The Plank

"here's A Little Straight Talk, My Friends"


Or maybe not. From an interview John McCain did with NPR's Renee Montagne that aired this a.m.:

Montagne: So, to move on to
domestic questions, Steve Schmidt, who is running your campaign, has said
something kind of simple and understandable. He said that a campaign needs one
positive message about its candidate and then one good, strong negative message
about the opponent. Your camp —

McCain: I never heard that statement, and I'd have to know who attributed it
to him before I would agree with that. We're not sending any negative message
in our campaign. We're drawing differences in positions between myself and Sen.
Obama, which are significant. He wants to raise taxes; I want to keep them low.
He doesn't want to drill offshore or have nuclear power; I want both. I've
never heard Steve Schmidt say we need a negative message in the campaign.

Montagne: I'm quoting The
Wall Street Journal here.

McCain: I've run many, many campaigns, and I have never believed that we
need a strong negative message. And I've been in –-

Montagne: However, do you not
consider it a negative message, though, when a campaign ad goes on TV that
blames your opponent, Barack Obama, for high gas prices or –-

McCain: I believe strongly that if you're not part of the solution, you're
part of the problem. And he voted for the energy bill that had all kind of tax
breaks and giveaways for the oil companies. I believe if you're not part of the
solution, you are part of the problem. And it's a big problem in America today.

Montagne: And are you comfortable
with ads where your opponent is being compared to Paris Hilton?

McCain: I'm very comfortable with my campaign. And I strongly recommend that
people who don't find humor in that relax, turn off the computer and go on it
and get some fresh air and try to regain some —

Montagne: Well, Paris Hilton found
some humor in it.

McCain: Yeah, sure.

There's a lot of concern among some McCain associates that, in the process of trying to destroy Obama, McCain is destroying his "brand," which, as they see it, is honesty and candor. I think interviews like this one will only add to that concern.

--Jason Zengerle 

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