September 17th, 2008
01:40 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain camp accuses Obama of pressuring Clinton

Sen. Hillary Clinton spoke during the Roll Call at the Democratic National Convention.
Sen. Hillary Clinton spoke during the Roll Call at the Democratic National Convention.

(CNN) – John McCain’s campaign seemed to accuse Barack Obama of pressuring Hillary Clinton to withdraw from appearing at a rally with Sarah Palin, and pushing the group to disinvite the Alaska governor – but did not provide reporters any evidence to back up the claim.

Late Tuesday, an organizer of the September 22 “Stop Iran. Now!” rally announced that Clinton, Palin and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel would be appearing at the event. Hours later, Clinton’s office announced that had changed her decision, and would not attend.

“Earlier this week Governor Palin accepted an invitation to join Hillary Clinton in speaking to a nonpartisan rally organized by groups dedicated to halting Iran's nuclear program,” said McCain-Palin spokesman Michael Goldfarb said in a statement. “Senator Clinton has since withdrawn from the engagement, presumably at the behest of the Obama campaign, and according to news reports, Senator Obama's campaign may be leaning on organizers to disinvite Governor Palin as well lest the rally appear partisan.”

But the Politico story cited by Goldfarb in an e-mail sent to reporters does not include any sources making that charge. One anonymous source – who is identified only as someone “familiar with the talks” – seems to reference debate among organizers over whether or not an Obama-Biden representative was needed if Palin attended the rally in New York over Iran’s nuclear program, to avoid the appearance of partisan politics. It does not mention any request of this kind coming from anyone connected to the Obama-Biden campaign, including Senator Obama himself.

“This issue is too important to fall victim to partisan politics,” Goldfarb also wrote. “Instead of pressuring Senator Clinton to withdraw and pressuring the event's organizers to disinvite Governor Palin, we hope Senator Obama will consider lending his own voice to this cause….”

There has been no mainstream media report or public claim by anyone in Clinton’s camp that she received any pressure from the Obama campaign not to appear at the rally, as Goldfarb implies. Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines said early Wednesday that Palin’s presence at the event and the appearance of partisan politics was the reason for Clinton’s withdrawal.

"Her attendance was news to us, and this was never billed to us as a partisan political event,” said Reines. “Senator Clinton will therefore not be attending."

The McCain campaign has not yet responded to a CNN request for the source of the apparent allegations.

soundoff (400 Responses)
  1. Foo Man Jew

    Who knew McCain was a just an old dishonorable liar?
    Thing is I really feel sorry for him. He traded his maverick and soul to the RNC. Do you see him address the small crowds? He looked like he wanted to cry when he was on Morning Joe yesterday. He deserves it though.

    September 17, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  2. Donna

    Seems like GOLDFART needs to get his story straight...they won't respond to CNNs request for a source because there isn't one....liars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 17, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  3. Chi4Obama

    Once again, the McCain camp trying to stir up "articifical controversy".

    It's funny how everytime something "negative" happens to the GOP, they always find a way to tie it back to Barack Obama...

    September 17, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  4. Nick - Arlington, VA

    key words: "– but did not provide reporters any evidence to back up the claim."

    LIE LIE LIE LIE your way to the white house....you are losing your credibility McCain...

    September 17, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  5. VIRGINIA will be blue

    Sen. Clinton made that decision on her own. This is nothing but a stunt the McLame camp is trying to pull to steer attention away from the economy issue. It won't work dummies.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    September 17, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  6. kay

    Trust me... This McCain’s campaign simply like controversy..

    McCain should be deeply ashamed

    September 17, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  7. WhoIsPalin?

    McCain, who do you think you are? The nerve! you are not running the Obama Campaign, take care of your affairs and leave Obama alone.

    September 17, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  8. tim

    This is getting so GD ridiculous...can we stop the name calling and back and forth and talk about the issues already? We're on the brink of the modern fall of Rome and this is what McCain is talking about. No wonder why other countries look at us and laugh!

    September 17, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  9. Ken

    I think Barbra Streisand is right with her warning to John McCain that women are not stupid – I think it is an insult to the intelligence of women to believe that we will vote for a candidate only because they are a woman.

