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. Foreign observer

    This old guy will fall aslep on the red button. It´s time Americans see the ticket as what it is: a risk for the economy and a risk for world peace.

    September 15, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  2. caywen

    "I see," said the blind man as he picked up his hammer and saw.

    September 15, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. Myleen

    Republicans finally get a taste of their own medicine, so they try to blame Obama, yet again. It's pathetic because McCain is the one who started the negative attacking and has done it more than 2 times Obama ever has! Just check independent sources like FactCheck.org. Did any of these people see the RNC fest? It was so full of hate and intolerance, that they fail to see anything beyond that. Good for the 527s – let them do the dirty work that Obama can't and won't do!

    September 15, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. Z

    It's about time you tasted your own medicine McCain!!!

    September 15, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. Marilyn

    It doesn't really matter much what either of these candidates has to say. The Democrats have nominated a completely unacceptable candidate and will lose in November. This will be the first time in my life that I won't vote for the Democrat. The left wing of the party and the DNC have dug their own grave.

    September 15, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. nelsonmobilizesamerica

    This has got to stop. Please know your facts, get them right when you say them and don't smear the other guy.

    I want answers to who is going to help us, not crap!

    September 15, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. Independent Voter to Democratic Voter

    If it is the truth then why is it a problem. You never heard Obama complain about all the negative ads on him. McSame is always whinning when the rock is thrown back at his front yard. Anyway, I don't want to hear from someone who told me months ago that they don't know anything about the economy. What about my stocks???

    September 15, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  8. Cam

    If independent ads like this are not allowed to work with either campaign because of the regulations, isnt it a litlle presumptuous of McCain to link Obama to it? I mean, he does have PROOF OF THAT, of course.

    September 15, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  9. tc

    They are all crooks and hypocrits. When will here here about OTHER CANDIDATES. This country needs another party to bring some order!

    September 15, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. Obamabot Whaaaambulance-Brought to you by CNN

    That shrill siren you hear is the Obamabot Whaaaaaambulance careening out of control yet again. Hey, Chosen One, you pulled this sort of nonsense on Hillary; did you expect things to not come back and bite you in the rump?

    Hillary 2012

    September 15, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  11. Cynthia

    Where is the John McCain who ran for President back some years ago? I have said it for a while now, he is running a very dishonorable campaign. Even Karl Rove who is the king of nasty has said that some of the McCain ads have gone too far. Now he is trying to flip the script but it is just shameful.

    September 15, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  12. John in Ohio

    You know, that ridiculously inaccurate smear ad about Ayers was put out by a group, the "American Issues Project", which was funded by a max McCain donor, and everybody working there was formerly on McCain's staff.

    Hypocrisy now.

    September 15, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  13. Christy In CT

    Not the first time McCain's hot temper has been called to question. He's been known to have a pretty short fuse. Nothing worse than someone who's senile with an anger management problem.
    Can you see it? "The economy is sound! I said it is!!" , and he thrown the microphone into the audience.

    September 15, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  14. Mark Wagner

    The McCain campaign has jumped the shark. They peaked about a week ago with Palin.

    September 15, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  15. Brenda fl

    No way no how no McCain no Palin....end of comments

    September 15, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  16. Lara

    The only ones putting out negative ads are the Republicans. Anyone blaming Senator Obama of starting this first is totally confused. McCain even said that if he was willing to debate with him he wouldn't be doing these ads. It is kind of childish for a man his age to be doing these ads out of spite.

    September 15, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  17. Unshrub

    This lying fool takes everything he is doing and tries to blame Obama for doing the same thing and when Obama does something popular and intelligent McCain turns around again and claims he was the one who is doing it. The sad thing is there are so many fools in this country that believe him. What a bunch of idiots.

    September 15, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. Ted

    The McCain campaign has become a Nation of Whiners

    September 15, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. Former McCain

    Wow, pot meet kettle. McCain has become dishonorable by approving lies, stealing messages, and using POW inappropriately as an excuse. The McCain I supported in 2000 would not have done those things.

    Voting for Obama this year.

    September 15, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  20. jim - chicago, illinois

    Oh Boo Hoo. Poor John McCain. Poor republicans. Boo Hoo. Not so fun when the shoe's on the other foot, eh Mr. McSame? Boo Hoo....

    September 15, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  21. Diane

    What goes around, comes around!!!!! Go Sen. Obama. McFossil needs a wake up call. While the majority of Americans feel he deserves the credit for serving his country, the truth of the matter is finally coming to a head - it does not make one fit to be commander in chief. It sure looks like the only thing that the Republicans have to offer up is "whinning" but then again, isn't that what his campaign manager "Phil" said we were. Go Senator Obama and the rest of the Dems.

    a past Republican who is DEFINITELY GOING "OBAMA" this 2008!

    September 15, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  22. tired of delusional blind sheep

    i am glad someone has finally said it..and i agree

    being a POW does not automatically make you qualified to be the leader of our country.. there are many other factors involved, including many negatives, such as being a liar, which negate the POW status. imo.

    September 15, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  23. ANDY DAAS

    I cannot belive this the Republications accusing Obama of swit
    boat attack.sounds funny.

    September 15, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  24. Dennis

    Senator McCain has to look no farther than the closest mirror to find the person responsible for the tone of this election season. If he demonstrated half as much honor as he talks about, things would be much more civil. I have no sympathy for the GOP and any alleged swift boat attack levelled against it this year. There is the old saying, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. McCain's campaign build the kitchen, now he doesn't want to cook in it.

    September 15, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. Obamabot Whaaaambulance-Brought to you by CNN

    That shrill siren you hear is the Obamabot Whaaaaaambulance careening out of control yet again.

    Count on this board to be covered in whining about Palin, Rove and George W. Bush.

    Hey Democrats, try focusing on an issue or two by November, ok? Thanks.

    September 15, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9