August 21st, 2008
09:50 AM ET
6 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 • John McCain
soundoff (594 Responses)
  1. Ted:Canada

    Thank God!!! The Republicans ARE NOT IN CANADA

    CNN Great show on “Obama and McCain Revealed”
    Better than any debate.
    You can see now why unionist and the average person supports Obama and big business supports McCain.
    No question about it!! This a battle between the “people and money”

    McCain and the Repubs have a new version of

    “for the people by the people”

    republican code for

    “for the Rich by the Republicans”

    I hate to tell you this but your government is a bit corrupt and only serves "party" self interest – so much for true democracy…

    Average people in America should be more selfish and demand more of their government. I don’t know if Obama can change it – BUT – I certainly wouldn’t be voting Republican given their track record.

    The best to you my friends – I really think you are in trouble!

    August 21, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  2. Phil

    Joey August 21st, 2008 5:09 am ET

    Oh please. You Dem's try as hard as you can. You won't discredit McCain. He is a honest man that will not, nor never take the low road. Obama cares about one thing, and one thing only…. Please…Look at his wife….Need i say more. Be really careful who u vote for. think very hard. Don't just jump on the band wagon. Think of are country….. McCain is in no way perfect. But he's a lot better than some newbie coming on the seen. One November 4, do the right thing. In your hart. vote the right way…….

    DUDE, HOW ABOUT YOU LEARN HOW TO SPELL. IF JOHN BOY WAS SO HONEST, THEN WHY DID HE LIE TO HIS CURRENT WIFE ABOUT HIS AGE? WHY DID HE CHEAT ON HIS CRIPPLED WIFE? YOU SAY JOHN WOULDN'T TAKE THE LOW ROAD. UHHH WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN LIVING, IN A CAVE WITH OSAMA? BECAUSE HAVE YOU NOT SEEN HIS LAME ATTACK ADS? ISN'T JOHN MCSAME THE SAME PERSON WHO SAID HE WOULD NOT TOLERATE NEGATIVITY IN HIS CAMPAIGN. OBAMA HAS SAID IT TOO BUT WHEN YOU KEEP GETTING ATTACKED YOU CAN'T STAND THERE AND NOT DO ANYTHING. TO VOTE FOR MCCAIN WILL BE VOTING FOR THE SAME OLD POLITICS AS USUAL – LITERALLY. MCCAIN IS TOO OLD SCHOOL AND WILL NEVER GET THE BLACK OR HISPANIC VOTE AND HE NEEDS THOSE RACE GROUPS TO WIN AND SINCE HE VOTED AGAINST MAKING MLK A FEDERAL HOLIDAY, HIS CHANGES ARE VERY SLIM.

    OBAMA/CLINTON 08 OR OBAMA/SIBILUS 08

    August 21, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  3. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    Why has no one mentioned McCain's lying about a cross on the ground as it was clearly stolen from a book and can be easily proven. CNN can do this in a New York second but they won't because they are biased against Obama.

    August 21, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  4. matmagandi

    we all know worst of McCain and in this campaign we have witnessed worst of McCain in his negative ads. he has been vicious like a pit bull. he hardly discussed any issue , only raved all along his false superior qualification in foreign policy and over all qualification to be the president of the USA and false negatives about Mr.Obama trying to portray him disqualified for the office. But the reality is if one puts side by side there is no contest ( Obama wins in all counts).

    when someone wants to take the country into war for personal reason or for no reason or falsifying reasons or at the drop of a hat sending unthoughtful way hundreds of thousands of American young men and women crippling many of them for rest of their lives, spending billions of dollars of tax payers money ( eventually of course these money finding their way to the deep pockets of the politicians and their big business friends who manages the business side of the war ) thousands of young people dying fighting such war and John McCain who himself was captured and tortured by enemy force once in such a war now wants to follow the same policy presenting his war experience as the most qualifying degree for foreign policy expert , once wanted to continue a 100 yr war in Iraq, still venting out war cry for a cold war from time to time is not on our, the COMMON peoples
    side. we the common people , at least understand this much.

    how he can be that reckless when he has so much of baggages, personal and political , be so negative. once when i did not know much about him , i admired him as a hero , respected him as a ver honest, straight shooter politician man . except for still I admire him as a hero , rest of the feeling vanished. s who
    in contrast all along Obama remained so decent and civil carrying positive message and hopes for the common folks like us . but this degree of nicety and civility may make the him loose the race and hopes and dreams of so many common , decent , fair minded , non prejudiced, educated , hard working , god fearing Americans for a more prosperous , peaceful future will vanish (talking about vanishing dreams ). perhaps now Obama cannot afford to be that nice and continue business as usual and it is about time time tell all the truth.
    be truthfully negative. only the truth.

    August 21, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  5. Credit Card Republicans

    Time to take the Republican nerds to the woodshed.

