February 26th, 2008
02:40 PM ET
6 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. John

    Wow Mcnugget is just the same as HRC, thats why we need Obama, the right man at the right time. I know i have Seen Barack 3 times in person and he has always explained in detail why he is the right man at the right time. He has the judgement to be right on day one and we can trust him, can't really say that about HRC or Mcnugget. Pretty easy choice, maybe thats why he's going to win. Obama/Edwards or Obama/Dodd. That may be the biggest decision, will Edwards finnaly come off that fence, John Iowa love you, come out for Barack so we can have the dream team. If you wait too long, you may be left with HRC thats not going to put you in the white house in 8years, in 8 years we'll barley remember who HRC was.

    February 26, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  2. BC

    This is the new McCarthyism with the left wing media. Say something bad about a Republican, and it is ok. Say something bad against a Democrat, and get shamed by the main stream media. God Bless Bill Cunningham for standing up for the First Amendment.

    February 26, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  3. s

    Ok, they are really beginning to act like 5 year olds, and I do not believe that McCain had no idea that this speaker was as venemous as he was. Remember this is politics they analyze how everything is perceived. I am a Barack supporter, and I think it is time we turn the page in Washington. We have seen the same people doing the same thing for so long, people are simply tired.

    February 26, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  4. Karl Lavoie

    Bill Cunningham's view is exactly the kind of politics everyone's tired of hearing.

    February 26, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  5. California Independent

    Someone picking on Obama again? Doesn't Cunningham realize Obama is going to save the whole wooooorrrrllllllld? It's almost spring. The clouds will clear and the light will save him.

    come in to the light, come in to the light, come in to the liiiiiight.

    February 26, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  6. McCain is just too old.

    McCain is too old to be President. He is the same as Bush the current president. Who wants that again. Go Home John McCain.

    February 26, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  7. dave

    McCain is wise. He knows what it means for our brave young men and women fighting for us. They do not need this kind of divisness.

    It is not about the name. It is about the use. We are Americans first before anything. I am white and my vote will not go to anyone that use race or reliogion to divide us because we will stand as one against our adversories. Our brave sodiers are fighting for the peace that we have and they caught across racial and religion.

    I commened McCain for his response. Black, whites, christain, jews, muslims are all dying for the freedom that we have.

    February 26, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. Scared for My Country w/ Democratic Candidates

    The truth is scary, Democrats, huh? It's unbelievable that people in our country are willing to vote Obama as our President with a promise to "change." Change what? That's rich - don't they all say this? And, lets define his change – check out what it really means. It's NOT GOOD! It's scary there are so many people out there enamored by charm rather than substance!

    February 26, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. Priscilla

    All will be right with the world when John McCain and Hillary Clinton are out of the limelight! The day will come, John McCain, when your "Hot affair" with your blonde lobbyist will be exposed in the true light that is it. You will see a picture in the media soon that will show the world that you did, indeed, have an affair!!! Barak Obama offers America something that you and Hillary could never understand because you are both blind to the needs of America. You are and Hillary are, "The blind leading the blind..."

    February 26, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. Louise James

    The news media darlings John Mc Cain, And Obama never get into trouble in what they say, They just say I didn`t say it or thats not what I mean`t. But if it was is was either of the Clintons, the news media never lets up. the last debate by cnn. Cambell Brown cut Hillary off 3 times . Never saying any thing about it when Obama went on and on. I think the president should be elected by the people. ( NOT BY SOME STUPID NEWS PERSONS OPINIONS).

    February 26, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  11. Richard

    Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon were the most experience men iterms of service before becoming USA president but end up their term as the worst leaders America has ever had. so stop talking about the Obama rockie stuff.

    February 26, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  12. Marc in Atlanta

    This is a prime example of the ignorance that our country needs to change. John McCain and his supporters are finally realizing that he doesn't have a snowballs chance in hell of getting elected this November...I can't blame them for trying these types of tactics. Note to McCain and Billary...it's not going to work.

    February 26, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  13. Chica Guapa

    Marlene writes..wow, this is the respect we the people are to expect from Mccain and his staff? It scares me.

    No, it's the disrespect obama inspires. How anyone believes he is the candidate of hope and change, is beyonde me. His detractors mock him and his supporters are hateful. How can he claim he will unite the party is ridiculous, and then if he gets elected he thinks he is going to unite the country.

    Obama is time to step down you are too divisive.

    February 26, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  14. shirley walsborn

    Well after reading some of these comments, I am really worried,
    these followers of Obama seem cult like. Could it be possible
    the Anti Christ is here?? They all seem to think his word is God like.
    I for one am scared of what is coming, please wake up all.

