October 11th, 2008
01:00 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama thanks McCain for efforts to 'tone down rhetoric'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/11/art.obamaphi.gi.jpg caption="Obama thanked McCain for his Friday comments."]PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (CNN) - During his four-stop swing around the city of Philadelphia Saturday morning, Barack Obama acknowledged John McCain's efforts to "tone down the rhetoric" on the campaign trail.

"I appreciated his reminder that we can disagree while still being respectful of each other. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - Senator McCain has served this country with honor, and he deserves our thanks for that," Obama told a north Philadelphia crowd, to a mix of heavy boos and cheers.

Earlier: 'Don't be scared' of Obama presidency, McCain tells supporters

At an event Friday in Minnesota McCain referred to Obama as a "decent person," and praised him as a "family man" after two voters expressed fear over Obama being elected.

Obama, however, quickly dispensed with polite talk Saturday, and pivoted to his main campaign trail argument: that McCain is out of touch on the economy.

"Senator McCain's campaign manager actually said that Senator McCain wasn't talking about the market because there's just not much a candidate for President can say - and they aren't sure what he'd say each day even if he did talk about it," Obama said.

"But here's the thing Philadelphia. They can run misleading ads, and pursue the politics of anything goes, they can try to change the subject. They can do that what they want to do because the American people understand what's going on - but it's not going to work. Not this time."

soundoff (704 Responses)
  1. Obama Supporter

    This is the old McCain that I remember and admired– someone willing to stand up for what he believes is right and decent, despite the pressures to do otherwise.

    October 11, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  2. Sammy

    Well... considering the McCain campaign is the one doing the smearing the booing is understandable. But Obama's crowd booing didnt help matters and made the crowd look just as bad as McCain's. Then again, they didnt call for McCain's head.

    October 11, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  3. marcus

    Senator Obama shows a greater decency than most people and even myself. I must admit if it were me I'd be sucked right into the fighting because as normal people we want to defend ourselves. That is why I am voting for Obama he doesn't have the bad temperment we see in ourselves. He thinks things through and therefore has better judgement. He has the mold of a Dr.King.The quiet confidence of kindness. And the visionary ideas of a JFK. I think he'll win these people over during his presidency. Because he's won over millions in 2 years

    October 11, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. Margi

    He's back at it Obama, when you know it"s a snake, continue to treat it like a snake.

    October 11, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. Donna from Colorado Springs

    There has to be a reason why McCain acted so nice yesterday. I really don't trust him and his attempt to calm his people down. I'm thinking that he doesn't want to be held responsible if, God forbid, one of his nut cases does something very stupid.

    October 11, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  6. Mark R

    Obama had better Thank McCain, because it is the fear in many of our minds that will prevent Obama from leading this country.
    I do not care if he gets elected or not, it is a no win thing for Obama. There are way too many people who fear him, for reasons understood, proved or not proven and understood.

    I myself will vote for McCain and Palin, I am sorry, I think Obama is a smooth talker who knows how to play politics. It has nothing to do with his skin color.

    I do fear Obamas connections to Kenya, I do fear his believes while sitting in a chuch for over 20 years with Wright.

    McCain is not perfect, but I will vote with what I am not scared off.

    October 11, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  7. Eric Cooper, GA

    Call me naive, but after watching the exchange, I truly feel that McCain sincerely meant what he said about Obama, and as a supporter of Senator Obama, I truly appreciate that gesture by Senator McCain.

    We can all disagree on policy and the direction we feel the country should go, but calling each other out of our names or questioning our integrity or patriotism is just uncalled for and not in keeping with rationale adult behavior.

    Way to go John, that stance resembles the McCain of old – the version I actually respected and admired.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 11, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  8. Mrs. Texas Teacher

    I really did not think McCain and company could out do Bush's Swift Boat campaign lies.... but they have done it! They have invoked fear and hate amongst their base, which at this point appears to be a lot of religious fanatics, trailer trash, KKK, and Neo Nazis types. It is very scary to watch one of Palin's rallies now. She has a pretty face, but an ugly mind. And McCain is responsible for choosing her, for allowing her to preach hate and terror, and for even enlisting his own wife in the Terror Tactics.

    His campaign reflects how he will run this country given the chance. Just like Bush/Cheney.... anything goes!

