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 “Senator Clinton has since withdrawn from the engagement, presumably at the behest of the Obama campaign, and according to news reports, Senator Obama's campaign may be leaning on organizers to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

    IF YOU WANT HILLARY TO BE PRESIDENT IN 2012 THEN VOTE FOR MCCAIN IN 2008!!!

    OBAMA HAS PROVEN HE CAN'T BE TRUSTED. HILLARY WAS RIGHT!

    September 17, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  2. Debra

    I doubt anyone could pressure Hillary to do or not to do something. Palin probably invited herself so she could give the impression that she and Hillary are on the same page. Heck, Ms. Palin isn't even in the same book as Hillary. Hillary is one of a kind. I mean that in the most respectful way too.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 17, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  3. Republican voting for Barack Obama

    More important – Where are Palin's tax returns?

    September 17, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  4. Jerry Ohio

    McCain and Palin are lier the republican are trying to get Hillary and Obama angry at each other it want work republican party....The demoncratic party are united and we out in full force in the street campaigning for Obama/Biden to be elected..

    September 17, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  5. Nik

    McCain's campaign are blaming Obama for the trooper-gate investigation which was already in progress (and spear-headed by 3 repubs and 2 dems) when Palin's name was entered into the political equation. Now they're blaming Obama for Clinton's decision not to attend this protest. They so desperately want to focus on non-substantive issues. The economic debate put McCain and Palin in the hot seat because neither of the two can articulate the problems, the causes or their proposed resolutions. They so desperately want to talk about lipstick on a pig. As long as there are hurricanes, economic woes and other substantive issues, the McCain/Palin strategy is off course. Study your note cards McCain, because WaMu is scheduled next to take a fall.

    September 17, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  6. Hillary Democrat

    Obama is slime bag....go Hillary in 2012 and McCain in 2008.

    September 17, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  7. Jason

    Everything that McCain/Palin touches have twists, taints, lies, smoke & mirrors to it. This is SOOOOO republican of them!

    September 17, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  8. Republican for Obama

    "The McCain campaign has not yet responded to a CNN request for the source of the apparent allegations."

    And they won't be responding because they don't have a source, just more BS made up to keep the focus off the issues.

    And why is it BIG news that Palin took her first spontaneous reporter question after campaigning for 3 weeks? Doesn't this bother anyone else? Does anyone put their country first? She is a nice person, but so is my barber and I wouldn't want him running this country either. Haven't we had enough stupid yet? I want someone smarter than me running this country not someone like my next door neighbor.

    September 17, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Where is Hillary's response to Palin/McCain's blatant use of her AGAINST he party's niminee?

    September 17, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  10. Minnesota Mom

    There is no source and therefore it is not news. You took the bait CNN.

    September 17, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  11. OBAMA IS NO UNITER

    Hillary is the best- no doubt about it.

    Too bad she was swiftboated by democrats for Obama and ONLY for Obama even IF Obama will lose in NOV.

    Too bad the intra-party vitriol superceded logic, reason, common sense and commitment to what is best for the party and the country.

    STOP BASHING HILLARY.

    STOP BASHING PALIN.

    START BASHING OBAMA FOR BEING SUCH A DIVISIVE, UNITER.

    September 17, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  12. Foreign Observer

    Republican smear without any evidence - gee. Who would have thought?

    September 17, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  13. Karen

    lying idiots....

    September 17, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  14. Charlie, Key West

    No he can't because we're UNITED.

    Democrats 08.

    September 17, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  15. Baze

    Now the G.O.P. is playing the victim role? They're just as confused as McCain

    ONE NATION

    September 17, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  16. Carole

    I think it was very smart of Hillary to back out of this rally. I am sure McBush wanted to use the appearance of Hillary and Palin together to try to deceive women (once again) to think the two shared commonalities. Please review their differences/policies (Dems & Repubs) Americans don't let this be another election that stupid people elect stupid leaders!!! We can't afford 4 more years of this travesty!!!!

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

    Of course they would say that. They are trying to use this event for political means, and that's why Clinton wont show up. Frankly I don't blame her either, I wouldn't want to be shown on the same stage as Palin either. She is a joke. McCain is a joke.

    September 17, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  18. J. Huck

    Leave her alone, she doesn't want to attend with Palin for photo op. Sorry Republicans, can't have her as a material for your next dubious ad.

    Why don't you invite George Bush or Dick Cheney instead, that will be better, don't you think?

    September 17, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  19. CD

    John McCain is crying now? I don't believe it! So Mccain's plan is to give America their "Election Idol" = Palin as a celebrity while hiding the truth about his plans and her records thereby calling Americans fools. LOl! What happened republicans? Saw Obama back on top of the Gallup Poll and freaked out? Palin? hahahahah, you wait till next week Friday and Obama will literally fry McCain on the economy and everyone will see that Obama had to treat Hillary differently during the debates because of respect and not to annoy the base as uniter.

    September 17, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  20. TRBoston

    Another day, another lie.

    September 17, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  21. ncharge

    Clinton should have canceled. We are all getting use to the "ad's" of the McCain camp...they would have had a field day with this one. Palin was a prop for the McCain camp and now after the bad Convention speech they will try anything.

    I want to know if in fact the question Palin was asked today was from one of the reporters travelling with her? Palin is very spooky. she is cute but gosh she definitely seem vindictive and not so smart. It appears she liked the attention at first. One could only imagine what if they are truly elected? I would like to hear more about the economy solutions then canned answers. Let her answer 2 or 3 questions vs. 1 and that's it...

    Still Undecided...

    September 17, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  22. heather

    I love cnn, you are my source for info. Yet you guys are being biased. you never updated the polls on ticker on time when they ar at Obama's advantage. I will leave you and will blog on your biased nature. The polls changed on the election center page

    September 17, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  23. Sean

    If you can't beat them, drag them down to your level...

    September 17, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  24. LS

    Read the headline – first thing (word) that came to mind was LIE.

    McCain's camp is just one big fat LIE. Well, correction . . not just one but many, many LIES.

    Good for Hillary – I wouldn't want to be on the same stage as Palin either.

    "Stop Iran. Now" rally? Is this the title of McCain's hopeful 3rd war that is on the top of his priority agenda?

    September 17, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  25. environmentally blue

    And I sure hope the group doesn't disinvite Palin. They should be question Barry and another example of do what I say not as I do.

    The event will have no meaning what so ever if they fall pressure to politicians this way.

    GO SARAH!

    September 17, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
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