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

Senior McCain aide skewers New York Times

CNN

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. Sammy

    Based on this small article it doesnt look like the guy said the Times was wrong about anything it said. He's just upset that he thinks it hasnt gone after Obama enough. Who knows maybe its true. But it doesnt mean the paper should back off reporting of McCain.

    September 22, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  2. NO TO FASCIST BAILOUT!

    HELP BELEAGUERED HOMEOWNERS AND UNEMPLOYEED

    WITH 700 BILLION TAX DOLLARS!

    throw the wall street thieves into prison and make them work for the rest of their lives for their despicable practices, and

    throw their cronies in washington out of power into prison in november!

    September 22, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  3. Brandon

    Sounds like more crybaby lies from McLiar & "Daily Scandal Palin". Look, I did some significant research this weekend on both candidates and I've figured out two reasons you'd vote for McCain.

    1.) You're rich, making $250k per year and want the McBush tax breaks

    2.) You're an idiot and either don't know how to research, or choose not to.

    Everyone else falls into categories of either supporting Obama, or supporting an Independent candidate. The majority of people in the country are atleast smart enough to read. So I would expect McCain's numbers to continue to drop as people exercise this ability.

    September 22, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. javone77

    kevin leo: I was just about to say the same thing. If you are going to blast a newspaper over their "integrity: then he needs to blast Faux News also. There is no doubt of what type of organization they are running over there. I guess because Fox Noise is in the tank for Mccain they can be left alone. However, notice that Barack has not ONCE whined about mess like that. This man is an idiot and frankly, I am BEYOND tired of seeing him let alone hearing him!

    September 22, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  5. Michael, WI

    The NYTimes is bad because it unveils yet another McCain- Corrupt Govt. connection? 2 MILLION bucks to McCain's campaign manager for lobbying against regulations on F.Mae, F. Mac. See today's headlines. Yet another old boys club debacle. And McCain is now campaigning on Obama's call for change? What a joke.

    September 22, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  6. Informed Voter

    White Mother for Obama!! September 22nd, 2008 1:24 pm ET
    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

    --------------------------------–

    NY Times .. endorsed Mc Cain & Hillary!!!! .. they never endorsed Obama

    September 22, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  7. Cindy

    Its his own campaigns lies and flaws that the New York Times points out- IS THAT ALL THE MCCAIN campaign has left?? become cry babies...

    You bad New York Times– shame on you for pointing out the fact that McCain doesn't know where Spain is nor does he know that they're a member of NATO! What kind of a foreign expert does that make him?

    He was in the war and yet he and Sarah's first reaction to anything is FIGHT BACK... Let's not try to be peace makers let's be war mongers!

    What a MORON!

    September 22, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. Texan Dad

    The New York Times actually endorsed McCain in the Republican primary (and Hillary in the Democratic primary). So to suggest that they are somehow automatically in the tank for Obama is silly. They endorsed McCain because they felt he had the best combination of experience and judgment among the field of Republican candidates. But that was before his campaign was taken over by Steve Schmidt and the rest of the sleazy operatives from Bush '04, and before it began debasing our whole civic discourse through its mendacious negativity. The New York Times is deservedly the nation's preeminent newspaper, and will remain so.

    September 22, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  9. Sue/PA

    McCain and his cronies dont like anyone or any news organization that is willing to speak the TRUTH. It is time all MSM's call McCheat and McPuppet out on their LIES..................

    We just spent 8 years being lied to.............Just say NO to 4 more

    WHERE ARE PALINS TAX RETURNS???

    WHY ISNT PALIN DOING IMPROMPTU INTERVIEWS???

    WHY HAS MCCAIN STOPPED TALKING COMFORTABLY TO THE PRESS???

    LIES, DECEIT and "GREASE MY PALMS"

    JUST SAY NO TO MCCHEAT/MCPUPPET

    September 22, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  10. SK

    And the NY Times is sexist too.

