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. People make no sense

    McWar needs to explain how he was dumb enough to get caught early in his military career, and spent a long war being held captive. Wow what a hero. No guns blazing – shoot your way out of anything – defend America. Just tortured spilling your guts against America. Through diplomatic means, and his father's power, he was allowed to live. It's laughable that people consider him a hero and strong on war. He spent his time in captivity during war. Is that what he plans to teach us? He was flying a plane he was too dumb to know how to fly and got shot down. Maybe if he wasn't a C student he would have been able to learn the technics to manuever out of position and not get shot down. My grandfather flew endless hours fighting in the same war and he came back a *Real American Hero*.

    August 20, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  2. Unshrub

    Let;s not forget the keating five. All of you rightees can say what you want, but this was the motherload for dishonesty. McCain only avoided prison because no one wanted to send a POW to prison.

    August 20, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  3. Ll

    It's not same old politics when you are stating the truth! What the Rep put out about Obama is junk, lies, useless. I wish the media would report more on McCain.... but, I hear he only does one thing a day.

    August 20, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  4. Independent against McNasty

    McCain is a member of the Keating 5. He cheated on and left his faithful first wife after she was disfigured in a car accident. Cindy McCain stole prescription drugs from the non-profit medical relief organization she founded. In front of three reporters and two aides, McNasty called Cindy a (four letter expletive starting with C and ending with T). That tells me all I need to know about the character of the McCains.

    August 20, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  5. Sharon

    Annenberg Challenge & woods board Obama and Ayers

    Rezko and a house

    Rev Wright

    August 20, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  6. red33,cedar rapids, ia

    Liberal media getting nervous, are they? What more can you accuse McCain of? Obama is not qualified in any way to be president, and if he has no teleprompter, it is obvious he is 'lost'. People, wake up; we do NOT want socialism, which is what the liberals, including 'Barry' are pushing for.

    August 20, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  7. Tyson

    Go Obama go with your "new kind of politics".

    August 20, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  8. aware

    Obama is losing the battle and the war! He is in way over his head! It is too bad that he went for instant gratification instead of gravitas! 😦

    The phenom is going down like a hot air balloon with a leak!

    McCain 08 and Hillary 2012! 🙂

    August 20, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  9. ron

    Let's have a show of hands repuklicans, who voted for brave, speak up! stand up, for your man! don't be ashamed!...we all know that Mcsame will be,lol,lol

    August 20, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  10. Mark

    The real scandal for John McCain is that he confessed in Viet Nam 34 times on video, and has been hiding it ever since. He's not a war hero people, look it up. There are folks on the hill who've been trying to expose his fraud for decades. The fact remains, John McCain has blocked every attempt to investigate MIA / POW legislation, because his one treasonous records would then be open for review. He is a trader.

    August 20, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  11. John from LA

    OH BO-Really?????-you've got to be hurtin these days-to go here-oh well-Polls are showing cracks in your house built on sand!!!-ready to collapse any day now!

    August 20, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  12. McWhine

    McWhine cheated on the "Faith Forum." Evidence: He jumped adhead of Rick Warren about the Supreme court justic question. Don't believe me? Look the tape or listen to the entire forum again!!

    For a man that cheated on the Faith Forum, and you repugs idle him??

    Keating Five. Karl Rove in the Gerogia three weeks before the recent conflict. His advisor got paid $800,000 by Georgia government. Try to take credit of Jim Webb GI Bill despite he thinks the Bill is too generous for our service men and women. If all these are OK for you repugs, then go for it.

    August 20, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  13. Skeeter from Alabami

    Anibudy that suppots McCayne dont realise how stupad they be. Just gos to show that averaje Merican aint very bryght. The poles shoe the real stoory.

