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. Robb, New York

    I'm a Christian, and I want Obama to win.

    October 11, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  2. Steve

    Have all Christians lost their minds or is it just the Republican ones?

    October 11, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  3. Give it a Rest

    Oh that's nice! Let's start comparing who's God is better than the other's. As a christian, this kind of rhetoric from the former pastor is completely asinine. And we wonder how come we're viewed the way that we are?

    October 11, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  4. Frank in Ohio

    I really hope Obama wins and makes these idiot Christian extremists eat their words. Christian extremists are just as bad as Muslim extremists in my book... both groups are ruining their countries.

    October 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  5. billu

    Remember the preacher that ask for rain on Obama acceptance speech at the the DNC (democrats) and instead the RNC (republicans) got the hurricane on its opening day. These folks got to learn to keep religeon out of this and especally publically..its like praying for your football team for a win, GOD is not into this stuff for trival reasons.

    BTW Allah and Yewah are the exact same GOD of the Christians, all begat from the Old Testament which is the root of all 3 religeons.

    October 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  6. Preet

    I am a Hindu and I am praying that Barak wins handsomely, this minister should stick to preaching,2008 elections are critical not only to USA but te whole world and a change in DC is what we in the world are looking at.

    October 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  7. Kurt

    God don't like ugly

    October 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  8. ChristianVoter

    As a devout Christian, I resent Arnold Conrad's comments. I and my Christian family are voting for Obama. I don't need anyone to speak for me, especially someone with those type of closed-minded, negative views.

    October 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  9. Separate Church and State

    being raised a Hindu,
    I can attest that this Pastor is another idiot.

    promoting hate.
    Once more.
    (see Revs. Hagie and Parsely)

    October 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  10. Felly

    The McCainnites are angry. Even hurricane Ike was angry at them and disrupted the GOP convention. What a bad omen.

    October 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  11. (Former) Lifelong Republican for Obama, Columbia, TN

    This is just one more example of a host of examples of how the McCain team is trying to win this election on ignorance, fear, and old-fashioned hate! McCain is a coward and ALL of his supporters are cowards. His supporters are hate-filled idiots who choose to remain ignorant and uneducated! It is a shame and I will no longer be a part of it. I am White and a Christian and I am proudly voting for Barack Obama, because he has demonstrated more Christian attributes than any so-called Christian supporting McCain.

    October 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  12. NoMccain

    You just lost a lot of votes in Florida, and everywhere else that has people who were leaning toward Mccain, but not anymore....


    October 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  13. raydude

    Wow. There seems to be no end to the stupidity of these people...

    October 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  14. Christian for Obama

    I am a christian, and I am voting for Obama.

    October 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  15. Chris

    What he is saying has no bearing on the economy. They should focus more on the economy than attacking others. John McCain that they are talking about that has all the experience, he does not have an experience as a president of this country. He has never being a president before, like most jobs, you learn as you go.

    October 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  16. Sam-Austin-TX

    Agree. Barack obama's campaign transcends the political left-right or religion, race and creed and origin or place of birth boundaries. The moment some of the hate mongers realize that they are also included in this momentum of hope and real change, they themselves will change for the better and many already are. Bigotory of the kind promoted by McCain and Palin and the republican campaign is appropriately getting a resounding thumbs down by the american citizens and the citizens around the worlds are who are now getting fed up with McCain and Palin hypocracy,

    I'd say Bush was slow and in capable of being a good president for the country, but atleast he's better than McCain and Palin where it comes to this kind of negative, devisive politics.

    October 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  17. dcgirl675

    I'm a Christian. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour.

    And yes, I am voting for Obama.

    October 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  18. Ratemo

    Pitiful remarks from a Pastor. God will answer prayers according to his will. I am a christian and strongly support Obama. Who cares about religion, naff said, what about Sarah Palin and her first dude. Be careful about what you wish for you ignarant "man of God"

    October 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  19. Buster




    THIS IS WORSE than Jim CROW, you MSM pundits and reporters are STANDING BY THIS LYNCH MOB MENTALITY and endiorse it by NOT SAYING ANYTHING AGAINST IT.!

    October 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  20. rossy

    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 is one commandment she has broken several times.

    I know that God that we served as Christians does not condone such behavior. This minister is a fake minister, a wolf in sheep garment.

    You are so ignorant that you as a minister do 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 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  21. Wake Up USA

    I am a Christian and I want Obama to win.... It seems to me that the people supporting McCain are not even speaking the principles of Jesus Christ... Talking about Killing Obama, In Rage ...etc. Jesus said "love the Lord God and the second is like the first LOVE thy NEIGHBOR as THYSELF" So what's up with that Republicans and McCain? What happened to the Fruits of The Spirit example Temperance Not ANGER!!!! It seems to me the Republicans and McCain are more like Pharisees than People who are trying to spread the Gospel. And, one more thing, One thing that the Lord dislikes is one that stirs discord amongst the bretheren!!!

    October 11, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  22. christina

    How offensive. The republican party is a disgrace. I pray to God everyday for the safety and protection of Obama and Biden and their lovely family. As a Christian I pray the lord protect our future president and vice president.

    October 11, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  23. Black Man in Charlotte NC

    When people go off on these crazy remarks would someone please have a follow up question and find out where they get their logic from?...Better yet nevermind...Their original comments leave no doubt...Ignorance....Not racism...Just plain Ignorance.

    Meanwhile...I pray to God everyday to give me the courage everyday to fight the battle against evil. So when I see posts like these I can not worry about them and know that in the end...God & Good will prevail. 🙂

    October 11, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  24. Lisa O'Donnell

    McCain has lost control of his own campaign, how is he suppose to be a Commander in Chief, run our government and be a world leader when he can't even run a presidential campaign. He allowed Palin to stoke the fires and now look what we have – he is reaping what she has sown – he better be the one praying as a landslide for Obama is coming his way...

    October 11, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  25. RapidRay

    "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."

    Not enough this time, John. You need to denounce this for what it is. Bigotry. Unabashed and blatantly spewed.

    McCain, you have lit a fire that is spreading and are trying to put it out with a squirt gun. If you have a sliver of honor left in you (which I and many others are seriously doubting right now), you and your surrogates should not be minimizing the problems with meager terms like "distancing" and "disagreeing".
    Condemn it, call it deplorable, ask for an immediate refrain from such statement. If you can't do that, what makes you think anyone would consider you capable of "strong leadership"?

    October 11, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
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