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. Jim Jones

    I am a Christian and I pray to the Lord everyday to make Obama our next President

    October 12, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  2. Anonymous

    Hindu isn't even a god... oh my god.

    October 12, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  3. Candia

    I think the good pastor showed that not only is he a bigot, but also ignorant: Buddha is not regarded as a god. And there is no person/god/idol/etc. named "Hindu" at all.

    October 12, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  4. Tim

    So suddenly this is an election about religion?

    That's insane. We're approaching the territory of Nazi rallies here.

    October 12, 2008 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  5. Rob

    I'm supporting Barack Obama, but I am ready to accept a McCain presidency should he be elected.

    People need to get over themselves and accept the probability of an Obama presidency. Our country isn't run by totalitarians, there is so much the president is authorized to do during a presidency.

    We are all going to be fine.

    I'm 19 and I know better than these Christian nutcases who are giving any monotheistic person a bad name – and I know better than some of these 50, 60, 70 and 80 year old people who are stuck in a time warp and are ignorant and flat out unaware and uneducated.

    October 12, 2008 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  6. BringIt

    I don't know who the frig John McCain thinks he is, but John Lewis was a POW–a POW in his own country and he actually knows how to win a war, the toughest of its kind–a war at home.

    At the Saddleback forum, McCain listed John Lewis as one of the top 3 individuals he would seek out for advice and counsel.

    Hey Johnny, it's time time to say what you mean and mean what you say.

    Time to shut up and listen, Johnny....

    October 12, 2008 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  7. Nunda Naidoo

    As a Christian ("Mormon") living in South Africa I find that majority of the people (Christians) want Obama to win. As a Leader of the most powerful nation he is our and your best chance for peace. Please don't make all Christians look like nutcases. We love our religion. The Reublicans have reached a new low. Signs of deperation.

    October 12, 2008 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  8. Nick Pettinato

    Wow.. It truly takes a monumental amount of ignorance to have issued that statement.

    Allah is the same god that the Christians worship and Buddha isn't even prayed to in any conventional sense. This guy sounds like he's poorly educated. How sad that he speaks for such a large portion of America.

    October 12, 2008 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  9. Not VP Material

    Palin abused her power! This is what we should be talking about right now. She was only governor for less than two years and already abused her power. And her fake eskimo heritage husband has been helping to run Alaska with her. She is not even strong enough to tell her own husband to stay out of her office.

    October 12, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  10. keith Franklin, Tn

    Come on!!!

    Obama has been more of a church goer than McCain and he knows it

    With situations like this, you can see why young people are being turned off by the Christian political agenda. It makes my stomach turn

    October 12, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  11. Ericka

    Next we'll be told that voting for Sen Obama means that one is evil, unpatriotic, or the scum of the earth. What in the world did McCain really expect was going to be the outcome when he set these chain of events in motion? Distancing himself now from these lunatics is almost pointless because the seeds have already been planted. What a scary world this will be if he is somehow elected.

    October 12, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  12. Independent for Obama

    Sadly typical of this election season. I truly did have more faith in the majority of American people than that. This is the first time in my life that I have ever seen so much xenophobia and race baiting in public headlines. McCain's campaign has become truly disgusting – mirroring a mob mentality from more ignorant times. After Palin becoming the VP candidate, I officially switched my vote to Obama. This just reaffirms my decision.

    Independents for Obama / Biden 08!!!

    October 12, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  13. jonny

    McCain is an evil man.

    October 12, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  14. DR

    I'm a christian. I want Obama to win. Some these people at McCain rallies that called themselves christian are so hyprcritical that they're unwilling to face their own fears but are so quick to throw "the first stone."

    October 12, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  15. Lani in Los Angeles


    October 12, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  16. Joe

    What is going on with this country??? It's very disappointing to see and read about this. I thought we left this way in the early 60's...pre-civil rights wow!! We still have people living in the dark ages, that is the disappointing thing about what's going on in McCain's campaign rallies. I always suspected that white supremacy existed more so on the right wing of our society but to finally see and come to the realization that it's where it has it's roots is well...a big blow to our Amewrican way of life...where all people no matter what race and religion we are...we are all equal...I guess in some people's minds this is not true...

    October 12, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  17. Michelle

    I am a Christian from New Life Fellowship Rochester, NY. I have and I am voting for Obama!

    October 12, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  18. eric

    the best thing that John McCain can do is to go and report in to

    retirement home and enjoy the rest of his life with his wife Cindy

    but for Sarah the bull dog Palin she need to go back to hills of

    Alaska and hut some more moose.

    October 12, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  19. tradesmart.net

    McCain supports can only got one step lower.

    October 12, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  20. Matt

    This is another example of racism. It is pathetic and sad that a so called "man of God" would say these things. There is a mojor difference between Christians and people who follow the teachings of Christ.
    Here is a anotehr pastor spewing hatred while demanding the members of his church donate their paycheks to him so he can purchase another $1,000.00 suit.
    Somebody tell this mindless fool that Obama is a Christian. But I guess that isn't good enough because he is not a white Christian.

    October 12, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  21. Nick Pettinato

    note: There is no "Hindu"; the terms refers to a believer in the Hindu philosophies and sets of beliefs. That would be like saying, "Americans pray to their god, Christian." lol

    October 12, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  22. California Platinum

    That includes Jews in Israel, one of our greatest allies.

    October 12, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  23. Obama Supporter from CA

    This is really sad. What is the world coming too. I am lost for words. These people are very ignorant all I can is feel pitty for them.

    October 12, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  24. Independent in Arizona

    Mc Cain backers haven't got a prayer!

    October 12, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  25. V. Kumar

    Arnold Conrad comments have no place in presidential candidate's rally. ... how could he be a speaker at McCain's rally.... or even a minister?

    Shame ....on him & McCain/Palin ticket/campain

    October 12, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
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