    Thanks, but no thanks to McSHAME's "bridge to no where!" American deserves better! And that is Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

    October 11, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  9. George

    Keep talking about issues, Obama. That will take you all the way to the White House. The other guy is almost speechless.

    October 11, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  10. Hanson in Port Harcourt, Nigeria


    October 11, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. Anthony

    The high road is never easy. You sir, Mr Obama, have my total respect in your grace under fire. I actually feel bad for McCain. He was put in a position to have to go negative, despite his honorable past. I find the true seed of negativity to have been Palin. She was/is the cancer on that ticket. I hope this election is looked back upon and the lesson learned is that you do not put a person that ignorant on a ticket as important as the 2nd in charge of this country.

    October 11, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  12. T. Mckinley

    I am concerned for Barack Obama's safety. Some McCain/Palin supporters seem to be so obsessed with keeping an African American from becoming president that they are willing to resort to branding Obama a "terrorist" and even calling for his murder.

    Just recently, someone attending a Sarah Palin rally hurled a racial insult at a member of the press who happens to be an African American. To my knowledge, Sarah Palin has done nothing to discourage this kind of behavior.

    Why is it, that in 2008, we still have "fundamentalist" Bible-colleges like Bob Jones University, who, to my knowlege, still won't allow romantic relationships to happen between their black and white students?

    I am convinced that racism is the driving force behind much of the opposition to Obama becoming president. I believe it's time for many McCain/Palin supporters to do some serious soul-searching and be honest with themselves regarding the true source of their hatred for Obama and their opposition to him becoming president.

    October 11, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    who is backing obama?

    October 11, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  14. John


    October 11, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |

    Don't trust McCain. He is a dishonorable human being. I can't believe I once thought of voting for him. McCain has been using Karl Rove's dirty tactics but since they are not working, now he is acting all sorry. Well don't be fool Senator Obama, McCain is probably getting ready to launch something really nasty your way. If they were capable of smearing you by saying that you love hanging and being friend with terrorist, I would not trust anything that man says. DO NOT TRUST MCCAIN, HE IS A WEASEL.

    October 11, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  16. JeffRob

    I really am very proud of John McCain this morning. It's about time.

    In this complex, sort of sublime campaign season, we can't let our national discourse become one of animalistic outbursts, or even display that in the image we broadcast to each other and the world, especially as we're just on the very brink of turning power back in to the hands of contemplative, competent people. And I mean that for whoever wins. So, thanks, Senator.

    But I'm voting for Obama.

    October 11, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  17. Northern Exposure

    Mr. Erractic should have kept his word and ran a respectful campaign. Too Late! He also should have picked a respected running mate instead of the choice he made. Too Late.

    October 11, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  18. Indiana For Obama

    Obama should consider offering McCain a position in his cabinet and bring America back on track once and for all. We have too many issues to work on.

    And Palin needs to be sent back to Alaska, prompto. She abused her power – why aren't people talking about that???????

    October 11, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  19. Sety

    Excellent quality of a true leader.

    October 11, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  20. Bob From Boston


    October 11, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. Paul Thompson

    He's been negative on McCain, and even started it...but
    the liberals don't want to see or admit any wrong.

    McCain brings decent dialogue...now Obomba wants
    to look like he is as decent.

    October 11, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  22. Richard E. Locke

    I greatly appreciate both Sen. McCain's and Obama's calls to tone down the rhetoric. Demagougery and egging on angry crowds is not needed now. Nor negative ads. Tell us what you believe in!

    In this time of financial crisis, we need to discuss the issues, not call down character. Both candidates have been vetted by a long primary and general election process as well as years of public service. Throwing dirt will just turn off voters, and lower election turnout.

    October 11, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  23. mat r from TX

    Go gettem Obama!!!!!

    October 11, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  24. Reality Check

    McCain and Palin are running the most divisive campaign in History.
    "I am a Uniter not a Divider" won't be on Palin lipstick

    October 11, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  25. Sharon - NC

    I won't believe that McCain wants to stop the dangerous reactions with his crowd and his voters that he and his campaign have created until he removes the same messages from his television ads, and also muzzles Sarah Palin. If he wants to be the commander-in-chief, he should start acting like one and control his campaign and his message, and stop letting things happen allegedly without his knowledge or consent. The buck stops with him. He's the man 'to get it done' according to him, but he doesn't actually seem capable of it.

    October 11, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
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