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. chris

    Not trrue....OBAMA is a fresh face ..a look toward the future ....no more with the way washington has been controled....lets all take a step foward in a new direction with OBAMA.....

    can fix a problem with the same solutions.......old wasington NEW IDEAS


    October 11, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  2. Fedup

    I'm so fedup with this kind of none sense. Is it really nesessary to trash talk to get your canidate votes. Seems to be very childish to me and I'm sure others feel the same way. If your canidate can't talk about the issues the he needs to drop out and shut the –ll up. Telling half truths to make them sound good to your constiuents is out of control. MCCain talks about truth, trust, not being able to believe in what the other party says, how can you call yourself a christian? I feel the same way about both parties. Just speak about the issues instead of running around the BUSH!!!

    October 11, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  3. sophie

    this is so sad. mccain supporters: driven by ignorance, fear, and racism. i actually feel sorry for mccain and palin. where is the honor running such a dishonorable campaign?

    October 11, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  4. Steven

    I am a "Christian." I support Obama and that makes me sick.

    October 11, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  5. Kirk

    Everything surrounding the McCain campaign just keeps getting weirder. With McCain's randomly changing stances on pretty much every issue, Palin's ultra aggressive rhetoric while she's been proven to be a corrupt governor, and the screaming oddballs in the crowds saying ridiculous things. Now there is talk at about how your god will be bigger only if your guy wins? I think it would be kind of creepy to surround myself with some of the people we've been seeing at the GOP rallies.

    October 11, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  6. reg

    These are exactly the kind of comments that Rep. John Lewis is talking a in his about in his statement earier today. There is no differents from Mccain supporter and Obama supports the God is not different. The white people don't have their own God do they? What is this guy talking about anyway. people of color have a different God is that what he is saying. This is crazy talk. CNN is guilty of spreading hate and bigotry.

    October 11, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  7. May Lord help us get "That one" elected

    We don't care if Obama is arab, muslim, christian. He's an honorable american citizen and is going to cut the GOP crab and fix the Washington. That's why we'll elect him no matter what. May Lord guide all people like these ignorant idiots to the right pathway. I hope Sarah Pallin and these people won't triger a civil war or sth. Are people blind and not see what destruction Pallin/McCain are causing?!?! It's scary that their campaign does everything to get elected they even don't mind trigger racism and haterad. may God shock McCain on Nov 4th again by sending him to retirement home.
    Hey you "McCain" if you want to be respected again and be an honorable man shut your runnigmate big mouth and send her back to Alaska to hang around with polar beers and Joe sixpacks and get a new runningmate?!? May Lord shut her big mouth.

    October 11, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  8. Brad

    Wow, sounds like a McCain (Bush) supporter. This is racism, narrow-mindedness, and complete redneck booganism at its finest.

    October 11, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  9. Frank Canada

    Sad state of affairs in the U.S. with these wackos slowly taking over your culture and your chances for survival.

    October 11, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  10. bob0

    Are you frieking kidding me? the McCain campaign is becoming a joke.

    October 11, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  11. Andrea

    The nut-factor is surely settling in. I, like Senator Barack Obama, AM A CHRISTIAN. The 'hero-factor' is diminished with the kind of support McCain is now drawing, due in large part due to the Palin-factor..

    October 11, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  12. DeVone

    the Reverand Arnold Conrad apperarntly have not study his bible
    the Holy Book these reverands and pastor and so on and so forth
    the crap that come from them they get up in the pupit and ell you
    and I to trust in the Lord with alll thine heart(prov 3:5) and other
    scriptures and doctreans and they have more danger in them
    then satin him self. now in my study Christians have Jesus in
    their hearts Christians=Christ like, how dare you ,to the reverand
    just maybe as big and as great our God and Lord and Saviour is
    your guys messed up the country and that is a fact and God
    if man donot know right from wrong so I think God is in control

    October 11, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  13. cindy

    These type of so-called 'religious leaders' are frankly scary! McCain is demonstrating that he has absolutely no control over his campaign. And what we are seeing right now is what we would be subjected if he were elected. A frightening thought to say the least.

    The McCain campaign wants to pretend they are not responsible for these extreme happenings, but it doesn't fly with the majority of us. They seem to overlook the fact that they have given the green light through their own extremely negative ads and speeches. They have appealed to the lowest form of human decency through consciously inciting fear and hate. And they justify this behavior as christian values. what a joke. If that represents christianity, well, you know what.... keep your faith.... I don't want it. I believe in a spiritual power that is all-inclusive, benevolent, and loving.

    To think the 'Christian' faith is the only faith that represents a higher purpose is not only myopic and archaic, it's ignorant, radical, and extreme. Just my humble opinion.

    October 11, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  14. Bill Tampa

    McCain's campaign is not American. Since when does spreading fear and hate become part of Chrisitanity? Shame on this so called man of God trashing the god of other faiths. We all worship one god, but he/she may be called another name .SHAME on the MCcain campaign. So if MCcain wants an apology form Barack about Repr. Lewi's comments, He needs also to apologize concerning the Not so good Revd's comments.

    This is sad.

    October 11, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  15. Andrew

    Can you imagine when Obama wins how upset these people are going to be. If they weren't so nutty I would feel sorry for them. Obama will be our next FDR, I have that faith. God bless America!

    October 11, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  16. rolland cloud

    This is a ludicrous example of ignorance and reflects the shift in americia that portends its downfall. It is like two preachers each praying to God for a win for their respective high school football team before the game.

    October 11, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  17. LouAnn

    This campaigning being done by McCain is the most dangerous thing I have ever seen! They are inciting violence, slander, and a totally unethical, disrespectful campaign. May God help America if McCain/Palin win. I don't even trust the honesty of ballot counting anymore. We know that if McCain does win that something went terribly wrong with ballot counting.

    October 11, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  18. anna

    They are really trying to get down right dirty!!

    October 11, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  19. Baron Gamble

    This minister should pray for the people who are threating to kill Obama at the republican rallys. He should pray that some lunatic in the republican party don't harm obama. If he is a man of God pray for something that is worth praying for.

    October 11, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  20. Maria

    File under: OMG.

    October 11, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  21. Jim Q.

    For some reason a large number of the people who introduce McCain seem comfortable or encouraged to say crazy or hateful things, which McCain then winks and retracts from. Coincidence or part of a deliberate strategy? Either way, the effect is the same: hate, hate, hate. Not the way to build trust, McCain. Not the way to look like a leader. Not the way to run a country, not the person who should be president!

    October 11, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  22. KBC

    Although there are many paths, there is only one God. This division is destructive. I am a Christian. I support Barack Obama.

    October 11, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  23. Sarah

    If Obama is elected as the next President of USA which is likely, I do not believe "their gods" won rather than our Creator God in whom we trust and in whom America is founded.

    Behind human history, there is God who rules and controls. And there is a definate will of God for whoever becomes President. It is nothing to do with 'their gods' winning or our God is winning. Americans must be united in one spirit but most of all through this election and economy turmoil, America must be restored in faith that its forefathers had. Otherwise, God can put America down as sunsetting nation.

    October 11, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  24. Michael

    That is so scary, and ignorant.

    October 11, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    If the McCain and Republican supporters they're not going to be a little careful, something terrible will going to happen as the election days getting closer...this is not the way we know being an American...if millions around the world pry for the person who they believe will be effective leader...why not pry for Mr. Baraka Obama? Oh yes, we're going to pry for Mr. Obama, and yes Mr. McCain too...

    October 11, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
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