What They Said About McCain in 2008

These days, you'll see a lot of praise, but it's a far cry from the sliming 10 years ago.

Harold Hutchison · Aug. 30, 2018

These days, you’ll see a lot of praise for the late John McCain — a Vietnam War hero (Silver Star, POW Medal, Purple Heart) who passed away this past weekend — in the mainstream media and from Democrats. So why the accolades?

Part of it was McCain’s open disdain for President Donald Trump. Well, most of it — at least, that’s what motivates a lot over the short term. McCain can be held up as a “good” Republican, as opposed to the “cruel, heartless” Trump. Back in 2000, McCain was seen as a hero, going up against George W. Bush. The senator’s support for campaign finance “reform,” which handed a lot of power to the mainstream media, also played a role.

It’s a very different tone from what was said in 2008, when he was running for president as the Republican nominee. We can just take a look — National Review and the American Spectator have some good reviews of just how two-faced the mainstream media and Democrats are being. But in some cases, it misses the worst.

For instance, let’s look at Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who called McCain a “warrior for peace” in an August 25 tweet. Well, 10 years ago, Lewis sang a very different tune. He claimed McCain was stoking hate and channeling George Wallace. A very ugly charge. Lewis hasn’t explained what changed. Was he lying back then, or did he lie with the praise he gave in the last week?

Lewis’s about-face is perhaps the most jarring example of the two-faced Democrats trying to have it both ways vis-à-vis McCain, but not the only one. Back then, now-Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was also piling on, mocking McCain as unable to “particularly empathize with the plight of the average person.” These days, Schumer is praising McCain’s “moral compass” and wants to rename the Russell Senate Office Building to honor the late war hero. Again, we wonder, is Schumer blowing smoke today, or did he slime McCain in 2008?

What is not surprising is that none of these Democrats are ever called out for this. In fact, these days, prominent McCain campaign aides like Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace are making common cause with the same people and media outlets who slimed the candidate they worked for 10 years ago, rather than call them out.

If people ever wonder how we got President Trump, the treatment of John McCain is a good place to start.

(Corrected — Schumer is the minority leader in the Senate.)

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