October 13th, 2008
05:51 PM ET

Ayers and the McCain-G. Gordon Liddy Symbiosis

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/13/art.mccain.liddy.jpg
caption="Right: Sen. John McCain. Left: G. Gordon Liddy."]
Carl Bernstein
CNN Political Analyst

Does John McCain "pal around with terrorists?"

Certainly McCain's continuing "association" and relationship with the convicted Watergate burglar and domestic terrorist G. Gordon Liddy might suggest that is the case, if we are to apply the standards drawn by the McCain campaign.

In 1998, Liddy gave a fundraiser in his Scottsdale, Arizona home for McCain's senatorial re-election campaign - the two posed for photographs together; and as recently as May, 2007, as a presidential candidate, McCain was a guest on Liddy's syndicated radio show. Inexplicably, McCain heaped praise on his host's values. During the segment, McCain said he was "proud" of Liddy, and praised Liddy's "adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great."

Which of Liddy's "principles and philosophies" was McCain referring to? Liddy's advocacy of break-ins? Firebombings? Assassinations? Kidnappings? Taking target practice with figures nicknamed Bill and Hillary?


Filed under: Barack Obama • Carl Bernstein • John McCain • Raw Politics
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Eva

    Well, I would just like to call all this Bill Ayers non-sense plain politiking.
    For those who insist otherwise; it is amazing that u decide flail around like the sky is falling and act concerned. Do u know that this is a professor – as in – he is out there lecturing students who might some day run for office – then what ; we won't elect these students to any office becoz they sat in Bill Ayers class for a semester or for what ever period of time?
    If u can't do ur own investigation and come up with something concrete but are going to just – for lack of a better word- yak about this; I suggest that u move on to the next politiking issue u think might improve Senator McCains position.
    People have grown up and are not easily hood winked; if u don't know that by now then it is no wander Senator McCain is lagging behind – some bad advice he is getting from his advisers and/ or he is falling for tricks that pundits put out e.g. " the only way McCain can make a come back is by going negative " anyone remember that? Where is the Maverick – he should know better than to follow bandwagon effect.

    I am not voting for McCain; but I sure hate to see him in postions that I know he has been dragged into coz I don't believe he is the kind of man that he has been potrayed lately – but that is only because he is getting bad advice – shame on those who are working with him and shame on Sarah Palin who should have seen this. She was the fresh add on, came in from out side and should have spotted this right on. So much for a fresh face. LESSON # 1 be yourselves – if u have not yet figured that one out yet, well...............

    October 13, 2008 at 8:41 pm |
  2. Maureen / Newman, California

    You GOP bloggers seem a bit ... hummm... angry and desperate.

    October 13, 2008 at 8:34 pm |
  3. Gary Chandler in Canada

    SM October 13th, 2008 5:58 pm ET
    Trying to distract from Obamas “friends”?
    SM two things
    1. do a Utube and Google on Hagee Parsley and Todd Palin AIP!!!
    2. Ayers was fighting to stop an insane invasion of a foreign country (napalm anybody? Mai Lai?) Ayers succeeded. Liddy was intent on destroying the democratic process in America and he suggested murders during the cover up

    October 13, 2008 at 8:24 pm |
  4. Gary Chandler in Canada

    I just wish I could hear Sarah Palin's 'perspective' on McCain and Liddy AND then hear Tina Frey's perspective on Palin's perspective!
    Let's see, Tina, "Well John McCain was only 48 when Liddy was trying to destroy democracy in America." "They just crossed paths."
    Why can McCain lie on tv? Every show today runs the Bash interview and lets McCain say he has "'heard the same things at Obama rallies." NOT TRUE
    Why can he say, over and over, that he suspended his campaign? NOT TRUE

    October 13, 2008 at 8:18 pm |
  5. j9lonehill

    I am glad we are talking about people that live in glass houses, as the saying goes. There should also be mention about Todd Palin and his membership in the AIP since it seems we get a twofer with the Palins. It is proven that he sits in a chair in his wifes office and is privy to all that goes on as "First Dude". That Mitch Vogler has many statements about hating America and wanting Alaska to be independent. This is Todd Palins political belief!

    I am sick of John McCain and his fight speech. This is a time when people are hurting and things are very bad for many. This rhetoric has unleased the scary republicans who have a safety in unleashing their hate and racism. It is cloaked by this paling around with Terrorists and Muslim cover, which as a minority I know is blatant racism. There was a post in AOL last night asking all white people to unite and prepare for the fight that is coming. Is this the fight McCain wants and is calling for?

    October 13, 2008 at 8:18 pm |
  6. annie

    So, when Obama takes over the White House and invites his friend, Wm Ayers, who regrets not bombing more buildings as he stated in 2001, perhaps Obama will let Ayers destroy our White House just to satisfy his friend Ayers' desire to bomb and destroy more buildings. Come on – Obama is just like his friend, Ayers. Let's face it, all Obama has going for him is his rhetoric – TALK, TALK, AND MORE LIES. HE DOESN'T EVEN HAVE ANY EXECUTIVE EXERIENCE.TO BACK UP HIS EMPTY BUDGETARY PROMISES.

    October 13, 2008 at 8:16 pm |
  7. Miranda

    I ceased to be amazed or shocked anymore by human behavior.The word terrorist should be reserved for those individuals who actually warrant it and am afraid it will lose its potency when mentioned like so many other words in our english language like for example integrity.

    Politicians would not be where they are at in the public eye if they actually were held responsible for all they say and do.To me therefore it is a bunch of red herrings design to distract American' from what really are the important issues facing our country today.

