October 29th, 2008
07:39 PM ET
8 years ago

Shays takes swipe at McCain

Shays is the lone House Republican in New England.

Shays is the lone House Republican in New England.

(CNN) - New England's lone House Republican appears to have publicly broken with his party's standard-bearer, saying John McCain has not run a clean campaign and is likely to lose his bid for the presidency.

"I just don't see how [McCain] can win," Connecticut Rep. Chris Shays told the Yale Daily News earlier this week. "He has lost his brand as a maverick; he did not live up to his pledge to fight a clean campaign." Shays, who in 2006 became the only Republican congressman from New England, perennially finds himself in a heated re-election race.

The comments are the latest in a string of Republicans who have publicly criticized the Arizona senator's handling of the presidential race and predicted his defeat next week is all but certain. (Other Republicans joining the chorus include Former Maryland Sen. Charles Mathias, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.)

Fellow Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl and former GOP presidential Candidate Mitt Romney also have reportedly said they think McCain is likely to lose. Jon Kyl denied making the comments, though the Arizona Daily Star later produced audio indicating he did.

In his Yaale Daily News interview, Shays did not endorse Barack Obama, and said he remained skeptical the Illinois senator will govern from the center if he is elected president.

“It’s what all presidents should do, but [Obama] has never been there,” he said of Obama's ideological orientation.

Shays is a co-chairman of McCain's campaign efforts in Connecticut.

Filed under: Extra • John McCain
soundoff (196 Responses)
  1. willcnnpostthis?

    Sounds like a smart man

    October 29, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  2. Griff

    So The Coconut Win's???

    October 29, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  3. Yngvai

    You know you're running a dirty campaign when people in your own party are calling you out

    October 29, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  4. Michael

    Its refreshing and healthy for our democracy that there still remain some honest and intelligent Republicans in Congress. Thank you.

    October 29, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  5. OBAMA IN 2008!

    Hmmm, sounds 'suspect' to moi...

    October 29, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  6. LJ

    Shays grow-up. The McCain Campaign hasn't been dirty enough, with all the skeletons in the Obama closet!!!!!

    October 29, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  7. No McCain

    Mr. Shays, I hope you are right and McCain doesn't win..... In a week we will know who the winner is....Thanks for being honest as what you think...

    October 29, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  8. Already voted for "that one"

    During the 1990s, while he served as chairman of the International Republican Institute (IRI), McCain distributed several grants to the Palestinian research center co-founded by Khalidi, including one worth half a million dollars.
    A 1998 tax filing for the McCain-led group shows a $448,873 grant to Khalidi's Center for Palestine Research and Studies for work in the West Bank. (See grant number 5180, "West Bank)

    October 29, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  9. Colleen

    what do you all expect...this campaign is shameful...Elizabeth Dole for crying out loud...shame on her...and shame on all who pander to the hate filled nitwits...you don't deserve our trust...

    October 29, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  10. No Hillary = No Obama

    For all those out there who think they have not been influenced by the biased media and it's incessant headlines in Obama's favor – cherry picking the positive while throwing all the negatives at McCain, then you too live in fantasy land. You are not electing Obama – CNN, MSNBC, NBC and now CBS – they are electing Obama and making you believe you're doing it. Obama has become one big hot air balloon sponsored by corporate media.

    October 29, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  11. McCain!

    To heck with them Senator McCain, keep on keeping on...

    October 29, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  12. UCLAdy04

    Good for Shays for calling McCain out! If only more Republicans had the balls to do it some of them wouldn't be going down in flames Tuesday!

    October 29, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  13. Billy - Maryland

    He's a coward. He'll go ahead and throw McCain under the bus to save his career. He should find a REAL job.

    October 29, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  14. liz

    It is about time Republicans speak out against the hideous tactics of members of their own party. i guess you are all finaly peeking out from Dick Cheney's shadow and beginning to think for yourselves. Too bad you couldn't speak up when your leaders were calling decorated veterans like Max Cleland and John Kerry traitors.

    October 29, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  15. Of course, he wants to keep his job

    Just like McCain ditched Bush, because he wanted the job, Shays' ditched McCain because, he wants to keep his.

    Hey....does this mean he's wanna be socialist???

    Doubt it.

    All Blue!

    October 29, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  16. Hunter for Obama

    TRUE. McCain has not run a clean campaign. However, this guy is just a turncoat trying to jump on the bus when he knows the Republicans will lose. Boot him out with the rest of the Bushies.

    October 29, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  17. Welcome Aboard!

    Welcome aboard, it's okay to abandon a sinking ship. We'll take you and any other American who wants to survive.

    God Bless America and God Bless Barack and Joe.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 29, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  18. blkkbbeauty

    Shays knows Mccain is dirty but wont endorse Barack....... is it a black thing ? then who will he vote 4 for president of the united states, himself ? or perhaps Joe the plumber/ fake handyman.

    October 29, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  19. me

    --got out and vote early--

    Vote your life depends on it.

    October 29, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |

    Please vote Obama, Biden for the good of our great nation.

    October 29, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  21. Fernando

    McCain has failed to keep all his promises... especially the one to keep this campaign clean and positive. McCain/Palin have used the same tactics that the GOP has used to put Bush in the White House (TWICE!)

    They cant get over the fact that America has been speaking against this kind of campaign and the kind of government they offer... they have resorted to negative ads and distractions but America will get to say what's on its mind on Nov, 4th.

    (Ps. GET OUT AND VOTE !!)

    October 29, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  22. Anita from Arizona

    That's putting country first or maybe his own election back to the House.

    October 29, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  23. Anita from Arizona

    He's in good company.

    October 29, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  24. Joseph Smith

    Yea, Obama should govern from the center just like Reagan and the two Bushies did. It's amazing what Republicans will say when they are behind compared to what they do when in office.

    October 29, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  25. redhead from toronto

    Rep. Chris Shays, -When Barack Obama reaches across the aisle will you take his hand or is that not centred enough for you? Have some faith and thank you for your honesty, rare in your Party.

    October 29, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
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