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. Dolores

    Though John McCain has served this country with honor, there is absolutely no honor in the way he is running his campaign. There is a violent atmosphere surrounding him among his followers. This is worse than negative, it is outright dangerous. We have never before seen people screaming to kill the opposing candidate as is happening with McCain's raging supporters. McCain is scared himself as he tries to calm these people. Governor Palin is guilty as well as she attacks Senator Obama with her vicious remarks. She is a disgraceful politician, who has done more harm than good. She needs to get back to her state and fix the trouble she caused along with her husband. Alaska doesn't need her and we don't want her in the White House.
    I pray for the safety of Senator Obama as he paves the way to the White House. He is honorable and super smart and will do the right thing for our Country.

    October 11, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  2. Big D

    It's great that McCain is taking steps to tone down the worst of the rhetoric of his crowds. But it would be better if he and Palin hadn't supported this 'terrorist' nonsense in the first place. Every ad they brought out, every statement from their surrogates, everytime that they let a smear go unchallnged, led to this starting in the first place. They are guilty of starting this – and now they're tryin to tamp it down after it got out of control. I admire Obama's attitude and fortitude throughout the campaign, and I'm disappointed that McCain and Palin let things go so far that they actually became dangerous. That is not 'country first'.

    October 11, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  3. legacy

    Thanks, but no thanks

    October 11, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. John , PA

    This just goes to show that the fringes of America, who always want
    lead with their seperatist views, is in no way qualified to lead a diverse
    country, especially if their mindset is of the back woods. Be content to
    stay there if you must. But don't attempt too lead a whole nation with
    narrow minded views.

    How can you lead, when you are so far BEHIND in your thinking?

    Sara Palin is a perfect example of this logic.

    October 11, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  5. conny

    Watch him/them. Holloween is approaching fast!

    October 11, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  6. A lesson in economics

    I wish McCain would talk about the economy more. I wish he would talk about how during the first term of Bush the economy was on the rise and booming. I wish He would talk about when the economy began to slow, after the democrats gained a majority in Congress. I wish he would talk about how he and many republicans warned Congress about Freddie and Fannie and how the issue was dismissed. I wish he would talk about how the economic mess stems from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and who was behind giving loans to people who were not qualified in the first place. Banks give loans, bad loans cause foreclosures, foreclosures cause fear, fear causes caution and now we have banks in trouble. Oh how I wish McCain would talk about the economy!

    October 11, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  7. It's called racism, Stupid!!

    I don't believe the McCain campaign at allThis whole thing is a set up to stop the bleeding of the McCain Campaign. McCain has created the whole racist, hatred charge against Obama. He is only backing off now because he is losing in the polls. It is time to change his strategy since it is not working.

    DO NOT LET McCAIN FOOL YOU. HE HAS NO CONSCIENCE!

    VOTE OBAMA/BIDEN '08

    October 11, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  8. Terry

    Congratulations to both of them. McCain and Palin let it go on far too long, and it took the Secret Service to wake them both up. When McCain learned that he and Palin could be held legally responsible for anything that occurred due to their early failure to stop the threats of physical violence to their opponent, they both got religion.

    October 11, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  9. Commonwealth

    I'm just really sad that there are such hate-filled, closed-minded, and totally ignorant people (like the one lady in a Senator McCain rally on Friday who shouted '...I've read about him. He's and Arab.' or the man in Florida who had the sign in his yard declaring that Senator Obama was a 'Muslin') in our country like the ones who shout 'kill him' at a political rally (funny, btw, how the crowds appear to be worse when it's a Governo Palin rally).

    It's like we're in a time warp or something.

    October 11, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  10. david in MSP

    I think both campaigns would do well to tone down the rhetoric. Democrats have suffered through eight long painful years and if polls can be believed, most of us think President Bush has left us in much worse shape than we were the day he took over. Now perhaps another new day is dawning and in spite of everyone's differences, in a month there will be a new president and it will benefit all of us – from the president to the legislature and down to "we the people" if we try to put our differences behind us and work together to get the job done. There will be a lot of different opinions about how to do that best – but calling the other side names takes not a single step toward solving the problems that are common to all of us.

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

    at least obama has some integrity of his own.

    October 11, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  12. Gene

    As sick as it is to say... looks like Father Phleger was right... maybe not as far as directing the attack towards Hillary... but it sure sounds like the reactions of the Republican base at McCain's rallies now.

    October 11, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  13. Peter of Oregon

    What...? McCain are you embaressed by what your campaign's brought to your life? A campaign about fear and hate... that's what you're wife, runningmate and other surrogates have been preaching from the campaign pulpit. Don't act surprised. Having said that it's good your try to do something to control the wild fire now seeing the fruits of your labor first hand.

    October 11, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  14. Ken, Republican Voting for Obama

    A New Meaning to SMEARS
    S- Sarah
    M – McCain
    E – Erratic
    A – Attitude
    R- Result
    S – Stupid

    October 11, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  15. NR

    I'll tell you upfront I'm an Obama supporter. I'll also tell you the ONLY defacement of political property I've seen in my walks and driving around Fairfax County, Virginia is the defacement of McCain signs (all over, really, so not just an isolated group or instance). I have not seen ANY Obama sign defaced, and there are a LOT of them around. Kind of makes me wonder about the behavior of some of the folks around here as contradicted with their verbal rhetoric.

    October 11, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  16. Kevin

    I cannot believe how the media have allowed Obama to go un-scrutinised for so long. There are loads of questions I have wanted to see interviewers ask Obama and not stop until they get clear answers. Now it's all going to get rounded up with a 30 minute propaganda piece on national tv. I guess it takes 30 minutes to part the Pacific ocean.

    October 11, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  17. Craig Gill

    ONE [American] Car
    ONE House
    ONE Wife...(cough cough) to whom he has always been faithful

    that ONE '08

    October 11, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  18. kaz

    Obama the President. We will be praying for Obama. America needs Obama a President. $50.00 more for 30 minutes commercials.

    October 11, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  19. henrietta

    i'm so happy that john mccain said what he said during a rally, but i think both obama and mccain should stop the personal attacks.

    October 11, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  20. obama supporter

    Obama to McCain: I own you, boy. Tell 'em.

    October 11, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  21. Andy - Atlanta, GA

    I would like McCain to clearly tell his misinformed constituents, that...
    1. Barack Obama is a Christian.
    2. His dad is from Kenya which is not in the middle east.
    3. His mother was white.
    4. Obama is not a terrorist.

    October 11, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  22. Obama Supporter

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

    October 11, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  23. van zwet anton

    We saw something very special yesterday and today. McCain and Obama showed to be both descent men in the middle of the heat of a campaign.
    But as a European what I really don't understand: Why did McCain pick Madame Palin to be his running mate? The most awfull smears started after she had been chosen.

    October 11, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  24. Reasonable Observer

    Does this mean Obama will retract his comments about "getting in their face" and "bringing a knife to a gun fight?"

    Liberals are always outraged when conservative use similar tactics to their own.

    Who is really the divisive candidate here?

    October 11, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  25. Orlando

    That was great for Obama to acknowledge what McCain has done to simmer down the mess he created.

    October 11, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
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