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. pa.joe

    If anything were to happen to Obama, McCain and Palin should be held accountable for spreading fear and hatred!!!!!

    October 8, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  2. B.Travers

    You can definitely see the BIAS by this paper......it is PRO-OBAMA! The same goes goes for CNN; they are BIASED and PRO-OBAMA. May as well be doing the campaigning for OBAMA. It is digraceful how this newspaper and CNN could be so discriminatory & negative towards McCain & Palin. Where is the fairness? Where is the equality? Hilary Clinton was right;"why don't you give a pillow to Obama" while you are at it? Maybe McCain & Palin should use this "remark" on one of their ads. No wonder McCain says Barrack is non-presdiential; Obama is too busy enjoying the molly-coddling by these newspapers and CNN.

    October 8, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  3. Bridget

    Is anyone in the media reporting how McCain/Palin supporters are using the words "terrorist", "treason" and "kill him" in response to their candidates' stump speeches? The Secret Service appears to be investigating the third item because it's serious and dangerous language. I'm surprised this isn't being more heavily reported.

    October 8, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  4. A.J.

    The headline "Obama Actions Called "Not pPresidential" makes it sound like Obama overstepped, rather than what the article actually says- that McCain did. Consider a new teaser, CNN.

    October 8, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  5. Karen

    It's funny how when the Times endorsed McCain during the primary the campaign loved the paper. It was all facts & truths. Now that they criticize McCain it's a newpaper with bias.

    McCain & Palin have no plan to restore America to it's former self. They incite hate & are the height of hypocrisy. Palin spews hate with the Ayers comments but does not talk about McCain & his involvement with the Iran Contra mess. Now who's PALIN around with terrorists?

    Former Hillary Supporter
    Obama/Biden 08

    October 8, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  6. Chanda - Cincinnati

    “We certainly expected better from Mr. McCain..."

    No, the American people DESERVED better from McCain. unfortunately, we are getting EXACTLY what I expected. From Willie Horton, to Swift Boat, to now this..the GOP can not do anything but attack. They have no real solutions to offer this country. We are not falling for it any more!!!!! Stick to the issues Johnny!!!!

    Hey Sarah, clean up the mess in your own back yard before you try to clean up DC...ANSWER THE SUBPOENA!!!!

    October 8, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  7. j

    McCain is running a dirty campaign but he's got nothing else to offer. He's a 20th century politician without a vision for the future. I just hope America is smart enough to see through the distractions and vote Obama.

    October 8, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  8. Connecticut For Liebermans for Obama

    The New York Times wasn't too tough on McCain/Palin. They could have noted that Sarah Palin has recently been seen palling around with a member of The Keating Five; as recently as this afternoon! But they went easy on on their campaign, I guess because the New York Times is 150% on the tank for McCain.

    October 8, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  9. Wacky Obacky

    Oh, boo hoo NYT! You have been an appalling journal for some time. You are now known as simply "The Pot".

    October 8, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  10. Toni

    Why does the headline say OBAMA'S actions are not presidential? The article (and rightly so may I add) show that MCCAIN'S actions are unpresidential.

    October 8, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  11. Stacy from Loudoun County, VA

    The McCain Campaign is lowering the discourse in this country to a historical record. The campaign of 1960 was brutal between Nixon and Kennedy. Both sides were angered and hurt at the insults hurled back and forth. The fringe element on both sides were ready to fight Then, President Kennedy was killed. I ask Senator McCain to not debase the conversation because this country still has to function after Jan 2009. If you put "Country First" as you say, then you will honor this request.

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

    I hope this urges Governor Palin to tone down her rhetoric which is bordering on hate speech. No time for that in USA 08!

    Obama 08

    October 8, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  13. Hey McCain- Thanks but no thanks

    there is nothing like God's fury and Mccain you'll get yours!

    October 8, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  14. OMG

    I am voting for "That One", THAT black guy from chicago.

    Go Obama/Biden

    October 8, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  15. No McSame

    McCain needs to apologize for the "That One" comment and take a stand against the racist undercurrent that was vividly demonstrated in Palin's recent Florida rally. I truly did not think McCain would play the race card – wow!

