March 12th, 2008
03:02 PM ET
7 years ago

AFL-CIO launches $53 million effort against McCain

The AFL-CIO is launching a major effort against John McCain.
The AFL-CIO is launching a major effort against John McCain.

(CNN) - John McCain better get used to seeing AFL-CIO members at his campaign events.

The major labor organization launched a $53 million campaign Wednesday that takes direct aim at presumptive Republican presidential nominee and includes union protesters following him every step of the way as he campaigns for the White House.

"Everywhere John McCain goes in the coming months, union activists will be there to confront him on his economic positions and plans and demand that he speaks to working families' concerns," Karen Ackerman, the AFL-CIO's political director, said during a conference call.

The protests are part of a wide-ranging and unprecedented grassroots effort that will include mobilization efforts, direct mailings, e-mail, and a just-launched anti-McCain Web site.

The effort, called "McCain Revealed," aims to educate voters on the Arizona Republican senator's record, which the labor group says has been consistently anti-working families. It will consist of activity in 23 states and reach 13 million voters, Ackerman said.

“It’s clear that John McCain hopes to conduct his campaign without ever having to explain his economic priorities to working people,” Ackerman also said. “Public opinion polls show the economy is the top concern of voters, yet Sen. McCain has said very little about his economic positions and, as a result, working families know very little about where he stands on pocketbook concerns. That all changes today.”

A Republican National Committee spokesman called on both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to denounce the AFL-CIO's efforts, saying it would be consistent with both senators' denunciations of special interest groubs.

“The AFL-CIO’s campaign against John McCain clearly demonstrates their priorities lie in attack politics as opposed to focusing on American families," RNC spokesman Alex Conant said. "Voters looking for something new will find it in John McCain’s campaign to help working families – not the AFL-CIO’s partisan attacks"

The labor organization - consisting of 56 member unions - could not agree on a presidential candidate to endorse this cycle and has allowed each of its members to make individual endorsements. So far, Clinton edges out Obama among endorsements from AFL-CIO members.

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney


Filed under: AFL-CIO • John McCain
soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. melanie

    This is why I support Senator Obama. In the words of General Merill McPeak the retired Air Force 4 star general who endorsed Obama today:
    "Steady, reliable, ‘No shock, Barack. No drama Obama.”

    March 12, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  2. gergen

    is Oprah financing this?

    March 12, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  3. anon

    As if American needed yet another reason to vote McCain!

    March 12, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  4. Sante

    Is America ready to see beyond the race?

    Obama: too much ambitions and posture!

    "He Challenges and bargains at the same time !"/Shelby Steele/

    I would say it simple: gifted manipulator!

    March 12, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  5. Christi from Canada

    He wants to take America's money and pour it into the war in Iraq – effectively bankrupting America, which is precisely what the terrorists like Bin Laden have been saying their goal is all along.

    Pretty clear where he stands on the economy.

    March 12, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. Chuks

    I am so sick and tired of being sick and tired of Hillary and her fake supporters claiming Obama does not want to sit MI and Fl delegates or have their votes counted. This is wrong and very manipulative and trying to deceive innocent voters. Obama is asking for another redo but it should be fair because we are dealing with an established fraudulent couple called Clintons that can manipulate the elections.

    Be careful what you Hillary supporters ask for especially the women because you may just get it. As an Obama supporter I'm praying Hillary wins and loses to McCain so you shut up. And you also lose the Roe vs Wade thing coming right at you fast. I hate Hillary supporters because they arr so dumb and devisive. Now we know why we got bush.

    Get used to it! Hillary will never win the election, not now not ever, ever! Hillary has such repulsive high negatives, republicans will be united with the independents against her, democratic party will be split into two with Obama camp staying away from you guys and the new and young voters will be reminded why they hate politics because it looks hopeless without Obama.

    But Obama camp does not need camp clinton supporters because we can fight for independents and win them from McCain, republicans won't be that energized, we have some obamacans(repubs) and Obama will attract our new base of voters to sweep the nation. So please Hillary go away!

    And Hillary supporters better stay home come Nov when we vote.

    March 12, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. John White, Texas

    Good! McCain is not right for this country, just bad!

    March 12, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. Darth Vadik, CA

    Hey Republicans support 527's.

    You reap what you sow.

    March 12, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  9. NW Independent

    Typical union self interest. They just want to have more juice in the white house!

    Ask yourself when is the last time these big union bosses lost their jobs?

    They make deals behind the scenes then tell us how sorry they are when we loose our jobs and then blame someone else!

    I'm not a big McCain fan but I might choose him over Billary and Obama who, with thier Ivy League educations, wouldn't know a blue collar job if it bit him at the backside!

