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. Jane

    McCain only wants to kill Hillary first by doing this, then gets back to Obama in November.

    What a strategie!!

    March 20, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  2. Independent

    Only if Hillary Clinton could show the same character!

    March 20, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  3. John Taylor

    Good for John. He's smart enough to stay out of it and let the chips fall where they may. And the chips have fallen hard on Barack Obama, by the way. And rightly so. Can't lay down with the dogs and not expect to wake up with fleas

    March 20, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  4. Nikki

    Wait a second...

    Someone took the high road and showed leadership...

    What the heck is going on??

    March 20, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  5. david

    Got caught did he? I don't think anyone needs to help trash Obama and Wright. They and CNN have done a good job of it alone.

    GO HILLARY GO!!!!!!!!!

    March 20, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  6. sue, NJ

    mc cain does not need any fuel to his pastor problems!

    i do commend him for trying to run a fair campaign!!

    March 20, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. Mac in FL

    No need to attack now John.... your chance will come later.

    March 20, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. Mike on the West coast

    I need more than Mr. McCain saying he won't engage in this type of Politics. As a leader he needs to answer on the behalf of the actions of the people he is trying to lead. Suspension seems very light handed.

    This is the type of politics that leaves a bad taste in my mouth and has steered me to another party.

    March 20, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. T M Oak Creek,

    Good . Plus Judge Elder on OBAMA, His comments he could keep to himself. He only wants to promote his book. And he tries to out talk the other quests.

    March 20, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Shirley, Silicon Valley, CA

    I look forward to watching a clean and statesman-like competion in this highest position in our nation.

    Hillary fights too dirty. Teeth, nails, and kitchen sinks tactics are great skills for her personal survival but definitely disqualify her as a country leader.

    March 20, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. objective

    Thank you McCain for not exploiting this video any longer. You do have morals and values that are above your own political career goals. I commend you for that.

    March 20, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. Diva in Philadelphia, PA

    As much as I dislike the GOP, I must say that this shows real character on the part of McCain. And once again, Billary is the only true mudslinger in the campaign...

    March 20, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. lisa

    why couldn't you fire the person, McCain?

    March 20, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. Betti, Boston MA

    God Bless you John McCain. You have more integrity than HRC supporters.

    March 20, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. Don't Think About Pink Elephants

    McBush will have to get up a little earlier to make us believe this one. It's like saying, don't think about pink elephants.

    So both camps are afraid to attack Obama on the issues, sad.

    Obama 08

    March 20, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  16. John, Pittsburgh

    Thank you for having integrity and honor senator

    March 20, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  17. Barack All The Way

    McCain if you think this is going to make you relevant, think again. You are not, and I don't care if you fire a hundred staffers, Barack still gets my vote.

    March 20, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  18. KEB

    Thank you for taking the high road, McCain. I am not a Republican, and I don't believe in your political stance, but I am appreciative of someone finally taking a moment to get these campaigns back on track. Bravo!

    March 20, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  19. The Bunny's Hoppin'

    And I believe in Santa, and the Easter Bunny. Give me a break.

    Obama 08

    March 20, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  20. Slap Stick, Florida

    Good for him. Unlike Clinton who wants to win the Dem nomination at any cost. The one thing remains evident is that she cannot win with just the Hispanic vote. Hmmmmm I would never vote for her.

    March 20, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  21. Teresa

    That is so unfair of the McCain staff aides to do such a thing. I under stand politics but to ruin an american citizen whom life has been spent trying to help those of community is just absurd.

    March 20, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  22. Samantha Klein

    McCain keeps "letting this happen" and then firing the perpetrators. I can't believe everybody in McCain's campaign does everything he doesn't want. This is just not credible.

    McCain road to the White House isn't as high as he pretends it to be. He's stooping pretty low too. Naughty, Naughy boy, like Senator Craig said.

    March 20, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  23. Thanks Barack

    Thank you Barack for making the country and the world aware that we have good leaders, and we can do better.

    Like I said, his speech was brilliant, and he will win. Why, because the other camps are filled with morons who think they know more than the American people. It won't work.

    Obama 08

    March 20, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  24. Russell NC

    He'll refrain until after a democrat is nominated!!!

    March 20, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. Dave from SC

    Enough is enough. We have a country falling apart piece by piece; and all we can think about is what some old preacher said that will not change or improve our lives. What about that 30 billion dollar give away that our President did over the weekend? What about the pocket crunch that ALL Americans are suffering from. We have REAL issues that need our attention!

    March 20, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
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