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. canuck

    i wouldn't line my bird cage with this rag. they are going down because only the left kool-aid drinkers read it. bye bye NYT. totally in the can for barry.

    September 22, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  2. Sarah.....and my last name isn't Palin!

    Stay on the issues McCain. No distractions.

    September 22, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  3. American

    McCain has a temper and always seems angry...all his advisors seem angry...this is not what the american people need or want.

    We need and want a President that shows calm restraint but resolve and that has only been Barack Obama throughout this campaign.

    September 22, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  4. Kathy

    Once again the McCain camp tries to muzzle freedom on the press by exclaiming outrage that media reorts the truth and not McCain sleeze and lies.

    "Thanks but no Thanks to the McCain-Palin ticket"

    September 22, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  5. Jim

    Election arithmetic:

    $1 trllion Iraq War + $700 billion Wall Street bailout + $80 billion Iraq treasury surplus + (McCain 8 houses + 13 cars) + (Obama 1 car, 1 house, 1 spouse) + (McCain 26 years in Congress) = Obama victory.

    September 22, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  6. j.williams, san diego

    The New York Times has the unarguable reputation of being Americas' version of 'PRAVDA'..

    September 22, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  7. Donna

    What about George Will, who yesterday said that McCain was not presedential and that the country had gotten a glimpse of his personality and it was frightening? Liberal bias? Or about the WSJ slams on McCain and his campaign? Sorry, Schmidt–it won't fly.

    September 22, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  8. Maritza

    You bet most of the media is in the tank , their thrashing around in it they revel in it , proof most of cnn posted commentary by Roland Martin , David Gergin, and even the programming Larry
    King is famous for his Obama bias , he interrupts his guests consistently on the air when they come to the defence of McCain or make a legitimete case of pointing McCains record on the issues, blatent bias , obama can do no wrong , why don't they do a report on earmarks and Obama and Biden's record as fact , BIG wasteful spenders some of the worst on record a perfect example McCains record on wasteful earmarks ZERO he got none. why don't you report on that , Joe Biden and what he received for Oyster cultivation, talk about abuse, he has no room to talk that money could have gone to tax payers instead of the much deserving Oyster cultivation...


    September 22, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  9. Susan in SC

    This "standard a journalistic organization" is supposed to maintain, I do not hear the GOP, Senator McCain, or Mr. Schmidt crying about the "UNfair and UNbalanced" reporting of the FoxNews! The New York Times is NOT obligated to tow the GOP party line.... They are allowed to be free thinkers.... Kind of like when CNN reports news from all angles....! Hummmm. What a concept. Maybe the McCain campaign moto is something like "If they're not for us they must be against us!"

    As for the so-called "mission to destroy" Sarah Palin, if telling the truth is a mission to destroy, Mr. Schmidt needs to get a life. I realize he is the attack dog here, but let's make some sense when we attack. Maybe even find a real issue to attack on!!!

    September 22, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  10. Biff

    THIS is what happened....
    Today, the Arizona Republican's presidential campaign went to war with the Grey Lady. Asked to respond to an article that brought to light the fact that McCain campaign manager Rick Davis had earned nearly $2 million in lobbying fees from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (based, almost primarily, on his access to McCain) at the same time that he was attacking Barack Obama for his own ties to those very institutions, aides to McCain went off.


    September 22, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  11. tedious898

    Notice the McCain campaign is actually defending his philosophy "ready, fire, aim" Not only does McCain approach economic crisis this way, he will also be poised to press "THE BUTTON" and launch nuclear war without thinking.


    Period end of story for America as we know it and our children. Not fear mongering just reporting the facts!

    Save yourselves Vote OBAMA

    September 22, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  12. white independant in small town uSA

    So, would you people for McCain like the Times to be like Fox news, just FOR McCain only ???? come on, give me a fer, everything I have read on all subjects in blogs, only convinces me that my independent vote should rightly go to Obama..
    Thanks, but, NO thanks to McCain -Palin

    September 22, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  13. JP

    Let me get this straight: the NY Times is not "journalistic" for denouncing McCain's lies and "un-presidential" campaign? Why stop at the NY Times? Every major newspaper should be picking up on McCain's lies and smears.

    September 22, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  14. youth vote


    September 22, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  15. obamamama

    I think the Repugs are paranoid, they think someone's always out to get them!!! Get real, Schmidt!

    September 22, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  16. George in Indianapolis

    Oh! I see! The WSJ is a fine work of journalistic integrity as all as it agrees with McCain, but when it disagrees with McCain; it becomes an instrument of intimidation by the Obama campaign. Wake up McCain camp. It is not good tactically or strategically to attach your own team. The WSJ has been and still is a politically conservative publication since Jesus was a corporal in the war on poverty. If I were you I would not piss Rupert Murdock off. We just may not call your name or sign the check.

    September 22, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  17. Nija

    Speak to Fox News too.

    September 22, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  18. Voter

    McCain and his camp can handle criticism as good as a spoiled brat... if it's not "positive" (aka free advertising) they fall to the floor kicking and screaming!

    Obama had his fair share of criticism... and he debunked and spoke out against them rather than whine.

    Do this Schmidt guy... how does one reach 150%?

    How many gaffe's did McCain have last week? 6??

    How does McCain's "de-regulation" impact his new "oversight" agenda?

    Some journalistic media and websites heavily support McCain... I fail to see this guys "point"

    Wasn't McCain complaining about lack of attention/celebrity?

    September 22, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  19. Eugene

    "One car, one house, one spouse." Obama-Biden

    September 22, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  20. Obama 08

    Ha! Republicans attacking a campaign for using intimidation.

    Remember, "We have to fight them there so they won't fight us here!"

    September 22, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  21. rich

    Schmidt, your campaign is lying and stopping to new lows every day. Fair coverage does NOT mean accusing Obama of having equally dishonorable tactics.

    September 22, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  22. Eric

    How DARE they investigate and report on the news.

    The NERVE of some journalists.

    September 22, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  23. michael minorgan

    Schmidt....what a baby!!!

    September 22, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  24. Republican for Obama

    McCain cries when Obama gets all the media attention and cries when his campaign gets it all. You can't have it both ways Johnny.

    September 22, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  25. Eugene

    Isn't it hard when you can't deal with reality. Skewer the messenger!

    September 22, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
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