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

Obama camp links McCain to Abramoff scandal

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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. Ken

    Wrong Peter E, everyone with a working brain knows that McCain's vapid attacks forced Obama to respond in kind.

    The problem with fools like you is that you think snappy answers and bumper sticker slogans make good policy.

    August 20, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  2. Scott Tucson

    it's pretty tame stuff compared to the clowns that obama been running around with.

    August 20, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  3. Bayou Joe

    The Demos have no one to blame but themselves for the condition of their party. That party got crashed by the left wingers and look what they have. A left Wing Socialist Democrat. Good luck with that one.

    Hello President John S. McCain.

    August 20, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  4. Otis

    So much for change we can believe in.

    August 20, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  5. RRE

    Obama is really going negative because America is finally realized he is not the man for the White House and his marxist wife, Michelle would be the worst first lady in history. Let the games begin. This is going to be great......

    August 20, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  6. aware

    The obfuscating Obama is looking desparate! The candidate of hope reveals his dark side – the candidate of hate. :(

    How naive! The prince of patronage is trying to attack an American hero! But, Obama's lack of judgment on Ayers, Rezko, Wright...Pfleger...abortion...energy...foreign policy...taxes...leave him totally vulnerable and without credibility.

    Obama doesn't get it!

    Vote McCain 08. He gets it, and he is the candidate of authenticity and integrity. And, he crushed Obama at the Rick Warren Forum! :)

    August 20, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  7. SH

    What about supreme judges, do you want to loose your rights once SAINT MCCain puts conservative judges on supreme court.

    Where is the drft comment people do you want to go and fight for SAINT MCCain in Iran that is what he is going to do once he enact the draft.

    August 20, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  8. Bill in CT

    Bingo, I am in the front row! Right on ad re: McNasty and the truth of what kind of person he really is. Good to see Obama hit hard. McCain is not a nice person and anyone who just look behind that stupid smile will see the slimy sneer.

    August 20, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  9. John G

    2 attack ads in one day-those poll numbers must have Obama sweating a little.

    August 20, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  10. Greenbandit

    Wow. All the intelligence in the above conversation makes me glad I'm not registered with either party.

    Independents for the win.

    August 20, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  11. dittohead with forty names

    Lets get ready to rumble, lets take all these sissy Republicans to the woodshed.They talk tough,lets see how they do in the streets.

    August 20, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  12. Marie in California

    Obama sounds desperate, now that the polls are beginning to turn against him. Obama is sinking......sinking......

    Actually, Obama has a lot more dirty , trainted and questionable personal baggage than McCain......Ayers, Dohrn, Auchi, Rezko, Farrakhan, Rashid Khalidi, Frank Marshall Davis, Jody Evans, Wright, Pfleger, and more. He's made some really bad choices. I wouldn't let most of those people any where near me!

    NOBAMA!

    August 20, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  13. Chickens coming home to roost

    As long as Obama loses the GE, then justice will be served for all the backhanded, sneaky, nasty, hateful, demeaning, insulting, sexist crap he pulled on Hillary Clinton.

    God was watching and God sure don't like ugly.

    Obama will reap a foul and bitter crop from all the sick and divisive seeds of hate he sowed.

    Winning at all costs is not hope and is not inspiring.

    August 20, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  14. HillarySupporter4McCain

    What happened to Obama's "new style" of politics? Is it true that he is now negatively attacking McCain? I can't wait until McCain smashes Obama in the polls...lookout Team Obama, here we come!

    August 20, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  15. RJ, CA

    YES! Let's hear all about the relationship between Obama and the bombers Ayers and Dorn! Let's hear it loud and clear! They feted Obama and Michelle in their livig rooms and introduced them to the Chicago liberal money bags when Obama was running in Illinois. Then Obama served on a board with Ayers for years and years. To this day, Ayers and Dorn maintain that what they did was the right thing to do, and they state they wish they could have done more damage yet. And Rezko is another deep, dirty story! Let's hear about it all - it's about time!

    August 20, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  16. Trevor Guerlain

    Pathetic and sad coming from Mr. Genteel. McCain should show a picture of Obama hugging John Edwards: Sleazebags!

    No-Bama '08

    August 20, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  17. Matt

    Obama has nothing to hide because he has nothing. Period.

    He can't speak coherently when given an unrehearsed question. He doesn't know what the public wants to hear so he tries to cover all sides.

    Obama will not win. His 'legacy' is coming to an end.

    Need I mention Rev. Wright?

    McCain '08

    August 20, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  18. newsnut

    B.Hussein O. knows he's got a Ace up his sleeve. Its the old, Picking on me again, syndrome. All of America is Hoodwinked over the Racial Issue. Look crosseyed and your a Bigot. Define him and his wife, and your some sort of character hater. Later he builds a shoe-shop up your rear, and then sports a, I can do that smile.

    August 20, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  19. nobama

    I'm sick and tired of Obama supporters bringing up Keating or McCain's cheating on his wife or Ralph Reed and all that stuff. That was years ago unlike Obama's preacher which was less than a year ago.

    McCain '08

    August 20, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  20. Matt in CA

    REZKO!!!!!!!!! Does he really want to open that can of worms? If so he is dumber than I thought!

    August 20, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  21. Paula

    I just can't believe women who post here in favor of McCain and don't have a CLUE about his voting record for women's issues. You are as naive and trusting as Cindy McCain and it makes me want to cry for my daughters and their daughter s future if McCain gets elected.

    August 20, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  22. TheWeaselMcCain

    When all is done and voted on, America will have been shaken to its core. WE WILL KNOW EXACTLY who we are as a people: RACIST, SEXIST, DIVIDED, DUMBFOUNDED, ELITIST, STUBBORN, and the rest of the world will LAUGH OUT LOUD at our faultering ECONOMY, pitiful EDUCATION, AND SUPER-POWER chest-beating.

    Russia, China and Iran are not buying the old political game.

    Vote OBAMA, idiots....

    August 20, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  23. God was watching you

    When democrats feel so abused by their party, so tricked by a candidate, so maipulated by the media and so disenfranchised.... as to team up with the republicans... for the first time in decades, in their lives...

    women, minorities, elderly, moderate centrists, liberals....

    IT IS A SAD DAY FOR THE DEMOCRATS AND FOR THE COUNTRY.

    Obama is a divisive hate inspiring kind of uniter.

    August 20, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  24. Gerry in Virginia

    FOR THE PERSON WANTING TO KNOW ABOUT THE KEATING 5, GO TO DOGPILE.COM AND ENTER KEATING 5 IN THE WINDOW AND HIT THE SEARCH BUTTON....

    August 20, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  25. A house divided

    When democrats feel so abused by their party, so tricked by a candidate, so manipulated by the media and so disenfranchised…. as to team up with the republicans… for the first time in decades, in their lives…

    women, minorities, elderly, moderate centrists, liberals….angry over the subversion of the democratic process and the betrayal of the democratic party ideals.....

    IT IS A SAD DAY FOR THE DEMOCRATS AND FOR THE COUNTRY.

    Obama is a divisive hate inspiring kind of uniter.

    August 20, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
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