August 15th, 2008
08:00 PM ET
12 years ago

Campaign says McCain didn't hear question on attack book

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="McCain isn't commenting on Corsi's new book."](CNN) - John McCain's campaign is denying Democratic charges the presumptive Republican nominee flippantly dismissed a new book attacking Barack Obama that includes several documented falsehoods.

Asked by the Associated Press earlier Friday what he though of author Jerome Corsi's new book, "The Obama Nation," McCain said, "gotta keep your sense of humor."

Related: Book blasted for 'vicious innuendo'

Those comments were immediately slammed by the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee, which e-mailed its 3.4 million supporters declaring, "John McCain thinks smears and lies are funny."

"Despite pledging to run a respectful campaign, McCain is just standing by while Corsi and his publisher, former Dick Cheney aide Mary Matalin, poison this presidential race," read the e-mail from DNC Rapid Response Team.

Watch: Is Obama being swift-boated?

But McCain spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan said later Thursday the Arizona senator actually did not hear the question, and would not be commenting on the book.

The book, which is expected to debut No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list, repeats many long-discredited falsehoods about the Illinois senator, including the claim that he is Muslim.

Corsi, who has said he's on a “mission” to take down Obama, also co-wrote "Unfit for Command" - the 2004 book that spawned the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth attacks against then-Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry.

soundoff (1,035 Responses)
  1. Perspicacious Chicagoan

    When did the "Straight talk express" get derailed? He promised a hig brow campaign discussing the issues. It did not go well for him apparently and he is avoiding the issues, using attack dogs, and lying like crazy.

    August 15, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  2. Texas Ranger

    Just what kind of experience you people kept talking about when you all know that the world is beginning to look back at America with a new faith and respect when Obama began his foreign affairs tour. No one in the Republican party could act like Senator Obama when it comes to foreign affairs. And Why is that??? Because people likes his politeness and respectful ways, he knows how to handle situations like that. McBush never will be like him when it comes to foreign policy. The American people are getting tired of the same old style of politics running by the McBush Republican party, the kins of experience from the past not good for 21st century. People wake up, while you still can. Obama for President!

    August 15, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  3. Clif, Ga.

    Oh! i forgot. Did you see McCain and Cindy in restaurant in Philly? Poor Cindy har her arm in a sling. They spoke to a few people and proceded to take a seat. McCain certaintly is no gentleman. He pulled his chais out and sat down. Poor Cindy had to use her one good arm to pull her own chair out to sit. What in the world does she need that old fort for? She has more money than him. I guest there is someone for everyone. I don't like McShame,but I don't hate him. I surely would not vote for him.

    August 15, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  4. vatsi

    Obamacan: No your wrong, we do know him, and that's why we would never vote for him. Obama = depression and war. GREAT reason to vote for that loser! Look at all the great things he's done for this state (IL) NOTHING except be part of a machine thats only answer is TAX, TAX and TAX. And yet we are STILL in hole. Open your eyes before it's too late.

    August 15, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  5. WeNeedLeadership

    As several writers have already noted, we need leaders. One sure sign of strong leadership is knowing when to stand up for what is right, even if it's not popular or funny. If McCain had condemned Crorsi's book, that would have been a great show of leadership. It might have even convinced me to vote for him.

    August 15, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  6. Katie

    "Didn't hear the question?" McCain's job on the campaign trail is to hear questions and answer them. If he's not sharp enough to handle himself now, how would he ever be able to manage the White House? He's too old and way out of touch with reality.

    Change we can believe in – Obama '08

    August 15, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  7. Patricia from Houston, Tx.

    Oh, come on! Are we expected to believe that McCain DID NOT HEAR the question! How convenient. I'm surprised it too so long for the Republican Machine to haul out "the swift boat" gang! Sadly, too many people are willing to believe this drivel instead of checking it out for the facts. Obama is on a well deserved vacation. This is all McCain has! He doesn't have a platform to stand on. All he can do is attack and lie. Why is anyone surprised.

    August 15, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  8. Tyler in Raleigh

    He wasn't taking a swipe... he is too honorable for that (but not for using Paris Hilton and Brittney Spears in ads).

    HE IS JUST TOO OLD AND DEAF. Nice when he claims "hard of hearing" or "tripped up in words" whenever its useful. Just like good old Bushy.

    August 15, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  9. Patricia from Houston, Tx.

    P.S. I just took a second look at the pictures of Corsi and McCain. Am I the only one who sees a resemblance between these two bozos? Howard Dean is right! They do all look alike! *LOL*

    August 15, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  10. NickNas

    Just another daily McCain Gaff then the Staff "Explains" it away. How long is the MS going to let him get away with this cover-up of his obvious ( well obvious to those who actually go see the films themselves) advanced age having an effect on his mental capacity.

