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. WHO IS OBAMA???


    October 8, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. andreas

    That One!

    October 8, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. Gerald in Georgia

    CNN are my post not eve being considered anymore?

    October 8, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  4. zach

    I'm glad someone in the media has the courage to stand up to the McCain campaign...too many media institutions that had previously been known as great bodies that served the country's best interests have whithered under the threat that the McCain camp will call them biased (example: Campbell Brown's reporting during the two weeks following her fair questioning of a McCain campaign aide concerning Gov. Palin's record)...where are my generation's Bob Woodward's?! where are the people in the media willing to serve their country by digging for the truth, even if that means hurting feelings?! So in conclusion, I'd like to quote Amy Poehler..."I invite the media to grow a pair"...

    October 8, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  5. christine

    Hi CNN –

    I think the Ticker Headline is wrong..,.

    McCAIN is un-presidential, not 'That One'

    October 8, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  6. Dan in CHI

    The Times or any news outlet who asks a fair question or reports the news as it happens, is officially "in the tank" according to McCain. Fox News, then, is officially "in the tank" for McCain. We didn't used to have media taking sides, but I think the accusations that the NYT is "in the tank" are misleading.

    McCain and his people have gone out of their way to find garbage that is not germane to the election (Ayers, "voted 94 times to raise taxes", and other such guff); McCain would have fared far better by sticking to the issues.

    "I know how to win wars and catch Bin Laden". Well, you might want to quit holding that magic bullet, Sen. McCain, because the election is breeze through your fingers at this point. A game changer like THAT would really help you out.

    Or, are you just "SAYING" you know how to do these things without really knowing? Because that is what you're accusing your opponent of.

    Dirty politics must end.

    October 8, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  7. Roland

    Sadly, the ignorant "Right" will ignore what the Times has written. For these self-absorbed, xenophobic, sophomores anything not coming in an email forward is not believable. Email now trumps truth (and even 'Scripture' which is supposed to have authority in the lives of many of these so-called 'Christians.') America has found herself in the midst of the Dark Ages thanks to the failure of trickle-down economics, glamorizing a me-first lifestyle, and the elevation of Greed Over Principle (the true meaning of GOP). Your days are over McCain. Enjoy your retirement and your hundreds of millions of dollars as you dive one of your many cars to one of your many homes.

    October 8, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  8. Jeff V.

    Its too bad that the NYT is so biased against one candidate. They are going to have to realize that there are some unsavory aspects about McCain's opponent that people should know about. Maybe this is not important to the NYT, but it is to many others. The NYT, in its allegedly objective role as a news reporter, should not be making front page news on CNN.com with another newspaper's [i]editorial[/i].

    October 8, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  9. DoasHElikes


    October 8, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  10. African guy

    I'm also appalled by the hatred the McCain campaign has been engaging in. They've made me reconsider my long held position that American politics is something the rest of the world can emulate. The McCain campaign, with no doubt, are calling Obama a terrorist. When they repeatedly say he pals with terrorists, the message they are sending is he's a terrorist too. They should feel ashamed of themselves. They're shaming this great country in the eyes of people like us who adore it

    October 8, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  11. hrw

    THAT ONE '08 !!! - All the way to the White House.

    October 8, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. Illinois Blue Dog

    The question going forward will be whether this election going to be like 1980 where Obama, like Reagan, wins running away or will it be like 1976 where Obama (like Carter over Ford) eeks out a win after a late but strong charge; also will Obama be able to withstand such a charge by McCain, if McCain can mount one.
    So far it looks like the 1980 dynamic where McCain, like Carter, had the later convention, had a small lead coming out of his convention and lost that lead; unlike Ford, who all summer and autumn had to play catch up. Similarly to this year, in 1980 Reagan was an unknown at the national level (like Obama) and the debates answered a lot of questions for the electorate about Reagan (similar so far to Obama). Additionally, the debates in 1980 cemented the election for Reagan (yet to be seen if this holds true for Obama). 1980 was also a "change" election.
    1976 or 1980? Hold onto your hats. For the sake of our country, though, I'm hoping that this election is like 1980.
    Obama/Biden '08

    October 8, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  13. Nick - Arlington, VA

    True....McCain's campaign is disgusting and using race-baiting and hatred in a desperate attempt to win this election.

