Liberal ABC reporter David Wright grilled John McCain on election day about whether the Arizona senator is genuine in his predictions of an electoral win. Wright probed, "But some straight talk. Do you really expect to win?" He then followed up, "Have you given any thought to what happens if you don't win?"
The ABC journalist, who previously slammed McCain on the October 23 "Nightline" for dispensing an "angry rant" about taxes, quizzed the presidential candidate: "Looking back over the campaign, is it the kind of campaign you wanted to run?" He then skeptically added, "Any regrets whatsoever?" Throughout the 2008 campaign, Wright developed a habit of making snarky attacks on the Republican presidential ticket. During an October 31 appearance on GMA, he derided Joe Wurzelbacher (AKA "Joe the Plumber") as McCain's "mascot."
In contrast, the reporter has gushed over Senator Barack Obama. On the February 19, 2008 "Nightline," he praised the Democrat's campaign rallies as "Springsteen concerts, but the tickets are free." During that same program, he cooed, "Politics doesn't even begin to describe it. A visit to an Obama rally is a pilgrimage."
A transcript of the November 4 segment, which aired at 7:14am, follows:
ROBIN ROBERTS: We wanted to give both candidates the opportunity to make one last pitch to you, the voters, as you head to the polls. We begin with ABC's David Wright, who spoke with McCain overnight, in Prescott, Arizona. And he started out by asking John McCain about Obama's grandmother.
SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: I know he was very close to his grandmother. And our thoughts and prayers are with him. And our sympathy goes out to him.
DAVID WRIGHT: 2:00 in the morning on the east coast right now, where you started the day. The third day in a row you've been out past midnight pressing your case. Are you ready for this to be over?
MCCAIN: Yeah. But, you know, it's exciting. And the enthusiasm out there and the support. And the people who have worked so hard for us. You know? Certainly, we're ready to be for- for it to be over. But it's an unforgettable experience. I will never forget the times we've had.
WRIGHT: But some straight talk. Do you really expect to win?
MCCAIN: Sure. Sure. If you look at the polls, you look at the enthusiasm- I've been in a number of presidential campaigns. And I've seen an element of enthusiasm that I've never seen before. And nobody knows what the voter turnout's going to be. I'm very happy with where we are. We always do best when I'm a bit of an underdog.
WRIGHT: Have you given any thought to what happens if you don't win?
MCCAIN: No. Not really. We'll have plenty of time to think about that.
WRIGHT: Looking back over the campaign, is it the kind of campaign you wanted to run?
MCCAIN: Absolutely. Absolutely. I'm proud of the campaign we ran. The pundits wrote us off four or five times. And, in fact, they've been doing it recently. And we're been doing fine. We have polling data. And there's polling data that shows we're really closing.
WRIGHT: Any regrets whatsoever?
MCCAIN: Of course, not.
WRIGHT: And win or lose, what are you most looking forward about this process being over?
MCCAIN: Well, in a way, I'm kind of sorry it's over, because it's been exciting. It's one of the most incredible experiences anybody can have. I'm the most fortunate guy you can ever talk to. And I've loved every minute of it and every day. Being able to meet the people we've met and go the places we've gone, it's been an unforgettable experience.
WRIGHT: Now, McCain is going to squeeze in a couple more campaign stops in Colorado and New Mexico today before the polls close. And then he ends his day here, in a ballroom at the Arizona Biltmore. It's here we'll see either the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat in that old ABC phrase. It's all up to the voters now.