June 12th, 2008
02:05 PM ET
12 years ago

McCain goes after second Obama VP vetter


Watch Sen. McCain's comments Thursday.

(CNN) – The day after Jim Johnson resigned from Barack Obama’s vice presidential candidate vetting committee, John McCain set his sights on Eric Holder - one of the two remaining members of the committee.

“I think people in the media and observers will make a decision as to whether these people, individuals, should be part of Senator Obama’s campaign,” McCain told reporters in Boston. “I think it is a matter of record that Mr. Holder recommended the pardoning of Mr. [Marc] Rich.”

WATCH CNN's Analysis of Johnson's resignation

Rich was a commodities trader who fled to Europe in 1983 following tax evasion charges and allegations of illegal oil dealings with Iran. He was pardoned by former President Bill Clinton at the end of his second term while Holder was deputy attorney general. Critics of the pardon noted Rich's wife, Denise, was a generous contributor to the Democratic Party and the Clinton Library.

Johnson stepped aside amid criticism that he received a favorable mortgage from Countrywide Financial, a company Obama routinely attacks on the stump.

“All those things will be taken into consideration by the media and the American people, especially when you are entrusting individuals with one of the most important decisions that a presidential candidate can make before that individual is elected and that is who the running mate is,” McCain added.

Obama spokesman Hari Sevugan responded the McCain's comments, pointing to McCain's VP search head, longtime Washington insider A. B. Culvahouse.

"It’s telling that John McCain – whose Vice Presidential search process is headed by a prominent DC lobbyist who served as the Reagan Administration’s point man on the Iran-Contra scandal – would try to recycle a tired attack on Mr. Holder rather than talk about the issues on a day when a nonpartisan report shows that the Barack Obama would provide three times as much tax relief to middle class families and John McCain would provide nearly a quarter of his tax cuts to households that make more $2.8 million," Sevugan said

Along with Holder, Caroline Kennedy is also serving on Obama's VP search team.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (323 Responses)
  1. karen

    Keating 5–divorced his first wife because she was ill. Wanted millions Cindy had. Bought insiders to ahead in AZ. Lets not start calling the kettle black!!!!! McBush will get his along with Bush/Cheney!!! And it will come from a higher power!!!

    June 12, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  2. Former Republican

    This is sad, You mean to tell me that McCain is trying to win by talking about the company Obama keeps! Well Mr. McCain at least Obama is a Man of his word.
    You Sr. are not, remember what you said “not Dirty Politics” it is amazing how desperate McCain has become. it is a sign desperation and weakness!

    June 12, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  3. John B, Dallas TX

    I'm amazed at how McCain is selling out to his party. Once an independent voice and a proponent of doing the right thing, even if politically unpopular, he has now become the latest Republican puppet. As an independent voter, in the past I have been a fan of McCain . . . but not this election cycle. Is it just me, or is he just another old, tired rehash of the same? This reminds me so much of Bob Dole's attempted run on the White House – no independent thinking, no new ideas, and zero personality. It's a shame to see him go down this road as I respect his record as a senator.

    June 12, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  4. nitro

    Before you start trowing bricks old and senile guy , there are a few criminals in your party that will be looking for some help when your dumb brother leaves office. I dont think Eric Holder pardoned anyone so stop fishing.

    June 12, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. Whiners

    Let this have been the other way around and you'd have had McCain Lynched by now. Obama is running on the fact that he wants CHANGE and McCain is pointing out that he's HIDING behind that stance so instead of seeing that you all just whine whine whine. Enough already!! Since when is back and forth jabbing news to everyone! Geesh!

    This probably won't get posted but it felt REALLY good to type!

    June 12, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  6. Mike in Calgary

    I don't know whether this CRAP originates with McCain or the Media, but McCain is going to be saddled with this Albatross – unless it is becomes clear that he he is not involved in spreading it.

    Despite a pro-life philosophy, McCain is driving away supporters left and right with his campaign. I don't believe that McCain even knows what he stands up for. With all his flip-flops, I am starting to thinks that he is so open-minded that he has no mind at all!


