July 31st, 2008
01:56 PM ET

Will going negative help McCain?

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

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.

Watch: Cafferty: McCain goes negative

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.

Jake writes:
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.

Dee writes:
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!

Tim writes:
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.

Filed under: 2008 Election • Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (274 Responses)
  1. Dave in Saint Louis

    It already has helped just look at the polls...It is amazing McCain is this close.

    July 31, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  2. Jonathan, Hartford, CT

    Going negative will not help McCain. If Cindy reminds him to breate and when to eat, he should do O.K.

    July 31, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  3. James from Virginia

    no it is not. it just shows that mcshame has nothing to offer this country. he should just retire and go back to arizona.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  4. BillD

    What else does he got?!?

    July 31, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  5. Venia - PA

    No, it has actually made me loathe him and the republicans. I think americans are tired of the negativity and the same ol political strategy, it's enough already. We see what the repuglicans dirty tricks costs us and we are still paying 8 yrs later. It would be one thing if they were truths but mccain just out and out lies and distorts the truth so much it is actually laughable and no sound minded person could believe him. Karma comes full circle and i think the fact that he is such a 'well known' and so called 'experienced' person, he should be leading the polls not constantly trailing behind Obama goes to show you that he is more of the same mold.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  6. T.J. Marshall (Raleigh, NC)

    Not unless going negative ultimately includes pictures of Obama being caught in a motel room with Marion Berry and strippers doing crack cocaine, no.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  7. Mwita (Los Angeles, CA)

    No, that only works if your name is Hillary Clinton.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  8. Gretchen from Bucks County PA

    Apparently even his closest advisors think this is his only hope – too bad it just reinforces the fact that he was, is and continues to be a clone of Bush and 'old' republican politics.

    If you look at what he is saying, there is nothing new, nothing offered to fix the mess we are in. With nothing to offer he is trying to get the focus off his empty and pathetic campaign by trying to paint a negative impression of Obama. Won't work.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  9. J.D.

    If my reaction is typical, no it won't help. As an Independent, I am now ashamed to say I voted for John McCain in the 2000 New Hampshire primary. John McCain 2000 and John McCain 2008 are 2 different people and the latter version has lost all honor and integrity.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  10. Howard M, Bolingbrook IL

    I hope going negative on Obama, in this way, backfires on the McCain campaign. I think what we are seeing is jealousy and early desperation.

    It also appears to me that the McCain campaign is attempting the Harold Ford Jr. attack strategy, it 's a sorry state for a once proud man.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  11. kim

    It should, especially since McCain claims he won't run one of "those" campaigns
    Then again, he flip flops on everything else so why should this be any different

    July 31, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  12. John in San Diego

    Jack, it is so sad that the campaign appears headed into the gutter. What's even sadder, the negative ads tend to work.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  13. Caryn, Washington DC

    Going negative has been a winning strategy for Republicans for years. The Democrats and their "high ground" have lost more than one election because of Karl Rovian attacks. I hope their high ground will give them comfort when McBush is being sworn into office.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  14. Donald, Canton NC

    McCain and his campaign cant' get its act together.

    Nothing but lies, misrepresentations, and distortions. So much for the "Straight-talk" express.

    Enough of this!!! I sick of hearing it and their pathetic explanations after the fact.

    If this is the best McCain has to offer this country then he definitely needs to retire to a rest home!!!!

    This country deserves better but isn't getting it.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  15. Russell from Portland, OR

    Sadly to say John McCain has become John McComplain. You know when attacks on character and using Britney Spears and Paris Hilton things are getting desperate. You know when you are losing when your message is lost.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  16. Jed in Redding, CA

    For a so-called maverick who promised a clean fight based solely on the issues John McCain certainly isn't living up to his promises. That raises the question: If McCain can't keep a simple promise like a clean fight, how do you expect him to keep the harder promises like not raising taxes or pushing for cleaner energy?

    July 31, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  17. Ralph, Corpus Christi

    No, not a winning one, just a strategy that not only insults Obama but voting Americans as well. Goodness sake, these costly campaign ads are nothing more than commercials like those during the super bowl, only this is no laughing matter and I'm getting up and changing the channel.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  18. Mike, Connecticut

    Every campaign that has posted a presidential winner has used the classic tactic of negative ads, from the founding fathers until today. McCain has already created ads showing his solutions for America and now he has to show America what Obama is all about. Obama doesn't have to make his own negative ads because he has supposed neutral sources such as MoveOn.org and the New York Times creating their own attacks against McCain. So for Obama to think that McCain is the only one going negative, I would say that the liberal media is 100% on Obama's side and are conducting their own attacks against McCain.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  19. Erin

    It's not a matter of how low a candidate can go, it's a matter of how gullible and uninformed the American voter is.

    Sadly, exploiting voter fears against certain candidates seems to be the Rovian tactic that Republican presidential candidates have come to rely on.

    Why? Because it works!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  20. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy

    It worked so well for Hillary, I'm surpised Mark Penn hasn't suggessted it earlier. He is the genius who came up with this Hail Mary right? No wonder he gets the big bucks. Smith is an alias.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  21. Linda from Bentley Spring, Maryland

    Jack, negativity will only be a winning strategy if Sen. Obama doesn't get specific with his counterattack–highlighting his family upbringing (hardly elitist or celebrity driven) comared to McCain's, the huge US deficit that wasn't there in 2000 and doesn't include the Iraq funding, how he has surrounded himself with experts on the economy and every other issue (conpared to McCain's Phil Gramm, etc), how there are current off-shore oil leases that need development and no need for expansion of same, etc. I think we Americans are eager for the negativity to end and to hear facts, facts, facts.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  22. Darla (Edmonton, Canada)

    Same old dog ... same old tricks ... when has being, saying or doing something negative ever benefitted anyone, let alone John McCain? Its the old "you reap what you sew" ... all McCain is going to get from going negative on Obama is more negative criticism about himself and his campaign.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  23. Rosalynd Florida

    Going negative is status quo for Republicans because they have no real agenda that will get America back on track. The problem with the McCain camp is their negative ads are obviously lies and just plain dumb.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  24. Candy West Virginia

    The negativity does not do anything positive for us. John Mcsurge is so bent on using those same republican tactics that very few people, including himself, knows exactly what he stands for. Obama has stayed consistently positive and speaks to us as if we are educated and can think for ourselves. Everytime I see a mccain attack ad I feel insulted as if he thinks I have the mind of a three year old. I am sticking with the positive, so no doubt I will be voting for Obama no mattter what bull mccain tries to throw up in my face.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  25. leevaughn brown

    Hey Jack
    The same way it helped HRC
    Cinti, Ohio

    July 31, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  26. Ed Reed

    I supported Sen. McCain's candidacy in 2000 and I cannot tell you how disappointed I am in his almost total reversal of his positions and his descent into this negative and untruthful campaigning. Of course, after being slimed by Bush and Rove in the 2000 South Carolina Primary, maybe he thinks that 's what it takes to win. He would rather lose our respect than lose an election.

    Ed Reed
    Port Aransas, TX

    July 31, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  27. Pablo in Arlington Texas

    I hate to say it, but yes. Going for the low blow will help because as much as we claim to hate sleaze, most of us are quite ready to believe the worst about our politicians.
    I think this is partly due to the utterly inadequate education we provide in Civics and Politics. In most states it's a one semester credit in senior year of high school when it should be taught from the first grade onward with a strong emphasis on The Constitution and the Rule of Law.
    Clearly, both office seekers and incumbents also suffer from this lack of education as evidenced by their behavior.


    July 31, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  28. Warren - Detroit, MI

    I think there is a difference between negativity and reality. If John McCain can sufficiently spoil everyone's idealisms of Obama and brings voters back to reality, he'll win. If he sounds like an old man in a rocking chair, cursing the heavens above, he'll lose.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  29. E Bowen

    I guess it will work on the same people who don't mind voting for a hypocrite.

    Guess who said this – "It's time we did away with a lot of this political rhetoric at the level we're at, including these negative ads. Nobody likes these negative ads. You want to know what we're for, not who we're against."? John McCain. I guess the straight talk express has become the politically expedient express.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  30. JS

    It just makes him look small and petty, I thought a campaign was to be used to put forward a candidates plan on what he will do for the nation. Since McCain changes his mind every day I guess that would be difficult. There is a site dedicated to keeping track of his flip flops, last time I checked it was 61 and counting.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  31. Ryan in Champaign IL

    Jack, it depends on whether his negative talking points are parroted as fact by the media, or scrutinized and reported in context. It's really up to the fourth estate.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  32. Monty Squier

    It’s a losing strategy.
    By being so negative at one end of the magnet only increases Obama’s positive end. Voters want the important ideas and issues discussed, not whether Obama is popular or unpatriotic.
    McCain is making himself look more and more ridiculous, more and more unworthy to be the most powerful leader on this planet.

    El Paso, Texas

    July 31, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  33. Mark - Asheville, NC

    He will not personally go very negative, especially before Denver, but the surrogate groups will go appallingly negative once Obama is officially the nominee. It will make what happened to Kerry and Dukakis look like a day at the proverbial beach, in comparison. This will seriously affect the impressions of those many voters who are not paying much attention now, but who will be late in October.

    But the negativity will be muted before Denver because the Republicans want to run against Obama and do not want to derail his nomination. Other Dems would beat McCain in landslide demensions, so the Republicans want to avoid that. Ironically, Obama's own gaffes and past and present associates have been the most detrimental, and no one knows what will pop up next!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  34. Joe in DE

    It usually helps unforfortunately. of course, one man's negative is another facts.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  35. Brian Los Angeles Ca.

