July 14th, 2008
04:50 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain: Voters are tired of 'the cable monster'

McCain had a few media gripes on Monday.
McCain had a few media gripes on Monday.

SAN DIEGO (CNN) – The man who once jokingly described the political press corps as “my base” has a few complaints about the state of American media.

In a New York Times interview Sunday, John McCain lamented the non-stop news cycle spawned by cable news and the Internet.

“We are in a situation today where all words are parsed, all comments are diagnosed and looked at for whatever effect they might have,” he told the newspaper. “We have to feed the beast, the hourly cable shows, the instant news in the blogs and all that. That is just the situation that we’re in, and I’m not complaining about it, because that would be both foolish and a waste of time.”

But on Monday, addressing the National Council of La Raza, McCain did air a few complaints. He once again challenged Barack Obama to a series of town hall-style campaign events, calling it the only way to have an uncluttered dialogue with voters.

“A lot of Americans have a expressed their frustration with the sound bites, the charges back and forth, the cable monster that has to have a news story every hour,” McCain said, calling it a “disappointment” Obama has yet to agree to a town hall.

Despite the fact that both McCain and Obama organize daily conference calls featuring campaign surrogates, the senator said voters are “tired” of surrogates and their gaffes.

Americans “don’t want hear the misstatement,” McCain said. “They don’t want to hear the surrogate who may have made a mistake.”


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (195 Responses)
  1. dan

    "Obama won't do the townhalls. He has too much to lose which should tell you something. He's scared to face a question that he is not prepared for. He did it with Clinton and the voters let him off. This guy needs to be vetted. There are just too many unanswered questions. I want to hear HIM answer the questions rather than a statement read by his staff.

    BUT BUT he aggreed to do 5! yeah right. 3 were already scheduled and one he wanted to do on July 4th when few would be watching.

    What's he scared of? Americans might actually see who he is through there own eyes instead of the media?"

    Really? If obama is so terrified why did he do over 20 during the primiaries? And he did soo bad that he won the nomination. All you people have is the last debate which he got blind-sided with irrelevant questions like "why dont you wear a flag pin" when he was expecting to discuss the issues that are affecting the american people. And when that time came he did just fine, and to say otherwise is just pure, blind hatred.

    July 14, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  2. Morningstar

    Bitter – New Orleans, LA–You should just put your white robe and your white hat of 3K; you have such hate for Obama.

    How many town halls has Regean, Bush I, Clinton, or Bush II done? Give me a break!

    The presidential election has about three debates; Obama wants those debates with McBush. It is McBush who wants town halls meetings because the old man thinks he is better at it. Obama has made a counter-proposal that McBush turned down. So forget the town halls and stop whining. You will have the three debates.

    July 14, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  3. American for Peace

    What a cop-out. McCain just blames the media when he makes insane comments about killing Iranians. Pathetic.

    July 14, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  4. Doesn't like Kool-aid

    CPT Smash: Do you have anything intelligent to add to the comments? He has a son overseas and you don't think he worries about his safety everyday? Just because you don't agree with Sen. McCain's contributions to this country, doesn't mean that you should label him as a killer. It is people like him that give you the freedom of speech. Let's just hope that you will come up with something intelligent next time.

    Proud OIF Vet

    July 14, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  5. Rob

    Be kind-he's old and has alzheimer's

    July 14, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  6. Obama 08

    It's ok for McCain to constantly misquote or take Obama's and surrogate's comments out of context, but he doesn't want anyone doing it to him. I don't know what he's complaining about, the press is giving him an unbelievable free ride. If Obama or his camp made the statements and blunders that McCain and his people do every day, the press would be unrelenting.

    July 14, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  7. Brian

    Obamalism you are a selfish fear mongerer and CNN should erase your post!

    July 14, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  8. Dan, TX

    There will be town hall meetings and debates between Obama and McCain, but Obama has way too much campaigning to focus on introducing himself. Most people still don't know who Obama is and what his background is. People still don't know he is Christian and not Muslim. Once people know who he is, he'll be able to concentrate on debating McCain.

    July 14, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  9. Willy

    Obama heards goats

    July 14, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  10. aaaa

    mccain go home dude were tired of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 14, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  11. Jack from California

    John McCain is the one thats afraid of the truth in the daily reports because the surrogates are "his people" and they will be with him after the election when they won't have to worry about letting the "truth" slip out!

    John McCain wants to continue the Bush administration policies but, he would like to change the topic and do the meet and greet "baby kissing" like old time politicians!

    Why is John McCain and his people afraid of the press?

