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. Ecor

    Really, really. BO VERY recently told his supporters that “I will win”. If memory serves me correctly, those who, time and again, correctly boasted such were Demo/Daly candidates in Cook County, IL. OOPSY! Does the fruit fall far from the tree??? Hopefully not all the way to Washington DC…….

    August 20, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  2. Bulldog

    If you want your children and grandchildren to be drafted in the military to go to war with Iran and Russia and whoever else pisses McCain off then vote for him.

    He will institute a new military draft. He was the biggest pusher for the war in Iraq and wants to go to war with Iran and Russia.

    Vote for McCain and kiss your children and grandchildren goodbye as they ship off to war.

    August 20, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  3. Sue in Florida

    Wow! Apparently, Mr. Obama is no match for John McCain when he
    goes negative. There's that lack of experience again. How fast it is
    going as Obama loses the White House. So close, yet so very far.
    Arrogant and indignant is unfortunately right. Unless Hillary's people
    support him and that means he brings her on board, he can kiss it

    August 20, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  4. John Smith

    In American we are getting better each day at electing "IDIOTS" to high leadership. Just look at our history–
    –George W. Bush
    –George H. Bush
    –Ronald Regan and the list goes on. Now we want a "senile, old man–McCain!!! God Bless us all!

    August 20, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  5. L.McKoy

    Everyday this campaign get uglier! What does any of this have to do with the state of mess this country is in?!! McCain Revealed is frightening! This man has admitted to lying, and adultery and what's incredible is he lied for years. He is an elitist from his inception! His life seems to be dishonest and privileged at most.

    August 20, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  6. Independent in NC

    McCain can agree with reinstating the draft all he likes – it takes an act of Congress, not a presidential order, to do so. Although I can see the concern considering Congress has not been very effective in keeping the President in check for the last 16 years. But if the draft is of such concern to the Democrats, why bring it to the floor in the first place?

    I don't think anyone in the military wants a draft. The people who voluntarily serve our country have enough on their minds without having to deal with a bunch of people who see military service as an insult or punishment.

    August 20, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  7. Spencer in LA


    See how all these right wingers are in here trying to defend McShame? Its beautiful!! We are starting to shift the debate, republicans know it, and they are screwed.


    McCain wants a NEW DRAFT!!

    McCain is with Georgie 95% of the time.

    McCain is in Big Oils Pocket!

    McCain takes pride in his own ignorance! (best line of the campaign so far)

    Its all over for the Right!! No More Mr. Nice Democrat!!


    August 20, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  8. AZTracy

    No one on here is changing their mind.
    If you liked Obama before the ad, you like Obama.
    If you liked McCain before the ad, you like McCain.

    It's the swing vote they are battling for. And I gotta tell you, these candidates are do very different, if you don't know who you are voting for at this point you probably aren't the sharpest tool in the box. That's why the negative ads are so effective right now. Slow folk like the dirt.

    Unfortunately for many of the dems, the negative ads do not impress. So Obama can't seem to win for losing on this one.

    August 20, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  9. lizfor hillary clinton

    socialist obama getting desperate

    August 20, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  10. jaison Biagini

    mccain 894 out of 899 at the naval academy. yet still gets into flight school? connection!!
    he probably wasn't shot down, just crashed.
    he made propaganda films for the viet cong but surprise we can't see them because his committee had them sealed.
    cheated on his wife and divorced her after auto accident.
    his wife was a theif that stole drugs from a charity to feed her habit.
    he and his family spent several vacations at charles keating's bahama getaway. he didn't pay for anything.
    he was part of the keating 5 that cost 100's of families their life savings.
    voted to deregulate banking and mortgage which put us in this current housing crisis.
    voted against the improved GI bill.
    doesn't know what countries border each other.
    doesn't know the difference between sunni and shiites.
    i could keep going but that's enough.

    August 20, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  11. oinick

    Is this best Osama Obama can do? Pitiful.

