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. Silvia Salcido

    The more I read about Senator Obama.... the more convinced I am that we were right all along..... this man is full of manure.
    Latinos for McCain!

    June 30, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  2. Chipster

    Chuck, what questions are you talking about? Sen. Obama has directly answered questions about the flag pin and the Pledge. You can't get more direct than providing photos and videos to prove that the rumors are false. He has also provided evidence that he has, in fact, placed his hand on a Bible in swearing-in ceremonies.

    What will it take for those of you who simply refuse to accept the truth? He has created an entire web site to refute false claims, some of them completely outrageous. He has admitted making mistakes in his youth, yet he had the character to overcome them. Now, get over it and see if you can possibly admit that the questions have been covered because we need to focus on repairing the damage that has been done to our country over the past 7 years!

    June 30, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  3. TP17

    Give me a break. He kissed their butt when he was running in the caucuses and when they belittled Clinton. Now he takes a swipe at them. What a tough guy. What a joke.

    June 30, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  4. Beck

    I think it is more than due time to take a good look @ Ralph Nader, he seems to really hit the issues head on. Moveon.org should try backing him instead.

    June 30, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  5. Truth

    Obama is naiive.
    He thought that playing (Mr. Nice) and attacking his own supporters will stop the republicans from attacking him

    June 30, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  6. Peter E

    Recap of today:
    Percentage of political tickers talking about irrelevant campaign tactics=100
    Percentage talking about relevant political issues that actually affect our lives=0!

    June 30, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  7. Juan Carlos(Vegas)

    McCain '08 and Hillary 2012

    June 30, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  8. sarah

    look out moveon.org here comes the "i dont need you anymore and your holding me back"BUS. RUN FOR GODS SAKE RUN OUTTA THE WAY

    June 30, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  9. al

    There will be lots of previous obama supporters, republicans or not, who will drop obama like a hot potato during the general election.

    All that glitters is not gold.

    June 30, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  10. Debby

    Flip/flop much Obama. Why didn't you bring this up on the campaign trail when they endorsed you. What a fake this guy is.

    June 30, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  11. Ula Nejad- Sacramento Ca

    Hillary for Field Marshall. Trying the decent act is a little bit too late. We will take you to the finish line Senator! We don't believe in a repackaged candidate.

    June 30, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  12. J

    Know what is sad? David Petraeus actually has committed treason. All these butt kissing media and politicians could careless about what the Founding Fathers of this nation warned us. This is only the beginning of the end...soon the Military will demand that they are the only ones who deserve to elect the president. Next they will be given the seats on Congress. Then we lose the shattered remains of our Democratic-Republic. But I guess its all well and good now since it is politically expedient to spit in the faces of the Founding Fathers. I guess the first debate between McCain and Obama will feature the two of them urinating on the Constitution.

    June 30, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  13. Tom

    I supported an Obama with enthusiasm. Now, as the best available option. But, unfortunately, he is just a slippry pol, and little more. He bashes moveOn for having the audacity to speak its mind and critize THE General. And, bails outon Wesley Clark for poiting out the obvious - NO, being a fighter pilot alone does not necessariy qualify you to be the chief executive of the larget, most powerful nation on earth. (anybody remeber Duke Cunningham). Clark did not dis anyone's patriotism. But, Obama felt a little heat and bolted. He is the best hope we have. That looks like a sadder truth everyday.

    June 30, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  14. Paul

    Under Obama Iraq War will go on..

    June 30, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  15. Mike

    That's not the Move On that I knew....

    Welcome to the underside of the bus idiots!

    June 30, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  16. I used to be a Democrat

    All of Obama's supporters need to be scolded.

    June 30, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  17. Willy

    Obama makes Kerry's flip flopping look like childs play. You're done BHO...

    June 30, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  18. tadgher99@yahoo.com

    I left Moveon.org after they endorsed Obama.

    June 30, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  19. Nikki Hussein

    I don't think Obama said that to hurt anyones feelings, I think he was just trying to make a point, his campaign is built around change, I must say that little move on act was kind of offensive, we have to treat John Mccain like any other elderly person and that is with respect, they already claim that Obama supporters are thugs and disrepectful, so I say let's paint on a smile and win this election.

    June 30, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  20. Sam

    CNN when you call out Obama's voting record – including the times that he ducked out so he could posture later? Voters should be given information so we can watch what people do – not what they say.

    June 30, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  21. peter

    this is exactly why I am voting for you Obama!!

    June 30, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  22. Hussein Is My Last Name

    Let's go Obama,

    June 30, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  23. Vig

    Obama is not his own person. What comes out of his mouth is being fed to him by the white boys who run his campaign and the Democratic party. They are trying to package Obama as more to the center, but still progressive. What better way to do this then to diss one of the more skewed liberal groups – MoveOn – seems like MoveOn is about to MoveOut of Obama's life. Just one more thing, with all due respect to Black folks who are on cloud 9, Obama is not a product of Black power and presence – he's a product of whitey.

    June 30, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  24. matt in FL

    Campbell Brown

    can someone get control of her? Her facial gestures alone are driving me crazy, she literally runs rough shot over the guest as they offer commentary. I understand she has to keep control and keep the dialogue moving but she comes across so abrasive it really is annoying.

    June 30, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  25. Marty FL

    Roger, are you serious? In case you were not aware, the RBC consisted of more Clinton supporters, and they still were able to reach a fair conclusion. Your apparent cut-and-paste here is more indicative of a right-wing tactic used on many blogs, and it makes PUMA appear even more like a Republican group.

    June 30, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
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