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. Douglas, Los Angeles California

    McCain is trying to get Obama off message again. The New York Times is a fair paper for both candidates. The good thing is that it's journilist tells the truth. We all know the McCain camp is spreading lies and Mrs. Palin is only reading speeches they put in front of her without any inquiry as to whether she is telling the truth or not. Her speeches get more and more generic.

    September 22, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  2. CR

    If McCain cannot handle the NY Times, how is he going to handle Putin, Chavez et al?

    Obama went on O'Reilly for goodness sakes. Grow some McCain - they endorsed you in the primary for crying out loud.

    Their internals must be tanking.

    September 22, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  3. Freedom Lovin Patriot


    September 22, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  4. Debby

    Oh gosh the NYT has been a liberal rag for years like their sister the Huffington rag. They are both like the Enquirer with half truth and big huge letters with their ads. I am still waiting to hear Sen. Obamas plan after this bailout with all those advisors by his side. I guess I will have to wait for Friday when McCain asks him in the debate. He can't vote Present then.

    September 22, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  5. a REAL American

    To Dan the Democrat:

    Man, I sure hope your post is sarcasm, because that BS you're spouting is ridiculous!

    By the way, Kevin Leo, McCain might have Fox News "in his back pocket", but Obama has every other news organization in his.... especially NY Times and MSNBC.

    September 22, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  6. Barb

    I find this comment from McCain's camp very interesting as it is okay with them when FOX and Rush Lambart slams Obama and give all the prases in the world to McCain and Palin. You seem to be good at dishing it out but you cannot take it. The McCain campaign reminds me of the school yard bully that is happy when he beats up everyone and they are afraid of him but as soon as someone come on the scene that is willing to fight back, he called foul.

    September 22, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  7. Mccain is a Liar

    Mccain and his campaign once again are complaining about the media these guy are mad everytime they call them on therer Lies. The mccain campaign is mad that they called out Mccains Campaign managers as a lobbyist for Mannie Mae Mccain is a liar that is why he is down in the poll because American don't trust him

    September 22, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  8. M.Serafin

    Steve Schmidt, and what about Fox 'News' ??

    September 22, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  9. J

    John McCain will go down in history as having "managed" one of the worse campaigns America has ever seen. He will also go down in history as one of the worse candidates to ever run for president.

    September 22, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  10. Jen

    John McCain did not put country first, just as he didn't put his first wife first. He cheated on her with Cindy and left his kids.

    John chose a trophy wife, just as he chose a trophy VP, and as some other blogger said, he will have a trophy presidency.

    Americans should think about themselves and not the greedy 1%.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 22, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  11. The Lady

    So what if they are in the tank for Obama/Biden..

    September 22, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  12. Ms Gunn

    Yes, Im thinking that the lady that was on The Rachel Maddow show was right, She said that : the mccain campaign was angry all the time. I knew it! They are grasping for straws, that are barely there. These people cry more than My newborn!

    September 22, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  13. Nothing to fear but fear itself

    The real surprise is that Obama is not sweeping the polls- as much positive coverage and support he is receiving from the media.

    Obama would have NO votes if he were running on his own merits and track record.

    All he does is criticize others... he offers no viable solutions of his own.

    Obama is running on anti- republican sentiment and capitalizing on the fears of Americans.

    September 22, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  14. Independent in NC

    So we can't accuse anyone in the media of being in the tank for Obama, but yet refer to Fox News as "Faux News" and the "GOP news network"? How does that make any sense?

    September 22, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  15. enomisa

    Maybe common sense will return in the privacy of the voting booth.

    Obama has no plan.

    September 22, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  16. RoFL

    Enough of the "Woe is me" from Schmidt and his Bush/Rove/McCain nonsense! You guys can dish it, but you sure can't take it. Cry me freaking river.

    If these Republican Socialists don't like being called out for their hypocritical lies & rhetoric, the novel idea would be to stop telling them and diverting from the issues.

    BTW Schmidt, the NYT endorsed your candidate in the primaries before McCain/Palin lost credibility.

    September 22, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |


    September 22, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  18. proud army and navy mom

    Mcsenile and his campaign are full of lying whiners. they lie, deceive and manipulate the truth like silly putty. They make up false allegations and cry about them when they are proven a lie.

    All of a sudden mccain is for regulation, but his record proves he not.

    McCain displayed a sudden interest in the SEC last week when he demanded that Chairman Chris Cox be fired. When his campaign was asked if the senator had ever criticized the current commission's performance before, they failed to respond.

    They didn't respond because they had nothing to say. Mccain was having a temper tantrum and wanted somebody to pay. It's pathetic.

    All For Obama

    September 22, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  19. Dennis

    It is time that Senator McCain learned to stop attacking his critics and start making positive arguments that people can believe in. This is the Senator who refused to be interviewed by Larry King because he didn't like the way Campbell Brown treated one of his staff when all Campell wanted to do was to get at the truth.

    September 22, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  20. OZ in N C

    Don't Anita's comment about the site of the Palin rally in Florida and, just as importantly, the pictures of the Palin rally compared to the Obama rally in Charlotte still visible on the Political Ticker tell the story? Is there a way to "fact check" the numbers?

    September 22, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  21. Anti Palin...Pro Women

    ======shame on Media for not going after paLien======

    September 22, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  22. Bob from Pittsburgh

    Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's hometown required women to pay for their own rape examinations while she was mayor, a practice her police chief fought to keep as late as 2000.

    September 22, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  23. LP

    This election is not as close as the media wants us think. I would love if they can tell us when they are taking these Polls how mwnt of the voters are Rep vs Dem. Obama in a landslide and after Friday debate this election is over. I agree with some of the earlier cooments about race, we've made alot of progress but racism is still rampant, and you will see clearly in this upcoming election transparent it is.

    September 22, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  24. Charles

    Why does John McCain even care what the NYT says when he is 151% in the tank of Fox News?

    September 22, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  25. Allen

    By election day the McCain camp should all be ready for the funny farm. Since when did campaigns become so violent? Oh, I forget, it started with Newt back in the 1990s, and was perfected by Rush.

    Hopefully all that crowd will fade away soon and we can get back to friendly campaigns and elections. The election of a Democrat for president should quiet things down a little I would hope.

    September 22, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14