December 18th, 2007
10:50 AM ET
11 years ago

McCain campaign goes on the attack

McCain is targeting Romney in a New Hampshire mailer.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A revitalized McCain campaign has gone negative on a primary rival for the first time this cycle. The target: current New Hampshire front-runner Mitt Romney.

A new flier circulating in the Granite State hits the former Massachusetts governor hard on immigration, slamming him as someone “voters don’t trust” who is “smearing straight-talking John McCain.”

It also recounts the results of a recent Boston Globe investigation that found Romney had re-hired a landscaping company that had previously employed illegal immigrant workers on his property.

The mailing is a response to an earlier flier from the Romney campaign that attacked the Arizona senator’s record on the issue, along with GOP rivals Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson.

John McCain is riding high off a recent string of high-profile primary state endorsements. Romney still leads among Republican voters in New Hampshire by a double-digit margin in most recent surveys, with McCain in second place.


–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: John McCain • Mitt Romney • New Hampshire
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Blayze Kohime, Columbus OH

    Re-hired a landscaping company that had previously employed illegal immigrant workers on his property? That has to be one of the most strained attacks I have ever heard a candidate make; if that is the best attack he can come up with, he must not have a lot of ammo to work with.

    December 18, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  2. Matt, New York, New York

    Mitt Romney has a run for his money in Iowa and now New Hampshire. Romney isn't the only one who can criticize his rivals. A well-placed attack ad can be a very effective tool and I hope it works out for McCain. I also hope after they chose their candidate the Republicans can unite together and win the race in 2008.

    December 18, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    When did they "come off" the attack?

    December 18, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  4. Bob, Seattle


    December 18, 2007 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. john williams san diego, ca.

    McCain teamed up with the leftist Feingold to create and then joins the worst of the worst(mr.waterboarder chappa. Ted) to give citizenship to illegals and criticises Romney for re-hiring a contractor? Her royal highness would get my vote before this rino.

    December 18, 2007 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. robert, pasadena, ca

    gee, that oughta work. i can sure see now why we should vote for you mccain. this election has long since become a farce.

    December 18, 2007 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  7. James Field

    Giuliani/Huckabee '08 can beat any democrat !

    December 18, 2007 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  8. John W. Dallas, TX

    I am a Democrat that could consider a McCain/Huckabee combo. In fact, McCain, if nominated, will get my vote if OBAMA is the GOD FORBID Democratic Nominee.
    Sick of of the "Illlinois Slick Stick."

    December 18, 2007 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  9. Aaron Kinney, Sherman Oaks CA

    Revitalized? Oh yea, with that huge McCain moneybomb that happened recently? Oh wait, he didnt have a moneybomb cause nobody will donate to his worthless campaign.

    Please! Revitalized? This dead dog will always be dead. Give it up, McCain aint going nowhere.

    December 18, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  10. Independent in IA

    Wondered when the has-been would start to panic...right on time...just a day late and a dollar short.

    December 18, 2007 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  11. JD, Syracuse, NY

    Nice to see that Romney's negative campaigns backfire. He raised so much money and also spent so much money in attacking his rivals.

    That cannot be leadership quality. Romney should have campaigns on his own merits as what he can do for the country.

    He calls himself a religious person?! Do not trust this mormon.

    December 18, 2007 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  12. John Allen, Boston MA

    McCain's getting desperate now. Romney holds a large lead but McCain is still scrapping. It's too little, too late for McCain. He would be wise to focus his resources in other states. Romney will carry New Hampshire.

    December 18, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  13. Quinn Smith, Louisville, KY

    My thoughts on the whole campaign: I believe Hilary will be the democratic nominee and it is my feeling the only way to beat her in the general election is to nominate one of two people: Mitt Romney or Giuliani.

    This is my logic: People want great change in America and a clean break from Bush; democrats and republicans alike. If Huckabee is the nominee, Hilary will convince voters that if you think Bush brought too much religion into the white house, then watch out...Huckabee will be worse. He is having success in the "Bible Belt” states but I feel that some of his poor decisions as Gov. will ultimately be his downfall.

    Fred Thompson I feel would make a decent VP but he lacks the support and to be frank, the knowledge of crucial issues. He is also too much like Bush.

    Ron Paul: Ron Paul who? No, I'm just joking. Paul can sure raise a lot of money in one day...what was it, $6 million? Wow! But his views and some of the policies he wants to introduce are neither pro-democrat nor pro-republican. He is by far the worst debater in the republican race. Hilary would be a shoe-in if Ron Paul was the rep nominee.

    John McCain has a lot of experience and has a good consistent record to back it up. His downfall is his lack of organization. He spent something like $36 million during this campaign and not much to show for it. Also, the man tends to be a hot-head. I feel that if nominated, the Hilary team will find a way to hit a nerve and make him explode. He will say something very un-presidential and look stupid.

    Giuliani and Romney have the money, support, and organization. Out of Giuliani and Romney, I feel that Romney has the better shot at beating Hilary. The logic behind my theory:

    Giuliani has many personal skeletons in his closet. Hilary will find them, exploit them, and make him look unfit and unworthy to run the country. He is tough on crime and terror and I personally think he is running his campaign very savvy by not attacking anyone and playing the "American's Mayor" card. But I feel that his stance on abortion, gay rights, and his scandalous personal life will play a big role with conservatives. Hilary vs. Giuliani would be a very close race and it would be anyone's ballgame. I only hope and pray that Giuliani wins if these two meet.

