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Friday, February 29, 2008

Portman: Cunningham crossed the line

Former congressman Rob Portman, who followed radio host Bill Cunningham on stage at the John McCain rally here Tuesday, said that if he could have heard Cunningham's insults from his perch backstage, he might have joined in McCain's on-the-spot repudiation of Cunningham too.

Portman - often mentioned as a potential running mate for McCain, whose candidacy he had endorsed that morning - said he was off-stage at Memorial Hall during Cunningham's 10-minute warm-up act, in which he hurled insults at Obama, the media and Democrats in general.

McCain didn't hear the Cunningham speech either - he was just entering the building as Cunningham spoke. But he was told about it after his speech to the party faithful at Memorial Hall. He marched out to the back of the theater where the local and traveling press were waiting to talk to the candidate.

Without being asked about it, McCain ripped into Cunningham, saying he would not tolerate personal attacks on his opponents. As McCain was talking, Portman was walking up to his side; he had been asked to come before the press to answer any questions about his support for McCain.

"At that point, I still wasn't sure what had been going on,'' Portman said.

Portman said he learned later what Cunningham had said.

"It was not only inappropriate in a presidential campaign; it is the kind of stuff that is not helpful to a presidential campaign,'' Portman said.

"Making fun of someone's name is not right for grade school election, or even a high school election, and certainly not in a presidential campaign,'' Portman said.

Cunningham has served an emcee or a warm-up act at countless republican rallies and fundraisers over the years. But Portman, who may run for Ohio governor in 2010, pointed out that he has never had Cunningham at one of his campaign events.


at 1:54 PM, February 29, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

so,ummm...making fun of someone's name is simply saying the person's name,Rob? John Fitzgerald Kennedy...am I making fun of the Irish? oops....sorry...William Jefferson Clinton...am I making fun of rubes in Arkansas?

at 2:31 PM, February 29, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

So now we can't even say the guy's name? Are you kidding me? If Obama has a problem with his name he should take it up with his father. This is absurd!

Obama is trying to scare the GOP into not campaigning against him.

at 2:39 PM, February 29, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Portman,
You should be smarter than that to make such a statement. And don't be such a wuss.

at 2:41 PM, February 29, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob will need Cunningham's support if he runs for Governor. This just may direct Cunningham's support to John Kasich.

at 3:03 PM, February 29, 2008 Blogger usefullidiot said...

Portsman went too far in trying to sell-out national security interests in his breif tenure as trade rep.

at 3:43 PM, February 29, 2008 Blogger jacktheclipper said...

McCain and Portman understood exactly what Cunningham was doing just like the vast majority of other Greater Cincinnatians who have listened and watched his juvenile tactics over the years.
Unfortunately, there is a minority of less thoughtful people who take him seriously. That is the danger in all of this.
Cunningham preys on the weak (minded) whose votes count.
Before anyone feels sorry for Bill Cunningham, think about all of the defensless people Cunningham rails against day-after-day on his radio show.
What goes around comes around...and Cunningham is getting a taste of his own medicine...

at 4:16 PM, February 29, 2008 Anonymous TB said...

Nobody "often mentions" Portman as a possible running mate for McCain except KMK stooges at the Enquirer. Didn't you guys see the poll? McCain gains NOTHING in Ohio by selecting Portman, and in fact loses more support than he gains. Additionally, let's not forget Portman's big old grin and praise for Willie when he first went on stage. It's the end of the week, and he's finally jumping on the McCain Apology Bus, but that day, he was all smiles. Portman's an idiot who didn't even have the sense to identify a train wreck happening right in front of his eyes. He has about as great a chance of being vice-president as Willie Cunningham.

at 4:33 PM, February 29, 2008 Blogger Mark Miller said...

I guess we're going to have to start referring to Obama as "he who shall not be named," just like Voldemort in the Harry Potter books. How foreboding. When the dark lord is finally elected president....
Oops, I can't call him that, can I.

Looks like dark days are ahead...
Darn, I can't say that either.

