McCain Aide's Georgian Ties Become an Issue

By Zachary A. Goldfarb
The presidential campaign veered Sunday into a discussion about the escalating conflict between Georgia and Russia, with a supporter of Sen. Barack Obama suggesting that Sen. John McCain's criticism of Russia stems from his campaign's connections to Georgian political leadership.

"His campaign is run by lobbyists that represent Georgia and other countries," New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) said on ABC's "This Week," a clear reference to Randy Scheunemann, McCain's foreign policy adviser, who has been a registered lobbyist in Washington for the Tbilisi government.

That drew a sharp response from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), reported to be under consideration as a McCain running mate. He said it was wrong for the Obama campaign to focus on any ties between members of the McCain campaign and the Georgian government.

Georgia is "an example of Senator McCain's push to spread democracy in that part of the world as a very important advance of America's interest," Jindal said on ABC. "I wish Senator Obama had actually confronted the issue, not trying to detract our attention by focusing on a McCain adviser."

The two countries clashed after Georgia tried to reassert control over a separatist province on Friday. Russia launched airstrikes and mobilized tanks, and quickly ramped up its attack. A senior U.S. official called the Russian response disproportionate to the Georgian action.

McCain immediately called on Russia to stop its incursion into Georgia, while Obama took a more cautious approach advocating restraint on both sides.

Jindal said the conflict underscores why a president with deep experience in international affairs is important.

"I think this is another example, during these uncertain times, where we need experienced leadership. We need someone like Senator McCain who will take a stronger view, a more experienced view when it comes to international security and protecting America's interest," Jindal said.

Richardson, who ran for president himself this year and was a top diplomat in Bill Clinton's administration, said McCain's approach was typical of the Bush administration.

"What Senator McCain wants to do is continue the Bush policies of trying to isolate Russia. ... It's not working," Richardson said.


A Different Kind of Air Assault

Despite media attention on a series of McCain ads that criticize Obama, top McCain adviser Rick Davis said the Republican has spent less as has Obama on attack ads.

"I would say Obama is spending exactly the same amount of time attacking us and, frankly, probably more money," he said.

"Obama started negative campaigning on John McCain long before we started punching back," Davis added on "Fox News Sunday," underscoring a point made Friday by McCain himself to The Post's Michael D. Shear.

"Barack Obama has been in the United States Senate less than 300 working days. He has voted for 90 tax increases," Davis said. "Now, we could have an ad on every tax increase he's voted on every single day between now and the election and still not get them all in."

Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) said McCain's support for tax cuts for corporations would benefit energy and oil companies enjoying rich rewards from the economic pains felt by ordinary Americans.

"The profit-taking by the oil companies is not being used to look for new sources of oil and gas. Overwhelmingly, they're buying back their stock. They're paying out dividends. They're paying the CEO salaries," Durbin said. "When John McCain says, 'Well, they need $4 billion more in tax breaks,' he just doesn't understand the reality of what this economy is facing."

Durbin added that while Obama supports rolling back Bush tax cuts, he supports reductions on taxes for the middle class.

"Those are the folks who have been disadvantaged by a war that's costing us $10 billion to $12 billion a month, a war that's taking money out of our economy that could be spent here in America," Durbin said.

Paulson: No Federal Bailout of Freddie, Fannie

The government does not plan to use its authority to inject capital into the struggling mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mae, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Last month, as concerns spread that Fannie and Freddie would be unable to meet their obligations for the trillions of dollars of mortgage loans they own or guarantee, Congress passed legislation authorizing the Treasury to ensure the companies can continue to play their important role in the market for U.S. mortgages.

"We have no plans to insert money into either of those two institutions," Paulson said.

Paulson added that he would work to the end of the Bush administration but not beyond Jan. 20.

"I'm going to run right up until the end," Paulson said. "I will do everything I can to make for a smooth transition, to work closely with my successor here in Treasury."

He added, "I believe it's going to take us well beyond the end of the year to work through all the housing problems."

