June 9th, 2008
03:25 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain incorrectly denies criticizing media's Clinton coverage


Watch Sen. McCain's comments about Sen. Clinton from last week.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. John McCain incorrectly denied this weekend that he had made a remark criticizing media coverage of Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid during his election night speech near New Orleans, telling an interviewer that he was “not in the business of commenting on the press.”

But the presumptive Republican nominee had delivered the comment in question.

A Newsweek interviewer asked McCain about whether reporters had been fair to Clinton during her presidential run, pointing out that the presumptive Republican nominee had said during his Tuesday night speech that “the media hadn't recognized, or had overlooked some of the attributes that Hillary Clinton had brought to the race.”

McCain denied making the remark. “I did not [say that] - that was in prepared remarks, and I did not [say it] - I'm not in the business of commenting on the press and their coverage or not coverage,” he responded.

The Arizona senator added, “I can't change any of the coverage that I know of, except to just campaign as hard as I can and try to seek the approval of the majority of my fellow citizens. It is something that the American people will judge, and I won't complain about it and I won't praise it. I will just run my campaign and hope that the American people will make a judgment.”

But in his election night address, McCain had taken a swipe at the press. “Senator Clinton has earned great respect for her tenacity and courage,” he said. “The media often overlooked how compassionately she spoke to the concerns and dreams of millions of Americans and she deserves a lot more appreciation than she sometimes receives.” WATCH McCain's comment here.

Some of Clinton's strongest supporters have complained that she received unfair treatment from journalists during her presidential run. McCain's campaign has made a special effort to appeal to disappointed Clinton backers in the days since she ended her White House run.

CNN has asked the McCain campaign for comment.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (251 Responses)
  1. No McSame

    After you fools vote for McSame you will forget too. The early signs are there. How many more do you need to see? You will know after ten town hall debates.
    Hillary supporters will waist yet another vote.

    June 9, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  2. My mama

    My mama told me never to lie or vote for a liark, cheater, or stealer of opponents speeches and promises...enough riding hillary's coat tails..I changed to registered Independent and will vote for McCain

    Hillary – The only honest politician left.

    June 9, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  3. Jaci

    HIllary supporters who are not sure of Obama:: Look into McCain's past. See what he did to his first wife after she was in an awful auto accident!!! Married pretty little Cindy 1 month after the divorce. Then there is the "Keating 5″. Now he is having trouble remembering! If McCain gets in your children will not have health care, public education, social security and the only jobs they will get are working in or for the military in Iraq. Shall we talk about what he will do for women's rights? McCain is a crook with no heart. He is narcistic like Bush and only cares about his own self and money. Obama cares and will change Washington!!! No lobbiests, no PAC. We the people of the US will be his lobbiests and he will do the very best he can for us!
    Thank you Karen! Hillary supporters do your homework! Don't put our fate in the hands of this creep!

    June 9, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  4. Dusacre




    June 9, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  5. John

    You guys are rude_ At this age it's not a big deal to forget something you said four days ago. You should congratulate him he can still walk

    June 9, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  6. DO

    Senile? Over the hill? Someone tells Obama that there are only 50 States instead of the 57 he wants to visit.

    June 9, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  7. Sarah

    This is very normal for a 72 y/o man...

    Dementia is part of life at this age

    June 9, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  8. Baracka O'Mami

    Poor McCain ...

    I guess the maverick is either losing his memory or not a good liar.

    Obama all the way to the White House!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 9, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  9. goodcitizen


    June 9, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  10. McCain Generation--OLD...

    Privatization of Social Security or are you trying to hide the fact your buddy- George W spent everybodys SS and it's gone to a war..

    .... Vote NO John McOut-of-Touch.....!!!!

    June 9, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  11. Montana is Obama Country

    John McCain came in 3rd after all the Montana votes had been counted..

    Montana Voters said: 102,000 – Barack Obama, 74,000- Hillary Clinton and finally and last 72,000 – John Mcbad for the Montana Economy....

    .......... This RED is TURN'n BLUE in November.............


    June 9, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  12. goodcitizen

    Old hero is ten times better than phony puppet. Obama's cult supporters are brainwashed. VERY VERY VERY SAD!!!!

    June 9, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  13. Loretta from California

    We will give him the benefit of the doubt and say he just forgot. It happens.

