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Obama: They're Trying to 'Make You Scared of Me'

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) speaks at a town hall-style meeting in Rolla, Mo., July 30, 2008. (Associated Press)

By Jonathan Weisman
ROLLA, Mo. -- It has been part of Barack Obama's stump speech for weeks, if not months, a comic schtick about the senator from Illinois having a funny name and a face that doesn't look like that of other presidential candidates.

But Obama played the line bigger than usual today as he barnstormed through the conservative heart of rural Missouri, scouring for votes and urging virtually all-white audiences to embrace a candidate unlike any other they may have voted for. And Republicans are crying foul.

"Nobody thinks that Bush or McCain have a real answer for the challenges we face. So what they are going to try to do is make you scared of me," Obama warned a crowd in Springfield this morning. "You know, he's not patriotic enough. He's got a funny name. You know, he doesn't look like all of those other presidents on the dollar bills."

"Those folks know they don't have any good answers. They know they had their turn over the last eight years and made a mess of things," he said here. "They know they can only win by making you scared of me."

Obama did not mention race directly or that other hot button issue, his full name. But when John McCain's campaign responded, it said Obama had "baselessly forecasted that John McCain would make claims about Obama's physical appearance and middle name."

"Like most celebrities, he reacts to fair criticism with a mix of fussiness and hysteria," said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds.

By Web Politics Editor  |  July 30, 2008; 6:13 PM ET
Categories:  Battlegrounds  
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So Barack Obama says that the Republicans are going to make you all fear him , because hes not the same looking as the Pictures on the Dollar Bills , so does that make me a Racist because I am Republican ?????

Obama: They're Trying to 'Make You Scared of Me'
"You know, he's not patriotic enough. He's got a funny name. You know, he doesn't look like all of those other presidents on the dollar bills."
Is he calling all Republicans racist ???

I am Not a racist , because I am Republican Barack Obama . I very much resent this statement .

Posted by: Tony | August 4, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe Obama would say that McCain is going around telling people not to vote for Obama because he's black!

Talk about injecting race into the campaign.

Not WRIGHT for America ( deserves a hat tip on this one--they have a good post on this and it looks like they were among the first to notice it.

Posted by: Gypsy Man | July 31, 2008 2:47 AM

Hey gypsy man, I guess you can't believe that obama would say that McCain is going around telling people not to vote for Obama because he's black! because it isn't true. Unless you can provide a link to the statement, it looks like you're just making this stuff up. Just like McCain.

Nice try, but at least try to lace some sense of reality into your posts. Mccains just pissed because his and Mr. Roves primary tactic has been exposed. too bad if McCain was campaigning on the issues he wouldn't be in such a mess.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

People that wanna talk about Obama being a racist make me laugh. I was raised here in the DC metro area, but both sides of my family are from the south, and I have heard the "N" word used more than any other curse word my whole life. It has been put in peoples heads for as long as this country has been around, that black folks are inferior to white folks. I STILL see it quite often, although more covert now than when I was young. Obama says the republicans will try to make you afriad of him, because he looks different, and his name is different. Of course they will! Racists are alive and well in this country, and I believe it's the only reason that this presidential race is close at all. All the lies that come out of the McCain campaign will be believed by some, because they WANT to believe it. They ARE scared of a black man becoming president.
The republicans will play on that fear, because they have nothing else. They certainly can't rely on the last 8 years.

Posted by: biggirl | July 31, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Wade -- no one that I know is arguing he's got a funny name or doesn't look like the President on the dollar bill -- these are straw man arguments, plain and simple.

Posted by: JakeD | July 31, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe Obama would say that McCain is going around telling people not to vote for Obama because he's black!

Talk about injecting race into the campaign.

Not WRIGHT for America ( deserves a hat tip on this one--they have a good post on this and it looks like they were among the first to notice it.

Posted by: Gypsy Man | July 31, 2008 2:47 AM | Report abuse

BHO would make a fine cult leader, because his statements are similar to those made by many previous cult leaders.

BHO is implying that all attempts to make people afraid of him are invalid, when there's plenty about him to be very scared about, such as the "force" he wants to create to rival the U.S. military:

Or, his internationalist agenda:

Or, his promise to get "hate" off the airwaves, i.e., censorship:

There's much more, but I don't know how many links the WaPo will let me put in a comment.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | July 30, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

I see so many mixed race couples now, I wonder if racism still exists. I see old white ladies taking care of multi-racial grandkids - no one bats an eye, except to comment on how beautiful the children are. Obama's name or his ancestry doesn't bother me as much as his belief that "he" alone can solve the world's problems. How? Does he have some "magic dust"? If so, why hasn't he used his celebrity or "pixie dust" to solve the problems that his constituents face.

