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. Ny

    And so the game is nearly won.

    People in power destroyed the education system, and now we use the stupid debates like the ones in these messages as a way to justify our support for one candidate or another.

    When we don't use FACTS and LOGIC, and rather, we use perceptions and emotions, then the American republic is destroyed.

    We're almost there.

    August 20, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  2. No Socialist, NY

    Polls show Obama spiraling down; of course he's going to run ads without substance. Kind of foolish when he's linked himself to so many infamous characters including Ayers and the Weathermen terrorist group. You liberals really trust this guy? Man you are desperate!!!!

    August 20, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  3. judy robinson

    We need Barack Obama! I am so frightened that McCain will decide to show what a strong man he is by starting another war- either with Russia, Iran, or any other country he can think of. With his lack of cognitive abilities-seriously maybe senility is creaking into his already out of control personality,, shooting from the hip, we will be in huge trouble. Barack Obama very carefully thinks of ways to find common ground- ways to bring about peace not war!

    August 20, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  4. Bob Stephens

    It's about time that Obama starts giving McSame a dose of his own medicine.

    August 20, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  5. M

    Obama's lead down to one point! What happened to the "dirty washington tricks" Obama's entire campaign shunned and ridiculed. How quickly we become politician when the road suddenly becomes bumpy. What a hypocrite Obama is. This ex Hillary supporter is voting for McCain.

    August 20, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  6. hillybilly

    thank you greg,fla.

    August 20, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  7. Frank

    Obama is making the wrong chess moves.

    August 20, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  8. Tom

    There were other people in the Abramoff scandal who were never brought up – PA Senator Rick Santorum (another R) was one of them. And he was also never mentioned.

    August 20, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  9. Barbara - NC

    What ever happened to McWarmonger saying "....... we will never have to go to war for oil again....... " ?

    August 20, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  10. Raymond Duke

    Good ! this is exactly what I wanted the BLACK MESSIAH to do. Does he think the republicans will roll over like Hillary Clinton had to do because of the liberal democrat leadership. This is the pot calling the pot black. Obama wants to critce McCain and this man is tied into Domestic terriost who did bombings here in the United States. Now the republicans can take the goves off and go after this phony and he can play the race card all he wants. Except for the liberals most white americans are tired of that crap and CNN constantly playing over and over BLACK IN AMERICA. Now it is time for the republicans to go after Rezko, Reverend Wright, His real original birth certificate and of course the famous Michele Obama who for the first time is finally proud of america. I believe now the republicans will use Hussien as his middle name and now go after his ties with Farrakkun (BLACK MUSLIM LEADER) and his ties now to the middle East Muslim countrys. Thank you Obama for being so stupid. Even Hillary Clinton cannot save your Butt now.

    August 20, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  11. Dan

    Just another reason to vote for Obama.

    Obama/Albright '08

    August 20, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  12. Tony

    anyone who has ever been in the ring knows you can't fight a clean fight wit a dirty boxer... obama had to change hi strategy.

    August 20, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  13. hillybilly

    mccain is responsible for the georgia /russian conflict.

    August 20, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  14. malclave

    Don't you just love the way the Obama worshippers whine and moan about ads attacking Obama, but cheer on attacks on McCain?

    August 20, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  15. Go obama

    Watching interview on way to interview ,was answering fallowing questions had not been asked ,cheated on an injured wife,purchased a marriage license to marry the cheater while still married ,Keating 5 , keating 5, another McBush .

    VOTED FOR IRAQ WAR /sings Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran
    VOTED against woman and womans right to choose /plans to overturn Roe vs Wade

    VOTED against Veterans

    August 20, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  16. hillybilly

    it's not negative .it's true.unlike mccain's lying smears at obama.

    August 20, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  17. Mims

    I can't believe after all the lies and twisting of the Constitution Bush and his cronies have done for the past 8 years there are actually people in this country that want more of the same. I mean I feel like I'm in the twilight zone. John McCain dumped his first wife because she wasn't the beauty he left at home before he became a pow. The woman that refused to tell him about her accident because she didn't want him worrying about her and how does he repay her? He runs around on her, meets Cindy and then divorces her to marry his rich barbie doll. No thank you thats not the man I want leading this country. I switched parties to vote Obama in the primaries. I actually want this country to thrive again and to regain it's respect in the world.

    August 20, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  18. Fight hard now , lots of people want a fighter.

    Vote for Mccain because he was shot dwon and captured for 5 years.

    Does he qualify to govern?

    There are lots of POW in America does that make them more qualify to govern?

    Vote Mccain because he has been in washington long enogh with the same old politics.

    Fight harder Obama ! Fight harder God bless you . Amen.

    August 20, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  19. Wake up

    Typical Chicago politician. Hypocritical. Stupid Americans.

    August 20, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  20. Jim

    Obama change we can believe in? I thought Obama was for a new kind of politics. Remember how he won his first race. Desperate. YES HE IS....He should have been way ahead in the polls with all the mess that the GOP has created.

    August 20, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  21. Lisa in GA.

    All I can say McCain and co ..... if you can dish it out better be prepared to take it!

    August 20, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  22. Fight hard now , lots of people want a fighter.

    Fight now people like a fighter. American love a fighter. Fight fight hader Obama.

    August 20, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  23. Andy

    When are they going to break out the Keating 5 thing? The Obama campaign is opening up a big can of worms if they go there. Once McCain starts with Rezko and adds Ayers and Wright to the mix, Obama will be toast. Especially if Hillary is helping Obama lose for her 2012 run.

    August 20, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  24. Charlotte

    I just love the way the Obama-bots talk about things that happened many years ago. Yet in the same breath, want to say Ayers problems were a long time ago, and he paid his debt. What a bunch of losers. People like Kathleen are the worst Obama-bots with her comment about Congresswoman Jones. What a sick puppy...Rev. Wright and that Un-american church was just a few months ago. Obama does not have much of a record as a Senator. Not much to critique when you haven't done anything. I will write in Hillary in November as neither of these guys appeal to me

    August 20, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  25. Chris

    Well this is interesting now... We have a majority of Obama supporters applauding their messiah for digging old news that doesn't even implicate McCain in direct contradiction to his New Politics campaign. I am very surprised that people can be this blind and sheep-like.. but then again there is psychology explaining this. I sincerely hope people wake up soon and realize that Obama is nothing more than a well hidden fraud. If he wants to attempt to link McCain to Abramoff why not take a look at his less than stellar former pals.. This is actually getting too easy for McCain. As an independent I have to say i'm going Republican this year. Try not to cry too much Dems, 2004 was sad enough, I'm almost feeling sad for you now.

    August 20, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
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