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. mel from Ohio

    Even Karl ROVE has said that the tone is bad and not useful....unbelievable for ROVE to say that!!!! However, people are still watching him out of the corner of their eyes to see what kind of spin comes along with this statement.

    September 15, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  2. I Love My Country

    Nothing "happened" to McCain. His honor was paper thin in the beginning. As I've said before, what kind of "hero" comes back home and leaves his disabled wife and three kids for a roll in the hay with Cindy Lou? He is no hero and he's not honorable. The true John McCain is coming out. The man who says "Country First" and then selects a dimwit who says her foreign policy experience is "looking at Russia from Alaska", and she was dead serious. The problem is, we really don't know how long John's 72 year heart and his cancer stability is going to last. So selecting John McCain is the same as selecting Sarah. I love my country too much than to select a woman who CLEARLY is not ready for the position. The Dems know that, the Repubs know that, and let's face it, John knows it too.

    No more idiots in the White House.

    America 08

    September 15, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  3. Bob in California

    My belief is that the negative tone of the campaign by both sides is a direct result of the two candidates not being able to engage one another face-to-face. I was looking forward to Senator Obama engaging Senator McCain in town hall style debates. I believe if Mr. Obama had kept his promise to accept Mr. McCain's invitation to debate in such a forum, then so much of what we see today in negative ads would have been mitigated. Debating one another through the media and in particular through advertisments is not an effective dialogue. Engaging one another face-to-face is what American voters need to see. The reality is that such a forum is a strong suite for Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama's handlers know this. Thus the debate by way of advertisements.

    September 15, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  4. Carolyn

    WAY TO GO ...JUST STICK TO THE TRUTH BECAUSE THE TRUTH ALWAYS OUT SHINE A LIE. THE REPUBLICAN PARTY REPRESENT DECIET AND LIES. THE REPULICAN DO NOT REPRESENT CHANGE. WHAT'S THE DEFINITION OF INSANITY: INSANITY IS DOING THE SAME "OLD" THING BUT EXPECATING A DIFFERENT OUTCOME..."NOT THAT'S INSANITY" AND THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. WHY SHOULD THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ENTRUST THEM WITH FOUR MORE YEAR. YOU'RE CRAZY IF YOU DO!

    OBAMA/BIDEN!

    September 15, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  5. joe m

    dems should not delude themselves. they are as guilty of putting out as many lies and half-truths about their opponents. for dems to step up their attack, unfortunately show them, to me, as more and more willing to play by the old washington tactics of personal destruction and distraction. i would rather hear more details about obama's plans on how he would change things. i would rather hear how obama plans to put into action his proposals. i would rather hear how obama intends to explain the inconsistencies that his opponents report are present in his proposals. but to hear obama and his surrogates branding the republican ticket as liars and sleazy just disappoints me. obama promised better, and if his rational with his turn of tactics is that he is simply responding to comments made against him, my question to him is does a wrong correct another wrong? i hoped for better from both these men. i had hoped for a chance for a race that discussed issues and that would stay away from this kind of slime-gutter politics. i suppose hope is dead and i should not feel too guilty of not bothering to participate in this election, as in the past.

    September 15, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  6. Larry Kincaid

    About time. Run it every day till election day.

    September 15, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  7. Reject the slime

    I just heard McCain drew only 3,000 to an arena that holds 16,000 in Florida without his Caribou Barbie doll. Nobody wants him!

    America is in serious trouble if they elect this lying old tart just because they fear Obama.

    September 15, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  8. Tim

    He Cnn!!! Where is the link??? Why is it that when McCain has a new add, it always includes a link??? Not asking for any special treatment for Obama. Just asking you to do your stinking jobs fairly!!!! Don't care if you print this!!!

    September 15, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. VCC

    How can a man of honor and valor get himself into this dirty of a fight out of desperation. He saw how Bush won and now he is doing the same thing only he is taking it further than even Karl Rove would go. What a sleaze! I guess when you think one lie is not so bad the a bunch of lies get easier to tell. GO Obama give 'em hell!