When me and my wife sit at the table and discuss our dreams for ourselves and our children, we consider our finances. We make choices based on our income. At the end of the month, if our checking balance is low, we know we need to "change" our behavior. We eat out less. We drive less. We don't take that vacation. Obama's "change" is meaningless to me because it's taken on a life of it's own. Change what? Change rich and powerful people? What is Change?

Posted by: David | July 30, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

I am a man of few words.
McCain is disgusting.

Posted by: westexacan | July 30, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

John Sidney McCain the third, Mr. Preferential treatment all his life, virtue of being a privileged son and grand son of admirals elite, having greased his way into politics, is a rotten apple. The 72 year pitbull a conservative republican first and an American second is all wrapped up in the flag and farting patriotism and leadership, when all his life the SOB has been a leader of nothing. Other then the usual self interest, self righteous corrupt to the hilt, fake war hero politician pandering the usual conservative republican bona fide crap. The SOB has one foot in the grave and a drug addict painted face wife, a daughter of Jim Hensley, a AZ and Las Vegas Mafia Associate, a felon, who served time in the slammer. For keeping his mouth shut, he was rewarded with a beer distributorship, a spin off of the much bigger United Liq. empire in the S.W. US. The man was elected to Congress with Mafia money and major contribution from another AZ/ S. Cal felon Charles Keating of the Reagan Era Savings and Loan Fiasco.

Posted by: winemaster2 | July 30, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Old Mo, our gov't isn't as simple as a simple majority. Remember: the Republicans still have GWB's veto power. It takes a significant majority to override his veto and the Democratic majority is too slim. Occasionally, when they fear losing re-election, Republicans will help overturn a veto but for now, I'm happy the Democrats are at least strong enough to stalemate GWB.

I've been a conservative for 40 years and was once a Republican, but I find them repulsive these days:
1) Republicans know, with today's balance of power, that they can block almost anything the Democrats try to do but they're quick to accuse the Democrats of doing nothing with their "power". This Karl-Rovian tactic is a total lie and a typical example of neo-conservative behavior.
2) Republicans want to trust *everything* to the free market, as if the people who brought us Enron, the mortgage crisis, and runaway oil prices (speculators) have some moral compass that guarantees decisions in the best interest of the American people. Yes, they may grow my 401K but so could selling drugs or sex slaves. Profit does not turn wrong into right. Deregulation on the Republican's scale is dangerous for our economy.

So Old Mo, you need to look past the deadlock and at the direction the parties are trying to move, then decide which one you'll help. Personally, the last eight years have been a debacle I wouldn't have thought possible; the Democrats have long had a reputation for fiscal responsibility and looking out for the People so I'll vote for them.

Posted by: Eric | July 30, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

McBush has just added to his fast growing record of slinging sleaze at Obama. First he airs an ad trashing Obama for shooting hoops instead of visiting the wounded troops in Germany. Of course, Obama sank that 3 pointer in a gym in Kuwait four or five days before he even arrived in Germany. But what's 4 or 5000 miles and 4 days to McBush? Close enough for a candidate for President of the United States who can't quite get it together on the differences between Shiites and Sunnis.

And today McBush's handlers (Rove's stooges now on their own) put out an ad comparing Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. That's right! The Dems are about to nominate someone who is a crotch scratching, dumb blonde. Nice high road campaign debate material, Johnny Desperate.

It's all very insulting to the thinking voter, the concerned voter, the we-need-leadership voter. Unfortunately, the media makes this mud not issues, junk not ideas, tactic work. McBush's campaign ran and paid for the phoney "in the gym" ad exactly six, that's 6, I said SIX times. It's impossible to count how many times at least portions of it were aired across the country - free - by so-called news programs.

Posted by: gary d | July 30, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

FYI... I am 61 and from the Viet Nam War era, where I supported our Military. I enlisted, but was rejected because of a steel plate in my leg from an auto accident. The recruiter was more than slightly irritated. Honor Senator McCain for his war service - but do not elect him to the be next President because he was dumb enough to be shot down!

