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. Concerned

    Why is it important that he was a former Bush advisor? I'll tell you. Cnn is trying to divert attention away from bias.

    September 22, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  2. My View

    What a bunch of cry babies! McCain has absolutely no plans, programs, or policies to lead this country. So when the news media covers this, their only response is that they are not being "fair"?

    These whinning skills will come in real handy when you are dealing with foreign affairs. Gosh, if we had just complained that Saddam Hussien was not being "fair", maybe we could have just avoided the whole Iraq war all together!

    September 22, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  3. Irony

    Fair = Obama Biased?

    Fox = Fair and balaced?

    When the truth hurts, buy the media and sell the lies.

    It won't work this time, the GOP has used the same fear, uncertainty, and doubt campaign too many times.

    Time for change.

    September 22, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  4. Accountant Guy

    Oh, get over it Republican. People are starting to see through how pathetic McBush and his Bridge to No Where VP Palin are.

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 22, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  5. Ordinary Voter

    Both campaigns have been good at getting out falsehoods about the other. But, this one about the New York Times is truthfully on the button.

    September 22, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  6. Rob

    150% ... I'm glad the McCain campaign isn't prone to exagerration.

    This has to be one of the all time worst campaigns ever run!

    September 22, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  7. gregg

    so ny times is backing obama as is msnbc.

    fox, hannity, rush et al back mccain

    where's the problem ?

    the liberal media should be held to the same standard as hannity – in other words the lowest possible standard !

    ha ha

    September 22, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  8. Pennsylvania

    Imagine the outrage if Saturday Night Live has accused Obama of having sex with his daughters like Saturday Night Live accuses Todd Palin of having sex with his daughters!
    Saturday Night Live would have been torn apart by the media and accused of extreme racism, but since it was Palin, we are all told to remember that SNL is a comedy show.
    I do not accept double standards and I did not hear the Obama campaign condemn the irresponsible actions of Saturday Night Live. To make jokes about someone is one thing, to insenuate incest is another thing and unaccceptable.

    September 22, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Camp McCain loves it when the applaud McCain, but squeal like kids when they condemn McCain on various issues.

    Camp Obama doesn't comment one way or the other on articles and commentary about their candidate.

    September 22, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  10. Texas

    We saw this movie already during the RNC. Trying to intimidate the media when they don't like the FACTS reported.

    September 22, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  11. ATR

    I notice that Mr. Schmidt does not deny any of the items reported by the Times. Typical republican response: shoot the messager.

    September 22, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  12. Move over

    That tank's getting crowded.

    September 22, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  13. J from DC

    I just gave $50 to Obama because I am sick of this economy. In November Obama gets my vote. I know John McCain has no idea what to do, because he said the economy was strong when it is not. Now we have to pay so much money to get the banks out of trouble. So, why are we still spending all this money in Iraq? If McCain wins this election, he will keep spending billions every month in Iraq? I don’t think McCain cares how much the war cost, because McCain and his rich friends will keep eating. They are getting their money now (today) in this bailout. While, the rest of us have to wait to see who gets elected. I have friends who say they can’t see themselves voting for Obama, even though they like him. They say they will vote for McCain even though they don’t like him or Palin. They are just Republicans voting the party line. Still, here we all seem to agree on one thing. If Obama don’t win, the rest of us will get nothing, but more taxes. Then, when we lose our jobs, and can’t pay for our homes. They will take them and sell them to someone else, for half the price. It is happening every day, right here, right now, before the election. Obama needs our vote, and our money to win in November. Let’s support him now, before it is too late. As for the Republican, I tell them to vote Obama or Bob Barr if they truly want their party back.

    September 22, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  14. Mike Dunbar

    Wah, much crying from the McCain campaign. They did the same thing when Obama's trip abroad was getting a lot of coverage. As if there aren't heavily-biased articles coming out every day against Obama. Yet we don't see David Plouffe whining like this. To me, this looks like an attempt to bully the press into favorable McCain coverage. What about the negative WSJ article about McCain's response to the economic crisis? Guess that would be too much of a stretch to attack, since WSJ is known to be conservatively-biased.

    September 22, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  15. Jonathan

    Just like the Republicans. They're going to have their conservative media (Fox) smear Obama with all the lies and half truths they can but when it's done to them all of a sudden the "liberal media" is in Obama's pocket. Republicans: you can't have it both ways so either quit it or quit complaining.

    September 22, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  16. Maureen / Calif.

    Additionally, the only people these babies are not mad at is FAUX news. FAUX news has always been "In the tank for ANY Republican's presidential bid." They are as reputable as the National Enquirer.

    September 22, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  17. Bulldog

    Of course a McCain aide would try to make that case. He doesn't want any of the media digging up the facts about McCain and Palin. This is their way of trying to intimidate the media. They've done it to NBC, CNN, the Times and others. The only organization they haven't called out is FOX news because they are there attack machine against Obama and employ people like Karl Rove and Sean Hannity, harcore radical conservatives. I've seen plenty of articles in the NYT attacking Obama. They are just selective readers.

    September 22, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  18. You're Joking

    Fair's fair. Youve got Fox News, Glenn Beck, Rush, etc....

    Get a pair.

    September 22, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  19. Al, NY NY

    What about the NY Post and Washington Times? They are in the tank for JM and Fido

    September 22, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  20. in the heartland

    All this faux outrage from Karl Rove's protege. He can't take it when a media outlet FINALLY practices some journalism in regards to Palin.
    What a joke. Get a real job.

    September 22, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  21. Anthony Johnson

    Here is another good issue to tackle. Did you know that America is the only leading Nation that double taxes its citizens overseas? That right? except for the Oil industry (they are tax Free) but us normal people who work overseas has to pay both the local country tax and again the US tax. Even UK, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, China doesnt do that. Who is going to fix that.

    September 22, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  22. John McBUSH IS A LIAR



    OBAMA – BIDEN 08

    September 22, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  23. Angela

    I am so sorry that when the newspapers print the truth, that the McCain committee is "hurt" by it.

    The problem is, the newspapers are finding out the things we need to know. If McCain would quit calling people names, flip-floppig, and told a little truth here and there, maybe, just maybe he might get some good press. 🙂

    September 22, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  24. Alaskan

    Truth be told!

    September 22, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  25. Candy West Virginia

    Republicans can't handle the truth.

    September 22, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
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