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. Erik

    They will learn you do this at there own peril. The American won't stand for this garbage anymore.

    February 26, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  2. Kareem from Hampton VA

    Whether it was tactical or not I applaud McCain for standing against those remarks! The bigger issue to me is how Americans are demonizing anything Arab or Islam! When are we gonna realize that this is EXACTLY what Osama Bin Laden wants us to do...

    My name is Kareem Rashad and I have never been in a Mosque however my name hold a definite meaning so I am proud of it! But I dont think that makes me a terrorist NOR does that make me a terriost lover. People everyone in the world can see us now and the way we demonize Islam and its heritage is only feuling the terrorists! This is why Al qaeda is growing!! We are a nation of immigrants and we should embrace all people. The name Hussein to Arabs is like the name Smith is to us! Nothing more nothing less!! All Arabs arent terrorist!! STOP IT PEOPLE before we have a religious world war!!

    February 26, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  3. anna colburn

    Well good for him! As a nearly lifelong Democrat, I am refreshed at the grown-up response of John McCain in response to Cunningham's extraordinarily juvenile jabs.

    February 26, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. kati

    If Obama wins the dem primary, he better be ready for a real slaughter from McCain...it will be horriable what the repubs will do to him. I hope he doesn't just jut out that jaw and cry, the arrogant slob!!!

    February 26, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. Vern

    What a stupid comment from an weak soul. Does anyone in their right mind believe that when & if a crises arise that anyone in office will not take action. The problem is that we are all too quick to make the move therefore causing the death of thousands of soilders, still not finding the culprit that is responsible.

    February 26, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  6. HSNP

    The comments about Barack Obama are right on target. Too bad the media isn't covering the story. I say that as a life long Democrat.

    February 26, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  7. Evan

    Wow! Simply WOW!! I have never seen such racist hate at a political speech arena. I'm just in shock right now.

    I guess this is what the Republican party has been reduced to. Yikes.

    February 26, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  8. carol

    I am still waiting for Clintons tax returns! ........Still waiting.....

    February 26, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  9. chopsticks from ca

    Quoting from a reader named Jane:

    "Hillary, in the eyes of many you have already won! To go up against the male establishment, the African-American establishment and the guilt of a white America that's trying to unload the guilt from decades of racism, is a monumental feat only a woman of faith, steel, grace, integrity and the love of country can accomplish in your special way. And, all this in the face of an opponent who subtly instigates racism, who is unscrupulous in his attacks of you, and who is dishonest, calculating politician."

    February 26, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  10. Rob

    how did this article turn to people commenting about Hillary Clinton? Some of you will stop at nothing. Instead of making negative comments about Hillary, please state why Obama would make a good President. Don't worry...it won't take too many words, because you have nothing. Even Obama's longtime supporters couldn't mention an accomplishment made in the Senate.

    February 26, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  11. Elly

    rather hateful and kind of racist remarks in my opinion...
    Who needs someone this despicable and ignorant speaking for them
    disgusting!!

    February 26, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  12. Rainer

    Good one JB HULL – straight to the point. After all, the guy was speaking at an offical campaign event....

    February 26, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  13. J. in PA

    Dems, do you see what's on the horizon? Let's civilly conduct the remainder of this nomination process and get together to ensure that the closed-minded don't keep the White House.

    February 26, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  14. Alice in Florida

    Hmmm, where did the picture of Obama in Muslim garb come from originally? It certainly is a picture of him, which kind of makes me think it came from his team.

    The funny thing is that Obama and his cultist followers were OUTRAGED over the picture being published. Is Barack racist against Muslims? Funny that Farrakhan is endorsing him anyway, and where is THAT headline, CNN? You were quick enough to trumpet even Hulk Hogan's endorsement.

    Also, where is the headline about Michelle's racist remarks?

    I wish the media would get over its obasm already. I'm sure it was good, but nothing's THAT good :)

    February 26, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  15. hd fiandt

    I have had occasion to hear Bill Cunningham over the years on WLW in Cincinnati and he is bottom of the barrel-Ann Coulter style "expert".

    February 26, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  16. Son of Liberty

    Neither McInSane nor Obama have much REAL change in mind. They are both CFR members secretly pushing for a more socialized, BIG government society! Notice they will say nothing about the Trans-Texas Corridor or the North American Union. They both kiss the boots of the Bilderberg Group and the Fabian Socialites!! Do your research America!

    February 26, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  17. The Lum

    “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.”

    This is a prime example of why the american people want CHANGE.... Yes We Can!!! OBAMA 2008

    February 26, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  18. Ben

    I am wondering which Hillary will show up for the debate tonight. still wondering.........

    February 26, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  19. Ray Skwire

    "at some point is going to peel the bark off Barack Hussein Obama,” said controversial conservative commentator Bill Cunningham, an Ohio native."

    Obviously, someone didn't watch Jon Stewart host the Grammys the other day when he exposed Barack's middle and last names for all the world to hear.

    February 26, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  20. Frank

    I give McCain credit for speaking out against this lame name-calling attack. Obama has treated him (and Billary) with respect all the way. Now, Portman was wimpy in his response. I don't think this guy would qualify as a VP for more than a resume on paper.

    McCain has his point of view about what matters in the next election and I think with all the different takes on the issues between Obama and the (newly positioned) McCain, these two will have enough to discuss so that they don't have to hide behind name calling like Billary Clinton.

    February 26, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  21. Zach from IL

    You know, I don't want McCain as president. But I am thanking God that he will be the Republican nominee so that we can experience an honest, respectful political process... given that Hillary drops out soon.

    February 26, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  22. Gino Correa

    I just do not understand the media bias in regards to Obama, nobody is talking about the fraudelents sweet deal loans .land deals back in Chicago,this is a serious issue about integrity, but nobody said NADA , God help the american people to use judjement

    February 26, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  23. kp

    Bill Cunningham will make a great VP choice for McCain. They can both lose by a landside together!!!

    February 26, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  24. Annamica, OH

    Congratulations to Sen. McCain. I am not an Obama supporter but those comments are dispicable and uncalled for. These 3 individuals are obviously very well educated and distinguished Americans to have made it so far, and it's very disrespectful. His comments about the pro-Clinton networks are also questionable because as far as I am concerned and anyone with a brain would not, they give Hillary the hardest time out of all these candidates.

    Hillary 08

    February 26, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  25. Dina

    To all my Republican brothers and sisters... I am a proud, lifelong, liberal Democrat from California. Keep the mud a'slingin'...We'll see ya in November!!! OBAMA '08

    February 26, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
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