    July 14, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  12. Marc PDX

    Obama and his disciples are trying to play out the debates on TV in short sound bites with no response from McCain. Or via their pundits on the major networks, CNN and MSNBC... all liberal news orgs. Barack is avoiding direct debates with McCain because... :)

    DEBATE!!!

    July 14, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  13. floridian

    What I think would be VERY INTERESTING is a town-hall meeting between the two presumptive presidential candidates BEFORE each party's convention and THEN see if the delegates/super-delegates still vote in each of the presumptives. Wonder how the tally would go after such a meeting. Would Sen. Obama have to cancel Mile High or would Sen. McCain have to cancel his arena? Or would they both have to cancel? Any takers???

    July 14, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  14. texas DEM

    vice president clinton

    or

    president john mccain

    July 14, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  15. reason

    Obama regrets his recent decision to regret his previous postion, which was regretfully someone else's fault.

    July 14, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  16. Female, Republican

    McSame needs to stop making jokes about bombing Iran. There's nothing funny about killing innocent people. Didn't he learn from Iraq? I guess not, he wants to stay for possibly 50 – 100 years. Then again he changed that to 2013. Flip Flop! Then he panders to the voters in Pennsylvania saying that he gave the names of the Pittsburg Steelers when he was being tortured. That's funny, he previously stated that it was the Greenbay Packers. He can't keep his stories straight. I'm tired of this phony!

    July 14, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  17. Dick Pittenger Sioux Falls, SD 57106

    When I said to a banker friend, "The tax cuts by Ronald Reagan were immoral," (referring to his cutting the maximum income tax rate from 70% on income over $400,000 to 28% on all income over $29,750.); my banker friend told me the truism, "Dick, in capitalism, there is no morality. The only morality is the bottom line of profitability."

    That is why for the capitalist, there is no "Inconvenient Truth." If correcting global warming threatens profits, then the correction must be abandoned.

    That is why it is not immoral to ship American jobs overseas, because that action maximizes profits for the corporation.

    It's ok to destroy unions, because they impinge on the profit-making ability of corporate America.

    If there is to be morality in a capitalistic society, it must be imposed by those outside the corporate world; that is, it must be imposed by changing the Tax Code of this country back to what we knew back when this was a kinder and gentler natioln – back to when we were proud to be a Democracy, not a ruthless republic.

    July 14, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  18. Saxxon Domela

    John McCain makes some very valid points. It reminds me of "Kane" in Citizen Kane when he said "If the headline is big enough, it makes the news big enough." The cable networks treat politics as if it were a game where points are awarded for each small gaff. This is an extremely important election. We need a thoughtful media that provides us with the information needed to make a wise decision in the voter's booth.

    July 14, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  19. buddy

    IAM a democrat for life
    but that does not mean I;ll vote for obama or mccain
    they both want to give the U_S_A aaway
    I guess if you give some one a free ride for breaking the law you will
    let all the law braekers out of jail to

    July 14, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  20. Lyn

    In a senate hearings a few weeks ago, a University of Maryland professor, Michael Greenberger said Phil Graham removed the word, energy, from the government oversight papers, in the dark of night.
    This is why the price of oil and gasoline is the price it is.
    So now we know who to thank!
    But the big question is why does not the congress do something to lower the price of oil and gas, now that they know what happened
    Could it be that they are in the pockets of big oil?!

    July 14, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  21. McNo

    McNo is just another phony patriot he cant fly a plane what makes you think he can fly as president

    July 14, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  22. McNo

    dear Obamalism i will vote no to redneck rule. you stupid angry white man. you dont want to pay more taxes for the U.S. but will have your children pay FOR THIS WAR. you like every other GOP hate this country and should be led to a boiling hot volcano and vanish forever

    July 14, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  23. Roger from CA

    Wow, Obamalism: You live in a scary little world, don't you? Try not to kill too many innocent bystanders when you get into a shootout with ATF at your "compound."

    July 14, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  24. Monica, Texas

    McCain speaking of gaffes was it not you who made a huge one in Pittsburg this past Thursday? You sir, did this all by yourself......Hmmmmm are you sure you want a townhall meeting?

    July 14, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  25. Marie in California

    Obama is avoiding the town hall meetings with McCain because, without his speech writers and teleprompters, he is "speechless." There are YouTube videos showing Obama's verbal bumbling in action!

    In fact, I doubt Obama's ever had an original idea....it's all from his speech writers.....and so he can't possibly respond extemporaneously in debates. We saw that loud and clear when he debated Hillary. Obama's performance was a joke.

    Was for Hillary, now for McCain!

    July 14, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
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