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. Deb from Minnesota

    Yes – McCain's campaign is appalling and he's acting appalling. I especially do not like the fact that he didn't shake hands last night and left the stage.

    October 8, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  2. Ruthie

    That One...Will be our Next President!

    McSame and the Gov. Airhead are so dispecable that they lost all my respect for them!

    October 8, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  3. dennis from chicago


    October 8, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  4. New Day

    HAHAHA Obama should soooooo get T-shirts that say "That One '08" 😀

    October 8, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  5. Barbara

    "That one" is for me! Go get 'em Obama!

    October 8, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  6. alreadytiredofit

    I'm voting for "that one!" The McCain camp knows they can't use the "n" word so they've decided to use the "t" word. Disgusting!

    October 8, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  7. JJ

    I find CNN's tv and website coverage "appalling". All on has to do is look at the headlines on the website and listen to the CNN reporters to know they are in the bag for Obama.

    October 8, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  8. nelson mcnarland

    Vote! for that one

    October 8, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  9. Paris

    Appalling is what the media is doing to this election.

    Appalling is the cover-up that the media is doing for Obama.

    I need one of you to answer this question so called “The best political team on TV”, why you haven’t written or talked about the Ayers 60 million that Obama was in charge of distributing.
    CNN why haven’t you talked about the ideology that Obama supported with distributing the money to radical organizations like Acorn.

    Our journalists have sold their integrity.

    October 8, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  10. Texas Lady

    What's appalling is that Barack Obama thinks he has the knowledge and ability to lead this country – but what's more appalling is that the media ADORES him. BO can do no wrong.

    God save us all if he becomes president (yes, I used lower cased "p" when it comes to him because I will NOT respect him – EVER)...but then wait, God won't be able to save us, because all signs of religion will be banned from this country.

    We're doomed

    October 8, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  11. Kevin Crowne

    I find John McCain's campaign to be insulting to Americans. Does he really think people are that dumb?

    October 8, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  12. Sarah.....and my last name isn't Palin!

    hmm! I wonder if Gov Palin will talk about this article in her stump speech. She has been talking too much about the NY Times lately.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 8, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  13. John

    Thank God for the New York Times and its unbiased reporting. Prior to the NYT reports I had already concluded that McCain/Palin were running a highly disreputable campaign even for Republicans. I have in the past considered voting for John McCain, but that thought is totally gone. McCain/Palin may not be the most qualified to run the country, but they certainly are the most dishonest and deceitful. I have totally had my fill of lying Republicans going all the way back to Nixon.

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

    LOL – this cracks me up. Really, the NY Times are upset??? They are a joke – they once represented the best in journalism and now I can hardly believe anything they write (and not just about politics).

    I cancelled my subscription a year ago in protest of their lack of responsible journalism and I stand by that decision today.

    NY Times = Yellow Journalism / Citizen Kane

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

    I thought McCain was a man of intergity until the debate last night looking over at obama and saying " That One" how racist is that . I also thought it was really bad when Palin said Obama was a terriost. They have run the republicans down deeper in the mud. I'm sure some have wished they had backed a different canidate now. I think that Obama has proven himself presidential, and a leader to run this country, and McCain seems to me like a bitter man with a huge large chip on his shoulder, that he has been carrying around on his shoulds since the war. I glad that Mccain served his country, but I don't think he is ready to lead this country as President. I also believe that He should Appologize to Obama for the comments he and Palin made about him.

    October 8, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  16. Shirley-Ohio


    October 8, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  17. dean

    The New York Time always had and always will be the biggest liberal paper in the world – nothing new about that fact. Just can't believe that some people are just finding this out.

    October 8, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  18. BigBear

    "Call the campaign fully, fairly and aggressively." Has the rag ever said anything that Obama has accomplished in 47 years of life? Have they ever asked Obama why he just thought about public service when he considered the military?
    In the debate, Obama said that he was going to make drastic changes. Does anyone really think that he can change who he is? He has never made anything drastic except his rise to his candidacy which was helped by less than respectable people.
    He is really "Style over Substance".

    October 8, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  19. PA voter

    McCain/Palin have learned the trick to dismiss anything by using "liberal" as a negative adjective. McCain's campaign will quickly just brush of NYT as being "liberal media". Palin even blames Katie Couric for Palin's poor interview! KATIE COURIC WOULD MAKE A BETTER VP RUNNING MATE THAN SARAH PALIN!

    But I'm not worried about McCain/Palin winning this election, THANK GOD!

    October 8, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  20. Shawn - Ga

    NYT... who cares?

    As for the Comment from the GA person, no way Obama is taking GA.

    October 8, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. sm

    SHALOM !!!

    Last Night Obama did not answer the question:


    McCain said he would and would also not wait for the UN Security Council.
    Obama said he will talk to the enemy.

    Last Night Obama also said by implication that:

    Amabom bin Laden, Amabom Pakistan, Amabom Afghanistan
    Amabom Hussein, Amabom Putin.

    obama mabom, obama mabom a nation, obamanation.

    Abomination OooooooooooooBaaaaaahhhhhhMaaaaaaaaBOMB!!!

    October 8, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. California Gold

    McCain and Palin have given a new meaning to the word "maverick". It includes "the sky is the limit with lies", scare tactics, calling an opponent a terrorist or a traitor. McCain promised us a clean, honorable campaign and have set new, record lows for digging in the mud. Sadly McCain had a somewhat good reputation as not being a "yes man" and now he has spent 2008 in the world spot light as a man with no scruples, anything to get what I want at all costs, and otherwise selling his soul to the devil just to win. If he can't win then he will do all in his power to attempt to destroy his opponent. McCain is a disgrace. His father and grand father are probably rolling in their graves.

    October 8, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  23. Judy

    I am glad that many people are begining to realize that McCain/Palin don't have a plan or clue as to what the American people need.

    October 8, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  24. WOW

    I just heard Barack Obama's Indiana speech and I cried. I reaffirm my pledge to do everything I can to help Barack Obama win and help America become the nation my parents and grandparent dreamed it could be.

    God Bless you Barack Obama and God Bless America!

    October 8, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. Peter from OH

    interesting aspect of yesterday's debate: did somebody else watch this on the internet on cnn.com? The cameras kept running and running, after the debate was finally over, and we could watch – in amazement – how Obama and Michelle kept walking around the audience, greeting people, talking to them and having fun. Connecting to people. Engaging them.
    John Mccain – nowhere to be seen! Long gone. History.
    Sometimes these really little things tell us more about the candidates than any interview, debate or commentator can do.

    October 8, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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