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. David Illinois

    Closely watching.....clearly you weren't. We are "Over it" Just hope you are when your darling little liberal lap dog bites the dust come November. Remember the one that was actually in the white house? the one that actually won a few races? the one that stood upl to the Republican attack machine and was never destroyed by them? That just happened to be a Clinton. But just wait ,your turn will come. this snakeoil salesman will end up throwing everyone under the bus to get what he wants. His premature grab for power will end up dividing this party to the core. But heh you and Obama and Oprah can all get together at the Harvard club and have cocktails when it's over. The rest of the working democrates will have to clean you mess up once again.

    June 30, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  2. Ross in MD

    After helping him out in the primaries, Obama is throwing the left-wing under the bus. I agree with '2012', get us a bigger bus!

    June 30, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  3. Lou R

    I view many the above comments posts expressing the old and tired comment–react–react responses, many which are emotional rather than being thought out. I also see Obama expressing leadership to change the destructive practice which is akin to putting gasoline on a raging fire. Obama also advocates respective dialog rather then polarizing statements ala the Karl Rove school of divide and conquer which unknowingly demeans those who buy into the the divisive technique.

    June 30, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  4. carlo

    There is a systematic problem across the board in politics. Just because an organization supports Obama doesn't mean that he can't call them out on their flaws. Isn't that what we want?

    June 30, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  5. nobama voter

    i can't believe that people sign emails "white people for obama"
    let's leave race out of it. the guy is so not qualified he couldn't work his way out of a wet paper bag. and beyond that i can't believe how many people in this country don't get the "manufacturing" of mr. o.
    he "out politicians" all the rest! there is so much spin around him i am surprised he is actually on the ground...although, that's right, we need to look to the heavens to spot him. oh, and could you please stop looking down your downright arrogant nose at everyone when you speak. one of many things that are so annoying. today you want us to believe that this is the first time anyone ever questioned your patriotism....where have you been? i have been questioning it since the first clip of the good rev. and you cannot spin your way out of those 20 years and who knows what you all talked about around the sun dinner table. i am sick and tired of you and all your "strategists", a kind word for those that are talented in trying to make a silk purse...in this case trying to make you into someone who is qualified to be president. hopefully more and more people are coming to their senses. you and the dnc deserve each other. we don't.

    June 30, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  6. Axlerod = Rove

    He takes a swipe at MoveOn. Org now after he consciously chose not to participate while in attendance when the Senate voted whether or not to condemn their activities ???

    This guy is confused....or ingenuine.

    June 30, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  7. syl

    What is evident is Obama's change is a matter of shameless political expediency rather than principle. He suddently learned how to put on a lapel pin....he suddenly begins talking about patriotism. And all these years, he listened to his pastor and mentor anti-Amerian rants! Does Obama has the integrity to be president...or is what he says JUST WORDS?

    June 30, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  8. Obama Obama

    It seems that moveon.org and Obama hasn't really been on the best of terms lately. I think Moveon.org is still pushing Obama to not support the FISA bill. And he shouldn't, because earlier this year he said he would stand by Fiengold's side against the bill. I'm a big Obama supporter, but I don't think he should be picking fights with Moveon.org. Those guys can be ruthless if needed.

    June 30, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  9. Peter

    If Move On has any level of maturity within its organization then they will take Obama's message as constructive criticism and not a wholesale condemnation.
    Well said Obama – Leadership matters!

    June 30, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  10. Leslie

    I receive MoveOn.org's emails and I am often frustrated by some of their decisions, the General Petraeus slogan being a case in point. Senator Obama continues to show that he will attempt to walk the walk and, in the end, that is why I support him.

    June 30, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  11. Zhaoyang Liu

    Obama is a politician who will say anything to get elected. He has no real values. During the party nomination he couldnt say anything against moveon because he needed their support. Now he is trying to act to be patriotic and right than moveon, because he needs the independent votes. Too many people couldnt see through this guy.

    June 30, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  12. nannie bouroughs, Kenosha, WI

    I USED to be a member of MoveOn.org, however, since the General Betry Us ad and their support for the Chicago buffoon, I've thrown them under the bus...

    June 30, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  13. Ilene MI

    Well, didn't the Republicans start this by making fun of John Kerry's service and his Purple Hearts with their adds suggesting he was a coward and the wearing of Purple Heart bandaids at their convention??

    June 30, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  14. J, CA

    I'm loving this. Take it stupid liberals in moveon.org. Good lesson for betraying Hillary.

    June 30, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  15. Mike Conroy

    Let's see... Wesley Clark said that getting shot down in a plane is not a qualification for being president. What, exactly, is wrong with that? Is Obama saying that it IS a qualification? Is anyone seriously maintaining that? Oh come on.

    As far as moveon.org-- Again, Petraeus is an obvious hack for the chicken hawks. Moveon called it right– a little blunt for our sensitive ears.

    People, grow up! The McBushies are reveling in you twisting yourselves into knots over this 'patriotism' bull. See it for what it is.

    June 30, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  16. Guy King

    Move-on dot org should do as its name says and move on, out of
    the political snark and eithter disappear or get someone with a working brain to offer some ideas.

    June 30, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  17. Sergeant Will

    hey this is Sergeant will Again just want everyone know how the war is going well my last Deployment really open my eye. The soldier have lost there feel towards this war. and it war a kick in the balls when our president exstanded the Deployment to 15 months. and 4 months later tell the people that we are having shorter Deployment cause they move it back to twelve. What kind of Commander and Chief is that to sucker the American People. Well as a Soldier it just Angers you

    June 30, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  18. Jeff long

    Take that moveon.org!! YOU SUCK!!!!! Obama doesn't need you any more so how about you just move on!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

    June 30, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  19. rexx

    Ironic that Obama just spoke to Billy Clinton. This is Obama's "sister souljah" moment. A dirty Politician from Chicago is going to "change" America? lol. Welcome to a true American hero President McCain.

    June 30, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  20. Joe the Troll

    It's about time a Democrat had the balls to criticize MoveOn.org. They're as bad as the right wing pundits. Of course, Republicans won't understand because none of them have the stones to criticize liars like Ruch, Bill, Ann, and Michelle.

    June 30, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  21. Rick FL

    It seems Obama is saying there are constructive ways for us to move forward. I would respectfully agree to all of us included.

    The media loves to stir the pot to create "controversy" and division. It's unfortunate, but I guess good for their ratings.

    June 30, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  22. Ely Dorsey

    I do not know who is advising Obama at this time, but it appears to me that it is lousy advice. There is no need to recreate Obama as the Black Bill Clinton. I am disgusted with how Obama is becoming a caricature of delusion. I have been a financial supporter all this time. I am now withdrawing from supporting him. This stinks. It just stinks and is so unnecessary.

    June 30, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  23. NoBama

    Hmmmm he shyed away from the vote to condemn the group but he SAYS he did'nt approve of the attack. Sounds like a preview of what is to come, all talk and no action.


    who wants double diget unemployment and inflation?!? Because that's the only CHANGE you'll get.

    McCain 08

    June 30, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  24. tony

    We see here another example of how Barack likes to cover all the bases. His obama-speak is brilliantly crafted and well delivered. It’s no wonder he has so many devote followers. Must have a team of politicos working overtime. To the deepest pockets go the sharpest minds.

    June 30, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  25. Caycee, Pearl City Hawaii

    Political Action Groups and Lobbyists beware. BO does not want you near him.

    June 30, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19