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

Obama thanks McCain for efforts to 'tone down rhetoric'

Obama thanked McCain for his Friday comments.

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. Sean

    Don't boo Obama: if he wins, he'll have to work with MCCain in the Senate to get things done. He can afford to be nice if he's winning, and MCCain's being nice even though he's losing. MAybe they realize their petty bickering isn't going to fix the economy, but working together will!

    October 11, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  2. dorothy

    Obama is a very untruthful man, to say the least

    U.S. citizens need to be mindful of who they are voting for. If they feel scared of Obama being president, they need to follow their 'gut feeling'

    My 14 year old granddaughter told me that 'I couldn't trust Obama'.. She has that feeling 'in her gut'

    His 'past involvements' with his church in Chicago with his angry racist pastor tells you a lot. He was there for 20 years. Must have learned a lot – and it wasn't about the LOVE OF GOD.

    October 11, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. REG in AZ

    The rhetoric between the Obama and McCain camps has been sharply contrasted for some time. While Obama-Biden have stuck to the issues and been civil with little deviation McCain-Palin have consistently taken the low road and almost completely avoided the issues. While everything else supports the same conclusion that alone should be enough to indicate to any objective and rational voter that McCain-Palin just don't measure up and don't offer any solutions or promise, only more of the same (Bush-Cheney focus). To not see that someone would have to be blinded by their biases / prejudices.

    October 11, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  4. Eduardo

    if he cant control what his running mate says or his staff how will he be able to be an effective president- I evidently under the misundestanding that he was the boss and what he says goes!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 11, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  5. Commonwealth

    OK I want to know why my comments are still 'awaiting moderation' when others posted after mine have been published?

    October 11, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  6. KofTX

    American politics need more displays of decency like what Obama has promoted with his positive campaign.

    October 11, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  7. genek1953

    Boos for McCain in this case are understandable. Seeing Sarah Palin mugging into the camera while people in the crowd at her rallies called for Obama to be killed is probably something that a lot of Obama's supporters took rather personally.

    October 11, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  8. Marty

    I'm not sure why the front-page link to this story was titled "Obama's McCain comments draw boos" - this headline makes it sound like the audience reacted badly toward Obama about something he said, but the article makes it clear that the audience is booing McCain's comments–and possibly that Obama is saying something positive about McCain. a cursory scan of the headlines would give a reader a very different impression about this story.

    October 11, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. Aaron from Ohio

    The McCain/Palin rallies are looking like Klan rallies. All white crowds screaming and shouting everytime Obama's name is mentioned. The anger is palpable. It must weigh heavily on his supporters that John is losing to a first term black senator. Palin in particular whips the crowds into a frenzy of hate. These two are going to unite America? What Americans are they going to unite? The bigots? The rascists? The intolerant? Take a good look at their crowds and how they act. Is that the America we are proud of?

    October 11, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. Sally from Cali - independent

    While people are panicking over the stock market and bank failures, all Palin and McCain can think to do is sling mud instead of restoring calm and confidence in the American economy. They're fiddling while Rome burns.

    McCain said the fundamental are still strong, then he stumbled and still can't get up. Instead of suspending his campaign he should have reached across the aisles to Obama to come up with a plan to restore calm. People are panicking because when they look at one potential leader he's flip flopping all over the place in desperation.

    Obama is looking more presidential because he is going to be our next president.

    October 11, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  11. Teacher for Obama

    Thats right- NOT THIS TIME Sarah!! You may have smeared some ugly rumors about your friends in high school-but this aint high school and Barack aint your average Joe six pack! Take that back to Alaska cause millions of us cant relate. I want the best for my family, students and community and you aint it! Wink!! Wink!!

    Oh thought Id use some average Joe six pack english for ya!

    October 11, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  12. Matthew

    McCain had to try to tone done the vitrol because it wasn't polling well. The outrageous behavior of his campaign, and the economy... he had to quash the rhetoric.

    I also believe that Obama calling him out, "say it to my face", may have made McCain have a little accident in his pants, knowing that they would be meeting for the last debate this Wednesday. If McCain didn't try to calm the waters, Obama would have just hammered him.

