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. David in Illinois

    KEATING 5! KEATING 5! KEATING 5! KEATING 5! KEATING 5! KEATING 5! KEATING 5! KEATING 5! KEATING 5! KEATING 5!
    KEATING 5! KEATING 5! KEATING 5! KEATING 5! KEATING 5!

    That's all the "judgment" you need to know. McCain is not qualified to lead this nation out of the economic disaster under way. So what do McCain/Palin point out? Rev. Wright? Bill Ayers? It's all about the past.
    So if they want to talk about the past, let McCain explain all the deregulation he OK'd and then talk about his "palling around" with Charles Keating.

    October 6, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. Wolf hunter

    I am very disappointed with the Republican party and with John McCain. At first, I had no idea who Sarah Palin was. Now I am just ticked. I can't even imagine her as a CEO of a large business let alone be the vice-president of the country with largest economy of the world. She is a good attack dog, I'll give her that. That's about it though.

    October 6, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. Shelley florida

    In response to gone, I think that when all is said and done is that people are going to realize that it is very hard to believe anything that McCain/Plain have to say. Voters are going to remember the distortions and the lies that have become an everyday feature of their campaign. In the end people are going to think if McCain has problems with the truth now, how is he any different from George Bush and why would we think that anything would be different once he became president.

    October 6, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. david,baltimore,mamryland

    Lets hope Obama does not take this crap lying down.he needss to confront McCain in the debates front and center on his role in th eKeating 5;his campaign manager's receipt of funds for access;his failiure to release health records;and Phil gramm as an economic advisor.He has to take off the gloves and call him out as a desperate venomous liar who is making a public spectacle of himslef and the USA by his campaign tactics.

    October 6, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  5. ltd1974

    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 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  6. Beverly, NYC

    Sarah Palin = Top Fundraiser for Barack Obama.
    Keep lying governor, I may have to eat tuna for the month but it will be worth it.

    October 6, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  7. Greg in Colorado

    They have nothing but Jeremiah Wright. This is such old news. Nobody gave a rip when Bush was in relation with James Dobson and Ted Haggard. Same thing. People are just reaching for anything and might I note that this topic didn't lose it for him in the primaries because people don't really care about it and it won't lose it for him in November. This election is over, no matter what they try to misrepresent.

    October 6, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  8. The Nerve of This Woman

    And let's not forget to talk about Todd's wanting Alaska to secede from the US.

    October 6, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  9. greg

    THE MARKET IS DOWN 500 159000 JOBS LOST PEOPLE LOSING THEIR LIFE SAVINGS AND 401 KS AND THIS IS WHAT THIS CAMPAIGN WANTS TO TALK ABOUT, HOW INSULTING TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, WHY DO WE HAVE TO LISTEN TO THESE PEOPLE, DIDN'T THE R.N.C HAVE A BETTER MAN FOR THE JOB, OR A RUNNING MATE, GOD HELP THIS COUNTRY AND THE FUTURE OF OUR CHILDREN.

    October 6, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  10. Gallimimus

    McCain and Palin just get more pathetic everyday. Come up with something original. They are so bad off, they can't even come up with new stuff to try and win the campaign. It's just pathetic.

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

    I`ll vote for Sarah because she is a hockey mom, a pal of Joe-Six pack and she winked at me on national TV ( swoon ;) . Now that shows she is able to lead this country. To where !!!-- I don`t know, but it`s scary !!!!!!

    October 6, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  12. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Investigate if John McCain was invested in Silver Bank of Arizona and got his money out before it failed in August '8. If so it was totally unethical of Sen. John McCain to do so knowing investors would lose their money and he said nothing. McCains son was CEO of Silver Bank and quit 2 months before it crashed, did he leave with a parachute package and John McCain was in Arizona every weekend during this time. Investigate Please.

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

    Fear and Smear is all they have left! In the midst of everything, this is a desparate ploy to distract from the real issues. Americans have been lied to long enough. How can a campaing of lies, fear, and smear help with todays economy? Same old tactics, same old policies, same old result!

    October 6, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  14. Marilyn

    palin and mccain is actually throwing the election. He is actually too sick to be president and she is aiming for 2012.

