Rick Davis. [photo from the NYT]
I’m not sure what the McCain camp is doing. (But one gets the sense that they don’t know, either.) The other day Steve Schmidt and Rick Davis, McCain’s top advisors, went apeshit after a Times story that reported that Davis took millions of dollars as a lobbyist for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae — companies the McCain camp had been savaging Obama for having ties to.
Davis denied that he was a lobbyist for Freddie/Fannie. “I never lobbied a single day,” he said on the call. They complained that McCain had been unfairly called a iar. And for good measure, he and Schmidt then proceeded to say the Times was in the tank for Obama and had “cast aside its journalistic integrity.”
So what did the Times do in response? Called bullshit on Davis in today’s paper.
WASHINGTON — One of the giant mortgage companies at the heart of the credit crisis paid $15,000 a month from the end of 2005 through last month to a firm owned by Senator John McCain’s campaign manager, according to two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement.
The disclosure undercuts a statement by Mr. McCain on Sunday night that the campaign manager, Rick Davis, had had no involvement with the company for the last several years.
Mr. Davis’s firm received the payments from the company, Freddie Mac, until it was taken over by the government this month along with Fannie Mae, the other big mortgage lender whose deteriorating finances helped precipitate the cascading problems on Wall Street, the people said.
They said they did not recall Mr. Davis’s doing much substantive work for the company in return for the money, other than speak to a political action committee of high-ranking employees in October 2006 on the approaching midterm Congressional elections. They said Mr. Davis’s firm, Davis & Manafort, had been kept on the payroll because of Mr. Davis’s close ties to Mr. McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, who by 2006 was widely expected to run again for the White House.
Mr. Davis took a leave from Davis & Manafortfor the presidential campaign, but as a partner and equity-holder continues to benefit from its income. No one at Davis & Manafort other than Mr. Davis was involved in efforts on Freddie Mac’s behalf, the people familiar with the arrangement said.
A Freddie Mac spokeswoman said the company would not comment.
The McCain camp responded angrily to the story — surprise? — but, tellingly, their response did not include a denial.
Here’s a question: what the hell is McCain’s camp doing? The news media is really feeling itself right now and pissed at McCain to boot. Up until yesterday, he hadn’t done a press conference in forty days. And Palin, infamously, has only done two interviews.* This antagonistic stance means that every time McCain and crew say something, news organizations are going to be chomping at the bit and dissecting everything they say. That, one would think, would prompt the McCain camp to either allow more access to its candidates or to stop lying about every damn thing.
It won’t do either.
*Yesterday the McCain camp barred reporters from asking Palin questions as she met in New York with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan. So CNN said ‘Fuck it’ and pulled its TV crew, which denied the McCain campaign the B-roll of Palin with foreign leaders it wanted.
Tagged: Rick Davis