September 17th, 2008
01:40 PM ET
10 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 “Senator Clinton has since withdrawn from the engagement, presumably at the behest of the Obama campaign, and according to news reports, Senator Obama's campaign may be leaning on organizers to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. Carol

    Of course Hillary would withdraw. She isn't running against Palin. Why should she get into the flay. It's BIDEN that should be in on this one. Isn't he running along side or BEHIND obama? Last I heard Biden we s suppose to be obama's "running" mate ! I know he's sorry he got into this mess with obama but " the HEAT is on." In for a penny in for a pound as the saying goes. Sarah will do fine. She can handle the PRESS and Biden. This is an election of EXPERIENCE COUNTS. Being an American with CHRISTIAN AMERICAN VALUES is WHAT COUNTS. NO RADICAL IDIOLOGY HERE.

    WOW ! dble WOW WOW !!!! Poor oboma- feel bad for him – ooooooh poor poor oboma – he's being picked on , down trodden, whens he gone a git his fair time ? oooooooh poor boy!

    VOTE – McCain/Palin '08

    September 17, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  2. Alice Brinkley

    Hillary won't appear on the stage with Gov Palin because Hillary is old and ugly and Gov Palin is young and lovely, friendly, too. Hillary doesn't want the world to realize that she has gone beyond her usefulness.

    September 17, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  3. Carole Karwatka

    Such bitter, ugly comments. It is surprising how the Obama supporters are so full of hate toward John McCain and Sara Palin. You are not very good representatives of the Democratic party, or are you?

    September 17, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. Doug R.

    Another lie put foward by the dishonest, hypocritical, whining Republican tools. McCain can't handle the truth.
    I can't wait for the debates...especially Biden and Palin. And as we all know I'm certain McCain will be wearing some sort of electronic devise that wires him the answers. McCain is a fraud.

    September 17, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  5. Tony





    WAKE UP!

    September 17, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  6. Jay T.

    Hey McCain: Hilary has proven herself a big girl. She doesn't need you to point out when she does or does not feel pressured.

    September 17, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. Former Hillary supporter

    Fox News John McCain is 47% Obama 45%
    CNN John McCain is 46% Obama 46%
    Gallup polls up and down like a balloon.

    For those who concern at the polls, great news for you, most people I knew had voted for Hillary will stay home or vote for John McCain this November. That is a real poll!

    September 17, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  8. Marlene

    I'm amazed that the Mccrook campain continues to smear and tell outright lies. The media reports their lies and smear tactics and they just keep right on. What amazes me even more is that despite their lies being pointed out over and over there are people who still support this lying, low character scum and his pig Palin....

    I guess only in America can you dump your 1st wife for being marred in an accident, marry another whom you call a c&*t in front of a reporter, lie/flip flop and have no idea what in hell you are talking about when it comes to the economy and normal everyday Americans, choose a VP running mate that is as dumb as a box of rocks and people still support you because you are white and have and extremist as a VP running mate who wants is against abortion and wants to legislate morality.

    So it doesn't matter to these people that they lose their jobs, homes and everything else they own so long as "that black man doesn't get in" and no one can have an abortion they are fine with McCrook & Company being in charge-who doesn't give a rats butt about them. America's long slide into the abyss continues.

    September 17, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  9. Cindy from NC

    I personally think she would have did this event had it not been for SNL and that Hillarious spoof. I don't think she could stand there for it to compared to that.

    I am certain Obama had nothing to do w/ that one. But I am sure McCain is disappointed because by Hillary being there w/ her it would have sent out some type of signal that she likes Sarah and she's Ok. At least that's how I would see it.

    September 17, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. Amy in Minneapolis

    Hilary has a brain unlike that brainless moose hunting, bikin wearing, bucket of fluff ,Palin!!

    September 17, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  11. No Hillary = No Obama

    Really, I don't know why Hillary just doesn't tell Obama to take a flying leap after he turned his back on her, smirked and kept his mouth shut when she was ridiculed and disparaged by the media – here's a situation where loyalty is corrupted by collusion and it's no longer loyalty, but a sell-out. Hillary – be your own person, not the party gopher.

    September 17, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  12. brenda

    i dont understand how you can ,as a news organization, shove obama and his supporters down the throats of those that want and demand a fair and balanced review of the candidates and the issues! Who died and made you GOD? I have news for all. The fact is that Obama will not win the presidency. Seek the depths of your soul and ask ypuself, IF another 9-11 occured in this great nation, who do you really want making the decisions?

    September 17, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  13. Emily

    As a true fan of Clinton, this really makes me go against McCain. Don't abuse her name as if you are her supporter. Don't use her name as if you stand with her value and policy. Because you do not. If you really support her, McCain should step down and ask Clinton to be the Republican nominee, and Clinton will reform Republican party to be aligned with Democratic vision and policy. Finally, we are united. Are you ready?

    September 17, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  14. Candice

    Why would they send out a comment like that without backup?! Barack can't make Hilliary do anything she doesn't want to do. She is her own person! Barack doesn't have THAT MUCH power over Hillary!

    September 17, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  15. tim

    I wish Obama would take some of those millions and burn the wart off his nose!!! Yuck!!!!

    September 17, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  16. Cindy

    CNN you have actually reported this without having any evidence to back it up and McCain did the same.... Wow what low lying rich idiot!!!!


    September 17, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  17. Matt

    They are starting to step on their own toes with the lying. By insulting Clinton's self-reliance and independent decision making here, they make a BIG mistake.

    September 17, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. Credit Card Republicans

    Go Hill,give Sarah the chill,shes a two-faced bimbo.

    September 17, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  19. Misha

    oh Come on. Mccain camp lies too much. Republican party is pathetic.obama camp needs to clarify this soon. Grandpa mccain..what is wrong with u? cant u just run a campaign on issues?

    September 17, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  20. SexyMe

    Everything wrong with McCain's camp - OBAMA

    September 17, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  21. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    Keating Five is all you have to know about McCain and what is going on with the economy now.

    September 17, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  22. Pam

    Caribou Barbie and her Grandpa are making stuff up again. And how sad is it that the occurence of a VP candidate taking an impromptu question from a reporter is worthy of a headline??

    September 17, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. Independent 4 Obama

    I honestly believe that the majority of "Hillary supporters" and democrats for McCain that are posting here are GOP operatives. The women of this country are not stupid enough to support Palin just because she has a vagina. Sarah Palin isn't qualified to wipe dog crap off of Hillary Clinton's shoe!

    September 17, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  24. Obama- Next Stop.. White House



    Barack Your Vote!!!

    September 17, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  25. Joseph

    the surged worked, tell that to the weeping mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, sons or daughters who family members didn't come home or wont come home alive...... it may have worked but it wasn't worth the cost

    September 17, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
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