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. mel from Ohio

    Gone-dream on!!!! McBush has so much dirt in his closet as does Cindy. Don't you get it....... the thinking American voter who is hurting couldn't care less about Rev. Wright or Michelle Obama, they are concerned about being able to buy food and gas and being able to have a home that isn't being snatched from underneath them. Your thinking is exactly why the Pubs are where they are now. No ISSUES just JUNK that doesn't resonate with voters.

    October 6, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. Patricia from Las Vegas

    I think Sarah Palin is the ultimate risky and dangerous....she is also an idiot!!!

    October 6, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  3. SPT NYC

    Whereas the prospect of placing Sarah Palin second in line to the presidency is not at all risky and dangerous?

    October 6, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  4. Vic

    You Obama worshippers had better do yourselves a favor and read his books. You'll see that he has personally admitted to the things opponents are saying about him. What isn't known though, is what was he up to during his years at Columbia and Harvard. Learn who his best friend was at Harvard. Hint: Recently convicted in Chicago; initials TR.

    October 6, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. empty vessel

    Not one of you bots has the intenstinal fortitude to actually REFUTE the STORY that was in the fish rag that you all love the NY times.

    THEY wrote the piece and she is simply asking the VALID question of why did Obama have his political coming out party in a known terrorists living room and why did he accept his cash?

    Ayers wasnot cleared of all charges and would have been bagged for more except for a BS technicality and if you did some homework you would KNOW that AYERS STATED on 9/12/01 that he didn't think they BOMBED ENOUGH OF OUR US INSTALLATIONS.

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

    Swiftboat is old and we are not falling for this or the smear ads anymore. 90% of the people I know in our battleground state (dems,idep and reps) are all voting for Obama and think the latest MCSAME ads and comments are garbage.. NOT THIS TIME ROVE!!!!

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

    Governor do you pray with that lying mouth!

    October 6, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  8. Paul

    I guess if you can't win on the economy or on foreign policy or on the war, there's always smears and distractions.

    October 6, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  9. tired of delusional blind sheep

    the only real danger comes in the form of the war mongerer and the woman who acts before blinking...... the neo-conservative ticket.. if they win, we will always be involved in war.. why doesnt every american see this.. or maybe they do, they just dont care seeing how some on making a buck on the blood of our young men and women.

    george mccain and sarah cheney are nothing but the same disastrous duo we have had for the past 8 years.

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

    "McCain advisors are wagering that the attack is worth the risk."

    Well of course, he loves gambling and he's a "maverick."

    Who sounds "dangrous" and "risky" now?

    October 6, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  11. Alison B

    The irony is when things are not going your way lets get nasty. People don't care about this stuff we already know about all of this already. Why can't they stay on topic or do they truly have absolutely nothing of significance to discuss with the American people. Come on now we don't want to hear about Rev Wright, we don't want to hear about Rezno, we don't want to hear of anything the Republics feels they want people to know. We want to know what is the Republicans will do that will be different from George Bush, we want to know why is it we should be voting for them cause as it stands they have shown absolutely no reason for anyone to be interested in their cause as it stands for NOTHING.

    With that being said we will stick to the person who has been telling us what their plans are, what they will do for us and that is Barack Obama.

    October 6, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  12. Jeff Brown

    This is coming from the people who brought you one of the dirtiest presidential campaigns in history! McCain's decision to wallow in the mud and sling it at Obama is pathetic. Only the John Q. Adams campaign was more disgusting. Mrs. Andrew Jackson was accused of adultery and bigamy and the people were repulsed by it. Jackson went on to win, just like Obama will win BIG in November!

    October 6, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  13. Lenora Virginia

    The campaigning that I see as an independent is getting so irritating. It appears that one particular party is becoming a whinner and nitpicker on anything and everything that does not suit them. Also, that they will stop at nothing to get what they want. This is scarey and getting played out. It does nothing for me to believe if you can try and be deceitful, mean, cuthroat, embellishing, and whinning, and non-sportsmanlike that you can be good for our country.
    There are issues here in this country right?

