August 20th, 2008
07:16 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama camp links McCain to Abramoff scandal

Obama's campaign is out with a tough new campaign ad featuring Jack Abramoff.

Obama's campaign is out with a tough new campaign ad featuring Jack Abramoff.

(CNN) - Barack Obama's campaign is linking John McCain to the infamous Jack Abramoff scandal that ended several Republicans' political careers three years ago in a new campaign ad hitting Georgia airwaves Wednesday.

The 30-second spot is the Obama campaign’s second negative ad in the past 24 hours. It attacks the Arizona senator for his association with former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed, one of the Republicans implicated in the scandal.

The ad also seems to suggest McCain didn't call Reed to testify before a Senate panel he chaired in return for political favors.

“When the Senate investigated, the senator in charge never even called Reed to testify….And that senator? John McCain. And who’s now raising money for McCain’s campaign? Ralph Reed," the ad's narrator says. "For 26 years in Washington, John McCain’s played the same old games. We just can’t afford more of the same.”

The TV spot sparked a sharp rebuke from McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers, who called it "ridiculous," and noted Obama's connection to Bill Ayers, the current University of Chicago professor and one-time leader of the militant group "Weather Undeground."

“If Barack Obama wants to have a discussion about truly questionable associations, let’s start with his relationship with the unrepentant terrorist William Ayers, at whose home Obama’s political career was reportedly launched," Rogers said. "Mr. Ayers was a leader of the Weather Underground, a terrorist group responsible for countless bombings against targets including the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon and numerous police stations, courthouses and banks."

Reed, who lost a bid in 2006 for lieutenant governor of Georgia, had promoted a McCain fundraiser last week in the Atlanta area that netted the presumptive Republican nominee $1.75 million in campaign cash. Though Reed did not attend the event (after intense Democratic criticisms), he circulated "special invitations" to several Republicans in the Atlanta area seeking donations.

That prompted several watchdog groups to call on McCain to cancel the event - although his campaign noted the fundraiser was sponsored by the Republican National Committee, not Reed.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Extra • John McCain
soundoff (599 Responses)
  1. Jackson

    this is a definite "don't go there" for Obama ... now we will all be reminded of Rev Wright and all the others!

    August 20, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  2. Jim

    I will not vote on Obama. 18 million of us picked Senator Clinton and if Senator Obama can not read this then I do not see how he can represent us in Washington. He is Blind to 50 percent of us. Any other pick for Vice President other then Senator Clinton will be a vote for John McCain for me. A 40 year long Democrat fixin to vote Republican.

    August 20, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  3. Laura

    Can't say as I am surprised. John McCain cannot remember cheating on his first wife for months before he married his second wife (almost bigamously) and now he could not remember to call his "dear friend" Reed when he was up to his neck in corruption. And now he wants me to be his friend too? It makes me wonder how many corrupt people there are in the Republican party. Enough to get him elected? Every time he says My Friends... in a speech I know that he is corrupting more innocent people. Or maybe they are not so innocent. Only a creep could sit through a McCain speech without puking.

    August 20, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  4. eam



    August 20, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  5. susie

    Let's bring up Rev. Wright and Obama's 20 years in an American hate filled church.

    August 20, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  6. Nomcsame

    The big question is the same question that ronald reagan ask,(ARE YOU BETTER OFF THAN YOU WERE 8 YEARS AGO), high gas price at the pump, that after election if mcsame wins will go though the roof, after the election provide he wins the economy will not be his agenda,it will be about war, food prices will get even higher ,education will almost be out of reach for most, jobs will continue to be shipped overseas. the globlist will win, the new world order continue their agenda.

    August 20, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  7. Jeff

    Who cares if Mccain was in Vietnam. He's a moron.

    August 20, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  8. dmw

    Obama can no longer complain and whine when ads start to appear on Tony Rezko, William Ayers, and Rev. Wright. So let's get it on! The I am going to change Washington and I am going to be civil. Obama has always run under the Chicago brand of politics....dirty!!! It is good that McCain brought that out in him, otherwise, a large majority of people would still think Obama is an innocent.

