Thursday, January 17, 2008
Anderson's View: Dirty Politics
It was depressing to hear that John McCain is once again facing phony accusations and slanderous whispers as he campaigns in South Carolina.

I don't support any candidate, so I am not saying this because of any particular affinity for Sen. McCain. I am saying this because more than ever we need to be brought together as a country, as a citizenry, and these kind of tactics are all about creating divisions.

This happened to Sen. McCain back in 2000, and now at least he has the money and experience to aggressively challenge these false rumors and aggressive automated calls which spread untruths, but some people will no doubt believe them.

Tonight, we take an up close look at some of the dirty tricks being used so far in this election season, and Joe Johns has a one-on-one interview with Sen. McCain.

We'll also be looking at the latest on the murder of Maria Lauterbach, and we'll take an up close look at Scientology. See you at 10p ET!

-- Anderson Cooper
Posted By CNN: 5:41 PM ET
Yeah I hate all of these dirty tricks that they try to play! It seems to me that if they had the right stuff for the job then they wouldn't have to resort to such tactics. I guess this shows that they don't! Looking forward to McCain's interview.

C-Ya Tonight!

Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Blogger Cindy : 6:11 PM ET
Anderson, I agree whole-heartedly. It is truly sad that we can't seem to talk about the issues that actually matter, like health care, poverty, civil rights, dealing with things like pollution and racism, and end up having, instead, to deal with sleaze, innuendo, and outright lies.
Posted By Anonymous rickb, indiana, pa : 6:17 PM ET
Anderson, unfourtinately dirty politics is just part of the game. I don't think it will ever change. I think dirty politics goes on so that people are focusing on that instead of the real issues.

I am looking forward to the up close look at scientology.

See you tonight!!!
Posted By Anonymous Sarah, Atlanta, GA : 6:19 PM ET
Hey, Anderson--
Way to play it safe there: "I don't support any candidate..." Heh.
I have to say, I feel bad for Sen. McCain, because he's a pretty good politician, and I hate it when anyone, even the slimey ones, end up with a bunch of rumours floating around about them. It's rude to gossip; come on, people.
ANOTHER up-close look at Scientology? Now I have to watch!
See you tonight.

--Mari, MI
Posted By Anonymous Marine H : 6:20 PM ET
Ok, I have pretty much been chained to the desk and have not heard about the dirty tactics. Gosh, it would be nice if they all could stay focused on the issues. I think there are enough of them that need to be addressed. I just saw how the market closed today.. Yikes...

Looking forward to the show. Will have to Tivo or catch the late replay. Don't know much about Scientology so that has got me curious.
Posted By Anonymous Mary H. St. Louis, MO : 6:23 PM ET
Anderson, I couldn't agree with you more in the case of dirty politics. It would appear that with every election these tactics start earlier and earlier and are targeted at the at the most "vulnerable" or idealist political candidates. However, I think that the majority of the people in this country are smart enough to look beyond all these attacks and listen to what the candidates themselves actually have to say. Plus with the Internet the public can read the candidates records for themselves, if they really feel they want to know the truth, I know I do.

The only solution I can see to bring this country together is to somehow cut this campaigning season down. To begin campaigning almost two years before the actual election is just too much, people get tired and just give up on everything. Maybe one or two debates before a convention is OK, but having one almost every night just adds to the confusion and dirty politics.
Posted By Anonymous Marcia, Warren Mi : 6:23 PM ET
You spoke my mind Anderson. "I don't support any candidate" neither do I. At this point, every aspect of our human society, political, economic, religious, social is under so much turmoil, and growing degradation that I look toward divine intervention, and when I say divine I don't mean Romney or Huckabee.

You echo Glenn Beck's words. We need to start looking at each other as human beings and stop the petty divisions created by petty people.

Looking forward to your Scientology report. I find it confusing so now I'll learn something. See you at 10 here in NYC.
Posted By Anonymous Mariela, New York, NY : 6:24 PM ET

I agree totally. It is too bad that campaigns can't be run honestly. McCain has always impressed me as being on the up and up and deserving of our respect if only because of his service to our country. You may not agree with him, but to tell lies about him, that is low.

Some people will believe the lies and not investigate the truth for themselves. Just a few weeks ago a friend said she would never support Obama. I asked why. She said he won't say the Pledge of Allegiance and is a Muslim. I said that was not true. She said, then why is he named Obama. I said he father was African. Oh, I don't know anything about him but I have a picture on my computer of him not saluting the flag. I told her why didn't she try watching the news or reading the paper to get informed and stop believing stuff people sent her on the internet(s). Needless to say I will not be discussing the election with her when I see her again. Good grief.

