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)
  1. A house divided

    It worked with Hillary... well sort of... Obama destroyed the democratic party and their chances of winning in Nov.

    But it was Sooooooooooooooooo much fun to sabotage Hillary by using the nasty, sleazy, underhanded Chicago style politics.

    Intra-party vitriol will come bck and bite Obama in his cute, arrogant butt.

    September 15, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. Nobama

    I think so. The Swift hurted John Kerry and DNC four years ago now comes back to haunt them as well! LOL

    Obama= all show, no go!

    September 15, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. Obama-Junkie, IL

    This is just getting ridiculous. The McCain camp are running a campaign that will say and do nearly anything to win. It's just sad that they don't offer any concrete plans or policies, just generic rhetoric in which the media and non-thinking Republicans eat up.

    September 15, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  4. Bob Indianapolis, IN


    September 15, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  5. Lee-- Dallas, TX

    Calling the spin-doctor, calling the spin-doctor–do you copy, over...

    McCain you are so foolish. US economic fundamentals are not 'strong'. Where have you been for the past year? Oh– In one of your seven-ten houses; depending on what the definition of house is. You sir are a moronic, incompetent republican puppet, a dwindling shadow of your former self.

    You say the fundamentals are the American worker's– we'll jobs are being lost and sent overseas thanks to you. Good lookin out for the fundamentals.

    September 15, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  6. Syndy

    Well.........We have heard it from the horse's, I mean pig's mouth. And I quote:
    Speaking at a rally in Florida on Monday morning, McCain said: "I believe, still, the fundamentals of our economy are strong, but these are very, very difficult times.” Unquote.
    Difficult times is when gas is up, for a short period of time. Or a household member get's laid off temporarily. But, we may all be affected by this buddy. Especially those of us with money tied up in investment markets. No offense McCain, but enough is enough. It is time to retire. Not only is Palin not qualified, but neither are you. I am now very afraid, if you get in office, we are all going down with you.

    Obama is right. McCain is not just out of touch with the communication age, he is just out of touch period. His brand of politics may have worked 20 years ago, but we now America should choose the "Change We Need".

    Obama 08'

    September 15, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  7. Never let them see you sweat....

    Now this is funny.....

    September 15, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  8. Al, NY NY

    Too bad JM. The GOP pulled this on Kerry, now it's coming around to bite you in the backside. Deal with it

    September 15, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  9. Nancy

    Republicans make me sick! Obama had no choice but to go negative against McBride (that Mccain/Palin ticket is disgusting). No morals and no truth. I was a Republican, Mccain LOST MY VOTE! PEriod.

    Obama/Biden 08 & 12

    September 15, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  10. bernj

    Finally someone tells the truth about Crazy McCain.

    September 15, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  11. Richard

    Can't take their own medicine can they! Just like pigs! Poke em and they SQUEEEEEEEELLLLLLL..... 🙂

    September 15, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  12. Vincent

    You have got to be kidding me. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

    September 15, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  13. Hitler Youth for Obama

    Obama is the master of the swift-boat attack.

    His propaganda machine spins it completely around so that Obama looks nice, innocent and above it all.

    Who do you think is pulling the strings of his campaign and his supporters? Obama is the totalitarian master mind of his media celebrity messiah campaign- he is calling the shots. His army follows his e-mail and text-message directives.

    He say go for the kill and the robots for Obama obey.

    September 15, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  14. Marilyn

    Awww, America has become a nation of whiners . . . .

    September 15, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  15. inat


    September 15, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  16. Lee from FL


    mccain slogan is "i will do to you what you may not do to me"

    September 15, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  17. Dee Jay a young republican

    lol i Love it.... the independent group was right in the Ad ... lol i love it

    September 15, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. Fools for Obama

    NOT Obama.

    Ask Hillary. She will vouch for how nice Obama plays politics.

    September 15, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  19. RH

    Sad, but these are the ads that win elections in America.

    September 15, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  20. Lady

    =====mcWar tell me how are you going to fix the economy?

    September 15, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. Paul Robinson

    Yes Obama, be nice to poor Mr. McCain. He wouldn't think about doing such a thing to you now, would he?

    September 15, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. Bulldog

    McCain started the negative campaign. Now they are getting what they sowed and crying about it.

    September 15, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  23. Tony in Michigan

    Did they say NEGATIVE CAMPAIGN??LOL GOES around COMES AROUND . Right John?

    September 15, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  24. Great Depression Part 2

    McCain is hiding behind the babe's skirt. He has consistently lied, and played dirty. He has zero intergrity left as evidenced by Rudy G, George B, Karl R., and Sarah P. They are going to take America down if we don't be smart.

    September 15, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  25. Dems are stuck in the fix they rigged

    This is the year the DNC allowed the charismatic half black man to swiftboat a candidate of his own party to gain an advantage so that he might have ashot at making history.

    Hillary was sacrificed so Obama could be the democrat next to the big "D" on the ballot- this was the year for this folly- since no democrat could lose- and no republican could win.

    September 15, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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