    Ayres did what he did, when Obama was 8 years of age unlike mccain with the keating 5 a grown adult.
    No need to bring up Rev. Wright, palin also was prayed over for witch craft or was it to instill witch craft? Don't forget todd palin who belonged to Alaska succeeding from the Union.

    October 6, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  15. Stef

    McCain thinks we have turned the corner.????? More bad judgement!

    The Dow just dropped below 10,000.

    McCain needs to get serious. He should put his energy to figuring out his economic plan and focusing Ms Palin before he is out of the game completely.

    This is a time of crisis, America doesn't have time to play mudslinging games.

    October 6, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  16. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW

    ITS TIME FOR THE MCCAIN / PALIN TICKET TO SHOW JUST WHO OBAMA IS. THANK GOD ITS FINALLY STARTED BECAUSE THE OBAMA SUPPORTERS ARE NOT GOING TO COMPLETE ANY RESEARCH ON THIS MAN.
    I DO REALIZE THAT THE DIE HARD OBAMANUTS WILL NEVER GET IT BUT HOPEFULLY THE MCCAIN/PALIN TICKET WILL OPEN UP THE EYES OF ENOUGH PEOPLE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

    October 6, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  17. Not Fooled

    the markets around the world are falling like tumbling every day, mccain is cancelling his campaign to look like he cares and failing utterly, Palin sounds like a hastily prepared political See 'n Say, and the GOP are tauting deregulation in an era where the Iraq war is costing as much every week as CEOs are earing on bonus checks.

    Who, exactly, is the risky choice again?

    October 6, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  18. Proud to be American

    It is a sad day in America when our ecconomy is in shambles and all the McCain camp can do is throw mud and lies...... what are you going to do to fix the mess you supported McCain? America is ready for Change not the same Rove mud slinging that you and PainLin appears is all you can do..... get a clue and run straight back to AZ .... the only state I know of that does not celebrate MLK day.... what a shame!

    October 6, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  19. Florida for Obama

    If people don't know enough about Barach Hussein Obama, it is because, like many of my "college" students, they refuse to research and read for themselves. If a man runs for President twice and loses, what makes him worthy of being President now? McCain has tried for the office on a couple of occasions. He lost to G.W. Bush; that, in and of itself is telling. With the current conditions on Wall Street after the bailout, there is no room for name calling. That's what one does in elementary school before he/she knows better. When one becomes an adult, it would seem necessary to employ adult tactics when resolving disagreements. I couldn't care less about Rev. Wright, Ayers, or Michelle Obama. I care about the future of this country, and if McCain/Palin cannot find anything better to do with their time than to hurl insults at their opponent, both have proven to me that they are truly incompetent and unworthy of my vote. Maybe McCain can try again in 2012, if he's still around.

    October 6, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  20. Tim Weiss

    BEWARE!!!

    He's black!!!!

    I'm just waiting for that one. I wouldn't be surprised to hear it. Grow up Palin/McCain campaign.

    October 6, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  21. Jane in CA

    Lies and smears.. This is all the disgusting GOP/ can come up with.

    Vote for HOPE.

    October 6, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  22. mayah

    speaking of SHADY, go to ALASKA, where Palin is under investigation, and REPUBLICAN Senator, Ted Stevens is on trial for corruption, all in her backyard, maybe she'll blame it on RUSSIA..

    October 6, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  23. Truth Be told

    to the palin/mccain campaign and their supporters, no matter what you say about sen. obama (which have already been debunked so many times in the past), it will not change the majority of americans' belief that what we are going through right now was caused by mccain's reckless and irresponsible support throughout the years of deregulations to benefit his friends and allies, charles keating, et al.

    i will still make sure that obama gets into the white house to clean up this mess, with my support. palin can then go back to alaska and face the wrath of the good people of that state and answer for her abuse of power.

    senators obama and biden will win this election via landslide.

    October 6, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  24. Barney

    We've got your back here in NC Barack. Don't worry.

    October 6, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  25. Vic

    TO: CNN. You continue to post blogs containing the lowest of the low attacks on Governor Palin, calling her a witch and names that are not permitted in what is left of polite society. And worst of all - downing a past religion and criticizing it's pastors, and its members and their practices. Also those that contain every slanderous name one can think of against John McCain. Yet, when one attempts to critique Obama's past affiliations - his blog is never posted. Why?

    October 6, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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