    I guarantee you that a man with similar credentials as Sarah Palin would not have been chosen.

    September 17, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  10. Sammy

    I will wait for their sources. If none are forthcoming then it was just someone trying to invent a story.

    September 17, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  11. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Yo Gramps! This isn't Saturday Night Live! I'm sure your Rovian advisors would love to include Hillary in a photo op with Caribou Barbie. AIN'T HAPPENIN'!

    September 17, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  12. Wisconsin Cheesehead

    Palin said Wednesday that Obama launched an "unfair attack on the verbiage that Sen. McCain chose."
    This will sound personal but I have to express an outrage! Palin needs to get her head out of McCain’s @$$. This has nothing to do with “choice of words” or gaffes but more of a mindset and McCain needs to be called on it.
    In January at a GOP debate he said Americans are better of than they were 8 years ago. He has also bragged to being fundamentally a deregulator. On the mortgage crisis he warned against excessive government intervention.
    Should we just let it slide and say this poor POW is having always having a tough time with his choice of words?

    September 17, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  13. View from up north

    More lies. Stop already.

    September 17, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  14. Leslie, CA

    Hillary's a big girl, she can and will speak for herself. Unlike Sarah who has to speak when she is told.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 17, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  15. Peter (CA)

    Why rely on facts when the McCain campaign can come out with a juicy lie?
    CNN and everyone else, call them on this. Why are they being allowed to come out with such extreme lies without any sources or doucmentation?

    September 17, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  16. FRANK O.

    How much you wanna bet the first impromptu question to Sara Palin was planted? We will all hear soon that the reporter was given the question to ask. Otherwise how come ONLY 1 questions is asked and that it is the hottest topic of the day AND she has such a text book answer. Coincidence? I think NOT.

    THINK THINK THINK America!

    September 17, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  17. Grampa Simpson

    In case nobody noticed, Hillary does not respond to pressure very well. Give me a break – Hillary was being set up to have Sarah Palin use her as a media stunt. Hillary did the right thing.

    September 17, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  18. Robert

    Well, with the economy in turmoil, here the McCain camp is again, not so subtly trying to make it look like Barack is dissing Hillary and through her all women.

    September 17, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  19. Molly

    This is stupid! Of course CNN won't show this comment, but give me a break. When are you going to wake up and realize you are being played like a pawn by the McCain camp!

    September 17, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  20. Voter

    "did not provide reporters any evidence to back up the claim."

    GOP making things up again?? SHOCKING!

    September 17, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  21. Mona, IL

    Mr. Deregulatin, McCain is a phony and a fake. Wake up America.

    September 17, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  22. isaiah - milford, nj

    this headline is irresponsible journalism. very misleading.

    September 17, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  23. Chi4Obama

    So basically,

    Anything that doesn't go the way of the Republicans, then it's Barack Obama's fault.

    – Hillary doesn't want to appear with Palin....Blame Barack Obama.
    – Both campaigns are going negative...Blame Barack Obama.
    – The Economy is bad...Blame Barack Obama.
    – McCAin was a POW....Well this one is a stretch :-)

    But bottom line, it's funny how EVERYTHING negative is suddenly tied to Barack Obama. Is this the best that the GOP can do??

    September 17, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  24. Diane

    Probably more lies from the McCain campaign. They are really, really grasping at anyting to divide the 'UNITED' Democratic Party.

    September 17, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  25. martha

    I was just thinking. I will need income now that my 401k has been destroyed. Think I will apply to John McCain's campaign for a job in his transition team. I beleive I could be secretary of the treasury since I have had a dollar the other day. Now however it is only worth about 49 cents. But since I had it in my hand and later my purse surely I am qualified. I know I could be in Housing since I once had a house, until it was foreclosed. Or perhaps I could be secretary of the interior sine I once stayed in a national park and have seen people who do drugs and do sex. I am just unfortunate that I didn't go to high school with Palin and have missed out on an Alaska government job as a result. Oh well I feel confident that John fox McCain will protect the chicken house on wall street.

    September 17, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
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