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 “Senator Clinton has since withdrawn from the engagement, presumably at the behest of the Obama campaign, and according to news reports, Senator Obama's campaign may be leaning on organizers to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. Irma in North Carolina

    Ya this really tells the Mccain camp something, Hillary doesnt want to stand next to Sarah, way to go Hillary. Sarah and John just remember this was a task from God. God is looking out for the Obama people, However Gods biggest task will be to let Sarah and John loose this election. Who wants to listen to Sarah and Johns lies. Sarah and John what goes around comes around, you two have lots more comming towards you.

    September 17, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  2. S-

    You know, if the moon fell out of the sky and killed our incompetent friend W, Mccain would blame that on Obama. Maybe the wall street mess is Obama's fault too...I know, lets blame Obama for the hurricane and chinese food poisoning as well!

    Remember everyone, according to the *wisdom* of John Mccain, its all Obama...You know there's a reason Mccain wasn't returned to active flight status after getting out of that rat-hole in Nam; he wrecked 4 planes due to gross incompetence and let himself get shot down in another after he failed to pull out according to established procedure. Anyone who actually bothers to look up the un-glorified history of this idiot can see that when his judgment and experience are the issue, the only reason he wasn't court-martialed and DD'd was because daddy was an admiral.

    John Mccain when you screw up this country even further, there will be no one to to bail you (and us) out. Your military record is even more tarnished than Kerry's, and at least he had a reason for winning his medals. I guess the navy created a new one for drinking on duty and blowing up a grounded plane...idiot....

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

    mccains camp will accuse anyone to get away from their lies lies lies and they know poeple are not dumb they are liars all they way to their last letter of words

    September 17, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  4. FR

    If Palin was invited why wasn't Biden invited. Why did this group invite Hillary. Are they working for republicans and try to spark difference within democrats. Good thing Hillary refused to go. McCain camp is trying there best to divert people's attention from Economy back to National security.

    September 17, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. judy

    Do republicans ever speak the truth.......more trash talk from McCain!

    September 17, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. Beto, Seattle

    Doesn't matter who the source was. HRC can, and should speak for herself. It's just as well anyway, because I personally don't think anything she has to say would be worthwhile. There are other female senators that can do the same thing, if its a female they want. Washington State has two, but they never have anything worthwhile to say either.

    September 17, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  7. Marisela

    McLiar has zero credibility. You can't believe anything his camp has to say.

    September 17, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  8. Republicans Hate America

    Nice try Repugs. Your scheme to get a campaign commercial showing both palin and clinton on the same stage didnt work and as usual when your little deviations dont work you go on to blame Obama for it. just like you did with your stupid town hall debates.

    September 17, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  9. Truthiswhatweneed

    To Nate: Your a closet Republican. Stop acting like you are a Democrat upset with Obama. You say that you have become increasingly upset with Obama and that he lies. I would like to ask you, what is McCain and Palin doing, telling the truth? Hell no. Your a deciever just like your Republican Party.

    September 17, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. Mary R

    It would be totally inappropriate for Hillary to appear on the same podium with Ms. Palin, and would create an atmosphere where the GOP would attempt to portray the two as allies. Totally correct for Hillary to withdraw.

    September 17, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  11. b Jiggy

    doesnt it seem like the ticket should be
    Palin/Mccain from the way everybody's treating the new celebrity of politics? 🙂

    September 17, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. Team America

    Same 'ol stuff from Obama and Clinton....Democrats first, Country second.

    September 17, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |

    If McCain was my grandpa I would lock him in his room for episodes like this!!!!

    September 17, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  14. David Orbach, New York, NY

    McCain will lose, and be remembered as a textbook case for running a truly awful campaign.

    September 17, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  15. Vic

    Call the McCain liars all you wish, but what is evident here is pure, low-down politics at its lowest. The Obama campaign has not uttered one word in weeks expressing his record and his plans on important issues. Why? Because the answer is NET ZERO. He hasn't any. He pushed and pushed on the Clintons and insulted them until they got out of the picture. Now, he recognizes his gross mistake and is running after them in a last-ditch effort as his campaign is screwing itself right into the ground. But guess what? It's too late. We respecters of the Clintons and the ultimate sacrifices they have made for our country see right through Obama's actions of not being able to make up his adolescent mind of just exactly what it is he wants.
    So now all his supporters have adopted the mantra of lies, lies, lies in criticizing the McCain team. Obama made a huge mistake of not taking Hillary as his partner, and his supporters are making still worse mistakes of using hatred and their own false statements. Every time they criticize Palin and McCain, they get another vote.

    September 17, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  16. Dadedi

    I am disgusted most by Republicans claiming they are democrats on the blog. How can you say McCain '08 and Clinton '12. This is a lie. Why aren't Republicans proud to be Republicans? Don't hide and present yourself as what you are not. You are the liar party and everyone around the wold knows it.

    September 17, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  17. Chut Pata

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

    With the exception of PUMAs (repubs disguised as dems), Hillary votes belong to Hillary, and it was a cheap shot by Sarah Who to steal her voters.

    Hillary is not stupid, she is much more intelligent than Miss Congeniality.

    September 17, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  18. CHAD

    CLINTON SUPPORTERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    WOW, YOU ARE IN DENIAL B/C......................................






    September 17, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |

    CNN shouldn't count on a reply from the MSHAME campaign; it's asking to interview their puppet Sarah Pailn – you will NEVER get an answer.

    September 17, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  20. Woman for Obama

    O whatever!!! They are trying to paint the image that Hilary and Palin are friends so that they can get more of the woman/Hilary former supporters votes. Now that that attempt failed they are now painting that she didn't reject the acceptance, Obama camp made her. Give me a break!! HILARY DOES NOT WANT TO BE COMPARED TO SARAH PALIN!!! Get over it!! How low will the McCain campaign go to win?

    September 17, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  21. Lisa from VA

    Oh please...give Hillary some credit here. She can't be pressured by Obama. She is making her own decisions. She isn't spineless like the Alaskan Princess.

    September 17, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  22. Ex-PUMA for Obama

    The McNasy's campaign is a campaign of whinners!

    BOO Whoooooooooo!

    September 17, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  23. Peter (CA)


    I can't reach a conclusion on a story until I hear from Tucker Bounds. Then I know the truth is the exact opposite of what he said.

    Hillary democrat--there is a website for's called Fox News so you guys can all foam at the mouth together.

    September 17, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  24. Nikki

    Do they really expect us to believe anything the McCain campaign says?

    Just because they don't want to talk about the issues, they're deflecting.

    If they lie about everything else, imagine what they'd do in office. SCARY!

    September 17, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  25. Working Mom


    E – Economy
    N – National Security
    O- Oil – Energy
    U – Unemployment
    G – Global Warming
    H – Health Care

    ENOUGH is enough! CNN I challenge you to step out of the norm and stick to the issues and report on just ENOUGH from the campaigns. Stop reporting about all of the trivia and mud slinging.

    September 17, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
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