Posted by: Big Daddy | July 30, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Some broken down old fart (like anonymous chicken s**t) is proud to say he is fearful of Obama. What a pu**y. I know you're not like any Marine I know. He is more than likely some dope smoking societal reject that blames everything on everyone but himself.

I am not fearful of Obama or even McSleezy. I like Obama, and am disgusted by McSleezy and people like you.

Posted by: Big Daddy | July 30, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse


This does not bode well.


Posted by: PacificGatePost | July 30, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Hey you anonymous chicken s**t Nam vet (if you are one, really)
"I was a Marine in Nam in 64-65. There is a vast difference between fear and respect. Over there you can bet your a__ that we feared Charley. More fear than a wordsmith can even begin to understand , but we had no respect."


I have no respect for you. You feared? You are not worthy of respect you worthless hunk of flesh.

Posted by: Big Daddy | July 30, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

"The sad truth is.. McCain has no position "

McCain's campaign - so far - has been pathetic.

I don't get it. One wonders if just making it to the Pub nomination is enough for him (I heard a talking head positing this, and I've been considering it every time I see a lackluster McCain "event").

"Running" for president doesn't mean shambling around aimlessly.

Posted by: Chuckamok | July 30, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm.. its sad. The Republicans have filibustered 116 times by my last count in this session of congress. Thats record breaking. No wonder the Dems can't get anything done. Makes me sick to think that I ever associated with the Reps.

I think Obama is quite wrong in his assessment of McCain. I, at least, have not seen anything that would suggest McCain is trying to use race against him. I've seen OTHER Republicans to be certain who have, but not McCain directly. At least not to blacks. Definitely to asians but not blacks. Not a person I want representing us in talks with China.

The sad truth is.. McCain has no position other than constantly attacking Obama on his weaknesses. That is not something I want in a president. If anyone has actually been following McCain and Obama, you'd know that McCain has flipped on so many MORE issues that his current position is irrelevant. I'm just gonna go with Paul.

Btw, for those of you who have doubts as to the Medias loyalties, why do they constantly show any small or big gaff or embarrassment from Obama while skipping over like kind for McCain? How about that Hagee fellow? Huh? Don't know who that is?! I'm shocked. Really.

Screw the established Reps and their bible thumping.

Posted by: Benjamin | July 30, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm already afraid of Senator Obama's inability to stick to his committments, recent endorsement of the War on Terrorism, and his apparent plan to move the surge from Iraq to Afghanistan. Meanwhile Osama bin Laden walks free and Senator Obama joins President Bush and Senator McCain in ignoring this central fact. Nothing the Republicans can say about Senator Obama scares me more than the positions he now takes.

Posted by: Dennis | July 30, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Have not the democrats had control of congress for a couple of years. Why don't they fix things. Just how long are they going to sit and cry about what the republicans have done, while the nation is hurting in so many ways ? I though it was their job to fix the terrible republicans screw ups ? And now they are too busy packing their bags for a month long vacation. And we are expected to believe Obama when he says we have to tighten our belts and be willing to sacrifice. B. S. my grand kids are hungry now. I will do whatever is necessary to feed my own first. P*** on Obama and his ivory towers. He is not the type that made this great country what it is. Maybe I will go back to being a democrat when his term is over.

Posted by: Old Mo | July 30, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I was a Marine in Nam in 64-65. There is a vast difference between fear and respect. Over there you can bet your a__ that we feared Charley. More fear than a wordsmith can even begin to understand , but we had no respect. Right now it is much the same with many of us vets. I have no respect for Obama, but a great deal of fear of him. What in the hell does he believe in ? Is he leading us into battle or is he leading us to slaughter ? The best generals communicate with their people, not make them play childish guessing games. Wars are not won that way. We are not asking for every time he wipes his perfect behind. We are only asking what he is. What are his beliefs. I think I have a right to know what I am voting for. Many good men have met their end by placing stupid blind faith in a wannabe god, only to see him be the first to run. The only man I fear is the one that will turn his back and not communicate with me. The most dangerous type there is. Well I guess this old black soldier boy has had his say. No man tells me to vote for Mr. X just because he thinks Mr. X is a god.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

For anyone currently suffering Hick-Ups:


Hold your Breath,


President O'Bomba!!!!!

Your Welcome! ;~)

Posted by: RAT-The | July 30, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm not afraid of NOBama. He is just your garden variety sleezy politician who is a MARXIST. If the American people are that stupid they deserve him.

