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. Frantz from Atlanta

    Desperate time calls for desperate measures.

    October 1, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  2. Christian Fort Lauderdale

    Its ABOUT TIME!! Most of my friends HAVE NO IDEA!! Most people were NOT paying attention during the primaries and are BARELY paying attention NOW! THIS ISSUE CHANGED MY VOTE!! I have always voted Democrat. This is my first vote for a republican president.

    October 1, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  3. Filipina

    McSame you are sooooo desperate, get used of Obama the President!!!!

    October 1, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  4. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    and Palin attended all sorts of whacko churches..... no one cares.

    October 1, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  5. Karrie

    Rev. Wright? Oh yeah, that guy we've heard about like a THOUSAND times!!

    The Republicans don't get it. The country is sliding into the toilet, banks are failing, the investment banks are gone, people are losing their homes, their jobs, some have had their life savings and pensions wiped out, credit is shrinking away. The taxpayer has to put up 700 BILLION dollars, and McCain still wants to talk about something that happened 40 years ago (Ayers). People don't CARE about dirty politics. We've got bigger fish to fry!!

    How would McCain like it if the 501(c)4 groups started beating the Keating 5 drum?

    October 1, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  6. Concerned INDEPENDENT CT voter

    Who honestly hasn't heard about this yet?

    Who didn't expect it?


    October 1, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  7. Jen, Gainesville

    The McCain campaign is shameless and desperate. Compared with Palin's pastor, Wright is a small problem.

    October 1, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  8. Dave in NYC

    Oh Lord, not this AGAIN – get ready for it folks, if you think the Election has been nasty so far.... the GOP is about to get REALLY UGLY with their swift-boat style attacks.


    October 1, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  9. SO WHAT!

    "POCHOLO" : I know it is hard to understand for some people but lets be objective about the candidate. I do agree with you that Rev wright is nuts but you know we haven't seen Obama acting like this. Obama doesn't have control over Rev Wright. But I understand your questioning this, it is natural.
    But remember Obama is not a new senator he has been working in the senate for 11yrs and is well-known, he also has a lot of big wigs supporting him from the very beginning, like Kennedy, Kerry, McCaskill just to name a few. I am sure obama is a good decent man who is being misunderstood.

    October 1, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  10. gerri

    Lets get their names and where they live,or can anyone just smear someone and get away with it?Dont let them hide behind a curtain,we do have libel laws.

    October 1, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  11. Rick

    But will the media investigate Obama's ties to all these losers? Of course not. They'll dig through Palin's cousin's neighbor's garbage cans to try to find something incriminating but they won't lift a finger to find out why Obama thinks these anti-Americans are so wonderful.

    October 1, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  12. dustin

    i think we should put sarah palin's witch doctor in a tv ad

    October 1, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  13. WhiteWomenforObama'08

    When all else fails, enlist the racists to help, huh McCain?

    October 1, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  14. Dougals, Los Angeles

    Un impressed...

    October 1, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  15. jfs Memhis, Tn

    POCHOLO ...........................................

    NO ON CARES............DUDE. That does not affect our Economy, Staying in our Homes, Keeping our Jobs, or our cildrens future. You all need to forget these SILLY ads and put the money in a savings accout !!!!

    October 1, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  16. Bama for Obama


    Give it a break, all the republican are during is trying to gain ground in a losing battle. America is in this shape because of the republican. Republican has had control of the majority control of the House and for 8 plus years. ...And if republicans want to bring in pastors, what about the witchcraft, sprit removing, pastor of Sarah Palin? We didn't get much airtime on that because America was to busy trying to fix the mess the republicans have left the us in. I suggest the republicans check for crazy pastors in their own backyard before they go any further.

    October 1, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  17. Jeff

    This is a really cheap shot at Obama. At the same time why did he have to go to such a radical church that clearly attacks white people? Is it a Chicago thing? A Black radicalist thing? Maybe it's just a liberal thing. It's very strange. Obama has nothing to prove: he's a nice guy with a first rate education and should have no problem effectively debating McCain but to date aside from his pleasing personality, has little to offer about how he will bring about the change we need.

    October 1, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  18. Rezko loves Obama

    It's not Swiftboating if it's true. Thank God they released these attacks. It's about time they did. There is no way someone can honestly argue that Rev. Wright's views are good for America. Not even the smartest liberal (oxymoron, I know) could argue that a "man" who sat in those pews for two decades would be good for America either. I'm glad that Obama is getting an upswing now, but he will surely drift back. Mark my words, on November 3rd the race will be neck and neck. Socialist policies will not ever be accepted in America. It is not my job to put liberals' kids through day care (ie early childhood education). McCain understands that this economy needs to keeps jobs in the US and keep investment and capital flowing. Obama will only stifle that. Obama's supporters are too blinded by their cultish loyalty to see the truth. Obama started it with his dishonest Rush Limbaugh ad, now McCain's only obligation is to release this ad, a Bill Ayers ad and the Obama cocaine ad. I'm afraid all the peruvian marching powder is affecting Obama's judgment.

    October 1, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  19. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    same old GOP smear tactics.... lies and innuendo... because they have nothing to offer Americans but an extension of Bush's 8 rotten years.

    October 1, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  20. Kate

    Time to queue up the tape of Palin's pastor giving her a blessing to protect her from 'witches'.

    October 1, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  21. Lynne - Seattle WA

    They may say the ad is from an independent group...but everyone knows it comes from the Republican party.

    They must really be afraid....fear brings out the UGLY in people.

    October 1, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  22. Kristina, Seattle

    It didn't work in the primaries. It won't work in the general.

    Is this the best they can do?? Pathetic, laughable, and desperate.

    October 1, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  23. Defend Our Constitution

    This didn't work during the primaries, and for very good reasons - it just doesn't reflect at all on Obama. Now McCain wants to try it again?

    Sure, go ahead and waste your money. I'm sure the people who donated to the McCain campaign (including all us TAXPAYERS, since he's using public financing!) are livid that this is the best use they could come up with for their money.

    October 1, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  24. Irma in North Carolina

    Can you believe this mccain camp doing this, how can any one get so low is beyond me. Why dont they mention the deal where John commited adultry, do we want that kind of morals in the white house, plus we dont need four more years of Bush. Please let God perform his task of taking these two out of the election.

    October 1, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  25. Megan from San Diego

    Ah, the McCain desperation is in full force. It is really sad, haven't we already been through the whole Rev. Wright deal?

    PATHETIC ATTEMPS...I'm sure we'll see more in the near future.

    October 1, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
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