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. Srikop

    When the ship is sinking, mice make the first run. There will more and more coming, hoards of them.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 29, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  2. EqualBranchesofGovernment

    I'm from New England....and was fairly enthusiastic to vote for Senator McCain......until he picked Sarah Palin as his VP!!

    October 29, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  3. Scott L


    I guess he supports someone who lies before election week stating it is now 200k, NOT 250k.

    Let liberals defend his change. It will keep going down and down until it is 42k.

    How about LA Times release that tape?

    October 29, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  4. FireBabyFire

    WOW that says a lot to lose his backing. Bye McLame and take McTart with you.

    October 29, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  5. Bob Stephens

    Republicans knocking McCain's Campaign , is like the crew of the Titanic yelling that the Captain wouldn't listen to them when they yelled " Iceberg ahead"......

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

    McCain is a national speed bag my friends.

    October 29, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  7. George


    October 29, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  8. Concerned Citizen

    And I declare that Shay has run a poor race and for that I predict he will loose. What do you think about them apples...Turn Coat?

    October 29, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  9. jenny

    John McCain has suddenly become the PUNCHING BAG in the weight room among Republicans.What has HAPPENED? I'll tell you.Remember the Republican convention and remember those 9/11 tapes that were shown on the screen.Do you think it was fair game to show those tapes for political purposes? I think NOT because I lost a family member like so many Americans in the disaster and that was sad. The republican Party has NO AMBITION,NO PRIDE,NO DECENCY and that's the reason they find themselves on the brink of defeat right now.

    October 29, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  10. BC

    McCain and Palin seem only to be able to go negative. By now it is clear that Americans do not want and will not stand for that. Every time they go negative, they drop in the polls. Is this really the best they can do? Are they really on the Obama payroll? Will they PLEASE go far away!

    We love you, BARRY!!!

    October 29, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  11. BJ

    What a party!!!!! These Republicans are self-destructing, aren't they? Do we really want them to lead the country?

    October 29, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  12. observer

    If I were Mccain I would punch the person who suggested Sarah Palin for v.p. in the nose....You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know the main problem in Mccain's campaign is Palin.

    October 29, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  13. 60 yr old white woman

    When will anyone at CNN counter the Khalidi smear with the fact that John McCain was on a committe that provided Professor Khalidi with a half million dollar grant for the Mideast studies program?

    October 29, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  14. don from canada

    He's right mcCain is the same old thing full of lies and manipulations and Palin is the same. You point her in any direction, tell her what to say and to lie about and she does. She has no positon on any matter just the same old lies and rhetoric.
    BYE BYE to both of them

    October 29, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  15. Winnie Hussein.... in Montana

    Other than the somewhat understandable uncertainty about Sen. Obama, Rep. Shays would have my vote if I were his constituent. It is refreshing to see a Republican who admits that his candidate has run a down and dirty campaign.

    October 29, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  16. SW,OHIO

    The truth comes out! I was under the impression that all Republicans were this way. I have respect for you Mr. Shay, I'm so fed up with the punches below the belt. Campaigns should not be ran this way. I would like to see McCain resign from the senate because who in their right mind would want him representing them. If I were him, I wouldn't be able to sleep at night but I'm sure he has no conscience as I do. OBAMA/BIDEN

    October 29, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  17. Sue

    What happened to GLENN BECK??? Why was the most courageous commentator on the air taken off of CNN???? BOOOO!!!!!!
    Couldn't happen to have anything to do with his Nobama stance........... wow......... the predictions of anti-liberal censorship and the violations of our rights to free speech are already coming true!!!!! FOX TV here we come!!!!! Along with ALL OF OUR freedom of speech loving friends!!!

    October 29, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  18. Tom

    He's exactly right that McCain has run a dirty campaign, and he's still at it, not to mention Palin, who's off and running on another wild goose chase today. How do you know she's lying? Her lips are moving! Same for McSame. No wonder Obama is surging. Most people have the sense to see who's running the clean campaign that addresses issues that affect our lives every day.

    October 29, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  19. Papasan in Arizona

    The last resort of the Failing McCain/Palin Campaign is to energize the base, Ignorant Right Wing Looneys! McCain followers are waking up from a long peaceful McBush slumber [voted 90 percent of the time with Bush], to find two pathetic morons, publicly displaying a cartoonish love affair with themselves, totally out of touch with Americans true issues [it's the ECONOMY!], and engaging in a revolting "McCain First" campaign! That's a tough wake up call, "MY FRIENDS"!
    McCain's first Executive decision is to unleash a Fascist Psychotic With The Racist Twinkle In Her Eye [Awaiting Alaska Criminal Indictment For Abusing Power] scampering around our Nation dangerously drumming up Hatred & Bigotry [Wink Wink]. The obvious erratic incompetence of the McCain/Palin campaign provides us evidence enough that they are unfit for any public office, let alone the White House. Americans face the hardest financial disaster in the History of the USA, this is the McCain Policy? John McCain / Sarah Palin have no idea what Americans trying to survive face. 401K plans gutted, Unemployment, Foreclosures, Wall Street in the Tank, Main Street hopelessly waiting for a bail out, and the Global Economy in disarray...
    McCain/Palin are a disgusting self serving disgrace undoubtedly proving they are not up to the complex task of keeping the Nation together in hard times. BTW: They can't even stay on the same page in their campaign and
    Palin is the Rouge Frankenstein VP candidate!

    P.S. Acorn / Ayers / Rev. Wright / Socialism / Raise Taxes on 250K A Year Income, Joe the Plumber AKA Sam Not Really a Plumber these are not the real issues facing America!

    October 29, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  20. jaye

    McCain has lost a lot of votes due to his vile nasty campaign of lies and deceit.
    I have no respect for him at all, and even less respect for Palin.

    October 29, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  21. Nancy

    I'm on the outside looking in, and the GOP looks pathetic. I don't know how REAL republicans can put up with it. McCain's campaign reflects him – poorly. He feels as though the presidency belongs to him, but it doesn't. He believes he will be the come back kid, like in the past – but all good things come to an end!

    Good luck to a real Presidential Candidate – Barack Obama (he deserves it!)

    October 29, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  22. me

    ---–get out and vote early--–

    October 29, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  23. dgs in Louisville

    Good call Rep. Shays! Isnt is obvious that the negative smear tactics of McCain and Palin have sunk the whole Republican ticket? Ky may be red this year but we can still DITCH MITCH MCCONNEL!!

    October 29, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  24. Christopher

    This man may be thhe LONE Republican that deserves to be re-elected... More people should be genuine

    October 29, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  25. ulric

    Lies and throwing mud wont win it this time. it always going to be about issues and policies as we americans are more than conscious to make better political decision. thanks but no thank mccain/pallin you got wrong this time

    October 29, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
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