April 10th, 2008
09:02 PM ET
15 years ago

McCain campaign fundraises off upcoming attacks


(CNN) - John McCain’s campaign is using reports of a new multi-million dollar group targeting his candidacy to raise money for the Arizona senator’s own presidential bid.

In an e-mail sent to supporters of the presumptive Republican nominee Thursday, Campaign Manager Rick Davis said George Soros and “his group of billionaire left-wing Democrats” were planning to spend $40 million dollars on a national television campaign targeting McCain.

“Folks, that is why we need your help and we need it now. We need to be able to answer whatever smear campaigns the liberal left throws at us. Please help as we combat this base demagoguery with a donation of $50, $100, $250 or even $1000 today,” wrote Davis.

Political consultant and Clinton supporter Paul Begala – one of the organizers of Progressive Media USA, whose existence was revealed in a Politico report hours earlier – said that attacks on McCain would be part of the agenda for the well-financed group, though not its sole mission.

"I am not saying we won't talk about John McCain - but the primary purpose is issues, it's progressive coordination, and it’s going to last long past any particular election cycle," said Begala.

Begala is a contributing political analyst for CNN.

Progressive Media USA is supported by Soros and some of the other Democratic benefactors who had backed the Campaign to Defend America, which launched an anti-McCain spot – “McSame” – last month. It will be headed by David Brock, author of the book “Free Ride: John McCain and the Media.”

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. willis, Texas

    No one has bothered to give Obama credit for developing the stragegy of using the Internet to fuel campaign coffers! It seem that both Hill-Billy and McCan't are using it to their advantage.

    April 10, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  2. Teresa (NC)

    I'm sure the smear campaigns will not be solely targeting McCain. Once again, the Billary's playing with their rich friend's money to get their way.

    April 10, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  3. Wow

    How many polls will we be subjected to? Everyone – and I mean EVERYONE has a poll. Did we not witness at least one poll this election season not match the outcome of one of the primaries? We need a monthly poll cap – fast.

    April 10, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  4. David-Paul Niner

    Please help as we combat this base demagoguery with a donation of $50, $100, $250 or even $1000 today.

    Normally I wouldn't donate, but no one told me about all the base demagoguery.

    April 10, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  5. McCain=Anger Issues=Bad News for America

    I am afraid of McCain's emotional rollercoaster reputation. While I admire him for his service and I like that he doesn't have a record of being a conservative Republican, I am afraid that his POW time has really messed him up permanently. I also am not that big a fan of his wife, Cindy, whose family is worth mega mega millions.

    While McCain might be a military vet, I wouldn't trust him with my dog.

    April 10, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  6. unions are not stupid

    This is so funny that the send out a email to there supporters lying about this campaign this campaign is the very same one that helped get bush into office until they figured out what a village idiot he is then they chose to get on the right tract with real progress not tired old dogma from the extreme right! I don't care either way thought because his money raising will be dismal at best! republicans at least 30% of them the conservative base are not supporting him!!!!! and further more the people of that party do not contribute not the common folks just the lobbyist.Why you ask because the people of that party are not motivated they do not believe in there candidate and most think no matter what they will just be taken advantage of yet again!

    April 10, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  7. Bob, Lyons Oregon,

    John McCain = Bush 3rd term, same old, same old,

    April 10, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  8. Christi in Canada

    I'd rather be a left liberal who cares about the plight of the average person than a right wingnut warmonger who wants to spend our tax dollars to fund the war machine!

    April 10, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  9. North Carolina

    Willis, Texas, don't you know Al Gore invented the internet? All dems are free to use it at will. And Howard Dean beat Obama by a number of years in using the internet. to raise funds. It's a lot more likely that you're new to politics than any of the candidates are new to the internet.

    April 10, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  10. Patriot

    Christi stay in Canada. your comments reflect your mentality. I pay more in taxes than you make in a year. The dollars going to our military to keep America and Canada Free from attacks are well spent.
    Freedom is not free. McCain, his son, and my son a United States Marine are the ones you and your canadian friends owe your freedom too. So stay in Canada and welcome the other left wing nuts from the Democratic party that threaten to leave after the election.

    McCain will win in November. Because Americans love this Country and are willing to die for it.

    April 10, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  11. Ilona Proud Canadian

    Please Sen. Obama supporters,

    This does not sound very good. Read between the lines. Sen. McCain is not their only target. This billionaire group is aiming straight as an arrow for Sen. Obama, so please donate as much as you possible can to Sen. Obama's campaign. Keep following this situation.

    Good luck!!!!

    April 10, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  12. tom, Boston

    pro-Insane Mccain Neo-con / corpocon / corporate media propaganda machine is on overdrive. spin and lie all day every day.

