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. Purple Nurple

    What do you all think about Sarah charging people in her town for a rape sick is that????????????

    September 22, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. Cactus Jack

    This is standard Conservative playbook. They do this every election since Barry Goldwater: The press is against us!

    Why is the press against them? Because editors are contaminated with Liberalism, and Liberals will distort the truth to win. Why are Liberals that way? Character defects, mostly. In some cases, though, Liberal editors condemn Conservatives because they know Conservatives are good, and Liberals can't stand good people.

    Other bullet points in the standard Conservative agenda (no matter who the candidates are):
    We have strong character; Liberals have weak character.
    We are not Washington insiders; Liberals are Washington insiders.
    We do not believe government can solve problems; Liberals want government to intrude in our lives.
    We are strong; Liberals are weak.
    We will intimidate dictators with the strength of our character; Liberals will back down from dictators.
    Character is all that matters; issues do not matter.
    Taxes are all that matters; deficits and declining paychecks to not matter.

    How many times, O America, will we fall for this hogwash?

    You can fool some of the people all of the time. You can fool all of the people some of the time. Can they fool us with this crap yet again?

    September 22, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. x republican

    What does Schmidt no about truth?

    September 22, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. Igor

    So every time a news organization exposes Mccain/Palins lies or deceptions they are accused of being biased? hmm it looks to me that the media is dong their job and informing the people something McCain and Palin are obviously against. Maybe they (McCain/Palin) should try speak the truth and stop dodging questions, like Palin did on almost every single question in her ABC interview. Thank God for the media exposing the candidates so we the people can make an educated decision on who we want our president to be.

    September 22, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  5. TS

    At least we can always rely on FOX News to provide a fair and balanced perspective 😉

    September 22, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  6. Annie

    Smoke and mirrors folks, or the best defense is a good offense, or scream foul if things aren't going your way. Whatever, it's worked in the past but we're a little wiser this time around.

    September 22, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  7. Yvonne

    Cindy Lou talks in platitudes because she is just as plastic as the words that come out of her mouth. It's not her fault, she's been rich her whole life and doesn't have a clue when it comes to worrying about bills, and such.

    So what does she do, she runs to Africa and takes photos with babies and we're supposed to think she get it. She doesn't, and neither does John.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 22, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  8. Allen

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    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 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |


    September 22, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  10. Don't let those chickens hit you

    Obama controls and pulls the strings of a thug army that agitates for him and that incites hatred and division.

    But though very vocal and active- that army is still just a small extremist left wing fringe element.

    That is why Obama barely breaks the 50% mark. By now, the democratic candidate should be way out ahead. Especially one, like Obama, that receives so much help from a biased media.

    September 22, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  11. Brad

    I read that NYT article about the vetting process just like the McCain campaign did. It came out WEEKS ago... and only NOW are they complaining?

    The McCain campaign admitted that she had only met Sen. McCain once, talked to him on the phone once, and then he decided she was the right person for the ticket.

    You can't conceivably say that Palin was picked for her experience or foreign policy credentials. There are any of a number of republican governors who fit the bill better than she does. You can't reject that because you know it's true. She was picked at the last minute because if McCain had picked Romney or Lieberman, he would have sealed his fate. Instead, he picked Palin for one reason: "I'm picking someone who can swing the HIllary votes my direction."

    Anyone who was a Hillary supporter and now claims to support John McCain wasn't really a Hillary supporter at all. His policies are completely at odds with what Hillary wanted to do with this country. You supported her, so why not support Barack Obama, who will work with Hillary to get many of her ideas implemented? You think a Republican president can work with a Democratic Congress to do that? Think again. President Bush has vetoed more from Congress in the last two years than he did in the previous six combined.

    September 22, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  12. Michael

    Maybe, just maybe, if the the McCain Campaign ran a clean upstanding, and HONORABLE campaign, then there would nothing to complain about regarding the press.

    It is simply pathetic for the McCain people to start crying oul now!!!

    September 22, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  13. Dave T

    Oh, cry me a river, Faux News apologists. The New York Times is still an excellent news organization. Its editorial page may be favoring Obama but the reporting is first rate, much like the WSJ (editorial page the other side, of course.)

    The sad truth is that McCain, having nearly lost his soul in his captivity years ago, is now forced to sell it to the scum of GOP electioneering (Rove, Davis, Schmidt) in order to have any hope of being elected. As a result, the lies are cascading like an overflowing sewage treatment plant.

    September 22, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  14. alpha

    the Republican nominee for vice president, often talks about her experience running Wasilla, population approximately 7,000, and that has prompted close scrutiny of her record there. Wasilla's practice of charging victims for their rape exams while she was mayor has gotten wide circulation on the Internet and in the mainstream media.

    OBAMA 08!

    September 22, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  15. barbara

    Get over it!! Thanks to the NYT for printing the truth. Please, Please
    Please keep us informed.

    September 22, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  16. Isa

    It's funny that this critique is coming from Schmidt, the man that is destroying John McCain's credibility with lies and sleaze.
    I'd fire the guy if I were McCain.
    If the NYT is calling them out on all of these lies, it is Schmidt's fault for placing them on the front line of this election in the first place.

    Sounds like the last words of a drowning man. Drowning in his own sleaze and lies.

    September 22, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |


    September 22, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  18. Uncle Sam

    What if the media were "in the tank" for McCain?
    I'm sure that would be fine with Obama supporters.


    September 22, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. Tarrie

    McCain aught to take some responsibility on who's running his campaign.

    September 22, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  20. TPE

    Obama Baby, you are a good public speaker, but you are also the most liberal candidate that is the product of Chicago Southside Political Machine which has a long and rich history of political corruption of the first magnitude. You are indeed a child of that system and I don"t want you anywhere near the Oval Office...have a nice day.

    September 22, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  21. josephine

    this is a republican ploy to say that the newspaper is leaning towards obama in hopes that the paper would ease up in its criticism of mcain/palin even if those criticisms are the truth. the republican strategists forget that the new york times is looked upon with so much high regard to resort to this and that it is the medias duty to inform the people of the candidates who may soon be holding the combination of our nuclear arsenals. Anything less would be a tragic.

    September 22, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  22. LMR from Texas

    Oh, like no other newspaper/news media supports only Republicans?

    Did the owners of the New York Times have a fund raiser for Obama? The Belo family who owns Dallas Morning News/Channel 8 (ABC local network station) held a fundraiser for John McCain and they are always endorsing Republican candidates. So why are Republicans whining about the Times?

    I'm sure there are unbiased media out there somewhere, if there is one, let me know.

    September 22, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  23. Darren McEwen

    Re-write this story and replace the "New York Times" with "Fox News" and "McCain" with "Obama".

    September 22, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  24. biased media

    Obama is nothing but a pretty liar who incites vitriol in his followers and creates the illusion of far more support than he actually has.

    If people WANTED Obama, he would now hold a 20 point lead in all polls and all states.

    September 22, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  25. Mike G

    Ummmm.... but most of the deceptive advertising has come from you McCain. Nobody is crying that Fox News doesn't call you out on it. This is the game you chose to play. Stop crying just because you're losing.

    September 22, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
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