    August 20, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  14. Joe Biden Jr

    Wow – the harsh August strikes the Dems again – lose a big lead in the dog days of summer. Then, attack the other guy with a 6 year olds chant "you don't know what you're up against" and then start ads talking about the other guy's friends (hmm – who are BHO's pastor and politcal benefactors?). But, it won't matter, America's not dumb. Get used to President McCain. Flash NoBama isn't going to last. Just like Lolo Jones – he trips over the hurdles and falls flat.

    August 20, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  15. Unshrub

    THe one area where McCain has more experience then Obama is dishonesty. He has a long record of working with sleazy lobbyists ,

    August 20, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  16. Chris

    John Kerry was right when he said that the GOP was nothing but a bunch of "crooks." I'm so glad that Obama has connected the dots for America and reminded everyone again what a crook and a fraud McCain really is. Maverick? What a joke! The guy's been in Bush's and Abramoff's pockets for years.

    MSM, please give us more about the Keating 5. It seems America's memory is very short. While we're at it, let's have more on McCain's affair and adultery, since the GOP is so certain it holds the keys to our "values voters."

    Go Obama! Fired up and ready to go!

    August 20, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  17. Jennifer

    McCain wasnt even born in america!

    August 20, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  18. Justin in CA

    This shouldn't surprise anyone. McCain is basically a lobbyist and would sell his soul for a few bucks.

    August 20, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  19. Andre

    It's too bad the Obama campaign feels it has to stoop down to these John McCain, Republican style tactics.

    Also, speaking of sneaky and low tactics, I wish the evangelical population could realize they are being manipulated when John McCain looks at them and states his strong anti-abortion views. They are being manipulated by religious talk to support a system that gives huge advantages to the rich and continued disadvantages to the poor. Ironically many of the evangelists are poor themselves, but voting to keep on supporting this imbalance.

    I will vote for Barack Obama. How can ANYONE be crazy enough to vote for 4 more years of George Bush style failed policies??? Do you want to be one of the crazy voters???

    August 20, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  20. Dawn

    Wasn't McCain key in exposing Abramoff? Obama is way off on this one.

    August 20, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  21. Bill

    The Obamies are scared spitless. Yes they are. Sooner or later BO has to show his hand and he doesn't have any cards except cue cards.

    August 20, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  22. An Independent Hillary

    Enough with the negative ads Obama! Tell us what you are going to do if elected President!

    The more I get to know Obama, the less I'm willing to vote for him.

    August 20, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  23. Darrell

    The only thing McCain has done is trash Obama and now his supporters say Obama is so bad for telling the truth and digging in and getting a little dirty.McCain has absolutley nothing but boring (my Freinds) talk with no direction or plans.He drules at the thought of war or following his Osama obsession.Who in their right mind would vote a President that talks like a used car salesman (my freinds) and puts you to sleep with his ridicoulous speeches.McCain supporters think Rev Wright,Rezko are similar to Abramoff who is in jail,yeh right.It is very simple elect McCain as President and put a sign up at all the borders thats says "Sorry U.S.A. is closed for war and lack of money and brain cells" The extremists with jump for joy if McCain is elected because they are smart enough to know that is their ticket to start wars and break the US economy and that is exactly what they want.Vote for McCain and the rest of the world will know all you want is war and poverty.Or you could show your children, and the rest of the world that you are sick of being hated for foreign policys the Republicans have set, and actually want to stop war and spend money at home and rebuild America.There is a once in a lifetime opportunity to tell Washington you have had it with this past government and you want a President that will bring real hope and real change.Never forget some of the best leaders come without a crap load of old school politics and voting for someone that is not all about war and drilling the crap out of earth for greed is quite OK. There are many rookies in many circumstances that come in and make a huge difference in the world.You are blessed to have someone like Obama,dont give in to an absolute disaster you would have with McCain.
    God Bless America !!

    August 20, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  24. shay

    I love it I love it Who let the dogs out.


    Bring it on.

    I don't think so McCain

    August 20, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  25. Tim C

    At least he's making a statement that is based in some kind of reality. It's better than the Paris Hilton/Britney Spears gimmick

    August 20, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
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