    February 26, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. Patty Don't


    1 actually stabbed the other. And guess who did that stabbing. Thats right, the Clinton supporter. Makes you wonder, huh?

    February 26, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  16. Shocked and Appalled

    So here's a slice of Obama's "Silly Season" in politics. I'm afraid the Republican's are gonna rock Obama's boat! What if Obama can't just sprinkle his feel good, fairy dust on the old guard Republican's to make this stop right now?

    Wait until the evangelicals go after Obama's church. Wait until their lawyers really start digging into the Rezko matter, the land, the money, the house they got for hundreds of thousands under value.

    I think under Obama's famously cool exterior is a temper that's going to come out. We all ready know his oh, so charming wife has one.

    Well the message was great while it lasted, but don't count on it lasting forever.

    I'd bet on Hillary facing down the Republicans much better than Obama.

    Dear Moderators: I've already had 4 comments in moderation purgatory today. I "hope" you'll "change" your minds and let this one go through. Thanking you in advance for your cooperation in getting me posted sometime today.

    February 26, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  17. Rebecca - Fresno, CA

    I live in the reddest part of a blue state. Everything this guy said is pretty much quoted verbatum by the right wing talk show hosts I hear all of the time. I often listen while I am driving between appts. just to keep up with what is going on on the "extreme" right....and to amuse myself. What is most disappointing, is that Sen. McCain's staff is apparently unaware of their candidate's message, and also, that they would put him in such a position. I have much respect for Sen. McCain, but am now questioning either his judgement or his honesty... Apparently his reputation for "straight-talk" and "ethics in government," is unknown to his staff.......... or worse, this political icon is not who he claims to be. Either way.... this is disappointing.

    February 26, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  18. JJ

    LOL! This is the oldest trick in the book. Let your supporters and serogats sling the mud while you sit with a halo on your head. IT WONT WORK THIS TIME REPUBLICANS!! People are actually paying attention this time.

    February 26, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  19. Brian

    And this is why McCain will get trampelled. The speaker is right and rather than attack him for it he ought to do what Obama did with the Che flag, just say it was 'inappropriate' and leave it at that.

    February 26, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  20. Edgar

    To Obama supporters – I agree he is a great speaker and amazing motivator. But look at the real world America has enemies and they are waiting for us to bring our guards down. Bush has made a mess, but we must think of America safety first, and second take care of our people needs.

    February 26, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. TX

    This presidential race is going to show how ugly some people truly are and how far we have not come as a country in terms of race relations.

    And the whole world will be watching.


    February 26, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. Patrick, Takoma Park MD

    McCain's apology is a lot like clobbering somebody with a flagrant 2 in basketball and then saying, "sorry, my bad," afterward. I can't believe that McCain's people let this guy speak without knowing what he was going to say beforehand. If this is all that McCain's got, though, Obama's going to run up the score on him in November.

    February 26, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  23. Sas

    I am see OBAMA MANIA Now and also forsee "OH BUMMER" 4 years later......

    February 26, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  24. Arkansas Democrat

    It 's amazing that most people can't see that the Repug's are doing everything they can to eliminate Hillary, because they know she can beat McCain. Yesterday Sean H. said that as soon as they have Hillary out ot the way they are going to start on Obama. None of the talk show people (Rush, Bill, Sean etc.) like McCain, but the will do anything to get another Repug in the White House.

    Someone said that this Cunningham speach and McCain denial was out of the Rove Playbook. What a true statement that was.........

    This country can not survive another term with a Republican President. Heaven help us. We're almost all in the poor house now and still keep pouring money into a war that never should have been. Remember it was mostly Saudie's on those planes. Great friends of the Bush family for years!!

    February 26, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  25. the one

    wow, let me say a few things
    ron paul!....sorry i know
    obama is probably the anti-christ
    now u can call me racist
    and say i hate middle eastern countries and their cultures
    all that crap, but..
    he had secret service protection furthest from the election
    jesse jackson al sharpton never got treated like this...
    maybe cuz he's only half black ,eh
    obviously the government is as evil as the media and
    all the secret societies that run it across the world working toghether
    for NEW WORLD ORDER look up the Bilderberg meeting, skull and bones do some research
    04' election was bonesman vs bonesman bush vs kerry
    so the influence that cause that must be gone.....yea right
    so who would be perfect a dem after bush ,so articulate about unity
    and peace which isnt bad but the Bible says otherwise and it's been right so far,.........so america get a brain
    screw the government and the papacy
    seriously it's all a show and it's about to get cancelled

    hey moderater are u a person or just machine looking for key words
    eitherway what a tool
    God Bless
    and Jesus loves u
    while i can still say it

    February 26, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
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