May 20th, 2008
08:06 PM ET
15 years ago

McCain adviser steps down to avoid working against Obama


(CNN) - John McCain’s chief media adviser said Tuesday he is stepping down rather than campaign against Barack Obama.

Mark McKinnon said last year that he would leave McCain’s campaign after the primary season if the Arizona senator were to run against Obama.

The Illinois senator is not the Democratic nominee, but he has accumulated a significant lead in the number of delegates required to claim the nomination.

In a 2007 interview with Cox News, McKinnon said he would vote for McCain, but "I just don't want to work against an Obama candidacy." He added that if Obama were to reach the White House, it "would send a great message to the country and the world."

The McCain campaign says McKinnon will remain a “major supporter” of the McCain’s presidential bid.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. Gorbashov, Long Beach, Ca.


    Obama/ Nunn in 2008!

    May 20, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  2. Raghu

    Thats right.. jump up on Board the Obama Train, Mr. McKinnon...
    Oh, I'm sorry... we don't seem to have enough room. Add another car for "Former McCain Supporters!" "Attach it to the Former hillary supporters on the left but make sure former rivals is last... its kinda heavy.

    May 20, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  3. The Truth

    Go Hillary. What a beating Obamus got today. I think Mark should stay with McLame since Hillary should be the nominee

    May 20, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  4. mya, Obama

    Yeah, an honest guy in DC, that's impressive!!!!

    May 20, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  5. rachel

    makes me respect hillary even more can't be scary.

    May 20, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  6. Anthony

    McKinnon does not want his name on the attack that will be launched on Obama during the general election. That tells you how nasty this is going to be.

    I don't call it honest; I call it self-preservation.

    May 20, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  7. John Smith

    When Gore and Kerry ran, the Democrats never experienced this big rift in the party.

    Either, racism is stiil high in this nation OR

    Why is it that the Clintons always screw up whatever they touch? By the time Bill left office, this nation was equally divided– RED and BLUE

    Why can't people let Obama close this big gap in this nation? This man is both BLACK and WHITE, got it!!!

    May 20, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  8. Trustee

    He's clearly not from West Virginia or Kentucky

    May 20, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  9. Michael

    That is stunning. It sends a clear message to Clinton and her electability. By the way her argument nationally got blown out of the water today. She is now behind in every demographic including white women.

    May 20, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  10. Kris

    Yes We Can
    Obama '08 '12


    May 20, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  11. kim portland, oregon

    this is SHOCKING, but mckinnon is making the right choice. he's gonna get reamed for this, but i admire his bravery and for taking a personal stand over doing what's right for his career.

    even mccain's staff doesnt believe he's the best choice for president! mccain has lost more of his staff/lobbyists since the beginning, when you repsect and believe in your boss you dont bail on him. this should tell you something folks, a person who knows him WELL cant support mccain and has done something this shocking! WOW!!!

    obama 08!!!!!!!!!

    May 20, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  12. Franky

    What the??? The action hasn't even started! LOL!!! Hmmmm, I gotta admit, I like his honesty but overall, no action hasn't taken place......

    May 20, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  13. Robert

    Great! This just goes to show that Obama really can rally the entire American country around him and make this world a better place.

    Now that we've won the nomination, lets get to the white house!

    Go Obama 2008!

    May 20, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  14. KE

    Hillary is not a complainer. Hillary's supporters are complaning.

    The Obama supporters in many blogs are very nasty to the Hillary and her supporters and her constituency. This is not the way to win people.

    May 20, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  15. Haneefah of Georgia

    Good for Mc, He is a brave and honest man. I appreciate what he has done. I understand his logic and maybe he will come over to the right side (Democratic) and leave the negative, ugly, liers alone. McCain is just like Bush one of the Biggest liers and war hogs mongers there is. McCain will lose this one.


    May 20, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  16. Muk

    this is unbelieveable~

    May 20, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  17. Teddy

    Obama should become the President of the United World of the Earth! McCain should drop out of the race and all other candidates should quit so Obama would win a landslide. Then, we Americans should tell the world, there should be only one country in the world. All other countries should choose become parts of the only earthly country on this planet. There would be no war, only peace! What a wonderful world!

    May 20, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  18. whiteloveforobama

    i love this country how much i can ! its will b great if obama become a president usa god please ppls help me and make me more pround of this country ? please vote for obama plz ?

    May 20, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  19. Hm

    I commend you sir! That was a very noble gesture...

    May 20, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  20. Ruth

    This has nothing to do with integrity. It has everything to do with cowardice, the same cowardice that will be shown by the remaining superdelegates who should be - but are not - now caucusing and deciding to throw ALL of their votes to the only candidate who can successfully HEAD the Democratic ticket in 2008: Hillary Clinton!

    Clinton-Obama '08

    May 20, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  21. We want Hillary as are President 08


    May 20, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  22. noemi in los angeles

    Now this is what our country needs, United Democrats and Republicans working together for ONE country. That is what Obama represents...... this is why many politicians who have been "loyal" to Clinton, McCain and other beliefs are supporting Obama- because he truly embodies what America needs. If a McCain top adviser is willing to stop supporting McCain and not work against McCain, why can't Hillary supporters do the same for their OWN party?? Top Clinton financial investors are going to be supporting Obama when Clinton steps down, including top Clinton supporter James Carville.

    It's time for Republicans, Democrats, Independents, white, black, women, men, young, old, straight, gay, religious or not to support the only candidate who is for the People, the American People.

    I bet Mark McKinnon will end up endorsing Obama.

    The Obama Generation Has Spoken '08

    May 20, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  23. Chris, Antioch, CA

    I guess he doesn't want to run a racist campaign. Good for you, McKinnon. (He's also probably lobbying for Cuba, Iran, and North Korea too.)

    May 20, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  24. Mark

    This is highly impressive... I am quite happy that even McCain's own Advisors know that having Barack Obama in the white house means once again this country can be seen as the greatest country in the world...and mean it....

    I am quite impressed...and quite thankful.

    May 20, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  25. Teresa E. from CA

    WOW... this person has done something remarkable....

    May 20, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
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