From WZZM13 News:
CINCINNATI – The coming together of Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign and conservative radio talk-show host Bill Cunningham was a shaky and extraordinarily brief marriage.
That it ended Tuesday in a bitter divorce could mean that McCain might lose custody of the marriage’s only asset – millions of conservative Republican voters who listen to and believe in syndicated radio hosts like Cunningham and his colleagues.
Original DVD cover.
Another film from JSM Studios
The courtship between the McCain campaign and Cunningham began over lunch two weeks ago where two powerful Republican politicians – former Sen. Mike DeWine, McCain’s Ohio campaign chairman, and Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters – met with Cunningham.
They wanted to see if he would use his WLW-AM radio microphone and his nationally syndicated show on Sundays to support McCain’s bid for the presidency.
It ended in disaster Tuesday, when Cunningham gave a warm-up speech for McCain’s Cincinnati rally in which he attacked Democratic Sen. Barack Obama in personal terms, sending McCain through the roof once he heard about it.
Minutes after the rally ended, McCain rushed out to the waiting media and repudiated everything Cunningham had said, saying he would not tolerate personal attacks on opponents.
That lit a fire under Cunningham’s colleagues in the conservative talk show business – from Sean Hannity to Rush Limbaugh – who immediately began denouncing McCain, reaching millions of conservative Republican voters whom McCain desperately needs.
Deters, who said he had no problem with what Cunningham said at the McCain rally, said he invited Cunningham to speak, but not at the lunch with DeWine.
Cunningham now says he isn’t supporting McCain. But he backed off Tuesday’s on-air remarks that he would support Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.
“John McCain, I’m done with you,” he said. “I may not vote for Hillary, but I’m done with Juan Pablo McCain,” he said.
From The Enquirer (Cincinnati):
Cunningham called Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama a “hack Chicago-style Daley politician” and used Obama’s middle name — Hussein — twice. Cunningham also mocked the foreign policy in an Obama presidency.
The comments were subsquently repudiated by McCain, who said his campaign would not denigrate Obama or Sen. Hillary Clinton.
Cunningham said today his comments were not offensive or racist.
“Everyone in the hall was happy with what I had to say, because it was regular political discourse,” he said.
Cunningham said he had received many emails at the station about his McCain rally comments. He found it ironic that “many are using hate speech attacking me in emails” in complaining that his remarks was hate speech.
McCain denied ever meeting Cunningham before, saying “I will certainly make sure nothing like that happens again.” But Cunningham told CNN he met McCain twice before, including with Mike DeWine at Kenwood Country Club. “John McCain is developing — maybe because of his advance in years — a bad memory,” Cunningham said.
The purpose of using Obama’s full name - Barack Hussein Obama – “is to identify that person. I meant no offense by it,” Cunningham said. Those who oppose his use of Obama’s middle name are those who should be criticized, Cunningham added.
The radio talk show host went on to say McCain is not a conservative. “Why is he attacking me and not Obama or Hillary? He ought to attack Democrats and quit attacking conservatives like me.”
What else did this delightful little
tool radio show host have to say? Also from The Enquirer:
At one point, Cunningham compared Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Madeleine Albright, whom he said “looks like death warmed over.”
He also commented on the difference between former Ohio Rep. Rob Portman, whose wife is named Jane, and Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, an openly gay member of Congress.
“Jane’s the main difference, but that’s a different story,” Cunningham said. As Cunningham finished, Portman, who is mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate, took the microphone to introduce McCain.
“Willie, you’re out of control again. So, what else is new? But we love him,” Portman said. “But I’ve got to tell you, Bill Cunningham lending his voice to this campaign is extremely important.”
Speaking to reporters later alongside McCain, Portman said he was backstage and did not hear everything Cunningham said.
What a class act!