July 1st, 2008
07:40 AM ET
6 years ago

Obama takes swipe at MoveOn

Obama criticized MoveOn.org over its controversial ad.
Obama criticized MoveOn.org over its controversial ad.

(CNN) - Barack Obama on Monday seemed to take a direct swipe at MoveOn.org, the powerful liberal group which endorsed the Illinois senator's candidacy earlier this year and was at times instrumental to his organization in several key battleground states.

In a speech designed to combat charges he lacks patriotism, Obama sharply condemned organizations that use "these old, threadbare arguments" to level criticisms and specifically pointed to MoveOn.org's controversial newspaper ad last fall that attacked the top U.S. general in Iraq, David Petraeus.

Watch: Obama talks patriotism

"All too often our politics still seems trapped in these old, threadbare arguments – a fact most evident during our recent debates about the war in Iraq, when those who opposed administration policy were tagged by some as unpatriotic, and a general providing his best counsel on how to move forward in Iraq was accused of betrayal," Obama said.

MoveOn has not responded to Obama's comments.

The full page ad was published in the New York Times to coincide with Petraeus' appearance on the Hill last September to brief Congress on the progress in Iraq. Under a picture of Petraeus, a banner read, "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?"

Watch: New York Times takes heat for ad

The ad went on to allege the general was "cooking the books for the White House," and intentionally painting a rosy picture of the conditions on the ground.

Despite pressure from Republicans, neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama formally repudiated the group for the ad, though both expressed criticisms. Clinton voted against a Senate resolution to formally condemn the group, while Obama specifically avoided voting either way on the resolution.

"The notion that we're wasting time debating about a newspaper ad, makes no sense," he said then. "So I didn't even vote on that vote, I just said I'm not going to vote on this. This is the kind of game playing that the American people are tired of."

MoveOn.org, which endorsed Obama shortly before the crucial Febuary 5 round of primaries, boasts more than 3 million members and has since conducted large-scale get-out-the-vote efforts and fundraising on the Illinois senator's behalf.

soundoff (465 Responses)
  1. Chuck

    Stop discounting the concerns with your silly snicker and address the questions head on.

    Just because you laugh at other peoples' questions and concerns, doesn't make everything "silly." Will you do the same to other national leaders if you are elected?

    Stop snickering and address your past!!!

    June 30, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  2. Ian M

    MoveOn.org is just a little too left-wing to be effective.

    June 30, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  3. BOB

    CHANGE WOULD BE STAYING FROM SLICK WILLY!!!

    June 30, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  4. white people for Obama

    I think Moveon.org is needed to combat the crazy Hannitys and Rush Limbaughs in the world!

    June 30, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  5. Obama Supporter from FL

    And . . . WHINERS talking about how he didn't vote [because the vote was moronic political pandering], but making it sound as though that means (a) he couldn't push the red button if the time came, (b) he has no integrity (I'm sure they'll tie that in somehow), or (c) his lack of patriotism is showing . . . in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . .

    June 30, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  6. mitchell hussein martin

    more great leadership from a very sharp man.a change is a comin'

    June 30, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  7. bill for barack

    Does John McCain have the moral integrity to do the same and disavow the 527s that abound throughout the Republican party ?
    Oh, excuse me, did I suggest that John McCain has ANY moral integrity ?
    How silly of me.

    June 30, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  8. MIKE

    lets get this going guys. obama/clinton 08!

    June 30, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  9. gary

    SEEMS THE TRUE COLORS ARE SHOWING ON O.B. HE NOW TRASHES AN ORG. THAT BACKED HIM THROUGH HIS EARLY PRIMARIES. TIME WILL TELL

    June 30, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  10. Lynn in NM

    They helped him, and now he's turning his back on them. He has to move to the center, as if the electorate is so stupid they won't remember he is one of the most liberal senators we have.

    June 30, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  11. Shawna

    Just because they support obama doesn't mean they are not subject to critisism...we try to tell people they are wrong so that they can correct a problem. the republicans, and Bush's inability to understand this concept is why the country is in the wrong direction now.

    June 30, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  12. Mike

    That is Obama. Honerable and honest even if he has to confront his supporters. Have we seen this kind of honesty since Lincoln?

    June 30, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  13. Jan

    Will someone Please PIN THIS MAN DOWN ON THE ISSUE OFWAR!!!! before we vote in November. I want to know EXACTLY what he will do about bringing our troops home. WILL HE OR NOT!!! IM starting to wonder just how deep the politics run. WHERES HILLARY!!!!

    June 30, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  14. Anita from Arizona

    The GOP will spin it any way they see fit. It won't work this time. All that other garbage they want to pin on Obama won't work either.

    Obama 08

    June 30, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  15. CMS

    Wesley Clark, Can you tell me how much executive experience your candidate (Obama) has? Oh yeah, wait, John McCain has spent more time in a prisoner of war camp than Obama has been in the Senate.... Talk about deflection.

    June 30, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  16. Belle2

    Obama has attacked everyone by now. He is the messiah! How dare anyone question him, his experience (the messiah needs no experience), his patriotism, his Christianity (it is not important what pew he sat in for 20 years). His only constant is his mantra "DO NOT ATTACK ME; ATTACK THAT OTHER GUY". He believes in nothing, unless it is to his political advantage.

    June 30, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  17. Splurge

    Like he said, he's a good politician. He used MoveOn and the entire liberal base to win the primary nomination and now he's either changed positions completley or has moved to the center in order to win the genral election.

    What ever happened to the new politics he railed against? He's betraying the very ideals on which his candidacy was based. I thought we were supposed to be watching an end to the 'do or say anything to get elected' era. Ironic that his motto is Change; that's exactlly what he's done.

    June 30, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  18. ken

    take on them Obama. We love you!

    June 30, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  19. ChicagoJosh

    I'm a moveon member, and i don't mind a little lecture from Barack. I hope i don't agree with him on everything. Who would i complain about?? He can lecture us all he wants, he's still going to get our vote. Lets challenge each other people!!!!! Its Ok.

    June 30, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  20. Neutral...MN

    Ok GOP fans...if this is what you want from the next president I don't know what you are looking for. I think Barack Obama is trying to run a very honorable campaign and would like the "old" style out! Maybe John McCain will start giving a little credit to him instead of saying that Barack is running the same old politics, and saying "that isn't change we can believe".

    June 30, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  21. alone in VT

    why say all this now and not then?

    calculating a political move takes time, don't worry we all know

    "So I didn't even vote on that vote, I just said I'm not going to vote on this. This is the kind of game playing that the American people are tired of."

    so this is kinda like voting "present" right?

    calculating a political move takes time, don't worry we all know

    this is not change you chump.

    June 30, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  22. crab_selector

    I used to weigh crab for a living. When we don't have the scale, we have to sense if the crab is going to be meaty or not. Often the large outer shell would not guarantee that the crab will be heavy. What we often do is use a stick and press down on its legs. If it shows strength, it often indicates that it is solid inside.

    Obama is a large, decorated shell. When weighed he has little experience; when challenged, he offers a lot of talk. When contronted, he counters us with lies.

    June 30, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  23. NObama

    Biting the hand that feeds? Or more political positioning. The great left wing conspiracy at work.

    Obama has been bought and paid for by George Soros and MoveOn.org. He will do their bidding when the time comes.

    Sit Barack....roll over....

    June 30, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  24. Neil

    So Obama is trying to prove he's not a sock puppet for George Soros?

    unlikely.

    June 30, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  25. Carrie USMC

    I am a serious supporter of Barack Obama and will give my vote to noone but him , but he cannot bite the hand that fed him through the primaries.

    June 30, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
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