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. Boricua4Obama

    Cue McCain's "I don't care about some washed up radical pastor" statement, followed by weeks of attacks.

    October 20, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  2. J.D.

    The fact that - two weeks before the election – he is waffling about whether to "use" Wright as an issue or not just shows how much John McCain lacks clarity, strategy and cohesiveness. He's an out-of-control wreck, veering from one accident scene to another. Can you imagine him as President? What a disaster. Obama is crisp, cool, and sharp. I'm voting for O tonight.

    October 20, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  3. Rich from Philly

    McCain has shown that he'll go the gutter. Fortunately, this is turning off more voters than it is getting him. In these times, people want to what ideas McCain has and what he will do fix economy and keep country secure. The answer is he has no ideas; or, at best a new one every day. So devoid of ideas and policies he'll just sling more mud.

    October 20, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  4. Real Mavericks are Independent!

    McCain says he is a fighter but as soon as his money get low in a state he runs away when the race is close! Now he want to go back to attacking on this nut case, how many changes can his race go through, he must be the biggest flip flopper i have ever seen in my life!

    October 20, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  5. Fritz

    John McCain has nothing left to lose except for the election. He already gave up his soul so it should be no surprise that he will stoop so low. It is a darn shame to see such a once great man throw away everything he ever worked for in return for power. Such a shame.

    October 20, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  6. Independent in FL

    Oh, Please. Senator McCain might want to think twice about using another desparate tactic, especially this one. It's like he's rattling a sabre with the end pointed back at himself. Where is the honor and respect? Both are earned and can be lost....If he wants to keep the stellar reputation he has earned over his many years of service he needs to end his campaign on higher ground. Otherwise, the ground may just sink under his feet. Disenfranchised for Republican in Florida.

    October 20, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  7. J.D.

    The only thing left to be determined will be JOHN MCCAIN's LEGACY. History will judge him based on his actions - whether honorable or not - in the next two weeks.

    October 20, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
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