But here's the exact quote in context, which came in a meeting of his supporters at McCain campaign HQ Sunday:
"We're going to spend a lot of time and after I whip his you-know-what in this debate, we're going to be going out 24/7," McCain said.Remember, McCain has been criticized for taking weekends off so this was obviously not a public rally. Still, some outlets decided it was too good to pass:
Fox News: McCain on Obama: I'll Whip His...
ABC News: Obama Gains 10pt Lead; McCain/Palin Tone Down Attack Rhetoric
Obviously, ABC News was making hay of it's own poll with a sidebar about toning down rhetoric, code talk for stirring his supporters into a homicidal frenzy but in reality an absurd canard.
Two other outlets didn't focus on the butt whipping remark but were totally ignoring weekend Gallup, Zogby and Rassmussen polls to headline an older poll...
CBS News: Obama Up Ten Points in New Poll
MSNBC: McCain Losing Grip on West Virginia?
We must give props to both the New York Times and Washington Post for not using the comment in a blatant fashion, although the WaPo had plenty of damage with their poll while the Times was busy rubbing Paul Krugman's Nobel Prize in everyones face.
But once again the worst offender of all was CNN. Here's their front page around 9:30am CDT:
When clicking on the 'Ticker: I'll Crush Obama in the Debate, says McCain' headline the following story appears as seen below. Using Firefox's handy Control-F tool there is no mention of the word "crush" anywhere to be found. That's because McCain never said it:
So there you have it. McCain, like the old soldier he is, tries to rally his troops and project confidence in order to encourage them to fight on despite flagging odds and instead he ends up with an embarrassing headline at the worst possible time.
Yes, he's a terrible politician and should have known better. He really believed the media liked him, and for that he's a fool. But he can still take this around the media and directly to the people and win this thing by reminding everyone America is on the verge of electing a hack Chicago machine politician with socialist leanings and very little experience in the midst of a financial crisis and two wars. Indeed, there's still time left to kick some butt. But he better hurry.