By Web Politics Editor |  August 10, 2008; 3:47 PM ET
Previous: Kerry Accuses GOP of 'Character Assassination' | Next: Gates, Rice say Russia will face consequences

Comments

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Obama versus McCain

This bears repeating and repeating and...

"Durbin added that while Obama supports rolling back Bush tax cuts, he supports reductions on taxes for the middle class.

"Those are the folks who have been disadvantaged by a war that's costing us $10 billion to $12 billion a month, a war that's taking money out of our economy that could be spent here in America," Durbin said."

McCain's solution is more of the same ol' More tax cuts for the wealthy - which would be ok if they'd use it as it was intended but not for higher salaries for the top and less exploration and less of everything.

Posted by: Graycrab | August 10, 2008 4:56 PM

Oh...McCain's people don't want us to know that a conflict of interest is brewing among them? A lobbyist among them who represents Georgia? How can McCain's foreign policy team provide an unbiased and neutral assessment if money is on the table to buy a view?

Posted by: What?? | August 10, 2008 5:28 PM

All this out sourcing of our foreign policy to advisers like Scheunemann and neo cons (like Lieberman) makes you kind of wonder how much of a maverick McCain will be, can be once he is in the White House.

But if he lives up to his past reputation for independence he may just surprise his doubters. Like those that refer to the Straight Talk Suppress.

Posted by: Buck TX Ind | August 10, 2008 6:04 PM

Leaving aside for a moment that Bobby Jindal is an idiot, isn't shocking to hear that team McCain has a conflict of interest on another lobbying front. I guess the "Bought and Paid For Express" isn't as catchy a title as Straight Talk, but it sure is more accurate.

Posted by: Greg in LA | August 10, 2008 6:31 PM

No wonder McCain came out swinging at Russia's conflict with Georgia. Because of his lobbyist "friend" Can you REALLY condemn Russia's behavior towards Georgia and not being bothered about our behavior toward Iraq? Do what I say and not what I do?

Posted by: bigben1986 | August 10, 2008 6:54 PM

Whoa the Foreign Poly decisions!!! People need to recognize the politics of all this.

Get some instant political stress relief @
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Things are really spinning on the http://www.BOP-O-METER.com

Bopping is a human right!

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Posted by: acarponzo | August 10, 2008 7:47 PM

Once again, we get a glimpse of what a McSame presidency would look like, and it isn't a pretty sight. If McSame idea of spreading Democracy is shoving it in Russia's face, then heaven help us all. Russia has just shown what it's response will be, and we'd better be prepared to accept it because there is no alternative. That is, unless you accept the destruction of our planet as an alternative.

Posted by: caliguy55 | August 10, 2008 8:00 PM

mccain always talks about lobbiest until it comes to everyones attention his whole campaign is run by lobbiest. this is another story that the media will cover up for mccain. just like they did on the bundler issue, the hess story and the vet story. you know the vets who have ads running against obama and we the tax payers are picking up their tab to visit iraq. so the main stream media needs to tell the truth about mccain instead of running away from these stories. main stream media loves mccain. they need to get a back bone and start reporting on these stories. if it were obama they would have jumped all over these stories. let's be honest about it.

Posted by: shawn | August 10, 2008 8:28 PM

Vote McCain and have your son or daughter drafted before the end of his only term. McCain is owned and operated by the military industrial complex. Vote McCain to have the taxpayers' money spent fighting wars. McCain = unending war.

Posted by: Scott | August 10, 2008 9:22 PM

some of you guys are boobs. or a guys with boobs... but either way your to far left for this country... become an illegal alien somewhere else..

Posted by: robinhood | August 10, 2008 9:39 PM

Obama is consistently showing his double nature and his ability to say anything at any time if he thinks it will help him. And in a crisis like we have building between Russia and Georgia Obama ought to have the good sense to calm down. But with Axelrod running things this is just old time Chicago politics.
Obama was against drilling before he was for it.
Obama was against the NRA free gun campaign until he was nominated and then he endorsed the courts ruling on the DC gun laws favoring the NRA.
Obama is against NAFTA but he quietly told the Canadians "don't worry that is just campaign talk."
Obama was for an immediate Iraq pull out but now he says if his pull out doesn't work he will "put troops back in?"
Richard Daley would be proud of this Chicago ward politican!
Obama is for change back to the future of ward politics of his adopted state/city. Say whatever it takes to get elected.
Well is that change or politics as usual?
Please Obama crowd answer the question, "Who is this guy?"

