February 26th, 2008
02:40 PM ET
1 year 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. Sarah OC

    Of course. I'm not surprised. Here comes the conservatives. I think every supporter of every candidate believes in some way or another that the news doesn't cover other candidates in the same light as their own. I know many Barack supporters who believe CNN is always covering negative news about Barack and whenever there is a news story about Barack and Hilary they display a Hilary picture. Now I don't know if I agree to that extent but we can all see some biased here and there. And one thing he has to remember also is that all sorts of goodies are going to come out about both candidates. McCain and possibly this lobbyist love affair which has come to light and still we don't know if it is true. Rumors are going to start. it's politics. Don't cry about it in front of a bunch of people. It's the way of the game.

    February 26, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. Cat, Costa Mesa, CA

    McCain is starting to look like a goon who can't control his own mouth, let along his campaign officials. This is sad.

    He is making it very hard to for us republicans to support him! I just want thing to come of these elections. Please, PLEASE don't turn us into a socialist country! I will gladley vote for the candidate that promises to maintain our free market!

    Right now, all the candidtaes don't seem to fit that bill!

    February 26, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  3. Kevin

    Oh, McCain. I'm an Obama supporter, but how I wish you had been nominated back in 2000. You have heart and civility, something sorely lacking the past 7 years. I hope you can turn the hearts of your supporters, because some of them are truly despicable, loathsome, and...to use a word Bush supporters might understand...just plain evil.

    February 26, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  4. Tony Wood

    I'm glad to see a Mccain repudiate those comments so strongly. Those comments where not made by anyone I would call an american.

    February 26, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  5. OMG

    C'mon John....get rid of this clown! You have enough folks to try and convince of your sincerity and ability. You don't need jerks like this messing up your image.
    I don't care if he is from OHIO....they must have intelligent people there too that can give a good warm-up speech. Dump the Chump!!

    February 26, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  6. Peter Canada Obama 08

    McCain and your supporter who makes rubbish remarks about Obama and Hillary are sick.
    How can a mature man say this that are not supported with facts about a fellow American?
    The race for the white house is not a race for a cellected individauls alone , it is race for all Americans.

    If he thinks he has everything going well for him, he would have run for the whitehouse. It is very easy to criticize and fault about others , but i when you stepped in their shoes; you just can't imagine the wonderful job they are doing.

    McCain you ought to take responsibilty for these comments about Democratic candidates. Sick old man..... if say you don't know that he was going to go negative, you are lying. You most know who you bring to make remarks in your campaign and his comments. Sick...sick. deal with it!

    February 26, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  7. Terry from Illinois

    I say to Bill Cunningham, didn't your mother teach you any manners of not talking ill of others? You've had your 15 minutes of fame so you need to head back to Ohio and take a time out; better yet your punishment should be to stand in a corner on one foot and sing Kumbaya until you learn some manners!

    February 26, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. Obamacan

    Good job John Mccain...I always respected you as a person...and I respect a bit more after you rejection. Good job Mccain.

    February 26, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  9. kevin from alaska

    I don't get the point of these comments - McCain already has the racist, ignorant vote.

    February 26, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  10. Byron in CA

    It's his real name so I fail to see why it's even an issue. No matter how he said it, why shouldn't he be able to say the man's real name. Who cares.

    February 26, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. Brandon

    I am an Obama supporter from Cincinnati who has to hear Cunningham's annoying voice everytime I flip to AM on my dial. Cunningham doesn't even believe half the things that come out of his own mouth, he just adores being in the spotlight. He is not to be taken seriously.

    I commend McCain on immediately distancing himself from those vile remarks. He did it immediately and that shows he was sincere. I hope that this (McCain's response) is indicative of the tone of an Obama vs McCain race. It would be good for the nation.

    Obama '08 !

    February 26, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  12. Mr. Coffey, Raleigh, NC

    “I absolutely repudiate such comments, and again I will take responsibility it will never happen again. It will never happen again.” Translation: It will never happen again at this rally. But it might happen somewhere else....

    The garbage is starting to fly. When will people realize ONE America is better than MY America. Just stop the trash talking and heal this country. Of all the republicans, I thought McCain was above this. The republicans will learn a hard lesson in the general election that the party can be the all white guy party. Americans generally like each other.