    October 8, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  16. KMGP

    I actually feel sorry for McCain. My friends protest, "Why can you feel sorry for him?" "Many Americans have lost everything because of him and his party, how can you possibly feel sorry for him?!! I REALLY DO FEEL SORRY FOR HIM. He looks old, mad, angry, fearful, crazy, and extremely upset that he possibly wont be president (again). It is if Bush has beaten him again. It was painful to watch him in the debate.
    He also acts like he is the only vietnam veteran in the US. He has been riding on it sooo long. See I talked to my 65year old uncle who is a vietnam vet. He has just lost $500 from his pension, had to move a roommate in to help his mortgage and is absoutely scared to death about the future. My uncle is the one that tolded me, "Don't you dare feel sorry for him, he's got money, and a wife that looks like she's 40!"
    I guess he's right-but I do feel sorry for him. He's become something that is absolutely horrible.

    October 8, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  17. Kris in Denver

    Most Presidential campaigns stoop to mud-slinging sooner or later, but McCain and Palin have taken it to a whole new level. Guise, ur doin' it rong!!

    That One/Joe '08

    October 8, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  18. Jerry Ohio

    I am so proud of Obama in the debate because he did not let McCain get to him. I think McCain owe Obama a apologize for saying THAT ONE to Obama and the young African American man McCain said he would not know about Freddie Mac what make McCain think know one know's about Freddie Mac,,,,,,McCain is out of touch with American people and why didnt McCain shake Obama hand last nite at the end of the debate.

    Obama/Biden a happy day for American

    October 8, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  19. A.J.

    The headline "Obama Actions Called "Not Presidential" makes it sound like Obama overstepped, rather than what the article actually says- that McCain did. Consider a new teaser, CNN.

    October 8, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  20. chad

    To everyone who are posting or reading this post please post messages or call the campaigns, news organizations, and whoever will listen that the american people deserve an apology from MR. MCCAIN for his actions at last nights debate. Who is "THAT ONE" when he is adressing a fellow senator and maybe the next POTUS. His behavior has become more and more sinister as the weeks progress. NOt only is it insulting to the majority of americans this is a historic election and many people myself included have thier children watching history and to sit idely by and watch such an travesty is truly distrubing!

    October 8, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  21. dyellon md

    Hey Barry- did you actually see fotage of Palin calling Obama unfit for office because he pals around with a domestic terrorist? Did you hear the crowd yell "kill him". Obama was eight when Ayers was a terrorist. Obama has criticized the things that Ayers did as disgusting and unacceptable. I'll tell you who is unfit to be running the government- people that attemp to race bate, incite people to riot, lie while using words like traitor and terrorist to bismirch a candidate's reputation. You should be ashamed of yourself for your idiotic comments. Let me see- who should I believe- Barry or the New York Times? tough choice!! I choose the NYTimes.

    October 8, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  22. Speider

    Apparently they don't remember the 2004 campaign. The "swiftboating" was the most disgusting thing I had ever witnessed.

    Kerry was a combat veteran who was called cowardly and a liar. McCain was a POW and called a hero. Both men are heroes for serving in combat.

    It was apparent last night, however, that McCain was angry. He was livid and it came through the camera and into our homes. You could see mmbers of the audience reciol a bit when he came near them. One actually jumped a bit when McCain went to pat him on the back.

    He also shouldn't have walked around so much. The man moved like Frankenstein and showed his advancing age and infirmity.

    October 8, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  23. Walter, FL

    Let's call this out for what it is – the new GOP walks onto dangerous, dangerous territory: reminds me more of a party that raised to power in the early '30 in Germany than the Good Ole Grand Party.
    THAT ONE '08!

    October 8, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  24. Gtnaustin

    Bad Change - I like your name for your candidates MacPalin - is that a version of a happy meal? No wait - for them it would be an UNhappy meal.

    October 8, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  25. jm for sc

    Absolutely appalling, to say the least.

    I am shocked at the religious Palin who lives with a man who demonstrated hate for America by being a member of an organization that wish to be seperated from the country she now loves. I think the man she lives with would have more influence on her than a man who Obama served on a few boards with.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 8, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
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