    April 10, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  13. GARY

    And now I know why I have always felt that CNN WAS BIASED.


    April 10, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  14. Sarah Smith

    If McCain doesn't look like he's about to die of cancer, I don't know WHO does!

    Those who support him are ??? short sighted?

    April 10, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  15. Mary

    Just need a place to get in, so I'm using this blog.
    PA. we are depending on you to come through for Hillary. We must stop this Obama train now before we get a President that doesn't know the first thing he is supposed to do. If we want a democrat it must be Hillary Clinton.

    I was watching Dobbs, Kerry and McCain talking to Gen. Petraeus. McCain made his point of view. I was disgusted when Dobbs and Kerry spoke. They were trying so hard to sound informed and I could have tolerated that except they have been so smug with the American citizen about endorsing Obama, knowing full well he isn't informed or ready in any way to be President, but that doesn't matter, they couldn't bring themselves to endorse a woman, a woman who is ready to be President. The old boys have let America down and we will elect a McCain for President. That is what our democrat senator have done to us.

    April 10, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  16. rachel

    Please do, anyways I think everything you stand for can be summed up in about 4 seconds. The time you showed your typical white granny in your ad. Obama man your gonna need hillary's supporters to win the white house so you better start reaching out to them, and Michelle asking people to get her more white people is not the way.

    April 10, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  17. Sean

    North Carolina: I believe what was meant was that Obama is the first candidate to truly make use of the internet. Over 1 million contributors. Half of the contributions are under $50. Think about that... $50 million in one month, at an average of $50 per donation. No other candidate in the history of this great country has been able to fundraise like that. Traditional politicians rely on heavy donors, and with that, heavy promises. Obama's "heavy donors" are the million-plus people who truly believe in him.

    April 10, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  18. Cunningham - Conservative

    McCain will never win, he's running for bush's third term. he wants to continue to the war in Iraq, he wants to go to war with Iran. This could only make things worse for us. It could possibly trigger a world war. For McCain a world war is digestable because his family's net worth is more than $100 million and he's old too, so he doesn't care about the future generations. I doubt that he will win the support of conservatives in the general election. Obama is far better, and he's the best candidate out of the three remaining.

    April 10, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  19. Geez...

    Why do we have to have smear campaigns in elections? Why can't people just get the facts on the issues and cast their vote? I am so turned off by the name calling and distortion of the truth. I thought we were supposed to make informed decisions.

    April 10, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  20. Grif

    Sorrowful Soros? Where might John borrow? The stuff that he needs, to clear out the weeds. That you leave in you're Wake, for the whole Countries sake.
    He's the 'Man of the Moment', and he can do without, people like you that is no doubt.
    This John MCCain, has everything to gain.... Go John.... Go

    April 10, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  21. John from Las Vegas

    Good luck with that...McCain won't be able to buy the presidency with all the (our) money in China.

    Give it up John...you're just too old.

    OBAMA '08

    April 10, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  22. Peter Paul

    To Patri-idiot:
    Commenting about how much money you have over someone that you don't know makes you real smart huh?

    I can see rich people in this country comfortable with there life style because everydays folks like myself have to pay the price of your arrogance and ignorance.
    Speak for yourself pal, the war in Iraq is wrong period.

    You think you are safer today because of a "Warmogerer like McInsane" please spare the average Joe and you go fight in the war if you think it is so important, instead of driving around in your stuck sports car.

    April 10, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  23. Bring Them On

    Listen all don't worry Barack will have a trillion dollars if he needs it we are not worried about money this time around.

    April 10, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  24. Chris in Va.

    Good luck John, you'll need it. You think Republicans will pry open their wallets to donate? Sure they talk a good fight, but when it's time to put their money where their mouth is the room becomes silent. You can gauge the amount of funds you have raised so far (or the lack there of) to your future support by these cheapskates.

    April 10, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  25. Chris Crew

    Wow, the authors of the Swiftboat Ads used against Kerry, the most deceptive political attack ads in American History, are now claiming that they need to be worried about the far left's attack ads? please...

    They left has no need to lie about McCain. McCain really is in favor of continuing the War in Iraq indefinitely, he does not want universal health care, he voted against making Martin Luther King Jr. Day a Federal Holiday, and thats just the start. There is no need to lie about McCain.

    The lies have already started from the right. They are claiming Obama is Islamic and in cahoots with Bin Laden. These are lies - the right's main political tactic. Rather than just attack his policies, they are going to make up a bunch of crazy lies like they did with the swiftboat ads and play it over and over again on every channel.

    Luckily most Americans have woken up to this reality and won't buy it this time. Obama is going to crush McCain by a larger margin than has been seen in a generation.

    April 10, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
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