September 15th, 2008
12:27 PM ET
10 years ago

Dems hit McCain on tone of campaign

A new Obama ad is attacking the tone of McCain's campaign.

A new Obama ad is attacking the tone of McCain's campaign.

(CNN) - Democrats stepped up their offensive to paint John McCain and his team as deliberately dishonest Monday, as Barack Obama’s campaign released a new ad that accuses the Republican nominee of “deception,” and the Democratic National Committee launched a Web site tracking GOP “lies.”

“What happened to John McCain?” asks the announcer in the 30-second spot, “Honor.”

The ad quotes commentators calling the Arizona senator’s ads “vile” and filled with "dishonest smears" from a "disgraceful, dishonorable campaign."

“After voting with Bush 90 percent of the time, proposing the same disastrous
economic policies... It seems ‘deception’ is all he's got left,” says the announcer. The Obama campaign said the ad was running on national cable and in “key” states.

Monday morning in Jacksonville, McCain blamed Obama for the increasingly brutal tone on the trail. “Senator Obama's been saying some pretty nasty things about Governor Palin and me,” he said. “...That's ok. He can attack if he wants, but all the insults in the world aren't going to bring change to Washington.”

Last week, Obama’s spokesman used similar language to describe McCain and his campaign ads, accusing the Arizona senator of “cynically running the sleaziest and least honorable campaign in modern presidential campaign history.” On Sunday, former Bush strategist Karl Rove criticized both campaigns, saying the recent McCain charges against Obama went “beyond the 100 percent truth test.”

The McCain campaign strongly rejects the charge, and says the judgment from the Obama team and many journalists reflects bias against the Republican nominee’s presidential bid.

As the new Obama spot debuted, the DNC launched a Web site - "Count the Lies" – focused on statements from McCain and his surrogates. Democrats pointed to 51 so far since McCain effectively captured the Republican nomination.

The McCain campaign quickly responded. “As Americans face economic uncertainty, it is clear that Barack Obama would sooner hurl insults than discuss his record of seeking higher taxes during a down economy, opposing additional off-shore drilling to reduce energy prices and voting the partisan line nearly 100 percent of the time," said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds. "This latest ad by Barack Obama is a desperate effort to move away from talking about his thin, but alarming record on the issues, and it isn’t going to reform Washington or strengthen our economy.”

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (345 Responses)
  1. Brett

    for almost three weeks, Obama has been attack McCain's on his record. I dont see any problem. But Obama HAVENT say anything what he can improves in America.

    McCain has been attacked back, but, he has time to spoke what HE believe in america to be change for the better. Obama havent do that.... he is scary as he ALREADY had white hair... whoa! he isnt president, yet?

    SCREW obama!


    September 15, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. Jean 2

    Obama should not be expected to "ROLL OVER AND PLAY DEAD" and always "CRY UNCLE".

    Not whinning – making a statement after observation!

    September 15, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  3. kenn odeh

    it´s quite funny to me as a european watching the american presidential elections as well as many other europeans,that the american people are so gullible that, they don´t know change when they see one; or is it racial discrimination that is driving the polls towards mccain?and if that is the case, i´m really disappointted in the american people ,this is the 21 century people not the era of slavery.mccain is a desperate politician who will do anything to get elected and that has actually casted doubt about his creditability as to being an an agent of change which to my opinion is another huge lie.

    September 15, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  4. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    McCain and Palin have nothing to offer but dishonesty and lies. They are avoiding talking about the real issues which neither McCain or Palin are qualified to do. Enough of this none sense from McCain and Palin and Obama and Biden will continue to set the record straight.

    September 15, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  5. Garee

    McCain doesn't need to tell the truth because he trumped the truth when he chose Palin. Her presence blinds the "faithful" to everythi but HER presence. A masterful move which only supports the idea that the American public cares only about appearance and little of substance. Too bad the Dems don't get that message; the still think Americans thin about what is said by a candidate.

    September 15, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  6. Mccain=Mcsame

    Palin power you're obviously one of the people falling for the tricks of Mccain and Paling its sad to see that you can't see through their strategy of getting you to think Obama is a "bad" guy

    How about you vote with your head instead of your emotions

    September 15, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  7. neenee

    McCain says he would rather lose an election than lose a war. It's blatantly obvious that he sees this election is a war. I am utterly disappoointed by this 'war hero' that he has sold his honour to the devil. 'Country First'? 'Ego' first for him. Based on the CNN's Biography on McCain, it appears to me this so-called 'War Hero' is prepare to snatch the throne in the WhiteHouse at all cost, in order to prove to his enormous fragile ego that he is better than his father and grandfather's achievemnts. The thought McCain/Palin in the Whitehouse scares me. The world will have no peace.

    September 15, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  8. McCant

    Another Lie McCrypt...Obama hasn't had anything but positive to say about Palin if you'd open your ears.

    Another Republicant caught in the Fallacy of Equivocation. In McBizarro's world, people asking important questions translates to Obama saying negative things about her...whatever.

    September 15, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  9. rob

    What a whinner, just this weekend the press has been giddy about how the Obama camp is going to get really tough with adds like making fun of McCain because he doesn't use a computer. News flash, McCain has a disability from being beaten over and over when he was a prisoner of war.

    The more we get to know Sen Obama the lower his ratings get, not because of who he is, its his tired old liberal policies that people don't like.