    February 26, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  13. Alexandra

    I am an Obama supporter, howver i have to give this one to John McCain.
    He is such a gentleman unlike Clinton, who will NEVER appologise or take responsibility for the underhanded comments from her surrogates or supporters against Obama.
    If Obama doesn't win the nomination, i hope McCian wins the presidency.
    I can live with him.
    Obama/McCain '08

    February 26, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  14. DH, CT

    Why Obama will win.

    This is an example of why Senator Obama will win the general election. Americans are tired of the politicians of the past, and the politics of the past–enough.

    We want change in Congress, we want the soldiers home, we want a better future for our kids, comfort for the elderly, and a country we know will not torture people.

    I respect John McCain, as a veteran, but I'm tired of an endless war that should never have been started–enough.

    O/08

    February 26, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  15. Peter Canada Obama 08

    McCain and your supporter who makes rubbish remarks about Obama and Hillary are sick.
    How can a mature man say this that are not supported with facts about a fellow American?
    The race for the white house is not a race for a cellective individauls alone , it is race for all Americans.

    If he thinks he has everything going well for him, he would have run for the whitehouse. It is very easy to criticize and fault about others , but when you stepped into their shoes; you just can't imagine the wonderful job they are doing.

    McCain you ought to take responsibilty for these comments about Democratic candidates. Sick old man..... if say you don't know that he was going to go negative, you are lying. You most know who you bring to make remarks in your campaign and his comments. Sick...

    February 26, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  16. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    This is just an example of how ignorance and stupidity overtakes logical thinking for personal gain. Cunningham is an ignorant nobody and his disrespect and prejudices for other people shows his lack of intelligence. I don't blame McCain from distances himself from this sadistic animal who is dangerous and serves no good to our country.

    February 26, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  17. mg

    Thanks Mr. Cunningham for the reminder of why I have hedged in my support for Senator McCain. I am an independent who is considering voting for either McCain or Obama. Unfortunately, these comments remind me that if I vote for John McCain, I don't just get McCain. I get wing-nuts like Mr. Cunningham. His remarks are so reprehensible as to be beyond belief. These are the kind of remarks that alienate my moderate republican friends and send me running in the other direction.

    February 26, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  18. Kim Johnson

    Thank you, John McCain for seperating yourself from negative people. That is pure hatred!!!

    February 26, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  19. maya

    Okay- Hillary HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS POST or the comments- why are there,as usual, Hillary bashing comments?!! People- this is just a peek at what it's going to be if Obama is our nominee. Get your heads back down from the clouds of hope and start thinking before it's too late!!!!

    February 26, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  20. Neb

    McCain should quit the presidential race and Republican Party and start a party of his own. A new party with McCain's decency, Democratic principles of inclusion and a fiscally conservative policy, would win over everyone.

    On this issue, let's see if he can make sure that it does not happen again.

    Obama 08

    February 26, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  21. jacob

    Let's works things in reverse...Did I hear Hillary say shame on Barack Obama over the weekend? The ship must be sinking so fast....I mean so fast.

    February 26, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  22. John - Spokane, WA

    Remarkable, Its even Hillary's fault when she has absolutely, positively NOTHING to do with it. You want to talk about Rehtoric ? I'm so tired of Hearing to all of these DemRepublicans try to paint there guy like he's some kinda of God . Instead of crying when someone calls him on something, why dont dont you try explaing his position? Such as addressing the charges of Rezko & his questionable Business dealings and the FACT that he supported (just like Hillary did) early on NAFTA and the Peru Deal. If he wants to be President then stand up & quit crying everytime he gets called on something. You can bet Congress won't coddle him like a baby !

    February 26, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  23. Ryan

    I grew up in Cincinnati. I have heard Bill Cunningham on the radio (700 WLW). The guy is an idiot with a God complex.

    I could never figure out if he believed 100% what he was saying, or he just wanted a reaction out of people. Regardless, he's an idiot.

    February 26, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  24. Recognize

    All I can say is "the fake will fade".

    February 26, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  25. Las Mascaras de la Nada

    Obama is a myth.

    February 26, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
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