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. Kay Kay

    I used to like McCain. He had one of the dirtiest campaigns ever run against him, so he of all people should be fighting this trash. Watching him defend the actions makes me miss the old McCain. Too bad that guys not running in this election.

    September 15, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  2. J J

    let there be truth! September 15th, 2008 11:16 am ET

    "McCain will do anything, say anything and be anything just to win this election."

    So will Obama!

    September 15, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  3. MikeH

    Gotta go for the throat Obama, don't let up, don't even blink, the future of a Constitutional Democratic America is in your hands.

    If you lose, imagine America without the Bill of Rights, no Habeus Corpus. Americans will be tortured and murdered for their sins, for their skin color. The Palin Church of Holy Warfare will be the new Department of Justice.

    September 15, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  4. Casey

    it's "bias" that makes the things that mccain says not consistent with the verifiable facts? I love how every time mccain is criticized, his campaign counters with some charge that the criticism is unfair or offensive, completely ignoring the fact that the attacks are either based on valid issues or completely verifiable, legitimate information.

    first it was "offensive" when his record and public statements on issues were used against him, now it's "bias" when people show evidence that things he says aren't true?

    this is really the most absurd campaign i've ever seen on any level.

    September 15, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  5. Southerner

    Too funny. Obama of all people claiming that anyone else is running a dirty campaign, with all the dirt and nasty tricks his campaign has thrown out htere.

    Just another one of his "we can do it to you, but you're not allowed to do it back to me or you're racist" spiels.

    September 15, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  6. Obamabot-purchased CNN Moderator

    In Related news, Charlie Rangel has had to hire a forensic acc't to untangle his own web of lies.

    So much for the DNC bringing us change we can believe in.

    September 15, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  7. Mike Reynolds from Boston

    Obama and his mouthpieces can describe McCain as a liar and his campaign as filthy, sleezy, vile, disgraceful, dishonest, etc., as long as they want. It won't change the fact that Obama engaged in dirty, sleezy underhanded, backstabbing Chicago politics to win his first election by default, after his goons had destroyed his two running mates on technicalities, eliminating them from the ballot. Of course he won; he ran unopposed.
    All of this frantic name-calling and distortions of McCain's record only serves to show the panic mode of the Obama campaign. These guys blew a great opportunity and they know it. See what happens when arrogance and cockiness take over?

    September 15, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  8. Lemmings

    A remarkable number of Obama-lemmings commenting here! Thankfully there exist some thinkers beyond the confines of this blog...

    September 15, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  9. Sarah

    "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."

    Hey, worked for George Bush, didn't it?

    Let's hope we're smart enough not to get fooled the third time!

    Love the new ad!

    September 15, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  10. Liz in Ohio

    The Republicans still insist on shameless lies to propel their conservatism. I believe it was Gering who in the 30's helped to propel the Nazi's to power who said that they can control the people if the people are scared (or something like that). Again, all the Republicans want to do now is scare us. Well, I AM NOT scared and we need to vote these idiots out! We have had 8 years of scare tactics and promises that never were kept.
    As for Palin ... what a JOKE! Who is she kidding that she's ready to lead. I wouldn't follow her into a WalMart!

    September 15, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  11. Lynne - Seattle WA

    It's about time they called him on his lies! Go team Obama!

    September 15, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  12. Tony



    September 15, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. John

    I was for Obama at one time but I cannot stand for his team using such blatant smear tactics since Gov Palin came on the ticket. Obama's team is responsible for this forray into smear and now he has the gall to put the blame on McCain? I can see through Obama and he is no different than any other politician. I am voting for the Patriot who will keep America strong, John McCain!

    September 15, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  14. jackie

    Wake up people - unless the economy and the military situation are fixed –IT MATTERS NOT whether Roe vs Wade stands... these are things that can be discussed and worked on but they are NOT what is going to keep the USA alive

    September 15, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  15. MikeH

    By the way CNN, who's your weekend moderator for the Ticker?

    I think you should replace this person, they are probably a Republican Operative trying to skew the ticker posts for the Republican agenda.

    September 15, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  16. sudha

    The whole world supports Obama....see the polls from 22 countries announced in CNN this morning. Why can't you American's see through MCBush/Palin!!!!!!!

    Please don't go for another 4 years of doom and gloom.

    September 15, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  17. Terry, NJ

    Wahhh wahhh wahhh goes the Koolaid Drinkers. All Obama does is spout imaginary BS to despondent people who will believe anything they are told. The guy is in the senate not even one term and half way into it, his 1st term, decides he wants to President next. All he does is label McCain as four more years of Bush. Well, he always has the gullible and naive voting for him not on experience or ideas on how to solve problems but on him promising everyone a free Unicorn if you vote for him. Stop being stupid people. Don't drinkt the Koolaid. RESEARCH candidates and don't simply believe ads that one campaign or the other puts out. You're quick to dismiss McCain ads and call them lies but do a fact check on the candidates. Obama has been in the US senate ONE term. HALF his term has been spent running for President. He's voted WITH bush 33-50% of the time, not including the times instead of voting YES or NO, he only voted PRESENT! WAKE UP PEOPLE! NOBAMA!

    September 15, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  18. DKaylan

    I'm waiting for an article or commentary that points out something all Americans need to wake up and recognize – Obama picked a vice president to help him govern this country in these challenging times, while McCain picked a vice president to help him campaign and somehow pull a fast one over the eyes of America. If heaven help us McCain is elected President of the United States, he has put this country in great peril by putting Palin one step away from being Commander in Chief. His choice clearly shows McCain is not putting "Country First," he's putting "McCain First," and that is extremely alarming and disturbing. We've already had 8 years of a President and Vice President who put themselves and their own interests ahead of this country's. PLEASE AMERICA, WAKE UP AND DON'T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE A THIRD TIME!!!

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 15, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  19. Rose

    I don't think Obama has anthing to brag about, his surrogates do his dirty work. Look at the sleaze that they threw at Palin. I am not sure if everyone who has made comments know that the Dems stooped so low as to ask about Sarah Palin's contractions during birth, talk about sleaze. Sure Obama stays quiet but lets his lowlifes do his dirty work.

    September 15, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. Paula Lacey

    Sarah go home and raise your children. They are crying out for attention. Your oldest two are running wild and out of control., and your baby needs you 24/7 GIrls need their mother. Family first. Jacqueline Kennedy said "If a woman fails at raising her children, nothing else she does in life matters" It's not about what men and women want for themselves, but what children need.

    September 15, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  21. Democracynow2008

    jason be honest your a McBush Republican.
    This ad tells the truth about Mccain.
    Don't try and pose as a person that had respect for Obama be honest you do not even support Obama and never respected him .
    Your just as bad as Mccain

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 15, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  22. David

    Obama can dish it out but, he can't take it......

    Just imagine what Putin will do to him

    September 15, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  23. Obamabot-purchased CNN Moderator

    Liar, liar pants on fire?

    THIS is Obama's new platform?

    Hillary 2012

    September 15, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  24. George from Staten Island

    The one problem I see with the Democrats is that, other than George Bush they have not other thing against the Republicans, it is becoming repetitive and boring...

    September 15, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  25. Hypocrits for Obama

    Obama set the tone- criticize your opponent, instead of putting forth your own (non-existent) merits.

    Obama is always blowing his own horn about his perfect vision, his perfect judgment, his perfect plans.... while tearing down the ACTUAL work and achievements of others.

    Just like he mocked Sarah Palin's for having few credentials and little experience – which actually is as much if not MORE than his own total lack of experience.

    Obama has done nothing to brag about- it is not going negative to state that.

    September 15, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
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