September 15th, 2008
01:39 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain camp accuses Obama camp of 'Swift Boat-style' attack

The McCain campaign accused Obama's campaign of encouraging 'Swift Boat-style,' attack in a new ad.
The McCain campaign accused Obama's campaign of encouraging 'Swift Boat-style,' attack in a new ad.

(CNN) - John McCain’s campaign accused Barack Obama’s Monday of encouraging a “Swift Boat-style” attack ad, produced by an independent group, that debuted this week on national cable.

McCain-Palin spokesman Michael Goldfarb pointed to news reports as evidence the spot from Brave New PAC and Democracy for America had been launched “apparently at the behest of the Obama campaign.”

In the 30-second ad, McCain’s fellow prisoner of war Philip Butler describes the Republican nominee as “unfit to lead” – making the spot one of the first to mention McCain’s POW stint in a negative context.

"The prisoner of war experience is not a good prerequisite for president of the United States," says Butler. "He was known as a very volatile guy and he would blow up and go like a Roman candle. John McCain is not someone I would like to see with his finger near the red button."

The ad’s release comes amid reports that the conservative American Issues Project is planning a multi-million dollar negative ad buy aimed at the Democratic nominee.

None of these groups are allowed to communicate or coordinate with the campaigns in any way because of federal campaign finance regulations.

“It's unfortunate that Senator Obama has fallen so far, from opposing outside expenditures and supporting public financing at the beginning of this race to opting out of public financing and now ‘looking the other way’ on independent expenditures - no matter how vile,” said Goldfarb, in a statement on the campaign’s Web site titled “Obama Unleashes 527.”

Goldfarb criticized the media for reporting Obama campaign attacks on McCain’s honor, amid a concerted Democratic effort to paint McCain as ‘dishonorable.’ He also charged that Obama had also questioned McCain’s patriotism, although he did not provide an example.

In the news stories cited by the McCain team, unnamed sources within and close to the Obama campaign - which had publicly called for liberal groups not to run negative ads on his behalf – said they would no longer be raising those objections. The reports also noted a recent public silence from the Obama campaign on the issue. The Illinois senator’s campaign has publicly denied a shift in their position. John McCain’s campaign has not made a similar request of conservative organizations.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (208 Responses)
  1. Helene

    The old pot calling the kettle black ! Don't take us for idiots, McCain. Your ads are sleazy and despicable. You must really be desperate to approve them. So much for your so-called "integrity". You are a weasel.

    September 15, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  2. Danny, OH

    So now John McCain feels the pain.

    September 15, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  3. Linda

    I hope Obama remember how John McCain denounced the ad running in NC that showed Rev. Wright.

    The 527 ads are dirty and low on both sides and us independant voters do not like them. If anything, I feel more sympathic to Senator McCain now.

    Both sides need to condemn these type of ads. Especially this one where Senator Obama and Joe Biden have both praised Sen. McCain for his service to the country and his heroism in Vietnam.

    It would be a shame for the Obama camp to get down in the mud with this 527 group.

    Linda, Salem MA

    September 15, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  4. Shari, NY

    McCain can clarify his economic chest beating all he wants. "Out of touch" is too generous a term to label him.

    September 15, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. USAF Staff Sergeant

    Bob Indianapolis, IN September 15th, 2008 2:23 pm ET

    WHICH JUST GOES TO SHOW THAT MCSAME AND HIS ROVIAN LOBBYISTS HAVE THE MARKET CORNERED ON IRONY…

    Indeed! This is one of the crazier things I've heard them come up with.

    September 15, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  6. Game Changer

    Is that the pot calling the kettle black? This is too funny...
    Go Obama/Biden

    September 15, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  7. Whatever

    Payback is a mother for ya!

    September 15, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. Brian Rich

    Um, John, the original authors and fund raisers from the original Swift Boat attacks are creating ads for your campaign right now. Are you sure you want to accuse your opponent of thinking like your campaign?

