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. Informed for OBAMA

    DESPERATE, PANICED AND DELUSIONAL=Mclame and whats her name?

    October 6, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. Bob, Newport

    The more Sara Palin speaks, the more McCain's numbers drop. The
    stupids who are willing to look dumb standing behind Sara Palin at the
    McCain rallies when she spews her venom is becoming scarce.

    October 6, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. Peter from OH

    Palin's job is obvious = radicalize the base. The Republicans walk into dangerous territory.

    October 6, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  4. Susan

    These people are attacking Obama instead of the issues because there is no substance to their campaign. They should stick to the issues because that's what the American people deserve and want to hear.

    October 6, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  5. Darrel from Denver


    What a set of pathetic losers....

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

    Talk about a sleezeball. Barak Hussien Obama has his (workers)? dragging homeless people down to vote for him. How low can you get? All the things that McCain and Palin are saying about him are true. Oh well, the truth hurts. Go McCain/Palin 08

    October 6, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  7. louise`

    Palin is being investigated for abuse of power....she can't speak with talking points and now ten days later is saying she didn't like the questions Couric asked?......she should be the last person to throw stones about someone's pastor......cannot believe that these church going people can stand there and lie through their teeth......
    She keeps saying "Drill Baby Drill"....think she should change the Republican campaign slogan to save their campaign to "Keep on telling lies, Baby, keep on telling lies.........
    Their signs say Country First......and they leave Michigan....what does that say to Joe Six Pack and Hockey Moms in that state.....if you can't do anything for us......we're gone!

    October 6, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  8. Rich in Indy

    Democrats don't have any political interest in getting their constituents out of poverty. Lemmings, keep following your MASTERS.

    October 6, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  9. E N O U G H

    Sarah, Let's talk about ignoring subpoenas, shall we?

    October 6, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  10. marie

    And this has what to do with the Economic Meltdown. TheDOW was down 10,000 points today and more banks will crumble in days to come....MCSHAME wake up....Do you really want to go down that road. It will not help you at all if the KEATING 5 scandal that you had a hand in comes out AGAIN......That took down the biggest S&L and needed a gov bail out. The issue is who do you trust and we do not trust you and that silly woman PALIN.....That show's how much we can trust you. Your choice in picking her was proof positive you are not to be trusted. She is a running SNL SKIT with her own words.. You can't write this......If you were a true MAVERICK then you would have gone against your Party and picked OLD MAN LIBERMAN OR THAT SCRAWNY WIMPY PAWLENTY..........

    October 6, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. John, Catholic

    "We are oft to blame in this;'Tis too much proved—that with devotion's visage; And pious action we do sugar o'er the devil himself." (Hamlet Act 3 Scene 1)

    "I sigh; and, with a piece of scripture, Tell them that God bids us do good for evil: And thus I clothe my naked villany with old odd ends stolen out of holy writ; And seem a saint, when most I play the devil." (Richard III Act 1 Scene 3)

    October 6, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  12. Jane

    We as Americans woke up way too late. After eight years of not paying attention, and focusing on issues to distract us from the real issues, we are about to elect 4 more years of the same. We're slow learners.
    OBAMA/BIDEN for a new direction.

    October 6, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  13. Lu

    One thing that Palin is naturally gifted at: the Karl Rove school of dirty talks. She hasn't caught her other coursework yet, but this one, she just fit right in. If this election doesn't work out for her, she will always have a job with Karl.

    For those who hates Michelle Obama, why don't you just be honest and say that you hate Black People. Don't be ashamed, tell the world what you really feel.

    October 6, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  14. Vincent, Great Lakes, Illinois

    The more I see her, the more I dislike her.

    Go ahead, "Mom of the year," point those fingers. I have one for you, knowing fully well that you were to give birth to a child with a disability, why, after your water broke, did you finish a speach in Texas, head to the airport, and get on a plane to fly back to Alaska to give birth?

    What kind of a "loving mother" would put her child's life in jeopardy???

    You are just out for yourself. You throw your family under the bus at every turn. Unbelieveable

    October 6, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  15. Sacto Joe

    The stock market is shouting that the economy is in serious trouble, and all the McCain camp can do is try to throw mud.

    Keep your eye on the real issues, Senator Obama!

    We desperately need you in the White House!

