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. Josh,NY

    Wait a minute. I hear Obama is now taking the NRA's position on guns--how can he do that when in Chicago, his own city, over 500 people have been gunned down so far this year? Nader may be right about Obama--Obama is talking "white" and totally ignoring the needs of the black community.

    June 30, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  2. thatswhattimeitis

    Ah, HA HA HA!!

    Obama even threw MoveOn.org under the bus!!!

    Keep sending him money, Moveon!!!!

    June 30, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  3. Bob

    This is why I am not voting for obama....

    June 30, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  4. Josh,NY

    Now I hear Obama is not supporting gay marriage-is this what he means by "bringing everyone together"?

    When will people see that he's totally two faced and will pander to the groups with the most votes rather than speak up for what is right.

    June 30, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  5. JimBob

    We need to "move on" from the same old system of bailouts, special interest pandering, and tax increases... We need a real leader. Too bad no one is willing to step up.

    http://www.beyondthemargin.net/2008/06/housing-bailout-close-to-fruition.html

    June 30, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  6. ron

    if you-want honesty in the white house it starts by being honest yourself. hoping is not enough. you have to be judgemental. sen. obama as changed his mind on nearly every issue since the beginning of his campaign. i can understand a change in policy today from one of seven eight years ago but have trouble with candidates changing their minds from seven eight weeks ago if the only change barack obama can bring is his change of mind then i'm changing mine from obama via hillary to mccain

    June 30, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  7. Ricco

    The ball of string is starting to unravel. This just doesn't have what it takes. no chutzpah–just being a weasel.

    June 30, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  8. seah ohio

    Obama thinks he has to keep telling people he is patriotic, that if he tells them enough people would believe it.

    Obama has no clue what patriotism is.

    He avoided to vote either way LOL the obama way. Do not get involved, do not make a stand, vote present when possible.

    I think Obama has a lot to learn. About people. about patriotism.

    He loved moveon when he could use them, now he is against them.
    typical obama hypocritical.

    June 30, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  9. Scott L

    Hey he threw Wright under the bus, why not MoveOn.org now? He will throw Americans under the bus as well.

    June 30, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  10. ron

    to anita from arizona
    don't worry about the garbage barack will make sure michelle takes it out

    June 30, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  11. Matt

    We are all starring at the headlights of that big truck comming directly at us, and we don't even realize it is comming. Voting for Obama will mean change, however will it be a change for the better or worse???
    He lacks real experience, his main goal has been get in the white house ASAP, without trying to do much for the american people in the mean time. Talk about self centered. Do you think that will change when he is in the white house? I am hope we all can avoid that big truck hitting us.....

    June 30, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  12. BJ in North Carolina

    I beg to differ with you. Obama does not run in any direction. He is deliberate in his movements and you had better get used to it. What you need to stop doing is predict this man's thoughts, intentions, movements, and least of all what he plans to do in the future. What you need to realize is that he does not fit in the mold that you have cast for him. I do believe that the fear of his success is what is driving the nay sayers to attempt to derail his election for President.

    June 30, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  13. NOBAMA

    OBAMA IS A COWARD AND ARROGANT MAN...

    June 30, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  14. Eric

    Once again this shows that Obama is just a politican as usual. He sucked up to MoveOn, their supporters, and their positions when running aganist Hillary and now he is backing away from his positions and attacking those who were most responsible for his being the nominee.

    June 30, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  15. Giovanni

    CHANGE WE CAN'T BELIVE IN: BARACK OBAMA

    June 30, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  16. Ilona Proud Canadian

    Folks

    I just finished listening to the CNN'S Campbell Brown segment. Campbell was talking to Roland Martin and someone with the first name LARS?

    They were talking about Patriotism, scrutinizing Barack, and Michelle.