    Romney vs. Hilary on the other hand would make for a very interesting presidential race. The first woman nominee and the first Mormon nominee. Their views differ drastically on almost every issue. All the democrats will vote for Hilary and the same with the republicans voting for Romney. I feel that the presidential debates will be important and will sway enough independents towards Romney because he is the best debater and orator. Hilary is a politician. Romney is a business man/politician/leader. He is charming and likable, presidential and has a history of success. Hilary will probably play the "Mormon" card against Romney, kind of like the "Kindergarten" card she played against Obama. It will only hurt her in the end. In general, I believe that the voters will not judge the nominee on religion but on experience, views on critical matters, and their integrity. The only hope for Hilary is to make Romney out to be a "flip-flopper," and I must admit, he seemed to have changed his views on certain issues. But I'm confident that if given the opportunity to explain himself, the American voting population will understand and sympathize. I see this race being close but not as close as a Hilary vs. Giuliani race. Romney wins by almost double digits.

    December 18, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  14. Michael, Philadelphia PA

    Bottom line: Mitt Romney is a used car salesman, this guy always has a story about why he has changed his mind on a topic. One, maybe two issues I think anyone can understand, but EVERYTHING he once represented has now changed.

    Senator McCain will cream Hiliary Clinton during the debates when long-winded Clintonian answers will meet Straight Talk and HONORABLE service to one's country-in and out of uniform meets Bye, Bye Billy (sorry, you ran from your call).

    December 18, 2007 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  15. J.Crobuzon

    McCain is running for president, too? When did this happen? Isn't he, like, 88 years old?

    December 18, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  16. Brandon, West Palm Beach, FL

    December 18, 2007 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  17. J. Dean, Juno Beach, FLORIDA

    No matter who endorses John McCain, nomatter how much money McCain collects, no matter how McCain revitalizes his campaign, NOTHING will change. The Presidency, the Commander in Chief, the Leader of the Mightiest and the White House belongs to a YOUNGER LEADER who has a vision about AMERICA and a dynamic-prosperous future to all American families.
    John McCain is old, very old to govern our country. His ideas are obsolete. John McCain belongs to the past. John McCain has a superficial knowledge about economy, inexperienced about world politics, and lacks leadership. So far we have not seen any constructive and positive presidential talents from John McCain.

    December 18, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  18. J Seattle, WA

    If the truth be told Mitt would not get a single vote. The issue is not the illegal people a given company hired to work for Gov. Romney, the real issue is, does Romney have the skills to keep his watch if he were to be elected? Romney dismisses and delegates. McCain gets in there and acts on it. He focuses on it and deals with it. We need leadership of the laws of our country, not handling, dismissing, and delegating. That method may work very well in the business world but it doesn't work when you are dealing with the rights of the people. The job of President is a hands on position and honesty is important. The job of President is also not an on the job training position. Romney would need help every step of the way. Bush did and look where we are now. Lots of untruths have been told by Romney's people, and it will continue. We should start with the Olympics but rather lets address the most recent event of note: Telling the people how Mitt felt and what Mitt thought about Satan and Jesus being brothers in Heaven. We all know how he delegated that one, he directed us to Salt Lake City, to 'The Church' to answer that question for him. That way he is not to blame for anything said, with the added benefit that they can then attempt to bore us into lethargy with a droning noncommittal response. By the way, that exact statement is located in the first instruction book the missionaries hand out when you begin preparing to join 'The Church'. Mitt, you need to stand up for your core beliefs and tell the truth. Stop dismissing and delegating. Otherwise 'We The People' are not going to truly believe you are acting alone...

    December 18, 2007 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  19. Charlottenoel, Rainier, Oregon.

    McCain attacks Mitt Romney... Doesn't McCain live in a Mormon run State... Takes me back to McCain for Bush Administration etc etc... then against Bush Administration... etc etc... McCain's tongue is tied in the middle and wags both ways! Give it up Dude! Too bad, soo sad, you lose!

    December 18, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  20. Paul, Tampa, FL

    Wow John Williams of San Diego. Where do you get your information from? Fox or Rush? Either way it is hard to believe someone could be as inaccurate as you are about

    John McCain and Russ Feingold had nothing to do with the creation of the organization. was started by Joan Blades and Wes Boyd, both of Silicon Valley in 1998. It was formed in response to the Clinton impeachment hearings...i.e. "let's "move on" from this mess and get back to facing the real issues in America"

    Perhaps you should find some better sources for your information.

    December 18, 2007 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  21. BeliveIt, Raleigh, NC

    You didn't finish the sentence...


    will never happen.

    December 18, 2007 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  22. Jerry, Phoenix, Arizona

    McCain state of Arizona is not "Mormon run." Ten percent of the population happens to belong to the Church of Latter Day Saints. Besides, religion has nothing to do with the rivalry. McCain is the most experienced man running. I'd rather see a military man as the president in a time of war than naive rookies like Obama and idiots like Ron Paul and Clinton.

    December 18, 2007 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  23. IN hoosier allons,tn

    hey mcCain thanks he is os-sa

    December 18, 2007 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  24. Tim, Phx, AZ

    I don't think I would call this an attack ad as much as a response ad. Romney can't promote himself probably because he doesn't know if today he should flip or flop. So Romney always tries to attack and tear down others. McCain's ad should be seen as a response ad to Romney's smear machine.

    December 18, 2007 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  25. Anne - Detroit. Mi.

    Guiliani/Huckabee would truly be an unbeatable ticket for the Republicans in '08.

    December 18, 2007 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
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