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DNC to John McCain: North Carolina ad tests leadership

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean is calling out John McCain on the controversial North Carolina GOP ad which, in one fell swoop, uses Barack Obama's controversial ex-minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, to try to sully two Democratic candidates in the state.Presumptive Republican presidential candidate John McCain objects to a North Carolina ad that features Barack Obama and Rev. Jeremiah Wright

Dean is framing McCain's suggestion that the North Carolina Republicans do not air the ad as a test of his leadership, basically saying that if he can't get party minions to take his advice, how can he run the country?

So far, the state officials have declined to change course.

Here's the DNC release:

"According to reports, the chair of the state Republican Party in North Carolina is planning to move forward with its plans to air its racially divisive campaign ad despite John McCain's emailed complaints. While the McCain campaign made a show of protesting the ad, McCain made no mention of the fact that key officials in the North Carolina GOP are members of McCain's state steering committee and McCain donors.

"Nor did he mention the fact that the state chair who is bucking his leadership is a member of the arrangements committee of the Republican National Convention. Given his ties to state Republican leaders, if McCain is serious about making sure this ad never airs, he should have no trouble making it happen. If not, McCain should return their contributions, remove them from his campaign committees, and strip the state chair from her role on the GOP's convention committee.

"Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean today issued the following statement calling on McCain to exercise real leadership and pull the plug on this ad:

'This is a test of leadership for John McCain. If he can't pick up the phone and make members of his own party stop airing a television ad he claims to oppose, how can he lead our country through an economic crisis or the war in Iraq? After shifting his positions on gun control, immigration and tax cuts throughout this campaign, McCain should not equivocate on this issue. Making a show of releasing your emails to the press is not leadership. If he is serious, he will get this ad pulled.' "

-- Frank James

Frank James writes for the Swamp of the Chicago Tribune's Washington bureau.

Photo credit: Associated Press

 
Comments () | Archives (48)

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I figure the ads won't do any harm since Rev. Wright's comments were all over tv already. And won't some voters be turned off by the negative ads and rethink voting GOP?
Either way, I think this is fair game and the Dems will have to suffer it.

McCain has never demonstrated anything short of pure incompetence. Youtube 'McCain Economy' to hear him say that he knows nothing of the economy. Hell, we could be entering a depression and we really want to nominate someone who has admitted he doesn't have the know-how to correct. I don't understand what Republicans are voting for in this man.

He can't even conform to his OWN campaign finance laws. The dems and tens of thousands of people have filed official complaints with the FEC due to McCain's overspending.

The guy is just as crooked as Bush.

I hope the ad isn't pulled. Let the truth be told. You can not sit in a chruch for all those years inless you share some of the same views.

McCain's style is exactly why he should not be president. Having others do his dirty work he wants done while pretending that he doesn't. The man lacks the courage or conviction to be a leader. His actions only show us how he will hide behind others, and ignore the law. Why is he allowed to be over $4 MILLION dollars over what he is legally allowed to spend on his campaign? The man may have been a POW, for that he deserves respect. But he does not deserve to be given leadership of the USA.

This is a brilliant strategy by the McCain camp. Senator McCain looks like a guy that is willing to stand up for what he believes is right, even against his own party, while at the same time benefiting from the airing of the content he is speaking against. He is having his cake and eating it too. Brilliant.

You raise a poingant issue:

The leaders ability to control his followers is the only true measure of leadership. This campaign season has seen a few incidents that would lend us a hand analyzing the candidates.

Mr. McCain has an Un-Offiliated Group posting ads he has not approved.

Mr. Obama has Campaign Aides telling Canada to ignore his Nafta Rhetoric.

Ms. Clinton fired 1 Campaign Aide for going outside of her rhetoric, and another for criticizing Obama in an incident of "Conduct unbecoming a Democrat," when she pointed out his free ride for the first few months of the campaign.

:: The way I see it, two closely held associates of the Democratic candidates seem to go off their "Leader's" message while the LA Times/Crazy-Dean criticize the Conservative for ideological ads taken out by a completely unaffiliated group.