    October 8, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  14. Candy West Virginia

    Bout time someone called mccain/palin out on their filth. What they don't realize is that most Americans are becoming enlightened and are tired of the negativity. It is enough! Those two however are still stuck in this caveman mentality and we don't need their kind leading this country.
    mccain/palin = pathological clueless liars!

    October 8, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  15. Adam Brisben

    Why is the title on the 'Latest News' column "Ticker: Obama actions called 'not presidential'" when the article is actually criticizing the McCain/Palin campaign?

    October 8, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  16. R Wolf

    The McCain campaign has nothing to stand for so they fall to the deepest depths and use smear tactics instead of lifting their campaign and talking about issues. They do not deserve the trust or confidence of the American people and, thank God, we have Barack Obama to lead this Country back to greatness.

    October 8, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  17. David

    Not THAT ONE.....but THE ONE

    October 8, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  18. arc, Lugano CH

    There is no difference between McCain’s campaign and any other GOP campaign for the past 30 years. The only difference is the dire economic situation in which the country finds itself.

    John McCain’s mental stability needs to be seriously examined. He can't even remember his no-substance attacks or his 'My Friends' catch phrases anymore. McCain is truly mentally and physically in decline.

    October 8, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  19. Jeff

    As someone who is watching the youth vote with great enthusiasm, I wondered if McCain even cares about the youth vote - here's why: his line about a steady hand on the tiller in tough times. Does he even get it that its likely most americans under the age of 50 have little idea what a tiller is?

    Case closed!

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 8, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  20. Paul

    how can anyone believe anything that either one of these guys say?
    neither one spoke a word of truth in the debate. they call it politics, which is just another word for lies.
    neither one has any intention of doing anything that he says.
    obama is just the better salesman.

    October 8, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  21. Amanda

    Well everyone is appalled by McCain's campaign. He coudlnt' even hide his contempt last night for Obama. I understand no one likes to loose, but McCain has to understand that the American people are TIRED of the same old dirty politics that we've endured for the past 8 years and we want a change. Don't get mad, McCain, that we are not willing to be fooled again. It is the people's choice of who they want to elect, and from what I can see, Obama is the leading not only in the polls, but in people's hearts and he can relate better to all of us. This is just my humble opinion of course, but I'm sure I"m not the only one who shares this view.

    October 8, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  22. Texas Straight Talker

    I agree with the Times. However, most voters are not going to fall for the swiftboat attacks that worked before! Not this time!!!!!


    October 8, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  23. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    McCain is worth millions. Palin it turns out has a net worth of just over 1 million. And these two think they connect with the people better than Obama and Biden who admit their wealth but haven't achieved it on the backs of "everyman" like the former have.

    McCain learned how to "turn and burn" on the campaign trail after the Bushbots got him in South Carolina in 2000!

    And top McCain adviser, Steve Schmidt, is quick to poiint out that the liberal, New York Times is for Obama. He must be the brains of the outfit!

    October 8, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  24. Bulldog

    What, the same New York Times that Sarah Palin has been quoting from for the last week? The same New York Times that the McCain camp says in not newsworthy?

    I have some news for McCain and Palin. You can't say the New York Times is horrible and not newsworthy and then turn around and quotes their news articles. That is called being a HYPOCRITE.

    October 8, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  25. Cindy Nelson

    I think they are more than evil with what they are trying to do to Obama.
    If something happens to him– I am holding Palin and McCain accountable. They know excatly what they are doing with their spewing their message of hate. They are trying to bring out the worst in people. I just dont know how anyone can listen to them.

    October 8, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
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