July 1st, 2008
10:05 AM ET
14 years ago

McCain campaign pulls ads from some anti-Obama web sites

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[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/12/art.mccain.6.12.jpg caption="McCain ads appeared on several Web sites run by Hillary Clinton supporters."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - John McCain's campaign will stop advertising on several pro-Hillary Clinton Web sites that have attacked Barack Obama for being unpatriotic and, in one case, compared the Democratic nominee-in-waiting to Adolf Hitler.

A spokesman for McCain said Monday the campaign was not aware their ads were running on the offending Web sites, and has taken steps to block those sites from their online advertising network.

"When we find stuff like this, we take care of it," said McCain spokesman Brian Rogers.

McCain has made it known he is reaching out to former Clinton supporters, and there are nearly two hundred well-trafficked blogs and online communities run by former Clinton supporters who refuse to support Obama. But the three sites on which McCain's ads appeared are particularly hostile to the Illinois senator.

One Web site, called Stop-Obama.org, is a group blog comprised of disaffected Clinton supporters, some of whom are now supporting McCain. Three different banners ads, one of which featured McCain standing side-by-side with Sen. Joseph Lieberman, were running on the site until Monday.

A recent post on the blog outlined the "simple parallels" between Obama and Hitler, and accused Obama's audiences of having the same cult mentality that characterized followers of the German dictator.

McCain's ads have also shown up on a pro-Clinton Web site named "Obama WTF" that accuses Obama of being "spineless," having "communist influences," "courting Jew haters" and being "in the pocket of America haters."

SavagePolitics.com, another anti-Obama site that has been targeted with McCain ads, has called Obama a "bold faced liar, a thief, a sexist and a racist."

The McCain campaign pulled the ads Monday evening after they were pointed out by CNN.

Rogers said the campaign often has no control over where their ads show up on the Web. That’s because the campaign uses a third party vendor - in this case, Google - to distribute their banner ads across a broad array of political Web sites by searching for certain key words.

When the campaign is made aware of ads appearing on offensive or irrelevant Web sites, Rogers said, they notify the ad distributor and have the sites added to a list of blocked URLs. He noted the McCain campaign has already blocked "tens of thousands" of such sites.

It's not the first time a campaign has been forced to remove ads from controversial Web sites.

Mitt Romney's campaign found itself in the politically awkward position of advertising on the Web site Gay.com in late 2007, prompting the Web site to pull the ad shortly after it was discovered.

Last September, Barack Obama's campaign removed a campaign advertisement that appeared on the Amazon.com page for the controversial book "The Israel Lobby," which asserts that a network of influential pro-Israel activists hold undue sway over U.S. foreign policy.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (231 Responses)
  1. James, SC

    What do you call a Presidential candidate who loves his country, wants the best for the average person, and believes that the people should run America, but could not win the Presidency because of his race? Barack Obama.

    What do you call a Presidential candidate who didn't love his country until he became a POW, has always supported the rich, cheated on his wife, cheated his state, hates military members and should not be able to run for the Presidency, but could win because he is white? John McCain.

    July 1, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  2. v.a.

    oh, gosh. you silly, bitter, ex-clinton supporters. get over it like i did. obama is better than mccain any day.

    July 1, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  3. Johnny C.

    It's too bad Obama doesn't have the decency to run a clean campaign.

    July 1, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  4. Loretta from California

    Thank you CNN!!!!!. For pointing out these horrible, dishonest and misleading websites. Unbelievable, and the GOP had the audacity to whine, and complain about General Clark's statement.

    Democrats unite!!!!!

    July 1, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  5. Yawn

    Ask CNN to do you the dirty job!

    July 1, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  6. McCain will loose in November

    Interesting they just happen to pull these ads after Obamas speech yesterday. If the tables had been turned we would have heard McCain’s whinny camp complaining all day long. What has the Obama campaign said about this issue? Nothing.

    July 1, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  7. Mike

    Brilliant, run ads as long as you can, and then pretend like you didn't know and pull the ad. What a great commander and chief you would make McCain, you have just as much control over your hair loss as you do your campaign. Next time you campaign at a retirment home, just check in and call it quits.

    July 1, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  8. Jim

    If an internet ad influences your vote, you're retarded

    July 1, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  9. Down with Obama


    July 1, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  10. NoBushThirdTerm

    This is becoming a pattern with the McCain campaign... do the nasty then make a big story out of saying you won't do it anymore 'cos you're so pure and high-minded.

