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. Alice

    why am I not surprised?

    the lower McCain sinks in the polls, the lower his campaign stoops

    October 1, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Didn't McCain realize that everyone got really sick of his negative campaign earlier in the summer and it worked for a while and then backfired. It makes him look desperate which is not too flattering and surely does not instill confidence in him. If this continues, then the Democrats will have no choice but to show such clips as the witch hunting" preacher on stage with Palin or many of the skeletons in McCain's closet. This could unleash a lot that they don't want uncovered. I'm just afraid that the Republican administration might somehow drum up some foreign policy crisis which McCain would milk for all it's worth. They've done it before and played the "fear" card. They can't be trusted.

    October 1, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  3. Annie, Atlanta

    Hold onto your hats, folks. We're going from silly season to downright nasty season.

    October 1, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  4. Trysh, Los Angeles

    I love it!! This – to me – the sure sign that the Republicans are running out the little ammo they had. This is their trump and it didn't work once and it won't work this time. Besides, the video with Palin's Pastor is not just scary, but entertaining as all get out. His voice is HIII LARIOUS!

    Oh...and lets all wait for the "bitter" commercials to come out next.

    In 5...4...3...2...

    October 1, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  5. Steve in DC

    Desperation is so transparent. This is hilarious!!!

    October 1, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  6. Sean

    How pitiful. Reverend Wright is Reverend Wright. Obama is Obama. If Obama actually espoused Reverend Wright's extremist views on politics, then fine – go ahead and make it an issue. But he doesn't, so get over it. Or would McCain like us to start focusing attention on his own bigotted preachers as well....

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

    POCHOLO- Get over it!!

    We are through with the GOP's- It is Time 4 Change

    Obama/Biden 08

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

    Yawn...... old news from the OLD MAN. How pathetic

    October 1, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  9. McCrazy

    remember when mccain said he would run a clean campaign?

    i guess that was only when he thought he could win.

    October 1, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  10. Independent woman voter

    Still voting for Obama. If McCain had chosen a more experience running mate I would have considered him Instead he chose Palin. That sealed the deal for me.

    October 1, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  11. McHoover Would Destroy What's Left of America

    And McCain wonders why we don't want him running our country?

    October 1, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  12. maria Mtl, Can.

    How desperate Mcshame is.... Palin tomorrow and him from the beginning never show leadership, instead going with lies and distortion, ads. That's why the poll are against him and he just don't get it... Is this old man is senile... Yes he is...

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

    Same old same old, donate the money to charity, Breast Cancer organizations needs money now for awareness.
    Stop this waste of money and patient of the voters.

    October 1, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  14. Katie S

    BUSH/PALIN can you spell -D-E-S-P-E-R-A-T-I-O-N? Look it up in the dicitionary. Oops I forgot Palin is mum on what she reads! Sorry Webster's Dictionary!

    October 1, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  15. Heather

    They are getting desperate. I wanted Hillary and was going to vote McCain. But I've come to my senses and I would love nothing more to get the garbage Repubs out of the WH. I don't know how there can be anyone else in these United States that is willing to support these pathetic failures. How much more can Bush do to this country? He started a war we didn't need and killed hundreds of thousands of innocents, he ruined our standing in the world and now to top it off he goes out of office with a bang watching our country's economy go down the tubes. And of course when his big buddies on Wall Street are in trouble he wants to bail them out and give them their big fat paychecks while all the poor people work harder to pay for it. Repubs should just go to bed and cover their heads for 4 years. It's time to give Dems a chance b/c Repubs had 8 years and they blew everything they possibly could.

    October 1, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  16. values


    vOTE OBAMA......08

    October 1, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  17. Mel

    Wow, McCain is so pathetic. That just inspired me to donate to Obama's campaign.

    October 1, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  18. Dan , TX

    I've been waiting for that. Republicans OUT OUT OUT of office. Now I'm mad.

    October 1, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  19. RZ

    Unfortunately this plays into the small-mindedness of some people who need a reason, any reason, to latch on to hate. Let's see if Palin uses this propaganda in her ramblings.

    October 1, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  20. Haas

    What about Palin and her trial? Fellow Americans, don't get duped in '08!!!

    October 1, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  21. McCain Invented the BlackBerry, Palin Invented the Manure Spreader


    Keating Five


    Ethics Investigation


    Savings and Loan Scandal


    October 1, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  22. Clyde

    And thus begins the fun. Stay tuned for the ugliest attacks in electoral history. Republicans hate losing.

    October 1, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  23. Matt

    Hey Chelle: No. We do NOT go down this dusgusting road...we take the high one. Ignore it people, nothign to see here. Just more vitriolic filth from the Republicans.

    October 1, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  24. Rob

    McCain is truly desperate–go for a hike . your a waste of time old man

    October 1, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  25. mk

    Does McCain really think nobody knows about all this stuff?
    Geeeeeeeeeeeeeeze..he is out of touch.

    October 1, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
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