This is all so sad and serious, and yet so funny, like a black comedy...
There I go again, I'll never get the hang of this politically correct new-speak.

Seriously though, I find it laughable that nobody's upset with Cunningham calling him a hack politician in the style of Daly. All the rancor is over the double entendre of you-know-who's full, legal, proper name.

How stupid is that?

at 4:49 PM, February 29, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't you dare use the "H" word on here you white honkie!

at 4:50 PM, February 29, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give it up gang and acknowledge class when you see it. There aren't many out there like Portman and we are luck to have him. He cares deeply about this community. And he cares deeply about having a Republican in the White House. This was a McCain event, not a Willie event and Cunningham should have had the decency to respect that. Instead, he took the stage and used it for his own self-promotion. THAT is not even in the neighborhood of appropriate. And to boot, he embarrassed our community, embarrassed a national hero, and created a very awkward situation for someone who has served this community better than anyone else in years.

at 5:04 PM, February 29, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark Miller is an asshat.

Portman is trying to keep the stink of the GOP off of himself. Just like he left the Bush mis-administration to keep Bush's stink away from himself. Portman hopes to have a career in politics in the future, which is something that anyone associated with Bush will not have.

at 5:31 PM, February 29, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was not just his middle name - those who are claiming so, obviously haven't watched the entire video or are blissfully ignorant of the facts.

Cunningham is the very worst republicans have to offer. He appeals to those among us who represent the least common denominator in society.

at 5:48 PM, February 29, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Portman didn't even hear Cunningham's remarks. His quotes were taken completly out of context, and he is getting slammed by the press for something he had nothing to do with. The guy has class for putting up with it. If you want to blame anybody, blame the media for linking an honest and ethical politician like Portman to this event. Anybody who has ever seen Portman in action knows that he would never offend anybody or agree with the cheap shots that Cunningham always takes.

at 6:42 PM, February 29, 2008 Blogger jacktheclipper said...

It is time for the local Rs like Portman to stop laughing at Cunningham's nonsense.
He is a joke but not a funny joke.

at 6:47 PM, February 29, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Next to Voinovich, Portman is the strongest Republican from Ohio and does not need Cunningham at all. I would not be surprised to see him on the ticket with McCain because of his experience economically (something McCain admits knowing nothing about check the wall street journal) and since we are heading into a depression and face a huge deficit because of 8 years of good old Bush. By the way you are all clowns and you know exactly why Cunningham used his middle name. I guess I should just get used to it since Obama is going to win the nomination and destroy McCain in the General Election (look at the polls mark), regardless of the dirty tactics the GOP uses every election season. And just for everyone's knowledge not all eastside residents and graduates of St. X are racist bigots like Mark.

at 7:37 PM, February 29, 2008 Anonymous anonymouscoward said...

my favorite dis on Obama is Hillary saying "he hasn't done the necessary SPADE work"...and you LIBS get worked up in a froth when Obama's middle name is said.What a grand candidate you've chosen.Wait till he's Prez...then what's going to be off limits when discussing His Holiness,B.Hussein Obama,to you,huh?
what a country...free speech for LIBS only...all others-you're toast.

at 8:14 PM, February 29, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for Rob. He has demonstrated the class that Cunningham so clearly lacks.

So many of you just don't get it. It wasn't about using Obama's middle name at all...

at 8:26 PM, February 29, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark M >> correct as usual (but who are you, really).
Defend the middle-name thing all you want Bushies >> but the Daly-style-hack thing belongs in grade school along with Willie. Maybe Willie'd "get it" a second time around.

at 8:58 PM, February 29, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...


This isn't a free speech issue. Why people are ticked at Cunningham is because he is dumbing down the political discourse in this city by engaging in such petty fear-mongering. We should expect more of ourselves than to sink to the level of Cunningham. There are plenty of reasons to like or dislike Obama (I'm in the latter category, myself) but lets save our conversation for the issues.

