Tags: Bennett | Slams | NY | Times

Bennett Slams NY Times Hit Job on McCain

Wednesday, 20 Feb 2008 09:34 PM

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The liberal New York Times is wasting no time in smearing John McCain, the Republican Party nominee for President.

Late Wednesday, the Times published to its website a story set to hit print editions Thursday, linking McCain to a female lobbyist. The paper suggested the Arizona Senator has been engaged in an illicit relationship.

"A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client’s corporate jet," the Times reported. "Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself — instructing staff members to block the woman’s access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity."

Noted Democratic attorney Robert Bennett appeared on Fox News Wednesday night and called the Times report nothing more than a "real hit job."

Bennett, brother of conservative pundit Bill Bennett, had served as private counsel to President Bill Clinton in the 1990s during the Paula Jones scandal.

The Times said that McCain, 71, and the lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, 40, denied the Times innuendo that they had engaged in a romantic relationship or that McCain had done favors for Iseman. The Times alleged that McCain had written letters to government regulators on behalf of Iseman.

Though McCain has had a reputation as an independent and maverick U.S. Senator who has championed ethic and campaign finance reform, the Times story painted a different picture.

Though last year McCain had voted to end the practice of lawmakers using private jets paid for by those lobbying Congress, the Times said McCain had used the private planes of billionaires Rupert Murdoch and Michael R. Bloomberg, as well as one of Iseman’s clients.

The paper also dredged up McCain's role in the infamous S&L scandal and his collaboration with banker Charles Keating. McCain was named a member of the so-called "Keating Five."

A Senate Ethic Committee probe found that McCain was only guilty of “poor judgment” in the affair. Bennett noted that he served as the Democratic counsel to the committee investigating the five U.S. Senators. Bennett said he concluded that McCain was an "an honest man."

He added that Times report was "shameless" and slammed the paper for publishing the story, which he described as "entirely unsourced."

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