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. Franky

    "Which Daley is this guy comparing Obama to?"

    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not that is FU-NNY! LOL!!!!!!!!

    February 26, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. Bob Bobson

    "Straight Talk" via curve balls.

    Good god, please don't let another Washington fat cat take this election!

    February 26, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. anon

    Now THAT'S straight talk!

    February 26, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. Luisa

    I am a Canadian following this whole political journay.Wake up! those days are long gone it's 2008 and we are all humans no matter race or ethnic group. Now is the time let Obama in!

    February 26, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  5. SEE

    It appears to be open season on Hillary Clinton. I have been observing all of the negative comments made about Senator Clinton and feel that strong intellectual women across this great land should give her support.

    February 26, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  6. J. Anderson

    The success so far of this un-qualified pretender Obama, is a tribute to his PR people and the easily fooled and immature voters. Obama is a fraud and sooner than later the American people will realize the harm he will be, if he becomes the Democratic nominee. What has he done or achieved so far apart from delivering other people's speeches like a trained actor ? A fraud by any other name remains a fraud.

    February 26, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. Trevor

    Two locals in my state got into a fight and one shot the other over an argument about Clinton and Obama-they were brothers-in-law, no less!

    Every supporter is entitled to his or her opinion of the candidates. That doesn't make them right or wrong. People need to keep a rational viewpoint about the Presidential race. There is NO ONE CANDIDATE who can clean up Bush's mess, but I do think there is one who is better qualified than the others.

    February 26, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  8. Illinoisian

    Who is this Daly?
    Daily?
    Daley?

    Nice reporting CNN. Good to see you check the facts for journalistic integrity..

    February 26, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  9. Phil, KC, MO

    Do these morons really think that repeating Obama's middle name over and over is going to sway voters? It will only influence those who wouldn't vote for him in the first place.
    I do commend McCain for condemning Cunningham's remarks and taking the high road. If Obama is nominated, I foresee a clean fight – at least, between the candidates. As for their supporters, well......

    February 26, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  10. Rick Williams

    I'm looking forward to the change that's coming this fall. Right wing hateful paranoid psychos like Cunningham have had full control at all levels of government, and look at the mess they've made. Things can only get better. Which means, of course, that the next President (a Democrat) will get credit, and warn against ever going back to the Bush-Republican way of thinking. Regardless of whether there's any validity to it, the line will work like a charm. Sorry, right wingers, the experiment's over. It's back to the sidelines for you.

    February 26, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  11. Adam in DC

    What Mr. McCain must realize is that the Republican party – as it is currently constructed – is not the Republican party he wanted to lead in 2000. Over the 8 years of President Bush, who has never told the extreme right to take a breath or to think before they speak, the party has moved from conservative to paranoid. There's a reason that the party has issues with Senator McCain – the reason is that he still maintains capacity for reason and moderation.

    This is why – come what may – America must elect a Democrat. It's time to give the GOP a time to cool their heels and to think about what they've done.

    February 26, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  12. Ron, NJ

    Hillary Clinton should pat herself on the back for giving this guy his attack lines.
    Isn't it ironic that you have McCain distancing himself from a supporter attacking Obama exactly like Hillary does.

    February 26, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  13. 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 is 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 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  14. Bismarck ND

    I guess that he really rdid receive a $300,000 discount on his home from Resko, for favors rendered. I wish I could afford a $300,000 home without any discount. When the truth hurts this much, just wait until the lies are fabricated by the Republican attack machine. I think the picture was more benefit for the republicans than hillary. It was for the general election where Obama will be easier to beat. (regardless of the polls today...)

    February 26, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  15. Drew

    Who cares what Bill Cunningham has to say about anything, including Obama? He's just another in a long line of commentators following the say-anything-outrageous-to-futher-your-career formula as Savage, Coulter, Medved and the rest of the boobs. Nothing new; nothing insightful; nothing original. In fact, we probably shouldn't even be commenting on the guy and elevating him to this much legitimacy!

    February 26, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  16. Carole

    I am not a Republican – but the goods coming out on Obama is over due. It needs to come out BEFORE he is nominee. There is more than meets the eye to Obama and I get the uncomfortable feeling it is not all that good.

    Wake up people – CNN – you are bias and sleeping at the wheel!!!

    February 26, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  17. Amy-Cincinnati

    Willie Cunningham is Cincinnati's version of a shock jock. The McCain campaign should have known better than to let him go up on stage unscripted. Oops!!

    February 26, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  18. JimS.

    Incredible. A McCain supporter badmouths Obama and brainwashed people still find a way to blame Hillary for it.

    February 26, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. kevin

    Wow slinging mud at Obama thats a new one for a republican. Any chance of slinging back with the fact that Mc cain is a crook who was involved up to his hips in the Keating/Lincoln Savings Scandal, and bilked thousands out of their savings. Mc Cain is a scheister like Bush.
    Why would you want to replace one Czar with another one?

    February 26, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  20. Wayne, Greenville TX

    This only shows that the right wing has nothing to offer except hate. Yet another reason to VOTE DEMOCRATIC. On all levels. Vote EVERY REPUBLICAN out of office and send the GOP a message that their days of hate are over.

    February 26, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  21. Texas Teacher

    You have to give McCain credit for showing respect towards his opponent (and BTW, I am currently leaning toward Obama!). Wish we could see more of that in politics these days from all sides. I'm really sick of the school yard antics of the people who are supposed to be setting examples for my 8 year old daughter!

    February 26, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  22. wycliffe

    John that is a true demonstration of leadership and you deserve our vote. WHY is HILLARY not getting it

    February 26, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  23. cinco

    What are we? Six? The name calling, bullying, childish behaviors by anyone that participates or condones these behaviors is irritating and nauseating.

    This isn't an election for prom King or Queen. People need to grow up and at least pretent to 'act' like adults.

    I'm glad I'm not only old enough, but wise enough to formulate my own opinions; to research any candidate, and to make up my own mind. I don't ask anyone else, especially the media for help in my every day life...I'm certainly not going to seek opinions of others in my decision to vote!

    February 26, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  24. JT

    Listen, a candidate can't control every word that come out of their supporters mouths, and everyone has some stupid supports (as often demonstrated in these comment forums).

    Give McCain a little credit for immediately denouncing this. I hope he does live up to his word and hopefully he and Obama will have a very respectable debate.

    Time will tell. But we can't be so quick to blame McCain here.

    -An independent Obama supporter

    February 26, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  25. Wayne, Greenville TX

    carmen February 26th, 2008 1:14 pm ET

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

    And most of the brainless people are Republicans. Notice that conservatism rose as SAT scores fell? It's no coincidence.....

    February 26, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
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