    August 20, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  9. Kathy

    I am so ready for a POWER OFFENSE in the Obama campaign. Intelligence and intense focus are central in the characteristics of most Obama supporters. Most of these McCain posters need spelling/grammar/logic/history lessons.

    August 20, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  10. rightsaid

    Wah wah McCain.
    You've had it coming. Your character is NOT suitable to be POTUS.

    Obama '08!

    August 20, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  11. Tim in NC

    Obama's now using negative attack ads? I thought he promised not to do that.

    Of course he also promised to use public funding, promised to debate McCain "anytime, anywhere", etc. etc.

    Of course, anyone calling Obama a flip-flopper is, of course, a racist.

    August 20, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  12. Rebulicans Hate America

    Awesome keep it coming im tired of people being scared of hurting this shams feelings just because he is a POW.

    August 20, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  13. feel sorry for the americans

    they were stupid enough to vote for Bush twice.. they are even dummer to vote for mcsame. they are sad people.

    August 20, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  14. rashid cali

    republicans are masters at blinding people to the truth america needs to stand up with obama and confront evil head on obama 08

    August 20, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  15. judyc

    The American people are so used to ugly politics, they wouldn't be able to handle a decent above board campaign. Obama intended to run a clean campaign, but when you get as down and dirty as McCain, he has to get right in the dirt with him.

    As the old saying goes–nice guys finish last. And I want to win this one.

    August 20, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  16. Dave

    Why is it not a story that McCain plagiarized Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, telling a tear-jerker that was composed by one of his favorite authors?

    August 20, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  17. steve

    Didn't Obama promise a new change of campaigning? No Negative Attack Ads. He changes his mind so often that he definitely is a man of change. Just shows he's like any politician. He will change his tactic when so warrants. Wake up America!, He's a wolf in sheep's clothing in wolf's clothing.

    August 20, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  18. Chuck

    UH OH!!

    Barry is dropping in the polls!!! Better start slinging mud!!!

    HA HA HA. PUMA!!!

    August 20, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  19. John

    It's time to flush the republican toilet, and put the seat down. Bush and Cheney have enjoyed the aroma for 8 years. McCain wants Americans to swim in the sewage of a corrupt Washington political pool for another 4 years. I don't think so.
    Americans need clean air, and McCains air is as bad as any day after bean soup. Nasty!!!
    "eam"...isn't that a flightless brainless bird. Yeah...that's it.

    August 20, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  20. JIM...TX

    War hero hell! McCain was a crummy pilot who got his butt shot down PERIOD. The real hero's of Vietnam and our other wars are those people who died on the front lines....

    August 20, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  21. mark

    So Obama is a fresh change we can count on? He's throwing the same trash as the rest. He's apparently no different than the others.

    Can you send Sen. Obama a note? Say goodbye to my vote, and probably the white house, now that he's revealed he's not the fresh candidate of change.

    Shucks, we almost had a fresh chance. 2012? maybe...

    August 20, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  22. Florida

    McCain will keep us on the right road. Bush has managed to lead this nation towards a world which will be democratic and honor those who earn a living as opposed to a world described in the SF novel 1984.

    I got mine. You get yours by hard work and sacrifice.

    All Obama has is youth and smooth talk.

    August 20, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  23. Andrew

    Who cares...whatever they have on McCain is nothing in comparison to what Rove and the Clintons have on Obama.

    Obama is done for poltically.

    August 20, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    First of all this is not the first negative ad from Obama or his "team". It is probably the twentieth.

    Also, don't be so blind to think that only one side of this debate is pumping you full of lies. Cold hard facts have proven that both of them like to fudge the truth to try and hurt their opponent.

    Lastly, seeing many young people cite youtube as a source of information has made me realize that maybe my generation isn't the dumbest block of voters.

    August 20, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  25. Andrew from Alabama

    Obama is done for poltically.

    August 20, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
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