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That One!

I don't know about you "my friends" but wasn't McCain's remark showing a lack of respect towards Sen. Obama when he said “Who voted for it? You might never know — that one,” gesturing at Obama. “Who voted against it? Me.” ? Was it intentional and disrespectful? Was it unintentional? Or was it racist? You be the judge.

Link: YouTube

McCain really is not the guy to be in charge. Regardless of how he speaks to his opponent, regardless of how he speaks to the American people, and regardless of how he appears in a debate.

He's a "maverick" - meaning that he'll do what he likes, regardless of what his party, other politicians, or the American people want.

He can't be trusted to do the right thing on the economy. He certainly can't be trusted with the military.

Obama/Biden 08! Landslide anyone?
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Racist??? Come on, that's pushing it! It was a dumb way for him to phrase it, not out of the ordinary for a politician though.... but in no way could it be construed as racist.
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Oh boy, once again the whine fest about politics and neatorama, the conservatives here (and their multiple troll aliases lol).

At any rate I don't know what debate those thinking McCain did good were watching. Like his policies, the man looked plain old and tired. He was limping like he was hurt, and he seemed to drift on endlessly from the questions. He kept forgetting the names of the people who asked the questions too. It must be sad for the conservatives and republicans that they must vote for this guy simply due to political affiliation and not because he inspired any real energy or passion.
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I think McCain's use of "that one" is the kind of "us vs. them" rhetoric that got all us in trouble in the first place. McCain will continue to divide and destroy this country as President with this kind of thinking.
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Not racist. The only one who has ever mentioned or alluded to race in this election is Obama.

and, um, Geekazoid, McCain limps, can't lift his arms above the shoulders, us not able to use a keyboard and appears not as hearty because of being a POW for five years. His 93 year old mother, who was not tortured, is doing fine, mentally and physically.
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McCain will win.
Putting Obama in office will be the biggest mistake this country will ever have made if it happens.

McCain's way of saying "that one" is just a old form of speaking, that's his manner of separating "this one" from "that one," as in, his own view as opposed to his opponent's. Not a big deal. He's simply making distinctions, so that it's easy for people to understand where the distinction lies, very clearly.
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Talk about a non-issue. Seriously. Thanks for adding to the intellectual discourse. I don't think we really want information. The fact that this is being made a big deal of proves it.
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I just thought it showed what a grumpy old man he is. It was a bit disrespectful too, but mostly just spoke volumes for the kind of temperment McCain has. I did not think it was racist in any way.
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It echoes racism, but I'd like to think that we live in a day and age where we can say stupid things like that, and at least not be called a racist.
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Please don't do political posts. The media is completely saturated in political matters right now. I come to websites like this to get away from this crap.

Not all of your readers believe the same way as you, it would be wise of you to not choose sides.
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"Please don’t do political posts. The media is completely saturated in political matters right now. I come to websites like this to get away from this crap."

This. And it makes no difference if the political post is pro- or con- one side or the other. I just don't want to see it here. Please.
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Why is this here??

We don't need this sort of post on Neatorama.

Having said that, I think he just misspoke. It might not have been the best thing to say but he wasn't being racist or disrespectful.
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@ Miss Cellenia...

Someone sure didn't waste time creating a web site on this topic LOL!! To hastily register a domain name called thatone08 is priceless.

...and to all those who are opposed on political topics, nobody is forcing you to read and comment on them.
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Word up, Cathy.

McCain's old but he's also a tough and experienced man who has fought for the US.

If Obama becomes President, we had better watch out because every little (and big, hello Russia!) antagonistic country will take their turn seeing if they can crack our hip new CIC.

Please, peeps. See reality!

a 30 yr old Brooklyn chica with nothing to lose but her dwindling 4k in the stock market and her life and job in NYC...
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where was there any racism?

I know it would make it all very cosy if he was a one dimensional baddy but this is clutching at the rumour of straws.
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Dear Republican trolls:

Thank you for claiming X, Y, and Z about Obama, all the while ignoring that these things are actually true about the guy you've been cheering for for the past few years.

I heart those that don't let facts get in their way.
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Amen Algonkin, no matter how many times you tell people that no one is forcing them to frequent Neatorama, they still continue to do so day in and day out.

As for the original issue of McCain's disrespectful behavior, here is a good summary:

The Nation -- The proper, respectful and appropriate description for an foe in a debate between two senators is "the senator" or -- if there is a desire to get flowery -- "my distinguished colleague."

