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. JT

    I guess the Left feels the best away to avoid being accused of lying and smearing is to accuse the other side of lying and smearing first. That seems to be in line with the general methodology of the Obama campaign in the past months. Lets give the America far left more content to rabidly scream about.

    September 15, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  2. Unempressed

    McCain puts himself B4 country in this election!

    – Caved to his party's needs
    – Says Obama wants to teach 5 yr olds about sex
    – Repeats proven lies (bridge to nowhere, eBay, pipeline, Palin's foreign visit to Ireland, Iraq (aka never happened))
    – Anti earmarks/lobbyists? yet surrounds himself with them

    He's not stretching the truth... he's outright lieing and knows it!

    September 15, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  3. John in Ohio

    "Hey Obama if you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen. "

    So you're okay with electing a liar?

    September 15, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  4. Tony

    Oh yes, and Obama's campaign has just been a buncha little cherubs haven't they? They react to the slightest insult like a high school girls, unleashing lies right back at them and then complain that the media isn't keeping McCain in check. Talk about hypocritical...

    September 15, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  5. karen

    The most interesting thing of all is when Mccain is questioned about his lies, he blames it on Obama for not doing town hall meeting with him. It's typical behavior for someone who is an abuser; put the blame on the other person.

    September 15, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. Candy West Virginia

    To all the republican sheep out there blindly supporting mccain/palin can you even name their policies?.................besides attack Obama of course..........................................................................................................................................................................I'm waiting...........................................

    September 15, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  7. Pam

    Well according to McCain, this is all Obama's fault for not doing 10 town hall meetings with him. Is this an election for the highest office in the United States or recess at an elementary school? It's interesting that a 72 year old man needs to be told to grow up.

    September 15, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  8. Karen

    TRUTH: Barack Obama will lower taxes for 95% of Americans. No longer will the oil companies and other corporations control Washington. Are you better off than you were seven years ago? Does the news of Wall Street scare you today? It scares me. John McCain will continue the Bush policies of the last seven years, and it won't get any better. John McCain will continue to do the same Bush things over and over again and expect different results. Barack Obama has been the change candidate from the start. Don't let McCain's all-of-a-sudden message of "change" fool you. He has sunk to such a low level and is no longer worthy of the respect he once had. McCain puts himself first before his country every day. Finally, my only child, a son, will be 17 in a couple of months. I don't want war monger in the White House who agrees that re-instituting the draft is a good idea. He can't have my boy. The Vietnam was is over. We lost. Move on.

    September 15, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  9. Ryan

    Please post this:

    CNN and the rest of the media have been trying too hard to be "balanced" but in doing so have been failing at their jobs. The media should report the facts and point out when a campaign is lying. Instead, since McCain's camp has been lying much more, the media largely lets them get away with it or follows up a fact check by pointing out some smaller misstep by the Obama campaign that tries to make them look even. When one campaign is lying constantly about the other, it is the media's job to report that these are lies and what the truth actually is. Not just say "the Obama camp claims this is a lie." The facts are clear.. McCain is lying.

    September 15, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  10. Mike

    More Lies and Sleaze from the McCain Campaign all accompanied by false outrage and the media is still pushing it. The question is the American electorate still as stupid as they were in the last eight years.

    September 15, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  11. Anita from Arizona

    The Palin pick is solid proof of McCain's poor judgment.

    September 15, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  12. A CANUCK

    Thank God for factcheck,org......but then we already knew that John McCain the war hero is no longer an honrable man and is living in the past most Senior Citizens.

    September 15, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  13. John in Ohio

    I guess by McCain standards Karl Rove is now a liberal journalist with a bias against a Republican candidate.

    September 15, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  14. M.B. from Berlin FOR OBAMA

    well guys read the time-story that is linked at

    McCain's campaign is a joke. and his crocodile tears and the abuse of the media will cause a backlash that this campaign won't survive, I tell you. 😉

    Obama+Biden for landslide!

    September 15, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  15. Charlene

    Jaye's comment only goes to show how democrates are blindly being led to have faith in someone who won his first election by a technicality, then voted "Present" 189 times on key issues in Illinois, proceeded to get bashed in a congressional bid, begged for help from his State Senate President who got him a speaking slot on the COnvention floor, then annouced his candidacy for the US senate literally weeks before his free ride at the convention.... This guy has nothing and is nothing and never WILL be anything without having some sort of experience where he votes like a man and an American. Palin knows FAR more about running an office than this guy, and HE wants to be president? Please people.. OH PLEASE!!!!

    September 15, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  16. linda

    does anyone have the link to the website 'count the lies'. I would like to take a looksie.
    obama/biden '08

    September 15, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  17. jaye

    The repulicans are out in fu force trying to convince the american people that Palin is qualified to be president because she is a one term governor. Don't people realize that George Bush was also a governor, and look at our country now!

    September 15, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  18. Jennifer CA

    Where did the McCain I voted for in 2000 go?

    He has been reduced to an empty PUPPET for the GOP.

    September 15, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  19. Leo

    The GOP tactics can manipulate and destroy even the most noble of candidates.

    Sen. McCain, you should never have signed on with these jackals.

    The only thing we know about McCain is that he is for winning and against someone else winning.

    September 15, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  20. CNN, Proudly Serving Obamabots' Fantasies since 2007

    Wow, is it just me, or have the DNC adopted EVERY play out of the Karl Rove election playbook?

    Change you can scratch your head about, I guess.

    September 15, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  21. JP Bless

    At the end of the day the blame lies with mainstream networks CNN,ABC,NBC, CBS, FOX... they have erred on the side of McCain's sleazy campaign. These networks should focus on facts not on opinions alone.

    September 15, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  22. sammy

    Rove is running big J's campaign so you will get what you vote for.

    BO /08

    September 15, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |

    Finally. Go DEMS!

    September 15, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  24. US Pride

    Hit him where it (should) hurt. McCain has pandered in the name of being a "maverick" for too long... REMEMBER SOUTH CAROLINA McCain!
    Low Road to the Highest Office Indeed! disservice & dishonor

    Silly Season is making me sick. American people thought it was safe enough to elect "one of us"... "someone we could have a beer with" 8 years ago. See where it got us... Palin is Bush reincarnate, relatively uninformed, but "principled." McCain, a shoot from the hip Hawk. After 8 years of Bush, this is Not a Casual affair of personalities. Obama has a detailed platform for the big American Picture that needs healing too badly. McCain is trying to find ways for us to vote against our best interests, whatever it takes.

    September 15, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  25. Fenarkleman

    CNN is not the best political team on television. That honor belongs to Jon Stewart, Samantha Bee, Aasif Mandvi, Rob Riggle, Jason Jones, John Oliver, Wyatt Cenac, Lewis Black, et al, at Comedy Central's The Daily Show.

    Hey, CNN, grow a pair, will ya?

    September 15, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
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