October 6th, 2008
11:00 AM ET
14 years ago

McCain aides: McCain, Palin to peg Obama as ‘risky...dangerous’

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/06/art.obama.105.jpg caption="McCain's aides say they will peg Obama as 'risky' and 'dangerous.'."]
(CNN) - John McCain’s aides say they are certainly happy to turn the corner away from the bailout package - but insist the campaign’s stepped-up focus on Barack Obama’s character does not mean the Republican presidential nominee is going to stop talking about the economy.

Instead, they will try to reframe the economic issue as part of their overall theme against Obama: You don’t really know this guy - and you can’t trust this guy. The words in their new ad say it all: “risky… dangerous.”

Watch: Obama, McCain advisers discuss why their candidate is best for the economy

As Obama and running mate Joe Biden take a break from the trail Monday, McCain and VP nominee Sarah Palin are each pursuing a different part of that strategy.

In New Mexico this afternoon, aides say McCain is expected to revive his attacks on Obama — a top recipient of campaign cash from from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — for taking money from the failed mortgage giants, and for not coming up with solutions early in the crisis. The Arizona senator will once again talk about his own call two years ago for reform of Fannie and Freddie.

Last month, the McCain camp released ads highlighting Obama’s ties to former Fannie and Freddie officials — but that line of attack had not been prominent since a New York Times investigation alleged that campaign manager Rick Davis may have benefited financially from his firm’s links to the lenders until their collapse last month.

McCain advisors are wagering that the attack is worth the risk. One aide says that “with economic news at the top of voters’ minds, it makes sense for the top of the ticket to talk about Obama’s failures and lack of credibility on the economy.”

Meanwhile, Palin - who hit Obama this weekend over his associations with controversial Chicago figures - will continue a more personal line of attack, focusing on his relationship with Weather Underground founder William Ayers.

The two lines of attack are two sides of the same approach, says another advisor, questioning obama’s truthfulness and whether voters can really trust him.

But two McCain aides say Palin’s comments questioning why Rev. Jeremiah Wright wasn’t more of a campaign trail issue, was not planned as a signal that they are going to start adding Wright to the mix. The Alaska governor, they say, was just relating her personal opinion, not the strategy of the campaign,

Asked whether Palin’s remark wasn’t a green light to outside groups that Wright is fair game, the aide responded “we’re not that good to strategize like that,” adding that Palin was talking as a woman whose daughters pregnancy was fair game, who doesn’t understand why the comments of Obama’s pastor aren’t.

soundoff (224 Responses)
  1. Pol

    McCain behavior is very risky. What he is going to say to God whom he is supposed to meet soon?

    October 6, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  2. Time to move on

    People need a president who look after their money not a divisive one.Obviously the choice is clear.OBAMA IS THE RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB.

    October 6, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  3. Eulogy

    Palin and McCain are pathetic. Their desperation and dishonesty know no bounds.

    October 6, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  4. Tony

    RISKY AND DANGEROUS????????????????



    October 6, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. Risky? RISky? RISKY?????

    Barack Obama and Joe Biden are CLEARLY the only safe choice this November.

    McCain has flip-flopped on running a 'clean' campaign, just for starters, and McPalin is clearly clearly in over her snarky little head.

    If you think this country is perfect as it is, vote for McSame..

    If you think our country and its reputation could be vastly improved, vote for.....

    Obama/Biden 2008

    October 6, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  6. James

    Meanwhile, for all the idiotic Republican BS about not using diplomacy and we dont get it....the Saudi's are holding talks with the Taliban.....wait what? need that repeated?? the Saudi's.....Talking with the Taliban....hmmm. Honestly, can this get any more dangerous, so what now? after all that talk about victory which in its own shows how little we still dont understand about a war like these, here they are chit chatting with the people responsible for 9/11 and so on or atleast we are told..not to mention how little trust we should have for the Saudis as it is after all we did to liberate these countries in the past what return have we gotten? anyone see what that place looks like?? its a freaking palace in its own. Wake up people this is getting ridiculous, they are building disney land in the mid East while we go down the drain, i love it, can it get anymore messed up than this? when will we ever face the music? as far as im concerned if they dont hand over Bin Laden then why are we even bothering, doesnt this....legitimize them as the Republicans like to say....encourage them....hmm...seems to me they are using democratic ideas now that theres have failed, and i love to see McCain acting like they knew all along. Sickens me that Dems were right...keeping in mind both parties are always corrupt, the lesser of two evils seems the only path, but the fact is the Dems i feel would atleast have had us on our feet still, not drive us off a cliff with first grade ideology.

    October 6, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. Greg in MN

    The economic crisis can't be ignore Sen. McCain. You can't stop people from worrying about how little they have left to pay bills. You can't stop people from stressing out about if they can send their children to college. You can't stop people from noticing that they can't go a doctor if they get sick.

    You can't stop us from seeing through your stunts and distractions anymore.

    You CAN stop yourself from becoming the very thing you used to fight against back in 2000. But I doubt that you will...you greed is too hard to counter anymore.

