about her track record, heard it multiple times over. Talk about ignoring questions put to her, only shows she is not willing or able to answer questions as put to her. Questions do not follow her notes!! Reminds me of a student that cheats at exams by hiding notes. The more I hear McCain/Palin speak only reinforces my faith in and decision to vote for Obama.

    October 5, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  23. Franko

    Obama himself has created his own distractions and McCain is calling him out on them. Man up guy!

    October 5, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. Mrs. Texas Teacher!

    When you don't have a leg to stand on, you attack the person rather than the issues.

    Our found fathers were highly educated men, intellectuals. Otherwise, they could not have created that wonder instrument we call our Constitution! Why should we want less to run our country now?

    Both Bush and McCain are simply not all that bright. It surely doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out! I think we deserve a highly educated man in constitutional law, a real intellectual to get us out of the mess Bush, Cheney, McSame, have gotten us into. Shucks, folks, just think about it!

    He might not have a drink with you at the corner bar, but he will surely know how to run this country. And not into the ground like Bush with McCain voting with him in lock step for 8 years.

    October 5, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. McCain Lies Once Again

    McCain has actually announced he plans to spend the rest of his campaign trying to smear Obama. McCain and Palin are shameless and disgraceful liars. They have exhibited poor judgment and a total lack of understanding of issues most important to American voters. They have no workable plans to help America. Liars always get caught and McCain and Palin have been exposed for having no character, no integrity, and found by voters to be unfit for office. Obama and Biden are good and decent men. They have shown real leadership skills during this campaign and have proven they understand the issues we care most about. They have actual workable and authenicated plans in place that will help Americans. McCain and Palin are throwing out their last shred of dignity in a desperate attempt to shift focus away from their losing campaign. This latest tactic to try to spread lies about Obama is disgraceful and disgusting and proves they are unfit for office. Obama and Biden Now More Than Ever!!!

    October 5, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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