    August 20, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  12. The Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Regardless of the lies that Obama and friends spread about Hillary and John McCain, Obama is a risky candidate. He doesn't think we are a Christian Nation. I am shocked to the very core of my Christian values.

    It would be a gamble to have Obama anywhere near the Oval Office. He is a clear and present danger and we must be on guard.

    Remember Obama Risky, McCain will protect our nation and our values.

    August 20, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  13. lizfor hillary clinton

    Rev. WRIGHT...remember folks how that just got swept under the carpet...he rubbed shoulders with WRIGHT for 20+ years..he was either lying to him or lying to us...

    August 20, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  14. Lori

    Obama is starting to reveal himself as the cutthroat, no-holds-barred old school politician he's always been.

    Change? Get serious.

    August 20, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  15. prosanto

    He is not John the Baptist. He is John the Republican Mavrik,who will do anything to get elected

    August 20, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  16. docrock,tx

    After saying the best candidates were out of the running,back in January,I can't wait to say "Ha-Ha!!!!".As Americans,we find ourselves stuck with two candidates that NO-ONE really wants to vote for.Maybe this will show us that money and spin,do not a President make.Be sure to vote American in November,And good luck to all of U.S.

    August 20, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  17. lizfor hillary clinton

    what does Obama believe in really...he voted PRESENT, PRESENT, PRESENT, PRESENT..of course he is TOTALLY confused.....the only reason he won in chicago is bc he totally eliminated the competition...remember he did NOT run against anybody....he was the only one on the ticket...of course he was going to WIN...

    August 20, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  18. oinick

    For McInsane:

    you disgust me. Tell your boy Obama to go sit in a concentration camp for five years....see if he cries for his lattes and his due process.

    McCain is a hero, no matter his politics, which are way too liberal.

    I didn't know for sure I was for McCain (since he is so liberal and has opposed the President so many times) but your filthy posting here has done the deal.

    GO McCain!

    August 20, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  19. prosanto

    If John could dump his disabled wife with teenage children to a younger and rich woman, John can jump from Charles Keating to Ralph Reed and any one else to get money. His ego to become President would shame any Texan with 10 gallon hat wit the ego.

    August 20, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  20. Independant for McCain

    So much for "running an above the frey campaign"

    August 20, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  21. Experience

    Old News, Nobama is getting desperate.

    At least with McCain we know what we are getting,
    no reason to roll the dice on Obama.

    August 20, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  22. Elly

    Well As I see it Obama has taken the high ground
    Even when hillary was getting nasty he stayed positive but you have to remember this is different ..this is the low down rovian republicans
    and people keep buying their nasty attacks
    and following them like blind mice!!
    you have had 8 years of misery with Bush.. trillions of dollars spent on an illegal war, thousands of troops killed and maimed bc of it
    Do you really think McWar will be any different.... I think NOT!!
    If anything he will start another and bring back the DRAFT ...yes he said it today so go ahead follow him like blind mice for him
    and your kids and grand kids will be going to WAR instead of college
    and if you think for one minute he will restore respect back to the USA
    your sadly mistaken bc McWar is old washington
    just another clone of Bush!!!
    you seen the admiration and respect Senator Obama got when he
    went abroad!!
    is that not what you want for your country!!!
    Think long and hard befor you follow the republicans again!

    August 20, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  23. RR

    Obama's getting more desperate. He's going more and more along the low road with attack ads and getting angry and playing the "woe is me, I'm being attacked!" ploy in public appearances.

    Politics as usual?

    August 20, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  24. DS

    Straight talk express is not straight afterall

    August 20, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  25. Donkey Party

    What an awful man Ayerys is. He and Obama were able to secure 50 million in Federal money to distribute evenly among 250 Chicago public schools in an attempt to better the quality of education in Chicago. Oooh, what bad men these are, trying to help the community. If people would only do a little research in stead of being spoon-fed all the garbage from the media, the racist fear-mongers that hate Obama so much might just have a better view of him. But alas, they continue to believe the likes of McCain and Bush, and keep voting idioits like them into office.

    August 20, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
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