September 15th, 2008
01:39 PM ET
14 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. BKoi

    Swift boat ! What a novel idea !! Seeing that you have stolen all of Obama's campaign themes , someone has stolen one of yours McCain !! The only difference in the add about you , is that it is the TRUTH ! I guess YOU JUST CAN"T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!! Obama has no involvement in this new add , so get over yourself. When you are the author of a smear campaign McCain , some of what you put out there is bound to rub off on you ! All I can say is , GOOD ON YA !!

    September 15, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  2. Wake up America!

    Hmm. He's upset because we aren't buying into his "the economy is strong" theory. McCain/Palin supporters, NOW is the time to WAKE UP and OPEN YOUR EYES.

    Vote for Obama, regardless of your party. Unite for this important election or we will all be paying for the cost.

    September 15, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. Old Fart

    Well, McCain and the Repugnicans would certainly know one when they saw one. As as the Repugnicans know, if you say it, it must be true.
    Get a life, McCain. Quit crying for five seconds and actually say something about issues.

    September 15, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  4. Chris in Nebraska

    McCain says the economy is still sound!!!

    PROOF that being a POW is neither sufficient nor necessary for becoming President. Now, intelligence... THAT helps.

    September 15, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  5. Trysh, Los Angeles

    Oh Puh-lease! This from the same man who is running an ad saying that Barack Obama is trying to teach sex to kindergarteners.

    I can not believe people are voting for this man. Its just one more reason to vote for Barack Obama, because CLEARLY the education system in this nation is failing.

    September 15, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  6. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    The Republicans are complaining about getting swiftboated? Now that's funny.

    September 15, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  7. Ellemn Rudolf

    McCAin is a crazy guy. He is so scary! He lies with such conviction that I am often led to believe that dementia has set in. He appears to be unaware of what he has said immediately before the subsequent statement at any time.

    September 15, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  8. My Comment is awaiting moderation

    Holy smokes, the Obamabot Whaaaaaambulance is just WAILING away today, isn't it?

    Anyone else notice that "The Chosen One couldn't get to Colorado fast enough after Palin was there this morning? OBama is absolutely OBSESSED with Palin and GW Bush, but he's running against McCain!!!! Worst campaign EVER!!!!!

    September 15, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  9. Debi

    All I can say is that all you demo's should have been more supportive of Hillary! Hey, I typically vote Republican but I would have voted for Hillary. What they are doing to her now is shameful, making her support Obama!!! Obama is weak and cannot make a decision on his own!!!

    September 15, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  10. Larry The Cable Guy


    September 15, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  11. Observer

    Note to John McCain: have you ever heard the phrase, "What goes around, comes around"? Don't try playing the role of the innocent party here. You shook up a hornet's nest when you came out with outrageous lies about Obama, and now you are getting back some of what you slung out. Don't act all surprised and outraged–this is the way some supporters are going to react when you go after their candidate.

    September 15, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  12. Irene

    In today's volatile world..........Lord knows, we don't need a President with a volatile temperment !

    McCain's temper is well known by lots of people. Just in the interviews he gives, you can see evidence of it. When pressed too hard.........his disposition changes VERY ABRUPTLY.

    NO WAY, MCCAIN !!!!!!!!!

    OBAMA / BIDEN 08

    September 15, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  13. John in Ohio

    Is it a lie? Is McCain challenging the accuracy? Is it a dishonest ad?


    Cope, McCain. Cope. What will you do when belligerent world leaders try to get under your skin?

    September 15, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  14. Ted

    Now McSame is lying about his lies. That is pretty rich! But what can you expect out of a untreated PTSD victim but rage and deflection. I did not trust him when he marched off the plane when he returned from North Vietnam and I don't trust him now. Maybe, just mabe he can regain America's trust if he gets his PTSD treated and under control; However, that would require him admitting that he has PTSD and that will never happen.

    September 15, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  15. chris from PA

    Republicans get a taste of their own medicine!
    Go Eagles!

    September 15, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  16. Silence Dogood

    Obama is going with the misguided notion that he can parade around and cry out "liar" and no one can strike back. You know lists Obama lies too.

    It is a very fragile situation to claim perfection – a house of cards.

    Do I hear chickens coming home?

    September 15, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  17. Grace Needed

    McCain is not stable! For him to be so opposite of who he was just a few years ago, shows his lack of emotional stability. Why else would someone hire the same people who smeared your campaign (your family) in 2000? He has flip-flopped on every major issue since then and now is going so low as to dishonor himself by first selecting a Vice President who wasn't properly vetted to be a heartbeat away from the presidency and then repeating lines that have been shown to be lies from most every news organization in the country. Please don't tell me this is the "liberal news media on a vendetta". This is his record in print and his words he refuses to be accountable for. Those of you who would vote for him, need to really search your conscience. This man is not the hero he once was. I am not so sure he ever was!

    September 15, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  18. ????????

    I hate to see him go this route but the mcsane's camp left him no choice with all the lies they have been running.

    September 15, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  19. Jean 2

    It is amazing how the Obama Campaign is expected to"Roll Over and Play Dead". In life sometimes we have to fight back.

    We sat back as McCain said thah things would not have gotten negative if Obama had agreed with him and attended his town hall meetings Does that justify lying and low blows???????



    September 15, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  20. joe

    Hey Obama-Junkie

    In case you had not read this artical it is about JOHN MCCAIN being swift-boated, not Obama.

    I do like your name. I guess you are refering to the fact that Obama was a junkie during College.

    September 15, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  21. Green Collar Voter

    If you examine McCain's military career, and even his time as a POW closely, you'll see that there is a lot in there that isn't positive. The Vietnamese give McCain the code name "Songbird" for the numerous statements he made for them.. which McCain himself later sealed the records on while in Congress. He's also a reverse Ace... meaning that he lost 5 aircraft while in service, several of them due to pilot error. Unfortunately, the MSM won't touch any of this, but you can still google it and decide for yourselves.

    September 15, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  22. Carl

    Poor republicans. They can give it out, but any response to their slander = righteous indignation on their part. When will the public wise up?

    September 15, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  23. Spencer from VA

    -A house divided

    Obviously we are not divided. Bill and Hillary are on board and there hand wasn't forced. Politics is politics. Republicans have Karl Rove and the Democrats have this well oiled machine. Get over it. What goes around comes around and it's coming right back in your face.


    September 15, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  24. Fred

    You mean Mr. Noun, a verb, and I'm a POW is complaining about swiftboating. Give me a break.

    The ad is simply stating fact. McCain is clearly unfit to lead this great nation.

    September 15, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  25. Linda from Prescott AZ

    John McCain is one nasty whiney old guy who edoesn't have a grip on reality.

    September 15, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
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