    September 22, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  11. DIPSTICK & LIPSTICK '08

    OOOhhh does the widdle republicans need their binky? (I am sure Dipstick will be happy to provide one for Lipstick as he appears to always checking her "resume" in publica).

    Yep the republican Nazi's are ranting now!.

    And they laughed at Hillary when she said Bill was a target of the far right.

    Seems when your ticket is both unstable and unable, it becomes a left wing conspiracy.

    September 22, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  12. smokesignals

    Why wouldn't they be "in the tank" for Obama?
    No surprise here.

    September 22, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  13. JusLaugh

    I call this the pansy theory of politics...

    If you call a man a pansy, he will start acting more manly to try and prove that he is not what you called him.

    McCain calls the media biased and liberal so that the media will start treating him more favorably to prove him wrong.

    CNN has fallen for it, hopefully other news organizations will see it coming and stay the course with their hard reports on both sides.

    September 22, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  14. WOMEN FOR OBAMA

    Yeah..CRY ME A RIVER...
    THATS ALL YOU GOT mcshame BLAMING PEOPLE

    September 22, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  15. REELAMERICAN

    WHY DOES CNN NOT LAT US POST OUR COMMENTS.............TO CLOSE TO ELECTION TIME.............

    September 22, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  16. onelove

    I'm gonna double down on the cry me a river thing.

    So if you tell the truth you are in Obama's camp? On brother.

    September 22, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  17. Jennifer

    I didn't hear the McCain camp complaining about the NY Times when it endorsed him during the Republican Primary.

    There is an old axiom about lawyers where when you have the facts on your side, argue the facts. When you have the law on your side, argue the law. When you have neither the facts nor the law on your side pound your fists on the table and talk real loud. McCain has nothing to fall back on and so like lawyers who have neither the facts, nor the law on their side, he must resort to pounding his fists on the table and complaining about how unfair everything is.

    September 22, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  18. R. Squibbs

    When you have lobbyists running your campaign and a newspaper reports on that fact, it's not the media's fault. Campaign in a tailspin? The lies your campaign is telling aren't working? Got a running mate who's less qualified than my cat for the job? What do you do? BLAME THE MEDIA. Sorry folks, it won't work this time.

    September 22, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  19. Cindy

    WE DON'T BACK SUBPEONA DODGING WAR MONGERS TO HEAD OUR COUNTRY!!

    WE WANT OBAMA!!!

    September 22, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  20. REELAMERICAN

    DEMS TYING UP SENATE FLOOR AGAIN.............NO SOLUTIONS

    September 22, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  21. Judy Who

    (accidentally omitted three words in my post. sorry.)

    Is the editorial board of The Times Left-leaning? You can definitely argue that it is, but at the same time it should be acknowledged that The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, also highly respected publications, do tend to be more Right-leaning. None of this is news.

    It is funny though to see some McCain/GOP loyalists crying about The New York Times and it's editorial/columnist criticism when the highly conservative Wall Street Journal has also seen fit to criticize Senator McCain's 'unpresidential' comments regarding out current economic state.

    September 22, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  22. No Hillary = No Obama

    This has been the most one-sided, distorted, unfair election process in memory. Since Hillary's nomination was hijacked by media outlets like the NY Times, CNN, MSNBC and celebrity types like Oprah and The View while Obama was promoted as the 2nd coming – I just hope McCain wins – if nothing else then to even the score.

    September 22, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  23. Walmart Momma for Obama

    Check out the NY Times article yesterday about the "dumbing down" of the VP debate. Seems the barracuda can't swim with the big fish!

    September 22, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  24. OIF VET

    two words- FOX NEWS

    September 22, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  25. Mickie in PA

    I love how the fox in the hen house is crying "FOWL". The entire media have failed to report on any of the negative ads by McCain and you never hear them mention the KEATING 5, or adultery with Cindy while still married, or the adviser who was paid every month by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because of his influence with McCain fighting any regulation! The American people are slowly waking up to the Republican facist tactics. We want all our rights back, including elections that aren't fixed by Dibold or the courts.

    September 22, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
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