October 6th, 2008
11:00 AM ET
6 years ago

McCain aides: McCain, Palin to peg Obama as ‘risky...dangerous’

McCain's aides say they will peg Obama as 'risky' and 'dangerous.'.
McCain's aides say they will peg Obama as 'risky' and 'dangerous.'.

(CNN) - John McCain’s aides say they are certainly happy to turn the corner away from the bailout package - but insist the campaign’s stepped-up focus on Barack Obama’s character does not mean the Republican presidential nominee is going to stop talking about the economy.

Instead, they will try to reframe the economic issue as part of their overall theme against Obama: You don’t really know this guy - and you can’t trust this guy. The words in their new ad say it all: “risky… dangerous.”

Watch: Obama, McCain advisers discuss why their candidate is best for the economy

As Obama and running mate Joe Biden take a break from the trail Monday, McCain and VP nominee Sarah Palin are each pursuing a different part of that strategy.

In New Mexico this afternoon, aides say McCain is expected to revive his attacks on Obama — a top recipient of campaign cash from from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — for taking money from the failed mortgage giants, and for not coming up with solutions early in the crisis. The Arizona senator will once again talk about his own call two years ago for reform of Fannie and Freddie.

Last month, the McCain camp released ads highlighting Obama’s ties to former Fannie and Freddie officials — but that line of attack had not been prominent since a New York Times investigation alleged that campaign manager Rick Davis may have benefited financially from his firm’s links to the lenders until their collapse last month.

McCain advisors are wagering that the attack is worth the risk. One aide says that “with economic news at the top of voters’ minds, it makes sense for the top of the ticket to talk about Obama’s failures and lack of credibility on the economy.”

Meanwhile, Palin - who hit Obama this weekend over his associations with controversial Chicago figures - will continue a more personal line of attack, focusing on his relationship with Weather Underground founder William Ayers.

The two lines of attack are two sides of the same approach, says another advisor, questioning obama’s truthfulness and whether voters can really trust him.

But two McCain aides say Palin’s comments questioning why Rev. Jeremiah Wright wasn’t more of a campaign trail issue, was not planned as a signal that they are going to start adding Wright to the mix. The Alaska governor, they say, was just relating her personal opinion, not the strategy of the campaign,

Asked whether Palin’s remark wasn’t a green light to outside groups that Wright is fair game, the aide responded “we’re not that good to strategize like that,” adding that Palin was talking as a woman whose daughters pregnancy was fair game, who doesn’t understand why the comments of Obama’s pastor aren’t.

soundoff (224 Responses)
  1. Sarah Bell

    When the savings and loan industry collapsed, Keating's failed company put taxpayers on the hook for $3.4 billion and more than 20,000 Americans lost their savings. John McCain was reprimanded by the bipartisan Senate Ethics Committee, but the ultimate cost of the crisis to American taxpayers reached more than $120 billion.

    The Keating scandal is eerily similar to today's credit crisis, where a lack of regulation and cozy relationships between the financial industry and Congress has allowed banks to make risky loans and profit by bending the rules. And in both cases, John McCain's judgment and values have placed him on the wrong side of history.

    October 6, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  2. Bobby Burns

    OBAMA is a sleeper cel no doubt about it. His ties to Isllam go way back.. He is a Radicial CEL they have been planning this for years and nobody but fox and sometime CNN will cover it.

    October 6, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  3. Mercedes

    Gone,

    When all is said and done and McCain wins this country is going down. We will be face with a disaster of large porportion with our economy problem. No way that McCain will be able to fix the economy problem when he feels we should stay Iraq until we win. Welcome to the military draft and the very long lines of starving americans hoping to get food stamps to feed their children because they all lost their money.

    October 6, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  4. concerned4USA

    God help this country if that is what the GOPs strategy is!! I guess the voters will decide on the 4th of November......good luck to y'all

    October 6, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. mitch

    and the erratic behavior of john mccain is not risky? lol! republicans are toast after destroying our country and treasure.

    October 6, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  6. Your Move

    Boris and Natasha need to get a grip! LOL All I have to do is see that arrogant smirk on Boris (McCain) face and that nails on blackboard voice and that "could eat her young" smile on Natasha's while picturing her saying "you betcha" to Putin and the like and I have nightmares that border 9/11 anxiety.

    October 6, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  7. Deb

    Please – Rev Wright has been explained time and time again. There is nothing wrong with Michelle Obama. A down to earth woman raising two beautiful daughters. On the other hand as the country is crashing and burning there is Cindy McCain draped in jewelry and different hairdoos and wearing very ritzy outfits. Please...McSame is not in touch with America and Palin is a scary twit who uses winks and cutsy smiles to speak to the American people.

    October 6, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  8. ines

    McCain = Keating 5 and no ability to help the economy

    October 6, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  9. Rose

    Our economy is in peril and these idiots are pushing issues like these????? America needs to vote with their BRAINS for once.
    Obama/Biden08

    October 6, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  10. nuclular weapons= PALIN NEEDS TO CHECK A DICTIONARY

    sarah palin is killing her career. they tried that before. it did not work. let me tell you repugs. the more the repbublicans attacking obama's characteres, they more likely to loose in november.