    September 15, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  10. e.j.mohammed

    I thought McCain an honorable man until until he decided to go with Rove politics! What a shame what has happened to him! Obama has to defend himself he can't just sit back and let the McCain camp make false charges!
    E.J in Tacoma

    September 15, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  11. Dee

    It was about time!. We have been told so many lies by McCain, it is shameful. The ease with which Sen. Obama's record is distorted is appalling. Hopefully, we are wise enough to show all repugs the door in Nov

    September 15, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. RH

    It doesn't matter. The last two campaign cycles have taught the Republicans that no amount of revelation or debunking will stop Americans believing the lies they want to hear.

    September 15, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  13. let there be truth!

    McCain will do anything, say anything and be anything just to win this election. He has changed his stance, he has doubletalked and lied and has picked someone he does`nt know as a running mate. whatelse can he do to convince you all that he is dead serious about winning this....

    September 15, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  14. Alisa--GA

    FINALYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 15, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  15. Todd in SC

    FINALLY!!! The American people need to know the TRUTH about McCain and his outright lies and fearmongering. If you really don't think McCain is lying and stooping to a new low, just look at what Karl Rove said about it.
    "McCain has gone in some of his ads - similarly gone one step too far," he told Fox News, "and sort of attributing to Obama things that are, you know, beyond the '100 percent truth' test."

    September 15, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  16. Tom

    McCain and Palin think their best chance at the White House is to lie their way to it. And they've said they don't care who knows it (or "how the media filters it").

    So, will America accept being lied to again and again or will they finally stand up to the politics they claim to hate?

    September 15, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  17. Jason, OH

    How does a presidential candidate who runs as 'honor' as his platform recover from an ad like this???

    Oh yeah, watch the MSM not even cover it...that's how.

    September 15, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  18. Justin, ny

    51 lies!!!!

    HOW CAN WE ELECT SOMEONE WHO HAS ALREADY LIED TO US 51 TIMES!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 15, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  19. Silence Dogood

    Obama has lied from day one. His policies (or lack thereof), his racist church that he didn't hear anything in, his big lobby money, his shady friends, campaigning in federal buildings and saying he is not, claiming DNC unity with protesters in a holding-area, etc. etc.

    Since anyone can google and see the lists of Obama lies, he is looking very desparate now by whining like this.

    And he lied that he is not worried about the polls too. HA.

    Check out your favorite 3rd party! Protest the 2 party system of corporate friends.

    September 15, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  20. Bob

    This AD is true and over due. McBush looks to you, smiles, says my friends, and then lies though his teeth. Like telling the E Bay sell the Jet for a Profit story over and over again. Long after everyone knew the story was false and the jet was brokered for a substantial loss. Last week McDraft accused Obama of not supporting military development.
    He told this bald faced lie even though we heard him say in July that the Pentagons Future Combat Systems Development Program was a waste and should be scrapped. It just goes on and on. The media needs to hold McBush accountable for his lies like the View did. Then America can decide on the issues not on war hero stories and Caribou Barbie beauty contests.

    September 15, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  21. IAIAIAIAIAIAIAIAIAIAIAI

    T H I S---F R O M --–P E O P L E---W H O-–L I K E D--–

    T H E--–P I G--–L I P T S T I C K---T H E M E

    September 15, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  22. Diamond

    About time they put out an ad about Mccain, Im happy, it tells the truth. Mccain and his "campaign" just wants to distract people from the issues, by focusing on petty things that aren't going to help people. I wonder How is the mccain campaign going to respond to this?

    September 15, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  23. Open Your 3rd Eye

    MY COUNTRY IS BROKEN.

    MY FELLOW AMERICANS HAVE ABANDONED ME.

    THEY COULD SCREW US FOR THE 3RD TIME STRAIGHT.

    MY DAUGHTER IS ONLY 3.

    HOPE IS DYING.

    FEAR LIVES ON.

    IGNORANCE IS BLISS.

    AMERICANS ARE SLEEPING.

    AND MY RAGE IS BULIDING.

    September 15, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  24. Vic

    To all those who care for the truth - or would know it if they saw it - there are enough lies, starting with Obama and friends, to go around. While I'd love to get rid of that "PIG" analogy both campaigns are fond OF, here's one more: THE STUCK PIG ALWAYS SQUEALS THE LOUDEST!

    September 15, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  25. pat C.

    i love it....a clock of lies. way to go obama fight this fool with truth!!
    I LOVE YOU OBAMA AND JOE!

    September 15, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
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