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. Maxine

    This just means they're really scared of Obama... And they should be.

    The neo-cons' days are numbered. Boo hoo.

    February 26, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. Nuala Kavanagh

    Does this remind you of a judges comment: Members of the jury, disregard that comment. Enough said. McCain has never sunk so low as to allow a lackey to trash a Democratic candidate.

    February 26, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  3. ceci

    Sen. McCain wants Hillary to win. Let"s be clear about that. Sen. Obama would be a much more formidable foe to defeat. Having said that, who is going to believe McCain had no clue regarding the inflammatory content of the introduction offered by the local radio host who presented him to the audience. Come on. The whole strategy is damage and smear by surrogates, apologize later. Damage done anyway. The only person running a clean campaign is Obama.

    February 26, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  4. Your Conscience, CA

    Yes we all chose our middle name. Riiiiigggghhhtttttt.

    Sad how pathetic the xenophobic ignorant Rape-Publican-Cans have become. They would make good brownshirts.

    The bottom of the bell curve (GOP base) eat up your fear curd and NEVER, I repeat, NEVER think for yourself

    February 26, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  5. snl

    Does Bill Cunningham have 1st amendment rights? If Obama bought his house in a sweetheart deal with someone trying to purchase influence shouldn't we know? Obama has said nothing of substance other than he will appease Islamic terrorists and he plans to increase federal spending by 800 billion dollars. Please. This guy is vapor. He is nothing. He has no experience. GO BILL CUNNINGHAM (the Voice of the Common Man)

    February 26, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  6. SJ in Cincy

    Cunningham speaks the facts! I listen everyday.
    Little "O" is going to change the world? Come on.

    February 26, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  7. Will H.

    With comments like these, I wouldn't be surprised if this McCain supporter is also an adviser to the Clinton campaign.

    February 26, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. Hallo

    I have to say that I admire McCain comments. He's a true american patriot.

    February 26, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. A. Harrison

    Give Obama the nomination and let the games begin. He will topple faster than a home made of playing cards in gail force winds. He is not ready to get all his past demons unearthed.

    Bill had Hillary to stand with him all the way through. All Hillary's business is out there so all you can do is perform a history lesson.
    But Barack is clean cloth for the moment.

    Hillary 2008!

    February 26, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. Uncle Sam

    If you were looking to fill an executive position, would you hire the candidate with excellent interviewing skills but no record of achievement?

    February 26, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  11. Leslie King

    It is highly unlikely that John McCain did not know this was coming! I especially resent that a big deal is made over Obama's middle name.
    This is really silly.

    February 26, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  12. johnE

    ALL the blame America first communist sympothizers see Obama as their hero. The Taliban are emboldened cause they know Obama's weak spine will bring them benefits. Al-Qeida and Iran are ecstsatic that Obama will abandon Iraq to them.
    ALL Illegal immigrants are ecstatic they will get free amnestyfrom Obama.
    Neo con to NEO liberal is not the answer. Narrow minded folk are found at the extremnes. Mccain /Powell 08

    February 26, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  13. Eric

    CLINTON GARBAGE ALERT!
    "Apparently, news agencies are now reporting that an Obama supporter was actually the person who spread the photos of him in Kenyan costume."

    Nice try, Clinton shill. A little early, though – you're supposed to be telling these lies the day before the primary!

    February 26, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  14. Hong

    This is why I like McCain.
    In addition, he was wrong in helping start the Iraq war, BUT he is now absolutely right about the Iraq war.
    At the same time, we are seeing Obama and Clinton exchanging words that should not come out of a President's mouth.

    February 26, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  15. RuthieM

    Wow, these jealous bigoted pigs. But CNN why is it you can sprawl Obama's name, including his middle name in effort to use it against him, and all the nastiness coming from this "McCain supporter" and can't give this McCain supporter's name? If you can't print the dog's name then don't print the story!!

    February 26, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  16. Vic, Brooklyn, NY

    Now days if you speak your mind, it means you are un-American and not patriotic. What about freedom of Speech, American People?

