February 22nd, 2008
11:15 AM ET
15 years ago

White House: The New York Times targets the GOP

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/22/art.stanzel0222.gi.jpg caption="White House Scott Stanzel in a file photo."]
(CNN) - The White House took aim at the New York Times Friday over its investigation of presidential candidate John McCain, with a spokesman telling reporters the paper unfairly targets Republicans.

“I think a lot of people here in this building with experience in a couple of campaigns have grown accustomed to the fact that during the course of the campaign - about seemingly on maybe a monthly basis leading up to the convention, maybe a weekly basis after that - the New York Times does try to drop a bombshell on the Republican nominee,” said White House Deputy Press Secretary Scott Stanzel.

“And that is something that the Republican nominee has faced in the past, and probably will face in this campaign. And sometimes they make incredible leaps to try to drop those bombshells on the Republican nominee,” he said.

Stanzel said that the White House would not comment on the specifics of the story, but considered what they felt to be the paper’s uneven approach to covering GOP candidates to be a “fact of life.” He added that in his personal experience as a staffer involved with President Bush’s 2000 and 2004 presidential runs, that sentiment was widespread on both campaigns.

“I'm not saying they never give that kind of treatment [to a Democratic nominee]. But we see it pretty regular [in] treatment of the Republican nominee,” he said of the Times.

–CNN's Kathleen Koch contributed to this report

Filed under: John McCain • White House
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Joe Fattal

    Lobbyist! They have been around us then, now, and in the next 20 years. So what, that's polotics. Remember the old saying. I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine.

    February 22, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  2. jp/michigan

    What do you expect from a liberal newspaper? They go after McCain and Clinton with boxing gloves and won't touch Obama. There is plenty about Obama quit treating him with kid gloves. Check his past, the present before you give our future to him.

    February 22, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. Tom Wittmann

    True, but they never did it in so a National Inquirer-like form

    I would advise the GOP an CNN, if the latter would like to be fair,
    investigate which are the reporters and the backgroung which seemingly filtered the story to the New republic and used this
    to force Keller, against his opinion that the story was not supported, to run it, which obviously not speaks well of yje later character.


    February 22, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  4. Philadelphian trapped in Texas

    Let's stop the paranoia. It sounds as if the NYT has made a major mistake, but that doesn't mean they have any axe to grind against the Republican they have endorsed. The story sounds implausible. I'm a Democrat who wouldn't be voting for McCain under any circumstances; but this isn't one of the reasons.

    February 22, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  5. Leslie

    From what I can tell, the NYT never outright accused McCain of adultery, but rather quoted people in his campaign who suspected him of it. Although it wouldn't be the first time McCain had extramarital relations, it's probably not true and not even important.

    What's interesting to me is how there's more attention being put on this "romantic relationship" (that probably didn't happen) than on the professional one. The real issue at hand here – the one most likely to damage McCain's campaign – is whether or not he allowed his policies to be influenced by a lobbyist. The Washington Post quotes one of his aides as saying, "We were running a campaign about reforming Washington, and her showing up at events and saying she had close ties to McCain was harmful."

    As Logan pointed out above, the supposed extramarital ties are insignificant in the larger picture. There seems to be little substance to support this claim. What the media should be investigating is the larger claim – did McCain, who has denounced the power and influence of lobbyists, act on behalf of "special interests"?

    February 22, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  6. Tom Wittmann

    WHO IS ORCHESTRATING the comments filed above ?? The repetitive argument targeting FOX shows that clearly ?? Could it be the same people to which the reporters of the story belong ??


    February 22, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. ron

    ...And Fox news doesn't target Democrats?
    Please. If Time didn't have any proof in making such allegations, they would run the risk of being sued by Mc Cain or whoever. If you smell the skunk, it can't be too far away!

    February 22, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  8. Kevin, Evansville, IN

    If you want to see to some dirty attacks on McCain, just listen to the conservative "pundits." Or listen to Bush in 2000. They've attacked him more viscously than anyone.

    Ironically, the Bush administration sees external entities like the NY Times as enemies (typical of Bush's black/white extremist mentality) ... and is completely oblivious to the fact that Bush destroyed the Republican party and McCain's chance of being president.

    Times or no Times, McCain will lose because of Bush. Meanwhile, the White House, as usual, acts like a dimwitted bully with a paranoid persecution complex.

    February 22, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. Tim T.

    Ah, the Repubs. They can dish it out but they sure can't take it.

    February 22, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  10. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Where's that perky but wifty Dana Perino on these issues? Bald flacks have been out since Ari Fleischer.

    February 22, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  11. Randy - Denver

    Randy – Denver February 22nd, 2008 12:37 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Poor Poor US.. everyone is sooo mean to the republicans.. thats why they call it swift boating.. oh wait that was the republicans, well maybe they meant when the papers were all attacking a sitting president for personal affairs, no wait that was a democratic president, they must have meant when the papers all gave the president a free ride while he lied his way into Iraq… no wait.. I guess I am confused

    3 hours?!?! come on!

    February 22, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  12. TheLeftNut

    NYT is Fair and Balanced.

    February 22, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  13. The Truth

    Hypocrisy at its finest on display at the White House daily!! They can dish it out, but can't take it....

    February 22, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  14. Texasboo

    LOL Why hasn't the "White House" admonished FARCE NEWS?

    This is what McCain gets for touting "experience and integrity" Clearly his experience doesn't come from being "clean". Lobbyist=special interest=McCain.

    Hypocrite much?

    February 22, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  15. Paris

    It is very sad to see that NYT has forgotten Journalism 101.
    I suggest CNN and NYT start over and reevaluate what they are doing to their reputation.

    As an American Citizen it is sad not to be able to trust your news organizations. Sad times for news integrity.

    February 22, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  16. Super D

    You morons on this board do not understand the issue. The NYT outright lied. It's just further proof that the media is totally in bed with the DNC. Thank god for FOX News, at least there, you can get a different side of the story.

    February 22, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  17. Trollmaster

    If the Republicans were credible they would have attacked Fox news for the exact same reason, same goes for the swift boaters.

    And if we do find out McCain did cheat on his wife, then once again theses Republicans sticking up for him will have egg on their faces.

    February 22, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  18. Alex

    Oh wah... "big bad news paper makes me feel bad." Go home and take a bath in all your money. You'll feel better.

    February 22, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
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