Charlotte D, Stockton CA
Posted By Blogger Charlotte : 6:25 PM ET
Anderson, I completely agree with you about how depressing it is that people are attacking Senator McCain. It is one things to say that you disagree with the political views of someone but it is a completely different thing when you attack someone's integrity or convictions. There is no place for dirty politics in a time when all we see is division; like you said Anderson we need unity. Looking forward to the show tonight.
Posted By Anonymous Jessica, Bourbonnais Illinois : 6:27 PM ET
Anderson, scientology is just bizzare. Devoted to you as I am, I have to say I don't think Tom and Katie are newsworthy. Entertaining, yes of course, but not worthy of 360!

I feel bad for McCain. He seems to be at the short end of the stick, even when he's on top. I am glad he can properly defend himself this time around. Shame on the people spreading rumors and lies about him.
Posted By Anonymous Jess, Paris, KY : 6:28 PM ET
Dear Anderson,

I am so glad that you are going to cover this issue tonight. I do not support any candidate either, but I think these types of desperate tactics, no matter whom they are aimed against, are inexcusable.

When candidates and their supporters stoop this low it means they have run out of good arguments to use against their opponent. In my opinion, it is being used simply as a diversion to keep Senator McCain and his supporters from talking about the issues. Only ignorant, uninformed people will believe this type of garbage.

I agree that this is just another attempt to create division in this country and it does nothing to enhance the election process.

I look forward to Joe Johns' interview with Senator McCain tonight. I am sure he will handle this situation with class and dignity.

Jo Ann
North Royalton, Ohio
Posted By Blogger Jo Ann : 6:29 PM ET
I agree that McCain is being treated unfairly. Even if one doesn't agree with his politics doesn't the fact that he served our country grant him the right to a bit more respect? I support McCain and wish that others could see how worthy his is of being the next President.

Puyallup, WA
Posted By Anonymous Rebekah : 6:34 PM ET
When people spread lies about you, it's usually because they're scared of the truth you represent. At least that's what I believe. Everybody needs to lose the pacifiers and grow up.
Posted By Anonymous Tammy, Berwick, LA : 6:37 PM ET
Hi Anderson, I am so tired of all the negativity in the presidential campaign, and I wish it will just stop. It takes away from the real concerns our country is facing. I hope voters are smarter than that and are not gullible. I hope they vote based on their own independent thinking and research. Personally, as a voter, my policy is to not listen to any more negative accusations. A candidate who maligns another is so insecure of their own qualifications that they have to resort to smearing other candidates' reputations just to get our vote. They should stick to talking about their own accomplishments, how they can apply their skills and experiences to the White House, and leave the other candidates alone.

Thanks and I'll be watching tonight,

Edmonds, Washington
Posted By Blogger Lilibeth : 6:42 PM ET
Appealing to people's emotions, fears, and prejudices is demogoguery and has been around since the Greek republics. Candidates wouldn't resort to dirty tricks if they didn't work. If only we could hold them to a higher standard! Things aren't going to change until the electorate gets fed up and expresses its outrage at the ballot box. Until then, I'm afraid it's going to be business as usual.
Posted By Blogger Barbara in Culver City, CA : 6:44 PM ET
Looking fwd to your Scientology piece. Would love to know how it ever managed to get defined as a "religion??!!" And with tax exempt status. How did that happen?

Nick E, Manhattan, NY
Posted By Anonymous Nickis : 6:53 PM ET
We're one big family in about as much disfunction as we can possibly find. The very fabric of our family unit is being wrent in two. We wouldn't know unity if it hit us on the head. I'm not so sure that we even have unity as something we truly want anymore.

Portland, Oregon
Posted By Blogger Lewis : 7:01 PM ET
Anderson, I couldn't agree with you more. What the Huckabee camp is doing to John McCain is just wrong. Isn't this is the same Mike Huckabee that pulled his attack ad because he didn't want to get into dirty politics?

I read that one question on the push poll states that Sen. McCain "voted to allow experiments to be done on unborn babies." Come on, isn't there a better way to say McCain supports stem cell research?

If that isn't misleading and dirty politics, I don't know what is. Eventhough this poll is being done by a third party who is no stranger to dirty politics, I am disappointed in Gov. Huckabee. I thought he had more integrity.

I am not a Republican but I do hope John McCain can rise above the ugliness to win South Carolina. I like a good underdog!

Looking forward to the program.

Sheryn, NJ
Posted By Blogger Sheryn : 7:46 PM ET
I'm not sure what candidate I will eventually support, and I'm even pretty sure Senator McCain will not be my choice, but I find these dirty political tricks to be reprehensible.

Any individual or group who spreads these lies, and twisted half truths should be held responsible for their statements.

And it seems that the people who make these claims are the same people who are screaming we must support our troops. I suppose that support only exists until the soldier is on the opposite side of a political divide.

When the same kind of people attacked Senator Max Cleland back in 2002, it was Senator John McCain who protested about those ads. These dirty tricks are something which should unite everyone in opposition.

