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. ANGIE

    I went to the Obama rally today in Philly it was GREAT! Senator Obama asked us supporters to please show Mccain RESPECT for his war service and then the senator went on to say THERE IS NO REASON NOT TO SHOW EACHOTHER RESPECT MEANING HIM AND MCCAIN DURING THESE CAMPAIGN hes right respect eachother and bash eachothers policies only the rally was truly GREAT cant wait to vote for him in nov! Obama/Biden08

    October 11, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  2. Michael

    Watching McCain bounce from one failing tactic to another is frightening. I am truly frightened by the prospect of McCain being president.

    If I needed surgery and the surgeon behaved as impetuously and blindly as McCain does I would not want him operating on me. The same goes for pilots, realtors, teachers, etc. Why would we want a brash, mean spirited old man as our president if we wouldn't tolerate him as an accountant or fire lift operator?

    I have had enough with the hazardous mediocrity of McCain-Palin.

    Obama-Biden '08

    October 11, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  3. peggy

    I have no respect for palin or mccain.when it is proven that what they are saying is untrue,they just keep on spouting the lies.I wonder sometimes if they take stupid pills especially palin. Maybe she cant read the label and takes two!
    peg tenn.

    October 11, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  4. a7m

    So Dorothy says that we have to think with out "guts" and vote for McCain. You have to think think your brains, not your guts. Otherwise you can confuse McCain's fart with a word of wisdom.

    October 11, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  5. Flint Knudsen


    It's ironic that Obama wins your vote for doing something you like as he is thanking McCain for doing the same thing.

    At any rate, I finally understand why campaigns are so negative. Candidates are booed by their own supporters when they say something nice about their opponents.


    October 11, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  6. bluerose

    Anyone who would vote for a Chicago politician for president is a very foolish person.

    October 11, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  7. BluCanon

    If they're booing J-Mc...they might as well not vote at all. OR they can vote for Obama! 🙂

    Obama/Biden '08!!!!

    October 11, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  8. Michael

    Yeah Right ! McBush sets up a situation where he gets to look good by defending Obama while his ReThugLican supporters Boo him. Now on Monday he will set up being asked about sleazy attacks and McBush will proclaim, I am the one who defended Obama my friends. Kind of like, I am the one who suspended my campaign. Every thing this shallow old man does is a cheap gimmick. Silly McBush, tricks are for kids and gullible media.

    October 11, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  9. McCain is a Christian?

    Watch out Obama – just because McCain makes one statement to keep his hateful and rageful base from committing acts of violence does not mean his nasty tactics will stop. The Secret Service is investigating the McCain campaign for all the hateful smears and violence-inducing language they are using to incite rage among their small group of supporters. McCain and Palin are dangerous and reckless and this proves they are unfit as leaders. They seem more like cult leaders or KKK clan leaders in how they try to incite hate and fear among their followers. The media should take a moral stand and stop covering these hate-mongering rallies that are nothing but proven lies. Even the crowds are attacking the media with racial slurs now. McCain and Palin stand there and say nothing and never denounce it. This is the same as condoning it. They are disgusting and desperate. Palin has now been officially proven corrupt in her own state. How much more do we need to see from these two to show how unfit they are for office??? Keep the high road Obama. McCain is imploding and turning his own Party against him.

    October 11, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  10. Peter (CA)

    The opposition on these boards is amazing...

    Obama has laid out his plans for the future....check his website and do some research.

    Socialism.....please. Looks to me like the Republicans have been the socialists but only when it helps their rich friends.

    October 11, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  11. Christine El Paso

    Obama has shown nothing but leadership in this campaign! He talks about the issues and draws his distinctions with McSame camp and thats how it's suppose to be done. McCain has attacked Obama's character, had his running mate and his wife attack his character and that of Obama's wife and been nothing but hatefull and spitefull. And now that his followers have bitten a piece of that anger and are starting to scare people he wants to shove it back in the closet! Good luck with that, the republicans are angry and hateful people thats going to be hard thing to put back in the closet! I have lost all respect I once held for Mr. McCain. As a Military wife I'm shocked at his conduct so far, to divide this nation so bitterly just for a chance at the White House!

