July 14th, 2008
04:50 PM ET
15 years ago

McCain: Voters are tired of 'the cable monster'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/14/art.mccainlaraza.gi.jpg caption="McCain had a few media gripes on Monday."] SAN DIEGO (CNN) - The man who once jokingly described the political press corps as “my base” has a few complaints about the state of American media.

In a New York Times interview Sunday, John McCain lamented the non-stop news cycle spawned by cable news and the Internet.

“We are in a situation today where all words are parsed, all comments are diagnosed and looked at for whatever effect they might have,” he told the newspaper. “We have to feed the beast, the hourly cable shows, the instant news in the blogs and all that. That is just the situation that we’re in, and I’m not complaining about it, because that would be both foolish and a waste of time.”

But on Monday, addressing the National Council of La Raza, McCain did air a few complaints. He once again challenged Barack Obama to a series of town hall-style campaign events, calling it the only way to have an uncluttered dialogue with voters.

“A lot of Americans have a expressed their frustration with the sound bites, the charges back and forth, the cable monster that has to have a news story every hour,” McCain said, calling it a “disappointment” Obama has yet to agree to a town hall.

Despite the fact that both McCain and Obama organize daily conference calls featuring campaign surrogates, the senator said voters are “tired” of surrogates and their gaffes.

Americans “don’t want hear the misstatement,” McCain said. “They don’t want to hear the surrogate who may have made a mistake.”

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (195 Responses)
  1. Robert in Seattle

    Tired of lies. Tired of the raping of our nation. Tired of the false christians. Tired of profit before people. Tired of senseless and unjustified war. Tired of republicans de-funding alternative energy. Tired of John Mcain. Tired of war criminals running our country. Tired of Gitmo. Tired of our constitution being ignored.

    July 14, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  2. Marie

    McCain should never speak ill of the media. It is his most loyal base. I have no idea why he has to raise so much money to attack Obama in the general, the media does that on a daily basis for free. Catch a clue McCain, don't down cable, your most serious mistakes are covered by your buddies. They are doing an excellent job to earn their seat with you on the plane. You said that they had to earn it ,or you won't cooperate with them. So far they have been good little boys and girls.

    July 14, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  3. You will love Bush...

    After ~2 years of Obama.

    July 14, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  4. JimS.

    Yeah, but if you're reading this now, you're feeding the cable monster, aren't you?

    July 14, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  5. Mike, Syracuse NY

    He's right. The press distorts the candidates by the very fact that they choose what does or does not air. For example, last week when Obama pulled ahead by eight it was big news. Now that the gap has closed to four, where's the headlines?

    July 14, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  6. Obama 08: Female, 60, white

    So McCain is only tired of the soundbites and of quotes from surrigates when they are are about his gaffes, flip flops and inconsistencies. This man is a hypocrite!!

    July 14, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  7. Linda31

    Actually, I do want to hear what's going on. The evening does not cover muchof anything and sound bites lead to investigation of what actually happened. McCain, your truly colors are showing and they are not pretty, but we are learning about it.

    July 14, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  8. Peter (CA)

    Hey, McCain people--Pay attention to what your man is saying. He does not want to DEBATE. He wants town hall meetings. Great way to compare and contrast points, huh?
    "Gee Senator McCain, you sure look nice tonight. Tell me, sir, what can we do to stop the godless Democrats and protect our own backward way of life?"

    July 14, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  9. Joe the Troll

    What I'm tired of the most is Republicans telling me what I'm tired of.

    July 14, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  10. Obamalism

    Less Speeches. More Debates.

    A speech is a one sided debate. A true debate is the best because it forces the listeners to HEAR both sides of the story instead of the side they keep hearing with just speeches.

    Obama has no intention of doing any debates with McCain except those few that he's REQUIRED to. He's trying to build up a big enough cushion in the polls to survive the impending fall from a bad debate.

    McCain should not back down and keep calling him out on it until the political pressure get too high for Obama to ingore.

    July 14, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  11. Vig

    McCain's got that right.

    July 14, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  12. Dean

    While I am an Obama supporter, McCain is right here. If cable news has nothing new to report, on politics, they should find another topic. CNN, FOX and MSNBC are all guilty of recycle reporting and pulling bites out of context; Fox is just the most offensive than the others.

    July 14, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  13. Daniel

    It's not the news we're tired of, it's the spin of the politicians we're tired of. Yes, Obama feeds the news 'beast', but at least he feeds it (and us as a result) with a fresh message, and an alternative to 4 more years of Bush politics through a surrogate named John McCain. And at least Barack Obama went into this race knowing, and accepting, the rules of the game, i.e., feeding the 24-hour news beast is a necessity, and at least he's not whining about it.

    People want real change, not an out-of-date candidate who complains about the structure and rules of the game. If McCain wanted to be in a campaign that has town hall debates as it's main fodder, then he should have run in 1908, not 2008. This is the 21st Century; we all watch TV, and read websites nowadays. It's called progress, and progress is what Barack Obama stands for, not this false harking back to an ideal that never really existed in the first place.

    Give me progress over parochialism any day of the week.

    July 14, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  14. Shane

    More and more each day, I am disliking BHO. What is Obama afraid of? I have been a Democrat all my life and I am very close to voting for Mc Cain. Obama needs to put his party first before himself. All I hear is lies to get elected. Mc Cain atleast has plans

    July 14, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  15. Willow, from Iowa

    I do agree, tho. Anybody misspeaks, or is misunderstood, or misconstrued gets drawn and quartered by the press, the "other side", and is blogged over and over miserably. Nobody can make a simple mistake anymore, Inexperienced wives can't make a simple mistake, and they are used over and over in certain ads. We need to stick with the issues, and do the best we can to elect people who care, and want to do what's best for this country. so far, in my 56 years on this planet, I haven't seen many that do that. This is a time when things are not going so well, we need the best possible in all parts of government to get things done.

    July 14, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  16. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    Since Bush had a transmitter beneath his coat with ear implants to aid him in his second debate with Kerry after his laughably atrocious performance during the first, will McCain have Lieberman beneath the podium coaching him?

    July 14, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  17. Independent-woman-4-Obama



    BOMB........BOMB......... IRAN?




    July 14, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  18. Tx Dem

    media = fiction

    For once I actually agree with the old guy.

    The media in the US is about sensational and dramatic "stories". They've twisted my words, my sisters words and have cut people out of interviews at my school that didn't portray the story they were trying to tell.

    i.e. media = fiction

    July 14, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  19. Obama voter

    I completely agree with John McCain. The news media in America is a joke now. At least in Europe, the news broadcasts which are 24 hours focus on world events. For some reason, the news channels in America don't realize that there is an existence outside of our borders. I want to hear issues, not political gaffes. I'm still voting for Obama, but McCain is right.

    July 14, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  20. Kim, Dallas, TX

    Obama has my vote too.

    July 14, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  21. Jed

    Comment on the story, not just "Obama has my vote" or some idiotic "McBush" statement.

    McCain has a point– meaningful debate is squashed by (1) cable news sound bites and (2) Obama's refusal to have a meaningful debate. Got Hope? Yeah, I do– I'm hoping Obama and McCain will have a town hall meeting instead of surrogates on news shows.

    July 14, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  22. Phil, FL

    He knows as soon as the media is finished bashing Obama they are going to start on him. Keating 5, here we come.

    Can't wait to hear about Cindy and her "medical problems" – uh, benefits for other countries medical problems – uh whatever.

    July 14, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  23. Stephen

    Oh, come on. It was the McCain campaign that jumped on Obama using the single word "refine" in a speech about his Iraq policy and started this huge uproar suggesting that he is changing his Iraq policy. They like the news cycle, and they like parsing and sound bites... until of course his Top Economic Advisor calls us all whiners.

    July 14, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  24. Herman in LA

    Even though I am a stanch Obama support but I have to agree with McSame here cable TV on this year political coverage is just way too much gotcha. As Barack say’s it the silly season of politics.

    July 14, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  25. Phil

    Obama knows he can't connect with the common people on real issues besides empty rhetoric. That's why he refused to do townhalls with McCain.

    July 14, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
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