October 11th, 2008
09:30 PM ET
11 years ago

Speaker at McCain rally says non-Christians want an Obama win

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/11/art.obama07.gi.jpg caption="A pastor at a McCain rally said non-Christians are hoping for an Obama win."]DAVENPORT, Iowa (CNN) - A minister delivering the invocation at John McCain’s rally in Davenport, Iowa Saturday told the crowd non-Christian religions around the world were praying for Barack Obama to win the U.S. presidential election.

“There are millions of people around this world praying to their god—whether it’s Hindu, Buddha, Allah—that his opponent wins, for a variety of reasons. And Lord, I pray that you will guard your own reputation, because they’re going to think that their God is bigger than you, if that happens,” said Arnold Conrad, the former pastor of Grace Evangelical Free Church in Davenport.

The remark was made before McCain arrived at the rally but the Republican nominee's campaign quickly put out a statement distancing itself from the remarks.

“While we understand the important role that faith plays in informing the votes of Iowans, questions about the religious background of the candidates only serve to distract from the real questions in this race about Barack Obama's judgment, policies and readiness to lead as commander in chief,” said McCain campaign spokesperson Wendy Riemann.

This incident comes a day after a Minnesota voter asked Senator McCain if Barack Obama was an Arab at a town hall in Lakeville, Minnesota and just three days after Lehigh GOP County Chairman Bill Platt made a speech at a McCain rally in Pennsylvania where he refered to the Democrat nominee for president as Barack Hussein Obama.

Filed under: Iowa • John McCain
soundoff (1,974 Responses)
  1. josh

    hes right our morals are out the window, we let obama get away with stuff we tell our own chioldren. WATCH WHO YOU HANG OUT WITH!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 11, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  2. Charles in Cincinnati

    Wow...so McCain supporters are feeling so insecure that they're praying that he wins so their god won't feel inferior to other people's gods.

    That is some twisted thinking there.

    October 11, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    my god is bigger than your god........ WOW AND THEY WANT TO RUN THE WORLD LOL but i guess we have gone to war for the less then this

    October 11, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  4. American for obama------

    I am an evangelical.....I like Pat Robertson, John Hagee, Juanita Bynum, TBN and all you can think of,

    But I will not get fooled knowing that four years McCain called these pastors agents of intolerance and insulted these pastors.

    He picks sarah palin and expects all evangelicals to jump on board.......NO WAY.....NO HOW..........NO McCAIN

    October 11, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  5. Ms Wright

    Gop represent everything that is evil in this country!!

    Jesus was a Community Organizer!!

    He helped feed the poor

    He was progressive

    He probably would be considered a liberal!!


    October 11, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  6. wezhira

    Wow.. What a prayer.. I cannot say it was a humble one.. Minister

    October 11, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  7. no more rncshame

    theres that double speak again

    obama / biden 08

    October 11, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  8. Linda

    What a total idiot. We already know Obama is a Christian and to make a remark that non Christians want him as president? Ridiculously idiotic to state such a thing. McCain is being judged by the type of people that support him. The type of people that support him, he groomed them to be this way.

    It will be his downfall.

    October 11, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  9. Precious Coker

    When two sports opponents contest, both sides pray to their god for victory. My friends, you know what? Only the best prepared and articulate team wins!!!

    October 11, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  10. Jesse

    The rhetoric is getting so ugly and I'm sure a large segment of the population is getting as tired of the vitriol surrounding this campaign as we are of the dismal outlook on the economy. At this point, any change would be good change. I really believe Obama represents this hope for change. I tell you what though. I really miss Bill Clinton right now.

    October 11, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  11. Stacy Clarks, TX

    Im really so over this presidential race,

    something really needs to be done about campaigning in this country, where grown men are reduces to petty children who throw insults, and try to divide, and fill people with hatred.

    May GOD be with all of us, and even the ones filled with hate

    Obama 08!!!!