    October 6, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  16. NoMccain

    This sort of baby slapping avoids the real issues at stake. Mccain pulled Obama into this, just like he politicized the economic crisis… is Mccain’s campaign still officially in “suspension?” There is no doubt that Mccain is openly embracing the Muslim charges against Obama, which cannot be perceived as anything other than prejudicial racism. SO WHAT!? Isn’t this a free country or not? Why is it such a big deal even if he is Muslim? Mccain and Palin are trying to paint him as a terrorist, just because they are convinced that he is Muslim. These idiots are quick to connect him to his former Christian pastor Jeremiah Wright, and then simultanteously slide over to charge him with the fallacious accusation of being Muslim. This is a serious disjunction in the thought patterns of many racist Americans. It’s unbelievable.
    Anyways… Obama’s professionalism transcends any politician this year… it’s clear, because he ended up on top of a two year long presidential race. He will NOT be brought down to Mccain/Palin’s level. They will not win because of their inability to connect with the real DIVERSE American population that many Americans pick up arms and fight for.

    October 6, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. Make-Believe Maverick

    Des 'Risky and Dangerous' mean BLACK?

    Come on, look at those ads, they scream racism. Dark scary music, shades Obama's face a tad darker with a black scary background like he's coming in your back door unannounced....

    Maybe the skinhead Schmidt directed the campaign to go this way but I can tell ya, Americans and the world is tired of racism McCain. Start conducting an adult campaign and Man Up!

    October 6, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  18. sm

    The US troops are raiding villages and killing civilians in Afghanistan.


    October 6, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  19. Bruce

    LIERS can't be trusted. We do not need 4 more years of LIERS in the white house. McCain and Palin are LIERS. They fail to see the need for facts and they have no plan. It was easy for Obama to agree to so many of McCains statements during the last debate because most of what he said were Obama's IDEAS in the forst place stollen by McCain he has not had a good idea of his own. All his ideas are FAILURES. LOOK AT HIS VP selection.

    October 6, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  20. GPENN

    "About 300 guests turned out Saturday night to celebrate the 90th birthday of Joseph 'Joe Bananas' Bonanno, retired boss of New York's Bonanno crime family. He retired to Tucson in 1968. . . John McCain, R-Ariz., and Gov. Fife Symington sent their regards by telegram."
    The maverick,the "straight talk express",you've got to laugh.John McCain and Joe Bonanno a founding member of "the commission".

    October 6, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  21. Cal

    The Republican ticket has no answers about any substantive issues, so they are just mud-slinging to distract the American public about issues that matter.

    When it comes down to it, Barack Obama has never been formally investigated regarding any of these alleged "scandals;" which are really just being manufactured by the Republican smear machine. McCain, on the other hand, has faced investigation and admitted to impropriety in the Keating Five affair. Sarah Palin is currently being investigated in regards to abuse of power in Alaska.

    When people say that they don't "know anything about Obama," what do they really mean? The man has written two books about his relatively short life. One outlines his life history from childhood through Harvard Law. The other one outlines the framework of his policy positions regarding all major issues since he entered public life. Maybe those who claim to not know anything about Obama ought to try reading a book, in stead of trying to ban books like Palin did in Alaska.

    October 6, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |

    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 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  23. Mark

    This is ridiculous. What is the difference between McCain and Obama? The are the same just different sides of the coin. They proved this last week when they both voted in favor of this bailout (rescue plan) package last Wednesday when the majority of people including many economists were not in favor of this bill especially with all this pork ($150 Billion worth).

    If you want real change Vote for a Third Party candidate.

    I'm voting Bob Barr, you vote for whom you think is the right choice.

    October 6, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  24. hrsc

    McCain is pure slime it is so sad to see him having to resort to these garbage tactics. Now we see what Palin was brought in to do attack Sen. Obama and if he directs anything at Palin.
    Ignorance from those who will play it as he's attacking a white woman ( racist / sexist pigs).
    My car was repo'd last week and my landlord may be losing the duplex I rent. So all this CRAP.... about the past is doing nothing for me.

    John McCain has no honor americans are suffering and he's not talking about the issues..and Palin makes white women look like trash talking idiots.

    October 6, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  25. Cindy

    John McCain said he knows how to win a war.

    Then, WHY are we still in Iraq?? WHY are our people still being killed?

    If McCain knows how to win a war, WHY hasn't he done it yet?

    October 6, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
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