    McCain bled for this country for five years in a prison camp, he has worked to limit government spending that is draining our pocket books for years. He understands that in a global economy where we are up against companies who's countries not only don't tax them, but subsidize them! The only way to compete is to eliminate the corporate tax and tax the money given to stock holders and individuals at a higher rate!

    This bunk about corporations being bad is just going to further ship jobs over seas. But the unions don't care, as long as they're getting your dues.

    March 12, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  10. Darth Vadik, CA

    Explain his economic stands?

    HE DOESN'T HAVE ONE EXCEPT TAX CUT FOR CORPORATIONS.

    HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

    March 12, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  11. Ken, Suitland MD

    Go AFL-CIO!! Splatter this [R] maggot's policies all over the media for all to see. And we'll all smile as we hear him and the hypocritical RNC whine about being criticized and "attacked". Although I'm not quite sure how having your own policies advertised can be considered as an "attack" - talk about a self-loathing reaction!!! just more vacuous [R] double speak to confuse its mindless followers.

    Let's see how many of the voting public continue to follow the 3rd-chromosome right-wingers back into the dark ages.

    Let's see if America will try to raise its voting IQ this time around.

    March 12, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  12. John

    So you are going to trust a Union/labor organization that used $53 million of Union dues for this campaign?

    March 12, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. Maria

    The problem with women and I have 35 years of goverment expereince with them is that the higher the office the less lady like they become; its one thing to move up and remain the person you are and its another when you start stepping on others just for your own ego you have seen two great examples in Hillary and Geraldine. These women are the first ones to start the back bitting, and name calling but in the end they are only looking out the themselves. I would not vote for a women in this country for president not this one any way.

    Maria
    Maryland

    March 12, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  14. Yippeeeee!

    If there's a party to tank a Republican, count me in! I think it's high time we gave 'em back just a little of what they give us every election.

    McCain, you will regret the day you said you'd keep us in Iraq a hundred years. You're goin' down.

    March 12, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. Charlotte

    Get ready for a bumpy ride.

    March 12, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  16. Ratgurl

    These groups sound like they're expressing their freedom of speech. If what they are saying about McCain is actually true, then how is there a problem with it?

    Now, if they can't substantiate their claims with facts, that's another story.

    March 12, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  17. Spoon

    It will reach $13 million voters? CNN, please hire some competent copy editors.

    March 12, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  18. Eric

    Maria, did you know Hillary or Geraldine before they moved up in office? Did you know Obama when he was a State Senator? Anyone changes as their responsibilities evolve. It's human nature. Do you seriously think that Obama is running for President because he cares about you? Not for a minute. Obama cares about Obama. McCain cares about McCain. etc etc. To run for any high office you have to have an ego. To say, out of hand, that you will never vote for a woman is just a bit odd. And yes, I work in Government too. I see egomaniacal political appointees of boh sexes.

    March 12, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  19. SaneTexan

    RE:Maria, you have a double standard for men and women. When a women acts tough- she is "unlady-like or called much worse. When a man acts tough- he is strong. You sound like an Obama supporter to me... not much upstairs.

    March 12, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  20. M. S. Indiana

    What is the RNC hiding ??
    Afraid the conservatives will get upset with his ideas ??
    Or just afraid of the truth getting out there ??
    Afraid of education RNC ??
    Afraid of loosing the war that most dont like ??

    March 12, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  21. Funny Truth

    FUNNY to see that a REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITEE SPOKESPERSON< CALLING ON OBAMA AND CLINTOHN TO DENOUNCE AFL=CIOS EFFORTS TO SHOW TEH REAL FACE OF TEH REPUBLICAN PARTY?? HMMMMMMMM WONDERING WHY?

    "A Republican National Committee spokesman called on both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to denounce the AFL-CIO's efforts, saying it would be consistent with both senators' denunciations of special interest groubs."

    March 12, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  22. Dan, Michigan

    Whatever... it's probably going to help him in the long run anyway.

    March 12, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  23. SaneTexan

    RE:Chuks, it more like you have the problem the way you throw the word hate around so easily. It's the stupid Obama supporters who are dividing the party by screaming racsim at every turn. There are many Democrats who will never vote for Obummer after your type of antics.
    I really hate to see another Republican get into the White House but Obama will get nothing done if he wins anyway.

    March 12, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  24. Stacy Clarks, Texas

    wow, this is interesting. As much as I am an Obama supporter, but $53 million a a lot of money that many union members can use (being that they are losing their jobs, and paying astronomical health care fees!)

    STOP THE HATE, VOTE OBAMA 08!!!!

    March 12, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  25. chris

    "Everywhere John McCain goes in the coming months, union activists will be there to confront him on his economic positions and plans and demand that he speaki to working families' concerns," Karen Ackerman, the AFL-CIO's political director, said during a conference call.

    speaki

    you guys at CNN are excellent...what is it, the best political team you can speaki

    March 12, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
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