    October 11, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  12. Wilbert

    It is utterly disgraceful. I am a Christian who want Obama to win. I've been an independent voter for along time because I am tired of the divisiveness of American politics. I find alot of Christians who label themselves as conservatives vote on one issue only despite the many other critical issues that affect all Americans. I may not agree with Roe vs Wade but there are more other important issues that require attention. Maybe the world sees Obama as someone who who will repair its broken international relationship. John McCain is too much like George W. Bush. The world is looking for a true leader for our complex times. It is not John McCain.

    October 11, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  13. Mike

    Wow! The words of a minister! Daring to suggest to GOD how to act so as to guard GOD's reputation – remarkable!

    October 11, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  14. mark

    Im Jewish and support Obama '08 !

    October 11, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  15. Floridian

    My question is why isn't the McCain campaign proofing the persons speaking on behalf of their campaign before a rally. Anyone speaking at your campaign rally is representing you, it seems silly not to make sure these people aren't saying divisive things like this. Now this doesn't mean McCain believes this, but it shows poor judgment. Apparently, this Reverend went through the same vetting process as Sarah Palin.

    October 11, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  16. C in MT

    Got news for you. I personally know *DOZENS* of Christians who will be voting for Obama. I am one of them! McCain's smears are revolting and desperate. I used to believe he was a Republican I could vote for. That will never happen now. The man has either grown entirely cynical or SENILE. John Hussein McCain is not who he said he was.

    October 11, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  17. S.Orram

    You know that a campaign is in serious trouble when it has spend all of its time distancing itself from remarks every day at every event. There is no coherent message from the McCain campaign, they seem to be all over the place and attracting some unsavoury elements... and one gets the impression that Senator McCain has lost control of his campaign, and his running mate appears to be setting down a marker for 2012...

    October 11, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  18. esk

    Talk about religion – Sarah is supposed to be a God abiding, staunch believer of the devine. How dare she make such hateful statements about Obama. She is not worthy of any respect. Just remember, Sarah, God is watching and I do not believe he respects you at all. What an example you are as a disciple of God? Ask God for forgiveness and repent.

    October 11, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  19. 33/white/female in S.C.

    Yes, they put out a statement to the media, but did they say this to their mob? Faith Faith Faith...Christian this and Muslim that....for all those who don't know, you don't have to believe in God to be a good person.

    October 11, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    I am a born-again Christian, with deep faith in the Lord. I am proudly voting for Barack Hussein Obama because he is a man I can respect and whom I believe will begin to lead this country back to the great nation it once was. It cannot be done in 4 years, but I believe Obama will work with both sides of the party lines to get our country back on track.

    October 11, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  21. yvonne coffey

    Separation of church and state,! That's bull and you all know it, That campaigns knows what they are doing and you should say it,What is wrong with CNN I used to really trust your reporting, But now! It's all about he said she said, what the hell kinda of journalism is that?
    You people hould be ashamed of yourselves.

    October 11, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  22. josephine

    What he forgot to mention is that Christians who are suffering through these tough times want Obama to win too. They want a change and they feel that Obama is capable of doing that as opposed to McCain and more so Palin who doesn't seem to have a clue on what the important issues really are.

    October 11, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  23. Felines for Freedom

    I don't think McCain supporters realize they are their own worse enemies. Granted , I am a democrat and completely behind Obama, but if I were an undecided voter, I would absolutely be disinclined to support the candidate whose voting bloc continues to represent themselves as angry, uninformed and intolerant. To the contrary, I would interpret these persons as proof positive that their candidate is probably the wrong choice.

    So here is my free, unsolicited advice to disenchanted and upset McCain fans: Start behaving rationally if you want a shot at this election. You're behavior is probably alienating the undecided voters who are all more moderate than you. However, if you keep it up, I won't complain. We tolerant Obama supporters have room for more constituents.


    October 11, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  24. temmy

    McCain and the ignorance followers, you are just too bitter and i will continue to pray for you all to find peace, Loosers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 11, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  25. New hope with Obama


    The lowest raod the highest office on land....


    October 11, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
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