March 20th, 2008
03:34 PM ET
13 years ago

McCain camp suspends staffer over Wright video

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" A video circulated by a McCain staffer questioned Obama's patriotism and included footage of Wright."](CNN) - The McCain campaign suspended a staff member Thursday afternoon for distributing a YouTube video that questions Barack Obama's patriotism and includes footage from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's controversial sermons.

“We have been very clear on the type of campaign we intend to run and this staffer acted in violation of our policy. He has been reprimanded by campaign leadership and suspended from the campaign,” McCain campaign spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker said.

The suspended staffer, Soren Dayton, works in the campaign's political department and distributed the YouTube video via the internet application Twitter earlier Thursday.

A campaign aide insists Soren Dayton was a low level staffer and who had “no role in the communications shop.”

McCain insists repeatedly that he will not engage in personal attacks on Democrats, and CNN was told last week that campaign aides are working on an op-ed to be published in the senator's name warning his surrogates and supporters not to do so.

- CNN's Dana Bash

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. Heidi

    Go figure!

    March 20, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  2. JC

    good man

    March 20, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  3. Bob Baker

    I give McCain credit for this move.

    March 20, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  4. Mark

    This is a very common trick in proxy war: send a lackey in to do the dirty work, and then decry said lackey in order to keep your own hands clean, i.e. Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro.

    I do not believe for even an instant that McCain did not know about this before. At the very best, his campaign manager orchestrated this and did not tell him. At worst, he gave the order himself.

    Welcome again to the 1950s and the McCarthy Era.


    I was counting the days before this would happen. I was off by only one day.

    March 20, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  5. FreeRide

    I have said that I can not vote for Hillary in the general election if she somehow gets the nomination. I don't agree with anything McCain stands for but because of the way he's taken the high road and shown integrity on this Wright flap, I can stomach him as president. Hillary, on the other hand, not so much!

    March 20, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  6. Chris

    He who is without SIN shall cast the first stone!

    March 20, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  7. Ticket of Hope: OBAMA Al Gore

    Good gesture McCain. But we not only look at how you run your campaigne but mostly what is your plan for America. Openly your plan is to continue the failed policy of G.W. Bush that most Americans reject.... simply look at his recent approval rate and adjust before it is late.

    March 20, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  8. Rob

    Good for McCain! But I bet he can't and won't stop these personal attacks. This is what some sick people think is appropriate while electing someone to be President of the United Sates. The last thing they want is a grown-up and intelligent debate on the issues, which is why the right wing didn't want him in the first place.. But good luck, Senator! If you can rein them in you have a chance of winning in November.

    March 20, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  9. Clinton is a fraud

    This why I will vote for McCain if the nomation is stolen from Obama. Other than that, Obama is still and will remain my number One choice.

    March 20, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  10. Truth

    Repbulican now jump out to say "We love Hillary and hate Obama", "so please vote for H and not for O".

    Then, Democrats begin to "hate Hillary and love Obama".

    It is too obvious that the Republican are worrying about the bad effect of Wright` words on Obama and began play some games.

    March 20, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  11. CMH

    Great to see that McCain knows how to deal with this situation!

    March 20, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  12. Kate

    He should be congratulated for doing what reporters should have done in the beginning. If the American people knew about this, he would not be where he is today. What a mockery.

    March 20, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  13. Annette TX

    I agree with John McCain – Let's not fight dirty like the Clinton does. Lets focus on the issues and facts. The more the democrate fight, the more they will lose and divide the party, it will come to a point that if Obama loses, they will all vote for McCain and if Billary lose;s they will all vote for McCain... No matter what McCain has a free ride and we will have this war go on for 100 yrs....

    March 20, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  14. Ken, Austin TX

    This is why I would vote for McCain instead of Hillary in a McCain-Clinton matchup.

    March 20, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  15. Robert

    I think it's a fair question as to why Obama stayed with that church and it's minister. Last week, he claimed he wasn't present when some of the more difficult sermons happened but that was a lie OR he just doesn't go to church much. It's obvious that Obama agrees with what the reverand was preaching; his wife said that she has been ashamed of our country her whole life.

    March 20, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  16. Louis

    BUT....the video is still posted. The staffer is still with the campaign, suspended is not fired. and the story is out.

    March 20, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  17. Jane

    Good job Mccain. I like the action you took. I will vote for you because of this action you guys took to suspended the person who was distributing video that questions Barack Obama's patriotism and includes footage from the Rev.

    March 20, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  18. JMA

    Now if only this message could be relayed to Clinton and Obama's supporters to stop with the personal attacks. John McCain doesn't need to attack the Democrats b/c they already do it enough themselves. The Dems always find a way to ruin their ability to win an election.

    March 20, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  19. Angela

    Thank you, Senator McCain, for suspending your staff person. . Wouldn't it be a novel idea and somewhat of a change to have a civilized general election campaign between Senator Obama and Senator McCain on issues rather than pastor endorsements, perceived character flaws and all that other junk? I can still HOPE!

    March 20, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  20. P. Martin

    . . . .Many people with un-American ideas hide behind the cloak of patriotism. I don't think that Senator Obama represents his pastor
    any more than McCain or Clinton .

    March 20, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  21. Armando

    Obama has my vote but I must say that the action taken by McCain is impressive.
    McCain is a stand up guy and an American Hero.

    March 20, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  22. Sean the thinker

    Hmmm......lets see if FOX news run this story.

    March 20, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  23. L.G

    Senator McCain is really a great man. He understands and appreciates what Obama brings in modern politic time. God Bless you McCain! Gob Bless you Obama! God Bless America!

    March 20, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  24. Tomas

    Regardless of who gets fired over this, the damage was already done. It is always annoying when politicians try to clean up the mess afterwards. All these candidates use this tactic as if it makes a difference. McCain might as well claim the mishap because at the end of the day, he benefited from this.

    March 20, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  25. Gerry

    Good for McCain. Could he give Clinton a call and offer to give her the same op-ed?

    Wouldn't it be nice to see an election between Obama and MCCain on issues-not personal attacks?

    March 20, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
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