    People today vote out the candidate who has the worse sometimes small quality, which makes the other person the winner of their ballots by default, even if its not important on a larger scale. Its not the classiest way to go because candidates should be chosen by who is the best overall. It will help McCain until the Obama Campaign replies with another negative bash.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  36. Dante

    Nothing,I repeat nothing,will help him.Being a clean shaven Conservative myself,the GOP as a political assemblage of the
    highest number educated iiliterates,shouldn´t exist anymore.
    Now Jack could you tell me what´s wrong with being liberal?
    Are we all not supposed to be open-minded regardless of our
    political proclivities?

    July 31, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  37. Senior, San Jose, CA

    If the American people elect a candidate who wins by belittling his opponent that is a sad commentary of our country.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  38. Frank Canada

    Negative campaigning if factual on the issues is not a bad tactic and serves a purpose by informing the public.

    However, the McCain attack ads have nothing in common with the truth and are only meant to appeal to the most gullible of the voting public. He will get some success from these ads but I think it is fair to assume the majority of Americans are smart enough to sift through the garbage.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  39. Wendy in NC

    Just makes him look desperate and sad. Wonder if the campaign had permission from Paris and Brit to use them in that childish ad? McCain has nothing else to talk about without showing his ignorance. Just today we saw him tout nuclear energy by saying there had never been any problems with nuclear energy or nuclear powered submarines. Ummm did he forget Three Mile Island and the USS Thresher? If you can't get it right, go negative – seems to be his strategy. All the Obama put-downs can be countered by simply reading Sen. Obama's policies, without enhancing the truth. I call this "running scared"

    July 31, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  40. Jamie

    I don't see that McCain has any choice but to go negative, because, just like Senator Clinton, the Republicans just don't know what else to do with Obama. Although it won't work because it is a case of "going to the well" to many times. The Obama campaign is structured, organized, planned and battle tested. And Obama is intelligent, resourceful, and quick minded. For the Republicans, catching (nevermind holding) Obama is like trying to catch a cheetah that has run through butter! To fast, too strong, too clever, and too talented! It's almost unfair!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  41. Diane Glasser

    No, look who is now running McCain's campaign, the same cheap shysters of the Bush administration. For those rigid conservative Republicans it will work for a while, but over time everyone will get tired of it and vote for the opponent.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  42. Kerry

    The scary thing Jack is that's why Bush won in 2000 and 2004 by throwing out negative deceptive ads that over 1/2 of the American people believed (like sheep I must say) and voted the worst President we have ever had in history into power twice...

    Now I would assume that the American people have learned their lesson and have been educated enough in how to view these fear and negative tactics, but if some still believe everything they see in McCains ads stating, like Bush blabbers, that "offshore drilling" will bring down the gas prices (FACT: maybe 5 cents per gallon in at least 10 years) or that Obama will raise all of your taxes (FACT: 90% of the American people will see no taxes raised and some will see lower taxes) this country could see things only get worse if they vote McCain into office.

    To your question, God, I hope not....

    July 31, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  43. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    It will not help. It is a desperate measure that shows that Senator McCain can not be trusted on any of his promises. What happened to the "I will run a clean campaign" assurances from Senator McCain?

    July 31, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  44. Anthony M. Alba

    Going negative will help McCain if Senator Obama does not respond to all the lie and distortion that McCain, will the help Bush are spreading all over. Lies become truth if not aswer. senator Kerry is a prime example. He was swiftboated and took him two weeks to answer.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  45. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    It's worked in every political campaign in US history, so why not now? It will probably work even better on Obama. His resume is so thin, there's no record to disprove the claims. When you have a blank slate, it's easy to fill in the blanks with whatever you want. If Hillary had gone on the attack sooner, she would have won the nomination.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  46. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    It might help him, it might not, but it's all he's got. Obama has become "bigger than life" and the only way McCain can have a shot in this election is to "knee cap" him. This tactic worked quite well against Kerry, but I think it will fail this time around. After all, Hillary employed the same tactic that McCain is using now and went down in flames. The American people are demanding change, and Obama is the one that successfully tapped into it.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  47. Gary (Washington DC)

    Jack, I think it's a loosing strategy for McCain. His base is not behind him and the independents whose votes are required to win the election, are completely turned off by what he is doing. For me, it is very disappointing to see John McCain indulge in this kind of filth.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  48. Aaron

    john mccain has nothing else to talk about. The only ideas he has are to continue bush's policies and to excersise even more executive power. The only way for mcsame to beat Obama is to show him through a prisim of negativity. The only thing republicans understand is fear and how to spread it.

    Aaron in Carolina Beach

    July 31, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  49. howard

    I have seen very little that is negative. Mr. Obama is still ducking issues. All of the McCain adds are pointing out differences of issues. Obama keeps talking race and fluff even over seas he used the same line "I don't look like all the rest." Mrs. Clinton could have used that line as well. I don't care for either candidate but I can say McCain is taking shots at Obama on issues. I love my freedoms and government should get out of the peoples way. I have parents and I don't need the government as another set.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  50. Andrew

    Going negative certainly will help him... help him to lose.

    He keeps asking the question, "Is Obama ready to lead?"

    This is a dangerous thing to ask for McCain, because if you ask many Americans, the answer is yes.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  51. Greg in Cabot AR

    Negative strategy always works when you don’t have something better to offer and John McCain is trying to put a new saddle on an old horse and pass it of as a thoroughbred.

    It appears that McCain doesn’t think he can win — SO... the next best thing he can do is to try to make Obama lose.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  52. Judie from St. Augustine, Fl.

    Going negative will probably help McCain about as much as it helped Hillary. We have enough negative buffoons in Washington already don't we at least deserve a few positive ones?
    St. Augustine, Fl

    July 31, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  53. George

    McCain is the best thing going for Obama right now, but guess when you don't have anything positive that you can talk about, going negative is the only way to go. He's caught between a rock, and another rock. If he sounds positive he would sound more like a Democrat, then he will lose all of his Republican's support, and if he sounds negative he will lose even more support, so guess McCain will just have to get back on his -"stright-talk-express", and skew everything that he says in hopes of not being defeated in a landslide.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  54. Sistah

    You can tell when someone is LOSING – that's when the ATTACK ADS come out! What happened to, "CLEAN CAMPAIGN!"

    Note To McCain: Hillary tried it and you see what happened to her!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  55. Ron- San Diego


    It isn't good for either one. It has the appearance that he is attempting to distract voter from the real issues. Opinions vary and I or anyone else for that matter may not care wht John McCains opinion is about Barak Obama. What I care about is how he intends to fix what is broken with our economy. If he cannot tell me that. He can get off the bus right now. I will not vote for either one of them!!

    Ron San Diego

    July 31, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  56. Jason, Koloa, HI

    It hurts McCain tremendously because it does not represent the message of him taking the high road he gave during the primary. It shows that McCain does not have the last word in his own campaign and if he can't control things now, who's going to be in control if somehow gets elected? Most likely, not McCain.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  57. BOB in Michigan

    Jack going negative will help McCain with people that can't think for themselves and want to believe stereotypes racial or otherwise. But people that can think rationally and find out what each candidate stands for won't fall for it.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  58. Bobby, New York, NY

    I like to believe that the American public is smart enough to see through the disgraceful attacks and cast their votes based on policies and character, not on who slings the most mud. Anytime a politician deviates from focusing on how he can improve America, and instead focuses on smearing his opponent, the American people suffer.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  59. kenneth sibbett

    Jack, the silly negative attacks by Sen. McCain and his pinions are the least of Obama's problems. Being the first Afro-American to be nominated by his party and having to overcome hundreds of years of bigotry will be alot bigger barrier to overcome than all the negative adds that even Karl Rove could dream up.

    Kenneth Chadbourn, N,C.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  60. Susan from Ga

    All this has done for him is mirror what an exact clone of Bush he truly is.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  61. JT in NYC

    What else can he do beside go negative? He doesn't have anything positive to offer and there hasn't been a fresh idea out the McCain league since the beginning.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  62. tfresh

    NO WAY Jack! Nothing Can Stand in The Way of Millions of Voices Calling for Change!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  63. mello doug, New Mexico

    I think that it is still to early to tell. The conventions have not yet occurred, and it is a long hall to get to November. But it does appear that McCain is showing his true colors. Yet I am massively confused as to how anyone can vote republican at this juncture. After the corruption of the past 71/2 years, after the war crimes, high oil costs, the housing sham, the fact that

    July 31, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  64. Terry from North Carolina

    going negative is a desperation tactic, McCains campaign is in trouble and it appears they will do anything to attempt to get back in the ball game. Barack Obama is clearly ahead.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  65. Embarassed former republican

    It is this negativity that has turned me from being a die hard republican of 44 yrs to hiding my face in shame. But I can stand tall and proud now because I am eagerly and excitedly voting for Obama. This country has suffered enough negativity and I am now craving the positive which I can no longer get from my former party.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  66. Amanda & Adrian for Obama (Atlanta, Ga.)

    Only if the American people have gotten more stupid the past 8 years.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  67. circy in New Mexico

    It doesn't really matter what John McCain does. If there aren't enough people in this country that have finally realized what the Bush administration is all about and that a McCain Presidency would mean more of the same, then there's nothing to be done. If that happens I think I will move to Italy, where I lived for four years.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  68. Kristen- Philadelphia, PA

    I dunno Jack, this might be all McCain has to stand on. That’s not saying much about him but this is the only way he gets his name in the news for a decent amount of time. Personally I think these ads show more about who McCain is than Obama.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  69. Will, Maryland

    It's really his only plausible strategy. You see, John McCain would rather win an election than honor his country by running a decent campaign.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  70. Grandma M

    Jack – McCain needs a 'time out'.