    August 15, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  11. Pat from Chicago

    It amazes me what some people will support.

    Is McCain in the habit of answering questions that he does not hear? And "you gotta have a sense of humor" (paraphrasing) is a very specific response, not like a general "maybe" or "it could be".

    It is about time that McCain gives some specific details of his programs. I am extremely interested in how he is going to cut taxes, increase expenditures (more troops in Afghanistan/nuclear plants cost 7-8 billion to build/he promised to increase funding for the people still rebuilding from Katrina), and still balance the budget. The numbers that I see just don't add up.

    As for the people who have said that the Obama campaign should "just grow a pair and stop whining", they are the same people who have a problem when anybody makes mention of McCains age. Whatever you believe in, be consistent or it means nothing more than a bunch of noise.

    August 15, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  12. Robert

    Jerome Corsi is a bigot. PERIOD. Anyone who goes on "The Politacal Cesspool" radio show and their white supremacist philosophies to promote anything is a bigot. McCain really needs to separate himself as far away from this man if he really wants to show us that he is NOT playing the race card.

    Show us some real "straight talk" McCain and condemn this man. If you do I might re-gain the respect for you that I once had.

    August 15, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  13. Phillip

    "Didn't hear the question?"

    Does this even make sense? We know he answered the question. We have the direct quote. "The Obama Nation, gotta keep a sense of humor." I guess it's pretty clear what McCain and his campaign staff think of this nation. They think we're a bunch of sheep.

    And so much for running a clean campaign, eh? The things the Republicans will do to win an election.

    August 15, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  14. John from LA

    Stop being a cry baby BO-too bad-you're in the big leads now-stop being so mamby pamby!!!-attack if you want-if not-shut your mouth and all the bots' mouths as well!-They'll do whatever you say-none of the bots can think for themselves.

    August 15, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  15. Mr T---Canadianthought

    This is what a 'fit to be commander-in-chief' does when he does not hear a question clearly; he gives a dumb answer.

    Is this man the best 'presidential material' candidate' the GOP could find?

    Even a grade 2 child would ask for a repeat of the question.

    August 15, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  16. icen von

    i said the media is sick. They are interested in promoting a pure and flawless image of THE ONE that has flaws and they don't want anyone to say otherwise. The truth is that Jerome Corsi has the right to say whatever he wants to say. No one especially the media was complaining when people where releasing smears and falsehoods against Bush. The conservatives in America should stand up and not let the truths in the book die down. STAND UP NOW!!!

    August 15, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  17. mel


    it's the beginning of my book on john mccain and i am going to fill it full of lies just like c's book. mccain said it was funny to write a book full of lies, so laugh stupid.

    just showing i have a sense of humor like mcaint hear.

    August 15, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  18. Indra in FL

    The author & publisher are just trying to cash in on Obama's popularity – and nothing draws more attention than controversy, right?

    It's dispicable, but I actually think it will help Obama in the long run – when attacked, people with the same cause have a tendency to band even closer together. Many who are undecided may actually finally realize that Obama has been unfairly targeted for some time and join in the fight to ensure he is elected.

    So there you have it –

    August 15, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  19. Bayou Joe

    A lawyer always deflects the unfavorable testimony by attacking the author and not the content. The problem with Obama and his followers is that they have no credible candidate and can only resort to insults and derogatory comments about anyone who is Republican or connected to the Clinton Democrats. Obama will lose, not because of race or his psuedo Christian religion, but because he is not the right man for the job of POTUS. McCain may not have the charisma of Obama, but he has the experience of age and wisdom. Add Loyalty and dedication to his country and you have a winning combination.

    August 15, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  20. Forky Tongue!!!

    To SUE.....Mary Matalin is touting Corsi's book. I can't stand her but thought she had a bit more integrity than that....She is A WITCH!!

    August 15, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  21. San in Ohio

    If he didn't hear the question, what did he think he was answering????

    August 15, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  22. Erika, KS

    HA, HA, HA! McCain is right; you gotta have a sense of humor. And clearly, Obama and his fans don't! Ah, poor Obama! If you can't take the heat – stay out of the kitchen!

    p.s. you should have expected this before you ran. Nobody knows anything about you Senator! We don't know the real you because he keep changing your tune, and what little we do know is highly questionable. So grow up! Stop whining all the time.

    August 15, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  23. Cecil

    Sen. McCain Is A Bold Face Cut And Paste Liar.

    August 15, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  24. Hello!!!

    BO and his campaign are babies.....

    August 15, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  25. Renel C


    Why don't you read Obama's 40 page response before you spew your non-sense? Oh.. I get it. You believe everything that Corsi said on the book because he is legitimate, truthful and honest.. based on your dislike of Obama. It never really occured to you that such a person could fabricate falsehoods against another person. That's what I call stupidity 🙂

    August 15, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
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