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.
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 weâ€™ll win with about 273 electoral votes and weâ€™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, youâ€™d already be delegitimized as a president. You couldnâ€™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.