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. Chris Whitmore

    So many . . . so jaded. We have a man of integrity, character, and principle to vote for in 2008. What a breath of fresh air. I'm sorry for those of you who lack the insight or intuition to recognize that. For a man of character the only "motive" is to correct what's wrong. That's it.

    June 30, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  2. Alice in Florida

    Obama is a skunk – he is black and white and stinks up the place

    June 30, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  3. Voice inside your head.

    -How much money went un-accounted for in Iraq?
    -How much money can the American tax payer afford to continue spending?
    -Why can't the greatest military on earth capture Osama Bin Laden?

    What will happen if U.S. troops remain in Iraq?
    ANSWER: American tax payers continue to spend billions.

    What will happen if U.S. troops are removed from Iraq?
    ANSWER: NOBODY KNOWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Obama wants to withdraw troops from Iraq and McCain wants troops to remain inside Iraq.................................................................

    ............................................so vote McCain?

    June 30, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  4. PUMA-SF

    Obama is a joke and so is his candidacy. He still remains unqualified to even run for president much less hold the office. I will not vote for him. If the SD's and the DNC do not come to their senses then my vote will go to McCain.

    PUMA POWER

    June 30, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  5. dennis from chicago

    i hear o bama is going to england. yeah i here he is going to be knighted.......wedgewood blue coat of arms no doubt......do not get fooled again by a man of little experience look at the george bush episode.....vote with your brain not your aspirations of false hope

    June 30, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  6. only 4 hillary

    Yep, he throws another under the Bus....
    I don't at all care for MoveOn anyway.

    But really, Obama does one thing and says another while behind the cameras and the public he will say "don't worry about what I'm going to say, it's just politics". He and his thug supporters are disgraceful extremists. It is the generation of "it's about me and my self-righteous views".

    PUMA PUMA PUMA PAC!!!! Hillary supporters NEVER forget what really happened. They turned their backs on you and put all their bets on their golden boy with very poor judgment.

    WOULDN'T VOTE FOR YOUR BOY IF YOU HELD A GUN TO MY HEAD.

    June 30, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  7. YES WE CAN + YES WE WILL= DEMS IN WHITE HOUSE

    Now there you go yet again. I do not think Obama was taking a swipe at this group he was merely stating his personal opinion on the subject of patriotism. Sen Obama realizes that he can not control the views or opinions of these groups or Mr. Clark.

    Personally I think Clark should be commended for speaking the very truth that many of us know, some to timid to say and then there is the most that do not have to public attention to make their thoughts known. JUST BECAUSE JOHN McCAIN WAS IN THE MILITARY DOES NOT QUALIFY HIM TO BE COMMANDER IN CHIEF.

    HIS ENTIRE MILITARY CAREER WAS A SERIES OF BLUNDERS AND LIES! HE FORFEITHED HIS STATUS OF HERO WHEN HE BECAME A TRAITOR TO HIS COUNTRY, THUS REDUCING HIS STATUS TO POW SURVIVOR ONLY! HE DID NOT EARN THE NAME SONGBIRD FOR NOTHING IN FACT HIS DEVULGING OF TRUTHFUL INTELLIGENCE CAUSED LIVES!

    HEROES SAVE LIVES AT THE COST OF THEIR OWN, JOHN McCAIN COST LIVES TO MAKE HIS OWN BETTER!

    WHERE ARE ALL OF THESE POW'S THAT KNEW HIM WHY AREN'T THEY OUT NOW TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT MR. JOHN McCAIN? COULD IT BE BECAUSE THEY GOT SILENCED DURING ONE OF McCAIN'S OTHER BIDS FOR THE WHITE HOUSE. BY THE MEDIA!?? THEY ARE HOWEVER ON YOU TUBE!

    June 30, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  8. Beatriz Perez-Sanchez

    Ralph Nader was right. Obama is talking whiter all the time.

    June 30, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  9. Jody

    Why didn't BO take a "swipe" at all his supporters that spewed SEXIST remarks during the primary?

    So, sexist support is ok, but supporters aren't allowed to talk about McCain's military record or General Petraeus's actions in Iraq.

    Defend the military, ignore misogyny. Way to go, Obama!

