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. John


    October 11, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  2. What's his point?

    So what if non Christians support Obama! There are hundreds of other religions in the world! Open your narrow mind and show some respect! I am happy that other religions are supporting Obama! I might be able to learn something from those "non christians". I am a christian! Oh yeah Biden is Catholic! YES WE CAN!

    October 11, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  3. You have GOT to be KIDDING me!

    I absolutely can not stand people using our Savior as an excuse to not vote for someone. God doesn't need anyone to remind Him about His reign over mankind and how DARE they even invoke the name of God for something such as this!! This is not Christ-like at all!!!!!!!This can be streched many ways and none would be in favor of McCain. Keep it up guys! You are only opening the doors to the White House THAT MUCH MORE WIDE for Barack!!!!!!!!!

    October 11, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  4. Mary

    And here is the problem with Pastors preaching politics from the pulpit.
    We must remember that America is a melting pot of cultures and religions.
    There is such a thing as separation of church and state and it's fine time these pastors realized that.
    It's disgusting that these 'christ like' people spout such hate and venom about other religions.... WWJD indeed.

    October 11, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  5. RG

    Obama is a Christian, get over it! I just don't get it... Why would people do something like that? Why would people think that just because he is not like them, he is not qualified or good for the country? God is good and righteous. I do not think that God has anything to do with this election. Both candidates are American! Both candidates are Christian! Let it go people

    October 11, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  6. Jan in CA

    "With one hand he giveth and with the other he taketh away." With one hand McCain says he is going to be respectful and then he finds a new tactic for trying to make people believe that Obama isn't one of us. For God sakes, this needs to stop. Obama is the American Story and a christian and all this stuff is out of hand. Please John McCain stop trying to destroy and divide us. Let's all say enough is enough to these distorted political tactics. This is bringing out the worst in Americans and not helping in a time of crisis. Let us just make rational, sound judgements based on our values and stop this horrible and undignified type of political distortion.

    October 11, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  7. Molly

    Obama is a FRAUD!

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

    This doesn't sound good.
    Sen. Barack Obama is a christian some people must have mistaken him as muslim just because of his middle name.

    Barack and Hussein are SEMITIC words

    Barack/Baruch mean BLESSED
    "Benedict" is the Latinized form of Baruch
    Hussein mean GOOD or HANDSOME

    Clearly he has pretty good name = Blessed The Good

    Using religion and race for campaigning are extremely wrong and dangerous.

    Being fanatic christian and racial are NOT THE WISH we want be seen as American. USA is supposed to be The land of Freedom NOT The Land of fanatic, arrogance and racial.

    btw, I'm Christian and I support OBAMA!

    October 11, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  9. sam

    what is the difference between america and third wold county election..... nothing....shame on you america........i thought we were the example......the world is watching us........better not to say anything about anyones election

    October 11, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  10. Obama '08

    This is another case of "religious" hypocritical people who are out of touch with what is going on in this country. I wonder if these were the same people pushing George Bush into office back in 2000 and 2004? From my understanding, Barack Obama is a Christian. He is not Arab and he is not Muslim. That's what people would like you to believe to keep you from voting for a man who is most qualified for the job as President of the United States of America and who will bring about change in our country. He is a United States citizen just like you or me. It's amazing to see people with such narrow, bigot prejudices wanting to keep change from happening. These are the same people responsible for what has happened in our country. The mess with our economy isn't something that happened over night. It is the result of corporate greed and corruption of certain groups and certain individuals that have placed selfish greed in front of their fellow Americans. It's time for change. Take a look around, people are ready for change.

    October 11, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  11. CH

    This is rediculous! I'm a Christian voting for Sen. Obama. I'm an Independent (and very conservative I might add)! When I think of the hypocrisy of Republicans or my fellow conservative evangelical brethren, I'm appalled and embarrased. Jesus says you'll recognize Christians by their fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control). Some of these individuals don't show this because just perhaps they fit in that category of "so-called" Christians.

    October 11, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  12. McCain is Wallace redux.

    With statements like this, I hope the real Christians in this country are praying for an Obama win. We dangerously flirting with neo-fascism here folks. There is no reason to tolerate the intolerant.

    October 11, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  13. Mike from NC

    Are we to believe that the McCain team does not in any way preview the text or content of the invocation to be given at one of their rallies? So it is only after when they get the desired effect that they "distance" themselves from the speaker? Who are they kidding!