You Decide.

Obama and his wife are EXACTLY what Rev. Wright preaches... 20 years of preaching..this negative attitude toward America did not just go in one ear and out the other....! Of course I truly believe Rev Wright is just a showman... and worked it hard.
Never the less.. those in the congregation love him. But it goes further for Michelle.. did anyone read her thesis ..those that read it and knew her at Harvard stated that she is definatly "black first."

I want to know WHY we would have to deal with a person with that kind of attitude ... her and her husband are very successful and should be thankful.. but they are not.. they complain to others that " they have to spend $10,000 a year for outside activities for their daughters!" That the United States is "just plain mean!" all this said at a women's meeting.. C'mon ... talk about snobby cry babies.... and Obama wonders why he cannot talk to the blue collar workers..

If chaairman Dean feel no one should air the Obama pastors sermons, they are ugly, then the Dems should air the sermons of McCain's pastor. I have heard he talks about Love, Respect, Mercy, Forgivness,Honor,compassion. If Dean questions McCain's leadership maybe he should look at Obama's leadership. It would have demonstrated leadership and courage to stand up and object to his pastors racist sermons, not make a big speach after he was exposed. Dont you worry about McCains leadership!!!

If Sen. McCain fired or threatened to fire the Carolina party leaders, he would be no better than Pres. Bush who demands that all kowtow to him. I think it would send the wrong message to persons who may be called upon to aid Sen McCain in his cabinet and elsewhere in his admin. after he is elected President.

Although Howard Dean makes some great points here I think he should act like a real Democratic National Committee Chairman and advise Hillary Clinton to stop the negative ads becuase it's just as bad.

If the belief of Obama is the same as Mr. Wright because he was in association with him, then would be correct to call Mr. Cheny a "GAY" or he endorses his daughter's lesbian view as he associates with her?

That's exactly the question they need to ask him. I'm disgusted with the Republican party right now, but not necessarily McCain himself, though I'm registered as "Republican" still.

If he can't keep the party in line, there's absolutely NO WAY I'll be able to vote for him. And that includes any whisper campaigns they try to run behind his back.

I don't see how he can associate with the SAME folks who ran that nasty campaign trying to say his adopted daughter was born from an affair he had. Would you let those people run your campaign, after what they said about your own daughter? Disgusting.

Any hint of campaigning like this only adds to my resolve to punish the Republican party with my vote until they return to their senses.

Howard Dean, should not talk about leader ship when he can not even conduct simple democratic primaries. Under his leadership the hole process looks like it more suited for china or Russia

WHy does the truth, hurt you.... DEAN

Why is it that McCain has "denounced" the ad, but Hillary Clinton has not? Does McCain care more about racist attacks on the Democratic party than Senator Hillary Clinton?

She's a b****.

And I am a white 39 year old female. Hillary, your tactics are deplorable ie, you suck. You shame me.

NANCY PELOSI FOR PRESIDENT. NOW SHE IS A REAL LEADER.

Do you remember the song in South Pacific "You've got to be carefully taught" The lyrics say "you've got to be taught to hate and fear...Before you are six or seven or eight, to hate all the people your relatives hate, you've got to be carefully taught." Here we are 60 years later and the GOP has not learned a thing. I do hope they continue their disgusting adverts and I do hope the American people are brighter once again than their leadership. This advert campaign could be the end of the Republican party and good riddance.

Since North and South Carolina could tie in a national contest for the most racists states in the Union, this add should surprise no one.

That McCain either lacks the balls or the ethics to get the add pulled should also surprise no one.

McCain won't do anything and his campaign won't be about issues because his support of Bush's policies are so unpopular that it will just hurt his candidacy if he talks about them. The RNC has 5 times more money than the DNC and republican 527s will be out in full force from now till November using racially charged attack ads to swiftboat the democratic candidate, more likely now Obama. This is precisely why Obama should pass on public financing. 85 million in public financing is peanuts compared to the 40-50 million per month he can generate during the presidential campaign. He'll need that money to fight back. Who cares if the republicans complain or cry foul. They can cry all they want, theirs is a campaign of nothing more than empty rhetoric and double standards.

