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. patrick pavilus


    August 20, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  2. S.C

    Lets do them-see who are the real Mccoy!

    August 20, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  3. caliguy55

    When we add this scandal to the "Keating 5" Scandal, McSame's sordid divorce from his first wife during which he admittedly engaged in an adulterous affair with Sindy, we begin to see a true picture of John McSame. He is the mirror image of George W. Bush, the worst President to ever disgrace the United States of America. There's a lot more material that Sen. Obama can work with to expose McSame for what he truly is – a morally bankrupt scoundrel using his alleged status as a "war hero" to attempt to gain the Presidency of the united States.

    August 20, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  4. Mike

    So McCain stoops to repeating the nonsense of political hacks with zero evidence. That's his response to his VERIFIABLE connections to the corrupt Reed? Pathetic.

    August 20, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  5. Peter E

    Yes, I am sure this too is a great example how Obama stays on the issues and refrains from indulging in personal attacks...

    August 20, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  6. Independent_me

    Its about time Obama took the gloves off!
    Expose their hypocrisies!
    We cannot afford another FOUR years of Bush politics!!!

    August 20, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  7. srinivas

    before voting macain just go back and think past 8 years of your government what happen. how many scandals and corruptions illigal war, killed too many people around the world..i know if you guys belive God or Gessssss what ever it is you guys pay price in yyour personal lifes. you get your pay back one day from your sin's by voting republicans.

    August 20, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  8. Ernest gray

    It's about time , everyone knows that Obama is going to have to play HARDBALL!! Obama wants to be noble , but you can't be noble when someone keeps lying and trying to push your face and name in the mud.

    Obama is to smart a man. He has the money, and he better start spending it to win this RACE!

    August 20, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  9. Fella from Chicago

    No you didn't, Barack. Hypocrite! That's ok though, because now your disguise is off and everyone sees you for what you truly are; the same old dirty politician. Chicago style, no less.

    August 20, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  10. Peter E

    If it's McCain linking Obama to a scandal or shady dealing, he's being 'negative' and is launching 'personal attacks.' When Obama does the same thing he's being 'positive' and 'staying on the issues?' Hypocrisy alert!

    August 20, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  11. ari

    This is no softie... from Boston like the last time

    August 20, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  12. Kevin11

    I like how some people are mad the Obama is going negative..claiming they are switching to McCain as if they were voting for Obama in the first place...Democrats dont let the republicans play you guys..they are pretending to be on your side and then waiting for any reason to switch sides hoping we will follow them. Atleast Barrack negative ads ARE TRUE...but nobody cares about that

    August 20, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  13. Jim Jones

    It's about time Obama took off the gloves. We saw what happens in 04 when you don't fight back.

    August 20, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  14. mike

    mcbush economic adviser said we are a nation of winners. is that what we need?

    August 20, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  15. Peter E

    Here's a good rule of thumb to figure out how objective you really are about this ad: substitute Clinton's name for Obama, and Obama's name for McCain. Would you still consider this an issue-oriented, positive ad if Clinton was using it against Obama?

    August 20, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |

    MCLAME said the same thing about not running a negative campaign and yet he did and his silly stupid croonies and surrogates and supporters said nothing against it. As soon as he gets hit with which is obviously the TRUTH you hear all this HOWLING about Obama going negative you can't have it both ways I think this just the begining of whats to come for MCLAME so all you supporters, croonies and surrogates get ready because its about to be ON!!!!!!

    OBAMA 08/12 YES WE CAN & YES WE WILL!!!!!!!!

    August 20, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  17. rob

    Wow, the polls are going against them so here they go with the desparate attacks. Abramhoff, Keating 5, etc. Watch how negative they will become and the irrational hatred the Obama followers will spew. Thats change for you.

    Obama is in over his head and people are waking up to it.

    August 20, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  18. Why do you never post my comments?

    Why isn't the title of this article: Obama goes negative AGAIN? That's what Clinton would have gotten if she'd run this ad.

    August 20, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  19. Does Not Compute, Typo

    McCain before he went to war:
    1 wife, Carol
    3 kids, Doug, Andy, Sidney

    McCain after he come back:
    1 wife, Carol (who was in a car accident)
    3 kids, Doug, Andy, Sidney (still minors)
    1 beer bimbo, Cindy Lou (has an affair)

    McCain leaves Carol, Doug, Andy and Sidney

    Now he wants to be our president, I don't think so.

    August 20, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  20. Patricia

    uh, isn't Ayres now a distinguished college professor? And yea, people really should look up the Keating 5. Wasn't McCain part of that corruption scheme? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

    August 20, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  21. And Thus To All Bimbos

    Let's kick McCain to the curb, like he kicked his wife and 3 kids to the curb, to have an affair with Cindy Lou, the Beer Bimbo.

    August 20, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  22. Angel

    Waaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh stop picking on McCain. Just because he is no different than Bush don't mean much. Go Obama, who needs the same old same old. Look where it got us. And don't worry about all the crap the McCain folks talk. THEY know nothing!

    August 20, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  23. Marc PDX

    LOL! Is Obama a fool? Doesn't he realize that he's opening the door to Rev. Wright, Father Pfleger, Ayers, Rezko and the other skeletons in his own closet. Is he really inviting this conversation? I can't believe it. What a tactical error!!!

    August 20, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  24. Copperfield

    Capt. Smash wrote:
    "Today at a townhall meeting, an audience member praised Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for his vow to "follow bin Laden to the gates of hell."

    After a long question about veterans' care, the questioner said she believed we needed to reinstate the draft, to which McCain seemed to readily agree:

    QUESTIONER: If we don't reenact the draft, I don't think we'll have anyone to chase Bin Laden to the gates of hell.

    MCCAIN: Ma'am, let me say that I don't disagree with anything you said."

    I heard about this from a few people, and I'm baffled. Why isn't THIS getting more coverage? I'm 19 years old and a college student, this is the sort of thing that is important to me. I don't like the prospect of having to move to Canada, haha.

    August 20, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  25. vic nashville,Tn

    To late
    Mc Cain already build the base
    Hillary 08 or Mc Cain 08

    August 20, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
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