Posted by: russell james | August 10, 2008 9:48 PM

The fighting in Georgia could have been predicted, President Bush and Senator McCain have been pushing for Georgia to join NATO. Had that happened, we would be at war with Russia right now. McCain wants to push the Russians out of the G8. Its obvious he has no clue on foreign relations. The Europeans are not going to push the Russians out of the G8. Russia supplies a very large portion of Western Europe's petroleum via a pipe line that runs through Georgia. This was Russia telling McCain "we'll do what we want and you can't do anything about it." If this is an example of McCain's "experience," then the US is in serious trouble if McCain is elected.

Russel James: He is the next president of the US.

Posted by: Repub | August 10, 2008 10:25 PM

James Russell, I guess if you guys keep repeating the same talking points enough, you begin to believe your own BS. Good luck with that.

Posted by: AmericanFirst | August 10, 2008 10:52 PM

....McCaint has his own agenda, Georgia has pipelines to the west..... and McCaints "lobbyist" is telling him in is his sleep, "its all about oil...oil...oil...."

His RNC/GOP mishandlers and liars will be unable to bury this problem.....

And our alcoholic, cokehead, numnuts leader is rubbing elbows and farting hot dogs into new seat cushions at the Olympics at Beijing instead?

...Pathetic

To see where McCaint wont going in January '09 go to.............

www.fivethirtyeight.com

Posted by: AlexP1 | August 11, 2008 1:10 PM

WHY ISN'T THIS STORY ABOVE THE FOLD OF THIS PAPER?
WHY WASHINGTON POST?

Posted by: Andrea D | August 12, 2008 8:23 PM

Just know this, McCain is going to START THE DRAFT AGAIN. YES HE IS! George Will said, McCain will start World War 3 with the middle east, he will have to.
This guys campaign lobbied for Georgia, and LIEberman fronting for this old man. Those 2 facts alone ought to turn your stomach. LIEberman will do ANYTHING for Israel, including sending your kids into Syria and Iran to fight.
Good luck and if you think I'm joking, you just go on ahead and put this old man in office, good luck to you. I have no kids and I'm way to old to be drafted. What is important to me is, HE IS GOING TO PRIVATIZE SOCIAL SECURITY, that really, really matters to me.
Phooney, Christian Patriotism, a by-product of the Bush administration.

Posted by: AndreaD | August 12, 2008 8:33 PM

Public life in a nutshell is summed in the old American proverb. "If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with bull****."
(blanks are your choice)

Posted by: hillhopper | August 13, 2008 9:17 AM

How soon we forget the purpose of the Gospel when Christianity and Politics are confused. EPH 4:8 Wherefore he saith, when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

Posted by: hillhopper | August 13, 2008 9:31 AM

Sometimes, when urged by a sudden and irrepressible hunger, you run to the next hot-dog stand, only to be offred, a rotten unidentifiable thing,wrinkled,old long past its use-by date; lying in the middle of two loaves , and siwmming in a litter of ketshup (hi CindY), to overpower the stinking smell .

McPain in the neck, is this outaded wrinkleg sausage. On the right side you have Lieberman, on the opposite one Sneueurman. And the republican(?) candidate is drowned in a lot of neo con Koolaid sauce.

A reminder:

- Lieberman is a dem tunrcoat, playing both sides, and above all a hysterical neo con. A hell of a nuisance in other words.

-Schneurman is also a full-fledged neo con -he was one of the "architects" of the Iraqi catastophe, and a bigger nuisance too.

Funny, you always end up with these same nice good fellas, luking in the dark, waiting for the right moment to strike.

Happy ride Big Mac.

Posted by: bekabo | August 14, 2008 2:08 AM

Sometimes, when urged by a sudden and irrepressible hunger, you run to the next hot-dog stand, only to be offred, a rotten unidentifiable thing,wrinkled,old long past its use-by date; lying in the middle of two loaves , and siwmming in a litter of ketshup (hi CindY), to overpower the stinking smell .