    June 12, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  7. Wise White Guy

    Pot...Kettle....Black. These are not even in the same zip code as the people McSame has surrounding him and puppeting him on every policy. Keep it up McBush and you will continue to look incompetent. Sure are doing a great job at straw grasping. It is time for a change.

    June 12, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    All of you NObama idiots just refuse to open your eyes and pay attention to what sort of people he aligns himself with!! Do you really think that one black man, with absolutely no experience, can do all he says he can do? You've been drinking too much Koolaid!

    June 12, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. Hurley

    McCain sure did get desperate early. I guess his talk of a "clean campaign" was as big a lie as just about everything else he's said in the past few years. Go ahead and try everything you can, McCain, but it's not going to stick. Obama beat Hillary, and Hillary was a MUCH more appealing candidate than you'll ever be on your best day. When November comes around, you won't even have a prayer.

    June 12, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. Boston for OBAMA

    Just goes to show McCain is not ready to be Commander In Chief on day one. He can't focus on any important issue for long. And according to him it does not matter when our brave troups come home.

    June 12, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. Deborah Dugger

    McCain is another Bush.

    June 12, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. Carol from Denver

    If you can't win on the issues try anything! Give it up Republicans. You stole the 2000 election, scared the hell out of us in 2004. It's about time that politicians realize the american people are not STUPID! We may be gullible from time to time but please don't insult our intelligence any more. OBAMA '08

    June 12, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  13. sherry

    Blah Blah Blah.........McCain will stoop to any level to win votes. Let's talk about thing's that are important like the economy, healthcare, The housing crisis, gas prices, and the list goes on. He's like a little kid that tries to tattletale.

    June 12, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. Peter Damoah-Afari

    I know McCain has no message. He will loose galantly.........LOL

    June 12, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. Roxy




    June 12, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  16. Theresa in Minneapolis

    Let's stay with the issues, can we?

    The guy isn't getting a cabinet postion for crying out loud.

    McCain knows he needs to deflect from the issues to stay in the game.

    June 12, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. Steve

    Mr. McCain, please concentrate on your own VP selection and leave Sen. Obama's to him. If you're seriously considering the "hair do", Romney; you have enough problems to worry about besides Sen. Obama's.

    Vote Obama in November!

    June 12, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  18. christy from pa

    McCain you're pathetic!

    June 12, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  19. Rob

    What a joke. Who cares?

    By the way Marc PDX, the economy and middle east are already screwed up royally. Pull your head out.

    June 12, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  20. SDunn

    Nick – Arlington, VA June 12th, 2008 3:53 pm ET


    -he is your financial adviser and lobbied for the companies responsible fro the mortgage crisis.

    THANK YOU NICK FROM ARLINGTON, VA!! McCain is a complete hypocrite.

    June 12, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  21. Jackson

    If he uses an insider then he'll be accused of embracing the old system he denounces yet it he uses outsiders they say he is using inexperienced people. The Republicans are full of double speak.

    June 12, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  22. aliou

    exactly what I said before. Keep discarding all people whom he trust around him and put in those who have no faith in anything.

    We will end up with a white washed and whiter Obama with no policy but the one the media had in mind, if they do.

    sometimes, I feel as though the media's aim is just to destroy as much as possible and as quickly as possible anyone or every thing that seem good for the ordinary America.

    Guess what? we are in the same boat. If poverty gets to tough, that means there are more bandits or angry americans out there driven by poverty, and bitter on their entitlements.
    Generations of Americans are working on temporary jobs that do not offer pensions. They work for such a short time that they neither qualify for pensions or unemployment.

    If these people are not dead in the meantime, there will be a time when they will seek revenge, because you saw what happened when the mortgage industry melt down: More and more houses are being vendalized before foreclosures. That may happen when people start to become desperate: they may not just burn their own houses: they may burn ours.

    June 12, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  23. rashid cali

    mccain and the re[ublicans are a bunch of cowards

    June 12, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
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