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 “Senator Clinton has since withdrawn from the engagement, presumably at the behest of the Obama campaign, and according to news reports, Senator Obama's campaign may be leaning on organizers to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

    Obama needs to get off his message of John McCain is another 4 years of George Bush. They're two very different men. Sounds Republicans say that Obama is another 4 years of Bill Clinton's kind of sleeze? . . . . Exactly.

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

    another desperate republican attempt to distract from the real issues! how will john mccain fix the economic problems? with a commission? are you kidding me? a vote for the mccain/palin ticket is a vote for lobbyists running the white house again. look at their staff -> all lobbyists

    September 17, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. RAC - Illinois

    Hillary Clinton is quite her own woman, and it would take a group of clueless conservative men to accuse this woman of being able to be manipulated like they are used to manipulating the women in their own party to do and say what they, the men, would like them to do and say. How RUDE. How DEMEANING toward Hillary. I agree with Barack. THEY JUST DON'T GET IT. Their Palin Puppet and our Hillary have NOTHING IN COMMON. I continue to be amazed at the idiocy of the Republican party.

    September 17, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  4. Foreign observer

    Hillary Clinton is a Democrat !!! Hillary Clinton is a Democrat !!!
    She does whatever is best for her friends Obama / Biden !

    September 17, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  5. Nancy

    The McCain Campaign will do and say anything to win an election! It is amazing to me how he sleeps well at night. I was stupid to actually believe what he said in the primaries, "I will run a campaign on issues". When is that going to happen McCain? You have lied, cheated the American people from the deserving truth, insulted all women thinking that we will vote for you JUST b/c Palin has breasts! (As if making your mistress , your current wife wasn't enough!) You have lost my vote b/c I will NEVER vote for a President that has the same level of integrity as every vilian in every movie I've ever seen

    September 17, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  6. Joe in MN

    Conduct unbecoming McCain.

    September 17, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  7. jfs Memhis, Tn

    Now that's Novel !!! Who's on who's side??? I think that McCain is fearful that Hillary will knock Palin and her lack of qualifications right out of the RING. Go Hillary !!! Thanks for supporting Obama.

    September 17, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  8. Apples for sale

    Sarah couldnt carry Hillarys you know what,and Im not a Hillary fan.

    September 17, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  9. Jerry in Boston

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

    Now there's a surprise.

    September 17, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  10. Woman Republican for Obama

    Why on earth would Hillary want to appear with No Experience, No Good Judgement Sarah (Yak Yak) Palin.

    All you supposed Hillary supporters are really closet Republicans trying to stir up trouble. Guess what WE Obama lovers are on to you.

    Get a life, you're candidate (McNutcase) is not going to be the next President.

    Obama will win by a landslide!!! WHoppee!

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

    Wow you liberal Democrats really are in a panic – listen to you all – this is so entertaining – don't you realize, no one is listening to you anymore except the Hollywood fools?
    You have lost your touch and are now striking out in ay way you can – you look very foolish. and comical

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

    First they say the obama camp "tainted" the investigation in Alaska. Now this...? I feel like everyday, it's a new lie! I would not want to be near Palin either

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

    More garbage from McCain. When is he going to stop flip flopping on the economy and start talking about real issues?

    September 17, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  14. Hillary Supporters

    Hillary, do not let him "use" you. The first one in the campaign to use SMEAR TACTICS is Obama.

    When he was talking to a crowd of his supporters, he said: "SOMEONE, SOMEONE, in this race has been talking about HEALTHCARE for 8 years, then another 4 years. What did that person accomplish? Are we going to give her four more years? "

    We know you were attacking Hillary. But you were very skillful and sneaky by not mentioning her name.

    As angry Hillary supporters, we remember this clearly: YOU ARE THE ONE USING SMEAR TACTICS TO KNOCK DOWN HILLARY.

    McCain / Palin 08!

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

    The trial to take party of HRC from Republicans is nice but stupid. HRC from all her heart is a Democrat. She does all to succeed against dumb Rep politics.

    September 17, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  16. Dee Jay in florida

    Why all of a sudden the republicans LIKE Hillary Clinton ?

    LOL they think the democrates are stupid


    September 17, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  17. Former Hillary supporter

    Hillary has lost our trust. She is acting like Obama’s dogs…she will talk if being asked and will act when Obama asks for!

    September 17, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  18. Deb

    Are you kidding with the dow slipping another 300 points, AIG just being bailed out and all the McCain campaign can do is complain that Hillary Clinton did not appear with their vice presidential candidate. Give me a break.

    Also, big deal...Sara Palin answered a solo question. In these times this is ridiculous bull crap!

    September 17, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  19. Allen

    Because republicans wouldn't think of pressuring Clinton.

    Republicans are shameless. Period. All of 'em.

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

    Latest Gallup Poll has Obama at 47% and McCain at 45%.

    The lies are not working, the faux celebrity VP is not working, the sleazy ads are not working and the tableaux of a third Bush term is weighing on the people. Looks like McCain sold out his soul for nothing.

    September 17, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  21. ric

    Lots of SCARED LIBERALS on here – LOL

    McCain / Palin 08!!!!

    September 17, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  22. Carl29

    C'mon you really believe that Hillary want to put herself to the same level of Sarah Palin? Hillary is not dumb; she understand that the only one benefited by standing next to her is Sarah Palin, for she will look like a serious statewoman. I totally agree with Hillary on this one. She is keep her distance from Palin; in other words, she is telling Sarah: NO, YOU AND I ARE NOT AT THE SAME LEVEL, DEAR ! !

    September 17, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  23. Ray

    The McCain camp thinks America is dumb like them.

    They are desperately trying to upgrade Sarah Palin's credentials and getting Hillary who is an institution by herself to join a superlight weight like Sarah Palin would have solidified her on the national scene.

    It's good that Hillary graciously declined joining forces with Palin to protest against Iran's hothead president to shore up her "foreign policy" credentials.
    Let McCain take her to the United Nations so she can be on "foreign soil".

    Why do they bring Sarah Palin who is actively campaining to be elected with Hillary who is not vying for any political office?
    It was a dumb and desperate political move that backfired.

    Once again, they are creating a diversion from the economic discussion. Don't let them get away – pin them down tight.
    They're very uncomfortable when economics if the frontal issue – they'll do everything to change the subject.
    Wall Street!
    Wall Street!!
    Wall Street!!

    ... is falling apart and the center cannot hold!

    Not Iran's Ahmadenege..(is that the spelling?)


    September 17, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  24. Debby

    I think Sen. Clinton can make up her own mind without Obama campaign pressure. I am disappointed that she won't be there though because of her talk of bi-partisanship in her campaign and she said in debate after debate she will reach across the isle vs. Obama. There is nothing wrong with her and Sen. Palin attending this event together. Where is Joe Biden anyway shouldn't he be doing this vs. Clinton. He is the VP pick still isn't he?

    September 17, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  25. Palin is Bush 2008

    McGimmick should focus more on his 'verbiage' and witch craft selected gimmick and leave the REAL work to REAL Candidates.

    September 17, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
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