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. Kathy

    I salute you John McCain. I believe that in order for us to have a civil presidential race it will have to be between Obama and McCain. The Clintons are not above doing whatever it takes to win. I would not be suprised if they did not put out the original video.

    March 20, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. Ethel

    This my third attempt to voice my opinion. The first two were 'too fast' and the second 'duplicate'. What is going one. Cafferty only accepts answers to his questions only if it suits him. Time to switch to Fox News.

    March 20, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. Amy Isaacs

    The headline says "Clinton backer" but the article is about a McCain staffer. Please correct, they really don't look alike.

    March 20, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  4. Brian in Tampa

    Wow! A politician standing by his words! Too bad Hillary can't!!!

    March 20, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. sara

    This solidifies my resolution to vote ABC (Anyone But Clinton) this election cycle!

    March 20, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. Jeff

    Ahhh, the McCain vs. Obama campaign is going to be such a refreshing change. I look forward to two a much more adult campaign after the ridiculousness of the Clinton desperation machine. Maybe we can even focus on issues...the REAL issues (not abortion, gay marriage, fantasy welfare programs for the healthcare industry , etc.)

    March 20, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. Daniel

    I think the Clinton campaign can learn a thing or two from Senator McCain. This is the kind of politics Obama is pushing for. If the Superdelegates give this nomination to Clinton, then I'm all yours Mr. McCain. Thank you for sticking to the issues.

    March 20, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  8. Obama Supporter

    It's ashame that someone would stoop so low to hurt someone out of fear of being defearted.

    March 20, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. Velma Williamson

    What is the matter here,are people not suppose to know about the person they are voting for,should there be anything kept secret about anybody trying to become president of the most important country in the world? Is this legal?

    March 20, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. Ernest Caldwell

    Really commendable. I'm speachless

    Obama 08

    March 20, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. Marguerite Nash

    Thank you Senator McCain for your integrity. It is refreshing.

    March 20, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. Very Concerned American

    This is just a sampling of how the Republicans will disrupt Obama. Obama will not be able to take this and the Repulicans will win.

    March 20, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. mary

    good call....

    March 20, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  14. jason

    i big laugh at all the hillary supporters that were duped by a republican.

    get used to it...

    March 20, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  15. Maurice

    This is why...even though I support Obama....

    I respect John McCain. He has more integrity than most. That means a lot to me. I would seriously consider voting for him if he wasn't so staunchly pro war.

    March 20, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. Love2 Hillary/Obama

    John McCain suspended a staff because he thought Obama maybe easy to win in general election that's why he want Obama to win a nomination.

    John I think you have lost your mind Hillary and Obama not that easy will see both of Obama and Hillary in general election.

    March 20, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  17. Vanguard

    And that is why I respect the man. It IS possible to tell your surrogates to shut up.

    March 20, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. George Alberts

    Pardon me for saying "big deal.' The surrogates for John McCain will keep this video alive until Election Day, with his tacit approval. Talk about a "win-win" for "straight talk."

    March 20, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |

    Superdelegates, YOU HEAR THAT??

    The weakening of Hillary's, Davis', and the best POLITICAL TEAM ON TELEVISION'S argument that Pastor Wright will hamper Obama's win in November!!

    Vote for the candidate that you choose, not because some conniving, manipulative, and tactical woman and her surrogates (that includes you CNN) wants to milk an unfortunate situation for their own benefits.

    March 20, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  20. Note to Superdelegates

    I am a Democrat who supports Obama. He is leading in the delegate count so he should win the nomination. But if Hillary happens to take the delegate lead and becomes the Democrtic nominee, then I will cast my support for her for the sake of the party versus McCain.

    But, if she doesn't lead in delegates and somehow you as Superdelegates crown her the nominee I will strongly express my lack of support for the Democratic party and Hillary as well. Please take note.

    March 20, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. Winston

    I am a Democrat Leaning Independent and McCain is making it very hard for me not to like or vote for him. I must admit the guy got character and intergrity.

    March 20, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  22. Kevin

    Thanks McCain for being a sensible American. You have my vote for this.

    March 20, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  23. Phil, Washington, DC

    You see someone has some sense. Another example of John McCain's outstanding leadership. I am an African American Democrat. If Hillary is our (Democratic) nominee, then MY vote in November goes to John McCain. The issues are more important, the direction we go is even greater.

    March 20, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  24. scott from ny

    Wright should be off the news because it is old and these clipps are over 30 yrs-come on give it a break. Glad she was fired!!

    March 20, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  25. Truth seeker

    This was a smooth move by Mccain, it's very respectful. At least he recognizes how childish it is to play the race card. Hillary should be taking notes from Mccain. This will carry a long way with Mccain.
    However, now that Hillary's grand scheme to pull off Florida and Michigan have failed, it looks like it's going to be between Obama and Mccain – finally!

    March 20, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
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