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. jaye

    John McCain relies on his campaign to give him the "answers he needs." He honestly has no clue as to the needs of anyone except the big business companies he supports.
    Ask him about the DRAFT. Yes indeedie, he fully intends to reinstate the draft.

    September 15, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  2. Patty

    If you had read the updates on the CNN version of Karl Rove you would have read that he said the Obama campaign was doing the same thing only worse. therefore CNN wants you to see only what they want you to see. Obama's campaign has done the same and they did it to Hillary. Same thing – just the names are changed. This is politics and all this stuff goes on. If you are a McCain supporter – don't believe all this stuff. It is bacause Obama has slid down so now the attacks by them are stronger. That is the truth.

    September 15, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  3. Denise P Quinton

    I find it totally disgusting that uninformed Americans would choose to call MCCAIN, a hero, and medal award winner a sleeze bag. Have we been reduced to actually choosing those words to describe someone who served our country, was imprisoned in a POW camp during a War in oder that we may live freely in this country.
    MCCAIN is an intelligent, well informed, capable candidate who has more experience than the likes of OBAMA and his empty rhetoric will ever have in a lilfetime!
    So to all you MCCAIN haters, I suggest you stop disgracing service to our country with your nasty comments which CNN chooses to even post and not moderate for some reason~

    September 15, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. liz, bloomington IN

    it's about time!

    obama/biden 08

    September 15, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  5. Jackie in Dallas

    Hey, Paulin Power and Hispanic Republican Woman:
    Better check your facts before you start talking about pigs and lipstick ... your boy was the first to use that analogy about Hillary Clinton's healthcare plan! It's OK for your darling to use it and it isn't a personal insult, but because Obama uses it, it suddenly a personal attack on Palin? Puh-lease! What is sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander! There's no double standard in politics, or there shouldn't be. I don't particularly like Obama, myself, but at least he has run an issue-based campaign, and didn't stoop to personal attacks, unlike McCain!

    September 15, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  6. kathy

    Let the republicans keep lying and let the democrats keep exposing them for their weak mindedness and sleazy tactics. not only does mcsame lie but his VP is well versed in lying too...and when she does repeatedly...becuz her scripted speech hasn't changed....he...the old goat chirps up and confirms her the jet on e-bay...he was sooooo proud to say...she put the jet on e-bay AND sold it for a profit........the republicans are sheep....and palin is the biggest patsy since oswald!

    September 15, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. mitchell

    jason. calling a liar a liar , is not negative. it's a good thing. americans are tired of being lied to.

    September 15, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. cmoore

    cry babies

    September 15, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. let there be truth!

    CAN YOU DIGGIT!?OBAMA ! you don`t want to play dirty! ha ha ha welcome to the real world. your skin color is the issue here! we all may not admit it but if obama was full white, this election would have been over long time ago! but we still have a society that looks at the color of skin rather that the content of the character in voting . McCain may lie , but he is not black so it is a misspeak, Obama lies, it is black thing

    September 15, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  10. K thinks the mud is slinging pretty fast and furious in both gives as good as ye gets, Obummer...

    September 15, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  11. Becky

    GOOD FOR YOU, OBAMA! Fight them back. THANK YOU

    September 15, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  12. My Friends, let me tell you

    I just cant help lying,it works.

    September 15, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  13. Cindy

    liar, liar - another McBush!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 15, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  14. Xavier, Saint Louis, Missouri




    September 15, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  15. 24 male independent from chicago

    Honestly as an independent, both camps have started to get ugly but that's politics for you.

    I do have to say though I'm not sure who's the Republican nominee anymore, when did Palin become more important than McCain. At least we know who's running on the Democratic side.
    I think Palin is a good woman and politician but I really don't think I can picture her going over to Afghanistan or Iraq and for that matter any country and talking to those leaders.

    Think people!!!! but make sure to vote also!!!

    September 15, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  16. Jeremy

    Your doing this because you didnt get your way with the town hall meetings....What a terrible shame, You are definitely no maverick

    September 15, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  17. mitchell

    'only a liar can't believe in anyone else...'

    obama believes in americans.
    mccain believes in greed and lies.

    September 15, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  18. Real Talk

    So McCain is lying and using these disgusting tactics because Obama didn't do things the way he wanted. He said the tone would be different if Obama would have agreed to his town hall meetings. If this childish response is how he runs his campaign, I can only imagine the way he woud deal with the leaders of other countries. His "It's my way or the highway mentality" could put our country in serious danger. This is serious poeple. He is not fit to run this country.
    Obama Biden 08

    September 15, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  19. Lynn: a 60 yr old, white Obama supporter

    How can McCain say with a straight face that Obama is saying "nasty things' about the McCain ticket with all the lies, smears and empty rhetoric coming out daily from these two.

    No honor, no truth, no plans, no judgement=the McCain/Palin ticket!

    September 15, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. Robert

    McCain's camp fired the first shots. It seems they can dish it out but not take it.

    September 15, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  21. drone

    I hate McEvil and his little hinchman, oops, hinchwoman.. Please don't hit me with the gender card...

    September 15, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  22. John in Ohio

    Obama's really not playing nearly as hard of hardball as he could be. He's working hard to run a clean campaign, and he's only responding when attacked. Sadly he's got to at least respond, because failing to do so sunk Kerry in 2004 after the swiftboating. Obama wants to run a clean campaign, and he's not stooping to lies like McCain, but you can't expect him to not defend himself when McCain goes after him with another outright lie.

    September 15, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  23. McCain/Palin

    Obama started the tone of this campaign with his half truths and lies about John McCain. Go back and count them. The only people that don't admit this are his followers.

    September 15, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  24. Wendy Canada

    McCain's campaign has been negative from the start but lately the ads are just lies. It's kind of funny to hear the Republican strategists whine about Obama being negative after all McCain has done! Hypocricy is alive & well in the Republican party once again! On the Biden Revealed program Alex C. a Republican Strategist stated that is was a problem for Obama picking Biden due to ear marks, he said that is not a candidate of change, HELLO! McCain/Palin are the "reformers" but she has taken more ear marks then any other state! Hipocrits to say the least ?

    September 15, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  25. beevee

    This lying senile old man wants to be the president of this great nation. What a shame to give him even chance.

    September 15, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
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