October 8th, 2008
03:11 PM ET
9 years ago

New York Times calls McCain campaign 'appalling'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/08/art.nytimes.gi.jpg caption="The New York Times issued a critical assessment of McCain's campaign."](CNN) - The New York Times issued a renewed scolding of John McCain in a sharply-worded editorialWednesday morning, the latest salvo in the ongoing back-and-forth between the paper of record and the Arizona senator's White House bid.

"Senator John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin have been running one of the most appalling campaigns we can remember," the Tuesday editorial said. "They have gone far beyond the usual fare of quotes taken out of context and distortions of an opponent’s record — into the dark territory of race-baiting and xenophobia. Senator Barack Obama has taken some cheap shots at Mr. McCain, but there is no comparison."

Those comments come two weeks after senior McCain advisors derided the New York Times, calling the news outlet "an Obama advocacy organization" in response to an article in the paper that reported McCain campaign manager Rick Davis was still profiting from failed mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

The Times, McCain spokesman Michael Goldfarb said then, “obscures its true intentions — to undermine the candidacy of John McCain and boost the candidacy of Barack Obama — under the cloak of objective journalism.”

Top McCain adviser Steve Schmidt also weighed in on the paper that endorsed McCain's primary bid, saying it is “150 percent in the tank” for Obama - a statement that drew a defiant response from managing editor Bill Keller, who said the paper is "is committed to covering the candidates fully, fairly and aggressively."

The McCain campaign appeared to make its peace with the paper over the weekend, when aides to the Arizona senator and Palin herself both highlighted a Times story that investigated the relationship between Obama and 1960's radical William Ayers. That article, published October 3, concluded Obama has played down the extent of his relationship with the Weather Underground founder, but concludes the two "do not appear to have been close."

But in its blistering editorial Wednesday, the paper's editors criticized the campaign and the Alaska governor for suggesting Obama is "palling around with terrorists," saying that Palin is implying that "Mr. Obama is right now a close friend of Mr. Ayers — and sympathetic to the violent overthrow of the government."

“We certainly expected better from Mr. McCain, who once showed withering contempt for win-at-any-cost politics," the editorial says.

Earlier: Cindy McCain says Obama running 'dirtiest campaign' ever

soundoff (212 Responses)
  1. Lisa

    IF THEY QUIT SHIPPING JOBS OVER SEAS, THEN THE AMERICAN FAMILIES CAN PAY THEIR MORTGAGES!!!!

    MANY FAMILIES WHEN THEY BUY THESE HOME BUY THEM IN HOPES THAT THEY WILL HAVE THEIR JOB. SO DON'T BLAME THE HOMEOWNER WHEN THE REPUBLICAN KEEP STEALING ALL THE MONEY AND SENDING OUR JOBS TO OTHER COUNTRIES!!!

    October 8, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  2. Brian

    You betcha!

    THAT ONE '08!!!

    October 8, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  3. Happy Liberal for change

    McCain needs to be worried when in GA, early voting still gives Obama a significant lead. Oh happy day!

    October 8, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  4. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    It is really bad.

    But some of us already know who we're voting for.

    THAT ONE '08

    October 8, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  5. tulsa

    Thank you NYT.

    That One '08

    October 8, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  6. Ohio for Obama

    Hey Sarah! Go ahead and quote the NY Times now!

    October 8, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  7. tonyP

    anyone who reads the times is a fool

    October 8, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  8. Scott in Atlanta

    Who? You mean "That one" right there???

    October 8, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  9. Glenn; North Carolina

    Thank God that someone besides "We the People" noticed the disgusting levels that the McCain/Palin camp have sunk to. Arizona and Alaska should be proud of their respective contributions to the Presidential race..... NOT!

    October 8, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  10. VA Nurse

    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results" ~ Einstein....

    Say NO to four more years...Vote for Hope, Vote for Change, Vote for Obama '08!!!!!

    October 8, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  11. Barry In Las Vegas

    Gee what a surprise the NY TImes is critical of the McCain Campaing.

    What is appalling is that every day one of Obama's people come out and cry that McCain's campaign is racist. That is what is appalling.

    The only good thing the NY Times paper is good for is to put on the bottom of a bird cage. The bird droppings simply blend in to what is printed on that rag.

    October 8, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  12. MCMUNCHKIN/WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST ‘08 POLITICAL CAREERS FIRST, DRAMA GIMMICKS SECOND,THE SURGE THIRD, POOR OLD WARRIOR STORIES FOURTH, ECONOMIC CRISIS FIFTH, OUTTA TIME, SO TO HELL WITH THE COUNTRY!

    No, NYT let them keep it up. The Gallup daily just came out and Obama now has an 11 point lead!!! 52 – 41 Obama up 1, mcmoron down 1.

    Looks like the negative ads are working, for "That One"!

    October 8, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  13. Bob Stephens

    The New York Times better watch it. Palin is already out after them, and remember, she knows how to use an AK-47...

    October 8, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  14. Eric

    New York Times?????????
    Since when did they regain their credibility for CNN to use them in reporting?

    October 8, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  15. Vincent, Great Lakes, Illinois

    I was corrected by another poster because I stated that it was, "Walk softly but carry a big stick" they stated it is "Speak softly but carry a big stick."

    We are both right,

    IT was Chairman Mao who said: `Walk softly and carry a big stick.' Had he been an Indian, he would have said: `Talk softly and carry a big stick.' There is a big difference between the two sayings. Walking implies an action, talking implies inaction.

    CNN – Please Post

    October 8, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  16. s

    Last night Obama said the Straight Talk Express had a wheel fall off. More like it blew its engine and McCain and Palin are now out on the road hitch hiking rides with desperate and sleazy con men who will say anything to sell their product.

    October 8, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  17. McHoover Would Destroy What's Left of America

    McCain/Palin are Political Sociopaths

    October 8, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  18. rob

    hockey mom's & joe 6 pack for " That One"

    October 8, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  19. Darrel from Denver

    I could not agree more.

    Thanks, but not thanks, McCain. I am voting for "THAT ONE"

    October 8, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  20. Robert McCain

    "Sidney, when will you pick me up from Shady Brooks Homes? I've been waiting on you and Carol for days now. Come and take me home. Sidney, are you there?"

    October 8, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    I put about as much stock in what the New York Times prints as I put into the exec. on Wall Street.

    October 8, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  22. marymary488

    MC CAIN WHO?

    October 8, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  23. Cautious Conservative

    I think any editorial concerning race-baiting in this election ought to be taken with a grain of salt. Surrogates on both sides of the political divide, it can be said, have been stoking the flames of race-hate. You can ask Lynn Westmoreland, or you can ask Gov. Sebelius and Alcee Hastings which campaign is race-baiting.

    October 8, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  24. Rodger

    Bottom line, he wants votes, will say anything, now he's promoting socialism. Who is John McCain?

    October 8, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  25. I'm voting for BO! THAT ONE

    Dogonit!

    You betcha!

    I'm voting for "THAT ONE"

    October 8, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
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