September 22nd, 2008
12:20 PM ET
15 years ago

Senior McCain aide skewers New York Times


Watch: A McCain audience member condemns the media coverage of Sarah Palin.

(CNN) - McCain senior adviser Steve Schmidt accused the New York Times Monday of being “in the tank” for Barack Obama’s presidential bid, and charged the Democrat’s team with a “campaign of intimidation” directed at his critics.

“Whatever by the New York Times once was, it is today not by any standard a journalistic organization,” said Schmidt, on a conference call with reporters. “It is a pro-Obama advocacy organization that every day attacks Senator McCain, attacks Governor Palin and excuses Senator Obama.

“There is no level of outrage directed at his deceptive ads. There is no vetting...This is an organization that is completely, totally 150 percent in the tank for the Democratic candidate,” said Schmidt, saying later: “We would hope in the last 43 days of this campaign… that there is a restoration to some degree of a level of symmetry in coverage.”

The former Bush adviser has been an increasingly vocal media critic. Earlier this month, he accused journalists of being on a “mission to destroy” Sarah Palin, and called a Times investigative report on the vetting process that preceded her selection as McCain’s running mate a “work of fiction.”

Schmidt also told reporters on the call, “There is no question that there is a fierce campaign of intimidation directed at any critic of Obama’s” by his campaign.

But McCain aides backed away from claims last week that Obama had pressured Senator Hillary Clinton into backing out of an appearance at a rally where Governor Sarah Palin would be in attendance, and of pushing organizers to disinvite the Republican VP nominee, with campaign manager Rick Davis saying instead that the incident demonstrated a “failure of leadership” by the Democratic nominee.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (349 Responses)
  1. Yasriel

    Why does McCain hate that truth be told?

    September 22, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  2. Kelly

    QQ more!

    September 22, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  3. McCain Invented the BlackBerry, Palin Invented the Manure Spreader

    If you can't beat 'em, blame the media!

    September 22, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  4. MD, TX

    150 percent correct. The NY Times lost credibility as a news organization years ago. It is now no better than People Magazine.

    September 22, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  5. Sue, MI

    The campaign reflects the candidate- a petualant child, stomping his feet when things don't go his way. McCain- just take your toys and go home for good!

    September 22, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  6. Jon

    Hey, when The New York Times is right, they're right.

    September 22, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  7. Accountability

    You can't logically accuse the media of being "in the tank for Obama" just because they point out all the flaws, misleading ads, and inconsistencies in your own campaign. They hold Obama to task as well, it's just that the McCain campaign is grossly inferior to Obama's.

    This strategy of blaming liberal bias on anyone who asks legitimate questions about your policies or tactics is pathetic.

    September 22, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  8. BJGT

    McCain needs to clean his own house first. If he wants Americans trust then he Needs to get rid of and guarantee Americans that he will not use any lobbiest or people on his staff that even remotely had anything to do with this wall street melt down. That includes Gramm and all the lobbiest croonies on his staff. He must also guarantee Americans that he will increase taxes on corporate American sufficently to recoup the taxpayers money. He must also start running an honest honerable campaign. McCain must also guarantee that NO govermental official, politician, corporate head, lobbiest or any one connected to those corporations receiveing bailout funds will benefit from this mess. He wont and cant do this so he is toast in my book. McCains hands are dirty here and will remain very dirty. Leeches is all they are and they could care less about the American people, this is all about their political future and their own personal finances.

    September 22, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  9. Barney

    Do we want to be a military state where no one has any rights?

    Time to get away from the subpoena-dodging republicans.

    Time for the constitution to mean something again. Obama/Biden '08

    September 22, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |

    CRY ME A RIVER...................

    STOP WHINING....SHEESH..............

    September 22, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  11. Foo Man Jew

    Read: I am Bushes man and I am running McDishonorables campaogn now, quit reporting the truth or I am toast ...

    McLIAR aught-8

    September 22, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  12. Dan the Democrat

    Just sour grapes of a loser. We the people want a centralized government and a planned economy! Yes! Vote Obama!!!!! GIVE US COMMUNISM NOW !!! Take from the rich and give to us poor! Guarantee our jobs! Give us health care managed by our government! Nationalize our oil companies! Set wage and price controls! We want Communism and we want it now! Vote OBAMA!

    September 22, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  13. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    I tell you where the outrage is!!!

    I am outraged that the American people are people taken for the largest single corporate welfare scam in the history of the world–at the behest of George Bush–and NOBODY in our Congress or Senate is against it.

    So much for a freemarket economy.

    Socialism is looking better all the time.

    September 22, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  14. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    This coming from a guy with FIXED Noise in their back pocket?!?! Give m a break!

    September 22, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  15. Jen

    The McCain camp is upset that there is one media organization with the guts to call out McCain on his lies and distortions.

    September 22, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  16. Ricky - Latino for Obama

    I happen to like reading the New York Times. They have the most breaking news and relevant information.

    A McCain aide looking for excuses won't change my mind and I'll continue my subscription with the Times. Thank You.

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 22, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  17. J L

    I am GLAD our media is not going to play the 'silent observer' that like they played and helped lead us into Bush's war which killed four thousand americans!

    It is PROPER for the media to help expose ANY candidate that is untruthful, scheming, and could lead us into ANOTHER disastrous time – together with his unvetted VP!

    The media has learned it's lesson and I say


    September 22, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  18. Steve/ Houston,TX

    Why would anyone in their right mind try to vote for McCain/Palin? What can they possibly do for our country other than keep up with the failed politics of the Bush Administration? Give me a break! A vote for McCain/Palin is a vote for disaster!!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN= The clear, right choice!!!!

    September 22, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  19. wam

    these guys whine more than a 2 yr old.

    September 22, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  20. Skunk Meat Anyone?

    This is GREAT News for McGimmick and his skunk meat campaign that stinks to high heaven!

    September 22, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  21. Cyrus K.

    Schmidt, you are as corrupted as the person you advised before (Bush) and advising now (McCain/Palin). When media discovers the lies and rubbish that you guys put out there, they are pro-Barack Obama. But when they just look away like "Fix News" does, they are "real journalists". Get over yourself!

    NY Times is a cultural icon, and if you research, you will see that they have criticized both Obama and Clintons in the past for many of their stances. Oh I forgot that "research" is not one of your strong suit. You guys are just pathetic.

    September 22, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  22. Jerry Ohio

    Everybody is finding out more about McCain and Palin lies and attacks against Obama with these awful ads

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 22, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  23. White Mother for Obama!!

    Free press... and I thought the NY TIMES endorsed Obama long ago. So what is the big deal?

    Get over it Republicans McSame and Piling

    September 22, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  24. Sarah.....and my last name isn't Palin!

    NYTimes speaks truth to with it!

    September 22, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  25. Abby

    Stop trying to change he subject! Economy economy economy!!!

    Yes ye, no matter how much you want the NYT not to report Rick Davis’s ties with Freddy and Fannie, getting 30K a month just for his access to McCain, it is news.

    September 22, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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