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. Chipster

    "True facts?" McCain is seriously trying to claim that it's a "true fact" that Sen. Obama "pals around with terrorists?" Now, the RNC is trying to suggest that Obama's campaign contributions violate regulations. The only thing they haven't done is offer one shred of evidence for either claim.

    Is there some reason McCain and the RNC doesn't want to talk about the economy, health care, education, the environment, FEMA, mine safety, diplomacy, International relations, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan.....

    You betcha, by golly, there's a reason! Doggone it!

    October 5, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  2. phil

    McShame.. get a life. We wont fall for this.

    October 5, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  3. Maggi from NY

    A 90 year old woman in Ohio shot herself because of her mortgage crises and all McCain can come up with is personal attacks on Obama. I am sure that elderly lady wouldn't mind at this time who helps her with her with the morgage crises: Obama or McCain. Instead of McCain to tell this woman what he can do to help her he is tearing down the opponent. Go figure America!

    October 5, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  4. D.

    Character is important, judgement is important.
    When a candidate is so unknown and so new to the national scene, it is very important.
    The general media has not given us enough information about Obama: how he used legal loopholes to get ALL his opponents off the ballot when he first ran in Illinois for example. Is he going to run the country by finding legal loopholes? (like his campaign has done now in Ohio!). These are primary issues of high importance not a smear campaign!!!

    October 5, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  5. hoognu

    Of course that's what McCain is doing–it's the only tactic he has that gives him a snowball's chance in you-know-where of winning the election. I was going to vote for McCain, then wasn't sure after he picked Palin. After seeing her, and what he's become, there's no way I'd vote for him–I'm glad I've had a chance to see all of this before I voted.

    October 5, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  6. DW


    October 5, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  7. Texas Democrat

    John McCain is the desperate and decrepit leader of a foul and twisted campaign. He has completely abandoned the alleged honor and integrity he once professed to possess. He can't win on issues and engages in outright lies which only his ignorant "base" will believe. The self-righteous right wingers and the NASCAR faithful will eat whatever he serves up. Palin is no better...she is the standard bearer of the ignorant. She is the voice of those who see no fault in America, claiming that to see fault is unpatriotic. They see nothing wrong with America, because they've brought us to where we are now. Lack of regulation, free reign for corporations to do as they please. McCain is a fool. Palin is a joke. The RNC is desperate. And many will support them, not because they like McCain, but because they continue to be the sheep that they are.

    October 5, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  8. WeLuvObama

    John McCain, we the people of the US are not interested in your smear tatics. It will not work this time around. Believe me when I tell you this strategy will backfire on you! Stay on the issue Obama we are behind you 100%.

    October 5, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  9. Ron

    Thats all Johnny Angry has left, Distraction. He needs to distract the voters who now realize just how bad the ceconomy really is. And that the De regulation policies pushed by McCain are what have brought this disaster upon us. Angry old johnny and Gooly gee Gomer Palin cannot turn this mess around.

    October 5, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. I Invented the McMuffin... and fire

    The man who picked Palin as a running mate is questioning Obama's judgment? In my 43 years, I've never witnessed a more absurd campaign as that waged by McSame. It saddens me that enough people support this old fool to make this race as close as it is. If you voted for W. twice, you might want to sit this one out and let those of us with good judgment help the country rebuild.

    October 5, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  11. wwf

    Yeah right! How can we trust the judgement and honesty of McCain. Keating 5 ring a bell? Economic crisis ring a bell. How does he blame Obama for that one?

    October 5, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  12. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Amazing that the party that is trying to stop any attempt at getting to the truth about Troopergate is doing everything it can to pin false and debunked accusations against Obama. There is no compelling reason to vote for John McCain.

    October 5, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  13. Erik

    If the McCain camp steps up their Swiftboating, the Democrats should fire back with attack ads about McCain's history with the Keating 5, his adulterous affair leading to his latest marriage to a prescription drug abuser, 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 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  14. CO

    So much for the decent campaign McCain promised. How unfortunate that they must resort to smear votes to push them over the top.

