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. Delta 9

    Barrack Obama = Liberal
    Liberal = More Goverment Spending
    More Goverment Spending = Higher Taxes
    Higher Taxes = Less Disposable Income
    Less Disposable Income = Economic Recession
    I hope you Obama supporters are ready to experience what our grandparents went through in the1920's and 1930's.

    McCain '08

    July 1, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  2. Tony

    Obama had better WAKE UP!

    Rather than going around giving speeches on patriotism, he had better start making more speeches and television ads pushing the issue of the next President more than likely being able to appoint at least 3, if not 4, justices to the Supreme Court.

    If McCain is elected you can be sure he will appoint the most strict, conservative, right-wing justices he can find.

    The American people are lazy, apathetic, whiny and complain constatnly, but rather than tear themselves away from the idiot box and reality t.v. shows, getting off the sofa and attending protests, community meetings, writing their Congressman/woman, Senators, etc., they moan and expect someone else to do it.

    Unfortuntely, an appointment to the Supreme Court if for life. No matter whether you are too old to know your right hand from your left or even your name, as in the case of William Rehnquist.

    It's time Americans put up or shot up and stop whining!

    July 1, 2008 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  3. Jeff

    I'm sure Obama discussed this with Moveon prior to making such comments, he's not known for biting the hand that feeds him.

    July 1, 2008 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  4. Jan

    Obama is very well known for biting the hand that feeds him–under the bus with moveon.org! what a turncoat–I will stay home rather than cast my vote for him. His agenda is beginning to look just like GWB. Clintons have forced him to be politically savvy-next thing you know, he will be hugging Bill.

    July 1, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  5. therealist

    All on a political stage to the right.

    This man will do anything to be president. Is he related to the Clintons too?

    July 1, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  6. Lavallette, NJ

    I am scared of Barack Hussein Obama.

    July 1, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  7. Ted

    Does someone can tell me why Mr. Obama didn't denounce moveon.org back in Feb when they endorsed him. Why now is this one of through under the bus thing after he uses them? This Guy is scary …………….

    July 1, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  8. curtis39

    The fact that Obama's willing to criticize and/or turn his back on MoveOn.org. is a win/win for him. Most people despise those people and might be moved to now support Obama. As for the move on-ers themselves, they'd rather walk over hot coals than pull the lever for McCain, so their vote is a lock for Obama, no matter how much he disses them.

    July 1, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  9. Vote Nader

    Sergeant Will June 30th, 2008 6:57 pm ET

    i'm a soldier in the US army station in Germany, i have been Deployed 3 time and on my way to my four Deployment i am sick of Deploying and wasting my time i am so happy that Sen Obamama want to with pull the troops out cause we are burned out. Sen Mccain have no idea and is jut like Bush who want our country to pay out taxes Dollars for a useless country.

    --------------------------------

    I realize you aren't actually in the Army, but I thought I would say this anyway.

    Get a new job if you don't like what you are doing.

    VotePact

    ** Nader/Gonzalez 2008 **

    July 1, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  10. 1234p

    Just try to understand Obama's position. I'm sure he has a good reason for doing this, right? I trust him. He's gonna make a great leader for America.

    McCain's just gonna be Bush all over again, bringing America's ecomomy, credibility and reputation down.

    In Obama's case, just remember that no human is perfect.

    July 1, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  11. HA

    I am a MoveOn member and I see nothing wrong with what he said, so please spare the lies, garbage, and spreading of misinformation/propaganda.

    WE ARE UNITED AND WILL TAKE BACK THIS COUNTRY.

    OBAMA 08
    YES WE CAN

    July 1, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  12. Vernon

    Sen.Obama is above the petty smear politics,even if he has to criticize an organization that supports him.....Obama 08

    July 1, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  13. Jill American

    I left MoveOn when the endorsed Obama – thought it was a bad choice – still do.

    July 1, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  14. NotALemming

    Obama not vote on something? Say it ain't so!!!!! Here, I thought he at least voted "present", instead of totally skipping out....

    July 1, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  15. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Obama specifically avoided voting either way on the resolution.

    NO WAY!!!!!! I can't believe that !!

    July 1, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  16. LJ

    Obama smacks the hands that feed him, he will say anything to anyone for any reason come on Obama do something and stand by it.

    July 1, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  17. Becky

    I like how Obama stands up to people no matter if they're for him or against him. He's not afraid on stepping on anyone's toes to make things right.