But Arizona Senator John McCain, who after a quarter century on Capitol Hill surely knows the political etiquette, could not bring himself to refer to Illinois Senator Barack Obama as he would any other colleague.

Discussing a 2005 Senate vote, McCain said, "There was an energy bill on the floor of the Senate loaded down with goodies, billions for the oil companies, and it was sponsored by Bush and Cheney. You know who voted for it? You might never know. That one," he said, motioning toward Obama. "You know who voted against it? Me."

That one?

That one?

If Obama had referred to McCain as "that one," he would have been attacked for showing disrespect or ridiculed for being so new to the Senate that he did not understand the basic behaviors of the chamber.

Either way, it would have been a devastating moment.

And it should be for McCain, as well.

Understand what the Republican nominee was doing.

He did not slip up.

The McCain campaign and its media acolytes have for weeks been spinning the notion that Obama is running as some sort of messianic character who sees himself in something akin to Biblical terms.

In internet advertisements, campaign spin and talk-show commentary, Obama is mocked as "the one."

A McCain Web commercial from earlier this year compared Obama with the Nazarene. That ad opened with the announcer declaring, "It shall be known that in 2008 the world will be blessed. They will call him 'The One.'"

The ad proceeds to ridicule Obama's high-minded rhetoric before closing with the narrator telling Americans: "Barack Obama may be 'The One.' But is he ready to lead?"

That commercial has long been recognized as one of the more amateurish cheapshots from a campaign characterized all too frequently by amateurish cheapshots.

Now, John McCain has brought the cheapest of the cheapshots to the debate stage.

It was, for a senior senator who has embarrassed himself too many times during this long campaign, a uniquely embarrassing moment.
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Agressive, sure. Racist, I don't think so. But I'm just a white guy...

What shocks me, as a French, is the lack of direct "brawling" in the debate. I watched it and they just answered questions to the moderator, speaking to the public or indirectly (to 'the one') to the opponent.
I like the taste of blood, when the debate gets heated, when ideas are exchanged directly, word dueling at its best.

I shut down my browser quite disappointed : nothing more than the show they've been playing for several months now... *yawn*
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Hey Juliet, did you know you can also have your friend censor your books and tv shows for you? You might have to pay them to do it, but apparently it's important enough to you.
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I certainly don't think it was a racist comment -- certainly not on par with "you people" or worse.
Disrespectful? Yes. But no more so than Senator Obama constantly referring to Senator McCain by only his first name. McCain calls Obama "Senator Obama" - I think that Obama should do the same.

Neither of them show a great deal of respect to the other -- welcome to American politics!

Also, like Christophe's post, I was disappointed that the debate did not come to fisticuffs at the end. I'm tired of passive aggressive insults and fighting. I crave full on aggression in the political arena. Fight to the death, anyone? My money's on the former POW...even if he can't lift his arms very high.
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How the hell is "That one" racist? Since when are the words "that" and/or "one" racist? Good grief, people get a grip! Of course there is racism in this country, but to call this racist belittles actual racism.
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Oh, man, I cannot believe the over-umbrage-taking, non-stop hypersensitivity coming from the libs! If that's how they handle such a minor dis, how the hell can anyone seriously expect them to deal when a real problem comes along?

It doesn't give me a sense of a muscular fearlessness, ya know? I mean, if Americans and Jews can be called some of the names that the terrorists have been calling us, what's Obama going to do when they let loose on him? Cry "racist"?
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I saw McCain, for the first time, as Beavis last night. I expected him to become Cornholio after he said "Me" and do that uncontrolled Beavis giggle.

As for racism, I don't think it was a racist comment. However, when I heard it, I turned to my wife and said "You know, I think he meant to say 'That Negro fellow over there.'"

It just had that To Kill a Mockingbird old-timey courtroom drama feel to it.
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Saying "that one" to someone you are going head to head against implies that you're a "that one" as well, so if he was being racist, he was being really stupid beyond being stupid for being racist. If that made any sense..