Another failure of good judgment from McCain?
A mediocre history of poor choices, poor judgments.
What would he have been if he were not an "accidental "pow hero"? Never was a good student, and certainly not even in the top 50% of Navy pilots...crashed too many aircraft for that. Politics aside, he should exercise judgment.
Iraq is a divided country. Running this ad is a divisive action.
How can we expect him to unify the country if he can't or worst yet, won't unify his party? Leader or sheep? Is Bush
still his shepard? If there is ANY leadership in the GOP
they should act now. North Carolina's action reflects poorly on the entire party. It becomes more and more difficult to call myself a Republican.

I'm still laughing. Just what does Dean expect to happen if McCain calls the NC Republican Party? If I got the call I'd tell McCain to keep his nose out of our business. There's nothing about McCain in the ad. And what would Dean expect McCain to do next - disavow the NC Republican party? Did Obama disavow his minister or church? Does Dean think that Republican Party is like the DNC where members aren't entitled to their own opinions? Do we all have to say what McCain says? Do we have to do that for President Bush? Like I said, I'm still laughing.

McCain absolutely should not insist that they pull the ad. Just like it was Obama's choice to stay there and listen to that garbage for 20 years, it's McCain's choice not to protect him. The DNC can't be that ignorant. Yes, I'm an African American.

I don't Howard Dean can say anything about "leadership" when the Democratic party is in the mess it is in now.
Florida and Michigan shows poor leadership.
Superdelegates shows poor leadership.
The claims of racism and sexism spewed by his party shows poor leadership.

Ha, this is coming from howard dean. Where is dean's leadership? If he had any leadership, he would force hillary out of the dem race...hehehehe

Howie dean...what a joke....yeeeaahhhh!!!!

Howard Dean, if your DNC can't even figure out what to do with Florida and Michigan primary votes, and if your party has to rely on unelected "super" delegates to chose your presidential nominee in a smoke filled back room, then how can this party be trusted to lead our country through an economic crisis or the war in Iraq?

Btw Dean, Obama's poor judgment regarding his lunatic pals like Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers will continue to be exposed throughout the primary and general election. This is exactly the kind of thing that voters need to know before trusting the presidency to an extremist.

Howard Dean is the perfect leader for the DNC. He is a true example of what happens when the inmates are allowed to run the asylum.

This is a cheap, novice political trick to try and corner McCain into a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenario. Either the ad runs and McCain looks like he can't control the NC Republicans, or it doesn't run and he looks like a wimp. This is so amatuer it's laughable.

If you're going to attempt these weak, slight of hand illusions, at least put on your clown suit with the puffy hair, big red nose, and oversized shoes. You know, the ones hanging in your closet next to your "Elect Howard Dean" button collection? Yes that's the one.

Now be gone, before someone drops a house on YOU.

McCain would NOT be running the country any more than the current president is. He would be the ceremonial president representing the views of his owners. Just like the current president has.

Howard Dean is a fool. Oh wait - I take that back. He just opposes the Bill of Rights - things like free speech and the right of the people to keep and bear arms. He's far more dangerous than a fool.

The NC GOP is independent from the RNC. They can say what they want - and McCain can request they not run the allegedly inflammatory advertisement, but hey, he's not a dictator, nor will he behave as one when he is President!

First: "they" * tell us there's a shortage of rice and flour but the producing farmers say otherwise. Question: Is it the oil powers that be along with the money people that be (ie WalMart, Costco???etc) playing along with the people that allow the box stores to keep the taxes they collect as a free-gratos for building in our neighborhoods?

Second: "they"* start a smear campaign against Obama, a good man (they must be jealous 'cause they ain't) to rig the campaign in Clintons favor.