    October 11, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  12. Q

    dear dorothy, thank you for your thoughts, although it's worthless, people should follow their gut feeling based on the fact that Obama is an arab??? ok here's a good one he is a terrorist, u can hold on to ur Gut feeling apparently it's only 40% of you who are greatly misinformed and we don't need your vote, take your vote to the man who hasn't given us a reasonable and educated plan yet on what we need to do to save this country and to the woman who is filled with hatred and confirmed to have abused power not 10 yrs ago or while she was 8, on the other hand who knows?
    We dont need your vote.

    Obama/Biden 08.
    We want CHANGE!

    October 11, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  13. Terry

    It has been interesting to follow the American election process from up here in Canada while we are undergoing our own election (don't see anything on CNN about that–yet).

    While the economy has become "Issue #1", we, too, are facing similar issues "up here." Unfortunately we lack any leader who can compare to either Obama or McCain leading our parties.

    Americans must realize that they are not just electing a President. They are electing a person who must give a sense of leadership and inspiration to the democratic nations of the world.

    On another note, I often wonder why Americans are unaware that Canada is the #1 market for American goods and services. We also send more oil and natural gas to the United States that any other one country.

    What has amazed me is how Obama has managed to engage the 18-25 year olds. In the 40 years that I have observed American politics, I can recall no other leader who has done this to the same extent. What an incredible achievement! I also firmly believe that they will–for probably the first time–turn out to voting booth in the millions.

    About health care in the U.S. That is something those of us in Canada can never understand. Why does anyone in what is, probably, the wealthiest nation in the world to be concerned about getting quality health care? Economic cycles come and go but the need for health care–especially with an aging population–has to be the major concern. Every time I speak with, or visit, friends in the U.S., health care becomes–for them–"Issue #1."

    What does amaze us "up here" most about your election is the selection of Governor Palin as a possible President-in-waiting. Given that John McCain, should he be elected, has a one chance in three that he will not survive to the end of his term, the prospect is–in a word–terrifying.

    October 11, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  14. Judy Mia Fl

    i agree with Donna – Mchateful didn't just speak up yesterday to be nice – i think he did that to impress the swing vote. Also, he was being taped and if at the end of this all something violent were to happen, he knows he & Palin would be responsible.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08-12

    October 11, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  15. Goger

    I enjoy reading the ignorant blogs on this Obama site. The write as if their intellect matches that of most of ACORNs folks.

    October 11, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  16. Interception24


    Are you quite serious? Your 14 year old granddaughter told you Obama couldn't be trusted? And you listened?!?

    What are her thoughts on the econmy while we're at it? What insight does she have on healthcare, the war in Iraq, and global warming?

    Instead of taking my cues from a 14 year old, I'm going to go with Obama. I'm a 27 year old Iraq war veteran and know what this country needs to move forward. McCain is the past with used and dried up ways of thinking. Obama's campaign has proven all the smears false.

    Obama has run a good, clean campaign. How can you support someone who inflicts hate through his supporters? If you want to get elected, then tell the american people why you are the better person instead of smearing your opponent.

    Even though McCain has served our country, Obama has shown more grace and honor than anyone in this election season. The John McCain of the election is not the same John McCain of years past. Even the pundits agree and that is why he is trailing Obama.

    October 11, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  17. N.S, Huntsville, al

    McCain is loosing his bearings? He is way out of touch and the Pailn appeal is GONE. He picked that nut case and now look they are tunning it down, because Pailn was found guilty of ABUSE OF POWER. I knew they were no damm good. Her husband Todd will be all in important business that he dosen't know anything about. So I son't buy and it's too late to change the racial crap that Pailn and McCain have started.