    July 1, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  18. Sabrina Wang

    I see American political is destroying a political idealist. Obama is not running for Misiaa, he is running for president and Americans are ruinning out a potential political canadidate by SEVERE questionning his religion (is religion freedon in America? is religion political separated? not for president!!), attacking his races(the truth is white American owe blacks whole lots more), questionning his patriotism, just because he is not white?! speech is not free!

    JUST BECAUSE HE IS NOT WHITE SO HE IS BEING QUESTIONNING, DOUBTING, TESTING, TORTUING..... IT IS MORE UNDERSTANDABLE WHAT AMERICAN IS – no more question!!!

    July 1, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  19. LaurieG

    Now that Obama has used MoveOn through the primary, he is throwing them under the bus. Not that it matters anymore. Obama has bought and paid for the Democratic Party, and where else will Democrats go? It's all about power, and Obama is no more principled than the next guy.

    July 1, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  20. Michael

    I don't know why I still turn to these comment pages. I keep hoping for discourse, but find usually persons talking past each other; and when someone does respond, (s)he usually turns to a personal attack or some other fallacy. I realize this medium is limited; but persons who genuinely care about, and capable of democratic discourse have a wonderful opportunity to learn more about others and our political landscape, as well as help others do the same. Let's not pretend we already know everything and engage eachother more modestly. For example, is it noble not to vote on a bill one considers politically-motivated? Is it cowardly? Is it something else? And WHY do we think so? I imagine I could learn a lot reading a list of posts modestly proposing answers to these questions and giving reasons why they agree or disagree with the reasons others post.

    July 1, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  21. Michael

    don't know why I still turn to these comment pages. I keep hoping for discourse, but usually find persons talking past each other; and when someone does respond to another, (s)he usually turns to a personal attack or some other fallacy. I realize this medium is limited; but persons who genuinely care about, and who are capable of democratic discourse have a wonderful opportunity to learn more about others and our political landscape, as well as help others do the same. Let's engage each other more modestly, in hope of finding and promoting truth. For example, is it noble not to vote on a bill one considers politically-motivated? Is it cowardly? Is it something else? And WHY do we think so? I imagine I could learn a lot reading a list of posts modestly proposing answers to these questions and giving reasons why they agree or disagree with the reasons others post.

    July 1, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  22. ZIUS BRAD

    the media is selling mccain and a new war in iran whith it .....BEING A PRISONER OF WAR FOR 5 YEARS ONLY QUALIFIES YOU TO BE IN A MENTAL INSTITUTE.... MCCAIN IS NOT FIT TO BE PRESIDENT ..BOTH MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY...NO MORE PLAYING NICE THE COUNTRY'S FUTURE IS AT STAKE ....VOTE FOR NEW LEADERSHIP VOTE DEMOCRAT ...BY THE WAY RALPH NADER IS AN IDIOT WE OWN BUSH BEING ELECTED TO HIM...OBAMA 08

    July 1, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  23. Jarrett

    Delta 9:

    Are you even aware of the causes of the great depression?
    The government did increase taxes but it also decreased government spending which we now know has a dramatic effect on consumption. We raised taxes and effectively decreased consumption by cutting government spending which played a part in the great depression upon numerous other reasons such as the overbuilding in the 20's and a lack of complete understanding of economics. Keynesian's view of economics soon came after the great depression which helped explain some of the causes as well but to insinuate that higher taxes alone led to the great depression displays a lack of knowledge about the causes and the fact that you say more government spending played a part in the great depression when in fact government spending was cut during the great depression as we as a country were more concerned with balanceing the budget and minimizing the debt. Please if people don't know what they are talking about, check your facts before you make posts that are uninformed and biased toward making a point that isn't there.

    July 1, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  24. Jeanine G

    I'm a Moveon.org member and an Obama supporter, and I agree with him here. I think it is unfair to question the patriotism of fellow Americans who are clearly trying their best to do what they feel is right for the country.

    July 1, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  25. Another old white woman for Obama

    Swallowed up in minutae. This kind of silly bickering is not going to help our country one iota.
    Either you have loved the last 8 years and will vote for more of the same or you want a chance of something better.
    Either you agree with the Republicans (War Mongers) or you want a chance at Diplomatic solutions.
    Either you are locked in a time warp or you are looking toward the future.
    It doesn't get easier than that.
    Obama is our last best chance.
    Please don't blow it.

    July 1, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
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