*So who is "they"? It's the Bilderbergs, it's the TriLateral Commission (Google it). Either way Clinton or McCain, the TriLateral Commission will have their man in office. So what Kissinger was to Nixon, what Baker was to Regan(but he stood his ground), what Baker was to Bush Sr., B. Clinton will be to H. Clinton and whoever (haven't quite figured it out yet) will be to McCain.

It's all about one world order folks. Forget about your blind loyalties and start studying so you will know how to think and not just follow the good ole boy blindly into this great countrys oblivion.

Divide and Conquer. The American People, that is.

Howard Dean, if your DNC can't even figure out what to do with Florida and Michigan primary votes, and if your party has to rely on unelected "super" delegates to chose your presidential nominee in a smoke filled back room, then how can this party be trusted to lead our country through an economic crisis or the war in Iraq?

Btw Dean, Obama's poor judgment regarding his lunatic pals like Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers will continue to be exposed throughout the primary and general election. This is exactly the kind of thing that voters need to know before trusting the presidency to an extremist.

The DNC is right on this one. McCain is despised by the right. We just hate your empty suit idiot and cackling "won't drop out" idiot to our angry old guy idiot. But, take heart, DNC. McCain has more in common with your constituency than he does with the one he supposedly represents. If McCain somehow manages to defeat Obama - very unlikely if you look at the motivation of dem primary voters - you'll find yourselves surprisingly happy with him.

How is John McCain's stance on this different from Obama's on Wright's?

They are both saying "Look, I disagree with this, but I can't control what everyone who supports me says, I can't disown everyone who makes a statement that I don't agree with."

If you're going to slam McCain for not repudiating the Republicans who made the ad, you basically legitimize what the ad says - that the people associated with a person are a reflection of them personally. By the same logic, Wright is a reflection upon Obama, and Obama should repudiate him. Just become one side is involved in formal official politics doesn't change the political effects - Wright's comments are polarizing and divisive in the exact same way as a negative attack ad.

So whi is it that Obama gets a pass on Wright, but McCain is supposed to repudiate a couple of Republicans for making the very same type of guilt-by-association allegations that you're making against McCain?

The fact that Howard Dean is questioning ANYONE about the inability to lead a political party is laughable. Hey Howard, how well are you doing in getting Hillary to drop out of the race???

How is John McCain's stance on this different from Obama's on Wright's?

They are both saying "Look, I disagree with this, but I can't control what everyone who supports me says, I can't disown everyone who makes a statement that I don't agree with."

If you're going to slam McCain for not repudiating the Republicans who made the ad, you basically legitimize what the ad says - that the people associated with a person are a reflection of them personally. By the same logic, Wright is a reflection upon Obama, and Obama should repudiate him. Just because one side is involved in formal official politics doesn't change the political effects - Wright's comments are polarizing and divisive in the exact same way as a negative attack ad.

So whi is it that Obama gets a pass on Wright, but McCain is supposed to repudiate a couple of Republicans for making the very same type of guilt-by-association allegations that you're making against McCain?

Good leadership on your part, Howard! You tell 'em.

Considering Howard Dean's failed leadership has the Democratic Party disenfranchising two large states he has little room to talk. If one recalls the General Betrayus add actually drew a Legislative Censure, yet Dean & Company did nothing about that.

Dean should be pounding on McCain for the disaster called McCain-Feingold and not for the inability to prevent people from exercising their 1st Amendment rights. The 527s on both sides will litter the next several months with piss & vinegar and not a single candidate can change that.

McCain is pandering as usual .. he has no original ideas, and the ideas that he has so far expressed are laughable. He wants to save us 18 cents a gallon of fuel by declaring a "Gas Holiday" for three months. He said that although he feels that our nations infrastructure is crumbling and that the Federal Highway funds would lose approximately 10 billion dollars, that saving the average consumer $3.60 a fill up would be worth it, My golly, Mc Bush is starting to sound dumber than the decider.

It would be wise for the NC GOP to pull the ad; McCain could be equally smeared by the same guilt-by-association lunacy, but this time the extreme statements of the pastors are not mischaracterizations. Consider Pastors Hagee and Parsley.

