September 15th, 2008
12:27 PM ET
6 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. mike

    Finally John MCain, that straight talking man of honor is being called out for what he really is. A little old liar. Time and again we have seen the republicans use these vile smear tactics and it is good to see the media catching on and finally calling it for what it is. What's worse is McCains' lame rebuttal that this is happening because there are no town hall style debates. What a crock. McCain has reversed himself from a once maverick to a typical republcian, incapable of producing any ideas and using negative attacks to try to persuade the public. Despicable behavior from someone who touts himself as an honest and honorable man. He is neither.

    September 15, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  2. Palin 2012

    oh Patty you silly hillary supporter, We don't need you to defend us. Hillary lied in her campaign. Where do we even start with that. anyway, please go home and take your witch hillary with you. We don't need you pumas anymore.

    palin 2012

    September 15, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  3. bagman27

    Rudy in NYC,

    You are mistaken. By the same study, Obama voted with Bush 85% of the time. This is because the vast majority of votes are unanimous. And he voted lock-step with his party 97% of the time.

    September 15, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  4. Susan

    I think Barbara Walter's said it best. Who is McCain going to change? Himself?

    September 15, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  5. Joan C

    Obama can not really be saying that...he has done nothing but call poeple liars and then he runs an ad stating John McCain doesn't even do his own e-mails... HE CAN'T MOVE HIS ARMS!!!! REMEMBER he defended his COUNTRY!!! You talk about being VILE!

    September 15, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  6. Nik

    McCain/Palin strategy: Attack, lie, deny.

    September 15, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  7. Lynn: a 60 yr old, white Obama supporter

    NATO and the world support Obama: they were RIGHT not to support the invasion of Iraq, they were Right about not supporting 4 more years of Bush and they are RIGHT that America and the world can't take four more years of the same old of McCain.

    Obama was received with respect by leaders of all stripes on his Mid Eastern and European tour. He received praise for his knowledge and judgement about world affairs.

    McCain can talk all he wants about experience but the WORLD doesn't support his philosophy or positions and they will not support him.

    September 15, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  8. Chad in Cincinnati

    Karl Rove thinks the McCain Camp. has sunk to a new low... As Rove is responsible for setting the previous low, this speaks for itself.

    September 15, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  9. Sylvia

    The McCain campaign is so full of sarcasm and hate. Everytime they are quetioned on real issues, they get defensive.

    September 15, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  10. Leia

    McCain promised to run a clean campaign. Promised, and then brought on the smears. He was slamming, gouging, and attacking Obama and family.

    Then when Obama says, "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!" and hits back, McCain whines about the attacks.

    I feel sory for the Republican supporters who would rather support this man with his dishonesty and his female sidekick than choose change with Obama. Too bad race still rules with some people.

    Help us Obewon Obama. You're our only hope.

    September 15, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  11. Melly

    Going to write Obama a check for this Ads and all other ads that Exposes Republican LIES from now on. For every Ad like this, they are going to get a check from me for sure.

    September 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  12. Purple Heart

    2 Denise P Quinton – Oh, please... McCain is a "hero" and should not be attacked? :) What about swift boating Kerry? Kerry is a TRUE hero. Yet republican scum diminished his service and even attacked his Purple Heart. Weren't you ashamed back then? NO? Oh, you are SOOOOO consistent, aren't you! :)

    September 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. Melanie, MD

    It is about time the Democrats started swinging back. The SNL skit nailed it, the media needs to go after Palin in the same way they've been going after everyone else, and trhe Democrats should call McCain on his dishonor in this campaign. Throw it out there during the debates and maybe we can get one of McCain's legendary melt downs in front of a national audience. Lesson from Kerry's campaign–don't let them swift boat you in October!! Go get them now.

    September 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  14. KL

    All I hear is a bunch of people worrying about lies – what a crock! Do you know of any politician that has not lied to get into office? What about the issues at hand? The ecomony, the war – that is all we ever
    hear about. Is there any solutions? By reading all the comments all I see is we have had good years with the Democrats, blah, blah, blah.
    Anyone remember old man Reagan – We had the best 8 years of our lives with him. He was republican!! Obama has all these plans, but has anyone actually stopped to look into them. Let bring the boys and girls home from war!!! Do you realize that the ecomomy not only gets worse but you are giving the enemy the chance to invade our country and bring the war to the USA!! All the enlisted people coming back get their jobs back!! Talk about the ecomony going to crap then. Yeah, we the people are paying for it by having a huge deficent, but it is the american people that are enlisted that are benefiting from it. I want the ecomony to turn around as anyone else out there. But neither candidate is going to do this as quickly as america wants. Obama will absolutely do it ALOT slower. McCain will keep the war where it is at and at least keep this ecomony from going into a deep recession. Congress will keep anything from happening anyway. I believe McCain is way different than BUSH. You will not see another 4 years of the same thing – BUT THAT WILL BE UP TO CONGRESS NOW WON"T IT!! Put the blame where is really needs to be!!

    September 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  15. CRAZY

    YES HE IS A BIG FAT LIAR. AND CROOKED ALSO.

    OBAMA......08

    September 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  16. milo

    This ad is right on target. McCain's lies have been disgraceful, the media has called him on it (even generally conservative media outlets), and the public should be aware.

    September 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  17. Jamison

    Typical democrat comeback.

    Baseless and without facts.

    Funny watching all of the un-educated lemmings march in lock step with their dictator Obama!

    What ever will you all do on November 5th???

    Cry 'unfair' election again??

    September 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  18. JJ

    Nice ad Obama! Hit 'em hard but hit him with the truth!

    September 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  19. JC in Michigan

    It's getting to the point where the Republican ticket is showing their uncertainty by the knee jerk reactions.

    Palin – What a joke. New dirt comes in on her dishonesty seemingly every day. If ya want lies, just listen to her list of accomplishments.

    Lies? Yup, it's what they have been forced into. More and more Americans are seeing the light on the Republican greed machine.

    September 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  20. John in Ohio

    Facts are facts. Sorry McCain, sorry blind McCain supporters, sorry people convinced that the nasty liberal media is picking on you, the facts are the facts and the lies are the lies. When you lie and get called on it and keep lying, you're going to deservedly take a lot of flak for it.

    September 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  21. SUE IN CT

    Time is running out! Ignore Palin and go after McCain about the issues with all you've got! There is nothing left to discuss except the ISSUES. You go, guys!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    September 15, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  22. Chad

    he stole obama's message of change and then straight up lies in his attack ads, and republicans are too dumb or ignorant to see through it. i can't wait for the debates when people can actually see the two of them together and realize that mccain has nothing to offer. the same goes for palin and biden. that's when things are going to change pretty rapidly, the rest of this is just a waste of everyone's time.

    September 15, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  23. Chris (CT)

    I can't say this enough times...John McCain is incompetent. We can't afford another 4 years with an incompetent president. The fact that he's blaming Obama for the tone is laughable and yet sad. This guy is off the maverick reservation.

    September 15, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  24. David

    Two points. First, Obama wanted a "positive" campaign and then runs this ad which is 100 percent negative. Second, the housing crisis is creation of Deomocratic policies. It was a Democratic congress pushing for an affirmative action policy in lending, that lead banks to give mortgages to people who had no understanding of what they where getting into and did not understand a "balloon" mortgage.

    September 15, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  25. tydicea

    McCain says: 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.

    Neither are you McCain. For someone I'd admired over the years you have proven to be a shameless, dishonorable and loathsome fraud to every principle, pronouncement you allegeded.

    September 15, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14