    Any parent that has found themselves frustrated with a child that uses diversionary tactics as a way to avoid taking personal responsibility for a misdeed ought to recognize the same emotional maturity of a 13 year old in McCain and his advisers. They have no intention on representing themselves honestly, no intention of owning up to their history of errors, have nothing new to add to the conversation, and so, just as a person with the emotional maturity of a 13 year old, they seek to divert our attention away from the facts and beliddle another person, in this case, Obama.

    Grandma M, N. Olmsted Ohio

    July 31, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  71. Don P. Calgary

    truth is not being negative!

    McCain/Romney '08!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  72. cy gardner

    The GOP represent the rich. You can't win a majority of votes by telling the people how you're going to make the oil companies and the HMOs richer. When your party represents and only cares about the richest 2% of the country, you either have to lie about what you'll do in the White House or smear your opponent. In the Grand Old Tradition of the Republican Party, McCain is doing both. As a famous Republican once said, "You can fool some of the people all of the time". I just hope this time it's not enough for the GOP to sleaze their way into the White House. cy gardner arlington va

    July 31, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  73. Jean in Texas

    Jack, my answer is ABSOLUTELY! Negative campaigning serves no useful purpose, especially when many Americans are suffering from the state of the economy– the price of gasoline, food, schooling, and health care. Senator McCain is displaying an “elephant-on-the-shoulder syndrome” that hopes to avoid the vacancy of his message; that is “when people look at the elephant, they’ll disregard how large his problems are in addressing the real issues.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  74. Joy

    Not at all but if the American people still vote for the GOP, then they deserve what they got and should no longer complain and whine for the next 8 years.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  75. Michael, Toronto, Canada

    Look what happened when most Americans voted for a President who excelled at negative attack ads..........8 years of what?

    And McCain is following in Bush's footsteps.....attack, attack, attack. So much for a campaign of respect. The more McCain attacks, the more he looks like Bush.

    Does attacking the other candidate address key issues? Of course not, after all, McCain even has the nerve to slam Canadians by stating twice during the primaries that our public healthcare system doesn't work well!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  76. Marie Ontario

    Of course the negative attack ads will work just like the idea of off shore drilling for oil was bought hook line and sinker by the public.

    Too many people know too little about the issues and the facts which of course is the main downfall of Democracy. If you need any further proof just look at what you ended up with for the past 8 years.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  77. laurie

    I think it shows how desprite the republicans feel. It also demostrates just how little "change" will really come from this election . Both sides are playing politics as usual .... Any hope I had for a real and mature debate of where this country is headed has been lost now ....

    July 31, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  78. Susan - Plano, TX


    Please ask your legal team whether the girls have the right to bring McCain campaign to court for tarnish their reputation by abusing their images without their consent?

    July 31, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  79. Nancy From Florida

    Some people are willing to believe anything that is spoon fed them, so maybe it might help with those voters. For me, I NEVER want the candidates that I support to go negative. If a candidate cannot win on the merit of his own campaign and has to resort to slinging mud, I will not vote for him.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  80. Bruce from Sugar Loaf, NY

    The Karl Rove play book won't work this election cycle, Jack. The Dems have learned their lessons from the John Kerry Swift Boaters. I like the way Obama came out with an opposing add, making McSame look small and childish, and Obama like the real adult.
    If all McSame has is these petty attacks against Senator Obama, he just as well go back to the Senate, it will be an Obama land slide.

    OBAMA 08. Change we can TRULY believe in.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  81. Tom from Atlanta

    Given how I have friends who still insist that the Swift Boat ads were accurate, I'd say...it will help with some.

    But it is also going to energize Obama's supporters like nothing Obama himself could ever do.

    We're sick of Bush and Bush tactics.

    Bush III indeed.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  82. NANCY , Grand Ledge MI

    Not if the media starts giving his gaffs and flip flops equal time, instead of constantly running his negative ads as news! So much for the "straight talk express". He said he wasn't going to run that kind of campaign, he was going to talk about the issues! Get real! Does Obama look like a dumb blonde to you? McCain would fit that description better than Obama

    July 31, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  83. Lara from VA

    He has no choice but to go negative. He can't speak on the issues because, he doesn't remember his position from day to day. I am guessing that got kind of embarrassing for the campaign, since he is not allowed to speak for it. So, since he has got to be out there, getting ugly is the easiest thing for the grumpy old dude to do.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  84. Jean in Texas

    Jack, my answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT! Negative campaigning serves no useful purpose, especially when many Americans are suffering from the state of the economy– the price of gasoline, food, schooling, and health care. Senator McCain is displaying an “elephant-on-the-shoulder syndrome” that hopes to avoid the vacancy of his message; that is “when people look at the elephant, they’ll disregard how large his problems are in addressing the real issues.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  85. Dave, KC

    It depend on what one means by "going negative".

    If McCain points out Obama's obvious lack of experience, lack of knowledge, lack of support for the USA, "flip-flopping", etc., I do not consider this negative campaigning because it's factual.

    If Obama points out McClain's age, his support for the war, "flip-flopping", etc., I do not consider this negative campaigning either, because it's factual.

    It is up to the candidates and their supporters to expose truths about the opposition, much like Hillary did about Obama. That's one way to learn about each candidate's stance on issues.

    Advertising that's not truthful, or that blatantly stretches the truth, is what I dislike.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  86. Bruce

    I doubt any strategy for McCain is a winning one. But he has been doing much better than I would have thought so far. Go negative, Flip-Flop as much as needed appears to be keeping McCain in the ballgame. Hey maybe he'll even start calling for Bush's and Cheney's impeachment just before the election, you know so its to late to really get em out of office before the next president takes office.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  87. Susan - TX

    Again, this shows that McCain is a brilliant idiot! He can't even read the script when he gives speeches....I am a republican but McCain won't get my vote.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  88. Sally, Seattle

    Like it or not, negative campaigns always work. However, this might be the exception because it is being done in such a poor manner, it makes McCain look like a whiney little kid. His attack ads don't have any meat to them, there is no substance. Half of them don't even make sense. The comparision to Britney Spears is so far out of left field no one can relate. They sound more like something you would hear on a school playground with a chorus of nah-nah-nah's afterwards. I'm sure the Obama campaign welcomes them. The more ridiculous McCain sounds, the better.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  89. Brad, West Lafayette, IN


    I hope it is not a winning strategy for McCain because it shows just how out of touch he really is with his own campaign. He is merely a figurehead with a name out on the campaign trail extolling the virtues of the surge and the Bush tax cuts. Meanwhile the people really in control are running things back at the campaign and are using the only tactic they know will work: smear Obama at all costs. It's a sad state of affairs that seems an awful lot like our current White House doesn't it?

    July 31, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  90. The Bu

    I think going negative will definitely help McCain, Jack. He'll focus so much on the negative crap, it'll help him in making Obama talk about issues that the American people really care about (like gas prices, forclosures, the economy and the war), thus making his candidacy what it truly is...a joke!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  91. mitchell ,arkansaw

    worked for hillary,didnt it?and how about romney?now,mccain?i dont think it will work,anymore.thank GOD republicans won't realize it until sometime next year.a little slow?

    July 31, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  92. Joe, Arlington, Virginia

    Negative McCain ads plus backup from Bush like shortening army tours and surprise October capture of Bin Laden will be hard to beat. Negative works. Obama needs to counterpunch creatively. For example, wouldn't it be fun to see Paris and Brittany ads endorsing McCain?

    July 31, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  93. Chad , Los Angeles

    No coincidence about the oil companies now funding another Republican candidate.

    And what do we see today? more record profits for Exxon, or shall we say, more money for McCain's negative attack campaign on Obama. You know McCain is celebrating Exxon's news today!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  94. Karl in CA

    For someone promising a clean campaign, he has not lived up to that promise. He has flip-flopped on taxes, Iraq and energy, so all he has left is to question Obama's credentials. If he had anything to offer, he would be selling that and not questioning his opponents positions that he now seems to be agreeing with.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  95. Will from San Jose, CA

    The McCain of 2000 would be seriously disappointed in the McCain of 2008. He wouldn't be alone in that disappointment either.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  96. Len in Clarkston, WA

    This is a prime example of "What you were yesterday is not what you are today."

    "I promise I'll run and honest and respectful campaign." – John McCain

    His honesty is shattered by allowing completely false campaign ads against Obama and his desire to gain the respect of the majority of American voters is getting self-flushed down the toilet.

    This should be embarrasing to this man but, "Hey... winning the Whitehouse is what's important, right?"


    July 31, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  97. Nora Corpus Christi Texas

    It did not work for Hillary and she is younger and smarter, so how can it help McCain. Mr. I am going to run a clean Campaign, forgot what he said. Surprised, NO! he seems to forget a lot lately. Maybe someone should remind him what he said about this. He was such a war hero and great patriot , now he is just a dirty politician, how the mighty have fallen!!!!!!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  98. Gordon Beckett

    With all the gum flapping about the success of the "surge", has anyone giving consideration to the fact that the insurgents may be smart enough to back off, so the American troops will leave. Once the troops leave (whenever) the country is theirs.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  99. Zach


    For Mcsame to go negative is only a clue to what he has to offer us. But then again Mcsame spokeperson said Mcsame doesn't speak for Mcsame. But he approves the adds.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  100. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    The attack ads in themselves won't translate into a win for McCain but the news medias penchant for playing them over and over again might get the job done.