    October 11, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  14. S. McCullough from Florida

    This is getting rediculous. I thought we were better! I guess not.

    October 11, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  15. Peter

    It's hard to believe that McCain supporters can find their way to a poling place - or figure out how to pull a lever. Did any Obama supporter ever ask if McCain isn’t really Irish?

    They are definitely a different breed of cat. Frightening to think they are let out of their wards on weekends without supervision.

    October 11, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  16. Brandon

    Praying? Ha, they're gonna need it. Maybe it was God's will for Sarah to abuse her power ?

    October 11, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  17. Chris

    WOW! Does anyone remember any other campaign getting this crazy and hostile. This is just getting pathetic, I have a feeling that not only will mccain lose this election by a big numbers but his campaign will forever tarnis the republican party for years to come..

    Face it, the GOP party of today is like the democratic party of 1980 where it was so bad, the GOP controlled the white house for 12 consecutive years.. What i mean is, reagan was president from 1980-1988 then George HW from 1988-1992. Thats how the republican party is today.. Obama will be president from 08-12 then Hillary will win in 2012.

    The point im trying to make is, the GOP party will not only lose this General election, but many general elections in the years to come, thats how bad the GOP is tarnished after Mccains sloppy campaign

    October 11, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  18. J-roll

    Have you noticed that Mccain has to do a lot of statements to distance himself from lot people who speak for him. This is all planned Mccain is deliberaterly having these people say these vicious things and swear that they had no idea they would do such things. His campaign has no integrity. In three seperate events you can see the hate it projects. and now a pastor who insinuates Obama is for the destruction of our country is allowed to spew this hate. How can one man be that desperate.

    October 11, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  19. Ohio voter

    Ignorant. Just plain Ignorant.

    October 11, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  20. How about sacrificing credit cards on a bloody altar to improve the economy

    Are you kidding me? This sort of behavior is patently offensive to non-Christian Americans, and for that matter, many Christian Americans. Why not conduct a seance in order to contact Reagan's spirit and place his name in nomination? Alternatively, they could excommunicate anyone found "guilty" of voting for Obama. If you must, pray for your candidate to win, but the notion that you pray for the other candidate to lose, and because he's the alleged choice of infidel defilers who dare to believe in a different faith, well, that's pathetic. Moreover, it makes their belief look silly. SILLY!!!

    October 11, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  21. Mighty Joe Young

    Many conservative candidacies in the past have claimed to be not the GOP (Grand Old Party) but the PoG (Party of God). Senator Taft's delegates marched around the 1952 Republican Convention singing "Onward Christian Soldiers." There are many evangelical Americans who believe that the Republican Party is the Christian Party.

    There are many among us who believe that Obama is unacceptably foreign in his background, name, and appearance. He spent some of his boyhood in Asia. His father was born a Muslim in Kenya and died an atheist in Kenya. Some descendants of European immigrants now resent the descendants of more recent Asian and African immigrants. This resentment of members of one ethnic group for another is the price we are now paying for the decisions of American governments throughout the twentieth century. We opened the doors of the nation to all comers in the past, and we Americans are now a mixed breed of people. There is no untying the knot of races that we have become.

    America is the inheritance of all of us of whatever ancestry. Born or Natualized, every American is equal to every other American. It is necessary that all Americans welcome all other Americans to the political dialog. Every American wants every other American to have rights equal to his own. We Americans look after each other. It is an un-American attitude to seek benefits only for your own group. We should all benefit equally and flourish equally. American society is only as strong as its weakest members.

    Obama's name, appearance, and ancestry do not qualify him or disqualify him for the Presidency. Neither does his gender. His plans for America qualify him. I predict that he will be very skillful in bringing those plans to fruition, and if I'm right then that qualifies him for the presidency.

    Racism is not a mental disease so much as it is an old form of thinking that mankind should completely abandon. It is a very destructive way of thinking. Some of us have grown beyond that kind of thinking, but many have not.

    October 11, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  22. connie


    October 11, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  23. Bea in Dallas, TX

    These people are truly sickos!!!!!!!

    October 11, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  24. Obama 4 President

    They must be getting desperate.

    October 11, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  25. Republican Who Supports Obama

    It's so amusing how desperate these idiots are, for wanting 'McLaim" to win....

    The Fact is, Obama will win, its only a matter of how bad/big of a 'win'; it will be! (Landslide, or average etc...)

    October 11, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
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