Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) (L) and Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain (R-AZ) greet each other as they visit the site of the former twin towers, on the seventh anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center, in New York September 11, 2008. (UPI Photo/Shannon Stapleton/POOL) | License Photo
NEW YORK, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- A senior campaign official for Republican U.S. presidential nominee John McCain says The New York Times "is not a journalistic organization."
Steve Schmidt made the declaration on a conference call with reporters Monday, the Washington Web site Politico said.
"Whatever The New York Times once was, it is today not by any standard a journalistic organization," Schmidt reportedly said. "It is a pro-Obama advocacy organization that every day impugns the McCain campaign, attacks Senator McCain, attacks Governor (Sarah Palin)," Schmidt reportedly said.
Politico said Schmidt later added that the campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois has been "abetted" by a compliant media that runs more negative stories about McCain and Palin, his running mate.
Schmidt made the comments after being asked by a CNN reporter about an article tying McCain campaign manager Rick Davis to a lobbying group established by financially teetering mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Web site said.
Politico said the conference call was "rife" with misstatements and that Schmidt exaggerated or misstated details about ties of Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden and his family to the credit card industry, as well as Obama's relationship with 1960s radical William Ayers.
Schmidt said, for example, that Biden's son, Hunter Biden, is a lobbyist for the credit card and banking industry. Hunter Biden is a registered lobbyist, Politico said, but his none of his clients are banks or credit card companies.
Schmidt said Obama "began his political career in its early stages raising money" at Ayers' house. Politico noted that Obama held a 1995 campaign event at Ayers' home but it was not a fundraiser and Ayers did not give money to Obama's first campaign.
Michael Goldfarb, a McCain campaign aide, said Politico was "quibbling with ridiculously small details when the basic things are completely right."