    The only way to balance this out would be if the news medias gave McCain's blunders and silly remarks the same amount of air time although this would take up most of the time allotted the Situation Room almost every day.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  101. Ray Kinserlow

    About all McCain will acomplish with the celeb ad, is make a lot of teenage girls mad.

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    July 31, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  102. Esther Marie Cuyahoga Falls OhiO

    He will do anything he can to get into the white house and keep it away from Obama. If we are stupid enough to put this man into the highest office we are doomed. He been in washington for too many years to fix the problem because he sees it all as normal and its not. Obama's going to shake things up.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  103. Nicholas J, Pembroke Pines FL

    Taking the high road? Having a clean race? "Straight Talk"? People can't seriously believe these thing's the McCain campaign want to make themselves out to be.

    Wait, what am I thinking. These are the same people that fell for it twice before. I hope some of us have learned not to underestimate Americans' gullibility, expectantly towards the GOPhers.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  104. Ethan-TRF,Minnesota

    What choice does John McBush have every time he gets his hand in the door someone always smashes his fingers.Obama though in a close race is the one who does the smashing.Go Obama!!!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  105. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    It didn't help Clinton.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  106. Ray,Florida

    No Jack,
    McCain's just has a case of Obama envy!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  107. Anna, SW Missouri

    Jack, I am a Republican that supported McCain in 2000. I have lost all faith in the "Maverick" and now see him as a Bush clone. These latest attacks make me even more sure that my support of Obama is the correct choice. The fact that McCain hired a Carl Rove clone and is now using the Carl Rove playbook, that destroyed his candidacy in 2000, shows the hypocrasy of everything he has said up until now.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  108. PJ, Brookline, MA

    Nope, being desperate is not attractive in any spheres of life. At least the masks are falling now, and the "McCain = Bush" equation is emerging. Let him also select Romney for VP, just to deter any reasonable independents that might still think that McCain is a "happy warrior". He's lately sadly become a "Grumpy Old Man" rather (pun intended).

    July 31, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  109. Becker Dallas, Texas

    Probably not but look at all the media attention it has gotten him for free. Your network is not only talking about it on your show but about 3 times per hour on the CNN news and every other news outlet including talk shows.
    I would say he played his cards exactly right. Maybe next time a politician says something to provoke a prescribed response you guys won't fall for it.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  110. Rod from Allentown PA

    He is old. He just wants to beat Obama to the punch. After all the mud slinging that he and Hillary did; you don't really think that Obama has turned over a new leaf ? He is just waiting for the most opportune timing. McCain moves slower and can't react as well as his younger and more nimble opponent.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  111. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    No it will not. If McCain didn't not learned from the Hillary-Obama primaries about negative campaigning, then he is lost....his campaign is inept and in enough problems. Continuing with negative campaigning is just going to add more insult to injury. Americans dispisue candidates with "acid tongues."

    July 31, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  112. Josh in Sylvania, Ohio

    No, McCain should be ashamed of himself and the Republicans for going down this road. What McCain and his campaign did with the ad was an insult to the people of Germany. This proves that McCain belongs in the retirement home in Arizona and not in the White House. Obama in 08.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  113. Stacy from Beautiful Loudoun County Virginia

    Jack, what else does McCain really have? He complained about Obama not going to Iraq and when he did, McCain slams him for it. McCain has nothing more to offer than more of the same in energy policy, economic policy, Iraq, and fear mongering, so instead of a candid discussion, we get negativity.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  114. Ralph in New York

    Jack, being the Republican Candidate, he may feel getting dirty is his only hand to play; I am sure we will hear negativity from the Democrats as well. The irony is most of the negativity against Obama is due to who he is and his own actions. I can't wait for November.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  115. Peg


    His campaign has turned into the Low-Rent-Express. And now today he and Liberman and Grahmm are proud of this? And McCain accuses Obama of playing the race card. Please......

    The Republican's can not possibly think that this is going to work this year? Or do they? If they do, they are even stupider than I though.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  116. Ruthie, Stone Mountain, GA

    Not this time. It want work THIS TIME! We were fooled once by the GOP negative attacks and we want be FOOLED again. It was the Carl Rove brand of attacks that got us into this mess and we have learned from our mistakes. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  117. Nicole

    For me going negative is a turnoff. It saddens me that there are millions of Americans who buy into these lies and inuendos. The change the Dems are talking about is not so new. Remember a time when there was a more respectful balance between laborer and corporations? Remember the respect and helpful hand we give to people having hard times in the 50s, 60s and 70s? - under both conservative and liberal administrations. McCain's negative ads are a smoke screen (a stupid one at that) appealing to the fears of an abused and powerless electorate. Most who buy into the negative ads could use some respect and an occasional helping hand. Why do they keep screwing themselves by voting for the powerful who will say anything to get their votes and then, at best forget them, and worst, even abuse them? I just don't get it!

    Screaming Out Loud Nicole

    July 31, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  118. Danielle, Dallas,TX

    C'mon Jack, not the Double-Talk...I mean Straight-Talk Express?

    July 31, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  119. Martha (Dunwwody, GA)


    Unless he is talking about Obama, his supporters are not listening. He's jealous and feeling left out. Obama is the most exciting topic going for him right now. Just watch him the next time he's starts talking about Obama, how excited he becomes; therefore, this going negative will definitely not hurt him.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  120. Bobby in Brooklyn, NY

    Dear Jack,

    John McCain going negative is going to completely backfire on him. Did you see that attack ad on Barack Obama…the one with Britney Spears and Paris Hilton? Those two chicks are SO HOT! Now that every Valley Girl and red-blooded male with hormones a blazing has seen that ad, expect the entire MTV Nation to flock to the polls en-masse to vote for Obama. Barack by a landslide!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  121. Bob in North Carolina

    I sincerely hope there is NO winning strategy for John McCain. The Republicans have done enough damage to America. It's time for a change in Washington. His flip-flop on negative campaigning is repgunant and I total reject it.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  122. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    The sad reality of McCain's negative ads is that the dreaded polls are showing that they are making an impact. That is the only way you can fully define why the polls are so close right now when the GOP name isn't worth the paper it is written on. The casual observer is taking some of their lead from this nonsense and it really won't change until we get closer to the elections and the debates start. At that point, it will be lights out for McCain!!!

    July 31, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  123. Steve in Merced

    What took him so long?

    July 31, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  124. Don Bennett

    You can't fully judge the negativity of the McCain campaign until someone on his team explains the difference between the words "arrogant" and "uppity".

    July 31, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  125. Owen in South Carolina

    There is no winning strategy for John McCain. The race issue, whether we choose to admit it or not, will keep the election closer than it should be. Other than that, he has nothing to offer but yesterday's ideas.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  126. Geoff B

    Simply put no. Obama has withstood the negative attacks by Hillary, the media and soon as time will tell by McCain's campaign. He has taken the higher road each and every time.

    It sadly shows he has nothing else to discuss or persuade the masses with other than saying what his opponent lacks, what his opponent is inexperienced with. If I were a republican I'd rather hear about what his specific plans were for the recovery of America.

    But this is a political tactic used for many years in many campaigns by many people and these campaign managers have not learned from past campaigns what damages a campaign the most. It's refreshing to see Obama defend himself without resorting to the same tactics.

    McCain, his campain managers and the rest of the republican party will see the effect of those ads come November when we're swearing in our first Black President.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  127. Nelson, Knoxville Tenn


    It is not only disgraceful but also disappointing that the man I thought was different from every Republican has allowed himself to pull down to this level – What a shame. To worsen the case Sen. McCain was asked today about the ad, gues what his response was – "I am proud of the ad we have run but, I think American people deserve to know what we can do to help them and keep the country safe" Shame, shame.

    Nelson, Knoxville, Tenn.

    July 31, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  128. Terry, Chandler AZ

    I am not a McCain supporter, however I admire and respect him. Actually I used to admire and respect him. Not anymore. I am saddened that a man of his character and integrity has lowered himself. It is hameful.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  129. Steven from NJ

    Clinton, went Negative and she lost. If McCain goes negative, he will lose. I do not listen to negative ads. I guess I will only hear Obama’s hopful ads, that would be nice.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  130. Justyn Minneapolis

    It didn't help Hillary win the primary, why should it help McCain...especially since his attempts appear childish and awkward.

    Everything points to an Obama victory by at least 10 points...and all the media can do is point out that Obama is not ahead in the polls by more? Above all, the need for ratings seem to rule this campaign.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  131. Willow, Sheldon Iowa

    Actually, the picture of Obama speaking to the huge crowd in Germany ought to help Obama. People are going to wonder what he's about if he can draw that many people. so maybe Obama ought to call him and thank him.

