Campaign Says It's No Longer Talking About Lobbyist Story

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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Washington (AP) A strategist for John McCain’s presidential camaign says the issue is “behnd us.”

He says the campaign is no longer talking about the New York Times story focusing on McCain’s ties to a telecommunications lobbyist. The story suggested that he had an inappropriate relationship with a female lobbyist, and that he advanced the interests of her clients.

Charlie Black tells CBS that the story was a “phony” one that was supposed to “smear” McCain’s integrity -- but he says it didn't work because it didn't “meet journalistic standards.”

Black says McCain doesn't give favors to lobbyists, or grant them special privileges -- even if they're his friends.

McCain said Friday that lobbyists serve as close advisers to his campaign, but he described them as honorable people.