Posted by: Fred | July 30, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

This is a straw man argument. McCain's campaign has criticized him on his inexperience and voting record, as well as his tendency for self-aggrandizement, not his race. Obama is clearly smart enough to know that. He is inventing these so-called attacks that he "looks different" so he can play the sympathy card. No sir, I don't like him.

Posted by: Wade | July 30, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Scary? Barack Obama?????

Having chunks of your face removed is scary. Not having the ability to remember anything is scary. Calling your wife a trollop and a cXXt is scary. Hugging GWB is scary. Answering every question with a skeleton-like grin is scary.

Barack Obama is not scary. Not in the least.

Posted by: Susan | July 30, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I am more afraid of John McCain's reason for flipping on off shore drilling--an obvious ploy to keep us dependent on oil. Could it be perhaps the cool million he got from oil execs? What a pandering, whiny, intellectually inferior man. Figure out how to use "a google" yet John?

Posted by: Patriot | July 30, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse


I'm Soooooooo SCARED! :-O

Barry "Bogie-Man" O'Bomba-Nation!!!!


O"Flip-Floppa, the only thing scary about YOU, is your Liberal Track Record, and being anywhere near your BUS! ;~)

THAT, and some of your Loony-Toons Followers!
THEY, make Moonies seem Rational!

Posted by: RAT-The | July 30, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

With Weisman on a scavenger hunt for incriminating minutia in the Ozark foothills, Obama is not likely to get fairness or double source-checking, not from a belligerent, arrogant, presumptuous reporter with the increasingly, Fournier-like methods of the Washington Post.

Where's Jason Robards when you need him?

Posted by: Jack Conway | July 30, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Why is being like Paris and Britney supposed to be scary? Would these two women be such huge celebrities if they were scary?

Posted by: Twila | July 30, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Republicans have us at war in two countries as a result of Republican lies and deceptions, and we might be in two more wars--Iran and Pakistan--by November. We have alienated the entire Muslim world and most of the rest.

The dollar has lost 60% of its value against the euro, and the once mighty dollar is losing its reserve currency role.

The Republicans' policies have driven up the price of both oil and gold by 400%.

Inflation is in double digits. Employment is falling.

The Republican economy in the 21st century has been unable to create net new jobs for Americans except for low wage domestic services such as waitresses, bartenders, retail clerks and hospital orderlies.

Republican deregulation brought about fraud in mortgage lending and dangerous financial instruments which have collapsed the housing market, leaving a million or more homeowners facing foreclosure. The financial system is in disarray and might collapse from insolvency.

The trade and budget deficits have exploded. The US trade deficit is larger than the combined trade deficits of every deficit country in the world.

The US can no longer finance its wars or its own government and relies on foreign loans to function day to day. To pay for its consumption, the US sells its existing assets--companies, real estate, toll roads, whatever it can offer--to foreigners.

Republicans have run roughshod over the US Constitution, Congress, the courts and civil liberties. Republicans have made it perfectly clear that they believe that our civil liberties make us unsafe--precisely the opposite view of our Founding Fathers. Yet, Republicans regard themselves as the Patriotic Party.

The Republicans have violated the Nuremberg prohibitions against war crimes, and they have violated the Geneva Conventions against torture and abuse of prisoners. Republican disregard for human rights ranks with that of history's great tyrants.

The Republicans have put in place the foundation for a police state, which they have no problem using against fellow citizens!

We must get the Republicans totally out of power, or we will have no country left for any of us!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

there goes obama again.

claiming racism all the time.

we're not allowed to critize barack ... that would be racist

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Gee, ya think? FEAR and LIES are all Republicans have, but the playbook has expired.

Time for a change. Obama is running a principled, dignified campaign.

Shall we compare that to the disgrace that is John McCain's campaign? Sorry, but jeaousy and whining are not Preidential qualities.

Posted by: Shawn | July 30, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Fear is all they've got. It's what keeps dictators in power. Never mind that the Republicans have dragged America into the intensive care ward, you better be scared of any else who says things could be different. Look! He's like Paris and Brittany! Watch out! He draws large crowds! Be afraid!!

It's time to take back America from the hate filled fear mongers. Are you better off now than you were eight years ago?

Posted by: thebob.bob | July 30, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

mcbumble has hired the karl rove apparatus (the same one that targeted him in 2000) in a desperate and dishonorable strategy to lose the election

he is a national disappointment, quickly becoming a national embarassment and disgrace

Posted by: ashish | July 30, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Poor Mr. Magoo..he is one angry white man!!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

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