    McCain is campaigning so negatively that I imagine its turning off a whole lot of people. He goes on and on about Obama like my Dad used to lecture on and on about the evils of sex when I was a teenager. Did it work? No, it didn't.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  132. Courtney- Gatorland,Fl

    Surprisingly, going negative will help McCain. it shows that he is technology savvy. Image all the time he spent on tmz and youtube trying to figure out who Britney Spears and Paris Hilton are.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  133. Brian, Buffalo, NY

    Could we all be missing something here. John McCain's every move recently has been to prove Barack Obama correct in almost everything. Without wishing to appear frightened of another Republican having to take over the disastrous administration of George W Bush, maybe the GOP really wants a Democrat to win the election – to teach them a lesson, to avoid more embarrassment for the Right and because they don't know the remedies for the past eight years' mistakes. Making inane attacks on one's opponent could be a 'clever' smokescreen for appearing to want more Republican years while not really caring if one wins or loses.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  134. Jasmine in Germany

    Your blog is smart, Jack. No it won't assist McCain. It puts him into the same category as the current President with the "old, power-abuse club". McCain is ruining his positive image (that includes "Straight Talk Express"). No, doubt about McCain has already been evoked within the "undecided". They have figured it out that he ain't talkin' straight. I think McCain has made a mistake by not telling the whole truth and pretending to know what young people are about. Obama's got a much cleaner slate.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  135. Anthony M. Alba

    Going negative will help McCain if Senator Obama does not defend himself. He has to respond to these lies.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  136. Ez

    No not at all Jack but when McCain see Obama he sees what he want to be and when he see Bush he sees himself that must be a sad thing.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  137. Angela Frazier Memphis, TN

    Going negative won't help McCain! This latest attack makes him look jealous, desperate and non too bright. He is, after all, the one who taunted Obama into the European trip! Why remind everyone of the unprecedented feat of bringing out tens of thousands of Germans waving American flags? Don't they usually stomp or burn our flag? At any rate, he is starting to remind me of Shrek. Green, grumpy and he stopped being funny about two commericals ago!

    July 31, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  138. Daniel from Los Angeles


    For a person like myself who never knew anything about politics, couldn’t tell you the difference between a Democrat and Republican, and a person who registered for the first time in his life. After all the profusely negativity and adolescent tactics I now see the Republicans as weak whining children that's completely out of touch. And I personally don’t want a president who complains, whines and can’t remember a conversation he had 10 minutes ago.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  139. Roger (Dallas, TX)

    Sen. McCain needs to just go away. We are living in the 21st century, not the 19th. With all the challenges our country faces, fresh leadership and new ideas are paramount, not the same old Republican blah blah blah we have heard for years! We suffered with our mistake for the past 8 years, it is now time to have change we can believe in!!!

    July 31, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  140. Ann Marie

    Negative campaigning never works with me. I'll vote for the other guy in a heartbeat.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  141. Sandra fromTexas

    One can only hope that taking the low road will not get him there. I will be honest, I never had any intention of voting for McCain, but I did respect him. Unfortunately, cannot even say that anymore. His entire campaign so far has been downright sickening.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  142. fafa

    yes he is that close in th pols. He may not be running for Bush 3rd term but certainly bush 3rd term campaign.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  143. Carol, California

    Sen. McCain's "Straight Talk Express" has turned into the "Flat-out Falsehoods, Flip-Flops and Faux Pas Flatcar." I certainly hope it doesn't help him. He continues to sink to new lows in his pursuit of the White House.

    Lompoc, CA

    July 31, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  144. sheldon

    McCain sounds like a grumpy old man. If he was the obvious choice in this election, he would not be going negative this early in the campaign. He is throwing the Hail Mary at the end of the second quarter. American voters can see this...

    July 31, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  145. Maritza, NJ

    Jack, if we are stupid to fall for that kind of slander and not look at what Obama stands fore and vote for Mr. Tabloid-McCain then we deserve what we get with Bush 3rd!!! Just the though of having another Bush in the White House makes nauseated!!!

    July 31, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  146. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    McCain has shown that he has no honor and is a disgrace to all of us veterans. To join up with the swift-boaters and trying to compare Obama to Paris and Britney is beyond disgusting and the lowest of the low. Paris and Britney should sue McCain.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  147. yasmeen

    Mccain's mind is totally absorbed in trying to negatively comment on Obama. It won't help, unless there is enough knuckle- heads in America who likes this kind of stuff Mccain pulls off. But otherwise there is no way he will win this election!

    July 31, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  148. Danny - Edmonton - Canada

    Yes. Specially with the race card.

    Danny – Edmonton – Canada

    July 31, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  149. Harry

    Going negative is not John McCain's style, but it certainly is Rick Davis"s style..Negative people rarely win, except when it comes to politics...

    July 31, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  150. Don Mississauga Ontario

    It has to help him Jack. It takes his mind off of those aches and pain of old age that he feels everyday now.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  151. sheldon

    He is doing very well in the poll that cant be measured.Iin fact, it is a land slide. People cant see McCain as the future of this country.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  152. Mary - California

    Going negative against Obama does not help anybody, much less McCain. McCain needs to find a different strategy, if he plans to take the election.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  153. Joan, Ontario

    If people are gullible and don't look further for the truth, yes they will hurt him. That is how you got your last president. Your last paragraph about McCain's flip on oil drilling is exellent and I wish the media would cover this as much as the McCain attack ads.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  154. C. from Texas

    This man has always seemed angry since the beginning of the campaign. Just miserable. Mr. McCain just act your age, please! I one point I thought I could actually vote for him, now that thought is gone. Very unprofessional. Would you like to hang out with my 4 year old?

    July 31, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  155. Obama 08 - rocking it baby

    No... but going negative take America off the real issues .... as Obama camp have to respond sharply without hesitation... taken the high road will not work we learn that almost four years ago.. if he wants to go there I think supporters of Obama must go negative too.... as I do not think Obama will tread in the mud with McCain .... sorry folks I need to hear what they are going to do about America crisis and not McSame crying gee big boys do not cry and old man should know that...

    July 31, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  156. Mikey P

    If you need attack your opponent on his popularity and his strong will, then your campaign is in bigger trouble than we thought.


    July 31, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  157. Jeff from Toronto

    Jack – In the long-term, going negative will not help McCain...it will come back to haunt him back ten-fold. He comes across and old and angry and envious of Obama's huge appeal. McCain is becoming desperate and will do anything to keep his name in the news. He seems to have only two issues to talk about....how incapable Obama is and how the surge is working.
    Give me a break....let's hear something else for a change.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  158. Michael in Arizona

    NO,McCain's recent attacks are a complete turn off. As an independent who has lived in Arizona for many years, I and many others have seen a huge change in John McCain. Our recent governor stated on NPR radio that McCain has jumped off the straight talk express, and maybe he should get back on. I was undecided for a long time, even though I usually vote Republican, but after watching this bull for too long, I am voting for Obama. At least he talks about his plans while McCain spends 99% of his time talking negatively about Obama. He comes across like a jealous and childish moron.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  159. Trannon Goble

    Yeah, looking like a corpse and moving like a zombie is one thing, but looking like a GROUCHY zombie corpse is another.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  160. Kathleen

    As a former admirer of McCain and an independent who once supported him as a maverick, he now reminds me of the movie, "Grumpy Old Men"....only not as lovable as Walter.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  161. Bob S Philadelphia, PA


    It will help alittle but McCain doesn't really have to go negitive everytime Obama opens his mouth he either flip flops or talks out of boths sides of his mouth, Obama is killing himself not McCain

    July 31, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  162. Dave of Oregon

    The only thing that will help McCain is good news on the economy! Anything else he says is counter productive for him! Look at what happened with the inclusion of Spears and Hilton to Obama. These young women actually said something profound countering what McCain wanted to convey. Blonds may actually have a brain!

    July 31, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  163. Tim, Clemmons NC

    Not only is is hurting him, it's hurting us becasue we have to listen to it, not to mention that he is not very good at it. John McCain gave his word that he would not run that kind of campaign. Why is he not havin to explain these fact? Not only does it prove his words mean nothing, this act stinks of childish desperation.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  164. Marina


    The entire world got to sympathize and feel sorry for McShame because he is just another "fuddle, fuddy-duddy" person.

    God help America and the rest of the world if he gets elected.

    From: Toronto, Canada

    July 31, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  165. Lyra Talarico

    Mc Cain is only showing his true colors. What he was in 2000 is a far cry of what he is and stands for today. He just seems like a grouchy, frustrated old man seeking attention in any way he can get it.. It seems as if Mc Cain is so green with envy of Obama that it has caused McCain to literally lose his mind. If McCain could draw a crowd any where like Obama has done or give a speech that would not bore you to death or put you to sleep we would not be seeing these dreadful negative ads. Simply put McCain has Obama envy and it's killing him. McCain wishes that he could be more like Obama and that isn't going to happen he just wants to try to tear him down with lies, distortions and fear tactics. It's just more of what we had with George Bush.

    Reading, Pennsylvania

    July 31, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  166. karl, dallas through chicago

    jack, what else can he do ? mcsurge has played out. mcdrill has played
    out. mcrockstar is playing out. mcshame should go to mcdonalds, order
    a egg mcmuffin, go retire in his mchome, and enjoy the rest of his mclife.

    go obama

    July 31, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  167. Susan - TX

    At this point, there is nothing can help McCain to change the course. Just looking at his speech in today's Town Hall Meeting, he gave a simple speech without much differences then what he has been talking in the last 6 months, and yet he needed to look at the script. What does that tell you? Something called Al....D...

    Unless GOP has a replacement for John McCain before the Convention, Obama is the winner and I am voting for him.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  168. mohammed from nigeria

    I think the negetivity is a reflection of the the 43% of voters who side with McCain and the 18% that are 'undecided'.The world is ready for change ,Americans hardly seem to be.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  169. Tammy - KCMO

    YES. It will help him lose which is what we need to have happen to the Republican party.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  170. Alan P. Naperviile, IL

    McCain is desperate. Various Polls showed that he's trailing. Publicity by Obama in his Mid-East/Euro trip boosted his morale quite a bit. But we all know media is playing a majority of trick. McCain needs to post his first ever YouTube video himself, oh wait he needs to register for his own account too.