    October 6, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  11. Tony

    WHAT ELSE CAN MCCAIN AND PALIN DO? THEY HAVE NO RECORDS TO RUN ON, HAVE PROVEN OVER AND OVER AGAIN THAT THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING, AND MCCAIN HAS INSULTED AMERICANS WITH HIS PICK OF PALIN IN THE LAME ATTEMPT TO TRY AND STEAL VOTES.

    MCCAIN'S PLAN HAS BLWON UP IN HIS FACE, SO FOR THE NEXT FOUR WEEKS HE AND PALIN WILL DO NOTHING BUT LIE, ATTACK AND ACCUSE BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOTHING ELSE.

    SEND MCCAIN BACK TO WHINING IN THE SENATE AND LET'S GIVE PALIN A ONE-WAY TICKET BACK TO MOOSE COUNTRY.

    October 6, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  12. Dr. Proctor , PHD

    Sara's lie about Ayers is no match for Sara Palin's pastor's sermon about Alaska being a refuge in the last days, Her husband wanting to suceed from America and witch hunting. This woman is far more scarier than Ayers. And besides, when I go to fill my
    gas tank up at $4.00 a gallon, Ayers is not standing at the pump,
    but the Republican ghost is. They are the one's we should fear.
    Palin is anti-woman, bans books, no foreign policy credentials, and
    a threat to our national security. Sara "Harry Potter" Palin is what can REALLY hurt Americans and for this we should be fearful. Palin should
    be sued for slander. She is the one who is risky, for we know nothing
    about her.

    October 6, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  13. McShame, Houston TX

    Palin you don’t want to go there!!!! What about your witch dr!!!! Wolf/Moose killer!!!! what woman in her right mind would sat there holding a bloodied poor moose with her child right there!!! You are shameful and not fit to be our VP a heartbeat away from a 72 year old president!!!! Who is also shameful K-5 remember that so just bring it on dummies!!!!!!! Oh and how about letting old dude testify on Trooper Gate?

    October 6, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  14. Sarah.....and my last name isn't Palin!

    Mr McCain we know you are the Risky deregulator guy...so now way, no how, no McCain-Palin

    October 6, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  15. Ed Honebol

    And there two issues that McCain will go down in November for.

    1.) The economy
    2.) The war

    Two real issues!

    October 6, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  16. Republican voting Obama

    Enough is enough, John McCain and Sarah Palin have lost my vote.....

    October 6, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  17. Michael

    When all is lost, we tear others down to gain attention. disgusting, pitiful, really pitiful. McCain and Palin are disgrace to Christian values! If this is true Christianity they claim to represent in the name of 'Christian conservatism', then Christianity has failed once again. Lies, more lies, and more lies in the name of God. McCain and would have won this election if only their actions reflected those Christian virtues they claim to represent. As a Christian, I am disgusted and it is an insult for either Palin or McCain to appeal to Chrisitan conservatives. These are worse than heathens! Palin lies! McCain you have sold out big time!

    October 6, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  18. Sarah Bell

    How is John McCain's relationship with Charles Keating related to today's economic crisis???

    When the savings and loan industry collapsed, Keating's failed company put taxpayers on the hook for $3.4 billion and more than 20,000 Americans lost their savings. John McCain was reprimanded by the bipartisan Senate Ethics Committee, but the ultimate cost of the crisis to American taxpayers reached more than $120 billion.

    The Keating scandal is eerily similar to today's credit crisis, where a lack of regulation and cozy relationships between the financial industry and Congress has allowed banks to make risky loans and profit by bending the rules. And in both cases, John McCain's judgment and values have placed him on the wrong side of history.

    October 6, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  19. Tony

    MCCAIN – PALIN- BUSH ALL SEAPARATED AT BIRTH!

    AMERICA IS NOT DRINKING THE KOOL-AID ANYMORE!

    October 6, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    What could be riskier than a candidate, McCain, who had openly advocated s shooting confrontation with Russia over Georgia?

    McCain needs to understand this is a very different world than the one that existed 30 years ago. If you wish to live in a civilized world, then have a civilized foreign policy.

    October 6, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  21. PGB

    TO ALL KIDS:

    1. If you can't win because you are better than the other guy, make everyone hate the other guy.
    2. If you can't get anyone to hate the other guy, make up lies.

    October 6, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  22. Beverly, NYC

    Keep giving Tina Fey more job security governor. On November 5th you will still be a big joke!

    October 6, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  23. Julia

    No one cares about these things. Spare us the fake outrage rethugs. Real people care about the economy, not religion.

    October 6, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  24. Robert

    McCain – GOP racial fear mongering at its finest. McCain has sunken so low this campaign.

    John McCain, I want my contribution back! I am disgusted that money I gave you is helping to dishonestly slime another senator. You should be ashamed. I am beginning to call friends and family to let them know how gross you have become, and they'll know I mean it because I used to argue for your candidacy.

    October 6, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  25. Jeanine G

    8 years of a Republican in the WH, a president McCain has sided with 90% of the time has left us in financial ruin, a 2 fronted war, hated by the world, and sinking faster. So is it any wonder McCain has decided to turn up the fear factor on his dirty & dishonorable campaign?

    No. For the last 2 elections, fear and hatred worked for the GOP...it is the only weapon they reach for in their depleted aresenal because they have NO ANSWERS, and are terrified of the ISSUES.

    We're not going to be fooled again.

    Early Voted for Obama. Today is the last day of voter registration in OHIO folks.....GET OUT THE VOTE

    October 6, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
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