    August 21, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  6. Gerald in Georgia

    Why do Americans think that we need an old president? Hillary is 60 and MCain is 71. Could we please elect someone that might have some new ideas? Look my Fellow Americans, have you noticed that the death rate seems to be claiming a lot more well known people lately? it's time out for playing games. if you want to play political games then go to Russia and try it there, or better yet go to North Korea and try it there. How can you be a Hillary supporter voting for MCain? What kind of sick twisted drugs are you on?

    August 21, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  7. Typical White Person

    Jeff O August 21st, 2008 2:18 am ET wrote:

    "Bill Ayers is not a professor at the University of Chicago – he's a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The McCain camp might want to check their facts better before making any statements."

    As I read it, CNN is the one who needs to check their facts since it is their writer who give the affiliation, not Rogers.

    Grasping ... at ... straws...

    August 21, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  8. Tim, Seattle

    My my, looks like we struck a GOP nerve. Good to see the right wingers and PUMA crybabies on the defensive.

    August 21, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  9. JBB

    Making people aware of the truth about John McCain is a good thing.

    The truth makes you free, (John McShame is bound up) according to John McCain who stated at Saddleback that he would call upon Sen Lewis, a person who is a colleague in the Senate, but yet they don't conversate. How hyprocitial could he be, first of all in the front of God and a worldwide audience.

    Also, why would you go to the gates of hell, when the Word of God says the "The gates of hell will not prevail" Seems to me that John McCain wants to do some hot and flaming traveling.

    Of course we alreday heard about Tony Rezko and Ayers in the Primary and it just doesn;t work and won't be effective now. John McCain can play out of the Clintons playbook, but you can't teach an old dog new tricks!

    August 21, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  10. Sharon ohio

    You can bet Illinois has sealed, destoryed or Eliminated anything to do with obama.

    August 21, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. Barbara - NC

    McCain wants to reinstate draft – male/female.

    Have any kids? Grandkids? Want them in IRAN?

    August 21, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  12. The Truth

    Justin, Obama does not have the built to put or take any gloves on or off for gosh sakes, he is as weak as his politics. Not to be snide, but truth is truth. Its Michelle who has the built and nastiness to do the punching, now her I can believe she can, she is nasty.

    August 21, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  13. Tim, Seattle

    Alice in Florida is a racist pig and an obvious PUMA, Obama hit a nerve with this ad. Get used to it sweetie. Its just the beginning.
    The gloves are off

    Obama 08'

    August 21, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  14. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Anyone who believes John McSame would do a better job of the economy than Obama is either (a) wealthy (b) stupid or (c) living in a parallel universe...

    Exactly how much more war do you think this country can take? Are endless tax cuts for the rich in the best interest of the country? How much more outsourcing of jobs will there be until nothing is left of America except a big garage sale?

    August 21, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  15. Rob

    Obama is criticized when he doesn't respond and if he does, if only the scrutiny the media puts on Obama was focused on McCain it would be over. The Obama 'negative' adds are factual and not lies and stuff completely made up like the repugs use. There is a big difference people.

    August 21, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  16. Fight hard now , lots of people want a fighter.

    Here goes a man who want to become future president do not know how many houses he own. wow….that is not a shocker, most people failed to realize that Mccain is just another rich man who do not care about your suffering.

    " America people should go get second job to pay their mortgage, there will be no money for them"
    That meant their housing forclosure issues is not cause by mortgage lender, it is cause by ordinary people who were deceived into getting houses.
    Obama campaign are not doing a good job pointing out McCaflip flipper mispeak or wrong tactice.
    There are lots of tools for the Obama campaigns to use but they have failed to utilize them.

    August 21, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  17. OBSERVERING

    L E S K O--W R I G H T--A Y E R S--H A M A S-- F O R -–

    O B A M A ! ! !-–dare you to print it

    August 21, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  18. Marc, Canada

    McCain WILL BRING BACK THE DRAFT. THIS WILL COME OUT IN THE DEBATES AND WHEN IT DOES Barack Obama will be the President.

    August 21, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  19. adept2u

    McCain is dirty. He has taken money, sweet heart land deals, and vacations, plane rides and a variety of other perks from Charles Keating. McCain is an immoral philanderer. He stole Carol McCain from another navy man, cheated on her throughout their marriage both before the Nam and especially after when she wasn't so pretty. McCain is a failure, he has only one accomplishment to sell to America and the ultimate performance evaluation for naval aviators is being shot down – read fail!. McCain is the political spawn of a liar. Duke Tully was the publisher of the Arizona Republic, and the person who shaped McCain's war hero persona he too was a hero in his eyes, he bragged about all his heroic exploits in Korea and all the medals he's earned. Newsflash-he was never in the military.
    McCain has never earned or worked or done a thing on his own in his life that someones daddy, his or Cindy's got for him.

    August 21, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
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