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. John Wilson

    I never did get how McCain's POW status made him anymore of a hero than any other American soldier who faced combat in Vietnam. Kerry's Vietnam service was used as a negative against him.

    McCain is a survivor, not a hero. There is a big difference.

    September 15, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  2. trudy

    Mc Cain .the Truths hurt , at is true that you ben in Washington 26 Years ,an you done Nothing ?

    September 15, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  3. Mike

    He was a fellow POW and has insights into the man. Democracy allows for his voice to be heard.

    September 15, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  4. Ted

    Biden blasted McCain today. In a very big factual way. Wow, wow and wow!!!! Of course CNN is going to hide that in a Sarah Palin article. Step it up CNN, even Fox news has this as one of it's leading stories.

    September 15, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  5. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    Goldfarb criticized the media for reporting Obama campaign attacks on McCain’s honor, amid a concerted Democratic effort to paint McCain as ‘dishonorable.’

    Well, John McCain has approved some of the most vile messages in this campaign, so in my estimation he is ‘dishonorable.’ Come on, enough with this garbage RNC and McCain, can we have an honest discussion?

    September 15, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  6. Chickens coming home to roost

    It will blow back on Obama and extinguish his self-proclaimed flame of superiority.

    Race-baiting, gender bias, hateful misogyny, insulting derision of fellow democrats, dismissing the entire democratic base... THAT was the real swiftboating.

    September 15, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. Oz

    Why does CNN post this garbage? It's not news....its propoganda...give us news...not the spin from the campaigns!!

    The two party system won't be the the end of us...the media in its never ending search for high ratings–will.

    What articles do they cite? Who are their sources? How can the media keep allowing McCain to get away with false accusations?

    SLANDER!

    We have to hold our nominees accountable for this nonesense!

    Vote Obama.
    And say no to the smears!

    September 15, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  8. Mark

    McCain has been paddling upstream ever since he announced the "barracuda" as his V.P. choice. Now he's sinking.....rapidly!

    September 15, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  9. Erik

    Awww, poor Republicans – out of touch, out of answers, and running out of time. Don't ya just hate it when somebody steps forward with their opinion? Being a POW and a war hero does not make you fit to be Leader in Chief. We need someone with vision and wisdom. Have you Republicans forgot that McCain ran in 2000 and 2004? Where was his change message then? Thought so. Time to back to your holes in the ground. Perhaps you can find the Iraq WMD's there...

    September 15, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  10. hkk

    HaHaHa. McSame doesn't like the taste of tough Chicago politics. These guys are not letting the liars get away with the 2004 playbook.

    I guess the democrats are starting to move some pieces. It's a chess game, and this time the democrats have the smarter player.

    September 15, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  11. Ex GOPer

    Funny how McCain and his VP can lie over and over but CNN posts a ticker on another RUMOR that can not be substantiated on Obama. I thought this was liberal media coverage not conservative. McCain has the media in his back pocket he can attack, smear, mock and swiftboat all he wants. And if questioned the media prints this BS. Conservatives can you please provide a candidate that isn't so WIMPY! We have real complex and tough issues to deal with. Give me the candidate who stands up and actually deals with them. Not one who is smoke and mirrors and whines about anything negative. I mean really who would have thought I would be saying this about John McCain.

    September 15, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  12. Jeff

    Attacking McCain in this matter is not very smart, especially in favor of someone who couldn’t be bothered to serve. I have been a lifelong Democrat and no fan of McCain, but I won’t support Obama either. Our choices are dismal. The outcome of this election will be disastrous, whoever wins.

    September 15, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  13. hey jason

    lmao! mccain's a victim now?? awwww poor repub party. are you gonna cry?

    September 15, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  14. Typing in all caps and whining about Rove isn't an argument.

    Everytime Obama sings, an angel gets its wings...

    ...and McCain gets another donation from me.

    September 15, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  15. Adam Habib Dallas, TX

    Hit them hard Obama. Hit GOP what they deserve for trashing economy, for making america a garage sale and honestly who wants a hot headed guy in charge of NUKES?

    September 15, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  16. James in Oregon

    McCain / Palin = A ticket without Honor !

    Wake Up America before we are all standing in soup lines as our Kids are drafted off to WW111.

    September 15, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  17. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Chicago style politics. Obama is just another politician, and not a very qualified one at that. It's disgraceful that Obama says in his stump speech that he honors McCain's service, then turns around and attackes it.

    September 15, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  18. Don

    Yeh...
    Obama under pressure resort to all dirt throwing tactics.
    Obama once thought he wants to join the US forces, then he thought he wanted to be an Illinois senator, but realizes he
    can vote "present" unfit to decide...
    Then he thought he wanted to be a US senator just to think it's below him to work on anything in the Senate so he is running for president.

    Any useful experience...? There is not even anything to swift-boat! Just zero-nothing O!

    September 15, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  19. Obama- Next Stop.. White House

    Preying on the DUMMIES of the world....And obviously there are a TON of them.
    The Replubs are RELENTLESS but

    IT'S>>>>NOT>>>>GOING>>>>TO>>>>WORK

    ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Barack The Vote!!!

    September 15, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  20. Peter

    This ad is despicable. It makes me outrageous. Nobody's going to buy it.

    Go McCain/Palin!

    September 15, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  21. ben

    McSame Camp policy: Do unto me as you'd like me do unto you, but I do unto you as I please.

    September 15, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  22. Obama/Biden and Michelle and Jill 08

    Why would a fellow POW say that if it wasn't true? I've heard other ones say the same thing. He couldn"t' hide his temper on the View!

    September 15, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  23. True Blue Grandma

    Maybe there is some justice in the world. Poetic justice, at least. Don't dish it out if you can't take it.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 15, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  24. Typing in all caps and whining about Rove isn't an argument.

    I just got here, has Biden put his foot in his mouth yet today?

    September 15, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  25. Tamarra

    did anyone read the article? Some other organization released that ad. And that organization isn't allowed to communicate with the campaign of the candidate's. This outside organization wants the truth to be known. McCain and Palin want to cut funding for vets. What would have happened to John McCain if he didn't divorce his wife for a rich Cindy? He would have had to depend on that GI bill.

    September 15, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
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