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. Ashley in VA


    October 11, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  2. Christian for OBAMA

    Well this Christian is praying for OBAMA to win!

    October 11, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  3. Jocely





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

    Evangelism is Christianity divorced from any reason. McCain and the Republicans have been taking advantage of the fear of "the other" that these kind of fundamentalist religious zealots possess. We need to take back our country from them, and promote understanding and tolerance rather than ignorance and fear. Only then will we start, once again, to live up to American values and be a model for the rest of the world.

    October 11, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  5. ictoan

    Okay, McCain keep wanting Obama to apologize for the Georgia governor. Isn't time for McCain to do the same?

    October 11, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  6. michelle ATL

    A minister introduces McCain, and the McCain campaign does not know how the minister is going to introduce McCain, or what he is goin to say as his intro to the crowd...I doubt it. The McCain republican campaign is full of liars, of course they are going to distance themselves from the remarks of this minister....McCain camp planted this minister to say those things. Palin brings up the abortion issue today too......something is wrong with this group of campaign advisors for McCain...they are creating civil unrest again.

    Enough is enough McBush and Scary Palin....We Americans have seen and heard what you two have to offer.....NO THANKs....go home Palin...and McCain go find your honor.

    October 11, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  7. James Bailey

    If God cared about American politics he wouldn't have stuck us with George W. Bush for the past 8 years. He couldn't possibly hate us enough to do that just because some schmucks prayed for it.

    October 11, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  8. sandy

    THIS IS SICK!!! I have started taking particular interest in some of the clips on TV of the rallys of each Presidential candidate. What I have seen and heard at these McCain rallies make me ashamed to be an American. Yes, you heard me right. This is dispicable. We as Americans are surposed to be educated people, but I have been seeing nit-wits. This is almost unbelievable that this is happening in our country. I cannot believe that John McCain and Sara Palin would stand on a podium and spew the disgusting remarks about Mr. Obama. Then, when he sees things are getting out of control, he stands up on the stage and praises Obama. This, after the damage is done. I hope to God this country wakes up soon and that people stop this utter nonesense. Most of all, I would hope the RNC would sanction McCain or do something to make him stop. I wouldn't bet my last nickel that this would happen though.

    October 11, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  9. tanyia

    This is getting really scarey

    October 11, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  10. Don

    great CNN..try and stir the pot some more....Ilike how you have your new slogan no bias..no bull...who you trying to convince us or yourselves..

    October 11, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  11. R. Williams, TX

    so this is how we treat our fellow Americans and Christians. Obama is a CHRISTIAN, too

    October 11, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  12. Tyler in Raleigh

    Yay..... now McCain has the nation just where he led it. To one where religion, race, city and other items are used to pit an "us versus them" mentality.

    Good work, the US is no longer the home of the free.... we are now again judged based on our faith and fear is the name of the game.

    October 11, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  13. Carol

    It's no wonder our country is divided because of such ignorant remarks by the so called christian republicans. I pray that Gods will be done. It's really stupid to say that non christian people are praying if they don't believe in God.

    October 11, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  14. rhibowman

    This election has become the perfect example for the imperative nature of the separation of church and state.

    October 11, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  15. Michigan Independent

    ...and I truly believe love with win over hate....

    October 11, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  16. Lee from FL

    WHY WHY WHY wont they stop!

    read you bible and dont judge

    October 11, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  17. Mary - PA

    Well guess what.....Christians all over the world are also praying for Obama to win....me included. Many of the most basic of Christian principals are those of democrats, especially looking out for the poor and the least of those among us. I love how republicans spout their Christian values because they are against abortion. Well guess what, being pro life is more then just protecting the unborn. It's also caring for those that are living among us every day which I think republicans have forgotten about.

    October 11, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  18. Duke in Virginia

    Do I have this right? Was this preacher challenging his god to prove that he's more powerful that all of the other gods, by guiding John McCain to victory? What a silly and immature understanding of the nature of God.

    October 11, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  19. At Home Dad

    The real demon in the election is starting to rear itself. Religous domination and discrimination is the agenda of the Christian right. Please pray for these people, they know not what they do.

    October 11, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  20. Bea

    God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power of love and of a sound mind..God, I pray for the pastor that prayed this prayer that you will give him a sound mind...and thank you Jesus of Nazareth for giving Barack Obama victory if it is in your will and I pray for good health for John McCain

    October 11, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  21. Nikki

    Well, I'm a Christian (Catholic) and I'm praying for Senator Obama to win!

    October 11, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  22. Art

    Uh, did nobody tell the minister that Obama IS a Christian? And if Obama is elected it might just be the "will of his Christian God?" All those people of other religions around the world he spoke of are not voting in this election.

    Not sure what Jesus would think of that. Seems to me Obama is being the better Christian than this minister.

    October 11, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  23. Charles

    Listening to analysis about the Bradley effect on this election ,I wonder whether any included the generational gape in this. Also the number of people who said they will one way and not vote, As a Californian I wonder if all the talk about the Bradley Effect should be thrown out as a wash.

    October 11, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  24. stefanowitsch212

    i am Christian and want Obama to win. It's horrendous what these people say in the name of my religion.

    October 11, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  25. GI

    I'm often stunned by the behavior of these so called "Christians." The more Christian they say they are, the more un-Christian they act.

    October 11, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
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