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. Anne E.

    Is this the best an independent group has to offer?
    Its members need to find other work - now.

    October 1, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  2. thomas from Alabama

    I do not think Mccain camp wants to sling mud about preachers. His camp is filled with right wing radical preachers. They keep using religon to try to get people to vote against their own self-interest. People can keep being weak minded and brain washed or wake up and elect someone who is intelligent and can run this country the best.

    October 1, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  3. SO WHAT!

    I don't really care about his alleged links. Ayers has more links to Clinton since he was the one who pardoned him from the crimes. It was Sean hannity and G. Stepanopoulous who made up this.

    As far as Rev Wright goes, Barack left the church and has no ties to it. And quite frankly I saw the sermons from this rev. he is nothing like Barack . There is no connection between these 2 guys, Wright is crazy and Barack never acts like that.

    rezko is not vital either, there is more scandal with the keating 5 and McCain and trooper-gate with Palin.

    October 1, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  4. Annette

    Swift, just drift......there is a new deal ahead and the majority of American people no the game...

    October 1, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  5. Jimbo

    Desperation (like these ads) is the final step before concession. Keep going Obama, you are almost there...!

    October 1, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  6. Texas Chic NOT voting for Va-jay-jay...

    Desperate times call for desperate measures I see...


    October 1, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  7. Melly

    DESPERATE REPUBLICANS bring themselves to a new LOW


    October 1, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  8. No McSame

    Old news. Just signs that McCain is getting desperate.

    October 1, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  9. DB

    Can't wait until the ad comes out showing Palin and the witchdoctor! Only fair......

    October 1, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  10. Observant Utahn

    Well, a Democrat 527 need only go for an ad about Sarah Palin's former pastor Ed Kalnins...

    October 1, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  11. Jak

    I guess it's time to break out the ol' Keating 5 ad now. That should level the playing field.

    October 1, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  12. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    Ho hum. Old news. That bullet was shot ages ago and Obama survived.


    October 1, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  13. Marc

    'bout time. Obama's racist background and shady business dealings have been swept under the rug by the liberal media. Amusing how you geeks think this is a non-issue. Thanks, but I'll take my loyal POW anytime. I'm proud to say I've convinced many of my fellow Virginians to vote McCain/Palin next month.

    October 1, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  14. T.O, New York, NY

    I said it!!!! It finally has started happening. The only card McCain and the GOP have left to pay is the race & fear card......and trust me they will play it.

    October 1, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  15. A Woman In California For Obama:

    Well, let the games begin... let's hear about Keating 5 and the way McCain left his first (crippled) wife for a greener pasture. The list goes on and on so as I said let the games begin!

    October 1, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  16. phoner

    Talk about a failure in judgement. The truth hurts, doesn't it!

    October 1, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  17. Doug, New Jersey

    About time. If every American who is voting this year knows the truth about Barak Obama then McCain wins in a landslide, well in states with good Americans, the ultra-blue hate America lib states will actually go more Obama if they hear Wright's rants but then again they would vote Osama Bin Laden over any republican anyway. I know, I deal with such people every day.

    October 1, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  18. redhead from Toronto

    God Almighty .... How do these people live with themselves? Why don;t they just come out and say what they really think, as if we didn't already know. Won't make any difference though, GO Obama/Biden, GO,GO,GO, Everybody VOTE, watch out for the dirty tricks from the GOP, make sure your vote gets counted. Today, I am happy, there is HOPE...

    October 1, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  19. David NY

    Did'nt they try this already ?

    October 1, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  20. proudly for Hillary, warming up to Obama

    Desperate, desperate, desperate-

    This reverend "controversy" is so seven months ago.

    It didn't help Hillary win the nomination, and it won't help a man who agrees with George W Bush 90 percent of the time.

    I'm not even sure which "W" is more of a liability- Reverend W or George W.

    October 1, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  21. D&D

    This shows how desperate McCain has become...

    October 1, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |

    We are so frustrated with the NEGATIVE, ANGRY, DIVISIVE, HATEFUL ads from the Republicans...... VOTERS..... PLEASE VOTE AGAINST (ALL) REPUBLICANS.... PLEASE

    October 1, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  23. fella from Chicago

    Oh, this will work all right. People just need to be reminded about Barack's dirty past just before the election. When the white folk and VFW vet see the racist Wright and Ayers in front of them on TV, they'll go to the polls with those images freshly etched in their minds and vote for the good senator from Arizona. Smart move.

    October 1, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  24. no trickle down...

    It was just a matter of time before McShame went from generally dishonorable to down right disgusting!

    The straight talk express got abandoned and torched a while back.

    October 1, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  25. Obama=true American

    Stop stop stop!!

    Obama for America by Americans!!

    October 1, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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