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. Jason

    Mark from Alabama I here this often but don't see any actual evidence in his policies. In what way is Obama a socialist? I don't think I've ever seen one policy that would point to this. Again, if we moved away from name calling and just looked at policies it is easy to see why independents are leaning towards Obama. I mean lets face it Dems will vote Dem and Rep. will vote Rep. but the independents will carry this election. McCain just doesn't have any answers for average independents. People are not interested in hatred they want solutions.

    October 11, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  2. imani Gridiron

    The way the media keeps referring to Senator Obama as the first African American candidate, reminds me of how historically the prevailing view in this country has been; if you have 1/4 african blood, then you are black...which implies a bias of african blood being inferior to european. Why can't the media just refer to his as he truly is...'the first bi-ethnic candidate?'

    October 11, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  3. Connie

    To Dorothy:

    Have your meds been adjusted lately? It certainly sounds as though they need to be...

    October 11, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  4. Monique, Honolulu

    I'm so glad that McCain finally came out and said that Obama is a decent guy; although it was him, Palin, and the rest of the Republican party that was trying to picture him as a muslim terrorist. I still can't believe that there are people going to Republican rallies and still talking as if Obama is a terrorist! Do they try to ignore the rest of the news that's out there and only cherry-pick what they want to believe? McCain's just a poor puppet to the GOP, he won't get to be the maverick that he has claim to be in the past.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 11, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  5. MEP

    I guess Obama missed the Governor's speech on abortion. She should read a couple of recent US Supreme Court cases before making this personal. Does she think America is a lawless land? Alaska? For someone in her position , who uses her child as a political accessory– how many pictures have we seen of her cuddling her newborn? She should think before she speaks. More" Do as I say not as I do." Make her answer questions about Joe Volger– or any question, really.

    October 11, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  6. mitch

    the mccain palin campaign makes me sick.

    October 11, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  7. Christine El Paso

    Mark in Bama, I have family where you live I know how the south is, we know your views... but sorry we're not listening to you anymore! McCain has lost his mind and Honor and this race! There were Riots in the streets when Bush took the White House in 2000 and with good reason. If you think this country wants 8 more years of that your more off track then the rest of Alabama!

    October 11, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  8. Zack B.

    It's unfortunate that certain supporters on both sides of the political battle are compelled to boo when the candidates recognize that their respective opponent is not in fact the root of evil and a suitable object for their blind hate and ire. Such behavior is truly un-American.

    That said, these reactions are hardly surprising (if not so easily forgivable). After decades of political smear campaigns establishing negativity and unsubstantiated character attacks as the status quo in our elections, who wouldn't expect the electorate to become so automatically polarized? McCain led a valiant battle against such tactics in 2000, but his actions and words over past several months have specifically targeted ingrained voter biases and worked very effectively to elicit such emotional reactions, regardless of their veracity or decency. Fortunately, it appears that the Republican fear tactics and hate-mongering are failing miserably this time around, and with any luck, and some leadership-by-example from Obama, the American people will put dirty politics and these outrageous incidents behind them.

    October 11, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  9. Jerry from Oregon

    McCain's comments were refreshing. too bad we haven't heard more like this from him.

    October 11, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  10. hugh, lewisville,tx

    144 postings in three days,not posted because I upset some wannabe reporter working as a moderator.So much for freedom of speech.

    October 11, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  11. Wayne in CA

    what made Obama a viable candidate for me...and i have fought against the GOP all my voting life..was his ability to remain focused...effective...and on topic in the face of the blatant low road politics of todays political environment...

    October 11, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. Pat Omaha, NE

    Please tell me why all my comments remain in "moderation"!!!
    I didn't use any bad words or racial slurs!!

    October 11, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  13. Eleanor

    Sorry to disagree with you Lance as well its the republicans who are hypocrits!!!
    they claim to be these moral christian people but yet they are out there at these rallies of Palins and McCain spewing out their racism and hatred for Obama
    please explain to me how that is christian like
    they claim to be christians but their actions say otherwise!
    I would say Senator Obama is by far the christian here!