    McCain and Palin must be prepared for voters to revisit their own archive of controversies– from infidelity to Keating 5 to Troopergate.

    October 5, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  15. Rob

    McCain has given up in Michigan and now he is giving up on the main issue: the economy, the financial crisis.

    The final and definitive bankruptcie for the McCain/Palin ticket.

    "It's the economy, stupid!"

    October 5, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  16. Cindy Nelson

    How could the McCain campaign say their accusations are "true facts"... Are the serious?
    Are they not accountable for the words they speak, even when their accusations have already been debunked by the media outlets?

    Wow... Who in their right minds could vote for them?

    October 5, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  17. Mary Perry

    I am not trusting you ( CNN,to acknowledge this comment),but I am going to send it any way.As I have written to CNN several other times,without any response!! The mccain,camp is pulling for straws,just remember to give Equal Postive coverage to Obama/Biden as you do to Mccain.The republicans are filled with known LIES,Deception,and Trickery.But perhaps your station,will Start to use Diversity in your reporting (More Black and Hispanic jouralists.This will help to have a more Fair output of opinions.Mccain's camp shuold think about why his grandfather/father had his war records sealed,and why has CNN ,not talked about that,and what is palin hiding from in Troopergate,you don't even mention that,why.That camp is and always have been Crooked!Be more Fair in your Reporting,and using other ethinic journalists,on a daily bases.
    Mary Perry

    October 5, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  18. sal

    Obama Biden have won

    Distraction are what they are

    the fact remains, M/P have loss

    it all a matter of how bad at this point. McCain go negative and more will question his judgement.

    October 5, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  19. Terry, Ga.

    Her & Todd along with McCain are now getting desperate and would say & do anything to win this Election. Is that what we really need?

    October 5, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  20. Joe saw FDR on TV in 1929

    Then quit trying to blame all the economic woes on Bush, McCain, and the Repubs. This housing crisis started when Clinton was president, and pressure was put on lenders to make bad loans in the name of equality. These in turn got sold to Freddie and Fannie, and there you go........ Bush's policies DID work for 6 years, then the housing crisis hit. Keep up the same, and also start to reduce spending on the war.

    October 5, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  21. jn

    oh please McCain camp...haven't we had enough from all your lies....what on earth would make you think that you the Republicans wouldn't have skeletons in your closet....Phil Gramm ring a bell? Please name these true facts..NOT LIES...I'd love to hear um....

    October 5, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  22. Tammie

    I see HONOR is one thing McCain lacks if he can't get the votes by having a woman an inexperience woman by his side he has to smear Obama to get votes. What kind of person reduces his integrity by going to smear tactics. Where is his self repect his code of honor. When Bush smeared his name he cried foul and said he would never sink to that kind of low. But with his straight talk he lied America .....he lied. Obama was 8yrs old when Ayers did his dirt. I guess at 8 he had that much clout. If you really need to look at the man and wonder does he make sound judgements? He left his crippled wife for money. He has the same stubberness i see in George Bush thats scary to me. If you want to be scared look at the man and see the cockyness that Bush displayed you will see McCain can we go 8 more years of a person who thinks that its his way or no way. Palin cant even have a thought without him coming to her rescue.. she is programmed to recite his mantra and she will do it because she knows that McCain will probably not survive his first term and she can have all the power she craves.

    October 5, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  23. R, Ohio

    The GOP are certainly reaching. I wish they would focus on the issues. I haven't heard HOW McCain plans to help us out of the financial crisis; oh, wait...does that mean he doesn't have a plan? Absolutely pathetic!

    October 5, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  24. Mccain A sheep In Bush clothing

    Mccain a once preceived respectable man has lost all respect with how he continues to conduct hisself.

    October 5, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  25. reggie

    stay focuse america thay are comin with the kitchen sink OBAMA/BIDEN

    October 5, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
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