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 “Senator Clinton has since withdrawn from the engagement, presumably at the behest of the Obama campaign, and according to news reports, Senator Obama's campaign may be leaning on organizers to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

    Sadly, the press seems to have degenerated to the point that they take talking points from the Drudge report, so they'll keep reporting whatever the McCain campaign makes up as if it were fact. They "presume" the Obama campaign leaned on Clinton, so CNN reports it as fact.

    Looks like we better give the American Dream a decent funeral before it gets all moldy.

    September 17, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. Juan Jaramillo

    A new standard has to be set by the media: If you accuse of anything and don't provide any proof your story won't be published, not even as a comment, smear, nothing. The best punishment for unsubstantiated claims is the removal of exposure, which is the only objective. Enough with the "news cycle wars", we need to start fixing the problems of this country!

    September 17, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. Woman Republican for Obama

    Oh Boo Hoo Hillary did not join Sarah Palin BOOO Freaking HOO

    Again.... Let me repeat this....

    If you are for Hillary you cannot be for John McCain. He is the total opposite of what she stands for. So quit saying Hillary 2012 and get a life – OK?

    September 17, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. Nick - Arlington, VA

    PALIN POWER September 17th, 2008 3:10 pm ET

    No doubt…. although it's hard to pressure a Clinton…

    Besides… you just know Hillary LOVES PALIN…

    McCain 08 – Hillary 2012
    How does it feel to be delusional?

    September 17, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  5. The Conservative

    ISSUES! ISSUES! ISSUE! McPalin is trying to manufacture fluff to divert attention from real issues. This is probably to help them recover from yersterday's srew-ups.!

    Obama-Biden 08!

    September 17, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. Elsie Sam

    I'm one of those undecided. When I first heard about Clinton and Palin coming together i was excited to see that dispite all the mud slinging going on in the campaign these too ladies could put their differences aside long enough to join together against a common American enemy. I thought they could show the world that we may disagee at home, but we stand united against hate in this world especially hate directed against our country, and against someone bent on developing nuclear weapons for evil purposes. I guess I was wrong. Shame on you Hilary for putting self interest above national interest. To think I had actually thought of voting for you especially after seeing your strength towards the end of you campaign which you should have won.

    September 17, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  7. Sarah L., Fayetteville, AR

    Enough with the lying. CNN needs to call McCain out for what his campaign has been doing.

    September 17, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  8. nate

    Check todays polls – Obama is back up. The lies arent working anymore. America is too smart.

    September 17, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  9. GAforObama/Biden

    McCain/Palin, get over it! You just want Americans to see Clinton and Palin in the same room so you can showcase it as if Clinton supports Palin. The Hillary Supporters are too smart for that. Hilliary Clinton and her supporters are for Obama/Biden. Stick to the issues and not the nonsense. Oh I forgot, McCain/Palin can't handle the issues. OBAMA/BIDEN '08

    September 17, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  10. NO way NO MCshame


    You are a joke and a big lie. You are never a Dem u are a paid McShame blogger. we know your kind and WE DONT BUY YOUR LIES LIKE UR GOOD FOR LIES GOP PARTY.

    FACTCHECK : States that all Obama's ads are historically true and some are completely true...meaning McCain did and might just have changed his position in Aug.

    September 17, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  11. Danny

    Why are they so desperate to put them on stage together. Why must we put a mole on stage with a mountain. They really think everybody is STUPID! Seriously....thats what McCain and his croonies think....that we are stupid.

    Lets send Sebelius or Napolitano to represent Hillary.......

    September 17, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  12. Poor Comsumer S.C.

    CNN if you did your job and stop giving free campaign advertisement for McCain and Palin rather than constantly putting their lies in the press without research the american People would have better respect for you and your bias reporters.

    When did Rupert Murdock take over? He already has Fox.