McPain in the neck, is this outaded wrinkleg sausage. On the right side you have Lieberman, on the opposite one Sneueurman. And the republican(?) candidate is drowned in a lot of neo con Koolaid sauce.

A reminder:

- Lieberman is a dem tunrcoat, playing both sides, and above all a hysterical neo con. A hell of a nuisance in other words.

-Schneurman is also a full-fledged neo con -he was one of the "architects" of the Iraqi catastophe, and a bigger nuisance too.

Funny, you always end up with these same nice good fellas, luking in the dark, waiting for the right moment to strike.

Happy ride Big Mac.

Posted by: bekabo | August 14, 2008 2:27 AM


Sometimes, when urged by a sudden and irrepressible hunger, you run to the next hot-dog stand, only to be offred, a rotten unidentifiable thing,wrinkled,old long overdue; lyiong in ther middle of two loaves , and siwmming in a litter of ketshup (hi CindY), to overpower the stinking smell .

McPain in the neck, is this outaded wrinkleg sausage. On the right side you have Lieberman, on the opposite one Sneueurman. And the reepublican(?) candidate is drowned in a lot of neo con Koolaid sauce.

A reminder:
- Lieberman is a dem tunrcoat, playing both sides, and above all a hysterical neo con. A hell of a nuisance in other words.

-Schneurman is also a full-fledged neo con -he was one of the "aechitects" of the Iraqi catastophe, and a bigger nuisance too.

Funny, you always end up with these same nice good fellas, luking in the dark, waiting for the right moment to strike.

Happy ride Big Mac.

Posted by: bekabo | August 14, 2008 2:27 AM


An hour ago I posted a comment that did't make it throug?
Censorship? There was nothing insulting or inappropriate.

Except if comparing McCain to an old, wrinkled hot dog, past its use-by date and ; stuck between two neo con loaves: Lieberman and Sneurer, two hysterical war mongering neo con super hawks, is indeed "inapropriate."

Next time I'll sing them "tie a yellow ribbon...

I promise, if you let this post through.

Posted by: bekabo | August 14, 2008 3:40 AM

"We are all Georgians now".-McCain.
So now we can all move to Georgia.

Posted by: Buddy | August 14, 2008 9:35 AM

How angry and unstable is John McCain.
Find out at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWpV8AbOocU

Posted by: Michael J | August 14, 2008 10:57 AM

Lieberman is an unapologetic supporter of ANYTHING that has to do with Israel. Many of our problems in the Middle East can be traced back to this loyal ally of ours. Yeah, the one that has spied on the US since its inception. He would make a good VP for McCain.

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Posted by: jenna | August 16, 2008 1:12 AM

good work man

Posted by: sylvia | August 16, 2008 10:48 PM

That drew a sharp response from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), reported to be under consideration as a McCain running mate. He said it was wrong for the Obama campaign to focus on any ties between members of the McCain campaign and the Georgian government.

Georgia is "an example of Senator McCain's push to spread democracy in that part of the world as a very important advance of America's interest," Jindal said on ABC. "I wish Senator Obama had actually confronted the issue, not trying to detract our attention by focusing on a McCain adviser.

+++++++++++++++

That says some red herring thing about this 36 year old kid governor.

He is a complete idiot, education notwithstanding.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2008 5:37 PM

Say another war would be just swell!!!! I know a lot of people that are out of jobs and would work for Blackwater as "soldiers". Then we could bomb the crap out of either Russia or Georgia and send Haliburton in as a goodwill gesture to repair all the damage (mo money, mo' money, mo'money that would trickle down to our economy}. It's so crazy, it just might work.

Posted by: 6925thcobras | August 17, 2008 8:33 PM

Of course it was a ploy to provoke the Russians! Duh!!! Scheunemann told them to go ahead, America will support you and if the Russians over-react, great! Nothing like a little tension to help my candidate. Scheunemann bears responsibility for many deaths in Georgia.

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