I hate McCain but honestly I think this was unintentional.
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I think the people who call this remark racist are have been looking for someone to finally crack and say something racist. Granted there is some mildly racist public figure out there who will finally slip and let their true feelings be known but this comment is not it.
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Wait, isn't Obama the one who calls President Bush, Mr. Bush, refusing to acknowledge his presidents authority? And racist? I'm black, but I don't think it helps the situation when black people talk about being black, connecting to black roots, writing their thesis about being black in a white culture. If a white guy wrote about his struggle to make it in a black society, boy, wouldn't we jump on that and call it racist? How about a little bit of equality in what we find neat and news worthy?
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For it to be racist, the comment would really have to have special meaning for the race the comment was about. "That one" doesn't mean anything more to any given group of people. If Barack had been a woman people would say it was sexist. If he'd been jewish, it'd be anti-semetic. If he'd been native american, it'd be anti-native-american. He's black, so it's racist. A comment that offends EVERYONE isn't specific to anyone.

Ergo, disrespectful. Not Racist.
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Racist? Don't think so. Lame? Yeah.

Personally, I think this is a case where he just flubbed his intended remark. I think he meant to ask "which Senator voted for it?" to which an appropriate and strong answer would be "that one" in a debate in order to focus on his opponent in an accusatory fashion.

In my mind, just a flub, and we can find better criticisms of both candidates than something this trivial.
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Racist? How on earth was that racist? It was intentional but not disrespectful. He was "pointing" out that Sen. Obama voted for a bill filled with goodies.
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It is absolutely ridiculous that someone would think that was a racist remark. It's making a mountain out of a molehill and a last ditch effort to smear McCain (and not a very good attempt I must say). How dense can you be? Also, I hate that Neatorama even has posts like this. I come to this site for fun and interesting news, not to get stressed out about the election. Thanks, but no thanks.
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Not racist, but incredibly disrespectful. Also, if you want to get away from politics, go live under a rock. Posters on this blog have the right to post whatever they want, whether you like it or not.
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I'm a Dem and the mother of multi-racial children, and I say that his comment is not racist.

Maybe a little disprespectful, but unfortunately, it's seems that both Obama and McCain campaigns are being disrespectful as we go into the last weeks of the campaign.

Personally, I can't wait until this crap is over. Neatorama, please don't post anymore political items.
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You call this racism? Good grief. It was a lame attempt at a dismissive attitude toward the bum, nothing more. He probably rehearsed the line starting with, “Which candidate voted for it? You might never know — that one,” He just didn't follow the script.

If you want to see racist, look at the party that picks a guy to run because he's got some color to his skin which somehow makes him more appealing to all people of color so that all those people of color don't see how they're being pandered to at every turn so that the party in question can continue use them and to rely on them as a voting bloc to keep the party in play. THAT's racist.

And it's racist for the party to throw this idiotic line into its talking points trying to get people all in a tizzy about it. That sleezebag Jimmy Carville is even trying to incite race riots in the event Obama loses next month. How some people can't see through all the DNC BS is totally beyond me.

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The fact that so many people here can't believe that it might have been racist is indicative of the state of racism in our society. 50 years ago, terms like "negro" and "colored" were considered polite. After the PC movement washed that all away, we got rid of the langueage, but not the underlying conotations. The quote was not "which senator?" or "which man on this stage?"... it was "who?", a question that requires an answer with a pronoun used for people since it was not included in the question. To use a term not generally reserved for humans is obviously degrading.
As for the argument that Obama is crying racism? No, quite simply he's not, and never will, because this election is not about that and should not be about that. But for all of us to ignore the comment is to aprove of it, by default.
I'm not arguing that it was racist. The possibility of it being a flubbed statement intended to be something along the lines of "which Senator?" or "which one of us?" is a very real one. But to everyone saying that it's absurd to think it's racist, I just have to say, when have you ever been refered to like that?
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“I hated the gooks. I will hate them as long as I live.” - John McCain 2000 -
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What about Giuliani's comment a month or so ago when he said something along the lines of "Only in America could this have happened" refering to Obama, and whatever connotation you want to put on it.
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Oh please, I've heard virtually no complaints about how Senator Obama referred to his opponent as "John", whereas Senator McCain used "Senator Obama" in the last presidential debate. It goes both ways, it's just that a majority of the media is liberal.
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Obama calling McCain "John" is nothing like McCain calling Obama "that one." Whether McCain meant his comment as dismissive or racist, I don't know, but my father was born the same year as McCain and you better believe the context of McCain's adolescence doesn't exclude the possibility of the man disliking the color of Obama's skin.

