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McCain Talks About Ayers

Original post made by Peter S, Barron Park, on Oct 9, 2008

From McCain's interview with ABC's Charles Gibson, airing tonight:From McCain's interview with ABC's Charles Gibson, airing tonight:

GIBSON: Why then in recent days have you focused so in what you've had to say on Sen. Obama's character, talked about the fact that we don't know him, that he's come out of nowhere, that he's not an open book, etc.

MCCAIN: Well, I'm not sure that's character. What I think it is, is does he have the experience and the knowledge and judgment and has he made the right decisions and has he told — been candid with the American people. I think that's important.
They certainly know me.

GIBSON: You don't think he's been thoroughly vetted, having gone through all the primaries and all the campaigning, running for president as long as you have? Two years?

MCCAIN: No, actually I don't. In fact, Sen. Clinton in their debates said that the American people didn't know enough about him, including his relationship with Mr. [William] Ayers. That's what she said. And I agree with that. He said he was a guy in the neighborhood. We know that's not true. He said — he wrote down a piece of paper that he would take public financing for his presidential campaign if I would. He betrayed the trust of the American people there.
He looked in the camera twice during the debate with Sen. Clinton and said, "I will sit down and negotiate with John McCain before I decide to forgo public financing for my campaign." He never called me. He looked in the camera and told the American people something that was patently false. He told the American people about his relationship with Mr. Ayers, that he was a guy in the neighborhood.
He wasn't a guy in the neighborhood.
He launched his political career in his living room, in Mr. Ayers' living room. And I don't care about two washed-up old terrorists that are unrepentant about trying to destroy America. But I do care, and Americans should care, about his relationship with him and whether he's being truthful and candid about it.

GIBSON: Do you think his character or lack of candor disqualifies him to be president of the United States?

MCCAIN: I'll leave that up to the American people. But I have every right to insist that he be candid and truthful with the American people. And he needs to be asked about it, and he needs to be forthcoming.
GIBSON: Do you think the relationship with Ayers is a critical issue in this campaign or factor in this campaign?
MCCAIN: I think it's a factor about Sen. Obama's candor and truthfulness with the American people. That's what I think it's about. As I say, I don't care about Mr. Ayers who on Sept. 11, 2001 said he wished he'd have bombed more. I don't care about that. I care about him being truthful about his relationship with him. And Americans will care.
GIBSON: And you're comfortable that this should be a focus in the last days of the campaign?
MCCAIN: I think it's something that needs to be examined. Sen. Clinton said it should be examined during their primary and never was.

Comments (20)

Posted by Samuel
a resident of Stanford
on Oct 9, 2008 at 2:27 pm

The unanswered question is how Ayers, with not only his “unrepentant” terrorist past but his far Leftist present agenda became an influential educator.

The evidence is clear that for many years Barack Obama was Ayers confederate and supporter in that endeavor and has covered up that fact

An idea of what Ayers has in mind for America’s schools was provided in his own words not 40 years ago when Obama was eight years old, but less than two years ago in November 2006 at the World Education Forum in Caracas hosted by dictator Hugo Chavez.

With Chavez at his side, Ayers voiced his support for
“the political educational reforms under way here in Venezuela under the leadership of President Chavez. We share the belief that education is the motor-force of revolution. . . . I look forward to seeing how . . . all of you continue to overcome the failures of capitalist education as you seek to create something truly new and deeply humane.”

Ayers told the great humanitarian Chavez:
“Teaching invites transformations, it urges revolutions large and small. La educacion es revolucion.”
It is that form of socialist revolution that Ayers, and Obama, have worked to bring to America?

We are seeing now the fruit of that program of transformation in an electorate that cannot—or will not—see what and who Obama is, or perhaps doesn’t much care.
America’s educational system has already been heavily compromised by Ayers-like goals and methods.
If you want to know what sort of education Ayers espouses—and has been advocating for many decades—read this excellent summary by Sol Stern. Web Link

Posted by just thinkin'
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 9, 2008 at 2:59 pm

Who was it that said -
"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it." (Hint-think '60's.)?

Posted by Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 9, 2008 at 3:00 pm

"It is that form of socialist revolution that Ayers, and Obama, have worked to bring to America":

Speaking of socialist revolutions, guess who McCain joined with to vote for socialism for Wall Street. Hint: He's "that one."

