February 26th, 2008
02:40 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain distances himself from supporter's comments

 Local radio talk show host Bill Cunningham speaks to Sen. John McCain supporters.

Local radio talk show host Bill Cunningham speaks to Sen. John McCain supporters.

CINCINNATI, Ohio (CNN) - A supporter of John McCain, speaking at an official campaign event in Ohio attended by the Arizona senator, called Barack Obama a “hack, Chicago-style Daly politician,” and told the crowd “all is going to be right with the world when the great prophet from Chicago takes the stand, and the world leaders who want to kill us will simply be singing Kumbaya around the table of Barack Obama.”

“At some point in the near future the media, the stooges from the New York Times, CBS (The Clinton Broadcasting System), NBC (The Nobody But Clinton Network), The All Bill Clinton Channel (ABC), and the Clinton News Network at some point is going to peel the bark off Barack Hussein Obama,” said controversial conservative commentator Bill Cunningham, an Ohio native.

“That day will come and then you'll know the truth about his business dealings with Rezko, when he got sweetheart deals in Chicago,” he added, “and the illegal loans that he received, at some point the media will quit taking sides on this and maybe start covering Barack Hussein Obama the same way they covered Bush, the same way they covered Cheney, and they same way they cover every Republican.”

Cunningham also compared Hillary Clinton unfavorably to current First Lady Laura Bush.

McCain was not on stage during these remarks. Immediately after the event, he distanced himself from the comments, telling reporters that he had been informed about “disparaging remarks” about his potential Democratic opponents.

“I have repeatedly stated my respect for Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton, and I will treat them with respect,” he said.

“I regret any comments that may be made about these two individuals who are honorable Americans, we just have strong philosophical differences, so I want to disassociate myself from any disparaging remarks that may have been said about them,” he said, adding later that “I absolutely repudiate such comments, and again I will take responsibility it will never happen again. It will never happen again.”

UPDATE: Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said in a Tuesday statement that McCain's remarks were appreciated: “It is a sign that if there is a McCain-Obama general election, it can be intensely competitive but the candidates will attempt to keep it respectful and focused on issues.”

–CNN's Dana Bash, Evan Glass and Shirley Zilberstein

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (345 Responses)
  1. Amy in Iowa

    It seems McCain once had a supporter say something not nice about Hillary Clinton once and McCain said nothing. Either you stand with such statements or you stand against them. McCain's silence speaks volumes.

    February 26, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  2. JB Hull, Iowa

    Beautiful. John gets to have his surrogates sling mud, and then look like the good guy by deploring it. It's a good strategy, but I doubt the American people are dumb enough to fall for it

    February 26, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. henry

    The article seems artificial and well crafted. Congratulations!

    February 26, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  4. Brain

    If you see all these crap starting to offload, just know Obama is about to win. If Hillary was then you wouldn't see such......just 2cent comment....

    February 26, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  5. carmen

    Wel done, Sen.McCain! There are brainless people in every party...

    February 26, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  6. jc

    Which Daley is this guy comparing Obama to? Because current Mayor Richard M. Daley is one of the most effective mayors the city of Chicago has ever seen and has done an enormous amount of work to clean up the city, enrich the economy, and draw huge corporations to set up shop, creating thousands of jobs. There are worse comparisons...

    If this guy is trying to cast aspersions on Obama by likening him to the stereotype of the Chicago politician, then he obviously has no idea who Barack Obama is. Obama is the most above-board, honest, straight-shooting politician you could ever hope to have running for office. He also happens to be brilliant, a motivating speaker, and an amazing diplomat. Sign me up for that kool-aid any day.

    February 26, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  7. Amy in Iowa

    Wow, but the damage was already done. Remember Hillary and her BET supporter?

    February 26, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  8. Sure

    "It will never happen again. never happen again"....until the next time...vis a vis...read my lips "no new taxes"

    February 26, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  9. An Agnostic Democrat

    Are you sure this wasn't Hillary in disguise? She has so many masks and talks outta both sides of her mouth so much that she could be her own worst adversary.