    A man's character is a summation of the choices in life that they have made not 3rd party speculation of said choices.

    At the end of the day I believe as an American, whether it be for Senator Obama or Senator McCain, we as a country will have a 44th President of the United States ready to lead by the choice of the people exercising their right to vote.

    October 13, 2008 at 8:07 pm |
  8. Lucy

    You talk about living in a glass house...every time McCain thinks he can throw mud at Obama, he ends up getting more mud on himself. Liddy did 5 years in prison for the Watergate break-in, the hallmark for extreme dirty political campaigns, which led to Nixon's impeachment.

    All that just reminds me that McCain has been around a long time, and lots of his friends like Keating and Liddy are convicted felons. Add that to all the scandals in both Republican majority Senate and House and Bush Jr.'s Presidency these last 8 past years and the question is how many of McCain's Republican friends aren't crooks and felons. Then McCain get associated again with "I am not a crook" Nixon. Another reminder of our history of the worse presidents since WWII, who just so happen to be both Republican Presidents. Do you want another Republican in the White House, can you afford another Republican?

    McCain needs to change his theme song to "oops, I did it again" (Brittney Spears song). However, that would only remind me of that ridiculous McCain's ad of Brittney Spear and Paris Hilton indicating that Obama was an air-head celebrities. CnnMoney's article reported on Krugman who just won the Noble Prize for economics calls the GOP as "the party of stupid". Does it get any more stupid that this?

    October 13, 2008 at 8:04 pm |
  9. Larry

    Who vetted Obama? Is it a difficult question?

    October 13, 2008 at 7:57 pm |
  10. DR

    It's nice to see McCain pulled up and questioned on HIS friends and pals; it's only fair. No bull is good to know. Liddy has been a skunk for years. At least Ayrers has done a lot for education the last 40 years.

    October 13, 2008 at 7:50 pm |
  11. Madeline

    It's amazing the number of commentators 360 has who are ready and willing to defend Obama and attack McCain on a daily basis. C'mon guys, let Obama win the election on his own.

    October 13, 2008 at 7:46 pm |
  12. Regina

    I am old enough to remember vividly the Watergate Scandals. Please do not infer that G Gordon Liddy was above reproach. For Mr McCain, so say he was so proud of Liddy was a little more than I could accept. Evidently McCain has lost sight of just what it means to be a crook. Remember President Nixon said "He was not a Crook" What a Crock.

    October 13, 2008 at 7:27 pm |
  13. Greg

    I think Carl Bernstein's post went over your head Cindy.

    October 13, 2008 at 7:08 pm |
  14. Iman

    just goes to show you, McCains closet has a few skeletons in it as well, not to mention the Palin's and their association with the AIP which advocated that Alaska secede from the Union, the same ideas that sparked the civil war.....way to go Todd and Sarah

    October 13, 2008 at 7:06 pm |
  15. xtina, chicago IL

    G. Gordon Liddy did set a firebomb on the Brookings Institute to damage documents that would, I assume be incriminating to Liddy and his party.

    October 13, 2008 at 6:51 pm |
  16. chuck

    What about Sarah Palin's husband?

    October 13, 2008 at 6:48 pm |
  17. MiMi

    Well, it is about time that someone has finally said this. If it is fair to say that Obama has shown "bad judgement" with his assocciations with "questionable" people, then it is fair game to bring out "questionable" people" in McCain's LONG career and expose his "bad judgement"

    Let's face it, when you are a lawyer or a community organizer or an elected state offical or a long time policticans( as McCain) who in their career has not run into or had some sort of dealing with persons other poeple find questionable? And, let's be sure, McCain does as well!

    We have all heard about Obama and all of these"questionable" peolpe for the last 18 months or so. Aren't we all tried of " beating a dead horse". There are alot of skeletons in alot of closets to go around. We have much more important matters to discuss then this.

    Let's move on to what is really important!

    October 13, 2008 at 6:36 pm |
  18. Bret Peters

    Not even going to comment. I would be no better than Palin. But thank you for the imporant info.

    October 13, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  19. Cindy

    There is a HUGE difference in talking about bombing something and actually doing it! Liddy went to prison for the break in only. If he did anything else that you are trying to say then he'd have served way more time and Nixon would have been in way more trouble for covering up for him.

    Ayers on the other hand actually bombed places! He has no remorse for it and says he regrets that they didn't do more. Liddy's crime is minute compared to Ayers! There is no comparison!!

    Ayers is a form of terrorists. Anyone that bombs places is. Liddy was just a burglar. If you can say they are equal then you need serious help.


    October 13, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  20. erin

    Touche. Thank you for this post.

    October 13, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  21. Fred

    I agree with you, how can they (McCain's Campaign) criticize Obama when they are just as bad, if not worse.

    October 13, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  22. Larry

    Who vetted Obama?

    October 13, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  23. SM

    Karen – Are you kidding?

    October 13, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  24. GAIL Centre,Al;

    Mr. Bernstein, is this a joke. It would be funny if it wasn't such a serious matter. Everyone knows J0hn MCcain, and this absurd. Do you still have all your marbles, or like Katie Couric your Just not the sharpest knife in the drawer.Oh , these CNN antalyst. What will they think of next. shameful

    October 13, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  25. karen-phoenix

    Thank you!!! McCain has been running around with a whole lot worse "domestic terrorists" than Obama!

    October 13, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  26. SM

    Trying to distract from Obamas "friends"? Obama has made more than one bad choice, Ayers, Wright and ACORN! Come on CNN, spend equal time on Obamas serious credibility issues.

    October 13, 2008 at 5:58 pm |