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. FactCheck

    You left out the part in the article that mentions how McCain/Palin rallies have denigrated into Klan meetings from people in the audience shouting out "kill him" to Obama to their hurling racial epithets to an African American sound check operator.

    October 8, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. 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 |
  3. McCain/Palin - Deceiving the American People

    Hear that giant sucking sound? That's Sarah Palin.

    October 8, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. Kelby from Houston, TX

    It's like McCain used to be Jedi, and then after suffering a defeat at the hands of a Sith Lord (Bush) he turns to the darkside of the force (Rove) because he thinks that winning is more imortant than anything
    Beware McCain, for once begin down the path of the darkside consume you it will...yes

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

    The rich are getting scared, when the market falls they will... willlll... gulp...be...like....us....aughhhhhhh!!!!!!

    October 8, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. Jeremiah

    I would like to know when some one will do an investigative report on palin/s husbands tie to the move to sucees Alaska from the other states.
    Sarah Palin's ties to Alaskan Independence Party are played down
    The McCain campaign denies his running mate supports the party's separatist bent.
    By Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
    September 3, 2008
    Tonight, Sarah Palin will be nominated as the Republican Party's choice for vice president of the United States.

    But back home, she has cheered the work of a tiny party that long has pushed for a statewide vote on whether Alaska should secede from those same United States. And her husband, Todd, was a member of the party for seven years.
    Palin And The Alaska Independence Party
    01 Sep 2008 07:53 pm

    The Alaska Independence Party calls itself the third largest organization in the United States. Its platform calls for the defense of "states rights," to "seek the complete repatriation of the public lands, held by the federal government, to the state and people of Alaska in conformance with Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17, of the federal constitution."

    Basically, the AIP wants a vote on secession. According to the organizations' website. "[T]hough it is widely thought to be a secessionist movement, the Party makes great effort to emphasize that its primary goal is merely a vote on secession, something that Party advocates say Alaskans were denied during the founding of the state."

    The AIP says that Gov. Sarah Palin used to be a member of the party. Earlier this year, Palin recorded a welcoming address to the AIP's convention.

    October 8, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  7. White Male Veteran from Minnesota

    Is is just me? If you have been following this presidential race at all it has become extremely apparent McCain has morphed into a desperate old man that will do or say most anything to get to the presidency. Last night he showed all debate viewers that HE was the least Presidential canidate. My God that was obvious!! and it was obvious even to the CNN Republican anaylists. Bill Bennet, Sanchez, and Company. I am proud of Barack and the way he has conducted himself through this entire process. He is my choice for President and I would take a bullet for that man. Our country desperately needs Barack, his vision, inspiration, common sense, fairplay, and a true desire to rebuild the America we all were taught was the land of promise, and where regular men and women from all walks of life can truly acheive their dreams. Yes we Can and No we won't stand for more of the same from McCain.

    October 8, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  8. T Allen

    John McCain is not fit to be the President of the United States of America. His choice for Vice-President disqualified him. Apparently he and a number of the American people forgot what happened to this country when a rather charming but ignorant governor was elected to the White House.

    When you dance with the devil don't be surprised if you get BURNED!

    October 8, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  9. LLM from MD

    I'm voting for "THAT ONE", you know the presidential one...


    BTW–I am so appalled by Palin's remark saying, "there's a special place in HELL for women who don't support women. WTH–so now I'm going to hell!!

    October 8, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  10. Chuck

    "That One" McCain is now showing his true colors. What a condescending remark to make towards Obama, a fellow Senator.

    McCain has become erratic and unhinged and no longer fit to be the presidentitial nominee of the Republican Party

    October 8, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  11. 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!!!!!

    My vote will go to "THAT ONE"!

    October 8, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  12. Dave F

    So the Times is worth quoting when they have an article against your opponent, but when they have an article against you, they are biased?

    October 8, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  13. Enough is Enough from Dallas, TX

    FACT: McCain is ignorant and Palin is clueless.

    FACT: McCain is wasting his supporters money by airing this stupid ignorant crap!

    "McCain, guess what? "THAT ONE" is the next president!"




    October 8, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  14. Hey McCain- Thanks but no thanks

    Details provided to reporters by senior adviser Doug Holtz-Eakin Wednesday morning make one thing clear: Taxpayers would directly pick up the tab for the difference in cost between a homeowner’s old, too-expensive mortgage and the cheaper one provided by the government.

    McCain wake up - we the people wnat THAT ONE- President Obama!

    October 8, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  15. Larry

    Everyone here is an Obama lover as is the WSJ and CNN.

    October 8, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  16. Christopher, Madison, WI

    Rock on New York Times. Fixed News is sinking fast. Revoke Fixed News' license in 2009.

    October 8, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  17. ???

    McCain is running a divisive dishonest campaign.

    That One '08

    October 8, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  18. Muz

    11 point lead in the gallup polls, there's definitely no way McCain will bounce back.

    THAT ONE '08

    October 8, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Barack Obama calling Iran attacking Israel "a game changer" shows how he lacks any foreign policy experience. That is such an immature response. He sounds like he's twenty years old. Along with his fake presidential seal. If Obama is president and he goes to meet with some of these world leaders that are going to take advantage of his stupidy and niavity. Especially the Russian and Iranian leaders. Obama will make America look like "Georgia" in the eyes of Putin.
    We need a strong leader with experience and Obama is not it.

    October 8, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  20. Larry Texas

    McCain is not good for America's future, period! Why? Because he does not have any future himself!
    Americans, please be rational and vote wisely!

    October 8, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  21. Concerned INDEPENDENT CT voter

    Anyone with eyes can see McCain is lying... I mean really lying... Barack clearified his position on Pakistan lst night... & McCain STILL tried to twist his words...



    October 8, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  22. Paying Attention

    McCain is currently trying to do anything to win. He has Palin out trying to create "hate" for Obama.

    We can see how much McCain hates "That one." He can not even look at him in a debate and he is very disrespectful. I do not trust people who are that hateful. It shows that he has more hate issues that we are not aware of yet.

    I do not like his healthcare plan. He wants us to go out and find our own Health insurance. You always get a better deal when you buy something as a group, like when your employer chooses the best group of plans. Try to go out and get something good on your own. Plus he wants to tax our health coverage for the first time ever. He is going to destroy the current health system. I like what I have now. I do not want to fend for myself.

    McCain wants to win at all costs. I want someone who really wants what is good for America.

    October 8, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  23. EDW

    By the third debate McCain will call Obama "boy".

    October 8, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  24. Had Enough

    Kudos to The NYT. We Americans have had enough of the lying, smearing, and hatred-spewing that comes out of McCain's campaign. It's obvious they are running scared and are using the only tactic they know - PLAY DIRTY. And who better to do the job than McCain and his disgusting sidekick Palin. They are both a disgrace to the American people. We deserve better than that and we need to make our voices heard.

    GO OBAMA/BIDEN '08!!!

    October 8, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  25. LT

    McCain IS running an appalling campaign. McCain has now reduced himself to acting like a 5th grader and Palin, well.......I'm not sure she is smarter than a 5th grader. Since he has managed to make me fear getting on the "Straight Talk Express Bus", I think his candidacy is over. Oh.........and Mr. McCain, .................I am not your friend.

    October 8, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
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