    Who knows, Obama may still stick it to him. Can't wait for the moderator to try to get them to go down that road.

    October 11, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  13. Christina

    If McCain won I'd abandon all hope in life and would swifly check myself into a mental hospital.

    October 11, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  14. Tracy

    "He's an Arab." That's actually what she said. Probably because she forgot how to say "elite." It breaks my heart when my fellow countrymen and -women act like this. To prefer ignorance over knowledge; to prefer negativity to positivity; to prefer despair over hope. This is what laziness really looks like.

    October 11, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. Eduardo

    I shoukld haVE Added thank you Senator Obama for you grace under fire to my control comment on McCain- Heaven forbid that tthat you thought it was meant for Obama

    October 11, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  16. Not so fast

    McCain may have "toned down" his rhetoric, Barack - but we American voters are just STARTING. You're far from out of the woods on Wright, Flager, Farakhan, Ayer, ACORN, HAMAS, Michelle, Rezko. BANK ON IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 11, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  17. Kathy

    Obama is true to the core. It will be an honor to call you Mr. President. You have shown valiantly that you stand against the rain and sleet , you stand tall and proud and for that you have my complete respect and support.

    Obama/Biden 08!

    October 11, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  18. McCain/Palin 08

    Republican conventions = Filled with hate and hostility

    Democratic conventions = filled with hope and integrity

    DIVIDED WE fail- – thanks to the McCain campaign for FUELING HATRED and Palin for making this about personal issues(most likely racist) and not about our government. Just tearing down our country.

    October 11, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  19. SB in NoVa

    Barack Obama is a gracious and confident leader. Thank you for being strong in the storm. I was outraged yesterday and the calm, cool and collected Sen. Obama is setting the example we all need to follow on how to respond to the craziness McCain is inciting at his hate rallies.

    Keep up the great work Sens. Obama and Biden! The world is watching and we are not being disappointed by your examples! And BTW, every time McCain/Palin do something stupid, my husband and I make another donation to your campaign! 🙂

    I'm voting for the SMART one!
    Obama/Biden 08 and Beyond!!
    Turn VA Blue!!!

    October 11, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  20. pat

    Senators McCain and Clinton should be invited to be a part of the new administration, should Sen. Obama ascend to the presidency.

    We have got to make our country "whole" again - the politics of the past eight years must be healed, and everyone brought together.

    I was not an original true believer, but, my friend, I am after witnessing the past few months on the campaign trail.

    October 11, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. Progressive Observer

    The headline for this story on the CNN.com homepage "Ticker: Obama's McCain comments draw boos" is the oppositte of the story. The original incident was Republican partisans booing John McCain for comments about Mr. Obama. This story is a follow up about Mr. Obama's reaction. The headline was never accurate and its worse now leaving a lot of bad impressions including the impression that the CNN.com homepage headline writers don't actually read the stories.

    October 11, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  22. Cecelia

    Poor Barack, next week they will probably be calling him an "Eskimo"

    October 11, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  23. bud

    I think Philadelphia's just so used to booing (i.e. Santa Claus, etc.), they just don't know what else to do.

    October 11, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  24. Musicpromo Ca

    McCain and Palin are inciting rage and hatred amongst fellow Americans. Yet they deride the Islamic extremists for inciting hatred and violence against Americans. Does John McCain have to borrow a leaf each from Karl Rove and Osama Bin Laden in order to win this election? Where is John McCain's conscience while he makes a lame attempt at portraying Obama as a terrorist. This is going too far and it just plain sad.

    John McCain and Sarah Palin have to be called to order before they turn us all against each other. This has to STOP! Americans must rise up against this politics of division. We have a nation to rebuild.

    Families are hurting right now under the crushing economic burden and all John McCain offers is to use Osama Bin Laden's tactics of fear? So who is the real terrorisist now? Osama Bin Laden? John McCain, Sarah Palin or all there? America, you decide! I have alrady made my choice. I'm voting for Obama.

    October 11, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  25. SJC

    Even McCain can't pander to the mindless bigots that tend to be drawn to the Republican Party. I have to give McCain some credit from backing away from the hate mongers. I can't say the same for Palin who seems to relish this.

    October 11, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
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