But who's the socialist now: The guy who finances his campaign with public (social) money (like McCain), or the guy who raises all his money in the marketplace (like Obama)?

Posted by Just a side show
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2008 at 3:06 pm

For those of you who are old enough to remember the Weathermen. They were a threat that never really materialized.

In fact, they turned out to be a bunch of kids who got freaked out by the FBI and hid for a long time in a canyon in Eastern Colorado. They were the first of their kind and America didn't know how to deal with them. They were followed by the Symbionese Liberation Front, the Black Panthers etc.

I don't think Ayers was ever accused of anything or spent time in jail. He is now teaching at the University level. This is a typical McCain storm in a teacup.

Posted by sue
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 9, 2008 at 3:17 pm

The Ayers issue was not vetted during the Democrat primaries because (a) the hard Left that dominates the nominating process likes Ayers and it would have alienated such voters if Obama had been attacked over it, and
(b) when it got down to just two contenders, Hillary Clinton couldn't afford to raise it effectively because her husband had pardoned Ayers' friends, Weatherman terrorists Susan Rosenberg and Linda Evans (i.e., Clinton commuted their respective 58- and 40-year sentences), on his last day in office.
(Clinton, of course, had also commuted the sentences of FALN terrorists in order to help Hillary with New York's sizable Puerto Rican vote in her Senate run — Hillary was in no position to capitalize on anyone's radical ties).

To get an idea of how inextricably linked this is, understand that Ayers's wife, Weatherman terrorist Bernadine Dohrn, served time in prison for contempt of court ... for refusing to testify about Rosenberg's alleged role in the infamous Brinks robbery, in which two police officers and a Brinks guard were murdered.
(And Ayers and Dohrn raised the daughter of Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert, who got lengthy prison sentences upon conviction for the Brinks robbery.)
Hillary was not going to be able to do much with Ayers.
When she made a half-hearted attempt toward the end, Obama was ready and slammed her over the pardons (without making any attempt to explain Ayers).

McCain is the first opponent Obama has had with both a strong motive and a real opportunity to raise Obama's troubling (for may of us, disqualifying) relationship with Ayers.
He has squandered much of the opportunity, but better late than never.
In any event, Gibson knows the score here.
And his question about whether McCain is "comfortable" with this issue being raised at this point boggles the mind.
First, it was the press's job to raise this issue — as we know damn well the press would have if a Republican candidate had ties to a terrorist — and people like Gibson didn't do it.

More importantly, besides his stewardship of Ayers' $150 million "education reform" project, exactly what executive experience does Obama have by which we might measure how he'd use presidential power?

Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 10, 2008 at 3:03 am

Wow, neither Sue nor Samuel can actually write by themselves.

I find it funny that our little Ayers screamers are unable to do any writing of their own.

Posted by Greg K
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 10, 2008 at 9:05 am

The world economy is falling apart and this is the only issue that John McCain can talk about? Show some leadership! Real leaders work on the real problems, not hide from them.

Posted by Samuel
a resident of Stanford
on Oct 10, 2008 at 9:21 am

The question is who has the character and integrity to lead the USA out of the crisis.

Just today we have more information about Obama,Ayer, ACORN and the mortgage meltdown.

People should do things for themselves whenever practical.
Decide their fate whenever possible.
Trust themselves before they trust others.

During a crisis parts of the public are tempted to put their future in the hands of a strongman. Here is Louis FarrakhanWeb Link urging his adherents to listen to the Messiah.
And he leaves no doubt that, insofar as he is concerned, the Messiah is Barack Obama.
Now that’s Farrakhan, not Obama talking.
But it’s likely that I’m not the only one who senses a wind blowing and wants to raise his sails to them.
There will be many “political entrepreneurs” out there.
And if John McCain and others are unwilling to lead the wave of disillusionment somewhere constructive, there will be no shortage of people ready to lead it somewhere catastrophically destructive.

When things are on the move one can lead or follow.
But staying still is not an option.

Posted by parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2008 at 9:57 am

No matter how loud the frantic angry mob screams about this non-issue, they can't change the fact of the matter that McCain is out of touch, he's erratic, and he's not fit to be president. People know what the connection was between Obama/Ayer and they compare that to the qualifications of McCain Palin, and they say - what's worse? Easy answer.

