September 15th, 2008
01:39 PM ET
15 years ago

McCain camp accuses Obama camp of 'Swift Boat-style' attack

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="The McCain campaign accused Obama's campaign of encouraging 'Swift Boat-style,' attack in a new ad."]
(CNN) - John McCain’s campaign accused Barack Obama’s Monday of encouraging a “Swift Boat-style” attack ad, produced by an independent group, that debuted this week on national cable.

McCain-Palin spokesman Michael Goldfarb pointed to news reports as evidence the spot from Brave New PAC and Democracy for America had been launched “apparently at the behest of the Obama campaign.”

In the 30-second ad, McCain’s fellow prisoner of war Philip Butler describes the Republican nominee as “unfit to lead” – making the spot one of the first to mention McCain’s POW stint in a negative context.

"The prisoner of war experience is not a good prerequisite for president of the United States," says Butler. "He was known as a very volatile guy and he would blow up and go like a Roman candle. John McCain is not someone I would like to see with his finger near the red button."

The ad’s release comes amid reports that the conservative American Issues Project is planning a multi-million dollar negative ad buy aimed at the Democratic nominee.

None of these groups are allowed to communicate or coordinate with the campaigns in any way because of federal campaign finance regulations.

“It's unfortunate that Senator Obama has fallen so far, from opposing outside expenditures and supporting public financing at the beginning of this race to opting out of public financing and now ‘looking the other way’ on independent expenditures - no matter how vile,” said Goldfarb, in a statement on the campaign’s Web site titled “Obama Unleashes 527.”

Goldfarb criticized the media for reporting Obama campaign attacks on McCain’s honor, amid a concerted Democratic effort to paint McCain as ‘dishonorable.’ He also charged that Obama had also questioned McCain’s patriotism, although he did not provide an example.

In the news stories cited by the McCain team, unnamed sources within and close to the Obama campaign - which had publicly called for liberal groups not to run negative ads on his behalf – said they would no longer be raising those objections. The reports also noted a recent public silence from the Obama campaign on the issue. The Illinois senator’s campaign has publicly denied a shift in their position. John McCain’s campaign has not made a similar request of conservative organizations.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (208 Responses)


    The story is all over Progressive Talk Radio today about the MCain campaign sending absentee ballot applications to registered democrats or people that have donated to Obama's camapign. These ballots are dilberately misleading and have postage paid return addresses that are for an election clerk that is outside of your city or town. What this will end up doing is either having your vote not counted, or if you return one of these, they will cite you for election fraud, saying that you already voted absentee.These ballots are only being sent out in "purple states" and this is a big deal.. This is called voter caging, and is a huge problem.

    The McCain campaign is stealing this election as we speak. Please get this information out to as many people as you can ,and tell anyone you know who has received one of these ballots that they need to contact their city election clerk or the supoervisor of elections immediately. Also call the local media and let them know what is going on.

    The main stream media is never going to cover this so we have to depend on our ground campaign to get the word out to our voters.

    September 15, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. Terry, Butte, Mt

    Im an Obama supporter but I think that is over the line.

    There is sooooo many more ways to attack McCain, attacking his time he spent as a POW is not one of them.

    The whole problem with 527's, the dems have been the target of these attacks for way too long, they do not need to go that low.

    September 15, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. Chuck

    McSame and Pal-in lies have done the exact same. Shut up!

    September 15, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  4. lou

    How does it feel....Republican hypocrites...Sarah Palin will be president one year into Mccans term...Is this really what you haters want...Fear and smear...fear and Hate,Thats all you have....

    September 15, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  5. Kat

    Amazing.. The pot calling the kettle black.. I mean, are the Republicans so desperate that they are now saying "Hey, we unfairly attacked the DEMs in 2000 and especially 2004, so you can't do this to us – it's just not fair."

    Get over it. The GOP will lie, and cheat to win – at all costs. The problem is, they have a lot of rich people standing behind them to do it.. Money talks, or in this case, lies...

    Obama had nothing to do with this. It is simply a statement of fact. Everyone knows that McCain is a volatile person – regardless of the ad. So why is it unfair or untrue?

    September 15, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  6. meg

    Many of McCain's colleagues, including in his party, have said how hotheaded and explosive he is. This is nothing new and no secret. Its more than a little scary.

    September 15, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  7. Dameun Strange

    Campaigns are tough, right Johnny Boy? That which you sow. So shall you reap.

    September 15, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. Independent but Leaning

    Wow- Obama is going to get hurt with this. Regardledd of his connection- or lack thereof-the undecideds will not respond well to an attack on McCain's service time.

    Bad, bad move.

    September 15, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
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