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. D

    I noticed how angry McCain acted on the VIew. He seems like he would not be able to keep his cool at all, once put under pressure. Repubs refuse to stick to issues, all they are doing is trying to steer clear of them. First it was the lipstick, then Oprah, now this! Give me a break and talk about the things that matter!

    September 15, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  2. CitizenS

    Ask any military person that was in a sustained enemy environment about PTSD. Or how about asking about the many times he denounced the USA under duress as a prisoner. Ok, give him a break because he was being tortured but this is the VERY REASON we can't have him in the White House. It's called post traumatic syndrome disorder. Look at McCain interview on the VIEW, he is pathetic. His VP shows the same signs and she has not yet been under the stress of a presidency. Please America, THINK, before you vote.

    September 15, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  3. Susan

    McCain can have a POW, but Obama can't. Many what a cry baby McCain is. He is not fit to lead! How does it feel to get sand kicked back in your face! When is Cindy coming out to cry again? Steve Schmidt is such an outrageous liar, but ha and McCain can't take a dose of their own medicine! OBAMA/BIDEN 08!

    September 15, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  4. toots1282

    If you want to make a good investment take your money out of Wall Street and donate to Obama!!!

    September 15, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  5. astronuts

    Bet you wish we were still on Sarah, ehh Johnny?

    September 15, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  6. Barbara - NC

    Be prepared people –

    If this mess doesn't get McCain's numbers up, he'll just have some of his party's "friends" create a world crisis to get them up.

    AND he'll blame Obama for it.


    September 15, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  7. McCain for Pres.

    McCain was not just a POW, he said no to being released early because he knew it was wrong if he got out sooner than other men who were captured before him. That takes real courage, something Obama knows nothing about. People and country first !!!!!!!

    September 15, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  8. mel from Ohio

    McBush certainly ought to know about Swift-boat attack ads....that's all he's been sending out over our airwaves and they disgust me!!!

    September 15, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  9. Obamabot Whaaaambulance-Brought to you by CNN

    CNN's Poll of Polls will tip another 2% in McCain's favor b/c of the American public growing sick of the Obamabot Wahaaaaaaambulance's constant whining.

    September 15, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  10. Danielle MN

    Obama's campaign has nothing to do with this ad.
    I am an Obama supporter and I don't like it.
    I think it should be pulled.

    September 15, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |

    O B A M A--–C H I C A G O--P O L I T I C S ---D O N ' T----

    W O R K---O N---T H E---R E S T---O F----U S

    September 15, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  12. Rob

    please old man –just go away.McCain your just an old man with Issues and you don't know the truth from a lie

    September 15, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. champ

    The last mistake that we as american will make is to put another lobb-republican in the WH. People, can you see whats happening.......Military is so stretch out....... Our mortgage crisis......our Freddie and fannie meltdown...... And now our money/ Financial Market....... What Economy is MC-PAlin is taking about?

    Oh Yeah!! "Our economy is still fundamentally sound "!!

    September 15, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  14. Bill Nash


    September 15, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  15. Tom

    This confirms, once and for all, that the McCain campaign will do or say anything. They are complaining about an attack ad?! They haven't said a word in weeks that wasn't (a) an attack based on lies, (b) a positive claim about themselves based on lies, (c) a response–you guessed it, based on lies–to a legitimate ad (whether negative or positive) from Obama. Pathetic! They've got nothing on issues, so they bloviate all the time.

    September 15, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  16. Ned Wisconsin

    It's too late old man. Blame nobody but yourself! You've just brought your own demise today with your economy comment. Remember Marie Antoinette when she said "let them eat cake!"? You are too blind to the needs of America to be its future leader.

    September 15, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  17. White Mother for Obama!!

    McCain is back in Kindergarden today!!

    September 15, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  18. LS

    Take it in McCain – you deserve it for all the LIES and negative ads you have put out.

    McCain trying to point the finger at Obama now – No, won't work.

    Obama letting the public in on McCain's LIES isn't a wrong thing to do. Actually, I appreciate the fact that Obama let's us know just what type of person McCain is and keeps the reality check on drive.

    McCain spreading LIES to the people is wrong.

    POINT your finger at yourself McCain – you are the one to blame.

    September 15, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  19. Aspire

    If McCain couldn't even beat Bush in the primaries, he ought to be SwiftBoated.

    He got shot down over Hanoi because he didn't fly his route - maverick.

    September 15, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  20. Jenny, Rio Vista, CA

    And I hope to see more of them.

    What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

    Kerry sat back and let the republicans and swift-boaters damage his reputation. The democrats are not going to let you do it again. We are going to fight back..........WITH THE TRUTH.

    September 15, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  21. obama all the way

    Lets just get back to the issues.

    These groups make me sick with there shameless mudslinging.

    After what McSenile said today about the economy being strong- shouldn't that be enough of a clue for his supporters to realize it is time to vote Obama????????????????

    September 15, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  22. Foo Man Jew

    Phony Old Whiner

    September 15, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. Lori

    You've got to be kidding me !!

    Also, McCain, you were a POW like 30 years ago !!!!!!! Time to talk about the Issues.... Oh yea, you don't know anything about the issues, sorry there my friend.

    You need to retire and take Palin the pig with you.

    September 15, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  24. Typing in all caps and whining about Rove isn't an argument.

    Neither is being a hypocrite and crying about the tactics you used against Hillary boomeranging back on you, Chosen One.

    September 15, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  25. M

    At least Obama's ads have some truth to them! You cannot say the same, Mr. McCain.

    Palin/McSame "Power" People, it is now time to wake up. McShame is the wrong person to run our beloved America. "Thanks, but NO THANKS!

    September 15, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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