And the inciting of angry mobs in sheer panic is NOT going to help McCain/Palin look more rational, or qualified. Its only going to exacerbate the perception that McCain and Palin are desparate wackos.

If I were a rational republican right now, I'd be so angry that they've made it literally impossible to support their own presidential candidates, by appearing to be SO erratic, desparate and out of touch. Following the advice of the hate inciting mobs now -what more irrational behavior can there be?

I'm much more worried about the fringe of separatists and religious fanatics that the Palins 'pal around with' - than this silly trumped up connection the mob keeps hoping will burst in to flames. Notice how its been shouted about for weeks now, and its still the same old thing over and over and over again. Its not going to magically turn in to a scandal. There's no substance! Its a non-issue.

(Now, you want a real scandal - lets wait for the Troopergate report to get public. The republics can't release spin fast enough on the eve of that report getting out.)

McCain needs to get over his Ayers obsession and start telling the swing voters - and more and more even his own repubulican voters - why he's qualified to be president. And show them he knows how to act like a president! The longer he avoids it, and the longer he continues to let his angry mobs incite hate, the worse its going to be - not only is he going to lose, but a whole bunch of republicans across the country are going to ride his coattails down into the dirty gutters on election day.

Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 10, 2008 at 10:09 am

Samuel and Sue, thank you for taking the time to write great pieces about the relevance of the allegiances Obama has built over time. From the beginning of his formation in college to now, his allegiances have been with socialist/communist/anti-American thugs/terrorists who have never once stated they regret any of their actions. Doesn't matter which person or organization it is, from ACORN to Ayers to Wright to Alinsky, Obama has followed the most radical people possible, pushing for policies which do nothing but destroy the fabric of American society and values.

Of course, there are those who are going to continue to deny the pattern here, trying to make each thread of the fabric separate from the whole, but for the rest of us, the whole picture is emerging.

I had completely forgotten about the Clinton pardon links. Thanks for reminding me about THAT part of the entire Democrat fabric.

The Republican fabric and McCain himself is pretty frayed, I agree. The whole party, with McCain, has moved too far to the left, becoming the Democrat party of JFK. JFK was a great guy, no doubt, but the party, even then, was always pushing for bigger government. At this point, JFK's party is the Republican party. The Democrat party is the Socialist party ( with Communist overtones), and we have no more Conservative party.

Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 10, 2008 at 10:38 am

Let me spell it out for those of you who can't see the relevance. I vote for the person most likely to act and think in a way that is best for my country and its future for my kids. I am not voting for the best looking or the most eloquent, or color or gender or age or anything superficial like that.

Obama has little history to go on in determining how he would react to protect us from others, defend our constitution, and grow our opportunities and economy, so we must make decisions by

+ his minimal voting and work record - never for lower taxes on anyone, always anti-second amendment, always for death of innocents while defending the guilty, always against our military....when he bothers to show up for work)

+ his campaign tactics: bringing up race ad nauseum, trying to silence radio talk show hosts and authors when they bring forth the truth about him instead of addressing the issues, wobbling all over the place trying to hide who he is and what he really believes in order gain traction with the majority of Americans:

Just a few immediate examples

* immediate withdrawal, 16 months withdrawal,
* go into Pakistan, not what I meant,
* raise taxes on the "rich", in an economy that is suffering no raising taxes ( thereby admitting that even HE knows that the higher the tax rate, the less employment and growth there is)
* quoting the bible about taking care of those with less, and ignoring his iomproverished 1/2 brother in Africa
* talking about it is "only fair" to raise taxes to care for others, when he didn't even give 1% of his income to charity until this year when he got busted

+ his allegiances and alliances: I haven't heard of even one formative alliance or relationship that bears any relationship to any of the values I have lived by or teach my kids. Not one for self-repsonsibility, not one for respect for all people of faith, not one that supports our military, not one that has ever worked to strengthen our free market, right to bear arms, or freedom of speech. In fact, the opposite. HIs marxist thug cousin in Kenya he campaigned for, Alinsky, Ayers, Rezko, ACORN (with its lawsuits to harrass banks into lending to unqualified people...hello people???), his Chicago political mentors.

