October 30th, 2008
05:42 AM ET
14 years ago

Shays takes swipe at McCain

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/29/art.shays.gi.jpg caption="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: John McCain
soundoff (139 Responses)
  1. T'SAH from Virginia

    THE PLAN: Get Obama to agree to public financing so that the REPUBS – along with their NASTY 527 Groups will beat Obama with "dirty ads".

    THE CHANGE: Obama figured this out and knew that he would need more money to FIGHT the Dirty Republicans – "Forget that public financing – I will raise my own money!!!"

    $$$ DOWN: Dirty Repubs did not have enough money to FIGHT against Obama Campaign – 527 groups felt the "economic CRUNCH" like everyone else... OR was McSAME worth fighting for????
    ERATIC: The REPUBS did not know how to run a CLEAN campaign because all they know is DIRTY – so the PLAN failed and they got CRAZY.

    VICTORY: As a result of the REPUBS not knowing what to do, the Ads get DIRTIER and more NASTY and it turned most away. Obama "slipped" right on by and will come out on TOP!!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2008-2016 – YES WE CAN fight DIRTY if we have to and still come out on TOP with CLEAN hands!!!!

    October 30, 2008 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  2. Scott L

    Bush tax cuts expire, ALL AMERICANS LOSE!

    October 30, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  3. Greg Rodgers

    Mr. Shay's...you have said the right thing. One thing that this Republican has done is tell the truth. If more of the people in your party did the same, the GOP would most likely not be in the shape its in today.

    Bravo Mr. Shay's.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 30, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  4. Boudreau

    I have been disappointed in the McCain campaign. At some point it becomes obvious that if you can't manage to run a good campaign, your ability to run the Free World has to be a question mark. Obama's ability to understand complex issues and make appropriate responses leads me to believe that he is ready for this task.

    October 30, 2008 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  5. Milton, Harrisburg, PA

    Most of the rats got off the titanic before the people did. Let the GOP sucking up and ring-kissing begin. There is a name for "mavericks" that stand up against the Republican party. We call them Democrats and most of America will be voting for them this year. The only thing more satisfying then a republican politician sucking up to Dems would be to see Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly polishing Barack's shoes while Ann Coulter is forced to address Al Franken as Senator Franken.

    Bush soiled the bed. Time to sleep in it now.

    October 30, 2008 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  6. Bruce

    McCain keep telling lies and trying to tie Obama to some one in the past to make him look bad today. They forget that McCain had ties to the same person and even gave large sums of money to the orgaization he founded. But McCain and Palin think people are too stupid to check on the facts. They jsut keep telling lies because in the REPUB Hand Book if you tell a lie often enough it become true.

    October 30, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  7. JDC

    No question...McCain as run a poor campaign against one of te weakest Dems since Jimmy Carter.

    October 30, 2008 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  8. I've voted Republican for years, but for the first time in my life I'm voting Democrat

    I'm disappointed in McCain's vice presidential selection. I cannot in good conscience put Palin within a heartbeat of the presidency.

    October 30, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  9. Gigi NY

    This really shows that when we give respect to others, we will get the same treatment from them, overwhelmingly, even Republicans have come to respect Sen. Obama, even when he's standing at the other side of the river, the reason being that the Illinois senator have never engaged in the smear, kitchen-sink- campaign. McCain, on the contrary has given Sarah Palin the go ahead to be attack dog, and then pretends that he's the one who's been unfairly attacked, as if we were all imbeciles.

    October 30, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  10. Wendy

    "...he remained skeptical the Illinois senator will govern from the center if he is elected president." (Chris Shays)

    Governing from the center does not fall solely on the President's shoulders. In order for any President to govern from the center, partisanship in the Congress must stop! All of Congress must look to the needs of the people/the country....NOT to the needs/creed of a party.

    Governing from the center also falls on the public's shoulders. As constituents, we must not look at a party and its creed. We must look at the good of the country and demand that Congress and the President do the same and work together.

    That is how a President can govern from the center.

    October 30, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  11. Sue in MI

    With friends and colleagues like these, (you know, honest ones), McCain and Palin have become their own worst enemies.

    October 30, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  12. Tony



    October 30, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  13. Barbara

    Certainly hope Joe Lieberman (CONNECTICUT) can line up some
    work after the election. Unlike Shay, he is a self-serving, sleazy and
    repulsive politician... He should ask McCain if he can be "house-Boy"
    in one of those Sedona homes ! Bye ByE

    October 30, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  14. eds

    rats leaving the sinking ship.... even they can sense the rot.

    October 30, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
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