Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Odds and Ends 3

And before we forget that the GOP has a candidate (or two) in this race, as well, John McCain found himself doing damage control in Cincinnati, where conservative radio talk show host Bill Cunningham made a series of seemingly inappropriate and insensitive statements while "warming up" a crowd for the presumptive GOP nominee.

Among other things, Cunningham repeatedly referred to Barack Obama by his full name of "Barack Hussein Obama," said that former secretary of state Madeleine Albright looked "like death warmed over" and seemed to poke fun at openly gay congressman U.S. Rep. Barney Frank.

McCain quickly and forcefully condemned the remarks. According to the Associated Press:

  • "I apologize for it," McCain told reporters, adding, "...I take responsibility for (the remarks). I repudiate them," he said. "My entire campaign I have treated Senator Obama and Senator (Hillary Rodham) Clinton with respect. I will continue to do that throughout this campaign."
  • McCain called both Democrats "honorable Americans" and said, "I want to dissociate myself with any disparaging remarks that may have been said about them."
  • Asked whether the use of Obama's middle name — the same as former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein — is proper, McCain said: "No, it is not. Any comment that is disparaging of either Senator Clinton or Senator Obama is totally inappropriate."
  • McCain said he didn't know who allowed Cunningham to speak but said he was sure it was in coordination with his campaign. He said he didn't hear the comments and has never met Cunningham, but "I will certainly make sure that nothing like that happens again."
You can see the video here under "McCain repudiates supporter."

For his part, Cunningham hit back on his radio show later in the day:

"Did John McCain repudiate me? When he didn't hear the remarks at all? He didn't hear them. He just threw me under the bus to the national media," Cunningham said. "I've had it with McCain. I'm going to endorse Hillary Clinton. I'm going to throw my support behind Hillary Clinton."

See CNN anchor John Roberts' interview with Cunningham here.

SIDEBAR: I wonder if Hillary will denoun-- I mean, reject Cunningham's endorsement ... ?

Read the entire AP article here.

Finally, this must be the kind of coverage Obama is getting from cable news that has the Clinton camp in such a tizzy. From NBC/NJ’s Aswini Anburajan in Cleveland, Ohio, and found on MSNBC.com:
With a silver head of hair, a DNC chairmanship under his belt and 30 years in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Chris Dodd endorsed his one-time rival for the presidency with the air of a senior statesman anointing the next nominee.

Eww. As a reporter by trade, that lead makes me want to go take two Tylenol and call you in the morning. It's nauseating.