I am not a fool. There is a reason there is the old adage about birds of a feather flocking together. What will be his automatic reaction to any crisis in America, to the appointment of the Supreme Court justices who will retire the moment he comes in, to the diversity of opinion and news sources we have? Little known has been his statements that the first thing he would do would be to sign the Freedom of Choice act ( I cna't remember the exact name) which would eliminate the ability of States to have parental notification laws for teens who abort. ( States who have this law have seen a tremendous drop in teen PREGNANCIES, not to mention much fewer over-age men having sex with underage girls.

This guy, with a majority Democrat controlled Congress, would bring us back in time to Carter, but I am not as confident that we could recover like we did from Carter. Actually, we never did recover fully from Carter, paying the effects with the Community Reinvestment Act and it would just get worse I guess.

Posted by The real Mccain
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2008 at 10:49 am

I like it how now McCain is focusing on character. this coming from a person without any character, ethics or moral fiber left at all.
This is a man who left his crippled wife, after coming back from a stint collaborating with the enemy in Vietnam, so that he could commit adultery with another woman (who happens to be a drug addict). This is a man who was intimately involved in the Keating 5 scandal. This is a man who fathered a child out of wedlock in South Carolina.
And he has the nerve to talk about chracter. what a joke McCain is.

Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 10, 2008 at 11:23 am


You don't get it. Samuel and Sue plagiarized their posts, they didn't write them. It's easy to check, just take a sentence and plug it into Google. The real writer comes right up.

Kind of funny given the righteous huffing and puffing.

Posted by Perpsective
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 10, 2008 at 2:04 pm

I guess I am not as good at you at finding plagiarism..please provide the link for the plagiarism. I tried several sentences, but only got partial matches with any one writer.

Plagiarized or not, the points still hold for who we wish to have as President, but I WOULD like to write to the correct original writer and thank him/her for good writing if it wasn't Samuel or Sue.

Posted by parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2008 at 2:31 pm

This is very scary stuff. Palin's pals are way more concerning than any Ayer connection the McCain/Palin campaign is trying to raise.

Web Link

Can this possibly be all true? Can it be utterly false? It seems way too detailed to be completely false (alot of seemingly verifiable info is contained in this article).

Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 10, 2008 at 2:37 pm

Rule #1: Trust, but verify. If you trust Salon ( I don't), fine. But go verify yourself.

Rule #2: If it doesn't seem like it is possible to all be true, then it probably isn't. The "smell test" is important.

Just making general wise comments, not having read the link, because you have to be a member to read whatever the link was. And I put Salon up there wiht the NYT.

Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 10, 2008 at 4:06 pm


You don't have to be a member to read Salon, you just have to wade through ads. I find it funny that you think you're qualified to render judgment on it when you don't read it. So much for your being widely informed.

And the link can't be "checked" because it contains a lot of first-hand original reporting. It does, however, jibe with other reports of what AIP members have said.

Parent, look at *how* the reporting is done. How much of it is names on the record--so the quotes can be traced to specific people. What attempts are made within the story to confirm allegations--you should have at least two independent sources for the strong stuff and any paper trail possible. In this case, I think the nutjobs said what they said and they believe. What Palin would actually do is another story.

Glad to see Samuel and Sue are trying to use some more of their own words. I had to rap a few knuckles late last night. was one source. As I recall Fox was another--I'm sure either would be your cup of tea, anyway.

I will say Perspective that I do appreciate your expressing your own views here instead of someone else's. Same with Gary, Pam and Walter.

Posted by Lisa
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 11, 2008 at 7:12 pm

Unbelievable. Ohlone "Par", when do you have time to "parent"? Every time I log on, which is not too often because I am busy with my family, you are always THERE. You are so annoying.

Posted by Jane
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 11, 2008 at 8:49 pm

Ohlone "Par" whoever it/ she/ he/ was is a bore and a termagant,
it references pornographers like susie bright to make its case, and has attempted to stalk people who's opinions it does not like through PAUSD kids school registers,
a lot of us wish it would go back to Bezerley where it lives,
but sock puppets and trolls like it are the viruses of blogs so I just ignore its posts, way too weird for us normal Palo Alto folks.

Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 12, 2008 at 1:27 am


It helps if you can type with more than two fingers.


Sour grapes, dear.

Why wouldn't Susie Bright's background make her a good source on lesbian sexuality?

And how is it that you think I have both access to PAUSD school register *and* live out of town?

At least try to be slightly internally consistent when you flame.

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