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. David B, Ashland, OR

    If the McCain camp TRULY wanted to stop such hate-speak, they could make it VERY clear to anyone on stage before or introducing the candidate(s) what is absolutely off limits. These kinds of events are carefully set up so it would be a simple thing to control. However, the McCain camp WANTS this hate-speak out there, just as long as they can have their shill using it. They WANT the crowds riled and angry. Then, after it is all over and the angry crowd leaves, they can virtually whisper that the hate-speak wasn't OK. McCain and company should be ashamed.

    October 11, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  2. Greg In Colorado

    This is just the absolute and bitter end of this campaign. These are the type of people that McCan't summons around him. How dare they use God as a means to gain and promote polictical gains and attempt to call themselves christians. What a disgrace!! I know only hope that people see through this muckery and bigotry and hijack of a religion. Welcome to the hate of america. Honestly, this sounds like cult and KKK words of confusion, misguidance and hate. This is sick people!!!

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 11, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  3. Mark

    THIS IS INCREDIBLE! What has this election come to. I don't dislike McCain but I extremely dislike these populist ignorant supporters. Where are the real conservatives, aka Wm. Buckley Jr.? They would find this scary.

    October 11, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  4. Mike

    All I can say is Sick, Sick, Sick.

    All I can say is that the God that I serve, would have nothing to do with this so-called preacher who calls himself a Christian.

    He only serves his father, the devil........

    Jesus Said: "On that day, you will say , Lord, didn't I serve you and cast our demons in your name. And I will say away from me, I never knew you...."

    Isahiah 56:10: "Israels watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge, they are all mute dogs.......

    Christian Conservative? What an Oxymoron.

    October 11, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  5. ann

    I guess it is not enough for Senator McCain to promote divison reagrding the color barrier but he also wants to insite division amonst religion too! So what about the Jewish people as well... McCain is an unfair man wiht unfair policies and I rankly do not want a President who is willing to win an election at any cost...At the cost of dividing the American people! If you think America was targets before...imagin how vulnerable we will be if McCain wins this election because of fear and division. Not only has he set the Womans rights movement back 40 years, choosing a running mate because of her gender and not her content but he also is steadily working of setting a newer and better diversified America back 60 years too...It is not just the African Americans who should be feeling a gripe here but the Spanish-Americans and Asian- Americans too....If it is not going to stop now then it is not likely to stop anytime soon. This is now bigger than more of the same George Bush policies...it is now about the comfort, reliablility and cohesiveness of our Country. McCain is not putting Country first and I am dissappointed that he is on the ticket. I would prefer at least a Republican who truely can put Country first. And with that...this Independent has decided to vote for Obama.. I will take a chance on him and what could be...god or bad than on someone I cannot respect, because now to me McCain has no character.

    October 11, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    "questions about the religious background of the candidates only serve to distract from the real questions"

    What are you implying here? There is no question. Obama is a Christian. Great way to sneak in a jab.

    October 11, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    i'm a christian... and if i prayed about who would win this election (rather than who i should vote for), it wouldn't be mcccain... i'm tired of hearing about how christians should support mccain- should i vote for someone who wants to end a war in which many are dying, or a candidate who opposes a supreme court ruling which, in the last 35 years (more than 20 of which were under Republican presidents) has yet to be overturned?- and it's not likely that mccain would be able to do so.

    October 11, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  8. Indiana Joe

    We are so tired of McCain's FEAR and SMEAR tactics... The Dirty Talk Express has arrived! McCain has NO HONOR and has lost our RESPECT!

    October 11, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  9. J - East Windsor, CT

    One more proof that the religious right is insane. In God we trust but in bible thumpers we don't. Xenophobics, islamophobics, choice-o-phobics. All they do is prey on people's insecurities and fears and they won't stop at trying to scare their way into the White House.

    October 11, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  10. Amy

    It's hilarious that this minister seems to think this race to the White House involves not just multiple candidates, but multiple gods in competition with each other as well. Don't Christians believe there is just ONE God? Or is this confused, misinformed minister under the impression that there is one God for Christians, and then various other, lesser gods for everyone else? Are Allah and Jesus duking it out in celestial debates? I wonder who Buddha picked as his running mate? As a Christian AND an Obama supporter, I just have to laugh at this ignorant fool.