    Have a great night, Jack.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  171. Paul0

    McCain's campaign is starting to look like a junior high girls gossip-fest. Jealousy is never an attractive trait but John says he's proud of this ad. This after misleading ads on Obama's policies and trip to Iraq and Europe. I smell desperation and defeat here.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  172. Jerry--- Roselle, Illinois

    A vote for John McCain is a vote for the insane.
    Sounds like the Swift Boaters are coming down the river!

    July 31, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  173. Tim Wooley

    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.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  174. Bill from Alabama

    McCain isn't going negative,he is just telling it like it is! There is a big difference. Obama already has as negative an image as he possibly can,with 20 year associations with the likes of Rev Wright,Bill Ayers, and Father Pfleger. How low can you go? Dang! It's not like McCain can do him anymore harm than he has already done to himself.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  175. Judy

    McCain is doing exactly what he should not be doing: alienating independents and moderates.

    He cannot rely on evangelicals to vote for him in droves like they did for Bush, so he needed to maintain the illusion that he is a "straight talking maverick." This past week has proven, without a doubt, that at his core McCain is not a good person. His willingness to replicate the Rovian tactics that were used on him clearly demonstrate his total lack of character. Moderate voters, like myself, who thought he was better than the average neo-con, have now seen the real McCain. And we don't like him.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  176. Aditi

    Do or die! Can not fault him.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  177. Linda

    McCain needs a new campaign manager. "Promoting" Obama as an international celebrity and "approving" of his smiling face dominating 99% of his 30 second spot is not telling the American public what he (McCain) will do to get us out of the mess we're in. . .it makes me more curious about Obama (afterall, a president revered by the international community, hmmm. . .is that so bad?).


    July 31, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  178. Kerouac

    Only if people who are negative go out and vote.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  179. Gene A

    I agree with all of you that this is sleezy, underhanded and completely "Bush" league. But the American public proved once again in 2004 that we respond to these negative ads especially for a candidate that has nothing else to offer. All Bush said was that he knew what he was doing and we needed to trust him and that is was hard work and he was working hard. So this probably will work for McCain since most of us are too lazy to do anything but respond to the negative attack ads. Welcome to Imperial America with Bread, Circuses and a new Emperor.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  180. Matt

    I didn't know being a celebrity was a bad thing. If this is as negative as it gets then this will be the positive election of all time. Besides, it is a bit accurate. Even the German press pointed out that people flock and holler for Obama, but rarely think about what he is saying. As an independent I am still waiting for him to actually give a real idea on what/how he is going to change everything. So far he sounds like the congressmen of 2 years ago that made the promise and did nothing.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  181. Jake

    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.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  182. Harry

    Short answer is yes, especially if the Obama camp retaliates in kind. McCain needs to be careful with the attacks, however. McCain could start sounding like the Rev. Wright and we know that association can be harmful to a candidate.


    July 31, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  183. mike, ohio

    Jack, The McCain campaign is running attack ads that are just pathetic. You would too if your opponent has as good of a week as Barack Obama did over seas. John McCain wants us to forget about his stagecraft in a golf cart with Bush Sr., photo ops in a cheese isle in a grocery store and pathetic campaign stop in front of an oil rig. The campaign is more like a circus act than a Presidential campaign.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  184. gabe

    when all you can offer is just another four years of the same, why would you attack the guy with new ideas?

    July 31, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  185. Patrick in Seattle

    Not in the 2008 general election. Issues and solutions!

    July 31, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  186. Robert from Des Moines, IA

    The fact is, McCain is doing better because Obama is making an *ss out of himself not because McCain is doing anything to hurt him.

    There was a time when Hillary was overly confident and the press labeled her as a shoe-in. Arrogance is not an attractive quality to a president – we’ve had that for the past 8 years.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  187. Kenneth Daniels

    Is going negative an effective strategy for McCain? If history is an indicator, it probably is. However, voters need to wake up to how asinine this discourse (or lack thereof) really is and demand a more serious dialogue. I can see why a lot of republicans are quietly worried about this approach, since it seems so ridiculous. The ad is so silly that when I first saw it on TV I thought it had to be some parody from the Daily Show or something.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  188. MJ Magee

    Yes. Barack Obama goes negative everytime he compares Bush to McCain claiming a Bush third term... McCain ran a campaign deep into the 2000 primary season because he felt he was the better candidate, and has often been at odds with the current administration. McCain needs to remind America that, with Barack Obama, we are dealing with a candidate long on idealism plus hype and short on accomplishments.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  189. lynn, Vancouver

    Jack: I am sitting in Canada watching this campaign realizing that the US is faced with incredible economic and diplomatic challenges and am astounded at the childishness of the ads that McCain is putting out there and that the polls indicate that they may be working.

    I would imagine the whole world is shaking there heads wondering what has happened to America who thinks of themselves as the "beacon of democracy". Who in their right minds would run for office in your country to have themselves and their families subjected to these phony, inaccurate charges. The saddest thing though is that your press is complicate in spreading and reveling in these smears.

    I have watched American politics since JFK and I can tell you your country has lost its soul.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  190. Gary McIntosh

    McCain's use of negative ads is unfortunate but should have been expected. This is standard operating procedure for the Republican party. Personally, I would like to see Obama expose McCain's real military record; near the bottom of his Naval Academy class, disobeying orders that lead to his being shot down and captured during Nam, and the fact that he left the Navy after being told he would never be made an Admiral. So much for his "war hero" status.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  191. Greg, Hamilton Ontario

    I think it's McCains only chance. He has to play on the fear Americans have for anything different. He knows things are going to be a lot different when (or if) Obama takes over. Guys like him are going to be dumped like an obsolete computer. Guys like that crook from Alaska and McCain or the old timer that likes playing in mens room are all going to pull Mcarther and just fade way.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  192. Lesley

    Is it a smart strategy? Obviously, not. But I am happy that he has chosen this route because it continues to reconfirm the assertion that McCain is nothing more than the same old Washington politician. In our current circumstance, no one would possibly vote for more of the same. My republican friends are embarrased over the last administration. These tactics have caused them to go into hiding. Most of them will not be voting. Bad strategy, John.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  193. Deb from Lancaster, PA

    Going negative will help McCain if, and only if, the American people are stupid enough to fall for it.
    Just like we've done so many times before. The past two election cycles immediately come to mind.
    Changing this national pattern of stupidity is the kind of change I can believe in, and its the change we must have. Our nation is at stake.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  194. dick Williams

    I dojn't think so. Even you know Jack that negitive ads that have some truth to them are often much more effective thanpositive ads about a candidate. Isn't there truth to ads that say Obama is a celebrity? Really, what kind of resume does he have, based on political, national effetivenes? What are his accomplishments? McCain has Flipp-Flopped certainly. Hasn't Barack as well. Is it really enough to vote for a Black candidate who speaks well and seems to be intelligent and an excellent speaker, but is such a lightweight?

    July 31, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  195. bmichael

    Ha HA- A few weeks there seemed to be a consensus within the media – political party aside- that McCain should attack Obama's strengths. He should not hold back and better learn to play the game. The same was said toward the end of the Obama/Clinton primary race. – It did get progressively ugly. Now that McCain has done what the lens benders have suggested, it is time to criticize him. Lest not we forget that we are most apt to accuse others for acts we would do.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  196. George

    I was a republican. But after those ads I am ashamed. The GOP has not done anything for me or my family in the last 8 years. So why should I reward them by voting for their candidate?

    July 31, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  197. No Osama 08

    Jack-it's not negative. Barack Osama is as famous as Britney and Paris, but when it comes to LEAD our country, he does NOThave any experience and judgment to lead.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  198. Kelati

    This is again another meida bias. Had this been from Obama, Wolf would have made it his breaking news. I am so diguested by this and all those who say that they respect John Maccain. There is nothing left to respect.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  199. Eric

    McCain is pretty smart. By doing these negative ads, he doesn't have to talk about the real problems like the economy. McCain is just an older version of 'W' and cranky at that.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  200. Pete

    No, going negative will not help McCain at all. Besides being a sign of how desperate his campaign has gotten its just more of the "Same Old Politics" that a majority of Americans are sick of. Its like we were always told growing up, when your pointing out other peoples flaws its really just an attempt to mask your own!

    July 31, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  201. Brian in Laguna Beach

    John McCain has no shame
    He promised he would run a clean campaign
    But his campaign was going so bad
    He had to run a negative ad

    So sad, so very, very sad....

    July 31, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  202. Ted Parish, Atlantic City, NJ

    There are enough fickel people in our country who will believe whatever you put out there, whether it's true, false, or negative. They just can't distinctive the difference. Just look who's our President......Dick Cheney.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  203. Bob

    It's Karl Rove politics for another loser.... A waste of money and we the public, are wise to it.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  204. Jeremy D (University of Texas)

    John McCain is metaphorically shaking his fist at Barack Obama and Barack is laughing. With over 90 days until voting day, as long as he doesn't start punching Obama, these ads just make John McCain look out of touch.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  205. Scott - Wichita, Kansas

    Why not?
    It's worked for every president in the past 40 years, and it worked for Obama against Hillary.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  206. Chad , Los Angeles

    Very good point made above, McCain of 2000 would be disgusted at McCain of 2008, its just sad...

