July 1st, 2008
07:40 AM ET
10 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. s.positive

    OBAMA is the NEXT President of USA.

    June 30, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  2. Bishop

    Trying read his book, Chuck...

    June 30, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  3. Kaye- Jacksonville FL

    It's true, "you can't please some of the people – ever!" If he didn't offer a chastising remark about the most extreme "MoveOn" tactics, he'd be accused of hypocrisy. If he indicates he doesn't agree with everything they do, he's disloyal to a solid base of support. I'm a MoveOn member – don't agree with everything they do and appreciate Obama's willingness to once again express his opinion about negative, divisive, personal attacks.

    I think that folks who've made up their mind against Obama feel they have to discredit him on every front, as opposed to simply supporting McCain. Like he says, "politics of the past...."

    June 30, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  4. O Boy

    Hey Bill for Obama

    Um McCain has come out against every single 527 ad and even scolded his advisor for saying he would get a bump if there was a terrorist attack....Even though its true…

    Please give me a break... Get some common sense and don't write anything unless you are SURE of what your writing...

    Typical obama backer who will say anything to be heard no matter how ridiculous it is....

    There is a reason conservatives are hesitant to get behind McCain... Its because he is a moderate, known for crossing party lines..... but how quickly we forget… and instead of electing someone who is a moderate...... we are going to get the senator with the MOST LIBERAL VOTING RECORD since joining…. LOOK IT UP

    GET A CLUE!!

    June 30, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  5. Obama in '08

    "he is one of the most liberal senators we have."

    I love how that term is thrown around every 4 years. Amazing that we always seem to nominate the most liberal senator! I guess that's what we want if we keep doing it ... or maybe there is nothing to back that charge up. I'd love to see Hannity or one GOP back that up the fact and not some GOP Poll.

    June 30, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  6. ch

    He dissed moveon and also Chicago's Gay and Lesbian community.

    He was home in Chicago yesterday but chose not to march in the city's annual Gay Pride parade.

    He's trying to move to the center and will now dismiss the left. He's a politican.

    So much for "Hope" and Change"

    June 30, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  7. Hate to break it to you

    Great speech Obama!

    And I never had disrespect for McCain's services in the military and know it was a great service that he did along with all others who serve this country whether they choose to go into service or drafted, it doesn't matter. But it still goes back that he still using it as a reason that he would have a better idea on foreign policy when actually if he had stayed in service for more years and traveled abroad more extensively in negotiations on foreign policy for the U.S, then I would say he's definitely qualified. True he does have qualifications, but I do believe he goes beyond what it is and it doesn't call for you to be a great leader. If all I have to do is service for a few years like my brother who serviced 3, doesn't make him a great President. It helps, but you still need more. I would say, if America is at war everytime you turn around, then it's definitely important, but pretty much the President is a representative on behalf of the American people when he/she travels abroad in terms of foreign policies.

    June 30, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  8. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    Last I heard WE DO HAVE FREEDOM OF THOUGHT AND SPEECH in our country!

    Although some of the comments against Sen. Obama are just plain racist, you people have the RIGHT TO SPEAK YOUR DIVISIVE AND HATEFUL WORDS.

    HOWEVER, for all those endorsing McCain what has he done? He did not want to vote for the Bill that would have given our IRAQ WAR VETERANS BETTER BENEFITS, HOW IS THIS PRO-AMERICAN? NOT TO WANT TO SUPPORT OUR VETS?

    There is a lot of misinformation out there, its obvious that we can not have a civil dialogue or exchange of ideas without someone bashing the candidates.

    Look everyone has a right to voice their point of view, but the nasty-hate-mongering statements just show how ignorant you are.

    June 30, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  9. HyperD

    Obama is a very honest man... He always says what he thinks is right, no matter if that could get in him in trouble for defending what is fair ... he has a lot of integrity and moral! All the way... OBAMA '08..!

    June 30, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  10. O Boy

    SADIE... You still believe that cause you are a crazy liberal who probably thinks the bush administration took down the twin towers right???? And we are in Iraq for oil that he and all his friends are getting rich of, right???? Yet this is the same guy you call an idiot??
    Seems to me if he was able to pull that off he is one of the smartest men in the world......

    June 30, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  11. Angelique

    Wow, so many of you seem to miss the point. THIS is CHANGE.
    He's telling his own supporters that we need to "be the better" party and not play their games. You can't see this?
    I tell fellow Obama supporters on forums all the time when I see them use similar ridiculous attacks like the other side that they need to knock it off.

    This keeps with everything he stands for, what part of this don't you get?

