DAVENPORT, Iowa (CNN) - After days of headlines over the emotion at his campaign events, John McCain acknowledged at a rally in Davenport, Iowa Saturday that he and his supporters are angry - but insisted the anger wasn't directed at opponent Barack Obama.
After a week of headlines about angry outbursts from the audience at McCain-Palin rallies directed toward Obama, the Republican nominee added some new lines in his stump speech giving a nod to the emotion on the trail.
"My friends, I have traveled all over this great country, and one thing I have heard from Americans at every stop is that they are angry. They’re angry. They’re angry. They’re angry about the mess in Washington and Wall Street. They’re angry about the failure of leadership at this hour of national crisis,” said McCain. “Well you’re angry, and I’m angry too, and when Sarah Palin and I get to the White House we’ll turn Washington upside down.”
But Obama’s record didn’t entirely escape McCain’s wrath. The GOP presidential candidate pointed to a large contribution to Obama’s political campaign from a beneficiary of one of his opponent's earmarks.
“I guess it was sheer coincidence that the chairman of the planetarium pledged to raise more than $200,000 dollars for Senator Obama’s political campaign,” said McCain. “My friends, the appearance of this insider dealing angers Americans. I am going to put a stop to that, my friends, when I am president.”
A protestor brandishing a sign that read “war is over” brought the crowd back to a more familiar kind of anger - but drew a measured response from McCain.
“You know, my friends, there’s a perfect example of some people that just don’t get it," said the Arizona senator. "You know, as people trying to stay in their homes, keep their jobs and afford health care, is what they want is for us to yell at each other ? No. They want us to sit down together, Republican and Democrat, and work together in this terrible time of crisis, the largest financial crisis in our history.”
“And by the way my friends, as you know, I’ve had hundreds of town hall meetings and I always give people a chance to talk. I don’t always enjoy it but I give them a chance to talk and that’s what its all about,” he said to cheers from the crowd. “So if there is anyone else that has a problem, come to the next town hall meeting. I’ll be glad to talk to ya.”