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. zina

    He didn't take a swipe at them! He just stated something he disagreed with. People are making more out of this than what it is.

    SLOW news day!

    June 30, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  2. Scott

    Obama-Clark 2012

    June 30, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  3. puff

    You don't fool me Obama. Trying to hide behind that pin, you are ridiculous.
    You are going down fast. Go back to Chicago where you belong with all your unpatriotic friends.
    PUMA PAC

    June 30, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  4. Obama - Do not belive you

    Sorry Senator Obama – I do not trust you, and I do not believe you. it comes down to trust and your word, and Senator McCain wins that argument, and gets my vote

    June 30, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  5. RJ, CA

    Any way the wind blows goes Obama! Yep, that's leadership you can count on! That's self-serving egomania you can count on, NOT presidential material. What's worse, it's downright lies and deception - but that's pretty much how he got everywhere in his political life (with Axelrod, his "brain" pulling the strings)! John McCain looks better all the time, and he doesn't have to "paint" himself a patriot – he IS a patriot.

    June 30, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  6. Loretta from California

    Well, we can blame the media for this one....their stories differ from those provided by the Good General.

    DEMOCRATS UNITE!!!!!

    June 30, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  7. JK Ashburn, VA

    1992 all over again. Remember Bill Clinton's criticism of Sister Soulja. Attempting to convince the middle that he's not a left looney. Obama made one feeble attempt last week talking about black father's taking greater responsibility. Now taking on MoveOn (content is not relevant - it's the act of taking on MoveOn that's he trying to get credit for).

    Prediction, there will be many more flip-flops and challenges of the left as Obama moves to the right. But, just like Clinton in 1993, if elected, he'll move back to the looney left. Remember 1993? Despite campaigning on tax cuts in '92, Clinton's first initiative, after gays in the military, was to raise taxes A LOT.

    June 30, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  8. Aspire

    McCain's torture = Guantanamo Bay torture

    McCain's torture was the result of wrong policy

    Same for the Iraq detainees = due to wrong policy

    June 30, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  9. Raymond Duke

    Good enough for them. They threw hillary under the bus for Obama to get they hope their first black elected to office. He fits their bill to a tee. He is a socialist , hates america and has plenty of radical terriost friends. They should have known by now that if Obama threw his typical "WHITE" grandmother who raised him under the bus waht would he do to them when it suited his needs.

    June 30, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  10. Aspire

    Shows Obama will stand up for his principles and not simply cozy-up to those who support. Compare Bush and his oil cronies

    June 30, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  11. MindyDem08

    Someone will always have something negative to say. If Barack would have voted one way or the other, someone (GOP) would have some mud to sling.

    MoveOn stands for something positive and helped Barack during the primary season, yes. Obama never said anything different. He only stood up for the Petraeus which is commendable. Petraeus isn't the one (s) responsible for choosing to go to war, he was only doing his job.

    June 30, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  12. Rick H. Indian Wells, Ca.

    I am a HUGE Obama fan (He is actually a family friend) and I generally agree to his view of "decent" politics. However, after the past 7 years many of us are so angry and disgusted by our government and the GOP slime machine, that we feel we need to fight back without mincing words or worrying about crossing a line. There is too much at stake in this election, probably the most important in modern times. We like that Barack is level headed and is a genuinely decent man, but many of us wish he would play a little less to the middle and support those who are fighting for him and our country.

    June 30, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  13. Shirley

    Michelle has a long way to go to be as lovely, poised and polished as Mrs. Clinton. She has potential.

    June 30, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  14. Chris

    Its the end of the day... why am i even reading this idle banter?!?!

    June 30, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  15. Lisa

    WOW yet again, another speech!!!!!

    June 30, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  16. Peter E

    Obama realized that if Moveon supports him the same way as they did Kerry in '04 he doesn't have a prayer.

    June 30, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  17. California Gold

    Obama is 100% right: this is the type of game playing the American people are tired of.

    I'm not voting for an old grumpy candidate who is treating the Americans like we are fools who can be scared into voting for him and angered by some old grumpy vets who growl out venom Swift boat non-issues. Last time it worked, but not again.

    McCain keep proving he just doesn't get it. We are tired of the game playing. We deserve and want more. Our future needs a person with vision and greater depth than an old fart. We need Obama.

    June 30, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  18. Cynthia

    Just saw on the Situation Room where Senator McCain is still offering to go to Iraq with Senator Obama and Senator Obama saying that he knows it is a political ploy of McCain's. I finally figured out why Senator McCain stays out of the country so much – it is to avoid being heckled..

    June 30, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  19. Erin in Edmonds WA

    Texas Trail Dog: More banter from a texas republican–makes me wonder why we don't saw Texas off and float it out into the gulf.

    If half of what you scream in your post can be backed up by any fact, then prove it. Republicans are unfit to be president anymore given what Bush has done to this country. McCain is unfit on so many levels I can't list them all except for one: He was one of the Keating 5, and regardless of how that turned out, he was investigated for major fraud. Any one who has that in their history has no right to run for Chief Executive–under no circumstances.

    June 30, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  20. bandito

    Obama/Libermann 08

    June 30, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  21. frank

    Obama puts his clowns to do a disgrace to vets all over again just like the rep clowns that did this to kerry
    and as a vet it hunts all of us
    so if you are a vet i would really think about who you will vote for

    THE COWARD obama OR Mccain the vet
    I know Iwill always have my brothers back demo ( or) REP

    June 30, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  22. David Illinois

    Get set all of you die hard Obama fans....here he goes running to the center. First he throws Rev Wright under the bus, then his own grandmother,then he goes back on public $ for the election...on and on...Don't you get it yet????This is just one more slick Chicago Pol. He will do or say anything to try to get elected. Remeber the "change" a new politics? all of you saps who bought that will be crying come November. The man is a liar .

    June 30, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  23. Enlightened Voter

    I support Obama fervently and move on whom we need to stop the smears. Obama is not discrediting move on and did not mention them specifically. He just wants a clean political campaign, but folks aren't used to that and try to attack him for it. You go Obama!

    June 30, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  24. Stephen

    I agree in full with Gene several comments up, and I am of the opinion that this is essentially Obama covering the bases so that the "you aren't patriotic" rhetoric doesn't rear its ugly head once more. A wise decision since we KNOW that Senator McCain and the GOP noise machine are already trying and bring it back.

    I am a proud member of MoveOn and a proud supporter of Obama '08.

    June 30, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  25. Enlightened Voter

    Hey Jan – sweetie, how bout going to his website where he SPECIFICALLY states how he will end the war and outlines his plans specifically instead of trashing him with your repuglican mumbo jumbo. He also has his economic, educational, environmental, energy, foreign policy plans...ah heck you name it they are all on his website. Why don't you people investigate or are you just hatin?

    June 30, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
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