No matter how far he moves and how good he is, there's an element of social conditioning present that he'll probably always struggle with. It's something my father struggles with, as well, and he's not intentionally racist, either.

But he does sometimes still think of the world as "us" versus "them," and even a small remark like "that one" can show us some precious insight into the place where McCain comes from. Sometimes it's the unintentional things, the stuff that seems like it was just a throwaway line, that can reveal a whole different kind of truth.

It's the unintentional stuff we should be worried about.
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I usually enjoy reading this site because it is a refuge from the endless political banter that is blasted from every media outlet. I think that voting and politics are very important parts of being an American but when we overly criticize every word or gesture made by a candidate it debases our system. Please keep these type of posts to a minimum!!!!!!
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I just wanted to post in the huge list of comments!

Wow, look at all these comments!

politics and alleged racism sure do cause people to voice their opinions!
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Jeremiah-Just because you were born during that time period and it's unintentional doesn't make it acceptable. Especially when you're running for the seat of president of the U.S. Leave the "unintentional stuff" at home; Mcain knew what he was saying he's such a f***in' dumb ass! Am I aloud to say that?
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I'm glad that you brought that up Senior Taco. While it happened a few years ago I think it is still relevant as to the kind of guy McCain is. What was even scarier were the people who were totally supporting and "understanding" of McCain when he uttered that slur, that somehow he had the "right" to use those terms, etc. etc. Never mind that he is a politician that is not supposed to be doing things like that in public.

But then this is a guy that refused to honor Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday as a national holiday in his state a while back right?
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Hmm, it seems that my comment with racist quoted from Barack Obama was deleted.

Some people can dish out the accusations, but can't take what they give.
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From [defining "racism"]:

1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

Accusations of racism are thrown about so handily that we lose sight of what the word really means. "That one" is a way of indicating another person, albeit awkwardly phrased, without using the person's name. It makes sense if you've studied Spanish, although the casual use of "ese" ("that") for young Hispanic men to refer somewhat derogatorily to one another isn't exactly the same thing.
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Racist?? WTF?

It's not racist but it IS incredibly disrespectful. It clearly shows a tone of child schoolyard pickiness and mean spiritedness. These two people both hold some of the highest offices in the nation - they (like doctors and professors) should be addressed with respect.

It's not racist; it's just rude and disrespectful.
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When I saw someone's tweet last night suggesting that the "that one" comment was racist I thought it was just one fringe idiot speaking, but I guess the idea is more widespread than that. Of course it's not racist. How I hate this hypersensitivity we have to endure.

You'll remember that during the first debate Obama continually referred to McCain as "John" while McCain called Obama "Senator Obama." I'll bet that if the tables were turned on that occasion and McCain had called Obama "Barack" people would have screamed racism then too.
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Really had to stop reading the comments after a while, but hey. When we heard "that one" in the debate, my boyfriend and I both laughed because we knew it was kind of a ridiculous thing to say. If I hadn't seen the link that Geekazoid posted, I would have just thought it was kind of a slip, but it seems like it's not. It's still stupid, and not nearly the worst thing to come out of either party. I don't think it's racist (unlike some of the comments on here "Americans and Jews" um...hi...some of us are both). I hate cheap shots and spin, and politics is full of. I agree with whoever said they should have been arguing back and forth, that's what debate IS. Obama's got my vote, but I really wish they could just get down to it and tel us what they really mean instead of having to placate EVERYONE.
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This is fun. More like the kind of debate I was looking forward to last night during the presidential. Nothing like a lame post to get things rolling. Let's get some fighters in here! I want to see someone who wants it so bad they'll put politeness aside and raise some fists. I don't think the comment was racist, however I give McCain 1 point for being the closest to scandalous. Obama, you're just too well-mannered and I'm bored with you.
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@wookielover: Reread my post. That's exactly what I said.

@noelegy: Language is fluid. The meanings of words change as their use in pop culture changes. Going to a dictionary to debate semantics is not all that weighty.

@DebraHamel: Again, I repeat: Obama calling McCain "John" is not the same thing as McCain calling Obama "that one." It's apples to oranges. Obama was surely using "John" as a way to casualize the conversation, while "that one" places Obama in the realm of "the Other" and that's dangerous. And it's ridiculous to think that anyone would call McCain a racist for simply calling Obama "Barack." That's the most insane thing I've heard all day.
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Maybe he had a senior citizen brain freeze moment. After all he is 150 years old. If it was intentional, it was very disrespectful. No matter what, call him what you will.....I'm voting for THAT ONE. I liked McCain's comment about NO ON THE JOB TRAINING! How does he think Palin will learn all she needs to know to run the country if needed? OBAMA/BIDEN '08!
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I am a loyal Neatorama reader. This is my first comment. Finding "racism" in this is absurd. I am worried that if Obama gets elected, a significant amount of "legitimate criticism" will called "racism."