    Baloney. Just yesterday, it was turning Clark's comment about whether being a POW per se should be considered to be qualifying presidential experience into "a smear on McCain's war record" (which it was not). The outrage and denial become the story.

    I'm not buying this new tactic. After 8 years of Dubbya, I'm smarter than that. McCain may be a computer moron, but his campaign workers aren't.

    July 1, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  11. ex-clinton supportersupportingObama

    CNN, you need to stop dividing us!
    Stop doing the dirty work for Mccain.
    You even leave his campaign even up your pannel running even when campaign is over, the whole day as a way to advertise for him. Now I see you are on his camp. Time to get your act together and treat obama with some dignity!

    July 1, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  12. Averagejoe

    Talk of the CNN turning it's back on Obama!

    How would I vote for mccain who is worth over 100m dollarys?

    July 1, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  13. Obama Supporter from FL

    The best thing about this article is the bit about Mitt Romney advertising on gay.com. You just couldn't make that up...

    July 1, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  14. Tammy - KCMO

    So McCain – when are you going to start apologizing for what your supporters say about Obama?

    July 1, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  15. Jeremy in Boston

    These specious comparisons with Hitler are really juvenile.

    Obama's audiences have the same cult mentality that characterized followers of Hitler? How about the same cult mentality that characterized followers of Ghandi? or Mandela? or Jesus?

    Why does it always have to be Hitler?

    July 1, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  16. CB2

    You know I'm getting ticked at the fact that Obama has to be this monster crazy man because he is running for office. Really? You mean to tell me that there wasn't any crazies out their before Obama was even born. People are so afraid of what the man can do.

    For the Hillary supporters that will not vote for Obama...you all are digging your own grave. Obama hasn't done anything to Hillary for them to act with such malice. I bet that they are republicians and have been all along. So, we really don't need your support and keep you hatred (website) to yourselves. Talk about a cult, I would think that they are trying to start a cult against Obama. I will pray for you all!!!

    July 1, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  17. luke

    we saw this movie b4. Now CNN want to start negative stuff on Obama in an educated way. I hope this is not second round after the Clintons!

    July 1, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  18. Independent for Obama

    I think these so-called, "Clinton Supporters" are actually Republicans pretending to be Democrats in the attempt to seperate the Democratic party. Anyone who compares Obama to Hilter obivously needs some mental help. I wish we could go back to the days of the plain old regular Newspaper sometimes. Blogs have been damaging to the political process.

    July 1, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  19. jack

    I was Hillary's supporter but I can never vote Mccain.
    Obama and Hillary were 95% close on issues.
    what makes CNN think we are going to vote for Mccain?

    Obama 08,12,16,20........................

    July 1, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  20. Roger

    Wow.....these bloggers are sad and bitter people.

    July 1, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  21. Richard, FL

    McCain is going after all the phony Hillary supporters who really didn't respect her or trust her judgment, like when she said she "hopes and prays" her supporters will support Obama.

    July 1, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  22. Clinton, no, wait, McCain Supporter

    Obama fans do, indeed, have the same cult mentality that put Adolph into power, as witnessed by these blogs. Any criticism of BO is met with hate and condescension. Even though Obama has finally recognized publicly the extraordinary contributions of both Clintons, his followers continue their hate-filled remarks. It's coming to the point where he has no control over them – or does he?

    His double messages throughout the campaign and his well-placed surrogates make the picture of these followers as genuinely mentally enslaved. I don't which is worse: that Americans should be taken in by this behavior and elect him or that we should not and elect McCain.

    A McCain victory may well be accompanied by violence, particularly in the inner cities, where BO holds the image of a demi-god. Well, we have inner city violence down now. We know how to handle it.
    But a BO victory will introduce measures of Americans"
    "loyalty" to him and make pc critical everywhere. I wonder if we'll see the re-introduction of McCarthy style hearings regarding loyalty.

    July 1, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  23. Jean




    July 1, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  24. JohnLee

    I bet McBush doesn't even know what running advertisements on a website means.

    July 1, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  25. gl

    Hillalry Clinton did all of this negative stuff. Obama don't need the Clintons to win the Clintons did do much demand to our party. Hilliary thought to highly of herself and didn't believe she would lose to a black man. So all her sore losers supporters keep saying they will not support Obama. Please quite saying that and just support McSame. McSame is going to need more than Clintons's sore losers supports to win. Obama/Richardson 2008

    July 1, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
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