August 15th, 2008
07:10 PM ET
10 years ago

New DNC Web video tries to link McCain to Abramoff scandal


WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Democratic National Committee’s is taking on John McCain in a new Web video calling into question his reputation as a campaign finance reformer and a maverick who stands outside the inner circles of political dealings in the nation’s capital.

The online video accuses McCain of “cozying up” to the “cronies” of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who pled guilty in 2006 to federal charges of fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy to bribe public officials.

The video takes issue with McCain’s fundraising ties to Ralph Reed, a former business partner of Abramoff. “While most people now see Ralph Reed as a tainted man raising tainted money, John McCain sees him as a source of campaign cash,” a narrator in the video says.

Reed recently sent out an e-mail that urged Republicans in Georgia to attend a planned Republican National Committee fundraiser for McCain scheduled for next Monday in Atlanta.

The Democratic National Committee said that Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California, will call for McCain to cancel the planned fundraiser in a conference call with reporters on Friday morning.

Update 7:10 pm: Alex Conant, spokesman for the Republican National Committee released the following statement in responce to the DNC's new web video: “It’s laughable Democrats would try to make this a political issue, considering John McCain led the Abramoff investigations and has record of fighting to reform Washington, while Barack Obama’s brief political career already has its own fundraising scandals.”

(full script after the jump)

Script, DNC Web ad “Tainted”

VOICEOVER: “On the campaign trail, John McCain claims that he fought to expose Jack Abramoff and his corrupt cronies…”

MCCAIN: “And I led the investigation.”

VOICEOVER: “It was a scandal that rocked the country, linking all the way to the Bush White House and Republicans in Congress, sending two former Republican Congressmen to prison.

“But, now, desperate to raise campaign cash to run more negative attack ads, John McCain is cozying up to Jack Abramoff’s cronies.

“Ralph Reed, a key business partner of Jack Abramoff helped the convicted former Republican lobbyist launder 2 million dollars through a front group to finance a gambling campaign.

“Now, Ralph Reed has signed up to raise money for John McCain. Reed has even been appointed to McCain’s Victory 2008 Team.

“Ralph Reed’s murky connections to Jack Abramoff run so deep, it cost him a race for Lt. Governor in Georgia.

“While most people now see Ralph Reed as a tainted man raising tainted money, John McCain sees him as a source of campaign cash.

“John McCain – more of the same old politics.”

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (251 Responses)
  1. Watermann

    As always in life and especially in politics. Follow the way of the money and you will surely find the real reason and background for whatever you want to uncover. Do you remember "Watergate"?

    August 15, 2008 06:06 am at 6:06 am |
  2. Tom

    To the Barack Obama for President Campaign Manager:

    If you really want anybody to pay attention to this you're gonna have to get Paris Hilton to do a spot for you....or maybe Boy George...this is so boring I nearly fell face first into my keyboard just trying to follow it.

    You guys really need to get some new material...some party of 'Change'!

    August 15, 2008 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  3. Diamond

    John McWorse!

    August 15, 2008 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  4. Tim

    Excellent DNC!!!

    August 15, 2008 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  5. dmw

    Well the DNC just opened up Obama to his connection to Rezco. I love how quickly the DNC and Obama, who claim they are so above it all, goes into the mud. I am sure there excuse will be, the RNC and McCain started it! All of these men bore me.

    I am voting for Hillary Clinton in November.

    August 15, 2008 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  6. abdirahman

    Whatelse ,money is money even from dirty water of Iraq.Macsame
    can kill to advance his objectives like the Bushman head of usa .

    August 15, 2008 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  7. Paul

    This is despicable. John has worked so hard to fight corruption and had many lashes from his party.

    Shame on you DNC. For corruption, look at Obama who used racism against Hillary and now against McCain. He stole the election from a superior candidate.

    Shame on you. Shame on you. Shame on you.

