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 “Senator Clinton has since withdrawn from the engagement, presumably at the behest of the Obama campaign, and according to news reports, Senator Obama's campaign may be leaning on organizers to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

    Are you serious? Clinton is strong and has a mind of her own. McCain you are sad when you throw attacks just for the sake of throwing them. Trust Clinton didn’t want to join Palin because she cared NOT too.

    September 17, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. Lynn:60 yr old Obama supporter

    What McCain's camp doesn't get is that they have a woman on their ticket that they can control with Bush cronies writing her speeches, no access to unscripted press conferences or voters' questions and specially selected "interviews".

    Hillary is her own woman and Obama would never think of telling her what to do. That is why so many women's groups are coming out for Obama; they hear Michelle Obama with phenomenal educational credentials at forums and round table discussion rather than barbie like Cindy standing like a prop at every one of his speeches; they know Biden's records on women's rights and they hear the love and respect Obama has for the woman who are and have been in his life.

    As a feminist I find McCain's unsubstantiated comments sexist!!

    September 17, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  3. Joseph, Los Angeles

    Stay on message Obama & Biden. Don't get destracted by these lies from the McCain camp. They have no message.

    September 17, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  4. AA

    Making things up? GOP? Ya think?

    I have yet to hear a single plan from them.
    Not one.

    All I here is talk about the other party, and how they (you know the ones who have been in power for 8yrs) have been mistreated.

    Dumb and Dumber refuse to be specific about anything because they have no plans, no judgement and simply no leadership capabilities.


    September 17, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  5. Latinos for Obama/Biden

    Amazing but not surprising. Now that the majority of Americans are finally realizing Panamanian McCain has nothing to offer America his campaign is grapping for straws...again.

    September 17, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  6. aware

    Hillary Clinton bends to the control freaks? The desperate democrats are looking more and more foolish!

    But, Governor Sarah Palin is the new phenomenon! 🙂

    And, Obama has no Act ll! His bottom up campaign has gone top down! The extreme left-wing dems have him tightly in control! 😦

    McCain/Palin 08!

    September 17, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  7. jesse

    another lie. what a pathetic campaign!

    September 17, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |

    If it's no evidence then why are you reporting it?

    September 17, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  9. idahosa, Canada

    this is an insult to Hillary and her camp. i wish she would just come out and give it back to the McCain camp.

    is the McCain camp saying that Hillary is a duck that just follows Obama anywhere? i guess they are really equating Hillary with Palin.

    sad, sad, sad...

    September 17, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  10. Chuck

    HRC more than likely backed out when she found out she was lied to on possibly, the agenda, presenters, and particiapnts!

    But I am just guessing!

    September 17, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  11. Nick

    Democrats have been bamboozled by Obama campaign.
    McCain 2008
    Hillary 2012

    September 17, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  12. mb--texas

    Once again McCain throws out something he knows is not true and
    CNN and other pundits will run with the fabrication.His first line
    of thwe story but he has nothing to back up his comments.

    September 17, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  13. A Fed Up Democrat

    Did anybody beside me knew this was coming. This is so typical of the Republicans. Let's get the focus off the economy that is a losing battle for us. PLEASE somebody go find the real John Mccain. And drop Sarah Palin off on the way.

    September 17, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  14. Cheryl

    No one pressures Hiliary to do anything. Furthermore, McCain should be more worried about the women on his team. Carly can't keep her mouth shut, and Sarah has obviously been overcome with the rays from the tanning bed.

    September 17, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  15. Caucasian Women for Democrat

    What is wrong with these Republicans...My goodness, they do everything rotten and dirty, when the Dems don't bite or push back, they call fowl. Someone needs to put them in their darn rightful place asap.....Whinners.....

    They sure know how to lie with a straight face...That Leslie lipstick of a pitbull and Castonas or whatever his name is of a rotweiler needs to just go away.....always so eager to jump in and do damage control on cnn..lying through their darn teeth, shame on them...enough of tem already!

    September 17, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  16. CM

    Anyone else read the study published by Yale? The one that concluded that conservative minds are not changed by facts and the on presenting them with more facts they cling more to the lies they have been told?

    Its a good read.

    September 17, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  17. Bob

    Can He Stop 'Troopergate'?
    A McCain lawyer scrambles to block a Palin ethics inquiry.

    September 17, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  18. Ian

    I heard John McCain is a Muslim.

    September 17, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  19. susan

    More lies and smears from the McCain camp and an insult to Senator Clinton.
    As if she could be pressured by the Obama-Biden team to do something she thought was improper.
    Of course McCain's lying team offerred no proof.
    Why do you bother reporting this rubbish as if anything they said could ever be believed?
    The organizers have disgraced themselves with their duplicity in not informing Senator Clinton that they were springing an unwanted surprise on her.

    September 17, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  20. Dave in Indy

    Latest Gallup polls show Obama up +2. McCain has to pull the attention off of the economy since that's Obama's strong point. Guess they will do anything to win an election. BTW, when will we hear about McCain's plans?

    September 17, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  21. Bryan

    Obvious lie...Clinton just doesn't want to be seen with a Christian-conservative nutjob. The quote from the campaign tells all.

    September 17, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  22. fun with words

    Actual quotes from these blogs.

    – I IS SMART, YOU OR DUM!!!! –
    "All you fools that think McCain will win I STUPID."
    "You people need to educate yourselves and stop speaking on emotion – its very ignorate."

    – I'm an honor student in English... –
    "John MCbush,say'es he wants to run a clean race, clearly that is not the case, its very dirty, thanks to bush's croonies all around."
    "The only poll that matters is in November when we vote Obama in office – regardless of what ever no American with common sense will vote for McSame."
    "This women is soooo uneducated and has made a MESS of her family!!! Do want her as president?"

    – I can't stop –
    "the GOP talk about Obama's foreign policy experience, according to what i seeing today, nobody has any, McCain is to old to be elected president, he is a former POW, which means he failed at is combat mission, i got nothing against age, but the presidency age cutoff should be sixty-five, the job is to demanding, furhtermore airline pilots are forced to retire, due to age, think about it"

    – McCain has the most nicknames ever. Here is a small sample. –
    McCane, McLame,McShame, McExperiences, McNo Show, McCinsane, McSame, McOld, McBush, McCain't, McWar, McBoring,
    McCrazy, McLOSER, McWrinkle, MCOIL, McDRILL, McJunkie, McMorals, MCSLEAZO, Mr. McGoo, McCheat, John Wayne McCain

    – Please, for the love of babies, keep the ugly out of the White House –
    "McSame does not kiss babies because he with his UGLY face would scare the heck out of them."

    – I'm anti-war...but pro-violence. –
    "If you are going to vote for John McCain, I would like to go to your house and punch you square in the face. Please email me your address and I will come over."

    – And the #1 comment of all time –
    "I know CNN will not post this comment."

    September 17, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  23. aware

    Party first Hillary? 😦

    Former democrat and Hillary supporter voting for McCain/Palin 08! Country first! 🙂

    September 17, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  24. Fred

    I really would like to understand why these people lie. Somebody out there with an explanation?

    September 17, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  25. Peter E

    Hypocrisy, if I ever saw one. So if a republican appears at a rally then it's 'partisan' but when Obama makes attack speeches at rallies then he's being neutral and non-partisan?

    September 17, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16