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. Scott, Wichita

    so, McCain voted with his party 90% of the time, and B-O voted with his 97% of the time. Doesn't that, by their own arguement, mean that McCain is less partisan than Obama? Isn't that what this whole campaign is about? Change from standard partisan politics?

    September 15, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  2. America we believe in

    Mcane/Palin lies will always catch up with you . Americans are not stupid at all. 51 lies in such a short time? what a dishonest man you are how then do we trust you with our lives.
    Mcane , You have lost my Vote!
    Obama/Biden 08
    Clinton '12

    September 15, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  3. Meg In RVA

    Honestly, if I see one more person state "What exactly is Obama going to change? What are his policies? He's all talk, talk, talk", I might honestly pull my hair out. Instead of being spoon-fed everything about the campaign, why don't you pull up a simple website and find out his ideas and policies? The same goes for John McCain. Neither candidate is going in without a plan. You just have to have a teeny bit of motivation and an ounce of literary comprehension in order to figure it out.

    September 15, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  4. John Kaleto

    When, oh, when will Obama stop playing the victim?

    September 15, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  5. Martin

    The more negative McCain/Palin get, the more I will donate to Obama and the Democrats. No amount of money is too much as long as it prevents the despicable Repubs from STEALING another election.

    September 15, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  6. John in Oregon

    Yes the John McCain of 2000 is nowhere to be seen this time around. Maybe this is the "Change in Washington" McCain is saying he is ready to bring. If John McCain thinks going Rove is the way to win then he really is tied closer to Bush then we all thought.

    September 15, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  7. Anonymous

    macain and his mate lie, does palin not know how to talk normal language, we are not guys and gals, we are desperate men and women that want to hear real answers, not treated like we are little kids!

    September 15, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. Annie

    So I guess the media will obsess itself with Obama news about how McCain is a liar. Just who first started calling someone blatant liars – the party who promised change in the tone of politics, the ones who cannot haul in enough money to put their campaign ahead of McCain, the party who won their nomination by turning a past President and First Lady into closet racists so they could force her to drop out, the party who runs on the exact same mantra of change and a different Washington that Bush ran on. And it appears that the moderators are fulfilling their duties in promoting most of the comments as anti McCain, so this will once again be written in vain to disappear never to be seen again except on my screen.

    September 15, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  9. M.B. from Berlin FOR OBAMA

    Old McCain is dumb as a bucket of shrimp...

    Obama/Biden 2008!

    September 15, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  10. larry wi

    Wahhh, Wahhh, Wahhh, both side are doing and will do it, other than being boring and comical only a fool would pay attention to these adv anyway. So let them each have fun with it.

    September 15, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |

    John McCain cannot hold a candle to sleazball obama and the filth he and his campaign AND supporters have upshucked through this campaign.
    Obama is scared to death of Hillary AND McCain. He couldn't face McCain with debates until the very last minute. Obama was a joke and still is a joke.

    September 15, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  12. Republicans Hate America

    That is all McCain has unfortunately the inbreeds of this country do not find relevance in the truth.

    September 15, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  13. JohnBoy










    September 15, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. Alex Martin

    Obama needs to fight back. We all know McCain isnt going to stop. So even though I hate it Obama will have to get more dirty.... just stay away from the pig jokes.

    September 15, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  15. Chris in VA

    Interesting, all you OBAMA loving dems. You equate Mr. Rove as the Anti-Christ, yet quote him when it fits in with your narrow view of the world. You didn't quite read the full quote – understandable, the main stream and even CNN burried it – Karl said BOTH campaigns were running ads that were not 100% accurate. Yet, I don't see you bemoaning what a liar OBAMA is. Your hypocritial bent belies the true negativity of the do-nothing party that the Democrats are. Once again (like under Clinton) you throw your trust at someone who promises change, but there is no history or proof that your candidate who has had ample opportunity to do something in Congress, will do anything. He has abdicated too many times. McCain's record is 90% with Bush, but OBAMA is 100% with the other "Do-nothings." Of course you think McCain is lying, you only believe what the liberal press teaches you – step out of your indoctrination, and start thinking for yourselves – it will be hard at first, but I have faith you'll be able to do it!

    September 15, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  16. cgm

    Apparently the tide has turned against Obama/Biden, and they know it. In desperation they have resorted to these nasty and false tactics. You can tell this is so by the tone of many of the Obama supporters here. They are very upset, because while not wanting to admit it they can see the writing on the wall, or at least see the shifting polls. While I am not a McCain supporter, I have to admit his election will be a lot less frightening then putting an empty suit in office.

    September 15, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  17. g

    Oh, and nobama hasn't lied out his butt? Like promising to take public financing and doing the opposite. Or when he claims WIlliam Ayers is just "someone who lives in his neighborhood" yet now claims him as a friend. Or when he went to Wright's church for 20 years yet claimed he never heard the Rev.'s anti-white, anti-American tirades. Or when he said candidate's families were "off-limits" and now is playing an add attacking McCain's first marriage ending in divorce. What a joke and a hypocrite this guy is. And the American people are seeing through this empty suit.

    September 15, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  18. Quinn - Houston, Texas

    Obama was smart to wait to as long as he did to respond to McCain's sleezy ads. Everyone will remember that McCain is the one who set the negative tone.

    At least when Barack attacks, he uses the TRUTH to do it!

    Vote NO to Bush – The Sequel

    Obama / Biden 08!

    September 15, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  19. Mel

    I am sure this article meant that Mc Cain captured Republican Nomination. It is good to see some fight in these candidates but I think we need to be focusing on the issues. I believe that this election will produce an America and an American image for the next generation. We cannot afford to be complacent and apathetic. There is too much work to be done here at home and we need someone with the vision and grit to see the future trends and be willing to take the hard right choices for a better America. I don't take much stock on the negative ads on either side but I do take a hard look at who has the plan and who is better for our country. From someone who voted for Reagan I firmly believe that man is Obama.

    September 15, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  20. Phoenician, AZ

    To "paling power":

    This is EXACTLY what separates McCain's ads. They are LIES and American voters are starting to see through them. You, yourself, are such a pathetic liar, "paling power". Cry me a river, but American women are for Obama, not for uneducated, arrogant, paranoidal megalomaniac Palin (war with Russia, is she insane?!) or her pathetic running mate 🙂 McShame!

    September 15, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |

    Couldn't agree more. McCain has gone over the line. His interview on the View was a disgrace. His response to the statement about Palin being the greatest VP nominee was "well we all exagerate a little bit". She said Nucular twice in her Charles Gibson interview. And these are the candidates of "moral values"?

    Go Obama and Biden, two experienced and honest future leaders of this country and the world.

    September 15, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  22. Wake Up Zombies!!!

    McCain is the pig and Sarah Palin is the lipstick distracting all of the Zombies.

    September 15, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  23. Phil Newton in Murphy, Oregon

    When even Karl Rove says you've "Gone too far," you know you have gone from merely smelly to outright putrid.

    Pathetic, John.


    September 15, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  24. Carol

    McCain is a desperate, vile, person. With the condition the US is in now, I am shocked that anyone would consider continuing along the Republican path.

    A desperate old man, who will do anything to fulfill his goal, and an unqualified woman who will set women's rights back 30 years. What a pair! Who are these crazy people who are supporting these two?

    September 15, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  25. Tolu

    McCain's fake honorable airs are so friggin' repulsive, if one could die of disgust, I'd be long gone. Beady eyed, self serving, desperate reptile.

    September 15, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
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