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 “Senator Clinton has since withdrawn from the engagement, presumably at the behest of the Obama campaign, and according to news reports, Senator Obama's campaign may be leaning on organizers to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

    Oh Please- thats sexist to think Hillary Clinton wouldn't make that call on her own!! LOL
    No but seriously the fact that you think Hillary would be "told what to do" by Obama is obsurd. it makes complete sense to me that she wouldn't want to appear on the same stage as Palin- don't find it far fetched at all! This is not meant to be a partisan event and Hillary Clinton is avoiding it so it doesn't turn into one. Its best the focus be on the issue of Iran- not Hillary and Palin being there!!

    I for one respect her decision and understand it completely!

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 17, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  2. Chris

    I think i'm gonna stop watching the news until the debates. I'm only getting angry and frustrated when I see articles like this. I CAN'T WAIT TILL OBAMA FRIES MCCAIN, AND BIDEN HUMILIATES PALIN.

    Btw...CNN won't post this for obvious reasons.

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




    MCCAIN ACCUSES!!!!!!!!




    September 17, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  4. bruja

    Senator Clinton can make her own decisions! She does not need Obama to tell her what to do.

    September 17, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  5. Paula

    If McCain voters read this little paragraph, (and god forbid should he win), someday you will remember we tried to warn you.

    September 17, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  6. gl

    Let's talk about Palin refusing to coorperated with her investigation and now the Republ wants to file sutie.

    September 17, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  7. BIG ED

    McCain/Palin has jumped the shark, Downhill from here on in ..Too many lies, and they won't stop them. Too much corruption, Palin is stonewalling an investigation. McCain has no idea what to do about the economy, "forming a commission" is the most wussy plan yet. And finally, the public and the press don't like being lied to, and aren't buying the crap anymore. It'll take a few days, maybe a week, for it to show up in the polls, but once you are branded as a liar, it sticks. It's over. Mark my words.

    September 17, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  8. Angela Frazier, Memphis TN

    Since when has Obama been able to MAKE Clinton do anything?!?

    September 17, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  9. Brad

    Again today McLiar twisted the truth to attack Obama. McIdiot railed about Obama taking money from Fannie Mae. The plain truth is that Fannie and all corporations give tax deductable contributions to candidates. Prior to the 2006 elections, when the GOP was in control of Congress. Fannie gave slightly over half of their donations to Republican candidates. This year Fannie gave slightly over half of the donations to Democrat candidates to include among many,Obama.
    No big deal at all just the usual political donations that occur every years. Several Republican senators also recieved this money from Fannie.

    September 17, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  10. miles

    Of course Obama was behind Hillary stepping aside.Trust me, the Obama team is very much aware of what they are doing. However, Clinton should still be there as the cause is bigger than the politics. This organization had every right to ask Palin to attend also. Their goal is to garner attention. Barack Obama is letting us down with his negative campaign change...same old same old crap.

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

    another mccain smear attempt?uhg!

    September 17, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  12. Denise

    McCain is ALWAYS making claims that can not be backed up....for instance, his whole stump speech is a claim with no merit. I fail to see why people defend him.

    September 17, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  13. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    So send Biden–I'm sure the he could portray the Obama agenda on Iran.
    Oh that's right...he (and Obama) want to talk the Iranians out of taking over the middle east through terrorist networks and nuclear weapons through diplomacy. His method of stopping Iran would entail boring them to sleep–and HOPEing for the best.

    September 17, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  14. Melissa Petoskey, MI

    More proof that McCain sees women as airheads. I'm sure Hillary Clinton made that decision herself, she is hardly the pushover, as we witnessed during the primaries.

    As for McCain's belief that the economy is fundamentally sound and his explanation behind that comment:

    Fundamentals- The qualitive and quantitave information that contributes to the economic well being and the subsequent financial valuationof a company, security, or currency.

    Fool me once, John McCain..........

    September 17, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. obama all the way

    Dear Mr Mcwarmonger-insane-




    September 17, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  16. She should attend.

    Whether or not Obama pressured her to cancel does not matter. This is an important rally for the US and Israel as well as all the other nations that are worried about a nuclear capable Iran. As a United States Senator, Hillary should attend to show support towards our allies.

    I can't wait till this election is over and we can all get back to just being Americans.

    September 17, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  17. Hillary Clinton

    Bill and I are actually secretly supporting John but don't tell Barack.
    He still thinks we're out campaigning for him.

    September 17, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  18. Palin is Bush 2008

    Is the Witchcraft over from Alaska McCain's new shiny toy? It looks like he goes for the pretty kind, why, with all of his womanizing back in the days we can say one thing about him:

    You can't teach an old dog new tricks.....

    McGimmick, take your shiny new toy and STFD and STFU!

    September 17, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. Chuck

    Hillary is not pressured by anyone (not even Bill). She would not let the Obama camp pressure her and certainly will not let the McCain camp presure her.

    Hillary canceled her appearance as she understands that Palin is not in her league. Why should Hillary appear with a 2nd rate Mayor/Governor from Alaska who thinks foreign policy is based on what countries you can see from your back door.

    September 17, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  20. Quinn - Houston, Texas

    Hillary is her OWN woman. Obama CANNOT tell her what to do.

    What does Obama have that he can take away from Hillary if she doesn't comply with his wishes? NOTHING!

    The McCain camp is in disarray!

    Even Republicans would have to admit that someone running for Vice President of the United States should not make HEADLINES for taking a question from a reporter. It's laughable.

    Obama / Biden 08!

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

    McCain's camp need to keep their dirty, lying, hypocritical paws off Hillary! Did they forget she is a REAL strong, intelligent, female politicians that can think for herself! She doesn't have a crew of handlers telling her what to do and how to say it? Shame on them....they'll just use and female or any situation for whatever reason that they see as potentially beneficial. Slimeballs....I need to go take a shower....the garbage coming out of their mouths is so vile I can feel it through the computer.

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

    How is it partisan if both Hillary (a Democrat) and Palin (a Republican) appear at the event. Didn't Hillary turn it into a partisan event by bailing?

    It was an apparently partisan event when Hillary was the only representative of either party invited to speak. Including Palin made it non-partisan. So why is Hillary claiming she dropped out because it was partisan? did she drop out before Palin was invited?

    Help me out here.

    September 17, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. JR, Columbus, Ohio

    No doubt that she pulled out of this under pressure from Obama. It makes her look like a partisan hack, though. I'll bet she changes her mind and attends. Mrs. Clinton will not be bullied by Obama and Axelrod.

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

    I guess McCain campaign would put anything wrong happening to him and his campaign on Obama's back...the funny thing is they are not even ashamed of making such statement!

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

    The McCain camp making statements they can't back up? Really? Since when did this start happening? Oh yeah – since he entered the 2008 election

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