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 “Senator Clinton has since withdrawn from the engagement, presumably at the behest of the Obama campaign, and according to news reports, Senator Obama's campaign may be leaning on organizers to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

    The media is just now paying attention to Obama's ground game, which has been in play since day 1. These subtle yet significant moves are going to be the shock and awe of this election!

    September 17, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  2. Rita-Alabama

    The republicans are full of it. They want the public to see Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin together to sway women democratic voters point blank. They want Sarah Palin to feed off of the national respect and admiration Hillary has worked tirelessly for and that Sarah Palin has done nothing to earn yet. Hillary Clinton is too smart to fall for these republican shenanigans. She made this decision to drop out on her own because she knows that this election is too close and that she would rather have 8 years of solutions than rally one day with the opposition and help them win an election and have 8 more years of failure. The repulicans don't have any proof at all that Obama's team told her not to go they are just throwing a bunch of garbage out there. Hillary Clinton can do whatever she wants to do.

    September 17, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  3. Lie-a-day Palin Ain't Ready for Primetime

    They are so D-E-S-P-E-R-A-T-E these days. Are they going to blame Mr. Obama for the tainted baby formula in China? How about hurricane Ike? Is Mr. Obama also responsible for Ms. Palin and Grampy avoiding the press for weeks now? Get a grip, McPain/Pablum.

    September 17, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  4. mk

    I think we can all agree that Hillary Clinton is a woman who makes her own decisons.
    The McCain campaign is really reaching today.
    But then again, they are in it pretty deep right now.

    September 17, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  5. AUSTIN,TX

    HERE WE GO AGAIN PUTTING THE BLAME ON OBAMA SINCE MCSAME TACTIC FAILED

    September 17, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  6. Jeremy

    no pressuring at all she just doesnt want to be seen on stage with someone who has nothing in common with her or shares her beliefs. Also if i remember correctly Palin called her a whiner! You cant backtrack on that, nor back track on saying our economy is strong!

    September 17, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  7. Peggy

    Only in America could someone like Palin be considered for this type of position! So why are people surprised when people disregard us? And why would any woman in 2008 vote for someone that reflect where we were and not where we hope to be? I just don't get it

    September 17, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. Honestlady

    Wow...the McCain camp is really making stuff up now. Why not name your sources of this information if they truly exist???? I'm pretty sure Clinton withdrew on her own. She's no dummy!

    September 17, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. gl

    what the heck is wrong with McSane. He need to quit talking about Obama and what Obama is doing and start tell the American people what the heck he is going to do for this country. McSane is very very pitty.

    September 17, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  10. Ron from Baltimore

    There go the McCain folks again, in a dire need to get Palin back in the news. Hillary can make up her own mind and keep her own schedule. So, thanks but no thanks it is.

    September 17, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  11. Kim, Charlotte, NC

    They haven' t responded CNN because this is petty!

    The US in drowning in forecloseures and job losses!..Please let this rest!

    September 17, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  12. Jen

    McCains motto...When in doubt start lying.

    September 17, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  13. PALIN POWER

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

    Besides... you just know Hillary LOVES PALIN...

    McCain 08 – Hillary 2012

    September 17, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  14. Sarah.....and my last name isn't Palin!

    Grasping at straws...Let it go McCain!

    September 17, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  15. Indie Voter

    Wait for the debates.

    September 17, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  16. Adam

    Every other story about the campaign says "McCain accuses..." grow up you crybaby. You're giving Vets a bad name with all your lying and whining.

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

    Does Sarah Palin even know where Iran is on a map? Probably not since she cannot see if from Alaskas shores....

    John McCain makes me sick! He's become in my eyes a disgusting old man. And Sarah Palin is viewed in my eyes as a lying greedy woman, using her gender to try to woe voters. Combined, they form the worst possible fit. Go back to Alaska sarah. Here in the real America, we dont take kindly to your kind! Outsider

    September 17, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  18. david

    This report has no credibility until Tucker Bounds weighs in.

    September 17, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  19. wow

    "Evidence"? "Proof"? "We don't need no stinking proof!"

    September 17, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  20. Vincent

    Give me a break. If Clinton doesn't want to be there, she doesn't want to be there. She does have a brain of her own and I truly believe that she uses it, unlike others who are told what to do and what to say. She IS her own woman.

    September 17, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  21. Truth Be Told

    It sounds like the McCain campaign tried to sneak Palin in on an event that Clinton had already confirmed. When Clinton learned about Palin coming she canceled. End of Story. If the lame McCain campaign would try to be original instead of parroting Obama's cry for change...the world might think they were at least a little genuine. The McCain campaign have proven themselves to be BIG FAT LIARS!

    September 17, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  22. Tarah, OR

    I hope the Obama camp will use some of the money raised by Barbara Streisand to pay Hillary's debt. After all, she and Babs are friends. It would be a nice gesture.

    Was for Hill, now voting for Barack.

    September 17, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    IF YOU SUPPORT HILLARY CLINTON AND WANT HER TO BE PRESIDENT IN 2012 THEN VOTE FOR MCCAIN IN 2008

    HILLARY 2012

    September 17, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  24. JUAN C AR LOS

    T O O---B A D--– H I L L A RY--–D O E S N' T---F E E L-

    S H E-–C A N---S H A R E----A --–S T A G E

    September 17, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  25. Ted

    why do they lie?

    September 17, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
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