    July 31, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  207. Bushwhacked in Eugene, OR

    I like to think not, but sadly, many people would rather listen to negativities tossed around by an opponent than actually think for themselves, so it may well help him.

    As has been stated so often, and as some candidates appear to rely upon, the American public has a sadly short memory when it comes to politics. On the positive side, we can only hope for some good Obama memories as November grows closer.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  208. Patty W., CA

    Will it help him??? It's why he's still on the radar at all.....the very reason Rove left the WH was to work on this.....he's the master and he's hard at work again.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  209. Morgan, Canada

    Wow! I can't people are actually falling for this all over again! I am not even American and I'm embarrassed of Dubya. You guys put this guy in office for TWO terms?

    Your economy is in shambles, house forclosures are at an all time high, you're fighting two wars with a military that is overstretched, gas prices are soaring, unemployment is rising... in the words of Dr. Phil... How's that working out for you?

    And you guys want 4 more years? Seriously?

    Well, then you deserve McCain!

    July 31, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  210. Jude Ffrom Arizona

    In a country where some of its citizes do not know the difference between Sweden and Switzerland, Austria and Australia, guess what?

    Negative attack has worked, is going to work and will continue to work!

    July 31, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  211. Jim in Palm Springs

    He should replace "Straight Talk Express" with "Smack Talk Express"! Mud slinging doesn't get my vote and I hope other American's are smart enough to see through the smoke and mirrors.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  212. James

    Wait. You didn't see this comming? He only changed his mine constantly over the last eight years. The man is a flake in my opinon.

    July 31, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  213. PAT California

    Negativity usually favors the accused, not the accuser. Most people automatically feel sorry the the attacked and anger toward the attacker! It's a sign of desperation!

    July 31, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  214. Jake

    McCain was a good candidate in 2000, certainly better than his opponent in the primary. But in 2008 he has lost credibility, stability, ability, and now honesty.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  215. Kenneth Forslund

    I'm exactly John McCains age (71) and I know how frustrating it can be to be unable to recall names or things I should know.. I probably have the same angry expression on my face that he does. Fortunately for our country, I'm not running for the presidency.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  216. HB

    You must be confusing politians for prophetes,there is nothing clean about elections unfortunately. Jack, please get off the denial wagon Both Mc and O are both doing whatever they can to win period.It is up to us the people to dictate our futur and our country's and we need the media's help, your help. Call it as it is.

    HB from VA

    July 31, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  217. Mark, VA

    At this point doing anything has to help McCain.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  218. A. J. Freeman Globe, Arizona

    I hope it doesn't work, but unfortunately it has worked for Republicans in the past. McCain has morphed into a typical Republican. Maybe now Rush Limbaugh will stop calling him a Democrat.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  219. royce

    no.but it sure helps obama. keep up the good work john.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  220. John

    Campaigns go negative because it always works. We voters have only ourselves to blame.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  221. Henry

    Of course it will.
    Unless Obama snaps out of his deer-in-headlights reaction and responds immediately and forcefully, he will get swift-boated and lose just like John Kerry.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  222. Marc M

    He most certainly go negative.

    He shouldn't lie but he surely should have pictures of Obama's pastor and audio of the rantings coming out of his mouth in the background of every single one of his campagin ads that discuss Obama's policies.

    Just because some people look at Obama as a prophet doesn't make it so.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  223. Jason, Manchester, NH

    This has been the protocol for the republicans since 2000!!! Negative ad's, false propaganda, dialing campaigns to minorities telling them that voting has been "rescheduled" or moved to prevent votes for dem's being placed.
    Of COURSE it will help... for every negative ad I'll show you a hundred redneck, gun-wielding, good ole' boys who believe them.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  224. Frank from da south

    I hsve just lost all respect for McCain. He was an idol to me; straight talker, honest, above the fray.

    This commercial, after he has said at our town meeting during the primaries, that he will not go negative, is indicative of FLIP FLOPPING and lieing to get elected.

    My bubble is burst. He is no better than the rest and to make matters worse he flip flops lately more than those liberal democrats and HE LIED TO US in South Carolina. LIED straight to our faces. He said he would NEVER do ads like this.

    Granted he'll say the party did or a group was responsible, but that is just POLITICS. I now view him worse than Bush and Rove.

    I am voting for BARR!

    July 31, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  225. Brian

    Yes, that's how politics work. However, it will only work if his accusations are true, and, despite Obama's protests, they are. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!

    July 31, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  226. Solomon Scholz

    The future lies in the hands of the young. MCcain in not in that group. Therefore nagativity is bachelor's degree these days. Only time will tell.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  227. Robert, NYC

    I Think it will, it has worked good in the past for the Republicans. We small minded American will listen to crap like this and take it as gospel

    July 31, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  228. Rob in Portland

    Desperate times... desperate measures... John McCain is a desperate man.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  229. Stephen Matthews

    I'm a little surprised at just how negative McCain has gotten. I think he feels justified in going this direction because George Bush and Karl Rove trashed him in 2000.

    Bedford, TX

    July 31, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  230. Mike

    No its gonna hurt him cause plain and simple when you look at what MCbush stands for is another 4 years of him and if you look at oboma its a change and mcains views are the same view is the same stuff we've put up for 8 years and look how that turns out

    July 31, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  231. dickie

    yes he needs to do whatever he can to beat obama

    July 31, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  232. vence Wilmington CA

    Unfortunately ignorant people belive what thay see. That's the reason Mcsame is almost tied on the polls. Well... at the end people get what deserves.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  233. robert little rock ar

    no jack,i don't think it helps either of them, i'd rather they stick to the issues,especially mccain he's like an attack dog

    July 31, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  234. Jim from PA

    Why the surprise that McCain is going negative? Everything else the good Senator has done this campaign season confirms that he is morphing into George W. Bush. Look at his pandering to the Far Right and his sudden love affair with Big Oil, and the "gotcha" nature of his press announcements. I keep waiting for him to add "Compasionate Conservative" to his speeches. I used to have a great deal of respect for McCain and would have voted for him in 2000 or 2004. He no longer has my vote. For that matter, neither does Obama. I can't believe these two represent the best this country has to offer.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  235. Kathy in PA

    McCain has nothing to offer this country. He is desperately resorting to the filth of Karl Rove. This pathetic candidate cannot even give a decent speech – he must read EVERYTHING! He even has to read his comment that he "will always, always put his country first." Spare the American people another poor speaker, but then with McCain we are looking at another 8 years of Bush in more ways than that.

    He has nothing to say except garbage against Obama. No substance discussed on anything. He could at least talk about all the issues he flip-flops on?

    At one time I did feel sorry for him that he was smeared in the 2000 campaign, but now I don't. He is no better than those who smeared him – now he is using the same tactics himself this time around. Sad, but true, McCain spent his military time as a POW in prison. Contrary to what he tries to imply, he has no leadership skills to be Commander in Chief and least of all President of the United States.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  236. Kenny Goldie

    As an openly gay man, I was hpoing that this campaign would not involve negativity. I still hope that it won't. I have enough negativity in my life and hope that this campaign won't add to it. I hope they can be respectful of each other and all people.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  237. Kym


    All Obama has to do is counter the lies told about him with the truth about McCain and it's over. And as for the media: how about giving McCain the equal scrutiny he's been begging for?

    July 31, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  238. Hilton

    He has nothing to offer than talk about Barack Obama. He John should tell us what his Government will do for this country. We do not want this kind of negetive adverts and the media should get it right that he is willing to attack everybody just to win the white house. Shame on John Mccain and his campaign.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  239. M. Hack

    Jack , if you had to campaign for your job and you were behind, you'd go negative too. Despite all the hand-wringing indignation, negative ads actually work – witness Obama's stalling in the polls.
    – M. Hack, Bangor Maine

    July 31, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  240. Laban Seyoum

    Going negative helped Hillary win Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania and Indiana. Expect for Texas the rest are considered to be swing states. Therefore going negative will definitely help McCain win swing voters in November. By the way the media claimed that Hillary may come out as angry due to her campaign turning negative. But she won those states.

    New Haven, CT

    July 31, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  241. Cecilia

    It won't help – it just shows his true character. Pretty sad.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  242. Roland

    Going negative is not an aid to Mr. McCain.

    If they want to use characterizations as a guide for electability, you can say McCain is a cartoon character, when he grins and laughs at his own attempts at humor; He put's one in the mind of Elmer Fudd, and hopefully when it's all over he can studder Elmer's famous line. dah,dah,dha dha,dah, that's all folks.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  243. Pat

    Out of all the positive celebrities in the world-it is so sad that McCain chose the 2 most negative women to place in his campaign advertising.

    It is simply amazing also that of all the qualified Republicians around, this party could only chose McCain as it's standard bearer.

    I'm a Republician and I refuse to vote for this negative, bitter man who, at times, even refuses to answer direct questions place to him.

    I've been voting for over 40 years and I have changed my affiliation and will be proud to vote for Sen. Obama.

    Barnwell, SC

    July 31, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  244. Carl

    I have to say I am just disappointed with McCain. Everyone talks about how much of a hero and patriot he is but he whines everyday. He often feels like he can throw everything at Obama including the kitchen sink and the moment Obama defends himself he screams, Look, look what he said! It's just disappointing.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  245. Sharon Galloway

    I was overjoyed by your statement today, that John MCain "flip-floped" and changed his mind on the issue of off-shore drilling. He not only did what he continues to attack Barak Obama for doing, but there was an enourmous and immediate financial pay off for him from the oil companies, in Texas no less...go figure!!!!! The media would prefer to focus on the "race card" issue", ignoring the more important news of the day...John McCain and his relationship with the big oil companies. Please post!!!!