    June 30, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  10. Tyrone

    Lieberman is a JOHN McCAIN YES MAN.
    Lieberman is a SUCK UP OF THE WORST KIND!

    Lieberman is the personification of all that is low down and disgusting, he will try any and everything to be in the limelight! Little does he realize that John McCain's Naval Service was never the stuff of LIFETIME HEROES!

    June 30, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  11. BrokerDealer

    This is garbage. Wes has it right. I'm sick of Barack rejecting what he knows is right. The man simply replied when forced to by the host.

    June 30, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  12. Democrat for Big Mac

    Thats called throwing anyone and everyone under the bus for personal gains.

    June 30, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  13. lexel

    Hmm....I noted some lengthy PUMA blogs in here.Pretty sad I would say that such organization exist without their candidate's backing. The credibilty of such organization gets minimized and Hillary Clinton's message gets belittled (if they really, really think about the consequences). This questions their own motivation in pursuing such propaganda.

    June 30, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  14. Jeff Long

    @OBAMA OR DIE.....Washington DC

    JOHN KERRY LOST YOU IDIOT!!!!!!! EVEN VOTE OR DIE COULDN'T HELP HIM WIN!!!! YOUR MAKING YOUR RACE LOOK LIKE A BUNCH OF RACIST IDIOTS. Yeah, im yelling, so what?

    June 30, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  15. FRED, ATLANTA GA

    I really can't wait and looking forward to OBAMA being SWORNED in! So we can take care of the serious issues going on in this country instead of talking about this BS news.

    OBAMA 08/12 YES WE CAN & YES WE WILL!!

    June 30, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  16. Jeff long

    ....while Obama specifically avoided voting either way on the resolution.

    LOL!!!! Don't push the red button!!!! Obama is such a chicken!!

    June 30, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  17. shannon

    so who won't Obama throw under the bus? is his wife next?

    June 30, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  18. Raghu

    Wow, I don't think ANYONE has denied the help of these small organizations.

    June 30, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  19. Hmmm . . .

    The AOl Straw Poll – REAL people voting REALTIME: June 27-July 4: 147,184 total votes cast: Obama 38%, McCain 62%

    June 30, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  20. K

    " Clinton voted against a Senate resolution to formally condemn the group, while Obama specifically avoided voting either way on the resolution."

    HAHA, thats per usual Ob ama. Don't vote on difficult issues or vote "present."

    June 30, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  21. Jack

    P Diddy – NOW that is an endorsement for our President!!!
    To obama or die in DC – you and your friends are fools!!!!
    Who really cares what BET people have to say – can they think?????
    It is these types comments – from people like you that make the rest of Americans vote for anybody BUT obama! We are educated and THINK about our vote – we do not vote because BET tells us who they want. I think the SMART Americans have you out numbered – by the MILLIONS!!!!
    Obama is an Arrogant, Radical Fraud – and is NOT qualified to lead our country!!!

    June 30, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  22. Josh

    K. Hussein,

    "so now we're attacking obama for having independent thoughts??"

    Just keep telling yourself that; you and your fellow left wingers are always the victims! That is the liberal thing to do, blame someone else. That is EXACTLY what this country does not need, paranoid conspiracy theorists! I would ENCOURAGE you to do exaclty what you ENCOURAGE, and think for yourself!

    Obama is clearly flip flopping and has done so multiple times before and sice he became the "presumptive nominee" (e.g. Rev Wright, Clark) but you're are so blinded by the shiny gold, false idol that he is that you can't see it!

    -Obama is like a pop song on the radio that you can't get out of your head because it is played over and over on the radio. Its a terrible song, but its kinda catchy!

    June 30, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  23. Franky

    HA!!!! Don't worry, Senator McCain has it like that too, LOL!!! Is like they have things in common! LOL!!!

    June 30, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  24. Lisa

    I'm sad that Obama supporters belong to a cult.

    June 30, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  25. Molly

    To the obama or die person:
    We are electing the President of the UNITED States – NOT a rock star from BET Awards. We need a President for ALL america – NOT just the "young" guys. By the way, how much $$$$ have you donated to your cause???? Ask your parents – and grandparents – I think they might have other ideas on who is QUALIFIED to lead our country – your guy is NOT.

    June 30, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
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