CNN on the Cunningham flap
From Anderson Cooper 360. John King was reporting from Cincinnati Wednesday.
KING: At issue is Cunningham's warm up act at McCain's Tuesday Cincinnati rally.
CUNNINGHAM: Now we have a hack, Chicago-style Daley politician. Maybe start covering Barack Hussein Obama.
KING: Cunningham is a local legend invited by local Republicans who know he's a magnet for controversy.
MAGGIE NAFZINGER, EXEC. DIR., HAMILTON CO. REPUBLICAN PARTY: You're playing with a little bit of fire, but at the same time, I don't think anyone expected the comments.
KING: The media frustration for people like Maggie Nafzinger, headlines about the controversy not about McCain's political message.
The longer term worry is the impact among conservatives who already doubt McCain. Cincinnati is critical to Republican chances in close Ohio campaigns. While on Tuesday, Republicans called Cunningham a critical player, the clear goal Wednesday was to play down the potential damage.
NAFZINGER: I don't think that hurt Senator McCain at all. He is a conservative. He's clearly by far the most conservative in the race. So I don't think Bill Cunningham's comments will hurt Senator McCain at all.
KING: Bill Cunningham thinks his voice does matter.
CUNNINGHAM: McCain should lose this election and then let the Democrat win.
KING: He has 250 days to prove it.
John King, CNN, Cincinnati.