    September 15, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  10. The truth hurts

    That's right Obama stay focus on the issues and Mccain. Palin is irrelevant!! McSame have no plan and never will!! GO OBAMA 08 Obama don't have to personally attack ,like the conservatives do!! Obama can attack on the issues, which Mccain have no clue!!

    September 15, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  11. Chuck

    Quit your whining McCain. We have been hearing your negative, insulting ads since your campaign started. It is only now that The Obama campaign is starting to call you on all the lies and misconceptions that you and your Pal-in lies have stated.

    September 15, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  12. Jim

    Is he for real...

    TODAY..on this day, just an hour ago McCain while reading from notecards said this:

    "The fundamentals of the economy are strong."

    No...he's not out of touch. No...he has his finger on the pulse of America.

    Is he for real. Can he not know what is going on...were his handlers too busy talking to their brokers to swap out notecards.

    What a phony.

    September 15, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  13. John

    mccain and palin are the biggest joke in the history of american elections, I have never seen such liars and distortions of truth since thelast rovian election by dubya and lord chenader. The GOP are scared because they know the real change is coming and soon they know they are going to be out of power. Yes we the people have made up our minds we are sitting back and waiting until 11/4, then you will see like the primaries the largest number of democrats in history come out and rip power away from the GOP and give it to Obama and Biden, where the power belongs with us. Where we can help the people. Get out your check books GOP ers its payback time. The middle clas is rising up and demanding that we the people are heard. Obama/ Biden, and Clinton will be there and alot of other brilliant democrats this is our time lets take back our country...

    September 15, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  14. Mike H

    All his talk about not taking the low road, yet he's running a smear attack campaign. All his talk about being a maverick and he votes with Bush 90% of the time. All his talk about putting country first and he makes a clear political choice for VP and puts an unqualified moron a heartbeat away from the Presidency. I have lost a ton of respect for John McCain.

    September 15, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  15. Republicans Hate America

    Hold on but he's a POW.

    September 15, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  16. Praetorian

    He shouldn't let up one little bit.
    Obama's surrogates and webomatons-are skewering McCain at every turn.

    I hope he keeps the heat on right up to the election.

    September 15, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  17. ME

    The punch line from the SNL skit where "Clinton" touts her foreign policy experience and "Palin" says she has experience because she can "see Russia from her house" would normally have been just that – a punch line written by comedy writers.

    The fact that McCain and his campaign have ACTUALLY USED this to tout Palin shows that they do not value the truth, do not value the safety of the country and certainly do not value the intelligence of the American people.

    September 15, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  18. Kimberly

    When the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times start hitting hard about the lies from McCain's and Palin's campaign, then I would believe that the lie's have gotten to the point of being so outrages that they had to print the truth. They knew that their integrity was on the line and that their readers were looking to them to give an accurate accounting of the facts.
    Obama has not only been truthful but has giving us a plan of actions that he will take to improve this country and has stated his plan on how to pay for them. I have heard people say that he should hit back hard. I say it is refreshing to see a candidate that is not acting like a fifth grader and sticking to presenting his idea's. We can see through the lies. The people of this country aren't stupid. McCain can't say anything else because he doesn't have any new idea's. He is a Bush
    puppet and will continue with the same Bush strategy. NO, we can't
    afford 4 more years.

    September 15, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  19. Jeff Brown

    Grandpa Munster can dish it out, but can't take it!!!!!

    September 15, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  20. Chad, Wisco

    The problem with this whole election is that this add could represent either canidate. Nobody is being honest. Both are telling people what they want to hear. The only good thing is that ultimately it doesnt matter who gets elected because nothing will get done. Obama will be too worried of upsetting people for his 08 re-election and a Democratic Congress wouldnt let McCain do anything. Hooray for 4 more years of nothingness from Washington!!!

    September 15, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  21. Ex GOPer

    Its funny how half this story is dedicated to McCain debating and deflecting critism. When did lies become debatable? When the truth is available is should be sought out and reported as fact. McCain is using the oldest political trick in the book just on a bigger scale. In fact he stole it from Clinton. Running endless attacks while claiming to the heavens that its the other side. The major difference is that Clinton had some integrity and used issues to run her attacks. McCain doesn't even attack Obama on the facts. He just makes stuff up. And when Obama and the media call him out he whines like somebody stole his lollypop. This will not end until the truth is no longer a debatable issue. When CNN and MSM stop debating facts, truth and start holding McCain responsible we will start to have an election about issues that matter to Americans. With the covereage given to Clinton about not telling the truth you could make a strong case of sexism in news coverage.

    September 15, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  22. James

    Sen. McCain, when Karl Rove thinks you've crossed the line with your ads, then maybe you should have a sit-down with your campaign staff.

    Obama / Biden 2008

    September 15, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  23. Dave in Illinois

    If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. What's poor Barack going to do when other political figures at home and abroad don't play nice with him, whine to liberal press about it. Maybe if he took a step towards a more civil debate, McCain would follow.

    September 15, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  24. CA Voter

    Too bad; the once-maverick has sold out to Karl Rove. He is now more Bush than Bush himself. What a disgrace. What a shame. A man who was once admired for his bravery and service to his country has made a mockery of EVERYTHING he once stood for.

    September 15, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  25. Bob in VA

    " McCain has voted with Bush 90% of the time.
    Obama has voted against Bush 90% of the time.

    McCain has found a couple of reasons to buck his party, but not often enough. 90% speaks for itself.

    Obama has found little or no reason to buck his party."

    Since Bush has been a complete and utter failure, I'll go with the guy who voted against him 90 percent of the time.

    September 15, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
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