In the case of Hagee, McCain sought out, received, and said he was “very honored” to have the endorsement, even after the extreme statements and positions of Hagee were made known to him. Though he tried to distance himself a bit in an interview with George Stephanopoulous this past Sunday, McCain still said he was “glad to have his endorsement.”

There are plenty of video clips and taped interviews of Hagee available. Hagee, if you’re not aware, blames America for 9/11. He refers to the Catholic Church as “the whore of Babylon, "The Great Whore," an "apostate church," a "false cult system," and "the "anti-Christ." He asserts God destroyed New Orleans because of a scheduled gay pride parade. The author of “Jerusalem Countdown,” he preaches a far-out Scriptural prophecy that espouses a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to bring about Armageddon.

There is also plenty of video footage of Rod Parsley speaking his extreme views. McCain, who stood beside the evangelical minister at a 2/26/08 Cincinnati rally, said, "I am very honored today to have one of the truly great leaders in America, a moral compass, a spiritual guide…thank you for your leadership and your guidance."

Among Parsley’s extreme fundamentalist views: there should be no separation between church and state in this country; “Allah was a demon spirit" and there is no difference between violent Islamic extremists and other followers of Islam; and “…America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed.”

It seems to me the Republican smear machine has lost the “Obama equals Wright” argument. After all, McCain only “speaks out against” Hagee's bizarre anti-Catholic rants but still "admires and respects Dr. Hagee’s leadership of his Church" and he’s still glad that he sought out, received, and accepted Hagee's endorsement. McCain sought out and accepted Parsley's endorsement.

How about the DNC now showing some leadership???

They're the biggest bunch of misfits around today. Howard Dean will surely snag defeat from the jaws of victory for the Democrats.

Florida and Michigan WILL NOT forget how we've been ignored during the primaries... just wait until the general election!

DNC, Testing McCain's leadership, come on! This comes from a group who can't decide who they want to represent them in Nov.

Here is the leadership

Hahahahahahahahaahahaahhaahahahha
You have got to believe this.
So much to say. Let us lay it out one by one
http://www.newsweek.com/id/133557/page/4


said Davis, who was friendly with Palmer at the time.
"She went out and recruited Barack."
...................
She filed petitions to get on the ballot for the spring 1996 primary,
but Obama took steps to make sure voters wouldn't get a chance to pick her.
...................


1. Is this so called NEW politics?
No one blames you if just say it is politics.
You call it new politics? hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm


2. Good, Bad, and Ugly
Someone tells you where treasure is.
It is fine you just take all and run away.
But instead you kill that poor person.
Wow, speechless
What a character


3. Gentleman
He is really a 'nice gentleman'
fight hard with Woman with SKILLs
You follower should be very proud. LOL


More coming.....

Yoo hoo... Howard Dean... you think McCain is a poor leader now? NC LISTENED to his request that they not run that ad and are RESPECTING it. Wow... they respect him. You think anyone respects you?

http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUSN2429689820080424

Is something about being Republican and young that makes you rude and uncivil?

Republicans will do anyting they can to win

Does -anyone- listen to Howard Dean???
What a joke.

There is nothing wrong with this ad. Man up!

Give her a buzz or drop her a line and let her know she's off her rocker!

Linda C. Daves
2301 Hastings Drive
Charlotte, NC 28207
Tel.: (704) 376-9411

I'm not sure this is a good thing for the Dems - It takes Howard Dean in concert with the benevolent McCain to step in and valiantly try to protect Obama from his own bad judgment.

Not good for Obama, in my opinion. He would have probably been better off to just let the ad run and ignore it.

To me, the NC GOP ad is more reasonable than the questions regarding Sen. Obama's alleged 'unrepentant terrorist' friend, William Ayers. That relationship is weak at best. Yet McCain latched on to the latter as a serious issue, but now appears to be willing to take the Wright issue off the table as a campaign issue. That is confusing his supporters.

Maybe it's a tactical ploy on McCain's part to bring more attention to the ad. If so, it's working.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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