October 6th, 2008
11:00 AM ET
10 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. Kick the B

    Let me fix this for you with the truth about why John McCain will not win the Presidency:

    When all is said and done, McCain is going down in November because of two issues that won’t go away:

    1. Economy and deregulation
    2. Sarah Palin

    There’s not much else voters REALLY want to know about McCain – but these two will stick!

    Good Luck and Go Obama

    October 6, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  2. Tom Swift, Shopton USA

    On a day when the Dow is once again 400+ points down – below 10,000 for the 1st time in years – I would think that the Co-Mavericks would be paying more attention to the economy rather than the same old tired attack Obama strategy.

    Why isn't the head Maverick suspending the campaign and parachuting into Washington?

    October 6, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  3. Bill, Michigan

    Thanks CNN for devoting all of your coverage to McPalin's anti-Obama BS. Maybe the first time Sarah Failin called Obama a terrorist it was news, but why is it news the 8th, 9th, and 10th times?

    If it wasnt' bad enough that FoxNews is pulling out all the stops to get McPalin elected, now CNN takes the same route.

    October 6, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  4. gone

    the only thing that is gone, is your brain buddy

    October 6, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  5. Franky

    Geez GOP, your running out of ideas more than SNL...

    October 6, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  6. bernj

    All Palin has done is show what big liars she and McCain are. They have nothing to offer but fear and racism. They both need to be jailed for fraud on the American people.

    October 6, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  7. Dave

    what has happened to john mcain i have lost all respect for him.

    October 6, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  8. First Dude

    McCain is going down because of several issues:
    1. Voted 90% of the time for Bush.
    2. Keating 5 S&L crisis.
    3. Phil "Whiner-gate" Graham.
    4. Rick "Keep paying me Fannie Mae/Freddy Mac" Davis.
    5. McCain not a maverick just a Gambler.
    6. Sarah "Trooper-gate" Palin.
    7. Mark " I got ties to Ayers Too" Sanford
    8. Carl "He can't run a business" Fiorina.

    October 6, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  9. Lisa (Sunshine)

    The McCain campaign can come out with all kinds of ads and lies to tie Obama to but it won't work, people. When are you going to realize that? It doesn't matter what you try to tell the American people, we are not falling for it. When is the McCain campaign going to get this in their thick heads? The more you lash out at Obama and not talk about what we want to hear, the economy and how you can fix it, the more the polls are going in his favor. How stupid of this campaign to think for one minute that the people are falling for all this b.s. Whoever is without sin, let him throw the first stone. Apparently, the McCain campaign thinks they are without sin. Well, the last laugh will be on you come November 4th. And the polls will continue to be in Obama's favor up until the BIG day when he will win by a landslide. All of your tactics and schemes are backfiring on you. And make sure you give Slurpin-Syrupy Sarah Palin a BIG thanks for it. How dare she has the audacity to talk when her closet is full of skeletons and she can't confront her own issues nor talk about them....hyprocrite!

    October 6, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  10. Stacy from Loudoun County, VA

    McCain/Palin-Out of Touch/Out of her mind

    Out of options, out of answers....

    Out of time...

    Sheesh. These two do for Republicans what the Reverend Jim Jones did for kids drinks.

    October 6, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  11. Grace Needed

    What could be more 'risky, dangerous' than what Senator McCain has already done? He called for deregulation of the financial markets for decades and then was surprised by their greed and corruption. He selected a Vice President without proper vetting who has little knowledge of national affairs outside Alaska, let alone international. Heck, the Gov. hasn't even been a student of world affairs and doesn't intend to be, nor does she have any interest. How risky and dangerous is that to have someone who has no depth and breadth of knowledge in a position to become President when the Presidential candidate is 72 with melonoma with father and grandfather dying before they were 75? The Republican Party is risky and dangerous putting up these unstable and erratic candidates for high office. As my Dad used to say, "We may have been born yesterday, but we spent the rest of the day looking around". We've more sense than you give us credit for. Don't prove me wrong Americans! This US versus THEM mentality that has gridlocked Washington will just continue with this ticket and others like them – who dismiss the whole East Coast as elitists and liberal. ENOUGH is enough, we are NOT going back. We are moving forward with or without you!

