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. Linda Lauterio


    October 11, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  2. Adam in Jax

    OMG!!! Are these medieval times? As a Christian I am ashamed of these comments.

    What will they do next!

    October 11, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  3. judy

    Good lord, these people really are insane!!

    October 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  4. Thoroughly Disgusted in Texas

    McCain and his minions are getting ever more disgusting by the day. Is there any depth to which the GOP will not descend to defeat Obama? At this rate, I wouldn't be surprised to see KKK members marching on the streets on election day and burning crosses on lawns.

    McCain and Palin now make me feel like vomiting. If the two of them aren't white supremacists already, they should join up. They should wear swastikas on their arms in case anyone has any doubt about what these two believe. But I suppose that would be too extreme. Okay, how about this? Make the swastikas red, white and blue!

    October 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  5. Jason

    And Obama's campaign is supposed to be the dirtiest in history?

    At least McCain apologized for this one. Hopefully he'll start throwing the "terrorist!" shouters out of rallies and referring the "kill him!" ones to the Secret Service from now on.

    October 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  6. Lady_Di

    Here we go again!!!!!!!!!!

    October 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  7. jo

    You are calling yourself a minister, I don't know who is attainding your church. Love is the way to go not dividing.

    October 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  8. AA not for Mccain in FL

    How stupid. What's god have to do with this. They are playing to the ignorants and the red necks of this country. Wake up people and use your brain and think. So if Obama wins then the hindo god is bigger than mccain's god? this is total B.S. its 2008 for god's sake. Leave god out of this no matter what god is yours. Its the economy stupid.

    October 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  9. Chris

    Please remind ideological demagogues of the Republican Party that there are many more non-evangelical christian protestants that are praying for Obama to win this election. Evangelical Christians are responsible for the mess this country is in ! My Savior – Jesus Christ, is with certainty, is bigger and better than the heathen images evangelicals pray to. They are wrong !!

    October 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  10. Elliott

    I don't know if I'm the only one in the world that thinks this but I am very concerned about the welfare of Sen. Obama if this kind of hate continues. Mccain rallies are sounding more and more like Klan rallies. SOMEONE NEEDS TO PUT A STOP TO THIS NOW!!!! This has gone past just trying to win when you are igniting fear, hate and now prayers against your opponent. CNN why are you all not commentating on the seriousness of this. The Mccain campaign is thrusting the country back into a pre civil rights era. I'M PRAYING TO....for the safety of Sen. Obama and his family while others proceed to fuel HATE in this country. I am surprised at John Mccain for allowing this to continue, this is not COUNTRY FIRST.

    "Independent 08" but after the hate I have seen that has nothing to do with the issues "Obama/Biden 08"

    October 11, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  11. David

    I am a born again Christian and I support Obama!
    He is my candidate. He is not just the candidate of the unsaved.
    I am praying that he wins and I am confident he will, because he is more on the side of right than McCain. God cares for the poor, and supports those who care for them too.

    October 11, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  12. Nik A Christian

    Here we go again I am so tired of hearing that the GOP is the party of God! I have been a Christian for 10 years and has been a Democrat the entire time if they dont slow down with the nonsense they will push anyone away who is interested in religion because the are not a Republician and there souls will be on thier hands.

    October 11, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  13. bosy

    Are these really true christians? This minister obviously does not know the meaning of being a christian.

    It is becoming outrageous that McCain and Palin promote such activities in their campaign.

    Listening to McCain, Palin and their supporters who tend to promote themselves as children of God or Christians, I am really disgusted at them. Especially Sarah Palin, she promotes herself as a christian but she does not act like one with her lies. God said that "Thou shall not lie" this one commandment she has broken several times.

    I know that God that we served as christians does not promote such behaiviour. This minister is a fake minister, a wolf in sheep garment.

    You are so ignorant that you as a minister does not even know that Allah means God in arabic language.

    Whoever this minister is, God will definitely judge you for condemning others.

    October 11, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  14. no need

    Those who pray to Allah, consider themselves praying to the same God as the Christians. BTW, Christian Arabs pray to Allah (just the arabic name of God)

    And by the sound of this, it sounds as those only Christians can be Republican? I am a bit confused on who can be a Republican. Is race and religion a factor?

    October 11, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  15. Mark

    I'm all for fools like this, saying ridiculous things. It just makes McPain look worse and worse. Which is getting really difficult at this point!

    October 11, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  16. Dawn

    AND there are Christians in America and around the world who want Obama to win!!

    NOT YOUR will, but HIS will be done – November 5 will clearly show that!!

    October 11, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |

    This has turned into the nastiest presidential election I have seen in my entire lifetime. It would appear that McCann wants to win so badly, there is no limit to how low he will go.
    Please address the issues such as economic downturn, lack of adequate healthcare etc etc. As a voter, that is what I really want discuss.

    October 11, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  18. Anonymous


    October 11, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  19. Hillary then McCain

    Maybe those people were not McCain's fans. They got sent over to just to damage McCain's campaigns.

    October 11, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  20. Abdul

    wow, considering Obama's stances probably more closely mirrors Christian values than McCains, this is funny. Helping out the poor and the disenfranchised, accepting differences and others without stereotyping, turning the other cheek...are not common to a neo-con.

    the hypocrisy of the Repulican party...

    October 11, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  21. Chris O'Canada

    wow..just wow. I am "praying" that you poor Americans can see "the light" and vote anyone other than some right-wing religion backed senior-citizen as POTUS...wow.

    This campaign is getting as close to bipartisan insanity as I've ever seen.

    October 11, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  22. R-Howard

    McCain just won't stop, and for every incident he falls further in the polls.Way to go idiot. Keep it up and it will be an OBAmA landslide!

    October 11, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  23. Old McGovern Democrat

    Oh yes, that's right...only one brand of Christianity is acceptable,,,no other religions count. Another way that the right wing conservative Christians spew hatred. Doesn't McCain say that he will reach out to others? Apparently the clergyman didn't get the memo. Add the religious hatred to the race baiting by McCain/Palin and you get a true picture of Republicans for the past 60 years going back to McCarthyism and Nixon's commie witch hunts. Bigoted, ignorant, divisive, war-mongering liars. When will Americans stop falling for the fear and loathing?

    October 11, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  24. Charlie`

    Racism is so open during this campaign, Obama is an American and not an enemy but his color is the bigger factor here. No matter how bright and complete the future of this Country could be. The fears of a Half-Black President shows it's ugly head. Which side do you hate. Be real we don't need the pain of McCain or Palin we need a President. Obama/Biden '08

    October 11, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |

    The Secret Service should make sure McKeating5 walks thru a metal detector prior to Wednesday night's debate. He is becoming very ugly.

    Also, I hope Obama is not even in the same state where any of the Klan rallies called Reptilian stump speeches are to be held!

    October 11, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
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