    September 15, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  9. Kim

    This is not the way to go, they better go after McCain on the issues and not try to go negative on his POW status, that will piss a lot of people off, Obama better try again, he will loose if he continues on this path.

    September 15, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  10. S-Man

    Truth from a fellow POW hurts..Huh? Shut up McCain.

    September 15, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  11. mary

    Shame ! Shame! Obama . This sure is the politics of hope you so talk to right. I am a Clinton democrat and I will be voting for Nader. Mccain maybe like Bush. But you are not like the saint your followers claim you are !

    Ralph Nader 08

    September 15, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  12. Amazed

    You are so confused, how can the McCain campaign complain about anything since they've been lying seeing as they've been lying for the last three weeks. .

    September 15, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  13. Pam

    Was McComb-over complaining in 2004 when this was done to Kerry? I doubt it.

    September 15, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  14. Grog in Ohio

    Aside from the facts here... isn't it hilarious to hear Republicans whining about "Swift Boating"??? McCain has hired a wagon-load of Karl Rove clones and apparently they can dish it out but not take it.

    127 days till the end of the Bush administration.

    September 15, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  15. Republican for Obama

    STOP THE INSANITY.

    I am willing to admit I was wrong the past 8 years.

    FOOL ME ONCE, SHAME ON ME. FOOL ME TWICE, SHAME ON ME. FOOL ME THREE TIMES – IT'S WORLD WAR THREE!!!!

    September 15, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  16. kate

    CRY BABY!!!

    Mccain campaign and its allies (RNC and independent groups) are fine with doing away with Obama's character and lying about his positions, and when they get hit back by Dems, they cry. That is rich, what comes around goes around Mccain!

    September 15, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  17. Lisa M

    Wasn't it last week that McCain was accused of swiftboat type attacks by the Obama group?

    Does he do ANYTHING at all that is original?

    September 15, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  18. Carol for McCain all the way

    Some guys can't stand not being the war hero. SOUR GRAPES Mr. Butler ! Go pound sand.

    September 15, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  19. Mickie in PA

    Well, the truth hurts, doesn't it McShame. You didn't mind when they pulled it on Kerry did you. Karma is a wonderful thing!

    September 15, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. Kevin-Seattle

    What's good fof the goose,.............. Surprising the McCain campaign of complaining about swift style with their mountain lies and distrorted truth ads. I do remember during the RNC Convention they interviewing McCain's fellow P.O.W. cellmate or next door neighbor but maybe someone else has a different opinion of McCain and obviously he does. I've learned politics is dirty, unfortunately.

    September 15, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  21. CM

    Anything that comes against them and shows their flaws they claim outrage. Its ok for them to do it though, right?

    You guys came up with the swift boat campaign. If I remember correctly you also were fined pretty heavily for misleading ads as the 'swift boaters' were mostly just actors.

    Grow a spine GOP. You guys would love it if the Obama camp doesn't respond to your fabricated attacks.

    September 15, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  22. USMC Mike

    LOL

    Too funny ... Sorry John, but for a togh ole' POW; you sure are whining a whole lot about tactics your campaign this year ...

    Looks like the pit-bull is starting to bite you now ...

    September 15, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. CNN

    JUST REPEAT EVERYTHING oBAMA SAYS ONE WEEK AFTER HIM.
    MCCAIN ELECTION STRATEGY

    September 15, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  24. Spencer from VA

    Yes, we are on the attack. Call it what you wanna republicans. His war buddy says he doesn't want McWar's finger on the red button. As Gen. Wesley Clark stated a while ago, being a POW doesn't qualify you to be C-I-C.

    September 15, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  25. The BOTTOM Line......

    IT'S TRUE....JUST CUZ U SERVED, DOESN'T MEAN YOU CAN LEAD AND BUILD THIS ECONOMY, HEALTHCARE.......
    IF THATS THE CASE, I DID R.O.T.C IN HIGH SCHOOL....WHERE DO I SIGN UP TO LEAD THE COUNTRY :-D

    September 15, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
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