    June 9, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  14. Ray Ito

    McCain is suffering from both short-term ans long-term memory loss.

    He doesn't even remember that Bush's policies have failed

    June 9, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  15. MD

    I am sure Senator McCane was sincere when he insisted that he did not criticize the media.

    There are two reasons:

    1. Senator McCane is 71 years old. I remember my father at that age saying, "If I could remember things, I wouldn't be retired."

    2. Speech writers write these speeches. Candidates hardly involve themselves in the process. Campaign staff usually have these speeches ready with a small window for the candidates to digest. They just read them off of teleprompters.

    If anyone challenges McCane to give a summary of his speech, all he will probably remember is using the silly line "that is not a change we can believe in." He also may rember that he was told to grin every time he said that.

    June 9, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  16. mike

    What do you think this guy would be saying if Hillary became the nominee? All you Hillary supporters who blame Barack Obama for Hillary's loss and now are exacting revenge have no idea how much worse the treament would have been from the McCain camp. So you all are trying to punish Obama? For what? For winning? Say what you will, Obama ran a cleaner campaign than Hillary and a far more effective one. So why are you all up in arms? If you have a problem with the media coverage, fine. But face reality, Obama does not deserve the disdain of Hillary's supporters the same way Hillary didn't deserve it. The hypocrisy on this is hard to understand. Go ahead and support McCain, then keep quiet when he pushes through policies that offend Hillary and everything she stands for.

    June 9, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  17. Cathy

    That ok, we will support McCain because the DNC cannot tell us what to do any longer. I will await for Clinton for 2012.

    June 9, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  18. Americans for america

    Democrats Beware!

    Republicans have launched a blogosphere campaign where they claim to be Democrats who will vote for Senator McCain since Senator Clinton is not the democratic nominee!

    Do not be fooled!

    This is nothing more than republican tricknology, Karl Rovian VODOO; Of course all real democrats would NEVER vote for George W. Bush’s third term, ENDLESS war, overturning of Roe V. Wade, or more record profits and tax breaks for oil companies while the average American spending power continues to thin.

    Be Brave Democrats and be watchful!

    With a majority Democratic legislature and a Democratic President we can see real change not gridlock! Wake up Dems do not be fooled.

    June 9, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  19. Rogersturnback

    Clinton Supporters come on. IF you vote for McCain then you will DOOM all of us.

    I realize how disappointed you are in losing the nomination but YOU CANNOT Vote for McCain.

    If McCain becomes President the economy will worsen, the war will lengthen, your children and grandchildren will be forced into a DRAFT to support this war, we will be paying $10/gallon for gas, Students won't be able to afford College, and we will get Supreme Court Judges that will reverse all the rights of women and families.

    America can't afford McCain in the White House

    June 9, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  20. Michael

    No one took Clinton"s nomination from her, she lost it. The reason the press got all over her was because she accused Obama of stuff she and her campaign were guilty of. She became negative first. She lied, she mislead. Are you forgetting Mark Penn. Are you forgetting "Shame on you"? Are you forgetting how she constantly attacked Obama, making fun of him saying"The skies will open Choirs will sing"? Every vote counts? Give me a break. Clinton could care less about the voter. When she started her campaign it was all about the delegates, then her story changed and you people bought into it hook line and sinker. Lets not even bring up sniper fire. But go ahead and vote for McCain and see what happens to your right to choose. Obama and Clinton agree on 99 percent of the issues but you are so pissed off because you think this was stolen from you. How democratic is it to have a primary with only candidate? A primary where that same candidate pledged she would not participate in. You Clinton supporters who are voting for McCain are brain washed. Vote for MCain, you get what you deserve.

    June 9, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  21. Republican tired of the LIES

    .... another "Reagan moment" ... just lie and say you don't remember.

    June 9, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  22. Jeanine G

    He didn't say it? Seriously...he denied saying it?!

    Oh dear. Someone needs to up Grampa's dosage.

    June 9, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  23. Unshrub

    We finally have a republican who isn't lying. He just is too senile to remember what he said last time.

    June 9, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  24. Michael

    Sexism vs Racism?
    Last time I checked, women were not brought over to this country in chains against their will. Unless they are African American Women. You can"t even compare the two.

    June 9, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  25. Michael

    McCain cheated on his wife. He was with his current wife while he was still married. Gee, what a nice guy. He sure is honest.

    June 9, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
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