McCain Pollster: Wright Attacks Would’ve Backfired

McCain Pollster: Wright Attacks Would’ve Backfired


I never understood why Republicans were so hot to talk about Reverend Wright in the general election when so much had been said in the primaries, but many in the GOP are still slamming McCain for not “getting tough.”

Well, guess what? McCain’s own people said that “getting tough” could have destroyed him.

From Politico:

John McCain’s top pollster, Bill McInturff, said this evening that attacking Barack Obama over his relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright would not have helped McCain’s campaign and could have destroyed his presidency, had he been elected.

Some Republicans were angry during the campaign that McCain had — reportedly for reasons of principle, and out of concern that he’d be viewed as racist — refused to air ads with Wright’s inflammatory sermons, and believed they were fair game and a silver bullet against Obama. An outside group did air one such ad in the closing days of the race.

“I said ‘Look, if f we do win we’ll win with about 273 electoral votes and we’ll lose the popular vote by 3 million,'” recalled McInturff of the internal discussions about cutting attack ads with Wright. “If [McCain] had used that issue that way, you’d already be delegitimized as a president. You couldn’t function as government.”

McInturff also said that McCain’s burden in the final days was to close the gap with young voters and Latino voters.

Yeah, I’m sure attack ads about Wright would’ve really brought back the youth and Latino vote.

Moving on…

  • gerryf

    The people who wanted McCain to go after Obama through Wright are the people for whom this issue was the most important in the election. They are emotional voters who react to hot-button issues.

    McCain already had those voters.

    Wright bashing would have appealed to these peo’ple’s pettiness, but it would have driven many more away.

    It’s been a long time coming, but it looks like Americans are finally waking up–let’s hope it is not too late. The last few months has been very alarming and is reminiscent of Nero fiddling while Rome burned.