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. RealityKing

    Corrupt corporations using their media clot to advance their agenda. I tuned out MSNBC, CBS, ABC and CNN a long time ago..

    July 14, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  2. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    The American voters, Candidate McCain, are tired of George Bush, his policies, his double-standards and his supporters ... which include Senator John McCain.

    July 14, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  3. Liz T

    I tend to agree with McCain that there is too much focus on every little turn of phrase and that it is due to the 24 hour cable news phenomenon. But that is the reality he is campaigning in and by complaining, he is showing his lack of familiarity with 21st century technology and ways of communicating.

    July 14, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  4. CAW in MD

    Interesting how McCain harps on the fact that Obama wouldn't join him for 10 town hall meetings, but when the Obama camp counter-offered with a mix of debates and a town hall, McCain said his way or nothing. So who is really being intransigent here?

    For those of you who for some reason believe that Obama, a Harvard graduate, head of the Harvard Law Review, a lawyer, for crying out loud, is afraid of taking unscripted questions, you must also believe in the tooth fairy. Here's an alternate scenario - Obama has very little to gain, but a lot to lose, in town hall meetings with McCain. There's already been a worked example of this - when W was debating Al Gore. The expectations for W were nil. Al Gore won every debate, and the press said so. But Bush came out of those debates stronger because Gore didn't win them by enough, or he was sighing at the wrong time, or pretty much anything other than the actual content of the debate.

    If McCain's attitude is take it or leave it, I think Obama is doing fine by leaving it. Let McCain keep talking to himself about Iranian cigarettes and Czechoslovakia...

    July 14, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  5. Fay tx

    Mr McCain .......Obama has yet to agree to a town hall-style campaign eventsYou have yet to ask him personally .......It's always publically as though he is avoiding you ......Call him !!!

    July 14, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  6. California Gold

    McCain actually uttered these words or just handed a statement written by someone else: “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.”

    I'm accustomed to the McCain who is helpless without a teleprompter, can barely read let alone construct a simple declaratory statement on his own. He actually talked about parsing and diagnosing comments. I would have asked him to spell and define the word parse. McCain presents himself as a candidate who is utterly at a loss and incapable of relying on his own faculties. A la McCain responds to Viagara question. Uh...I don't know...I'll get back to you....I don't remember how I voted.... uhhhhhh.... mmmmm.... well I don't know....

    July 14, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  7. Orlando

    McCan't you've had a Free Ride for way to longggggg. Now MY FRIEND they are holding you and your advisers accountable. "NO MORE GAFFE"

    July 14, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  8. Caycee

    Actually, McCain is right about others' misstatements. The media should stick to the ones that McCain makes himself. There's more than enough for everybody to harp about.

    July 14, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  9. Louis

    Your right McCain–Americans don't want to hear misstatements. They want to hear Presidential sounding statements like "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran..."

    July 14, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  10. OK McCain got one right

    I'm not a McCain supporter but credit where credit is due – he's right about this one.

    Obama 08 & 12.

    July 14, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  11. Stacy Clarks

    as much as i can't stand mccain, i have to agree with him on this one. The media has too much power. they decide what is important, and what is not based on what gets them ratings, as opposed to what the American people need to hear, so in the end, we the people end up losing!


    but on the other hand, GO OBAMA!!! WE GOT YOUR BACK 100%!!!!!!

    July 14, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  12. Linda

    Are you WHINING John?

    July 14, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  13. Linda

    I'm tired of this administration. I'm certainly not going to vote for 4 more years of the same old thing.

    Barack the vote.


    July 14, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  14. Bob

    I'm tired of the whole circus every four years. Let's have a dictatorship just to shake things up a little. Please?

    July 14, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  15. djborman

    Obama really, if you think he is an improvment you're dreaming. His kind of change with further hurt the U.S. All you have to do is look at the socialist countries in Europe to see where we are heading with Democrats. Just look at what has happened in the past 2 years once they took control of congress.

    July 14, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  16. TonyinKentucky

    McCain needs to accept the invitation for the record setting number of debates offered instead of crying like a 2 year old about not having 20 of the same debates before the conventions.

    July 14, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  17. Terrence (Winston Salem, NC)

    McCain only wants to have these meetings to boost attendance for people to hear him speak. Right now, all eyes are on Obama. McCain just wants exposure. Surely, if all of Obama's surrogates were screwing up and if Obama was mixing Sunni/Shia, Czech Republic, etc., McCain would not want to have meeting with him. if McCain were ahead in the polls, he wouldn't rock the boat either.

    In time, they will debate but in the meantime, why give McCain more media exposure than he needs to have.

    July 14, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  18. H-ROD


    July 14, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  19. tony

    Hey Dictator-If Obama willdo what he thinks is best-THat is the defintion of a dictator-
    It's what the people think -
    you have no idea what your talking about-that is what is truly scary-even you get to vote-
    What a country-!!

    July 14, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  20. Dick Pittenger Sioux Falls, SD 57106

    To "Bitter in New Orleans."
    I hope you take the trouble to read the interview concerning Obama's discussion of the entire world, which revealed his broad understanding of global Islam, and how best to address the many problems of the entire world; beginning with our own.
    In a debate, McCain's relative ignorance will soon come to light, and the comparison will be illustrative of his comparative inadequacy in addressing a thousand issues with which he is barely familiar; and about which he is seemingly bereft of ideas.
    After the 2004 election, European headlines read, "How can 59 Million people be so stupid?"
    If Obama is not elected, similar headlines will explode all over the world!

    July 14, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  21. Former GOP member

    I was a Republican, but not anymore (well at least not this election). Obama is the only way to move forward. McCain is the worst I have seen up for President in many years.

    Obama should be the next President.

    July 14, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  22. kayla

    mcsame you are in no position to tell sen. obama what he should or should not do. he does what's best for him, and you do whats best for you. obama 08

    July 14, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  23. aware


    And, the obfuscating Obama is Mr. Prevaricator in person. He feeds the monster media all by himself. Unfortunately for him, it is beginning to do him more harm than good!

    McCain 08, the only wise choice! 🙂

    July 14, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  24. Michelle

    That's funny . When they repeat Obama's surrogates "misstatements" he is fine with it . In fact he continues to repeat them

    Wake up gramps.. soon you'll figure out google and everything !

    LOL @Czechoslovakia -– yeah that is sooo typical .. he not only needs to learn the internet he needs a NEW MAP !!

    July 14, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  25. Marc PDX

    I agree. It's time to DEBATE!!!

    July 14, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
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