    September 17, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  13. Don't Change the Subject John

    Don't fall for this Obama supporters. This is another shiny metal object that the McCain camp is throwing in the air to change the subject. Why does he want to change the subject? It' simple, he doesn't want the country to dwell on the collasal mistake he made on Monday by saying the economy was strong, while Wall Street was tanking.

    It won't work. John, we're on to you and your thugs.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 17, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  14. Terrence (Winston Salem, NC)

    Why CNN why? Why repeat rumors with no evidence. I thought you guys reported the news/facts?

    Since you will print anything, here's a headline: "Carly Fiorina was last seen traveling on a Bridge to ...."

    September 17, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  15. Lisa from VA

    CNN...if someone can't give you a source to back up their claim then you should not print the story and give it life. You don't want to get like Fox news. A news channels reputation is all they have. Do your job!

    September 17, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  16. NAOMI

    Does the republican party have that much time are their hand? I'm mean come on, Hillary clinton dosen't want to be around that lieing Palin, that's her choice why the spin on it? I wish Hillary would start setting the record straight. Palin is trash and everyone knows it.

    September 17, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  17. Dawn Lancaster

    To Hillary Democrat: No Hillary supporter would ever call Obama slime. you are obviously a slimeball in disguise...

    September 17, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  18. chucky

    environmentally blue September 17th, 2008 3:08 pm ET
    What a shame. It was supposed to be nonpartisan, so why did Camp Obama pressure Hillary to not attend? What, they aren't opposed to a Nuclear Iran?
    Good thing Obama didn't back out of the only one 9 11 Memorial event. He already didnt't attend the Shanksville one.
    And obviously his wife didn't find the American events worthy of her attendance.
    Is Backtrack Obama trying to make all Democrats look angry and divisive? WAKE UP HILLARY!

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

    apparently you either didn't read that part of the report or that you are so for McCain that it didn't matter. i bet you still believe Obama is a muslim. i would go further to bet that even though McCain was called out on all those lies, that you still believe him. let me even watch the WWF.

    September 17, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  19. Republicans Hate America

    Wow for republicans to always talk as though they are the tough guys they sure do cry a lot.

    September 17, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  20. carol

    Isn't it about time Sarah Palin was taken out of her "cotton wool' and be held accountable to answer questions about herself and this election!!!
    It seems the media are just pandering to the MCain camp with softly softly approach.....don't ask her any questions, don't be too tough on her, don't be sexist!!!
    I for one am getting absolutely sick of this woman parading around the country like she is just running for "Head Coach" and not this very important role of VP.
    It is just laughable that the election is only days away and we still nothing about this some kind of joke?
    When are we going to hear her being asked tough questions, without her usual script/notes etc......America needs and has the right to know about this woman and way before election day.

    September 17, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  21. KJL

    Do they really think Hillary Clinton is the kind of person who follows orders? She makes her own decisions, and it appears she has better things to do than become part of the Palin joke.

    September 17, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  22. Steve

    I think the McCain campaign should print new posters. "It's all Obama's Fault". Every time I think the McCain camp can't get any sillier, they do. What is even more hilarious is that people actually believe them.

    If McCain gets elected, my only question is, who is he going to blame when his administration collapses due to lack of expertise and a pile of subpoenas sitting on Palin's desk? Blaming somone else for the ills of this nation may get you into office, John, but it won't keep you there. Don't unpack your suitcases.

    September 17, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  23. Jim Dandy

    Phil (we have no banking or lending problems) Grahm called the American People Whiners, and HE IS part and parcel connected to McCain camp.
    If you care about the Democratic party, and hope for a decent future vote for Obama. I supported Hillary, she lost get over it and move on.
    Oh wait, he is 50 % African American, could that be your problem?

    September 17, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  24. Dawn Lancaster

    yes, the McCain camp want to keep her name in the news as often as possible, even if it is disengenuous...

    September 17, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  25. Lance

    McCain has totally lost his way. No Honor left.

    He'll stoop to anything to win, including choosing a v.p. that has a seccessionist for a husband that would rather burn the U.S. flag than salute it.

    September 17, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
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