    October 6, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  14. ExPostFacto

    Health Care
    Energy Dependence
    "Mission Accomplished"
    End of Partisanship
    Restoring America's Image Abroad

    October 6, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  15. Truly American

    H Obama= maybe good for economy
    H Obama= bad character, shady relationships, far leftist, no experience, probably not looking out for my best interests.


    October 6, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  16. James

    Perpetually fretting Democrats will not want to accept it. The campaigns themselves can’t afford to believe it. Many journalists know it but can’t say it. And there will certainly be some twists and turns along the way. But take it to a well capitalized bank: Bill Ayers isn’t going to save John McCain neither Rev. Wright wii. The race is over.

    John McCain’s candidacy is as much a casualty of Wall Street as Lehman or Merrill. Like those once vibrant institutions, McCain’s collapse was stunning and quick. One minute you are a well-respected brand. The next you are yelling at the messengers of your demise as all around you the numbers start blinking red and stop adding up.

    October 6, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  17. jadedat51

    Someone should ask Palin: "Who would Jesus diss?"

    She should answer for her very un-Christian behavior.
    In "my world" this makes Palin the "dangerous" candidate.

    October 6, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  18. Dan

    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 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  19. Kristyn

    This is truly a sad time in American politics. I use to like McCain, but not any more. With everything going on in our country right now....is this all they have to talk about. Why can't McCain tell us why we should vote for him, instead of telling us that Obama is risky. John McCain has really disappointed me and Sarah should be ashamed of herself. The rest of the world is watching us too....is this what we want to show them? How sad.

    October 6, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  20. Susan

    What's risky and dangerous is for McCain to choose Palin as his running mate and putting her a heartbeat away from the Presidency. This "woman" can't string two sentences together without being told what to say and goes off into la-la land on a different subject every time she can't answer a question.

    October 6, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  21. OnFire

    Sarah, you disappoint me. I thought you were like one of us. Remember, "Straight Talk". Sounds more like "Smear Talk". I still haven't heard what you are going to do to change things. I'm out of a job and hurting financially. Stop the smearing and tell me what you are going to do to fix the economy. Winking and avoiding questions doesn't do me any good. I had such high hopes when you got on the ticket. Now I have to vote Democratic for the first time in my life. Thanks but no thanks, Sarah.

    October 6, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  22. Tony

    Palin is completely braindead. Totally incoherent, understands nothing, is completely programmed by the McCain campaign to STICK TO THE SCRIPT, and so on, and so on.....

    McCain insulted the intelligence of every American when he chose Palin for the simple reason that he thought he could cajole the vast majority of women in America, especially white women, to flock to him with this lame, pathetic choice.

    Palin insulted every American in the VP debate when she looked into the camera and said that she would not answer the questiosn she was aksed, but would talk about what she wanted to talk about....period!

    The DOW JONES is down 400+ points again today, so if you value your job, pension,401(k), retirement accounts and your FAMILY, Children and their futures, say NO to McCain / Palin in November.

    October 6, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |

    McCain and Palin are two morons that have nothing constructive
    to offer with the situation of the economy that's the reason they are
    coming with all these false claims.

    October 6, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |

    You decide if Mr. “Keating 5” who was sanctioned by the Congressional Ethics Committee for taking campaign contributions, is the type of public servant who want to have access to the public till? Especially given the state of the banking industry?

    October 6, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  25. Barbara Campbell

    Today's news exemplifies the reason why neocons are going down the tubes. As the economy crashes under Republican deregulation, the media parrot Palin's garbage attacks against Obama. Palin has replaced Ann Coulter as the Queen of Mean, cheered on by the neocons who love to hate.

    A change in tide for conservatives would require that they start thinking for themselves, instead of regurgitating the divisive talking points of the day.

    October 6, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
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