    February 26, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  17. AJ

    Captain posted: " 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."

    Captian?Captian what? And if you are looking to support an honorable man, why are you an Obama supporter? He is as corrupt as they come. Is no one paying attention to Obama's dirty land deals? And why is no one investigating his campaign financing?Obama and his supporters are disgusting human beings.

    February 26, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. RSP

    All it takes to make Americans change their support from Obama to McCain is a kernel of fear, fear that Obama doesn't have experience to tackle the worlds' problems. Men like this Cunningham fellow are only the beginning…

    The Obama campaign is "faith-based", which is suprising, since most Democrats chide the Republican right of making decisions based on faith. Because the adoration Obama supporters is not based on logic, but on "hope" it will not stand up to criticism by the Republicans, or anyone with facts concerning Obama's record or past decisions.

    February 26, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  19. leah

    wow....i have more respect for Sen. Mccain. I'm an OBAMA supporter, but if this man wins the election, I'd be okay with it.

    OBAMA '08

    February 26, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  20. Dan d

    We have all heard about John Mccain alleged connection to lobbyist but this is not the worst of it. I have recently heard that John Mccain is working with the Australian government to help it take over the U.S. One only has to look at his middle name for confirmation. Sydney, as in Sydney, Australia, obviously there is some connection, right???

    February 26, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  21. Irvin Ackerman

    America is over the fear of our so called enemies around the World. Why it is the rest of the World who fears the US, who are we afraid actually suppose to be afraid of? We as a nation need to speak to those Nations we do not agree with, to bridge the gap of misunderstandings. It is a basic process taught very young, to solve problems you must talk it out. I don't want any more enemies, I want Global neighbors who are a part of a fair, appreciated, and loving society. No more war, no more hatred.

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

    Beth Ann, I just have to comment on your thinking Cunningham might be "Hillary's crony; I could even see if it were Huckabee's crony (to discredit McCain) or even Obama's (to gain sympathy)." Are you under the impression that this speaker just wandered in there and raised his hand and asked to speak? Wow, are you naive! He was booked days in advance and they had a copy of his remarks printed up in advance to hand out to media afterwards. McCain agrees with him but prefers 'plausible deniability.'

    February 26, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  23. Tafoya A. Hubbard

    I have never heard Barack cry or complain about people using his middle name. I will say I feel people on both sides only use it to try to link him to being a muslim yet they want to act like its just a middle name so whats the big deal. I dont know John Edwards or John McCains middle name so come off the innocent act. I dont care what his middle name is anytime his name is on a ballot in front of me he gets my VOTE everytime no questions asked. He can't do any worse than any other white man who has come before him. Have a blessed day.

    February 26, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  24. RSP

    All it takes to make Americans change their support from Obama to McCain is a kernel of fear, fear that Obama doesn't have experience to tackle the worlds' problems. Men like this Cunningham fellow are only the beginning. The Republicans will attack Obama because his father was a polygamist, he was not raised by a "single mother", but by his mother and his stepfather.

    The Obama campaign is "faith-based", which is suprising, since most Democrats chide the Republican right of making decisions based on faith. Because the adoration Obama supporters is not based on logic, but on "hope" it will not stand up to criticism by the Republicans, or anyone with facts concerning Obama's record or past decisions.

    February 26, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  25. TS

    You guys are silly. Now anytime somebody says anything bad about the other side the candidate (even if it is not a member of his campaign) is responsible? Grow up. You cannot control what other people say and how they say it. Is there any proof that McCain put him up to it. Was the Obama campaign responsible for the idiot who kept interrrupting a former president by screaming "Obama"? What about when his campaign manager compared beating Hillary to OJ killing Nicole? This is why politics is so divisive...it is because of the people who want to make it that way. You guys love to pump this stuff up. Is it really that big a deal that a right winger thinks ill of Hillary and Obama. Obama supporters better hope this is as bad as it gets...believe me with some of the stuff that is floating out there on him this will only get worse...

    February 26, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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