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 “Senator Clinton has since withdrawn from the engagement, presumably at the behest of the Obama campaign, and according to news reports, Senator Obama's campaign may be leaning on organizers to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

    issues people...issues....

    September 17, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  2. Justin, ny

    this is so petty and stupid – stop wasting our time mccain and focus on the ISSUES

    September 17, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  3. Daryl in Seattle

    Clinton was right to cancel. By allowing Palin to give one of her misleading, canned speeches in front of Clinton's supporters it would have made it seem that the two are on the same level and also mislead people into thinking they're somehow one in the same. I commend Hillary for noticing the trick and sidestepping it.

    September 17, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  4. Ken

    Another set of LIES coming from the McCain campaign it seems.

    September 17, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  5. Peter (CA)

    Are the Republicans soooo desperate to make it look like Palin is the second coming of Hillary that they would ambush Hillary in such a forum?

    Silly question....of course they are!

    September 17, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  6. bobby

    ok the republicans need to shut the hell up.Mrs Clinton wont go so low as to appear with a Clinton wannabe.I respect Mrs. Clinton for her decision and the republicans need to stop crying foul and address the issues at hands

    September 17, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  7. Mike - MD

    Yea...keep waiting for that source CNN. I don't know what's scarier – the republicans resulting to these tactics or that the tactics are effective on seemingly sane people.

    September 17, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  8. John

    Yet another lie from the McCain/Palin camp, and not a very good one at that.

    I appreciate CNN "truthing" this accusation in the body of the article.

    September 17, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  9. bobby

    ok the republicans need to shut the hell up.Mrs Clinton wont go so low as to appear with a Clinton wannabe(Plain).I respect Mrs. Clinton for her decision and the republicans need to stop crying foul and address the issues at hand

    September 17, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  10. Brina

    McCain-Palin are lying AGAIN......

    September 17, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  11. Voter

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

    GOP making things up again to distract/divide us?? SHOCKING!

    Issues = 0

    September 17, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  12. Sarah

    Oh Lord..Palin wants attention in such a noble cause also..Hell NO>.Hillary did the right thing

    September 17, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  13. Frank

    Now Hillary ! Put the "Straight Lie Express" in its place !

    September 17, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  14. Brad

    There was no pressure. The Repugs tried a little trick to make it look like the ultra right wing religious zealot Palin had something in common with Hillary. They do not have anything in common and Hillary refused to be used as a McBush prop.

    September 17, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  15. Old Fart

    Another brilliant observation by the man unfit to lead. Newsflash to McCain & friends: Obama can't pressure Hillary to do anything.

    September 17, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  16. Sean Chong

    Nice job Mccain campaign. New smearing campaign begins....

    September 17, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  17. Grow Up

    Why is it every time sometimes happens that the McCain camp doesn't like it is immediately blamed on Obama's camp. As an independent voter I have grown very tired of "he made me do it" nonsense. The McCain slogan should be "The Devil Made Me Do It" because nothing that happens is never of their own fruition. Childish!!!

    PS: If Obama weren't black this race would have been over months ago. Say what you will but American's are some of the best closest racist in the world. You can try to deny it if you want. The same people denying it can probably tell you how many "black friends" they have.

    September 17, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  18. Michael

    Blah Blah, just another smear from the Grumpy Old Party!

    IF you have any proof that The Obama Campaign, or the DNC put any pressure on Sen. Clinton show it.

    I'LL wait, ........ Hummmm I didn't think so!

    September 17, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  19. Eric

    They should send Biden, see how Palin sounds after he exerts a bit of that 36 year experience and foreign policy exposure.

    September 17, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  20. Janet, MD

    He and Cindy didn't answer questions today. They're as phony as McCain's promise to pick someone who would be ready to lead the country from day one. Sarah will never be ready because she doesn't have the education or the background to lead the country. She just doesn't.

    And while she and Todd are traveling, who's taking care of her special need's child? So much for family values.

    September 17, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  21. VIRGINIA will be blue

    I'm sure the closest Sen. Clinton wants to be to Palin is on Saturday Night Live.

    September 17, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  22. surprise

    is anyone keeping track of all the fabrications coming out of the McCain camp these days? I don't know if they are desperate, or just terrible people. The media needs to continue letting the public know when they make up facts to strengthen their falsified arguments. Only in America could a group who runs on the slogan of "straight talk" base their entire campaign on lies. I was a concerned democrat about 2 weeks ago, but I get more and more confident with every lie that I hear them tell. America has to be above this.

    September 17, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  23. Kaye- Jacksonville FL

    Honestly – does anyone believe that Hillary Clinton would be "pressured" into canceling an event she felt she should attend? Hillary has a mind of her own – for McCain to imply otherwise is downright foolish...as McCain recently said in his ad ... "How DISRESPECTUL!"

    September 17, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  24. nate

    Clinton would be wise to stay away...I just finished watching Obama's speech in Elko, Nevada and all I can say is that as a democrat, I am discourgaed of the tactics my candidate is taking. He is accusing McCain of having ties to lobbyist, basically strecting the truth about Phil Grahm, who is not connected to the McCain camp, but never mentions his lobbyist, namely David Axelrod. Obama promised us a new type of politics. He won my vote during the primary season by promising to rise above politics as usual, and all he does is talk about John McCain or Sarah Palin..This is one democrat that would prefer we had Hillary Clinton back at the top of the ticket. Obama has lied over and over to the American people and this will destroy the democratic party.

    September 17, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  25. Kirk S

    Hrmmm

    Let me try.

    McCain invented the Blackberry

    McCain never lies.

    There is a Tooth Fairy

    Santa Clause is real

    Gee making stuff up is easy, tell me why again they are even paying "McCain-Palin spokesman Michael Goldfarb" to come up with this stuff.

    September 17, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
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