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. ML

    Oh wow, someone's praying to Allah...the SAME GOD Christians pray to. Crazy.

    October 11, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  2. JK

    That is because Obama is supposedly the "Anti-Christ"...go figure.

    October 11, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  3. Dixon

    It scares me to think of people who would make threats towards Obama as we have heard recently. When you ask these people why they want this, or why they are scared they pop off with the party line. I believe we are seeing why our country is in such sad shape. Our "leaders" use the same tactics to run a political race as they do to pull off a war. Demonize your apponent, then scare the public to divide the public to win for the party. We let them do this and now we encourage it at rallies.

    October 11, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  4. Max


    October 11, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  5. independet turned obama

    i am very sorry but this is an idiotic comment, barack obama is a christian, he has christian supporters, and lets be honest people dont want to hear this, they want to hear I about the issues, I want to hear about the issues, i want to hear about the economy, i want to hear about health care, I want to hear about iran, iraq, isreal, and from I see I will be supporting barack obama, john Mccains campaign is out of control, he cant run and control his campaign how is he going to run a country,
    all I am saying, these tactics are getting old, and nor me or my friends want to hear them anymore, it might have fooled us with bush it wont fool us with mccain, a while world is looking at this election, this crises is affecting the world, and I want a cool hand at a tiller, and from what I see obama has it ,
    obama biden, enough with smear campaigning

    October 11, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  6. Connie

    Here's one christrian that wants an Obama win!

    Also, isn't there just one God that we all pray to, No matter what name we use?

    October 11, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  7. madsarah

    Typical. Even though the McCain campaign knows full well that Obama has been a Christian most if not all of his life, they can't just come out and say it. Instead, they pay lip service to the "issues at hand" while managing to perpetuate the hysteria of the extremists in the base with this comment:

    “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.”

    Could they be more disingenuous or cynical?

    OBAMA/BIDEN is for everyone, regardless of religious preferences or lack of them!

    October 11, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  8. Spencer

    These statements by a "pastor" is antithetical to Jesus Christ's teachings and desires. God's will desires that Obama wins and McCain loses. McCain and the Republican party has been a tool for evil for the past 8 years. They have declared war on the poor and are beholden to the wealthy and corrupt. Instead of reaching out to the poor like Jesus, McCain and the Republicans spit in the face of poor people.

    October 11, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  9. Judi in LA

    I used to have a great deal of respect John McCain, but no more. I am saddened at what depths he is willing to go to win. John McCain knows that Senator Obama is not a terrorist or an Arab and he is very much aware that he is a Christian, not that it should matter. Barak Obama has proven his character, his intelligence and his honor, not to mention honesty over the past 2 long years. And John McCain has proven just one thing to all of us; how low he is willing to go.

    October 11, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  10. Anne - Michigan

    I am a born again Christian, and I WILL BE VOTING FOR OBAMA . I am so appalled by the junk being spewed I can hardly stand it. And while I am glad McCain had the where with all to respond as he did to the woman at the rally, just today I saw his commercial which insinuated that OBAMA is friends with a terrorist....I don't think you can have it both ways. You either believe what you said at the rally or you don't.

    I pray that each of these people will see that negative words do not bring positive anything.

    October 11, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  11. jones green

    it is so unfair for mccains surporters to be using this divisives words and tricks against obama and the democrats.pls talk about issues that matter for the american people.i think the more you guys critisize obama the more grounds he gains,it is just failing back on you guys,it's so shameful of mccain and his surporters,may God help you guys to repent.

    October 11, 2008 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  12. jelow

    McCain's Campaign has lost it.

    This type of small-minded garbage is so unAmerican, it makes me sick.

    And all the while McCain is "shocked" by Lewis' comments that McCain's rallies are stoking fear and rage.

    THEY ARE!!!!!!

    October 11, 2008 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  13. MWA

    Do these supposedly religious people just hate everyone who isn't like them? I think so. This is why Christianity, or what remains of it is going to hell. False Christians. It's no wonder why so many people are choosing not to be religious, or choosing to be part of religions other than Christianity. True Christians, the rare ones out there, are not for hate. The "Christian" mouthpieces for hate are really the devil's incarnate. Check your hands and heads for those special numbers. Yep, that means you Conrad.

    October 11, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  14. julie

    Are you kidding me with this rhetoric. I am very much a Christian, believe in God and his son Jesus. Those that claim to be Christians need to read their Bible about what it means to be a child of God. With that said, I think religion (man made organization) should be kept out of politics. I understand that the president should have a spiritual guide, counselor, pastor or whatever. As long as the president makes the decisions intelligently and what is best for our nation. No one person is ever going to please everyone, so ultimately he/she has to make peace with their decisions.

    I want a president who strives to bring people together. We can accomplish so much more together than we can apart. Ask yourself who is the hate monger.