    "Be the change you wish to see"

    June 30, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  12. pam Eugene OR

    I am a member of Move On. I did not support the Betray Us ad. It does not bother me a bit that Obama did not participate in chastising Move On. I did too!
    CNN you are so not relevant today...or does today just seem worse then other days?
    I am inches away from "switching networks" for my news.
    Where are the real issues?
    Where is the real news?
    Post this CNN, please

    June 30, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  13. anonymous II

    SUCKERS ! Once again Obama shows that he is only with yo as long as you can help him.

    Barak Obama
    Change as long as its politically expedient

    June 30, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  14. Bayou Joe

    He can safely do this because Moveon.org will and the other left wing groups will continue to support him regardless of what he says. This is just political posture.
    Those of us who know you won't buy you. El que no te conoce que te compre.
    Hispanos reject this imposter. Do your homework and check out the agenda of the Black Liberation Theology. Does not fare well for Hispanics that are of European descent (Spain). WE are part of the problem as they see it.

    June 30, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  15. Rochelle

    Mr. President, don't worry about them or him. They can't get anything on you but that! They are grabbing at straws and searching for that needle in the haystack (which they won't fine).

    The Republicans are losers and they know it. They wanted Senator Clinton to be the Nominee so that they could trash her and her husband. They have a boat load of ugly, nasty and visious things to say and do to them.

    They cannot believe that this multilevel mixed man is clean and that anyone that has black skin is dirty or has something up their sleeves.

    Just run your campaign and move on. Your a WINNER!

    June 30, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  16. Tejano

    obama cannot be trusted with our country. simple as that.

    June 30, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  17. Dan

    Obama should have voted, and made his position clear. He's obviously hiding his personal feelings for the sake of votes. I don't know if I like Obama, because I don't know what he stands for, and this is yet another opportunity he could have taken to show America what he represents. It's this kind of wishy-washy decision making that frightens me. Do you get to vote "present" in the Senate?

    June 30, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  18. Hate to break it to you

    Jan, don't be ignorant....of course Obama is wanting to bring the troops home, but the reality is it won't be that easy. And until he get the whole picture as to where things are at when he's in office and with the advice of his aides and military personnel, he can't strategies a complete laid out plan and that would go the same way for McCain, but in his case it would be to move forward in winning and not bringing home our troops.

    June 30, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  19. Phil, FL

    Obama – Not the old folks politics !!!!!!

    Obama – Not the same old stuff over and over ad nauseum.

    We've got your back Barack. Keep being above what the slime bags do.


    June 30, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  20. Lavallette, NJ

    I am scared of Barack Hussein Obama.

    How can we trust someone with his credentials? He is not qualified and we have better people in the USA who can be President.

    I am a lifelong democrat and I am voting McCain this fall.

    June 30, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  21. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    There is a certain je ne sais qua about obama that makes me want to run for the nearest exit. If he isn't the most insincere person running for the great leader's office, I don't know who is.

    I just don't trust him. He happens to be a serial quitter who likes to take his ball and run home. His wife is a piece of work as well.

    Now he talks about patriotism. i hope he listened to himself and maybe he will know a little about patriotism.

    I know he knows nothing about it, so he must have paid a visit to the library or had Wesley give him a five point briefing. Give me a break and send him back to Illinois.

    June 30, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  22. susie

    Obama doesn't need MoveOn anymore, sooooooooooooo he throws them under the bus!!!

    June 30, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  23. Hate to break it to you

    To Obama haters:

    Obama hasn't attacked anyone. Everytime he's speaks of McCain, he always recognizes his services, but says that this is the issue that both he and McCain disagrees on, whatever the issue is at that time. There is no shame in disagreeing with someone who you don't share the same views on. Just like, you guys don't like Obama and criticize him for whatever issues you have. Whether those reasons are justified or not is up to. And just because his supporters says or does something doesn't mean he's behind it, believes in it or promotes those things. Stop being stupid people..so I guess everyone I know who says,does and believes something that's far left, I'm responsible. The last I remember, I'm suppose to be responsible for myself and my actions, not someone elses. I do thinks it's great that he does call these supporters out, when actually he shouldn't have to and that even goes for McCain.

    June 30, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  24. Zeena

    I am moveon member..but this does not change my opinion about Brack..

    We have Obama in one side and That good for nothing war monger who wants 100 years of war McCain..I'd anyday go for Barack...

    McCain means war...

    June 30, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  25. EMJ

    Wow Roger, your a nut case as is this PUMA crap.
    Get over it will ya? Move On .org

    June 30, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
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