October 1st, 2008
06:20 PM ET
10 years ago

New ad targeting Obama features connection to Rev. Wright

A new Independent ad targets Obama's past associations.

A new Independent ad targets Obama's past associations.

(CNN) - The conservative group Judicial Confirmation Network is launching a new television ad in key battleground states Wednesday that in part features Barack Obama's ties to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the controversial pastor who nearly derailed the Illinois senator's presidential bid last spring.

The independent ad is the first campaign spot in the general election to highlight Obama's lengthy relationship with Wright, a subject that generated considerable media scrutiny during the primary season but one John McCain has said should not be an issue in the race for the White House.

The ad also ties Obama to William Ayers and Tony Rezko - two prominent and controversial figures in Chicago. Ayers, a University of Chicago professor, was a founder of the 1960's radical group Weatherman that claimed responsibility for bombing the Pentagon. Rezko is a real estate developer convicted earlier this year of mail fraud, attempted extortion and money laundering who helped Obama secure a property in Chicago. Both men have been longtime supporters of Obama's political career, but the Illinois senator has said he is not close to either one of them.

Earlier: McCain says Ayers connection 'open to question'

A spokeswoman for the group says more than $500,000 is being spent on the ad, which is set to run in Ohio and Michigan markets through Election Day. It will also run nationally on Fox News during the upcoming debates.

The organization is classified as a 501(c)4, and as such does not have to disclose its donors to the Federal Election Commission. it's the second 501(c)4 to launch an ad attacking Obama Wednesday — Veterans for Freedom, which opposes his position on the war in Iraq, is spending more than $2 million on an ad taking aim at the Illinois senator.

"Choosing the right justices is critical for America," the ad's announcer states. "We don't know who Barack Obama would choose, but we know this: He chose as one of his first financial backers a slumlord now convicted on 16 counts of corruption. Obama chose as an associate a man who helped to bomb the Pentagon and said he ‘didn't do enough.’ And Obama chose as his pastor a man who has blamed America for the 9/11 attacks.

"Obama chose to associate with these men, while voting against these men," the announcer also says, as images of current Supreme Court Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito are shown.

The group, which advocates naming conservative justices to the bench, says the ad is part of a $1 million grassroots campaign to "to raise awareness and recruit activists on the critical issue of the U.S. Supreme Court." The campaign will also include an extensive outreach effort including direct mail, e-mail, and text messaging.

soundoff (339 Responses)
  1. Frank

    The more negative that the right-wing goes, the further behind McCain gets.

    You would think that they would learn eventually. But maybe they just can't help themselves.

    The evidence is accumulating that conservatism is actually an obsessive-compulsive disorder, not a political ideology.

    October 1, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  2. Scott A

    Racists or bigots...that's the only way to describe the people making these ads. Hypocrites as well since I doubt they'll run an ad about McCain and his Keating 5 involvement or Palin and her pastor in Nebraska.

    Only morons would buy into these type of anti-Obama ads.

    October 1, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  3. help us all

    this is old news

    October 1, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  4. bibek

    I knew this would happen sooner or later.

    The republican's will do ANYTHING to win the WH.

    Shame on you.. how low can you go?

    October 1, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  5. Donna

    Anyone considering voting for McCain–or needing corroboration as to how unsuitable for office he is–should read the comprehensive piece about him in the new issue of Rolling Stone. It addresses his character deficiencies, his lapses of integrity, and the utter lie that his "Maverick" image is.

    October 1, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  6. CM

    Here comes the kitchen sink strategy which is only given credibility by those already looking for a reason to justify their vote for McCain.

    Doubt this 'swiftboat' tactic will work twice for the GOP. I doubt if they'll like if Pastor Mufti (Palin's witchdoctor) makes an appearance in ads.

    October 1, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  7. Mark

    Folks, these are the issues! I don't like McCain, but Obama has too many skeletons in the closet. The truth doesn't go away, even if you want it to.


    October 1, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  8. Neil

    Can you say desperate?

    October 1, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |


    October 1, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  10. Dready1Rasta

    Haven't we seen this movie before?....Yawn......Oh, and by the way thanks Hillary.....we won't forget.

    October 1, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  11. Republican Woman For Obama


    October 1, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  12. Barack & Roll

    I'm sorry but this story was sooo 6 months ago! Did no one hear about the oodles of scandles Mccain was involved in? Cough Cough...KEATING 5!!!

    October 1, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  13. JayT.

    Are you a fearful and ignorant person? If so, send your campaign donation to McCain/ Palin because they will come up with a lot more scary, ignorant images for you.

    October 1, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  14. Wake up America

    Desperation at it's ugliest!

    Republicans have sunk to the lowest of the low.

    So much for being the party of morals.

    It didn't work before, and it won't work now... been there done that.

    October 1, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  15. Jerry in Missouri

    The truth hurts, doesn't it?

    NObama...No Way...No How

    October 1, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  16. sdofelmier

    Let's talk about Mr. McCains infidelity to his first wife, and Cindy McCains adultry when she beded down with John. If the McCain people (Carl Rove) want to open up the judgment of each canidate based on their personal lives, then this is fair game as well.

    October 1, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  17. Dee in Atlanta

    So, snake charmer-witch hunting preachers are okay now? It might be a really good idea if the folks with the pebbles place them gently back on the ground since there's a real possibility the big rocks could start flying soon. Pitiful effort.

    October 1, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  18. Beverly, NYC

    Okay Obama no more Mr. Nice Guy unleash the 527's time to bring up the Keating 5, and Miss Cindy's theft and drug issues.

    October 1, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  19. Tom

    I love Rev Wright!!!

    October 1, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  20. History Repating

    MoreoftheSame = Rezko

    Dubya = Ayers

    MooseHunter = Rev. Wright

    ..And in case ya didn know it :Sen WcCain made a stop in Washington last week to borrow dubya's ear piece before the debate.

    October 1, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  21. Wendy One

    It's about time the heat was turned up on "NOBAMA"! Where's all his off-shore campaign money coming from?? Who's trying to buy the election for him?

    October 1, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  22. Even Steven

    Okay, the gloves are off. Time to release:

    The Wasilla witchdoctor pastor footage
    Angry McCain footage (take your pick)
    "Keating 5" footage
    Aerial wolf killing footage
    Alaskan Independence Party convention footage
    McCain missed 65% of this year's Senate votes (including the new GI Bill)
    Cindy stealing meds from her charity
    McCain's extra-marital affairs including with Cindy

    October 1, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  23. Samilton

    The closer we get to D-Day the uglier it's going to get from MCain. He has nothing else to hang his hat on.

    I feel sorry for him. He really thinks the American people are stupid.

    McCain should retire and live out the rest of his life stress free – he can AFFORD it.

    It's not going to work!

    Obama '08

    October 1, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  24. terry

    Well...didn't we know that this was coming! They were probably hoping to release this closer to the election but are responding to the recent polls!

    October 1, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  25. please

    All this ad is going to do is raise more money for Obama. I'm sending in another $100 tonight when I get hope. Thanks GOP for encouraging more participation from me.

    October 1, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
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