    October 11, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  11. Daniel Shack

    What a totally sick and perverted campaign John has stooped to – he can't possibly want to be president that much, to completely lose ALL credibility in the eyes of Americans. I would not be surprised if the good citizens of Arizona demand a recall election for his Senate seat. I don't think I've ever seen or heard of a filthier, more polarizing, and bigoted campaign. I have noticed that the McCain yard signs in my neighborhood are coming down – there goes Georgia! Praying that another person will lose an election because his win would send a message that our God is weaker than those others believe in – how sick is that???????????

    October 11, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  12. Brandon from Roanoke, VA

    God has nothing to do with an Election. If God truley wanted some one to win, truely, dont you think that McCain would be in the lead in polls?

    October 11, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  13. Linda, NC

    McCain is so full of it... Does he think that you are a christian only if you are white? Know this McCain... every one... including Christains are praying for Obama to win... 'coz we want America to emerge stronger.

    In this election people of all religion and race are hoping that Obama wins the election and leads the country in the right direction.

    October 11, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  14. rightsaid

    Non-issue. Prayers have no impact other than on the emotions of those who utter them.

    That One-The Other One '08!

    October 11, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  15. Susie in Bandon, Oregon

    I want to post but I actually don't know what to say.

    Folks, if this is not a good example of why we need to keep church and state separate, I don't know what would be.

    I think many of our country's problems are the direct result of the misuse–yes, MISUSE–of religion in our society.

    May God forgive us.

    October 11, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  16. ROMAN

    When did God become a Republican? I don't believe he has. IN fact I believe he is non-partisan and as such condemns the hatred and the race baiting that is being spewed in his name. Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.

    October 11, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  17. ACE

    In the name of Jesus, God Bless Barack Obama.

    October 11, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  18. Sue in MI

    McCain's fake outrage rings a bit hollow, when he and Palin are encouraging just this sort of thing by lying about Obama's record and making insinuations about his character. I thought when McCain took the mic away from that "fan" yesterday and said he respected Senator Obama, that they might turn the corner on the KKK like fervor they are inciting. but no, it lasted all of the 2 minute sound bite...sad that they actually think this helps-most people are smart enough to check facts for themselves.
    Speaking of which-can Govenor Palin explain why the state of Alaska was billed for her attendance at CHURCH events? Does she now believe there is no separation between church and state? Oh, right, she never read the Constitution-it's not on her reading list.

    October 11, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  19. texasgirl

    I am a Christian and I am voting for Obama. This minister's comments are the very reason so many people are turned off by the conservative right wing. I used to be one of them...but I've been redeemed you might say.

    October 11, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  20. I am voting for "That one"

    Here we go again another one of JhonMcShame Klansman preaching hate.

    October 11, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  21. Liberty

    Wow. Republicans are really getting desperate. It's said that prayer is the last refuge of a scoundrel and this is really proving true. If these "Christian" really read their bible, they would no that religion has no place in politics. They wanted to make Jesus a King and he fled. But its speaks to religions corruption, the very thing that will hasten its downfall...prey indeed.

    October 11, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  22. whynotus in philly burbs

    It is truly unfortunate that a man of the cloth would deliver such a hate inspired, racist message. What kind of people is McSame playing to that he is drawing out such hate and divisiveness. In these times, America needs uniters, not dividers. I am hopeful that this is a landslide, clear mandate, to get this country moving in th right direction.

    October 11, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  23. Greg

    Seriously? Is this what religious people get together every weekend to talk about? haha Simply amazing

    October 11, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  24. Erik - Des Moines, IA

    Gentiles or Jews...Iowa bleeds blue!

    I'm a Christian for Obama!

    October 11, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  25. Denise OKC

    I am offended that Christians do not support Sen Obama. Well...News Flash ***Christians for Obama Arise***
    Obama/Biden 08 & 12

    October 11, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
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