October 20th, 2008
05:35 PM ET
14 years ago

McCain camp ‘rethinking’ Wright issue

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/02/art.wright0502.ap.jpg caption="The McCain campaign may be 'rethinking' it's decision not to discuss Rev. Wright."]
(CNN) - John McCain’s campaign manager Rick Davis suggested in an interview that the campaign may be "rethinking" its decision not to use Barack Obama’s relationship with his former pastor Jeremiah Wright in the campaign.

McCain himself has not responded to questions about why he might be reluctant to cite Wright. During the primary season, Hillary Clinton had predicted that Republicans would use the controversial minister to attack Obama, if he were to become the Democratic nominee.

Now – in a new interview being circulated by the McCain camp – Davis is pointing to recent comments by Obama supporter John Lewis as a reason some in the campaign are weighing a shift in that policy.

Lewis had compared the atmosphere at some McCain-Palin rallies to coded racial appeals by late segregationist George Wallace during his own presidential run.

“Look, John McCain has told us a long time ago before this campaign ever got started, back in May, I think, that from his perspective, he was not going to have his campaign actively involved in using Jeremiah Wright as a wedge in this campaign,” Davis told conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt.

“Now since then, I must say, when Congressman Lewis calls John McCain and Sarah Palin and his entire group of supporters, fifty million people strong around this country, that we’re all racists and we should be compared to George Wallace and the kind of horrible segregation and evil and horrible politics that was played at that time, you know, that you’ve got to rethink all these things,” he added. “And so I think we’re in the process of looking at how we’re going to close this campaign. We’ve got 19 days, and we’re taking serious all these issues.

Prominent conservatives – including McCain’s own running mate Sarah Palin – had questioned his decision not to raise the Wright issue in the campaign’s waning days.”

Filed under: Jeremiah Wright • John McCain
soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. Sammy

    He has nothing to lose I guess. Except he has promised not to go there and it will be seen as another time when winning is more important than his values.

    October 20, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  2. Abul

    I knew it!! You can trust GOP people. Even McCain promised not to use this guy to attack Obama.

    October 20, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Desperate times call for desperate measures, I suppose.

    October 20, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  4. gallimimus

    The McCain camp just "reeks" of desperation. Get a clue, just like the Ayers thing, it won't work and it's not what people want to hear. It's a tired subject that just needs to go away. McCain, keep on shooting yourself in the foot. Obama/Biden 08. I mailed in my vote on Saturday. Colorado for Obama!!!!!

    October 20, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  5. Tiff of lithia springs



    October 20, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |


    October 20, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  7. Cindy in Atlanta

    Is McCain ready for Palin's witch doctor preacher to come to fore front...I mean really, when are the Repubs going to learn that it's because of all these "negative" attacks that they are going to lose this election.

    Yesterday when Colin Powell made his endorsement of Obama, the negative tone of McCain's campaign was one of the underlying factors for him in making is decision.

    I also read all the major newspaper endorsements of Obama and most of them also mentioned the "negative tone" of the campaign as an underlying factor as well.

    So at this point, I don't know what benefit they think they would reap by brining up Rev Wright.

    Since Obama is apparaently too polite to say it, let me say it for him....Barack Obama is not Bill Ayers or Rev Wright, if you wanted to run against Ayers/Wright....just wait till 2016....after Obama/Binden's 2 terms are complete.

    October 20, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  8. Lee NY, NY

    It wouldn't be a surprise if they put Wright out there again: everything they do sinks them further in a hole and this would do the same. It would be just one more attack. Everyone's had enough.

    October 20, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  9. Brenda

    It's a shame the McCain campaign is so eager to win that they will steep this low to bring up Rev Wright. The American people are not thinking about Rev Wright ... they are CONCERNED about the economy ... jobs, etc.

    October 20, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  10. jo

    early voting in Colorado..... I voted for Obama..... and many ppl were voting Obama today.....Aurora Co.
    Obama 08

    October 20, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  11. Norm

    With the election being only two weeks away, I think that most people are weary of the Wright, Ayers, and Joe the plumber issues.

    October 20, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  12. CM

    Oh please, McCain's campaign (Rick Davis) is desperate and looking for an excuse to use the Rev. Wright. It didn't work the first time. Just remember there are still alot of skeletons that can fall out of the McCain/Palin closet. Seems the truth hurts... You betcha!!!

    October 20, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  13. Independent

    McCain has little to lose. May as well.

    October 20, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  14. Another grumpy old white woman for Obama

    Another lie from McCarthy. Why does anybody believe anything he says?
    The only jobs available under another GOP government will be in the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines.
    They are still rewarding outsourcing of Americas real jobs.
    They are still bailing out Corporations with OUR money and the futures of our children.
    Right is wrong
    Left is right

    October 20, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  15. jo

    keep thinnking People are voting for Obama in Co now.

    October 20, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  16. Cardi

    If the McCain campaign goes back on their word not to bring up Rev. Wright and start politicizing this very personal issue, then they have COMPLETELY lost every laSt bit of honor and integrity they may (may not) have LEFT. Their desperation is palpable and they will sell their soul just to try to win at ANY EXPENSE!! SHAME ON THEM!!

    October 20, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  17. Briana

    desperate desperate desperate

    It's the economy DUH!!!!!!

    October 20, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  18. Reason

    Mccain = desperate

    October 20, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  19. KLEE

    never mind all the rhetoric – nothing but throwing the kitchen sink and all the other trash McCain/Palin can find – since they have no message to give but "scare" tactics or is it Strategy?? VOTE OBAMA/BIDEN for the CHANGE WE NEED!

    October 20, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  20. Phil

    20 years of sitting in the pews, daughters were both baptized by wright and he is faithfully donated money to the ministry and now that his presidency is up in the air, Obama denounces wright!? hmmm 20 years of racial theology taught by a man who gave Rev. Farrakhan (A radical islamic who stated that Judaeism is a gutter religions and the white man hasn't reached evolution) a lifetime achievement award doesn't settle to well with me. You are a product of your enviroment and bad company corrupts good character! Get em McCain!

    October 20, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  21. PL

    This must be a real sad time for McCain, think about it he has nothing to bring to the American people. I feel real sorry for an old man who spent most of his life in public service and to end up like this, it's just heart breaking. How long will it be before he pulls a Jesse Helms?

    October 20, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  22. Kehrin

    They haven't brought it up again because that opens the gates for dissection of Palin's evangelical connections, aka Ed Kalnins, and they don't want to open that can of worms

    October 20, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  23. Irma in North Carolina

    Go ahead John and Sarah use this, but you should already know how the American people are turned off on all of your nasty attacks. Why dont you just face it you two are losing it and even they guy up above wont help you. I hope more of you people go out and vote early like my husband and I did voting for obama.

    October 20, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  24. Charla in TX

    Why should the McCain camp have any conscience now? They've already blazed down the Negative Campaign Freeway......which McFlipflop said he WOULD NOT DO.

    The Straight Talk Express wasted no time in turning into the TRASH TALK EXPRESS.

    October 20, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  25. KJS/Alabama


    October 20, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
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