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 “Senator Clinton has since withdrawn from the engagement, presumably at the behest of the Obama campaign, and according to news reports, Senator Obama's campaign may be leaning on organizers to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. Jordan - San Marcos TX

    Satan is no longer the "father of lies". He's been replaced by the Republican Party.

    September 17, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  2. Michael, watching from Canada

    Why doesn't McCain want to stick to the number one issue most important to Americans?

    Anything (i.e. distraction) to get off the topic of the economy.

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

    Off course Obama & his staff pressured Hillary to cancel ! What I can't figure out is why she is listening to a group of losers???? Wake up Hillary & take care of yourself ! Forget these guys just like the American People are going to do Nov.4th!!!

    September 17, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  4. Lynette

    a rigged event by the republicans, not this time. Clinton wants no part.

    September 17, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  5. Dotson, IL

    Sen. McCain left Vietnam, but Vietnam didn't leave he, WAKE UP AMERICAN can't you see VIETNAM IS HIS EYES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 17, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. Amy

    Hillary Clinton is an independent woman who is clearly capable of making her own decisions unlike a certain VP nominee who shall remain nameless...

    September 17, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  7. Diana

    Why don't you blame Obama for the pot-holes on Constitution Avenue in Washington, DC. Oh and by the way, I think it is pretty hard for me to think that Hillary had to be convinced or pressured into doing something or not doing something.

    September 17, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  8. Julie

    Hmmm, no sources given to verify McCain's ridiculous accusation.

    Maybe McCain will just "round up the usual suspects" and make them attest!

    Ahh, to be in Paris right now.

    September 17, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  9. Ex-Republican for Obama

    How much crap can the GOP just 'make' up, that are blatant lies and false facts.

    It is truely pathetic to watch how morally bankrupt the McCain clan is. I knew they were bad, but had no idea they could be so blatantly obvious in their decidedly deceptive nature.

    He is no hero, he's a total zero!!! McCain is a disgusting old man who has seen the best of himself flushed down the toilet each morning!

    Vote Obama if you believe in honesty, integrity and change for a better america!

    September 17, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  10. seth, minnesota

    The Dungeons and Dragons crowd pressured her to pull out, Goldfarb.

    September 17, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  11. MemeforObama



    September 17, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. Ex-PUMA for Obama

    Of course the repubs don't reliable sourses for the lies they put out.

    When will all the lies stop! Hillary was just smart enough to read between the lines whereas Palin actually reads the lines.

    This is a joke from the NcBullsh..........campaign.

    September 17, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  13. Bill Tampa

    We're not going after this shiny object or the Rothschild shiny object as well. Listen to her speaking with Nora O'donnell..Talk about elitist.Was that a fake Elitist-British accent? She's just like Palin, she is spewing the MCcain talking points....It won't work!!!!!!!!!!!..What a phony.!!!!!!!


    September 17, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  14. The thing is

    This is not journalism. This is a biased opinion column. Why doesn't CNN dig into the claim by the Clinton camp that the event was becoming a "partisan political event." With both Clinton and Palin there, it is a bi-partisan event. The partisan politics are only a result of Clinton's withdrawal, which is shamelessly blamed on having a political opponent also invited to attend. Shame on you CNN.

    September 17, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  15. carlo

    This is about McCain not wanting to continue to discuss the economy, you know, AN ACTUAL ISSUE. He loses on issues, and since the Palin glow is starting to wear off, he's trying the good ole "lipstick" diversion. It ain't gonna work Johnny. Come up with some policy and truthfulness and you might actually not implode before November 4.

    September 17, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  16. Bob

    How is this a story if no source, CNN?

    September 17, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  17. R.I.F.

    John McCain has offically past George Bush as THE MOST dishonest politician in the history of America. All they do is lie, lie, lie, even when they are called out for doing it. I've never seen anything like it ever. They lie abou stuff that's not even important (broken teleprompter, crowd size, blackberries, and now this).

    September 17, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  18. vperry

    I am scared that Obama is a fascist.

    September 17, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  19. John Air Force Vet

    B-LO-NEE! Hillary shouldn't stand next to this Sarah who tied to claim Clinton's hard work and experience as her opopotunity to rob votes! The McCain camp wanted Hillary there to explote. They know she would draw a big crowd and they would clain Hially and Palin were unitied-which is bunk. How can Elli Weizle stand in the same area as Palin who believes Jews are killed by the will of God for not being Christians! This is an insult!

    September 17, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  20. Lynn in NM

    Why would Hillary want to be anywhere near Sarah Palin? Hillary didn't get the nod. Sarah might just say something that Hillary might have to answer. Unscripted, Hillary might blow it.

    September 17, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  21. Jeff Kennedy

    This was a transparent attempt by the McCain campaign to get Palin into a photograph with Hillary.

    As transparent as McCain's efforts not to be photographed with Bush!

    September 17, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  22. VIRGINIA will be blue

    I'd love to see Tucker Bounds try and explain this one. That guy is going to have a heart attack during this campaign having to answer for all of these lies. Shouldn't it be McLame in Tucker's position explaining why all of these untruths are coming out.

    September 17, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  23. sallie

    Hillary Clinton is the LAST PERSON ON EARTH who will be bossed around by ANYBODY. What a hoot!! She made her own mind up and that was that. Now Palin is going to be forced to go and be the media freak show for the event.
    If this event is so incredibly important, why were palin and clinton the invitees? Why not Bush or Cheney or Condeleeza? It was nothing but a tacky publicity stunt and Clinton refuses to be used. In fact, where are all the OTHER INVITEES? Nobody going but palin? What does THAT tell you about this "very important event"??

    September 17, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  24. karen-phoenix

    McCain is lazy, lieing and a theif!!! Hillary is her own women, not like Pelin who puppets what McBush wants. And what Hillary wants Hillary does!!! She has earned the right! Pelin has earned nothing–especially not experience or judgement!!!! Hillary made up her own mind and I do NOT blame her for noth wanting to be in the same room as that little lie cheat from Alaska!!! AND I never, never want to see her with a machine gun in her hand again or shooting wild animals from a helicopter!!!!! Helicopters were invented to save people during the Korean war - not kill animals!!!

    September 17, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  25. Shiny Metal Object Alert

    Matt Damon was right, Sarah is scary. She wasn't vetted and now she's being sequestered to keep the press from talking to her. The press should do a Sarah blitz on McCain. Every question should be about his running mate, and his foot-in-mouth-statement on Monday. That should be it, nothing else.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 17, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
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