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. JM, OH

    Sounds like typical politics to me. Get one of your staffers to be the sacrificial lamb to get out the negative message, then "suspend" him to make it look like you're taking the high ground. We've seen this tactic a hundred times from all the candidates. Nice try, though.

    March 20, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  2. nobama texan

    At least McCain has a modicum of self respect.Ferraro is gone,so ditto for Clinton.I guess self respect and nonracist surrogates are unheard of for the Obamites.Insanity must be more prevalent than I thought for ANYONE other than AA's to vote for this shyster.Rezco!!!

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

    Good for you Mr. McCain. After you were a victim of Bush's dirty tactics in the 2000 Republican primary, it makes me proud to see you taking the high road. Many would be tempted to sink to the same level.

    What's particularly commendable is that you released this person from your campaign BEFORE the news media got a hold of it, which tells me you did it for the right reasons.

    March 20, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  4. David, Texas

    I am sure that somehow the Obama supporters will blame HRC for this anyway.

    March 20, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  5. Funny

    Any time Americans are more afraid of a pastor, than they are crooked politicians and the Bush made-up- war, you know things are bad.

    We've got bigger problems than the retired Reverend Wright.

    Obama 08

    March 20, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  6. Love the USA

    She should have been praised, not fired . We need to know the truth, and if it hurts, well that is to bad.

    It was said, it happen, and many of us were fooled by Obama, thanks to this video, we now have our eyes wide open.

    We need more people like your staff memeber, who had the guts to put the truth out there.

    March 20, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  7. Thall999

    I give McCain lots of credit in that after seeing what occured to him by GW Bush Jr in 2004, he still tries to stay above the sewage politics.

    I disagree with his Iraq position but I must admit he has some integrity!

    Great Job McCain, you're showing leadership!

    March 20, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  8. Miles

    Suspended? How about firing him?

    March 20, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  9. David

    Oh my god!
    So McCain is far better than Hillary...
    Goodbye democratic party

    March 20, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  10. D.W.; Miami, FL

    WOW. McCain is not messing around. He must be really serious about this no mudslinging campaign. Considering what happened to him when he was running against Bush I suppose that is to be expected.

    If Obama wins I forsee I general election argued on the issues. But if Clinton wins the Dem nom, I hope McCain is not too squemish to throw a punch or Hillary will beat him black and blue like she is trying to do Obama.

    March 20, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  11. Betty

    Good for McCain! Integrity among politicians is so refreshing.

    March 20, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  12. Liza

    And this is exactly why I can respect Sen. McCain far more than I can Sen. Clinton. There are rules of conduct that at least McCain and Obama have maintained even being at odds as a Republican and a Democrat.

    And don't get e wrong. I am a woman who would love to see a woman as president. Just not Hillary Clinton. She will never be the representative choice for my voice as President or anything else.

    March 20, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  13. chris

    Smart staffer... he knows McCain vs Clinton is a much easier battle to win against.

    Beyond her failed healthcare experience – Clinton has nothing

    March 20, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  14. Uba

    Way to go John McCain. You are definitely better than Rush Limbaugh and the rest of those clowns.

    March 20, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  15. Rosalynd

    This is a good sign from the McCain camp! I am an Obama supporter and I look forward to a general election campaign from Obama and McCain where the discourse from the candidates is on the issues and where surrogates are quickly dismissed for foolishness. Maybe the Media will stick with the issues to( I can only hope!).

    March 20, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  16. SH

    I am an Obama supporter and this is very refreshing to me. Wouldn't it be great to have a contest where the issues are front and center, rather than personal attacks? I'm looking forward to it!

    Obama '08!!

    March 20, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  17. To Dennis

    Thank you John McCain. I cannot wait to hear a discussion about the ISSUES between yourself and Obama

    March 20, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  18. john from oregon

    Now the truth finally comes out. This is 100% political. Obama will actually come out ahead of this in the long run.

    March 20, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  19. wanakee

    It's good of McCain to take the high road, which is far better than what you get from Senator Clinton!

    March 20, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  20. carrie,detroit

    seems that mccain is a man of principle and integrity.better him than clit-on.

    March 20, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  21. Anti-Establishment

    Exactly why McCain will get my vote over Clinton in the fall.

    March 20, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  22. Leigh

    Notice how fast McCain responded, it took Hillary how long to address racial remarks made by her supporters? McCain has impressed me by how fast he responded to this and how he stood up for Obama with the Wright statements.

    March 20, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  23. The truth shall set you free!

    America is finally waking up.

    March 20, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  24. Niah Waters

    Way to go McCain, you may have my vote in November!

    March 20, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  25. NO2U

    McCain is an honerable man and I expect to see a fair election in Nov.

    McCain vs Obama the ultimate battle! hah!

    March 20, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
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