    October 6, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  12. Susan

    The economy is a mess, our reputation is in shreds–all because of Bush's policies, which McCain has supported 95 percent of the time.

    If you buy into McCain/Palin's obvious smear tactics, then I hear they have a bride to nowhere you might be interested in purchasing in Alaska. Their campaign has no substance other than failed policies.

    These people have no shame and are desperate.

    October 6, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  13. Donkey Party

    I can't even begin to express my total lack of respect for a fellow Navy man. McCain is a disgrace, and he continues to dishonor himself further by tring to paint a Presidential candidate as unpatriotic. He and his lapdog (Palin) need to disappear, before they eternally seal their own fates of never holding any political office ever again.

    October 6, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. No McSame

    Thought McLiar was going to run an honorable campaign – this is the biggest bunch of sleeze we've seen in a long time. Who is John McCain?

    October 6, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. Judy

    If Sarah Palin wasn't a big liar she would not be going backward. In the debate she accuse Jo of going backward and now what is the Barbie doing, Backsliding backsliding like the campaign is doing. I smell trouble trouble trouble for the McCain camp. You better get ready for a nasty battle Sarah and hope you and 1st Dude is really for the final outcome.

    October 6, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. Dan, TX

    Palin is a tax evader. She should be in jail!

    Obama is a calm LEADER. McCain likes to tilt at windmills and thinks he's riding to the rescue.

    McCain's time was in 2000. He lost because his character was smeared. He promised he would never do that. He is a liar – he traded in his honor for power. Shame on him. He is not worthy to lead me.

    October 6, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  17. Pee

    Silly people.......Dirty politics has no place in America today...and even the rest of the world. Why can't the Republicans learn to be sensible and change their ways?

    October 6, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  18. Laura, Boston

    If the MSM had done their jobs last year and not made Obama out to be "god-like", then they would have taken the time to do a proper vetting of the man.

    After 1. ACORN
    2. Rezko
    3. Ayers
    4. Rev. Wright
    5. Father Flagger
    After these were looked into Hillary would have been the nominee. But because the DNC wanted Hillary out of the way they elevated Obama so much so that the sexism and reverse racism came rushing out.

    If you are white and you question Obama in any way you are deemed racist. Bill Clinton of all people was called racist because he said this whole thing was a fairy tale. How "fairy tale" turns into racism I'll never know.

    So go ahead Obama bring up Keating...it was dems who went to jail. John McCain & John Glenn were rebuked!!! That's it!!!

    Laura, Boston

    October 6, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  19. We Demand Our Country Back!

    How many times are they going to change their campaign message?

    October 6, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  20. reggie

    "Risky and Dangerous" – to say the least. Electing Obama would be a HUGE disaster! I'm just hoping McCain can pull it out. He was never my first choice....But, he would be far better than Obama.

    October 6, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  21. Pee

    Dirty politics has no place in America today...and even the rest of the world. Why can't the Republicans learn to be sensible and change their ways?

    October 6, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  22. CMitch FW, TX

    What are the issues? What is the state of America? Economy? Again what are the issues?

    October 6, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  23. Susan

    Gone – I think you're wrong. "It's the economy stupid" – the Republicans cannot untangle themselves from this debacle, no matter how much they try to use fear and racism to do so. I think the Keating 5 counter attack is a necessary counterpunch. Unsavory, yes. True? You betcha.

    October 6, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  24. Amanda

    What happened to the old John McCain? This is just sad that his campaign is dipping so low. I will be voting Dem for the first time in my life. I just dont trust my own party anymore. I dont like dirty politics. I do understand that Obama needs to point out the negitives in McCains camp, but I also realize who started this. I will vote the issues, not the rumors or slander going on. I'm jumping on the Obama band wagon, move over and make room for yet another disalussioned republican.

    October 6, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  25. Steve an Independent from Oregon

    The only risky and dangerous problem I can see is having an inexperienced hot head like Sarah Palin in the Oval office when John has his big one. That would truly be a night mare.

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