    February 26, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  10. Obama Supporter

    I would be happy as long as it is either john mccain or barack obama who get eleceted....i will cry for weeks if hillary clinton gets elected....because both barack and john are gentleman and when they speak you do not feel the urge to get up and slap them....unlike the urge you feel when you see hillary

    February 26, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  11. sarah

    But the media trashed Hillary when one of her supporters said obamas middle name..LOL this country is mentally retarded when you can't even mention a presidential candidates middle name. Don't worry McCain if Hillary doesn't win the nominee I will vote for you. I am not so ignorant to believe we put in a rookie in this time of our history. Along with knowing obama is a fake, at least I trust McCain.

    February 26, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  12. Smurph, New York

    I am an Obama supporter. I do give McCain credit for this response. He gave a sincere apology and remedy for future action. I am impressed with his resolve. I will still be voting for Obama, but will be giving McCain a chance if he continues this recent streak of showing respect. Something you will never see our of our dear friend Hillary....yuck

    February 26, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  13. Go Obama

    Ignorance is bliss.
    This merely reflects the sentiments of many Republican followers.
    Obama will change the world, the only thing we have to do is take a step in that direction.
    American leaders should be an accurate reflection of views of the American people. There is nothing wrong with hoping that the world can become a better place. Now is the time to enact upon those beliefs.

    Obama '08

    February 26, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  14. AJ

    I think this guys comments on Obama are right on the money.
    As for comparing Hillary Clinton to Laura Bush, Bill Cunningham is a complete moron. Hillary Cliinton actually earned her keep while in the White house. Laura Bush, with her ignorant sounding Texas twang has been the most useless First Lady ever.

    February 26, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  15. Jinny Lee

    Bill Cunningham is ignorant.

    February 26, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  16. Bob

    "It will never happen again.”

    And you know what's a great way to convince a person never to do something again? TORTURE.

    February 26, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. Stacy Clarks, Texas

    I'm Glad that McCain rebuked these UNAMERICAN, UGLY comments!!! And people wonder why the rest of the world thinks we are ignorant bigots!!!!

    February 26, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. Lee-- Dallas, TX

    Wow... what will they think of next...

    I can't say I don't believe it, but man, this is tacky.

    February 26, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  19. Captain

    As an Obama supporter, I cheered when McCain won on the republican side. At least he is an honorable man. I am still voting for Obama in the General, should he win the nomination, But, McCain is probably the best Republican politician in the land.

    February 26, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  20. rob

    Kudos to McCain for trying to keep it to the issues, no matter how much I may disagree with his political philosophy. There probably isn't a single politician in the race who doesn't have some fanatic saying crazy things in their name, the best thing that can be done is to ignore them.

    February 26, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  21. Gary in CT

    .....and the Republican Campaign begins! Send out all the slammers, then deny they work for you. You can thank Karl Rove for that playbook.

    February 26, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  22. Independent

    I appreciate McCain's comments. Way to go!

    February 26, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  23. Dan

    I am not a supporter of Obama, but I am disgusted at what Bill Cunningham insinuated by constantly using Obama's middle name. I don't like Obama, but he is no terrorist, and while he has Muslim roots, that shouldn't disqualify him at all. That's just plain racism.

    But Obama has been exploiting the race card. Apparently, news agencies are now reporting that an Obama supporter was actually the person who spread the photos of him in Kenyan costume. It bothers me that he pointed to Clinton and saying she was fear mongering.

    Obama, what is wrong with being cultural and wordly? Isn't that what you represent? Why are you distancing yourself from anything cultural? That's implying that there is something wrong with those cultures. At least Clinton is proud of the photos where she is in ceremonial garb. For someone that claims to be a uniter, it is shocking that they'd deny anything that would suggest affiliation with other cultures and religions. That is no better than what Bill Cunningham is doing. It's racist.

    February 26, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  24. Independent

    The comments sound strikingly similar to the sarcastic remarks made by Hillary a few days ago. It's like everyone except Obama is using the same playbook.

    Oh wait – they are!

    February 26, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  25. grant

    You Can tell who the Republicans fear more, and who they would rather run against. If Hillary gets the nomination, it's a sure bet for four more years of republican rule.

    February 26, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
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