    July 31, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  246. Marv

    Absolutely NOT!! McCain always says he will put his country FIRST! Just how, is this kind of nonsense putting his country FIRST??

    July 31, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  247. Nelson

    Of course negative campaigning helps. The average voter is so turned off by politicians in general that they love to hear anything negative about them.

    Barrie, ON Canada

    July 31, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  248. Dante Hicks

    No it won't, McCain has no connection with young people whatsoever. The celebrities Obama was compared to in the video are usually despised and criticized by young people so I don't know what his campaign was getting at. Those motivational research studies aren't working too well for the straight talk express. Going to the doctor will help McCain, rather than asking if the surge was a good idea, he should be asking his doctor whether or not SURGE-ry is a good idea. Running for a job like president of the u.s, you can expect Britney spears type documentation and criticism of your every move. So any candidate will receive this celebrity treatment, even Alan keyes.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  249. Michael & Diane Phx AZ

    Definitely NOT!...Once a candidate goes negative and gets dirty I vote the other way! James in Virginia says he should retire and go back to AZ...guess what? We don't want him either. He and his brother Senator Jon Kyl (who did not served in the military by the way) have turned their backs on veterans by voting against anything that helps out us vets.

    Michael M (Air Force 64-68)

    July 31, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  250. Haleema

    Come on, Jack! Of course going negative against Obama can work for McCain. After all, he's in league with the same team of hacks that cost this country the leadership of John Kerry. John McCain has completely sold out and I wonder how he can look himself in the mirror. If McCain wins the general election, you can bet he has a long list of insiders to repay before he gets around to what he owes the American people!!

    Los Angeles

    July 31, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  251. Mike Nichols

    Instead of campaining as the happy warrior, I find John McCain increasingly becoming a grumpy old man. He needs to take a vacation and have his wife Cindy give him some warm milk which would help relieve his constant negative attacks against Barack Obama.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  252. Tim

    Well Jack, this tactic nearly boosted Hillary back into the nomination race, but when you look at the stats that over 70 percent of McCain's ads portry Obama negatively and only 10 percent of Obama's ads even mention McCain's name, this turns into an integrity issue. Obama displays integrity in most matters and in all efforts. When it comes down to it, do we want a leader who carries with him a degree of personal integrity, I believe we do. It stems into how we live our lives and it's what we all strive to teach our children. God forbid we have a president who believes in not bashing people to get what they want. More power to a cordial person.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  253. Brandon, Abbotsford BC Canada

    Where does Barack Obama and his legion of media supporters get off thinking that his policy positions are beyond question or criticism?

    Pointing out your opponents policies is neither taking the low road nor deviating from the issues. And as for the comparison of Obama in McCain's ad to celebrities, I ought to remind you Mr. Cafferty that you yourself compared his world tour to that of a "rock star."

    And after Obama has dared to falsely accuse McCain of making his racial background an issue, if he wants an example of a politician taking the low road, he ought to look in the mirror.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  254. Roger from Nebraska

    If young voters are going to play a major role in this election McCain is making a huge mistake! Keep up the good work John go negitive every chance you get. Our future depends on showing your true colors! Signed Hopful in Nebraska.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  255. Stephen

    Well Jack,

    I think you should just ask Hillary!

    July 31, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  256. Larisa, Chicago IL

    If you believe in polls (I don't), it works so far. But it makes me sick to think that in the end he might win just because of people to set up in old ways, or just not bothering to search for more information. Pity.
    Forget the integrity, forget "strait talk" – before it was "Bomb, bomb, bomb", now – "Drill, drill, drill". Money talks as usual.
    I hope the young generation will say their world, and go to vote. That will make a difference.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  257. Ralph

    I guess that depends on what the definition of negative is. My question is why won't politicians use the word 'liar'?

    July 31, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  258. Brent from Chicago

    As for the feeble minded individuals yes it will work. but for the voter that has common sense and can see right through it absolutely not

    July 31, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  259. Jon V

    No it will not. It will, however, help Obama. After McCain launched his new ad I was so angry that I sent Obama $100. I'm sure ten or twenty thousand people did the same thing.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  260. yvonne

    Frankly, no, it will not help McCain. Any labelthrowing is not pertinent to the issues that must be resolved. Neither will responses by the Obama Camp, or requests for any more donations with deadlines, help Obama. McCain says I know how to win wars. I want to know which wars has he won, and why has he not informed Mr. Bush? Are we not at war with terrorists? Has McCain found Bin Laden? I am older than McCain and he is too old for me. Looks have nothing to do with that either. He can not control his temper, he forgets things, he stumbles and is confused. I know all too well about these symptoms, as I have them myself. I am not fit to be President, and neither is McCain. I tend to talk too much, and when I do, people stop responding. I get it. Obama should let McCain talk, and not respond and we will see if McCain gets THAT.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  261. john

    no it won't help him and it will hurt him, he comes across as another "old" politician using similar tactics. being close to bush and a war supporter on top of eveything else, ...he is history.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  262. Jesse Kalfel

    Sen. McCain sounds more like Carl Rove every day. A man who I once respected is now throwing dirt bombs. Instead of taking about policies he twists the truth. What happened to the Straight Talk Express and keeping campaign rhetoric clean? He comes across as spiteful and not very presidential. Is this the man who we want to represent us to the world and who can build bridges and mend fences.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  263. jim

    Im getting so tried of hearing mccain starting his speach out saying something nice about obama, then sticking him in the back. I wish obama would say something about mccain, but i guess thats were the men are different then the boys. And i dont think obama played the racial card. If anyone is playing a card its mccain, I mean how can you compare obama to brittney.
    jim from michigan

    July 31, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  264. Michelle GA

    McCain is paranoid. He is anxious and so very nervous right now. Obama is gaining popularity and support around the world. Pictures don't lie. Obama is getting the attention McCain hoped to have had in his lifetime. McCain is seeing this Presidency slide awayso fast...and he can't handle it. Know why he attacks Barack? He can't speak about issues cause "he who knows not, and knows, that he knows not, he is a fool.........pity him"

    July 31, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  265. Mel

    The issue isn't really whether his current negative attacks are "working." The issue is the level of desperation that the McCain camp must feel to go negative before we even hit conventions, and if they really believe the American public can stomach 3 plus months of negative attacks. The "conservative media" polls have this race pretty close, but those polls had "W" leading Gore and Kerry by double digits. When McCain has to go negative this early in the campaign, I'll bet you dollars to donuts that his handlers are desperately trying to stop a landslide from beginning.

    Chicago, IL

    July 31, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  266. MAC

    Yes – negative adds allow the "won't support Obama – for devious/any reasons" (race, especially)" to hide behind the superficial McCain complaints/admonishments.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  267. Ben in CA

    Going negative will definitely help McCain, just as it helped Hillary keep the primary close...

    And the Obama camp better take notice.

    The Obama camp must understand that they won't win if they poo-poo McCain's negative efforts with an "Well, we got this far being civilized" attitude.

    McCain is a MUCH more formidable opponent than Hillary was...with much higher favorable ratings and lower unfavorable ratings nationwide.

    Obama can not beat McCain by turning the other cheek as he did for Hillary.

    Los Angeles, CA

    July 31, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  268. Camille

    Someone in the McCain camp thinks it will. It is just a continuation of the political game played before Senator O'bama hit the scene. I think the McCain camp thinks the American people are only paying attention to what Senator McCain says. He tends to spit out one liners taken out of context from Senator O'bama's remarks. He and his camp spend so much time dissecting O'bama's remarks looking for sentences that they can then put out before the American people. I can hear them now "he said that. Now, let's let the American people make their own interpretation."

    Now, who is being arrogant and condescending? Do they not know that the American people are smarter than they give them credit for?
    I hope Senator O'bama has sufficient stamina to withstand what is still to come.

    If McCain spent as much time honing his own campaign positions as he does trying to find fault with what O'bama says, he might have more of a chance. For now, every time one of these negative ads hits or he makes one of his jibes against O'bama he slips down another peg.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  269. Jerry from Oregon

    It is the only hope McCain has; but hopefully it doesn't help him. Hopefully American voters are smart enough to think about their vote. America cannot afford to keep the Republican's in the White House!

    July 31, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  270. Cathy

    No, I do not think going negative will help McCain. I certainly hope it will not help him. He sounds like a whinny child, "Oh, Obama is getting more attention than I am". McCain fogot that he was the one that "dared" Obama into going to Iraq, Europe, etc. Maybe McCain is going into his second childhood as older people do sometimes. McCain may have experience, too much experience, but I worry about his judgement in coming years.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  271. Maggy

    The best thing that Sen. Obama can do is ignore comments made by the McCain camp and let the American people that McCains coments are not worthy of his time and rather speak of his plans on how to get the country on the right track to be the leaders we are suppose to be. McCain is digging himself deeper in a hole by spending his time belittling and degrading Sen. Obama, instead of tellg his "freinds" what and how he plans to fix the country's dependency and pay off our debt, to other countries who have us by the throat.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  272. Dominc Wells

    I HOPE it doesn't help him. I think McCain certainly needs to CHANGE his strategy.

    July 31, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  273. Cecilia - Chattanooga, TN

    He is a Republican is'nt he? the party would expect no less

    July 31, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  274. cjr

    nothing can help John McCain. He is one angry man and if his senate colleagues don't trust him – then why should we?

    July 31, 2008 at 4:50 pm |