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. Frank N.

    Why are campaign adds newsworthy? Please give us real news, CNN.

    August 15, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  2. Klaus

    Why doesn't this get a ticker headline? Is that privilege reserved solely for McCain?

    August 15, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  3. Greg Pottstown PA

    Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN August 15th, 2008 8:42 am ET

    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.

    By your logic we should judeg Obama by what Rev. wright or Rezco.
    BTW no conection has been made between Mccain and Abramoff

    August 15, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  4. jfs Memhis, Tn

    All Right..........................from above.

    The sleaze started with McCain ....Mr. I will only talk policy. You all had better get ready ................there's bunches of bad things to pull from...especially after 26 years of Washington commraderie. You all need to re-visit Hillary's ads to get some FRESH ideas.

    August 15, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  5. Klaus

    If this were a McCain ad about Obama, CNN would link it with a front page headline proclaiming: "Report: Obama Linked to Abramoff."

    August 15, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |

    Can someone please get Mc85th-out-of-89 back on primetime television so that he can show his incompetence.

    Change 08

    August 15, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  7. Barry Soetoro

    Suggest you read "The Obama Nation" being released this weekend. Will give you some insight on your beloved...

    Reed knew Abramoff.... ooohhhhh.... so did most of congress....

    However he never called him his father figure or man of the year like Wright and Farrakan.... as your Blow Snorting super hero did...

    Obama (Barry Soetoro) is done... he's his own worst enemy... Hillary would have a 20 point lead by now... but the DNC picks a moron like Barry instead...

    August 15, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  8. Tom Eyemdaman

    White Girl For Obama,

    We're not voting for Obama because he'll wreck the economy, not because he's black.

    I like him as a person, I wish he subscribed to McCain's policies – if so, I'd vote for him in a second.

    I don't hate him at all. I hate his policies.

    August 15, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  9. Mark Ferbet, Grain Valley, Missouri

    After reading many of the comments... all I have to say is...

    If the American People are as stupid as the these comments make them out to be... then we all need to get on our knees and pray that we don't elect another GWB.

    PEOPLE... Obama Nation is a book of Bull... and there is already a book out proving it... DO YOUR RESEARCH!

    As to the DNC Ad... the DNC and RNC both are guilty of spinning in their ads... and since as of last week, there were 9 out of 10 negative ads from the McCain Camp... (not positive, promoting policy ads) and there were 9 out of 10 postive ads from the Obama Camp.. these were promoting his policy... I say McCain and the Republicans have set the tone, once again for the way the campaigning will go.

    Get your heads out of the toilet folks... educate yourselves and quit being so ignorant...

    Oh... and Hillary supporters... get an attitude adjustment... she's not running for president anymore.

    August 15, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  10. Marj,Paso Robles, Cal

    Duhbama is a disgrce.

    August 15, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  11. JohnBoy

    The blacks will vote for the black guy for president even if he is a empty suit. What will the white people do?

    McCain 08

    August 15, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  12. Edith Arkansas

    Hold Senator McCain's foot to the fire make him accountable to his bad deeds. McCain is a SMILING FAKE. Also while you are at it ask him about the affair once again he weakly denied early this year. Is he lieing as John Edward's did. The truth should be exposed before election. I don't understand why the news media has let McCain of the hook on the affair issue he also goes too when the wagon comes. LETS HAVE THE TRUTH NOW.

    The news media is also embracing THE OBAMA NATION LIE BY JEROME CORSI. WHY? WHY? WHY?

    August 15, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  13. boered1

    dmw – you are voting for the liar hillary in november.. so I guess that means dmw stands for dumb mindless woman since she LOSST the primary and will not be on the ballot and your wasted vote will just go down as another fool who cannot face the real world... !

    For those fools who say Obama is running this ad and that makes him low and fighting dirty I would point out the ad is run by the DNC NOT Obama's campaign as you so often point out he is NOT in charge of the DNC and he is NOT YET the candidate therefore he is NOT responsible for this ad.. unless you think McCain should be held responsible for the lies put out by the RNC in places like TN and MS but than again your double standards and misguided world view will not let you see that so climb back into your liar hillary fantasy world or your bought and paid for mccain corporate world and let the rest of us deal with the real world since you are incapable of doing so by your own admittance.

    August 15, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  14. SDB

    Doesn't Obama represent South Chicago? Has anyone been to South Chicago lately? or Chicago for that matter? I love Chicago...but it doesn't look like much "change" has taken place there to help the city for the better...could be a sign...not a good one.

    August 15, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  15. Tony

    So this is all they can get on McCain? That he knew someone who knew someone who committed a crime? You know everyone is six degrees away from Kevin Bacon, so why don't you link McCain to the 9/11 attacks while you're grasping at straw, DNC.

    Obama's a sleazy, dirty politician who will only have his Kool-Aid drinking supporters behind him come November, and they're so dumb they think they can vote online. Sorry, kids, the general election isn't a blog - you'll have to leave your parents' house for this one.

    August 15, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  16. Filipina

    I am no haters just don't like McBush...Obama is the next president get use of it.

    August 15, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  17. Proud to be American

    GO DNC! the repug run negaitive lying ads and the truth will make us free ... yes free of the repugs... America have to follow the money trail and sit back and listen to intelligent ads( Obama ads) ... no there is no star power to catch your attention like the repug ads just true hard facts... come on America we are wise enough to understand and see this for what it is.... RIGHT? the truth! we do not need eye catchers ... just breath and take in the truth... it will free your mind and emable you to vote accordingly.....

    Obama 08

    August 15, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  18. biffington, biff

    Maybe if they had HANNITY read it, it would provide more PIZZAZ for you.

    August 15, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  19. Jim

    Is this the new politics? Meet the new boss...same as the old boss.

    August 15, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  20. Red Blooded American

    I see Obama is holding to his pledge to not run negative ads. NOT.

    Can wee stop pretending now that either campagn is any worse than the other one concerning negative adds.

    Here is who Obama has named as personal friends.

    His spirtual mentor the Rev. Wright who with great emotion and conviction in front of his congeration said that God should damm American, not bless it.

    American hatters like Bill Ayers and Louis Farraken.

    Obama has NO judgement. I shudder to think what kind of American hatters he would name to his cabanet.

    And he says people who actually are happy and love American are bitter and cling to religion and guns.

    This man is not fit to be President.

    August 15, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  21. arc, Lugano CH

    I hope that the DNC and the Obama Campaign can wisely temper its honorable dignified campaign for the White House with the necessary ammunition. This is a good start.

    I am not the only one who would love to see the Democrats go for the jugular and finish McCain quick, neat and pretty and win the GE.

    GWB's GOP and its 'values voters' have destroyed the economy, the nation's standing in the world, and potentially the future of our nations’ children....all in the space of 8 years.

    August 15, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  22. McMoney

    Money trail leads to McSame and the GOP....AGAIN. Quick, don't listen conservatives, McCain is a hero for you guys right?

    August 15, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  23. biffington, biff

    All Right...

    did you really type that with a straight face....

    (accusing Obama of running a dirty campaign). telling the truth is not dirty.. (as Obama does)...

    Outright LYING is low and (what McCain and the rove republicans do)
    just trying to clear that up for ya!

    August 15, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  24. Nova

    That's kind of funny because McCain should also try to link Obama to Rezko because all the money Obama got while he was a Chicago politician. Funny how that has not been brought up.

    August 15, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  25. biffington, biff

    To those who parrot "celebrity" and "the one" and "Messiah"...




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