    -Paul Seattle, WA

    August 15, 2008 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  8. williefloyd

    I can't imagine mccain seeing any money as tainted. He seems very fond of it-no matter how he got it.


    August 15, 2008 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  9. Char for Obama 08 & 12

    McCain is Dirty, and he will be EXPOSED!

    August 15, 2008 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  10. Jeff

    Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld lite. You cannot expect a man of McCain's years to keep up with the level of relentless filth of the current adminsitration. Cut the man some slack.

    August 15, 2008 08:26 am at 8:26 am |

    Hit this joker hard. Let the world know about his record. KEATING 5 scandal and etc..


    August 15, 2008 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  12. joe

    what about the junior senators RESCO DEAL!He was there only a couple of years and he did a koosamakshi in that time.Once a adulterer alwaysan adulterer.look at edwards.we need a person we know where he stands.put him the white house and he will seel the capitol building.Hillary 2012.go mccain.

    August 15, 2008 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  13. Ellie, Boyds MD

    I think it's about time John McCain realizes that if he's going to use Clinton's "kitchen sink" strategies on his "low road express" then he better be PREPARED for the backlash of his life.

    TWO can play the game!

    August 15, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  14. Tom in S.A.

    If the add was true, Reed would be in jail to. This add is the same old politics. Oh by the way BHO supporters, would this be considered an attack ad????

    August 15, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  15. Ryan

    The Democrats are goin negative??? oh my god...from the messiah who said he wouldn't be part of this. What a phony!!

    Buy and read Obamanation!!!! If it wasn't true...there would be lawsuits people...unfortanetly there won't be..because the Obamabots know if there was – there would have to be research and the book would be PROVEN TRUE!!!!

    August 15, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  16. Alec Des Roches

    The DNC is dumb! Guilt by so-and-so knows so-and-so?? There is not even a remote link between Abramoff and McCain.

    Hmm.... is there a REAL link between Obama and Tony Rezko???

    Obaba = Tony Rezko ads are now fair game!!!!

    August 15, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  17. Clinton/McCain

    The Democrats are desparate! The poll numbers are much closer than they expected. Now they're realizing they shouldn't have tampered with the primaries to ensure Hillary's defeat. Looks like they will the pay the price in November. What goes around comes around.

    August 15, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  18. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    One should always judge a person by the people he's beholden to. In McSame's case, this means the Abramoff crowd and all the Bush campaign aides he's taken on. This is not a maverick; this is the same old Washington political crap and will have the same result.
    McCain = Bush3.

    August 15, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  19. Tony

    Why not? It's true!

    August 15, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  20. Michelle, PA

    McCain needs to be very, very careful with this Reed relationship. He seems to be counting on independents and moderates to win the election, but Ralph Reed and just about everything he stands for is poison to all but the right wing. Not exactly a maverick move, Mr. McCain!

    August 15, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  21. Angry Old Warmonger

    30 years in politics is proof of MCain's ties to corruption. It is impossible to stay in business that long in Washington without being connected to corruption. No one can argue with that.

    August 15, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  22. PSK

    Calling John McCain a "maverick" is quite possibly the funniest line I have read of late. Well, that, and John's own quote (loosely translated) that in the 21st century countries do not invade other countries. Keep it up John- I need all the laughs I can get –
    trying to get through this abysmal Republican-created economic meltdown.

    August 15, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  23. Andy J, NY

    Way to stay above the fray, Obama.

    This is why i don't like McCain or Obama-


    Maybe obama should talk about his socialist views instead of using scare tactics.

    These guys are pathetic.

    August 15, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  24. Mike - Texas

    Obama has a lot of room to talk.

    He has his own set of problems with his buddy Rezko sitting in jail. The shaddy land deal that he did with Obama is very questionable and should be investigated, not swept under the rug.

    Where are the investigative journalists on the Obama / Rezko deal??

    August 15, 2008 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  25. Dan, TX

    What a pathetic reach. Ever heard of Tony REZKO?????

    August 15, 2008 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11