The Candidate Who Promised Weekly News Conferences and Said Restricting Media Access "Destroys Credibility" Hasn't Done a News Conference in 34 Days
Washington, DC - The Democratic National Committee today launched a new McCain-Palin Press Watch clock highlighting the fact that John McCain has gone 34 days since his last news conference with national reporters. His running mate, Sarah Palin, hasn't done any since she was chosen. To view the clocks, click here:
McCain once prided himself on running an open and transparent campaign, saying curbing accessibility to reporters "destroys credibility." He even promised to hold weekly press conferences if elected. But, as his campaign has descended into blatant lies and outright distortions, John McCain has slammed the door on the media rather than answer tough questions. McCain's last news conference was on August 13 in Birmingham, MI. In the 34 days since, he has launched a string of attacks that have been called "truly vile," some of the "sleaziest ads ever" and been "exposed" as lies.
"Since John McCain has been running an utterly indefensible campaign, it's easy to see why he doesn't want to be held accountable to the people or to his own promises," said DNC spokesman Damien LaVera. "If John McCain is going to echo President Bush's out of touch rhetoric and run sleazy campaign ads full of vile distortions, he owes it to the voters to stand up and take the tough questions. The American people simply cannot afford another four years of failed policies and flawed politics from Republicans who would launch misleading smears to distract from their out of touch agendas."
To view the McCain-Palin Press Watch clocks, click here:
John McCain: Curbing Access to Reporters: "Destroys Credibility." "As the JetBlue charter from Michigan touched down in South Carolina, I strolled up to John McCain's front-row seat -- none of his aides batted an eye -- and asked if he would continue to chat with reporters around the clock if he won the Republican nomination. Most candidates, after all, grow more cautious around the media mob as the stakes get higher. McCain said he couldn't stop, because 'that destroys credibility.' And besides, he said, 'I enjoy it a lot. It keeps me intellectually stimulated, it keeps me thinking about issues, and it keeps me associated with a lower level of human being than I otherwise would be.'"[Washington Post, 1/21/08]
McCain: "I will hold weekly press conferences." [McCain speech, Columbus, OH, 5/15/08]
McCain, 2008: Ducking the Media. "He used to be the most accessible presidential candidate in modern American history, and he prided himself on that. No longer. The last time he took questions from his press corps was on Aug. 13." [ABCNews, 9/11/08: http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/09/mccain-2008.html ]
Fox News: McCain Skips Media Avails for Staged Rallies. "Today marks the four-week anniversary since McCain held his last press conference (8/13 in Birmingham, MI) and three weeks since his last public town hall meeting (8/20 in Las Cruces, NM)." [Foxnews.com, 9/10/08: http://embeds.blogs.foxnews.com/2008/09/10/mccain-embraces-the-staged-rally/ ]
MSNBC: McCain Hasn't Spoken to Reporters Since August 13. "McCain has not spoken to the press since August 13 in Birmingham, MI -- the day his wife sprained her wrist at a fundraiser." [MSNBC.com, 8/25/08:
Campaign Uses Promise of Availability to Lure Reporters to Campaign Event. "The strange scene was enough to distract reporters from the fact they believed they would be covering a 'press conference' this morning, as the McCain schedule had advertised. McCain, who has been at his Sedona cabin for several days working on his convention speech and readying the announcement of his VP pick, has not taken questions from his traveling press corps since Aug. 13 when he visited Michigan." [Newsweek, 8/25/08: