FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Remember when John McCain talked about how he wasn't going to run a negative campaign? How he wanted to focus on the issues and not get down in the political mud? I guess you can chalk it up to something else McCain has changed his mind about. Now he's apparently decided that going negative is the way to the White House.
You don't need to look much farther than McCain's ads, which have become increasingly negative – calling Barack Obama a celebrity, and comparing him to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. Or the ad that that says Obama "made time to go to the gym, but cancelled a visit with wounded troops." One study points out one-third of John McCain's ads refer to Obama negatively. On the other hand, 90% of Obama's ads don't even mention John McCain.
These negative ads feed the perception of McCain as an angry candidate. Even some Republicans don't think this strategy is such a good idea. Former top McCain strategist John Weaver called the celebrity ad "childish" and "tomfoolery”, while other Republicans have called it "unprofessional," "absurd and juvenile." An editorial in the St. Petersburg Times says of McCain: "The self-described 'happy warrior' from 2000 has turned sour... and the candor and straight talk that once made him such an attractive candidate are rapidly disappearing."
Meanwhile, McCain's flip-flop on the issue of offshore drilling has netted him some big bucks from the big oil companies. A non-partisan campaign finance watchdog group says that after McCain announced he was changing his position and now was going to support offshore drilling, the Big Oil companies opened their wallets. "Campaign Money Watch" found that in Texas alone, oil-related donors gave $1.2 million to McCain's Victory '08 fund in June – 73% of it coming after his reversal on offshore drilling. Think that's a coincidence?
Here’s my question to you: Is going negative against Barack Obama a winning strategy for John McCain?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Bob from Chicago writes:
McCain is an angry old man with a nasty temper. He has no positives. He has to go negative. It appears there never was a Straight Talk Express. That was just a mirage. This is the real John McCain.
John from Fort Collins, Colorado writes:
Although negative campaigning has been successful in previous elections, this time around the attack ads are backfiring on John McCain. The fair-minded, moderate McCain who earned so much respect in his career has been morphed into an old, bitter Eddie Haskell character. He should fire his campaign staff, then reverse course and make every attempt possible to restore his dignity.
Absolutely. America is full of "low information voters" who believe anything they hear. Thinking and being informed is too hard and time-consuming for us Americans. It's so much easier to just vote against someone based on distortions, lies, and negative ads.
I think McCain’s negativity is what is keeping the polls so close. And anyways he's not really being all that negative, he's only pointing out the obvious: that Obama is not experienced enough for us to put our country in his hands!
If the American people buy into this fear-mongering from the Republican hatchet men yet again, we deserve what we get: another 4 years of catastrophically bad leadership.
C. from Mississippi writes:
Hey, Jack. From one old pessimistic curmudgeon to another: going negative is definitely a winning strategy. Sometimes you need to slap around these young whippersnappers to get your way. Take you for example. You're a winner in my book, and look at what going negative did for your career.