    October 11, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  15. Papasan in Arizona

    The last resort of all Failing Republican Campaigns are the Right Wing Looneys! Sure Republicans are mad, they are waking up from a long peaceful Bush slumber, to find two morons [McCain/Palin], with a disturbing megalomaniac love affair with themselves, out of touch with our Nations true issues, and running a revolting Smear and Fear campaign! That's a tough wake up call, "MY FRIENDS"!
    The McCain solution is an Ignorant Slang Talking Power Abusing Junk Yard Dog [Palin] scrambling around the Nation drumming up Racist Bigotry to smokescreen the obvious inept incompetence of the McCain/Palin campaign! Americans face the hardest financial disaster in the History of the USA, this is your idea of Change! John McCain / Sarah Palin have no idea what Americans trying to survive face. 401K plans gutted, Unemployment, Foreclosures, and the Global Economy in disarray...
    McCain/Palin are a disgusting self serving disgrace. Clearly proving they are not up to the complex task of keeping the Nation together in hard times.

    P.S. McCain, please do not come back here to Arizona.

    October 11, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  16. Bigbubba

    Asking you followers to pray for the defeat of your enemies. Demonizing your opponent by saying they are not like us.
    Telling your followers that God will be diminished if your opponent wins.

    Preacher at a McCain rally or a Mullah in Iraq calling for Jihad. I would hope that I could tell the difference.

    October 11, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  17. Junior

    It is shocking what many McCain supporters would say to get McCain elected president. They are hurting him and this country with their comments on Obama. This country is in a hole right now because of Republican rule for the past 8 years. I guess they enjoy, $150.00 barrel of oil, $5.00 gas, stock market crashe and the huge unemployment numbers coming to this country under this president. May god help us all if another Republican comes into power because we are going down even further. If you think, thinks are bad now, I would hate to think how things may be under a McCain as our president. May God Help This Country.

    October 11, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  18. Doug

    This IGNORANCE is spreading!!! How many times does Barack have to say he is a CHRISTIAN and worships God. McCain has lit the forest fire by allowing his crowds, his introductory spokesperson to spread Hate and ignorance. First the sherriff using "Hussain" now this guy. Once you start the fire you can't always put it out. Even if you do, there are always flames and heat bubbling under the surface.

    October 11, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  19. Ricardo M.

    I honestly can't believe that some people are so ignorant they would say something like that. The issue that will determine this election is the economy and nothing more. It has nothing to do with religious affiliation, race, or creed. Anyone who thinks otherwise has no true understanding of any issue facing Americans today.

    October 11, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  20. Sam in Hershey, PA

    JESUS CHRIST!...can someone wake me up on November 5th!?...I don't think I'll make it the next 24 days!

    I swear the McCain campaign is turning this election into some sort of freak show scary circus!

    I remember all too well, back in 2004 when pastors at the church i attended would tell us that "a vote for Bush, is a vote for righteousness"...and look where that got us.

    PRAYING FOR GWB's re-election got us this:
    11 trillion dollar deficits, 1.5 trillion in corporate bailouts, a discovery that Bush lied about the rationale for the Iraq war, 4500 dead US troops, Hundreds of thousands of dead Afghani & Iraqi's, worst economy since 1930, loss of civil liberty w/ Patriot Act, Scooter Libby justice, No-Bid contracts, Home Foreclosures, Stock Market crashes, Justice Dept Scandals, Greatest expansion of VP's office in US History......NEED I GO ON??

    October 11, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  21. emily


    October 11, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  22. independent

    And millions of Christians want Obama to win!

    Obama/Biden '08 and '12

    October 11, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  23. John in AZ

    It is unbelievable that this is what my own Senator's campaign has been reduced to! Yes, I am a Democrat, but I think among many Democrats McCain was at least a respected figure (if not a first or even a second choice for commander in chief).

    It is not enough that after every single one of these events the campaign issues a statement, and it is not enough that after allowing these types of attacks McCain finally said something...once.

    How can you claim to be a Christian and hate a a fellow human being so much? How can you claim to love America and then turn around and tear down one of its finest public servants?

    More so than praying for an outcome, my Republican brothers and sisters need to reflect on their behavior.

    October 11, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  24. Mike G

    "McCain calls on Obama to repudiate 'shocking' Lewis comments"
    Maybe McCain should repudiate his own supporters first?

    Barack Obama is a CHRISTIAN!!! OK? Can you idiots get that through your thick skulls?

    It's true that the rest of the World is pulling for a Obama win, but that is because the entire world has been negatively affected by 8 years of GW Bush.

    October 11, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  25. John K

    Just awful.This ignorant mania reminds me of when Orson Wells did the Martian Invasion broadcast. I speak to people accross the United States 5 daya a week and there is a stupendous number of lame brains who will respond to this bilge in the way the speaker intended. I am a Christian and also an American. There is no chance this speaker or those who would follow would even understand that this is UN-American.

    October 11, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
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