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. Johnny Bartlett

    Strange, the headline on the CNN's homepage reads: Obama's McCain comments draw boos

    The story says nothing about that, yet yesterday it was actually McCain's Obama comment that elicited boos. Who's writing these headlines?????

    October 11, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  2. Lee from FL

    yeh but i still dont trust McCain.
    he should know better than having these hateful people at his rallies.

    October 11, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  3. Angela

    The problem is McCain's camp has gone way way too far in its smear campaign. You can't put the jeannie back int the bottle with one comment. You can't let surrogates and Palin and those who introduce your candidate do the smearing and then say oh McCain is now turning down the dial on their smear campaign.

    A real "straight talk" campaign would make sure that EVERYONE in their campaign will not talk trash.

    October 11, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. DGee

    I'm kind of with you, Donna from CO.

    I hate to be so jaded but we've seen McCain do this kind of thing before.....usually just before he pulls another rabbit out of his hat.

    Remember the oh, so cordial congratulatory message the day before he set Palin loose? I think we all knew something was coming then didn't we?

    October 11, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  5. D.G.

    I was watching this speech (still am listening to it), and the crowd DID NOT boo McCain when Obama lauded him for his service. They booed him when Obama talked about how McCain is out of touch with the people and is focusing on attacking him and not on what matters: the economy.

    October 11, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  6. Wathcful Enthusiast........

    As the day of reckoning draws near, I can’t help but wonder what the result of this un-ending soap opera will be like.
    We all know how George W. Bush won the election. If that were to have occurred in the developing countries, it will be called “Rigging” but in our great US of A it is called “Irregularities”.
    No matter what you post on this blog or others or no matter what you do or how you plan to vote, please GO OUT TODAY AND MAKE SURE THAT YOUR NAME IS IN THE VOTERS REGISTER AND THAT YOU WILL BE ALLOWED TO VOTE COME NOV 4.
    If you continue to rant and rave here and end up not voting, then it will simply be leaving the decision to those who may not be as informed as you are.

    October 11, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  7. Tim

    As someone who would like to vote for McCain, I find him to be an idiot. He has given up the fight, if he has ever even been in the fight. Obama's relationships with bigots, terrorists and criminals is relevant, and does disqualify him from the presidency, never mind his lack of experience.

    By the way, once Obama is in, wait for the gates of hell to be opened. Open borders, stealing from the rich to give to the poor, the absence of personal responsibility, tolerance of intollerable postions (i.e. tax dollars going to pay for abortions), they are all coming our way. The European socialist system may look like heaven when we are done.

    October 11, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  8. Marcus from Georgia

    Donna, I definitely agree. I think he could be trying to distance himself from one of his followers doing something stupid.

    Did anybody see that sherriff in uniform speaking at a Palin event? It had a very facist look about it. Palin will stop at nothing to get in office. The McCain-Palin ticket needs to reach a higher moral ground.

    October 11, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. rys

    wow!!! this guy is a scary, confused person!!! watching his rallies are pretty scary too. one minute he's for something and the next he has to stand looking stupid and go against everything he's said!!! erratic (and confused) he definitely is. what will he and palin resort to now that he FINALLY realized that painting obama as a terrorist won't work? he's confusing the hell out of me....WHO IS THE REAL JOHN MCCAIN?

    October 11, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. McCain/Palin 08

    to DOROTHY have you not seen or hear the things McCain's pastor has said and still does. At least Obama denounced his church while McCain is still happy to have John Magee's support. Get real... I guess its Okay for a white man to talk down to minorities but for the other way around its just called terrorism.

    October 11, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  11. Truth from Alaska

    My fellow american as a resident from Alaska i know very well how sick....Sarah Palin is and her husband is worst. She is for sure guilty of abusing her power. God save us all.

    October 11, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  12. maxheadroom

    Key difference. Obama has not been whipping the crowd up to a froth against McCain or inciting possible violence against him. He is actually thanking McCain for finally telling the truth. The video yesterday of the women who called Obama an "Arab" was priceless. Even the rest of the mob had to laugh at her ignorance. Check out the women over her left shoulder.

    McCain should not get cool-points for doing what he should have been doing anyway. And besides, he was the one, along with Palin, that created the mob mentality at their rallies.

    October 11, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  13. Johnson in St. Louis

    now all McCain needs to do is reel in his "pitbull" Palin who is the one that seems to be throwing out all the red meat. And she seems not to really care when people make such hateful comments at her rallies. I bet you'd never see Palin say nice things about Obama and correct the hatemongers at her rallies. I saw Michelle Obama the other night and I had wondered what would happen if you locked her in a room alone with Palin for 10mins. Mrs. Obama had nothing but nice things to say about Gov. Palin and isn't the governor supposed to the the born again Christian here? Like them or not the Obama's seem to always take the high road and that usually pays off well in the end.

    October 11, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  14. Disapointed republican with the nomination of that woman as number two for the ticket.

    I see Macain words as an endorsement of Mr. Obama for president. He is aware that the game is over and it is nice thing for him to start working towards making Obama the president we can trust.