    Folks I have got to say it as I see it, that person LARS is a RACIST OF THE HIGHIST DEGREE. HE MADE EVERY EXCUSE IN THE BOOK TO QUESTION BARACK AND MICHELLE ON THEIR PATRIOTISM, ROLAND DID NOT TAKE IT LYING DOWN, OH NO. ROLAND CAME OUT SWINGING, BUT FOLKS THIS LARS WHATEVER, WAS, BELIEVE ME THE MOST RACIAL DISGUSTING CREEP THAT I HAVE EVER HEARD SPEAK OF PATRIOTISM AND SPOUT RACISM IN THE SAME BREATH! THROUGHOUT THE SEGMENT THIS LARS JUST KEPT SMILING THAT OILY DISGUSTING SMILE THAT JUST TELLS YOU WHAT KIND OF PERSON HE IS. THIS MAN ABSOLUTELY MADE ME WANT TO PUKE!

    PLEASE GOD TELL ME THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DO NOT BUY INTO THIS NOT SO SUBTLE RACISM!

    June 30, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  17. ChicoSez

    This is the same thing that happens to anybody Obama finds it expediant to disown. That is, after your usefulness is over. Obama needed MoveOn to win the primaries but now, under the bus they go. The same with the anti war crowd. In the primaries, it was "out of Iraq now." These days, its a whole different tune. A say anything to be elected kind of guy. Obama peaked last Feb and he's losing support.
    What a unifier Obama turned out to be, he's uniting the country against himself. Or was unifier last months message? That statement is no longer operative now.

    June 30, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  18. Dem in FL

    Its about time. Now if he'd just proceed and scold his nasty supporters who talk horribly and hatefully about Hillary, maybe us Clintonites would jump on board. Until then....Johnny Boy looks reaaaaaallllly good.

    June 30, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  19. Mark

    This is ridiculous. This is not news, and neither is the cover story that's been there for hours. CNN is just another liberal hack. Nobody attacked Obama's patriotism publicly within the past week – the story is Clark's dubious comments about McCain. And yet CNN paints this as Obama having to come out and defend his patriotism against some unknown attacker, quoting ad nauseum from his speech? Please. Anything CNN or MSNBC can do to spin a story Obama's way...

    June 30, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  20. JFK

    While I agree with Mr Obama, I thought MoveOn.Org got it right. Whats wrong with taking a stand on some issues. This war is a joke and our men and women in uniform deserve better! I would gladly say that the war is a disaster and needs better leadership with a real purpose. Lets call the Moveon ad what it was, a talking piece to get America thinking and to get our attention about this human travesty.

    June 30, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  21. AMN

    He had better be careful and not attack his supporters before they drop him.
    Obama '08

    June 30, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  22. Koral

    Good for Obama. I'm tired of MoveOn's black/white view of things. If you're conservative, you're the evil one. If you're far left, you're a-ok. Life – and people – are more complicated. As a former Clinton supporter, I think Obama was right on the mark, and I applaud his forthrightness.

    June 30, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  23. Obama/Hillary 08

    I wonder if Joe Liberman is the one that is going to launches the new terror attack. Please stop scaring people for political reason. America, it is not true no terror attack in 2009. If there is one Joe Lieberman and the Republican Party is behind it.

    June 30, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  24. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    MoveOn.Org has their own political agenda which is George Soro's ideal of the USA becoming a European Style Socialist society where government controls everything that you need including choice of transportation, medical treatment, income, education, and wants a welfare state. Notice he wants to raise my taxes, but keeps his billions in overseas trust so he does not have to pay his fair share in taxes. The tax increase should be to remove the loop hole that lets people like George Soro's and Ted Kennedy hide their big money overseas. This is not a sister Soljah moment for Obama. Obama owes MoveOn.org his nomination and being from Chicago Politics will be oblidged to take care of MoveOn.org as anyother special interest group.

    June 30, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  25. jim d

    I expect CNN to be more professional than this. This is National Equirer stuff. We the people are in trouble. We need so badly to discuss the economy, energy, health care, Iran and how we got into this war and how we are going to get out. Yet for some reason CNN chooses too spend their and my time if someone is patroitic enough. I know it is cheap content, three people talking about nothing. Your viewers deserve better. Your not FOX

    June 30, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
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