March 20th, 2008
03:34 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain camp suspends staffer over Wright video

 A video circulated by a McCain staffer questioned Obama's patriotism and included footage of Wright.
A video circulated by a McCain staffer questioned Obama's patriotism and included footage of Wright.

(CNN) - The McCain campaign suspended a staff member Thursday afternoon for distributing a YouTube video that questions Barack Obama's patriotism and includes footage from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's controversial sermons.

“We have been very clear on the type of campaign we intend to run and this staffer acted in violation of our policy. He has been reprimanded by campaign leadership and suspended from the campaign,” McCain campaign spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker said.

The suspended staffer, Soren Dayton, works in the campaign's political department and distributed the YouTube video via the internet application Twitter earlier Thursday.

A campaign aide insists Soren Dayton was a low level staffer and who had “no role in the communications shop.”

McCain insists repeatedly that he will not engage in personal attacks on Democrats, and CNN was told last week that campaign aides are working on an op-ed to be published in the senator's name warning his surrogates and supporters not to do so.

– CNN's Dana Bash


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. Kar

    He's saving it for the general election.

    March 20, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. Richard from Los Angeles

    McCain is one Republican that I will vote for if Obama is unfairly downed by race fears or dishonest smears.

    I really admire his stance and clear view of fairness.

    March 20, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  3. Bouba NY

    This is what we need.....the focuss should be on issues on personal attacks

    March 20, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  4. Ivory Tickler

    Wow. A politician not wanting to engage is smear politics. How refreshing. Let's hope Hillary follows suit (gag).

    Obama is the right man at this critical time. Though major kudos to Sen. McCain.

    Obama 08'

    March 20, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  5. For Hill

    Did you learn anything, Hill?

    March 20, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  6. Proud white woman of 63 for obamaman

    The Mr. Mc Nice side of Him. I have seen the other side.

    March 20, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  7. Blackrose

    Honor? political move? No matter

    March 20, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  8. Craig

    The first of hundreds

    March 20, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. gene

    The Latest News section on the CNN index page reads:
    Ticker: Clinton backer goes after Obama pastor

    it should say McCain backer instead of Clinton backer.

    Corrected:
    Ticker: McCain backer goes after Obama pastor

    March 20, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. david

    even although i dont support John Mc Cain.....I have to say for him that admire him very much for being respectfull for his opponets....

    March 20, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  11. KF

    Kudos to you John McCain.

    March 20, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. Richard

    There has been a lot of talk about the NY Gov disgracing the Governs mansion, but no has mention what Bill Clintion has done to the white house. The Clintons should have crawled away to hide. Bill Clinton disgraced the white house and every president that sat in that seat. Hillary go away.

    March 20, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. Neva Stoltz

    The comment on the front page stated that Clinton backer goes after Obama's minister, however, upon reading the article it stated a McCain staffer had posted a video on the internet. Do you people hate Clinton so much that she takes the blame for everything?

    March 20, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  14. Andrew B

    Good for McCain. I might actually vote for him if Hillary becomes the Dem nominee. Too bad he won't be able to expect the same courtesy from her – look at the smear campaign she ran against Obama.

    March 20, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. Maria

    Good job McCain. If you don't stand for something, we, the American people will continue to fall for anything. By keeping this sort of nonsense in constant rotation. stops us from focusing on reality because of hate.

    March 20, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. Jean

    That is ludicrous to suspend a staff member when we already have free access to Obama's hate-filled preacher's sermons.

    March 20, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  17. Eli

    Whats Mccain doing waiting until Obama gets the nomination and then he will start asking questions. You can not tell me that McCain will not bring this up in the fall if Obama has the nomination.

    March 20, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  18. David Dobbyn

    I support McCain. So, as a supporter I am not allowed to bash the Democrats? What's he gonna do, not accept my vote? Hmm, I bet Ralph Nader will gladly take it.

    March 20, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. GoodForMCcain

    I admire Mccain for not listening to talk shows with low IQ and racist attitude their main aim is to exploit the race issue america has been facing for so many years to their advantage. Good job Mccain say no to this people if you want the vote from the majority of the american people. Throw people like Hannity, Bill O'rilley under you bus.

    March 20, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  20. ranga

    Wow !!! What a wonderful gesture from John McCain. In a developed democracy, election campaigns must always focus on issues, not mudslinging.

    March 20, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  21. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    Senator McCain and his senior campaign staff appear to be showing a lot more integrity than Senator Clinton and her "surrogates."

    I hope this continues and then we can all put the final nail in the coffin of the Karl-Rove-school-of-election-campaigning.

    March 20, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  22. Dee

    Compare this to Lanny Davis' nonsense. This is why I'll vote for McCain, if the Democrats are foolish enough to let Clinton steal the nomination from Obama.

    March 20, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  23. Alex H

    And this is why Lanny Davis is horribly wrong. The problem is that only Clinton is willing to keep pushing the issue while McCain IS the one who will take the high road. Clinton is doing McCain's job for him! McCain has sent out talking points to his surrogates and staff making sure they don't talk about these things. He's made it very clear that he won't stoop this the level Clinton has.

    March 20, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  24. Rodney Dallas TX

    Why suspend them? Give them a freakin medal. They just proved that Obama is just as phoney as the rest of the politicians.

    March 20, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  25. Gary B

    Thank you the McCain Campaign

    March 20, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
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