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. Purple Alaska

    Since the McCain/Palin base lives in an artificial bubble, they have no idea how the rest of the country is reacting to their zealous behavior.

    It's not about race. But it is about fear and hatred (aka domestic terrorism). Unfortunately, much of the GOP base really believes this stuff, which they were never supposed to do.... and now McCain is at the mercy of the mob he and the hypocrite in lipstick helped create ~ with no control over the message.

    October 12, 2008 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  2. mimi

    I am disgusted at the nasty, suttle way the race card is being played. McCain and Palin, for sure is trying to paint Obama as not 100% American, supporter of terrorists,and "different" from Americans, ie white Americans. I am so afraid they are riling the crowds and could endanger Obama. It is the worst kind of dirty politiciking.

    October 12, 2008 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  3. Christian for Obama

    How will "Christians" react if their God "abandons them" and allows Obama to become President?

    October 12, 2008 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  4. David

    Christian here!

    I am hoping for a McCain defeat!


    The last time their kind ruled our world the medieval age happened.

    October 12, 2008 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  5. Timoti

    The neocons are a cult that used propaganda to twist religion, lead by false profits who support the elite who are indeed not patriots, but International profiters with no allegiance to any country!

    October 12, 2008 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  6. Johnny Boy

    I just pray that this election will bring the end to those who want to make this government a theocracy! This guy just proves that not all the fundamentalist nut jobs are Muslim or Hindu. More of them are Christian than anything else. No wonder people are turning away from religion.

    October 12, 2008 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  7. shebush

    shame on the republicans......................

    October 12, 2008 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  8. Adam

    Hate to break it to Pastor Conrad, but a pretty solid chunk of the Democratic Party are Christians. On a personal level, this Christian Democrat supports Barack Obama.

    P.S. Conrad: there are people in your own congregation who support Obama; I guarantee it.

    October 12, 2008 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  9. Lucy


    October 12, 2008 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  10. Maame

    I am a born again Christian, I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my personal savior. I also know that I am a member of the body of Christ here on earth. I am waiting for His second appearing with many other sincere brothers and sisters in the Lord. We pray daily that Obama will win this race. The Lord will use the weak things of the world, the things which are not, to shame the wise. He (the Lord) is no respector of persons. As I read the many so called believers, I feel that their genuine concern is because Obama is not a member of the republican party. The Church of God is not equal to the republican party nor is the faith in Jesus equal to the republican agenda. Jesus Christ is Lord. We trust in Him. Amen

    October 12, 2008 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  11. kasule rodger

    wow, another mccain surrogate getting the facts wrong, just like they all have always been doing, I so much support Barack Obama and im a Bible believing pentecostal Christian filled with the spirit and speaking in tongues too, u get that mr. Arnold Conrad??
    its not Just non Christians that want him to win, the whole world loves Barack, we believe he'll have a better doctrine than the bush doctrine!

    I hope cnn posts my comment for the first time this time round

    October 12, 2008 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  12. Speider

    Are no comments truly being allowed? My last two never appeared. Is it because I used the word G-d or because I pointed out that it was a statement that cannot be explained away if Obama wins, thereby signaling that perhaps the "one true G-D" does not exist or can be called to action by mere humans?

    I'm never surprised about what is allowed to appear in these forums at CNN's whim to give all sides of the story.

    October 12, 2008 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  13. Anonymous


    October 12, 2008 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  14. Philadelphia Voter

    Kind of insulting to non-Christians, huh?

    You know Joe Liberman, one of this potential VP's, is non-Christian. There are plenty of people that support McCain that are not Christian. This is kind of insulting to his own non-Christian supporters

    This doesn't really surprise me, since the McCain campaign is basically trying to say Obama is a terrorist. This will continue for the next week or so, and it'll fail miserably.

    October 12, 2008 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  15. Wathcful Enthusiast........

    Even if we continue to pretend that it does not exist, racism and religious bigotry has a big role in any US election.

    I truly wonder how people from the diverse American ethnic minorities and non-christians will see America after Nov 4 should John McCain win just because he is White (Race factor) and chose a deeply religious VP (Christian factor) and not because he has a clue of what to do when he gets into office..........

    I'm still watching.........

    October 12, 2008 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  16. Betty

    McCain has lost control of his campaign... if he ever actually was in control. How dare republicans put on a national platform someone who says "if you're not like me then you are them". Yea, that'll get McCain more votes...

    October 12, 2008 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  17. BILL NY

    What a small small man. Tsk tsk. You cannot put God in a box. I know that God does not like ugly and will not tell us whom to vote for. You shame yourself in the face of God Mr. Conrad.

    October 12, 2008 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  18. Larry L.

    This is a prime example of how sick the Republican party base has become.

    October 12, 2008 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  19. san

    There is nothing more upsetting and sad than knowing and coming to the realization that we have so many extremist in our own country.The people at the Mcpalin rallies are scary.

    October 12, 2008 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  20. Sick&Tired

    What would Jesus do? I really think that he would vote for Obama and not a party that excites hatred amongst its base. The republicans seem to be so hateful and then try to turn around and actually think they are so riteous. I used to be a republican until i chose to distance myself from all of racism and hatred being exibited by the republicans.

    Obama is what this country right needs right now. Somone who will bring us together and not divide us.

    October 12, 2008 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  21. Mick

    By the way, the following statement is pure blasphemy...

    "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"

    I believe that Jesus has been pretty clear about this kind of reasoning. Who are you, Arnold, to tell the Lord how HE should think and what HE should guard against?

    October 12, 2008 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  22. Ann

    This Christian is praying to her God for Obama to win!

    October 12, 2008 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  23. Allan

    Non-Christian nations? My my! I guess they think like the Christian ones on this issue! Last I checked, here in Mexico, I'd be hard-pressed to find 5 people who are in favor of McCain, and there are more Catholic churches in this place than there are people!

    October 12, 2008 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  24. R. Barnard

    What a mindless, sorry lot of misguided pseudo-Christians. Pathetic but fitting end to the delusional visions of the Colonials of America. May they be spririted away in a UFO or perhaps by some radio talk show host to their blessed, fried chicken Nirvana on a nearby planet or ulterior dimension.

    October 12, 2008 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  25. No Religion

    This is PATHETIC! What kind of Christian ARE YOU??? Is this the way you wanted to "promote" Christianity for non-believer? Come on... I'd RATHER BE ATHEIS, but believe in KARMA!

    October 12, 2008 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
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