Otherwise, thank you for a great site.!!
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Am I the only one that took offense that he told the young black man that he was going to say some words he (the black man) had never heard before, Freddie Mac and Fannie-mae....Did he just assume that because he was a young black man that he was too dumb to have ever even read a magazine or the internet????
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I thought the term "that one" or "this one" when telling a story for example, complete with the thumb point was pretty common. I'm surprised so many people are shocked by this. I mean, it was a bit casual for the setting, but I don't think he meant anything terrible by it. Making something out of it is a real reach.
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I don't understand why you people complain about all the political posts here, when, amazingly, you can just skip them.
Don't let it ruin your life.
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Racist? Probably not.

Stupid? Probably.

But we're ignoring a much more important problem here. How can anyone vote for a president who doesn't have a neck? Does this not bother anyone else?
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I can remember 50 years ago as a kid listening to some of my Italian aunts gossiping about others and referring to one individual or another as "that one" instead of by name. I later learned it was a way to show disrespect without using coarser language. It was not uncommon during the 1950s and before, but wasn't needed because so many other terms of disrespect became common and socially tolerable from the 1960s to today. So while the phrase is not specifically racist in that it can be applied to anyone, it demonstrates two things. First, McCain dislikes Obama so much, perhaps because of Obama's youth, intellect, and eloquence, that he can not maintain even a facade of civility. And second, McCain was born in the 1930s so he probably learned to use the phrase during his formative years, and flashed back to it absentmindedly during a particularly stressful exchange during the debate.
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bigyaz- you should know better than to say always.

"Now, we also have to recognize that this is a final verdict on eight years of failed economic policies promoted by George Bush, supported by Senator McCain, a theory that basically says that we can shred regulations and consumer protections and give more and more to the most, and somehow prosperity will trickle down."

"Mostly that's just me opposing George Bush's wrong headed policies since I've been in Congress..."

"because Al Qaida and the Taliban have safe havens in Pakistan, across the border in the northwest regions, and although, you know, under George Bush"

And not once in his "Meet the Press" for Nov. 11, 2007, did he call President Bush...well, President.

There's more, but I think the point is made. Hey, I understand though. When your candidate makes things up, it's easy to assume everyone else does as well.
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People- I've been around a long time and listened to presidential debates since Kennedy. I have never seen such an insulting remark ever said by a candidate like McCain!!! You can defend it all you want, however, a presidential candidate for America who utters those words shows total ignorance and no class and lowers the bar for this country. He "slipped" back "absentmindedly?" Do you really believe that??? Do you want to vote for someone who flashes back and has no control over what they say and do?? Ohh..... echoes of Nixon come back to me.........
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I'm shooting in the dark here, but could it have been meant as "Which Senator voted for it? That one."

Still a bit awkward though. Sounded pretty strange.
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Lots of comments on this one. I see the lefties are still calling the righties names, even though they're over-reacting to a simple phrase. What are the odds that he would deliberately use a recognizable racial slur in a televised debate? Not even George W would be that stupid, would he?

No, this is just the lefties grasping at straws when they don't need to. Obama did fine enough in the debate without having to resort to the race card, didn't he? He was a little bland, but he's just not that interesting a person. Neither of them are.

And once again, Adam Stanhope ridicules anybody who disagrees with his point of view - and then criticizes McCain for showing a lack of respect to his opponent!

The circus has come to town...
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I don't value the opinions of Republicians that voted for GB TWICE......Now Republicians don't like Obama!

Only makes me all the more sure that Obama is "that one" we want as POTUS!
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At least he didn't say, "you people". So go ahead and vote for Obama so we can hurry up and lose the war in Iraq and Afghanistan both...anyone for another 911?
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I'm voting for Obama, but give McCain a break. I didn't think the wording was offensive at all, just awkward. YOU try months of speaking and debating under CONSTANT scrutiny without occasionally mixing words or saying something ambiguous or open to misinterpretation. It's a non-issue.
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