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 “Senator Clinton has since withdrawn from the engagement, presumably at the behest of the Obama campaign, and according to news reports, Senator Obama's campaign may be leaning on organizers to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

    This is absurd.

    I thought we were all for better bipartisan efforts.

    September 17, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  2. MICHAEL

    Poor little Johnny. Things don't go his and Sarah's way, so it's a big conspiracy that the Obama campaign came up with. What lie are you now going to come up with to put a negative spin on this issue.
    McCain/Palin the party that will LIE AND CHEAT to win an election.

    September 17, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  3. Chi4Obama

    Can you blame Hillary? I would not want to appear on stage with that Republican puppet (Palin) either.

    So by the Republicans' logic, should Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee be obligated to appear with Joe Biden at a speaking event? I think not.

    September 17, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  4. Independent for Obama

    Dear McCain camp,

    GET OVER YOURSELVES!

    -Independent for Obama

    September 17, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. Alex

    mccain camp is nuts, every little thing they blame obama... what the?

    September 17, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  6. Truth hurts

    I am so tired of the conservatives my head is spinning. Everytime something happens they blame Obama!! Clinton have her own mind. Clinton did not want to be on the same stage with Palin. It would look like she was campaigning with her!!

    September 17, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  7. Raymond K Hessel

    Impressive. I guess you can say anything you want, make up any lie you want, commit any kind of libel or slander that you want, as long as you use the work "presumably".

    September 17, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  8. Pat F

    And Hillary goes wee wee wee all the way home. No guts to be on the same stage with Palin.

    Why was it non-partisan before, but partisan after you learned she would be there? Was it, actually, that Hillary thought it was going to be another Bash Bush Fest? Aw, too bad.

    Note to Democrats: THE SURGE WORKED!

    September 17, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  9. Karma from Indiana

    WOW!! More LIES! They just say what they want to !

    September 17, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. CM

    LOL....yeah...like you guys are concerned about Hillary.

    Isn't she campaigning for Obama? You must be pretty desperate now to try and play on feelings that she's being manipulated.

    When Bill comes on the trail after wrapping up the charity work in Africa then this will be a wrap for the Dems.

    September 17, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  11. no trickle down...

    More desperate LIES from McCain!

    September 17, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  12. Tony

    ENOUGH WHINING MCCAIN!

    I KNOW YOU CAN'T TALK ABOUT THE ISSUES BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO ANSWERS, NO PLAN, NO SOLUTIONS, BUT FOR GOD'S SAKE STOP THE WHINING AND MOANING LIKE A SPOILED CHILD.

    DAY AFTER DAY, WHINE WHINE WHINE!

    IT'S GETTING AS OLD AS YOU ARE. SHUT UP ALREADY!

    September 17, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  13. Kelby from Houston, TX

    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.

    Isn't this the modus operandus for the entire McCain campaign?
    While Obama is out there outlining his plans for a brighter future McCain attacks with smears and total and utter lies. His answers are vague and his choice of Palin was a mad grab at Hillary supporters. It was a poor choice.

    Where is your plan McCain? What are the real issues to you? Because so far, you have failed to produce. I am trying to be even here but you and the GOP aren't giving me anything to work with. It's a lopsided argument favoring Obama.

    Maybe lies and ignorance is enough to beat Obama...maybe not.

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08 DEMOCRATS '08 AND FOREVER

    September 17, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  14. I love Hill

    I say let both great women speak their minds in a non-partisan way.

    Too bad HRC pulled out.

    I am a Clinton supporter but I can handle her and Palin on the same stage.

    What is the big PARTISAN deal?

    September 17, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  15. Dem for unity

    The Republican noise machine at it again. No answers. Just alot of noise.

    September 17, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. environmentally blue

    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?

    GREAT

    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!

    September 17, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  17. David in Naperville, IL

    Wow, they are just making up all kinds of stuff now!!

    obama 08

    September 17, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  18. indewoman for OBAMA

    Blame game again

    September 17, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  19. NO way NO MCshame

    Yes that is what you do best blame Obama for every lies, misstep, mis-statement. Imagine blaming Obama for Clinton being smarter than you guys? Wow. You blamed Obama yesterday for Palin toopergate probe. What else ...i think i need to tell all you GOP sponsored bloggers to take responsibility. Clinton didnt ask Palin to back out. Let her go and face interview and unscripted. American demand answers

    September 17, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  20. hillary supporter

    nice try McCain, Obama is ahead in the gallup polls. Stop trying to divide for your own political gain. You John McCain care nothing for our issues, only our vote.

    September 17, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  21. Raymond K Hessel

    uh – I think what I meant was – as long as you use the worD "presumably".

    September 17, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. Hillary Pressured? Will Never Happen

    Who in their right mind thinks Hillary could be presurred? Not today, not ever. Sarah on the other hand is a puppet, and that is exemplified by the fact that she's still in hiding.

    The joke is over folks, we need to get back to the real world and real issues.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 17, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  23. Adam

    Good God, the McCain campaign is paranoid!

    September 17, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  24. dusual, Tx

    Don't worry about who's going to be there. McPOW you need to be trying a way to fix what you helped to break........The economy. And, that ditz that you selected as 1st chair needs to be in some hotel room cramming to answer questions if asked.

    September 17, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  25. ANGIE

    Nice try mccain camp you tried to pull a fast one on senator clinton dont you know she too smart for you we know your use to brainless palin but dont ever take senator clinton for a fool! and senator clinton WOULD LET NO ONE PRESSURE HER she has her own mind unlike sara palin who is being brainwashed and hijacked by the mccain campaign NICE TRY THOUGH IDIOTS!

    September 17, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
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