    October 6, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  8. Latina for Obama (nj)

    Governor Palin... watching you makes me want to donate to Obamas campaign even more...$50.00 are on the way Barack!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08/12

    October 6, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. Anne

    It looks as if Ohio, Florida, Virginia and possible Missouri will be deciding the election. It will be interesting to see if the people suffering in those states stick with what got them there or will they step in a new direction.

    October 6, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  10. Rodger

    It's the economy stupid! McCain can't separate his role in the Keating 5 from today's mess...will Sarah get parole from Alaska so she can still be McCain's Pitbull with lipstick?

    October 6, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. Cliff

    If you don't like dirty politics then you better not vote for Obama. That's how he got elected. Check it out and you'll learn the truth. Also, Chicago had more murders last month than soldiers killed in Iraq last month. Hey guys, it's Obama's home town and he helped put the laws in place that made it what it is today.
    Honestly, It's to bad they don't have a spot on the ballot that says "None of the above, try again" NO ONE running actually deserves our vote.

    October 6, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  12. Maggie from Virginia

    Have you looked at your retirement accounts lately? Well, don't look now; you may not have one after today. Thank you McCain for working to deregulate the banking industry for the last 26 years.

    Mccain may loose the election but will still be filthy rich.

    One Car
    One House
    One Spouse

    One Nation!

    October 6, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  13. Shay

    Let's see. Did we cross that road before. Oh Yeah in the primaries

    And it did not work.

    On second thought

    America may have not like the

    The TONE of Rev. Wright soundbites because it made everyone feel hate just by the tone.

    but it might have took that type of tone to wake up America and beware of what is going on in America.

    Did the chickens come home to roost?

    Yep, sure did.

    Now the stock is tumbling again America

    Let's get with the issues at hand and not old news

    October 6, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  14. Tina

    Palin has a checkered past. The witch craft pastor from KENYA laying hands on her. The other pastor saying horrible things about JEWS. her husband and probably her members of Alaska's independent party. The tropper gate. it goes on and on. People wake up.

    October 6, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    The risky and dangerous ones are McCain and Palin. McCain does not have the temperament and judgment for the job and Palin doesn't have the knowledge or experience on national and international issues.

    It ain't gonna work this time folks!

    October 6, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  16. Alexis

    of course he wants to take the focus off of the FACT that he picked a running mate that is not helping him AT ALL!!! lol! 🙂

    October 6, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  17. bill b. from Stratford,Ct

    Excuse me there Palin, were you and her husband part of a group that wanted to separate Alaska from the U.S., Geeeee if thats not loving your country I'll truly like to know what you call it. Mcsame can you say KEATING 5, you thief, let the american people know how many millions of dollars you and your friends stole from people, leaving thousands of people homeless and stealing all their savings. Palin lets talk about (TROOPER-GATE), you lier.

    October 6, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  18. Elle

    Wow, this election has turned into a dung-slinging fest. I think when Obama wins this election (there's no doubt in my mind that he will win) McCain and Palin will look back and be disgusted with themselves.

    October 6, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. Central Florida

    I am so tired of the character propaganda from the McCain campaign. Fears & smears seem to be all they know...sad.

    Many Americans are hurting in these economic times with our 401K's, stocks, home values, food prices, healthcare, etc. Obama & Biden are the ones offering real solutions to these issues.

    Obama-Biden '08
    Hands down...

    October 6, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  20. Truth Be told

    to Dianne October 6th, 2008 12:18 pm ET above,

    jeez, you must be getting your knowledge and education from the fox news, right? wow!! you should come up for fresh air from time to time. you may just learn something more substantive.

    October 6, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  21. redhead from Toronto

    So John, you are still going to talk about the Economy while you are trashing Sen. Obama? Well, try talking about the last 8 years, I don't think you have much of a track record to go on, do you? Please tell that sidekick of yours it's not Christian to tell lies but I guess you don't care how you get to the White House as long as you do. Good luck with that, you don't stand a chance . The American people have had about all they can take with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and YOU..

    October 6, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  22. Obama Supporter

    What do I see in Obama:

    He is a man of integrity, decent, intelligent, good principles, good values and morale...He might not have the experience but he has good traits and I believe he would do well for us: 2008/2012

    Past is the past. We need to think about the future and what is ahead of us....

    October 6, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  23. Chuck

    The only danger to America right now is the Republican party and their lack of leadership and inability to choose a VP nomination that has been more polarizing than any in recent history.

    October 6, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  24. Bruce

    One More time mr. McCAin
    What are you going to to?
    What is your plan?
    What is your vision for this country?
    Tell us...stop the attacks and give us facts....the negative campaign is not working...we as citizens are tired of the negative...we get enough of that looking at the ecomony...
    the country may not yet be in a financial depression but we are in a depression of hope, and your negative campaign is not helping that...
    I hope and pray that McCain/Palin get the butt kicking of a lifetime on 11/4 and maybe that will show that negative does not work.

    October 6, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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