Cunningham is a classless, ignorant, immature oaf who sinks to such shallow rhetoric because he is incapable of discussing the issues with the respect that should be granted. Portman is 100% right on this one. Let's smarten up and start having a real conversation about the political direction of our country.

at 6:24 AM, March 01, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Y'all don't get it. Willie is playing fall guy. He fell on his sword so McCain could position himself as an elder statesman above the fray. Willie will support McCain just like he supported Blackwell's run for governor after cricitizing his Secretary of State "'spiracy" ads and he'll support Portman as well (and vice versa). Name ID, Name ID, Name ID. No one outside Portman's old district and Republican fundraising circle jays know who he is. And he's hardly whistle clean.

at 8:21 AM, March 01, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Pimple Faced Portman" is as stupid as he looks!

at 8:42 AM, March 01, 2008 Anonymous anonymouscoward said...

anonymous 8:14...pray tell...what was it about? you lefties are experts at spin,apology,and redefining the obvious.what was it all about?
when Obama is taking the oath,I gather His middle name will be off limits to ask him to say as swears on the Holy Book of His choice.

at 9:43 AM, March 01, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this whole campaign is a joke. Why can't you use his full name? I say go Cunningham!!! His name is on his birth certificate. Obama would have been more respected if he came out and told the people he is proud of his name and he wants no one to defend it, let everyone hollar his name. I think it is upsetting that when it comes to him and his wife that the media holds things back. And Obama allows it. What happened to him saying, "lets put everything out there" Well, he puts only what the people want to hear. Sorry you cant win on HOPE. As far as the enquirer you are disgusting to back Obama. Experience is a MUST. Think about it when you hire someone for a job you look at their experience.
I look at it like this...If I needed heart surgery and their were two doctors that I must choose from...One doctor had twenty years of experience of performing this surgery...The other doctor just graduated medical school....well I am glad the American people are not choosing for me...cuz I would definately pick the twenty year experience doctor NOT the other one because he might be a nice guy.

And I am ashamed of the governement officials who are rolling over and switching their votes because the African Americans are pressuring them to turn to their race votes. This is not about RACE....remember.

Look at the issues, look at the experience. Don't look at the color or the gender. Really, people read, and listen.

at 11:39 AM, March 01, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is all so absurd. In case you haven't noticed, Rob Portman represented this area for 10 years and actually got some work done unlike most of our elected officials. This banter is a distraction from the real issues. Portman didn't do anything wrong. He was at that rally to support McCain and got caught in the backlash of a bunch of political grandstanding.

at 1:31 PM, March 01, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Portman said that he didn't hear what Cunningham said. I think that his 15 years of public service has shown that he's an honest guy, and we should believe him. He's not a flame thrower, and certainly would not have endorsed those remarks. This guy is smart; had he heard the remarks, he would have never set himself up for this situation. Portman is still a class act in my book.

at 9:25 PM, March 01, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

1:31 >> agree. Portman is, was and always will be a class act.

No comment on Willie. Obviously, no one's going to change anyone's mind on this blog.

at 10:16 PM, March 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Repuplicans in Cincinnati are a complete embarassment! First Jean Schmidt and now Cunningham. They should have their own spot on Saturday Night Live! No wonder Hamilton County is losing population faster than anywhere in the country it is run by a repub regime that are a bunch of morons!

at 1:05 PM, March 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before throwing Rob Portman under the bus folks, think about it. This has MUCH more (maybe everything) to do with McCain than it does with Portman.

A presidential candidate vehemently (and apparently thoughtlessly) repudiating comments he claims he did not hear shows poor judgment, imo. Makes you question those advisng him to rush to the gathered press to make something out of what essentially is much ado about nothing.

McCain should have left the venue without comment and moved onto discussing important issues. This is not an election for HS president, although it appears some involved in this process treat it as such.

at 5:03 PM, March 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barrack Hussein Obama.

Uh-oh, here come the democRAT thought police to take me away to a re-education camp...

at 9:59 PM, March 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 5:03 a re-education camp is not such a bad idea, it worked for the Nazis and you Republicans are not too far off from that political group...

at 11:00 PM, March 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:03 - You don't need to be "re-educated" - another time around probably won't work any better.

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