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. Robert

    Obama criticized for being too soft, responds with a tough ad, now people who cheer on their side as it launches nasty broadsides crowd this board, whinging, whining and sneering about his negativity.

    August 20, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  2. Nowhere Man

    Obama gets behind in one poll, and desperation already sinks in.

    "I'd prefer to, uh, run a more positive, um, campaign than, uh, my distinguished opponent but, um, I don't think, uh, um, I will do that, even though, uh, I said I would be more, um, positive at all times during this, um, campaign. as I was against, um, Hillary. By the, um, way, does anyone know where, um, uh, my, tele-, uh, prompter is these, uh, days?"

    Gosh, this going to be a fun election! The debates are gonna be the highlight!

    August 20, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  3. To: Obama

    Okay, again with the war hero stuff:

    HE WAS CAPTURED!!!!! He can embellish his story all he wants, but at the end of the day he was captured for 5 years. The fact that he didn't go home early, running to Daddy, just says he was afraid of Daddy.

    Get over yourselves–his "record" has carried him a long way, but it won't take him to the WHITE HOUSE. Oh, I hear he can move in with his buddy Bush in Crawford.

    August 20, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  4. BETTY

    OBAMA'S rezko was a bone headed mistake. Those who keep bringing it up get a life!

    August 20, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  5. Sig, Los Angeles CA

    eam... can you do anything other than call Obama names? How about disputing the ad with facts? Oh... I forgot, you can't!

    August 20, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  6. EDW

    Cindy's Mother Theresa claim is now fake as well, these people are underestimating the internet!!!!

    August 20, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  7. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    I am ready to go toe to toe, meet me GOP, meet me any place any time.

    August 20, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  8. Abraham

    This to be call nonesense.Pleaes,Go Obama,your election is already aproved by American dreamer who thinks how American will look like in 2020.08/12 is yours.

    August 20, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  9. Mario

    A vote for McSame is a vote for the corruption.

    August 20, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  10. Richard Smith

    McCain is a womanizing cheat, as dumb as they come.
    Obama is an intellectual family man.
    Serving in the military does not entitle you to hero status, and getting captured does not help.

    August 20, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  11. Mikel

    what most people forget is that obama's attack ads are fact, mccain's are false and trick dumb people (43% of america according to the latest poll).

    August 20, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  12. what change

    Obama cannot win an election on issues. He has always won on discrediting his opponent, once it was ballots that we not signed using cursive writing, another time it was opening up divorce papers to dig up dirt.

    This is not change, this is just same old Chicago politics.

    August 20, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  13. C from Texas

    Watch out Obama, if you play dirty your going to get hurt really bad. We all know who your linked too. Course we know your on a sinking ship and will try/do/say anything too win. Wait till the debates, this is going to be good.

    McCain '08

    August 20, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  14. McCain's No Patriot

    Real patriots don't accuse other Americans of not being patriotic. McCain is a feeble old fraud. I'm glad Barack is exposing him for who he really is, a coward–he left his sick wife and kids for a barbie beer bimbo.

    August 20, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  15. not important

    Tom Delay is a friend of Jack Abramoff. Is Tom Delay supporting McCain? Did Tom Delay endorse McCain?

    August 20, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  16. Ralph V.

    The bones are coming out of the closet!!

    I can't wait until the other bones fall out on McCain's curruption scandals!

    You go Obama, let him have it!!

    August 20, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  17. Jerry

    Aren't these ads always approved by Senator Nobama? How hollow! This speaks volumes of his political rhetoric and hypocrisy.

    I guess this is "Change You Can't Count On" at its best.

    August 20, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  18. real dem

    Indiana bob, Allan usa just admit that your republican buddies aren't at all squeaky clean. HMM....George bush comes to mind. If anyone wants to talk about O'bama being a crook ( resko of course $150k?) look at bush and his entourage. Bush+Cheney+McCain+his cabinet (20 billion in there pocket with a trillion dollar bill for the country) Now who is the crook? I wonder if CNN will post this.

    O'bama 08

    August 20, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  19. Corrupt McCain

    Someone PLEASE take a look at his voting record as a senator. Obama may not have the experienced corruption that McCain has, but McCain's voting record shows consistent flip-flopping.

    McCain= 4 more years of bad economy and war in Iraq.

    PLease do not make another mistake and put someone like Bush back in office just because he claims to be pro-life. Many lives are already destroyed economically from Bush's two terms, and McCain wants to continue those policies....this is not pro-life, this is PRO-big oil.

    August 20, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  20. Real Men Don't Leave Their Wife & Kids

    McCain ditched his disfigured wife and kids, so he could play around with Cindy Lou, the Beer Bimbo. He may have "struck it rich" but he will always have to live with the memory of leaving a helpless woman with his kids.

    Some war hero?

    August 20, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  21. Lana, California

    Oh look at all the neocon piggies wallowing in the mud. How precious. When confronted with fact, they just try to sling more lies, er, mud.

    What's the matter my dear can sling it out but can't take it yourselves?

    Be careful what you wish for.

    Women for Obama

    August 20, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |

    How about reading Obama's bio and see who his "mentors" were? They make Abramoff look like a saint. I'll take him over communists anyday. Besides, I thought Obama was above all this–what about "Change"? He is your typical politician and all his 'followers" are having a hard time seeing that. As for all you anti-war folks-imagine if the revolutionaries had been too "cowardly" to go to war. Sorry, but sometimes war is needed and despots need to be deposed (like Sadam). At least McCain understands this–Obama has no clue.

    August 20, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  23. dan

    Ayers? Hahaha. That's the best Mccain could do for a comeback? Wow. The fact that Mccain is even competitive in this race is the saddest possible statement about the lack of education in our country.

    August 20, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  24. Len in Washington

    OUTSTANDING RESEARCH by "Greg FL" (second comment)

    Good job!

    Obama's team must do this. They simply cannot let McCain continue unchecked. "A change in politics" will have to wait until after the election. He might not like a little taste of his own "sweet tea."

    August 20, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  25. Greg

    Obama suggested reparations to African-Americans. If only two percent of people owned slaves back then how is it supposed to be white people's fault today?

    August 20, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
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