February 26th, 2008
02:40 PM ET
2 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. Ade

    LOL!! All that statement made with john McCain in attendance, information known before hand?
    Birds of the same feather flock together.......

    February 26, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  2. John, Las Vegas, NV

    I find it instructive that McCain stands by his own words and discredits those who diminish his opponents.

    Hillary Clinton physically stands next to people who discredit Barack Obama and says absolutely nothing.

    I still won't vote for John McCain but I can give him the proper respect for being a far better presidential candidate than Hillary Clinton when it comes to personal slander and attack politics. Let's hope this holds true through the general election.

    February 26, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  3. Byron in CA

    All Obama supporters should check out Black Agenda Report, the journal of African American political thought and action. See what the Republicans are up to when it comes to BO.

    February 26, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  4. Shanee Garner

    yikes. someone seems bitter.

    February 26, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  5. Kab

    This shows how IGNORANT some Americans are...when people from so-called President Candidate brings race and religion- what the hell we should expect from this country?

    For this Bill Cunnighmam or whatever his name is- he finds Obama's middle name funny...That shows how ignorant and racist he is....

    However, I appreciate McCain's immediate response. That shows he is a gentleman..but be careful mcCain- such people in your campaign can take you down...

    February 26, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  6. Rock

    American political campaigns bring out the best in people.

    February 26, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  7. Zach

    One thing the democrats need to understand from this is that the media has been giving Obama a free ride so far. Unless the democrats realize what is to come, they will continue to support Obama and lose in November. Senator Clinton is the only candidate who can withstand the negative campaign the republicans are going to run.

    February 26, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. John from Cincinatti

    Since when are there rednecks in Ohio? I think this man was just glad that he spent his whole night coming up with acronyms that he got to use in public. After all, I'm sure this man is just as Kind, Karing and Klever as McCain's other supporters.

    Do I need to include a parenthetical with my acronym or is it clear enough?

    February 26, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  9. Kenneth May

    Would that the Media had "covered Bush, the same way they covered Cheney, and they same way they cover every Republican," perhaps we wouldn't be in this mess we're in right now. The Media has given Bush and the Republicans a Free Ride for 8 years, never challenging them on important issues in fear of being labeled "anti-American." It's time the Media started questioning the Bush Administration on ALL of its policies and hold them accountable.

    February 26, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  10. Julie

    It's truly a shame when all the gop has to offer is personal insults. They can't debate or defend policies, so they just sling garbage talk. What is this, junior high?

    February 26, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  11. Al in Wpg

    Charles Now... you got the point dead on.

    February 26, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  12. Your Conscience, CA

    Was that Hillary or Rape-Public-Can mocking the will of the American people? Same thing.

    Good riddance Hill-Billy and GOP garbage, time to get out of the way and let the grown ups clean up your mess.

    February 26, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  13. Kab

    Bill C. is the kind of people I am scared of in this society. He is a racist old man who was probably a member of KKK. Because of such people, we Americans have bad name today. Such people should be hanged to death...

    CNN- even if you do not post this msg- make sure to tell this to that guy

    February 26, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  14. Jimmy P - Chicago

    They are absolutely legitimate comments – there has been such a nobvious double standard with this guy with regard to the leftist media. This guy is running for President of the Umited States, not the Hyde Park (Chicago) Block Club President. You liberals are way too soft skinned.

    February 26, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  15. Beth Ann

    If this is real (which I'm sure it is), the "rant" seems highly scripted and premeditated. I wouldn't be surprised if this was McCain or Hillary's crony; I could even see if it were Huckabee's crony (to discredit McCain) or even Obama's (to gain sympathy). To be completely frank, the entire race on both sides is shrouded in fifth grade trickery and tactics. I would have to say that my vote as of now either goes to Obama or Abraham Lincoln, the only people capable of bringing America together. (Sorry, Nader. You just don't cut it.)

    February 26, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  16. Bobo

    This Mccain supporter (why didn't the story include his name by the way?) is just another shining example of why we need to get these dirtbag neo-cons out of the White House!
    They're children and we need adults in the White House.

    "NOBODY'S GOING TO TELL ME WHO'S GOING TO SERVE IN MY GOVERNMENT!"
    George W. Bush

    .........see what I mean?

    February 26, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  17. terry

    does anybody with brains really take politicians seriously anymore.
    just elect sombody who will bring our troops home or at least transfer them to the proper front Afganistan!!

    February 26, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  18. Kyle Indianapolis, Indiana

    The conservatives are grabbing at anything these days. Repeating Obamas middle name to try and make people not like him.

    February 26, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  19. will

    The more they attack Obama the better he looks, also the more his supporters donate. After the hit job the rep. did on kerry do really think anyone but those who vote rep. no matter what are listening to this losers. the rep had thier chance to run all three brach of govt. they failed. now we the people have to fix thier mess.

    February 26, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  20. Bob

    Is Hillary sharing her staff with McCain now, or does McCain simply train them for her?

    February 26, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  21. Tim

    Mocking is a form of flatter.

    They just see the leader and will do anything to drag him into the mud (*see Clinton and her stupidity the past few days).

    February 26, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  22. Ratgurl

    Did McCain take this out of Clinton's playbook?

    The only reason they target Obama is becuase they know he's the one to beat.

    February 26, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  23. Jeff

    John McCain = HRC. I always wonder how these 2 would campaign against each other. Hillary will endorse him

    February 26, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    BIG DDEAL

    February 26, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  25. Christian, Tampa FL

    Well, it's good that McCain criticized the comments. We need an honorable general election.

    February 26, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
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