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. Emma Suarez

    Do you guys cover any other campaign but Obama's? Really, there's more to life than this guy.

    June 30, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  2. cyntia

    I understand what happened here.
    I am sure Obama talked to Moveon.org behind closed doors ( as he did for Nafta with canadians) and told them: " Guys, don't worry, I am one of you, I still thinking as you but I'll have to criticize you a little in order to be elected.
    And guys understood and will still support him 100%.
    He is a master of hypocricy – this is the change you can believe in!!
    CNN, plz post this

    June 30, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  3. Ndidi

    Obama is simply a breathe of fresh air sweeping accross this great nation. He is here to stay.
    We need a change. Republicans, please lets give him a landslide win.
    President obama....I salute you...

    June 30, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  4. VLK

    Just how much Senate experience does Barack Obama have in terms of actual work days? Not much. From the time Barack Obama was sworn in as a United States Senator, to the time he announced he was forming a Presidential exploratory committee, he logged 143 days of experience in the Senate. That's how many days the Senate was actually in session and working.
    After 143 days of work experience, Obama believed he was ready to be Commander In Chief, Leader of the Free World

    June 30, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  5. james

    Moveon is nothing but a Soro's adhoc leftist group. Screw'em!

    July 1, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  6. VLK

    To Obama or Die...Thank you for proving that the youth of America today have no idea what's going on. If you want to support Obama because your favorite musician does, then you clearly need to go to school and learn about history and government.

    July 1, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  7. Maine for Move On

    I'm not excited about this news from the Obama Camp.... it only spells more business as usual in Washington.

    July 1, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  8. McCain is a HUGE FAKE




    July 1, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  9. Michael G- Ventura ca

    Move On has been VERY HELPFUL to us in getting Barack elected- the ad regarding the General is one thing, but the monetary help and activism on his behalf is APPRECIATED by this particular supporter!

    July 1, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  10. Tim, Boston MA

    seriously, being shot down CAN'T possibly quaLIFY mccain a presidential material.

    face the truth! it will set you free at last!

    July 1, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  11. Tim, Boston MA

    i dare you, neo-cons and zionists!

    pull another 9/11 before the election!

    or face the war crimes tribunal!

    July 1, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  12. lizfor hillary clinton

    just as i suspected..barack obama making stuff up again...come on don't you all get it he is bla bla bla

    July 1, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  13. K Hussein Smith

    Let's stick to the issues that matter to all Americans instead of trying to make political points that further divide us.

    Obama for America and America for Obama!!!

    July 1, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  14. lil

    Dear Obama supporters,
    If you disagree with something Sen Obama has said go to his web site and let him know that way he will know how you feel. PUMA supporters please just go ahead and vote for mccain it okay we still live in a country where we can make a choice and i do understand that
    sen Clinton dont tell you who to vote for by the way the meaning of you
    name is demeaning to women.PUMA

    Sen Obama today made a speech in missiouri to explain his patriotism how many other candiate ever had to do this. They made a
    big deal out of what Gen Clark said even though it was true. Sen maccain the Gop make something out of everything that Sen Obama
    Says or in most cases dont say think about it. How many other canidate have been treated that way.
    Have you ever seen John Mccain with a flag pen, When John Mccain
    was asked if he throught Obama was patriotic he beat around bush
    said some nice things but never said that Sen Obama was patriotic
    People wake up there are 2 different set of rule one for mccain and
    another set for Sen Obama and they are letting Mccain get away with
    saying what ever he want.
    Mccain make me sick and tired.

    July 1, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  15. McCain is a HUGE FAKE

    Crab Selector.

    YOUR JOB, IS ONE OF THE WIERDEST I HAVE EVER HEARD ABOUT(IF WHAT YOU SAY IS TRUE) and I would not want to be in your shoes in so far as making a living, but please use your stick, press down on your legs, and please DON'T COME BACK!

    July 1, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  16. Raymond Duke

    To add a comment about Wesley Clark. Generals are appointed through a political progress in the senate . In other words they are owned by senators if they want to get that star. Also generals since world war 11 are over-rated. Guess what a unit gets a medal for doing something outstanding and guess who else gets one and may be 200 miles away. Give me a break. John McCain served this country, served on the Armed forces committee, not counting being a prisoner of war. To have Obama and his sugorate criticiz McCain is a joke on this matter. Obama , the community organizer, the state senator from illinios and being in theUS senate for two years and spending the whole time running for president , not counting being over a committee for Afghanistan and hadn't even held one meeting Much less been to Iraq forover 900 days. I don't think there is any comparison. His credentials as a commander in chief goes about as far as Dick cheneys and Bill Clinton, both draft dodgers.

    July 1, 2008 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  17. J-Rob

    I love how it was priorly mentioned that Obama would say anything to win the election...

    I think it would be wise to mention McCain changing his amnesty ideals. How he went from a more liberal stance to one which would satisfy the Republican base he so required during the election...

    In fact, that seems like solid evidence to say McCain, is the candidate whom will say anything to win the election.

    July 1, 2008 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  18. franco

    So the "agent of change" is in reality the changing agent.............

    July 1, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  19. Leigh

    I wil not support Obama if he does not ask Hilary to be his running mate. It appears as if he is using her to gain votes that people had earmarked for her. If he was truly the serious contender, he wouldn't need her help. She needs to be his VP, if he stands a chance of winning.

    July 1, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  20. McCane

    The Limbaugh's and the swift boaters of the right are pigs that play the game by throwing mud to democratic candidates. Well, we at MoveOn are a new kind of pig that also know how to play the game and like it. We just fight fire with fire. We do not expect any thanks. Our reward is driving republicans out or power.

    July 1, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  21. John

    Our Country is dying folks! Most of our youth is on drugs and free sex and with bad role models like Obama to lead them into a false state of mind, no wonder why thier all for a person who is out of control. Today I watched CNN news were Obama and his campain attacted Mr. McCain and the Miliary, saying that when a man gives years of his youth and life fighting for your Country you love,Obama state's that mean's nothing?? The youth and young people of this Nation better put down the drugs and beer cans and stop going to the all night rap awards before the find out they have another War in thier future! Obama will start more wars then he will ever end, don't you folks read the News paper's and see that Iran hate's us.

    July 1, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  22. california

    go obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 we love yuo. i am a college student and i look at you as my future please please win this election. obama 08!!!!!!

    July 1, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  23. jimtranr in Oregon

    How many erstwhile friends, supporters, advisers, contributors, endorsing organizations, and grandmothers–to say nothing of policy positions–has Barack Obama had to denounce, disavow, let go, chastise, or throw under the bus in just the past couple of months? And how many more are to come?

    His track record hardly inspires confidence.

    July 1, 2008 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  24. Michael from CA

    Where is Hillary? We need her! Its unfortunate that lately Obama has to apologize for everything. When is he going to make his agenda clear? He is such a confusing person to pin down on where he stands. I cant say much for McCain either.

    July 1, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  25. An American

    Aside from MoveOn, two issues. Issue number 1: Charlie Black, Issue number 2: Vicki Iseman . . . discuss

    That's what I want to know more about. Why such one-sided reporting from the media?

    July 1, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
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