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. Megan from San Diego

    McCain is a desperate loser! He stole Obama's campaign theme of "change" but conducts the same Karl Rove style campaign tactics that Bush did.

    How am I supposed believe he will change anything!?! Actions speak louder than words McCain.

    Oh, and your vp pick is a JOKE!!!!

    October 6, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. Irony!

    The Big Elephant (The GOP) is trying to hide the Bigger Elephant in the room (The Economy)


    We are smarter than this. Your camp is desperate and out of ideas!

    BO 08

    October 6, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. America demands answers

    I am so shocked that Palin told Biden not to look into the past and dig up facts about the ticket....Now what is she doing? Is she really a CHRISTIAN? Can we trust HER WORD OM AMYTHING? Sarah its less than a week that you said to all Americans that we shouldnt go back to the past...What happened? Are you really an outside to WH when you were mayor you aired lobbyist to solicit for earmarks, you did same as Gov...I DONT THINK SARA CAN BE TRUSTED..Since you change your stand like Mccain by the hour
    I am Joe from chicago and i approve this message

    October 6, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. Tired of GOP Smears Running our Nation

    As for the real terrorism, someone should please ask McCain about his support in the 1980s for the mujahideen (Muslim holy warriors) blowing up things in Afghanistan, which ultimately led some of the mujahideen to form al-Qaeda. Or about McCain's friendship and support for Gen.Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan, who refused to help capture Bin Laden in 1999 and who continued to support and use the Taliban.

    October 6, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. milo

    THIS is what they think is going to help them?

    They have been saying "risky" since the beginning, and nobody bought it. Ever. Not to mention that many people think "risky" is a racist codeword.

    Seriously, you don't change the way the polls are going by repeating things you already tried that didn't work.

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

    Repbulican's just lie lie lie. Those Americans who fall for the same Bush tatics are just plain dumb.

    October 6, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. Doug

    Three hundred million people and the best we can come up with is Bush, McCain and Palin?

    October 6, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. Latina for Obama (nj)

    YES WE CAN!!!!

    the old guy and the pitt bull..those are he dangerous ones.

    October 6, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  9. Susie oklahoma


    Obama was 8 years old!! Get the facts before hanging someone out to dry!! These idiotic lies have got to stop! Palin can read sure but she doesn't know one thing how to run our country.If McCain were to get sick or die she'd be the President. That is one of the scariest things that could happen. Who'd you rather be in office if Obama or McCain got killed or sick?? Biden, who has been in politics for 30+ years or a woman that only was governer of a small town for a few years....HMMMM, easy answer.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 6, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. BS not Maverick

    Sahara, Don't throw those gloves away! you will need them when you back back to Alaska, HAAAAAAAAAAAA.

    October 6, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. Truth Be told

    also, palin is nudging herself in line for 2012. now, that's a laugh!!

    obama will run for relection that year. if palin wants, she can try in 2016, against hillary, no less. wink, wink against substance. guess who'll win?

    October 6, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  12. Jatovi, NC

    The dow is down big, many people loosing their jobs, banks are closing, world markets struggling, we are in a recession and McCain/ Palin only talk about who Obama is tied to? This is really ignorant. Come to the table with a plan or don't come to the table at all.

    October 6, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  13. B

    I'm tired of all this hateful rhetoric. Why can't you tell us what ~your~ plans for the nation are? You don't have any plans!

    @Gone – When will you people look up and realize that the Michelle Obama comments were an outright hoax. Do you really want to vote for someone that orchestrates hoaxes and lies to win?

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

    why are you supporting this rubbish CNN? Is it because you want to see this close cause it's good for ratings? you have a responsability here – the economy is going into the tank and you are aiding and abetting the McCain campaign with this noise! you are allowing McCain to change the subject which does no one any good does not help anything except perpetuate the garbage coming out of McCain.

    October 6, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  15. Zaley

    McCain and Palin are dangerous. If Americans fall for their falsehoods and lies then I say give them what they serve...another 4 years of nothing!


    October 6, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  16. American Voter

    CNN, I would like you to investigate a program that I saw on Fxo News last night on Obama. It was called "FRIENDS OF OBAMA – HISTORY ON RADICALISM". I would like CBN and the mainstream media to investigate and find out the truth about Obama. I think the media owes it to the voters to give us the truth about the candidates. The same way you can dig up things on Palin, its about time that we hear about Obama. I would like to know of his years at Columbia and Harvard universities and what did he actually do there. I would like to read about his THESIS which apparently have not been released to the media. Also his contact with some radical people including Palestinians. I challenge CNN to get this information for the american voters before we make our decision on November 4.

    October 6, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  17. Leslie

    What I find risky and dangerous is the fact the the McCain campaign continue to ignore the ECONOMY and are attacking Obama on lies and inuendos.

    The Dow is down almost 500 points, down under 10,000 and McCain is not even touching this! How can McCain and Palin even think they are qualified to run this country when they are playing ROVE politics instead of addressing the real issues for the American People?

    They are pathetic!!!

    October 6, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |

    cnn is showing great prejudice, always talking up Obama! Everyone I have talked to even people who are leaning towards Obama is really sick of it and because of that issue are talking of voting for McCain!
    This is not about who takes the best picture or sounds the best when speaking!!
    This is about who is the person who will have us the people in their thoughts. Obama does not care how is wife and family feels...they do not want him to be President!! But, does Obama care?? No its all about him and his ego!!! So do you actually think he care what the American people want, need???
    Be smart vote for McCain!!!
    MCCAIN '08

    October 6, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  19. Independent for McCain

    obama wins taxes goes up

    October 6, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  20. sophia nyc

    Palin is calling someone else 'dangerous'?

    October 6, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  21. John McCain HAS LOST ALL HONOR

    As these final days whine down toward the election the LES HONORALBLE John McCain's campaign has become. In my eyes he as LOST ALL RESPECT and IS SHAMEFUL.

    October 6, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  22. Gretchen

    Do McCaina nd Palin have any clue as to what is important to us any more in this election?

    I've already talked with three people I was trying to swing to Obama, and guess what, they are on board – they are totally disgusted with McCain and his poor judgment in picking Palin and the way their campaign is going.

    Take a good look America – is McCain/Palin what you really think will help you and your family's future?

    October 6, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  23. Terry

    We have had 8 years of sure bets and no risk? What was George Bush and his administration all about? Excuse me I am ready to take a chance with Obama. I am already sick of this election can't wait until it and McCain goes away.

    October 6, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  24. Rob

    Well DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!! Of course he's dangerous. Anyone with at least a quarter of a brain can see that.

    Unfortunately that brain requirement disqualifies the Obama supporters. Whether they were born that way, too much koolaid, or Oprah brainwashing, they can't see the forest from the trees. They can't/don't see the truth. They wouldn't know the truth if it was a board falling off a Rezscko slum, or a brick flying from one of Ayers bombings, or a cd from one of Wright's hate sermons. No, Obama supporters just go to show that intelligence, reason, common sense, and the truth do not matter in elections (according to them apparently)

    October 6, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  25. CHas

    Why won't McCain talk about the issues and how to solve the problems?
    Why is Palin always going negitive and telling lies?

    Palin is more dangerous than a bomb.

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