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. KJL

    McCain has proven to be a huge disappointment to many of his backers. Rep. Shays must be very open-minded to survive in Connecticut. I wonder what he thinks of Palin?

    October 29, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  2. voter

    McCain lost his way a while ago and it is evident in his pick of Palin. McCain has caved and sold his soul to the right wing evangelical base of the republican party. When the economy is bad people don't want a culture war. People want solutions for the economy.

    October 29, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  3. Peter of Oregon

    Shays knows what all of us who have followed the campaign closely know. McCain is no Maverick, and he's run a dirty Karl Rove type campaign by the same folk that brought us W.

    October 29, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  4. alvino

    Will the last one to leave the Republican Party, please turn off the lights and lock the door?

    October 29, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  5. Jody Monroe

    Shays is correct; the GOP needs to regroup and agree on their mission before they become GOOP.

    October 29, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  6. Camden from mt

    Republican party surrender NOW! This is the end to your old school ideology. We can no longer let the fat get fatter when there are others on the verge of disaster.

    Repiblicans, put your country first please and thank you.

    Montana for Obama!

    October 29, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  7. Brendose, Oceanside CA

    I agree with the Senator. McCain has tarnished his "maverick" image by bringing in a phony VP, and using the Bush campaign team to run his Presidential campaign to the ground

    October 29, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  8. Rene in PA

    As a Republican turned Democrat about a year ago, it's hard not to gloat.. but one of the first thoughts going through my mind when reading this news is ... another one bites the dust.

    It's going to be very interesting watching the Republican party over the next 8 years. As a former Republican, I can only hope that they shed the far religious right wing. If they were to do that, it's possible the 2012 election would be more interesting than this one.

    October 29, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  9. Brian

    John listen to your friend Shays and not people like Barbara West!

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

    Yet another politician issuing a bald-faced lie about not saying something that then surfaces on a recording. We need a law putting all gov't officials always "under oath" for the duration of their campaigns and tenure in public office. Then we could prosecute these compulsive liars.

    October 29, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  11. jude

    Did I hear "Time to Jump Ship"?

    October 29, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  12. dantini

    Wow, what a socialist terrorist Shays must be, right Sarah Palin?

    October 29, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  13. Flo

    So it begins..............Everyone for themselves. McCain is losing respect of his party and survival of the fittest is what the party orders. McCain has ran the most divisive campaign despite his pledge to keep it clean and focused on issues. He will defend his decision by noting Obama did not do the "critical" town hall meetings. What can we do with such logic?


    October 29, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  14. Linda K.

    The Republicans keep saying Obama doesn't have the experience because he's never been president. But neither has John McCain. I would rather be lead by Obama's experience as community organizer, civil rights attorney, and constitutional professor, than McCain's experience as POW and adulterer.

    October 29, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  15. Debbie in Missouri

    I agree with Rep. Shays. McCain has not run good sincere campaign. McCain and Palin have been very disrespectful to Senator Obama. They continue this in their speeches today. You can not win the hearts and minds of Americans by being so vile and ugly.

    October 29, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  16. Texas Teacher

    All the Republicans are jumping ship... only a blind man would think that the hate and fear the McCain camp is spewing will bring out votes! The die hard conservative right will follow anyone who can feed their hate. Thinking people are growing sick of the fear mongering!

    The circus is in town... and McSame and McBarbie are leading the parade.

    October 29, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  17. Abul

    More like Shyes will come out and say the right thing!!! They have to re-elect !! right??

    October 29, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  18. Ellen

    I'm glad to see that Shays listens to his constituents. I've written to him several times asking him to denounce McCain's tactics. Better late than never.

    October 29, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  19. Richard A. Spomer


    October 29, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  20. Voted for OBAMA on Tuesday in Louisiana

    This doesn't surprise me in the least. McCain's campaign has been outrageously negative and past the point of redemption. McCain's whole reason for running a negative campaign was because Obama wouldn't do town hall debates with him throughout the campaign. Boo hoo. "You didn't come to my birthday party – so I'm gonna tell everyone at school you're a socialist!"

    October 29, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  21. Kina, NYC

    dude, pick a lane...u r already in the house...u can't denounce the man whose campaign in ur state u co-chair...and then feel hesitant to move the other direction...wowww...u republicans are amazing...and the senator denying what he said 'bout McCain, was he aware he was being audiotaped?...what's wrong with these ppl?...and we send 'em to DC to represent us?...what's wrong with us?...God Bless America...

    Obama/Biden '08.


    October 29, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  22. ulric

    It time the repubs realize that we americans are conscious about the dirty games they`ve been playing for decades wont work this time

    October 29, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  23. Freedom for fries

    Well said, Chris!

    October 29, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  24. robbie

    are you serious? its called politics. besides, obama has pretty much done whatever he can to win.

    October 29, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |

    shay will secretly vote for obama

    October 29, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
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