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. Shari, NY

    The ad depicting computer illiteracy is a bit below the belt but, hey, this is the truth whereas the other side's ads tell lies.

    September 15, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    McCain would rather win an election than tell you the truth.

    September 15, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  3. James

    It is not a smear Senator McCain if your lies can be documented.

    It is not disrespectful Senator McCain if your voice comes on at the end of political ad approving the add when the add itself is a lie.

    You have Phil Graham, one of the architects of the current deregulation catatstrophy who called Americans whiners, and two economists from the Bush whitehouse as your economic advosors. You have no answers or relief for the American people. If thought that Bush's policies were a disaster you would not have his advisors as your advisors.

    Americans wake up.

    Enough is enough.

    September 15, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  4. Chris

    McSame and Palin are nothing but liars. They won't be getting my vote!

    Obama-Biden '08!

    September 15, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  5. Spencer from VA

    Stop blaming the media for being bias. They are not. They just recognize and realize how out of touch you are with average Americans. Sen. McCain's campaign is making me sick to my stomach. Any honor he had, is now gone!!!

    September 15, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  6. arc, Lugano CH

    The Obama campaign is talking about issues. The McCain campaign is talking about Obama.

    Great Minds Speak of Ideas.
    Small Minds Speak Only of Other People.

    McCain is a bitter, sick, old man and a liar; who due to his age and failing health, would most likely not even see out a first term in office.

    A Palin Presidency would be an utter disaster of a magnitude this country and the world has never seen.

    September 15, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  7. John, FL

    Good, they need to call him out.

    September 15, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  8. Pick Me! Pick Me!

    All anyone who thinks for themselves has to do is check the political fact check for the truth. Those who relay on Radio Hosts or T.V or Blogs to think for them are doing a disservice to themselves and to their children or future children.

    Become an informed voter one who knows where both candidates stand on the issues. If you say that so-in-so does not have a plan, in truth it means you, as a voter, didn't bother to do your homework or don't care about the future of this country. Actually I find it to be quite unpatriotic.

    September 15, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  9. Tony




    September 15, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  10. SG


    September 15, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  11. Seth in Jacksonville

    It's sad that this is even going on. This was supposed to be a clean campaign and McCain blames Obama for these ads by saying he should have agreed to ten town hall debates. No, the bottom line is, you should be advertising on your strengths, not attacking Obama with lies.

    September 15, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  12. mitchell

    when we cease changing
    something inside us goes to sleep
    and gets harder to wake up

    wake up america! put aside your racial bias'!
    we are all americans and obama will bring the change we need.

    September 15, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  13. A Patel

    Obama / Clinton means Obama respect to american woman.McCain take a good opportunity.

    September 15, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  14. Jason

    I thought that the Obama campaign was playing a new style of politics, not the "Rovian" politics. I thought he was going to be running a positive campaign only, staying with the message of change.

    So basically, when push comes to shove, Obama submits to dirty-style politics and goes back on his promises yet again from the primaries. This guy has lost all credibility in my book.

    September 15, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  15. Amy in Woodstock, NY

    Yes, when will the media itself "grow a pair"? It took the ladies of The View to call McCain out on his outright lies about Obama. And it took a SNL parody to tell the media to grow a pair and ask Palin to be held accountable for her lies about her record in Alaska.

    Like Abe Lincoln said "Keep telling lies about me, and I will start telling the truth about you." The Obama is starting to tell the truth about McCain and Palins lies. I just pray the media will be fair and also call out the Republican tickets outright lies in this campaign.

    September 15, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  16. Dee Jay a young republican

    Thats right get em Obama


    September 15, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  17. LaVern

    It is about time Democrats started to hit back. Enough is enough! Show Americans what the Republicans are made of, lies, deception and mistruths.

    September 15, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  18. RIN

    well this ad is truthful unlike Mccains

    September 15, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  19. Sarah.....and my last name isn't Palin!

    Thank you team Obama! The truth will be worse than hell.

    Obama/Biden' 08

    September 15, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  20. Paul from NYC

    Good! Obama/Biden need to hit now and hit HARD.

    September 15, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  21. Ian M

    About fricking time.

    September 15, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  22. Carol for McCain all the way

    OK GUY'S Lets focus on issues Whats wrong in America Lets FIX our problems Lets get UNITED in the direction we need to go OUR FUTURE is at steak. Never mind what went on in the past, this is NOW and it is time to resolve the failings of our economy, security and other woes of our great nation. Its time to clean up the "house" and show the world what we are made of. A GREAT NATION, UNITED, indivisible, with LIBERTY and JUSTICE for all. A FREE PEOPLE STANDING UP with its EXPERIENCED LEADER. One for ALL and ALL FOR ONE. One NATION under GOD.

    September 15, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  23. The BOTTOM Line......

    LIES AND MORE LIES.........

    September 15, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  24. Maggie VT

    He has no more honor. He sold his soul to the people who he says are causing the problems.

    September 15, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  25. Bulldog

    Good, the one respected and respectable John McCain is now a liar and deceiver. He is using the same reform slogans that George Bush used in 2000 and today is repeats that he thinks the fundamental of this economy is strong as we see the largest banks in America going under. Wow, if that's his judgment I'm scared he actually has a chance to get to the White House.

    September 15, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
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