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 “Senator Clinton has since withdrawn from the engagement, presumably at the behest of the Obama campaign, and according to news reports, Senator Obama's campaign may be leaning on organizers to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

    And you believe that.

    September 17, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  2. PALIN

    I can fix the economy, I can see Bank of Wasilla from my house!

    September 17, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  3. S. Boatman

    No One Is Pressuring Hillary To Not Attend. . . She Is Just Too Smart To Fall For Your Republican Tricks! You Just Want A Photo Op With Palin And Clinton But Its Not Happening! Nice Try!

    September 17, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  4. Cry Baby Hillary

    Hillary is upset that she is not longer the Alpha female in US Government.

    September 17, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  5. Rich

    Poor McCain, those pesky things called "facts" always get in the way.

    Maybe the problem is his campaign is focusing on Clinton when they should be focusing on the economny during some of the worst days in our history.

    Pay attention to the real problems McCain!!!!

    September 17, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |

    Palin is a farce.

    September 17, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  7. Lisa

    John McCain is scared to directly accuse Clinton. Why? Because his plan to get Hillary voters with Sarah Palin could backfire. He could care less about women issues. He just needs their vote for a couple months, then he's going to dump them.

    John McCain is a coward!

    And P.S. John McCain isnt a war hero! To be a war hero, you have to preform an act of heroism in war. Being a POW doesnt qualify you for that. Especially when you gave the enemy propoganda videos and told them of troop movements.

    Also, a close sourse told me McCain was to blame for the fire on the aircraft carrier. This source was on that ship. John McCains father covered up this because he had the power to do so.

    September 17, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  8. Greg, Indiana

    Obama couldn't even travel to New Orleans earlier in the year to talk about issues still plaguing citizens of Hurricane Katrina. You think he'll attend this one? Not enough people there to cheer him on . . .

    September 17, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  9. Susan

    I don't think anyone could push Hillary. She's a strong woman. She has her own mind!

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

    Perhaps Joe Biden is American gentleman enough to "be on the same stage" with a nasty republican...
    \You democrats are sickeningly partisan.

    September 17, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  11. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Excuse me, but how does having both a prominent Rep. and Dem. appearing there for a common cause like keeping nukes from Iran make it 'partisan'? In fact it makes it just the opposite. Everyone agrees that Iran should not have nukes, so what's the problem with both Palin and Clinton saying so? It shows Iran and the world that the US is united on this issue. Clinton is the one who made this partisan.

    September 17, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  12. Concerned Citizen, IN

    Why is CNN even reporting this if there is absolutely no facts to back up the claim? "Presumably" how I can use that in a sentence:

    Presumably CNN has journalistic integrity, though there is no evidence to back up that claim.

    September 17, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  13. mayah

    These republicans are full of CRAP , Hillary is a LADY, she goes where she wants to , behaves appropriately even under pressure, she has GREAT CHARACTER, so go JUMP in the ICY waters of Alaska, and stop trying to nit pick.. get to the issues IMPEACH THE PITBULL

    September 17, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  14. Republi-Con

    There's no source..that just fodder for the ignorant and for those who hate Obama to have a reason to fuel negative emotions toward him. But soon enough they'll have to let the pittbull in lipstick off that leash and we'll see that it's a chihuahua in disguise

    September 17, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  15. Misogyny lives in Obamanation

    The democrats better pull it together.

    First mistake: trashing and sacrificing Hillary to advantage and install Obama.

    Do NOT now pit Hill with Sarah.

    Respect BOTH women.

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

    Pardon me, but Sen Clinton is a very Grown up and Mature Woman capable of making up her mind whether to do something...or Not. Unlike Gov Palin who is incapable of having a thought of her own.

    Give me a break.....this insinuation is a new LOW for McCain and his crew.

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

    The McSame/Palin misinformation Goon Squad can never leave anything alone without trying to put an anti-Obama spin on it. Then they have the nerve to complain when Obama says anything about McSame.

    Say NO to Bush 44.

    September 17, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  18. Paula, Los Angeles CA

    No surprise here! These are the typical slimy tactics of the republican party in this election.... anything and everything that happens, blame Obama! Incredible! They have even found ways of blaming Obama for natural disasters! These repug liars are an insult and an indication of the moral defects in American society!

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08!

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

    If Hillary Clinton had wanted to attend this rally with Sarah Palin, I doubt seriously that there would be much Obama or his campaign staff could do to stop her. McCain's campaign wants to make this about Obama to get the focus off the economic news this week since McCain has no clue about economics. Since the news media follows McCain and hangs on his every word as if it were gospel, McCain will probably get his wish.

    September 17, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  20. SW Washington St.

    Uhh..I dont think ANYBODY tell Hillary what to do.. Mccain is a bone head!!!

    September 17, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  21. kathe]

    Somone should show the clip of the Israel hater guest at palins church this summer at which palen was in attendance,check the facts for me please cnn.

    September 17, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  22. Still for Hill but now ONLY for Hill

    So much for bipartisanship

    We can not even agree to agree.

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

    H I L L A R Y ' S---P R I C E ::::::::::: $ 10 ---M I L L I O N----

    A N D---T H E N---I ' L L---–S P E A K--–A N D---–

    A N S W E R---Q U E S T I O N S--–A L W A Y S---

    S U B S E R V I E N T---T O--–M A C H O--- M A N

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

    McCain is just trying to use a psych trick where you say a clear lie but it imprints on people's minds whereby they start subconsciously believing it. Brother-pucker! Trust me, Obama didn't have to even know about the event for Clinton to pull out of it the moment she heard Palin would be there trying to feed off of the Clinton kitchen.

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

    I think that this is a serious accusation and if there is no proof of Obama doing this then I think it is time we start calling McCain what he is a liar. I think it is stupid for any Presidental or VP candidate to be at this rally. You may actually have to sit down with these people in the very near future and for you to attend something like that is just stupid. Does the McCain campaign have any plans or do they just wing it everyday. This is suppose to be the experienced one no wonder he tried to switch to change. McCain is a joke.

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