    October 11, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  18. jake

    Why would anyone on this website say anything good about McCain? Birds of socialism always stick together, as witness all the comments above. Leave your comments on Fox.... you can get mixed reviews there, unlike here

    October 11, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  19. RJ

    Give me a break. it's the old and tired non-sense written over and over again by rednecks. What specifics? Honestly, what specifics did u hear from McCain or for that matter, from any Presidential candidate before? Going into specifics is the job of his economic advisors, Treasure Secretary etc.... A President needs to explain his philisophy on various issues. As long as he is one of us and he shows real concern about what we are going through, that qualifies him to be the President.

    October 11, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  20. Marie from Washigton State

    I have to agree with Aaron from Ohio that McCain's crowds are starting to sound like the racial riots I witnessed in the 60's-70's growing up. I am not too sure it is ALL racially motivated but it sounded way to familiar when you are hearing phrases such as "kill him and off with his head." I am a white female voting for Obama and have supported him from the start. Dorothy, I think it is unfortunate you will not vote for Obama because you have a feeling. I work in the legal field and we cannot find guilt or innocence without some kind of evidence of facts. I would like to invite you to compare facts. I think the people in government that extended another loan to AIG after knowing they spend our hard tax payer money on a "spa retreat" and then extending them another loan after it is ALREADY known they have another "retreat" scheduled for the Hilton. These are the real villains. Can you affords to a Hilton resort and spa for a week?

    October 11, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  21. Electra

    Again Obama has shown his true character to stand tall and maintain his diginity despite all the mud. Whilst McCain campaign shows they are morally defunct, Obama looks more presidental. How lucky are you America to have the chance to someone like that (Hillary too- I was and am a Clinton supporter!) to lead you, just a shame some of you dont realise it?
    I reckon is sickened by the morons at his rallies, but has no choice? As for Palin- disgusting individual- nuff said!
    And Mark Louisiana- An educated, smart, articulate, BLACK man who has worked his way up to the top- 1 house, 1 car, 1 spouse is elitist??U are a complete idiot and so naturally doesn't value intelligence (esp when it involves colour), cos your chimp in clothing did a great job the 8 yrs he was in power!! Whatever!

    October 11, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  22. Ted van Tol

    Hey CNN wil you please post my comment, it's still awaiting moderation.

    Within two weeks McCain sents Palin home, end his campaign for
    he is to tired and endorse Obama like I predict 12 months ago.
    Barcak is what America and this world need.

    America, please keep Barack safe!!!!!!

    Ted van Tol
    The Netherlands

    October 11, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  23. lance

    This race is bigger than Obama. What he is doing is providing the frame work for our country to put down our petty differences and come together to resolve our problems. He is setting a new tone for America which is going to help us regain our status in the world.

    Unfortunately, John McCain lost his focus when he saw that he was behind in the polls. In the beginning, it looked loke we were going to have a race based on the issues, then McCain allowed the orchestrators of negative Republican tactics take over his campaign. That was a poor decision and it is costing him.

    I agree with Obama when he says that we should thank McCain for his service to our country. He should be honored. However, that was then and this is now. Soon honor will go to our new President, Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

    October 11, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  24. Chris in CA

    I can not wait for this man to be the next president!

    Who could have guessed we would go from 8 years of the worst president in modern American history to a fresh, new and truly inspirational ticket.

    Republicans, at least give him a chance. 8 years, thats all we ask.

    October 11, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. Linda Griffin

    McCain and Palin have been whipping up crowds with inflamatory rhetoric and then are remaining quiet as the mob shouts racial slurs.
    Every reporter, every reasonable citizen should express outrage at the McCain/Palin ticket. I'm counting on you, t hose of you who reach millions of people daily, to speak out against these tactics. I used to respect McCain – no more!
    (I am a 65-year-old white woman.)

    October 11, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
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