Attacking a person's integrity and character should not be a part of political campaigning. If a candidate cannot win by his position on the issues, then he doesn't deserve to win.
Posted By Anonymous Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA : 7:57 PM ET
Hi Anderson,

Some scumbags out there are too afraid to argue the issues so they'd rather play dirty politics instead.

I've always voted for a Democrat for president but John McCain seems to be a good, honest man. I read his book about his experiences during the Viet Nam war. I hope he wins the nomination.

If he does, a lot Democrats will have a serious decision to make when voting for president - stick with the party candidate or vote for McCain.

Kay - Temple, TX
Posted By Blogger Kay : 8:20 PM ET
Its a shame that McCain has to spend any of his funds on countering lies spread about him rather than on spreading the word on what his stand on the issues are.

John McCain has served this country for his entire life - as a soldier and as a political figure. He deserves better than this even if you don't want to vote for him. And the American people sure deserve and need for the campaign to stay on track and not be bogged down and distracted by lies, rumor and innuendo. I don't know about anyone else but I don't want a President that got to the White House by spreading lies about other candidates.

Annie Kate
Birmingham AL
Posted By Blogger Annie Kate : 8:45 PM ET
Why point only to John McCain ? I think Governor Romney and Gov. Huckabee are treated unfairly, with having to defend how they worship. Why do we think that Mitt and Huckabee's religions will play a bigger part in their Presidencies than other candidates? And why arent' other candidates being "grilled" by the public and media about their religious beliefs?
Posted By Anonymous xtina - chicago IL : 8:50 PM ET
Like I tell my daughter when people try to bring her down when she does good. People try to bring others down when they can't elevate themselves to your level.

Just proving that the Greek word is correct....Politics = Poli meaning multi and tics meaning lies.

It's sad to see someone get beat down unfairly.

I'm from the other end of the political board (toes on the nose practically) but at least McCain will address that Global Warming might be an issue, unlike the other Republicans who are very liaise Fair on environmental issues.....unless it involves digging it up.

Tell those Conservatives to back away from the Wildlife Preserve and no one gets hurt. The polar bears don't need an oil treatment and ...I think there's a 12 step program for that crude dependency.
Posted By Anonymous Sabrina in Los Angeles : 9:36 PM ET
I am shocked, SHOCKED to discover there are dirty tricks going on in politics!

Let's stop being so naive and realize that we live in a win-at-all-costs society, and it's never been a "fair fight" in the political arena.
Posted By Anonymous Cpt. Louis Renault, Casablanca : 9:54 PM ET
Hi Anderson,
The thing about dirty politics or dirty pool for that matter, is that the mudslingers always think they aren't guilty of it. Just read any blog, any web site or listen to TV and you'll hear gossip thrown around like a ping pong ball.
Maybe we all need to look into that elusive mirror and see if our own reflections are tarnished by repeating hearsay. Take Care

Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.
Posted By Blogger Lorie Ann : 10:48 PM ET
These calls are an epidemic and are invading the privacy of All American Voters.

Our members are taking a stand and saying enough is enough at the National Political Do Not Contact Registry at

Here is a quote from a member this morning:

"I find it very frustrating... I tend to get calls at the WORST time. I have a one year old daughter, and it NEVER fails that the phone will ring when I put her down for a nap or for bed. Also my vote is PRIVATE... so who do you think you are calling with a survey to find out who I am voting for!!! Stop calling me."


Shaun Dakin
CEO and Founder
Posted By Anonymous Shaun Dakin, Washington, DC : 10:50 PM ET
It's a Catch-22. If a candidate doesn't fight back against dirty politics, it will appear they're "guilty" of something. But if they join the fray, voters look at them as just another dirty politician.
Posted By Anonymous Ben -- Raleigh, N.C. : 12:01 AM ET
We all need a time out from politics -- wait, we've got NINE MORE MONTHS of this !
Posted By Anonymous Joanne W , Des Moines, Ia. : 12:06 AM ET

Everyone keeps saying John McCain is the first one in this race to be a victim of personal attacks. Did we just forget about all the anti-Mormon push polling in New Hampshire? Mitt Romney was the first victim of these personal attacks, along with an entire religion.

I have been dying to know who did that push polling in New Hampshire. The attorney general said they were tracking it down, but wouldn't know until after the primary. Will you go track it down for us? Please? And track down the junk in South Carolina, too? It's time these underhanded people were exposed to the public light. I bet the Attorney General in NH knows by now who it was, and you can find out if you just press a little bit.

Posted By Anonymous Stephen, Hattiesburg, MS : 1:22 AM ET
Anderson, I have nothing but the utmost respect for John McCain & feel that he has gotten a dirty deal for many years. I believe he is so very honorable; if I could have a "wish-ticket", it would be John McCain & Joe Lieberman -- never will happen, but for me that is a "Dream-Team".

Diane in Tustin, CA.
Posted By Anonymous Anonymous : 9:33 PM ET
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