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. Harold

    Many people are questioned Obamas patriotism. This will not stop.

    March 20, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  2. Matelda

    Ms Ferraro, I think you should not express dismay but admiration for one of the best and most eloquent speeches of our time.
    Considering the fact that you seem to feel at ease with the wealth brought by your racketeering husband you should be the last person in the world to criticize someone with the moral ethics of Senator Obama.

    March 20, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  3. HAM

    Way to go John... you don't need to throw mud at these two... they will do enough of that to each other!

    March 20, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  4. Erik, Austin TX

    McCain doesn't need to run a negative campaign, there are plenty of Republican groups that will be glad to Swift Boat the other candidates on his behalf. All he has to do is sit back and say "not my fault, I have no control over them" and he can have his opponents smeared and still keep his own nose clean.

    March 20, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  5. jfs Memhis, Tn

    Hopefully the Republicans can help to stop it on the Democratic Side!!
    Thanks from an Obama Supporter

    March 20, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  6. Shirley Victor

    I don't agree with Senator McCain's stance on the Iraq war but he is a decent human being. Senator Obama is a decent human being. Hillary has no moral 'line in the sand' that she won't cross. She will do or say anything to garner a few more votes.

    March 20, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  7. Jake

    McCain is right. Let the public decide the fate of Obama

    March 20, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  8. Gayle Sledge

    I have always respected Senator John McCain and applaude his committment to running a clean campaign. Although I'm a firm Senator Barack Obama supporter, I salute you!

    March 20, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  9. Grif

    If you can't vote Hillary!!!!! The then the sane... Vote McCain

    March 20, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  10. Yve

    Good for you McCain. Now if only you could get on the program in regards to the economy and the war, you might end up getting my vote if Hillary get s the nod!

    March 20, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  11. California Independent

    Oh come on, it's not like he created the dang thing. It's a stupid video, but only one example of the garbage that is to come. If everyone keeps getting fired, there will be no one left on the campaigns.

    March 20, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  12. Al, Sacramento Ca

    They are saving their attacks for November, trust me, it will be a 30 sec. clip all over the U.S.

    March 20, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  13. Filipe da Silva

    Why isn't CNN reporting how such a liar Hillary is?
    New documents show that she always was pro-NATFA!

    March 20, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  14. Andre

    For this I respect McCain more than I did before.

    March 20, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  15. jean

    Hey McCain thanks for this now we can really know who OBAMA is problable just like his white hating bigot preacher [ if you caN CALL HIM THAT ] tHANKS AGAIN. go hillary all the way to the white house!!!! jean

    March 20, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  16. ken

    this is the type of racist material we're going to see from McCain and his right wing friends this election. Divide and conquer is going to be their theme.

    March 20, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  17. roger

    If McCain thinks that he can run a pure run for president not critizing his or her opponent h is CRAZY. we know that the clintons lie and obama lied by saying he never heard wright spew those sermons then said he did. mccain this is not the 1930s it's not a gentlemans game it's winner take all

    March 20, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  18. Trish

    I wish Hillary's supporters and staffers had the same standards. Of course, the conservative pundits will not look kindly on this move by McCain.

    March 20, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  19. scott, tx

    Good for you, Senator McCain. And thank you for leading by example.

    March 20, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  20. Bill

    It would be interesting to know where this originated. It was my understanding that this video was first posted on the web by a McCain staffer. I am sure that I read that somewhere. If it wasn't a McCain staffer, who was it?

    March 20, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  21. g4hillary

    poor obama. everyone is picking on him. If its true, why not show it. obama seemed to take great pride in his support of wright, so i say let the video play!!!!!!

    March 20, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  22. A Democrat

    While I do not agree with this man on much, he is very admirable. Such a stance on personal attacks is something all of us should try to reach.

    March 20, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  23. Медведев

    Soren should be fired, and all those conspiring with. If McCain has any dignity he should do this, and not lower himself to Clintonesque standards.

    March 20, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  24. Andrew K.

    From an Obama fan, thank you Mr. McCain. We need civility and decency in public office.

    March 20, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  25. pat

    I think McCain needs to stand before the American public and put this whole race issue to rest. As long as the media continue to discuss Jeremiah Wright , the focus of the issues are being lost. This is not helping the country, it's stirring up old wombs. There has been very little mention that his staff was responsible for bringing race to the forefont.

    March 20, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
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