    October 11, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  14. Richard

    McCain was once again pretending to bow to decency, but his smear campaign continues. Has anyone noticed how his smears hop around from one subject to another? Ever hear of the boy who cried "Wolf" too many times? Enough is enough, the McShame campaign is willing to spout any unsubstantiated trash to further their interests. Someone needs to ship them 1000 truckloads of Mud to swim in. The McCain-Keating Five/Palin-witchcraft-statecraft abuse smear team needs to quit polarizing this country.
    We need a real leader like Obama to bring unity to this country in a time of crisis, not the sirens of mudslinging, hate, bigotry and racism that have been unleashed by the McCain campaign.

    October 11, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  15. T.

    I agree totally with Amy who said that McCain got misguided by his campaign advisors who this year know nothing else other than attack the other candidate's character. I think McCain realized after seeing reactions at his rallies, how much hate is being brought up (and Palin is not helping). These supporters are not the same ones that supported him in 2008 and not necessarily the ones that supported him in this year's primary. Some of these extreme individuals were the same ones that said he was "too moderate" and making friends with people who were pro-choice. But his pick of Palin countered that. But now he knows the base that he took the risk of picking Palin for and it's not working among moderates and independents. Actually Palin is turning many away from McCain (even some publically known conservatives). So I (also Obama according to his comments) am glad McCain took a stand against the unreasonableness of some of his angry supporters, because not all of his supporters are that extreme or ignorant.

    October 11, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  16. Truth 08

    (Mark, B'ham., Al) , I guess you know about Chicago politics cause you're from Chicago right? more dervisons from the true issues that affect the American people..

    October 11, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  17. Bs

    Governor Palin calling form her Alaska igloo insisted that the signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars should be imminent.

    Hopefully, McCain,72, will retire now.

    October 11, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  18. REAL reform

    hey TOM,

    really? no clue what Barack's specific plans are? funny. I've heard him say quite a bit, and if you dared to inform yourself!!!, you might find your way to his website where he has his specifics laid out clearly. CLEARLY.

    October 11, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  19. David/Florida

    Dear President Obama: We are planning a party on the night of November 4th. The Moment that the deciding Vote has been cast, we will be dancing in the streets.And for Michelle, she will be a beautyful first Lady. God bless you and your first family. On the morning of November 5th, we will all be FREE, FREE AT LAST!!!!

    October 11, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  20. Rosie

    At first, I couldn't believe "Dorothy's" comment about listening to her 14-year-old granddaughter's gut feeling about Obama. Then, I thought back to the last two elections and realized that people like Dorothy who voted for the Idiot who is now in the White House, and might possibly vote for McCain, simply prove they have the thought process, self-absortion and maturity of a 14-year-old.

    October 11, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  21. Dave in TX

    I'm just curious why McCain backers always say we'll be sorry if Obama is elected. I"m curious as to why? I"m definitely open to hearing the reason why you say this but i'm not willing to just accept the answer I get from my little neices and nephews.... "just because"

    October 11, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  22. tanya from TX

    i know Mr.Obama will be our president, because at the end, god will prevail and hate and evil will go out of the window.

    as much as i dont agree with Mr.Mccains policies, i feel like he is a good man, but his vp candidate is vicious and cunning politician, it is truly sad how she uses the god's words to create and fuel evil in the world. sara palin is evil!

    October 11, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  23. WJYung

    McCain did the right thing correcting the ignorant lady. Hope she is the only one out there. The American people is smarter and more informed then that.

    October 11, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  24. Informed Voter

    McCain-Palin First Ever Ticket Where Both Candidates Found To Have Violated Ethics Standards Before An Election

    October 11, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  25. Betty

    John, John, John... I'm having to take back my thank you for bringing the man I so respected. Sarah is still at it and either you don't have control of your campaign or you approve of what she says. tsk tsk tsk. I see now you're just worried about having "hate crimes" added to your resume... shame on you and shame on your supporters that approve of this hate mantra. For those McCain supporters who don't approve, do what I did when I didn't like an ad that Obama ran... email the campaign and tell them so!

    October 11, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
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