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. Daki

    how have the media all of a sudden become bias against McCain for reporting the truth.The reason I would not vote for this guy is because he is being handled by lobbyist,he is not making his own decisions,and he is is a flat out lier.Sarah palin is a fraud and a habitual lier too,and this shows the terrible judgement of this inadequate candidate by the name of John McCain.

    September 15, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  2. Amused that people saying "CNN Print this" who have nothing to say get posted

    Interesting how CNN doesn't print the stories exposing Obama's lies and half-truths......

    The Obamabot Whaaaambulance REALLY must have stuck it to CNN playing the ol' race card.

    September 15, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  3. J J

    Both campaigns are full of it. If any of you think any different you are hypocrites.

    September 15, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  4. JC

    At the risk of sounding like an eighth-grader, McCain started it...

    September 15, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  5. Tony

    McCain has no conscience, no self-respect, no repect for the American people. He has lost his honor, his morals, his honesty, his dignity and character, all for the sake of winning the eelction.

    Should he and Palin win, I hope he feels it is worth it. I have no doubt he will. Very sad!

    September 15, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  6. Lisa

    Economic Crash and Burn. Stocks down, Morgage companies gone bust. Global warming hurricanes. Deep pockets in the oil business. Bankrupt country.

    Why would ONE person choose to vote McCain?
    McCain is George lipstick.

    September 15, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. bob in L.A.

    McCain can play victim if he wishes. And he is right, when Obama says he voted with Bush 90% of the time that is negative but its not a lie!
    Sarah- where did the bridge money go? Refusing to build the bridge with it and taking it anyway is not anti- earmark. At least The candidat has a real track record on earmarks.

    September 15, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  8. Janeen

    I wonder why they show Sarah Palins whole speech like she is running for Pres and only small sound bites of Mccain Obama and Biden?
    No-one wants to see her repeat the same speech over and over.
    At least give Biden the same air time.
    We are voting for President. Lets give Mccain and Obama more airtime..Than Sarah Palin!

    September 15, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  9. Richard Reeves-Ellington

    Irrelevant, America votes in black and white!

    The poster of the above ought to get out with Obama supporers and see myriad of people – all genders, all ethnic groups, all colors, and all income groups.

    Many do vote on color but that is a shrinking minority. Give it to us ole folks, under 30's!!

    September 15, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. Derek Reid

    It's not vile or dishonorable. In campaign politics? It's desperate. McCain's campaign is as desperate as a nerdy teenager.

    September 15, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  11. Kim E.

    It's funny that so many of these comments are pro-Obama. The polls show a dead heat. So where are the McCain supporters – or are these comments being censored?
    I don't like the negative tone of either campaign. But I will admit that Obama held off longer than McCain in using smear tactics. If we could stick to the issues and values, I would support McCain/Palin. Also, anyone who can put a couple billion in savings in 2 short years (Palin) ought to be running the US budget.

    September 15, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  12. ivan

    Iam personally surprised to see someone like mcain telling lies, Pallin telling lies with a straight face repeatedly and her surrogates crying of gender card. I thought America was beyond this childish tactics.

    September 15, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. La Raza

    I agree wholeheartedly with J. Dean. If McCain did not win in 2000, what makes him qualified now? He is Eight years older and sicker.

    September 15, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. Maria in Crawford, Texas

    If the pollsters only polled by cell phone or internet the numbers would be very much in Obama's favor. But guess what? That would not be fair. So why do the pollsters only poll land lines? It's just not fair and accurate polling. How hard would it be to have a web site you could go to vote for the polls and then add those numbers to the land line numbers. I know it would not be perfect, but it would be a much better sample of all Americans that what is coming out of the polls now. Give me a web site and I will be more than happy to cast my vote!

    September 15, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  15. R.M.

    Shame on you, John McCain

    September 15, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  16. Jon Peirce

    All McCain can do is attack with sleaze and distracting tactics, because the Bush record is so awful that if he runs on issues, he will be beaten worse than Goldwater.

    He really should withdraw from the race and concede the election now.

    Wild Otter

    September 15, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  17. Shari

    I have NO RESPECT for John McCain or Palin anymore! I truley believe that he and Palin are a disaster waiting to happen! This has got to be the most ridiculious Presidential campaign I have ever seen! Palin is talking right now and it's gotten so bad for me I can hardly stomach her voice! Per her interview with Charlie, it showed me that she has no more experience then Obama does! Everytime I hear her talk, it's always the same old thing!!! WHO CARES PALIN!!!!!
    I can't wait until Novenber to see Obama and Biden put McCain and Palin to shame!!!!!

    Republican now a Democrat!!!!

    September 15, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  18. fixthebroken

    K, come on now. You are really living a state of denial. Go ahead and vote for McCain, but don't you dare come on here saying that the Obama campaign has been mudslinging. They have taken the high road all along – not some of the democratic bloggers, etc. mind you – but the Obama campaign has been tasteful and honorable.

    The McCain campaign began the gutter politics and all this ad does is call them out for it. Fair and no distortions or lies at all.

    Vote for McCain if that is what you want to do, but don't come here and say Obama is slinging mud!

    September 15, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. Victoria Anderson - Seattle, Washington

    Well it's about darn time. Keep it up because I'm soooo tired of Piggy and McShame......

    September 15, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  20. John

    Dems need to get their act together. Since they have been in controll of the house they have not done anything except have Pelosi give silly speaches on what she will not allow the President to do. The dems have no room to speak, oh yeah what about the recent Rangel incident? Its all about the money!

    September 15, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  21. Eric-29-m-PA

    Talk about being vile, Obama criticized McCain for not being able to use the keyboard when McCain can't type well because of his injuries. When Obama was in Pennsylvania he also poked fun at McCain's disability by raising his arms a certain way. Very poor. He should be ashamed of himself.

    September 15, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  22. TKCROW

    Left wing media – Pumping millions of dollars to smear McCain / palin

    Obamabots – Pumping millions into campain with no hope of winning

    Obama / Biden – Priceless

    Priceless = (ie; can't put a price tag on what they will cost each hard working American in taxes and oversight)

    September 15, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  23. Elle

    I'm so glad to see Obama finally fighting back! McCain's negative ads have been the basis of his campaign since the beginning and, as much as I respect Obama for trying to run clean, it's time to fight fire with fire.

    September 15, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  24. PA voter

    And what nasty things has he said about the Governor? So far all I've heard is McCain accusing Sen. Obama of calling her a pig. You might want to check your facts, McCain.

    September 15, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  25. texas voter


    September 15, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
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