August 21st, 2008
09:50 AM 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 • John McCain
August 21st, 2008
06:40 AM ET
10 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Thursday, Aug 21., 2008



CNN: Speculation, anticipation as Obama's VP announcement nears
The question is starting to feel a little old: Whom will Barack Obama pick as his vice president? With the clock ticking (the Democratic VP candidate delivers a big speech next Wednesday) the announcement is at most days and at least a few hours away.

WSJ: McCain Closes Gap on Obama In Poll as Conventions Loom
Sen. John McCain has all but closed the gap with Sen. Barack Obama, underscoring how international crises - and some well-placed negative ads - have boosted the prospects of the Republican presidential candidate.

WSJ: Republicans Plan to Grab Some Denver Limelight
John McCain and the Republican Party have their own plans for next week in Denver, including a parade of high-profile surrogates, a Web site touting new attack videos, and a tagline for the Democrats' convention: A Mile High and an Inch Deep.

AP: White House missing as many as 225 days of e-mail
The White House is missing as many as 225 days of e-mail dating back to 2003 and there is little if any likelihood a recovery effort will be completed by the time the Bush administration leaves office, according to an internal White House draft document obtained by The Associated Press.

Politico: Exclusive: No single term for McCain
John McCain stated unequivocally in an interview with Politico Wednesday that he would not pledge to serve only a single four-year term, rejecting a suggestion that some allies believe would allay questions about his age and underscore his non-partisan message of putting country first.

CNN Radio: Democrats head west for Rocky Mountain high
The exodus has begun from Washington to Denver, for a convention that will highlight some of Democrats' greatest hits from the 90s. Lisa Desjardins has today's CNN Radio Political Ticker.

WSJ: Voters Want Everything on Energy
Voters are crying out for more solar and wind energy - but that doesn't mean they are opposed to drilling for more oil at the same time, according to a Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll.

NY Times: Voters in Poll Want Priority to Be Economy, Their Top Issue
Senators Barack Obama and John McCain are heading into their conventions neck and neck in the presidential race, with voters focused overwhelmingly on economic issues but convinced that the candidates are not paying enough attention to their priorities, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.



Filed under: Political Hot Topics
August 21st, 2008
06:39 AM ET
10 years ago

ON THE TRAIL: Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008


* Sen. John McCain has no public events.

* Sen. Barack Obama holds a discussion on the economy with VA Gov. Tim Kaine in Chester, VA. He later holds a town hall meeting in Chesapeake.

Filed under: On the Trail
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