    October 11, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  15. Linda from Indiana

    I wish both candidates would cool it for awhile. Americans are worried sick about retirement, jobs, food on the table, and caring for their families. We are angry and have no one to take it out on. Can't they just stay positive a few more days/24 to be exact! I personally don't like either one of them right now.

    October 11, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  16. Christina in TX

    Enough with the booing! I really appreciate and respect the tone that Obama has taken throughout this entire campaign. It's one of the reasons I've voting for him. The recent hate mongering at McCain/Palin rallies was disgusting and scary, and I appreciate McCain FINALLY speaking against it, because I'd always though he was above that. Now I'd like to see Obama supporters rise above all of this too. We're not haters, that's not the point of this campaign and not what this country needs right now. We're winning, so let's win with dignity.

    October 11, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  17. Brian, Pittsburgh

    McCain deserves credit for admitting Obama is a good, decent family man.

    After months of disgusting attacks, I'm not sure how much credit he deserves, or how long it will last. McCain's surrogates are still repeating the nasty stuff, and McCain's ads are still dirty and negative.

    I hope McCain can clean up his campaign, it might be the only chance he has with Independents. Otherwise, he's just crashing and burning.

    October 11, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  18. Obama Now More Than Ever

    McCain became scared when he realized the level of violence and hatred he was causing within his own small base. The Secret Service is also investigating their campaign for these hate-mongering and rage-inducing smears against Obama.
    McCain and Palin haves shown nothing but disrespect and comtempt for Obama throughout the campaign and have tried to stir up fear and hatred of him. McCain would not even shake Obama's hand after the last debate.
    It's time McCain shut up with his negative and ridiculous lies about Obama and talk about the issues...problem is that he cannot talk about the issues because his whole focus has been on trying to bring Obama down. All it has done is bring McCain and Palin down. They are losing more ground and more voters every day.
    I'm glad McCain tried to calm down the rageful crowd at this one rally but it is too little too late. He and Palin have incited violence-inducing behavior which is completely irresponsible and shows a lack of leadership and judgment. Both McCain and his now convicted of corruption in Alaska VP have been proven unfit for office. Palin's abuse of power is a testament to her lack of character and to the lies she so easily tells when it benefits her. Her abuse of power is an impeachable offense in Alaska. What a great VP choice she was!
    McCain has thrown away his last shred of decency in a desperate attempt to grab votes. Palin has always been incompetent and over her head on a national level. Thank goodness the American people have now seen who the real McCain and Palin are and are rejecting them more and more. Obama is a man of honor and intelligence and he will bring back prosperity, integrity, and character to the White House. Obama has real and validated plans by non-partisan experts in the areas of the economy and healthcare. McCain has just started throwing out stupid and unworkable one line solutions that his own Party is speaking out against. What a sad and pathetic man McCain has become. He is going to lose and leave office in disgrace. He will only be remembered as the man who ran the nastiest campaign in the history of American politics, No one will remember Palin at all. She is a joke who will soon be forgotten. Obama will be our great next President and I will again be able to be proud of having a decent and good man in the White House.

    October 11, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  19. LT for Obama

    I have to ask you, were you sitting in the pews for that 20 years? The videos that surfaced were of very recent sermons. Don't you think that if this has been going on for 20 years, that they would have found other footage as well?

    I am so sick of people attempting to judge 20 years of sermons on less than five minutes of sound bites, some of which were taken out of context in the first place.

    October 11, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  20. Randy

    Hey folks... don't take the boos to seriously either... Folks from Philly will boo anything (just ask any professional athlete that has played here, even for a Philadelphia team). It's our way of showing our love.

    Bottom line: Philly loves President Obama. Kinda has a ring to it, no?

    October 11, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  21. Chris, Bethesda, Maryland

    "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."

    More than anyone in America, McCain knows what it's like to be on the recieving end of the far right's fear and hate tactics. Remember when Bush ran a picture of his adopted daughter in the deep South and claimed she was an "illegitimate black child?" I can't believe he doesn't regret how low the campaign has sunk on some level, especially when the people screaming "kill Obama!" at his rallies were saying the same thing about him eight years ago. He thinks he can't win without going negative, but he can feel it's wrong, which is why he's acting like this now.

    October 11, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  22. renu

    i agree with marty.your title is misleading .

    October 11, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  23. JohnQ

    Its amazing to see how the republicans are trying to get the issue of foreign policy to eradicate that of the economy. The issue of North Korea is just a way of helping Mccain...

    October 11, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  24. Carey Shoufler

    I hope I am mistaken, but it appears as though you are trying to compare boos from a crowd to crowds that yell terrorist, or kill him or call Barack Obama a hooligan. To help you out; one crowd (McCain's) is inciting and even treatening violence. One crowd (Obama's) is voicing disapproval. Big difference that needs to be pointed out.

    October 11, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  25. Isabel

    McCain should not calm down his supporters or prevent them from expressing their views. I do not trust Obama and I think he is the WORST thing for this country. I am very angry that a lot of people can't see through him. He is a great con man. He reminds me of Fidel Castro right before he took over Cuba. He also sounded great and had a lot of support. We all know how that turned out. McCain supporters are angry and they have every right to be.

    October 11, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
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