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. Obama/Biden 100%

    to POCHOLO.....are you slow?

    October 1, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  2. Melly

    this was the cheapest add I saw in a long time. It did not connect with me at all. It seemed very desperate attempt to lower Obama's judgement, but we all know him much much better now.

    A suggestion for REPUBLICANs,

    October 1, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  3. Cody

    Hmmm . . . I don't think it will play. Maybe if this was new info, but people have already heard about this stuff. We've already moved past it. This is only going to further solidify the image of the Republicans as filth mongers.

    October 1, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. Chest

    again I say to cnn this is new "WHY" with all that you can inform people about with all this is going on.

    October 1, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  5. Maureen / Newman, California

    Looks like McCain has nothing positive to sell about himself. So why not lie and try to make the guy he's running against look negative? You can fool some of the people some of the time. But eventually people tire of these ads and seek the truth in other ways. Like reading, and watching debates.

    October 1, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  6. SO WHAT!

    And this is excactly what the GOPS are promising us, more attack on americans, and the rest of the world. Not solutions for the failing economy, how is this helpful in our current status???

    October 1, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  7. Hillary Democrat

    WAKE UP AMERICA...this ad is not from the McCain campaign. But this should make us wonder about Barack Hussien Obama and his ties with Ayers. VOTE MCCAIN in 2008 and HILLARY IN 2012

    October 1, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  8. Never Barak Obama (PUMA)

    look who is back – are you sure about those poll numbers?

    October 1, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  9. NW Dem

    Just shows how badley Obama's judegment is!

    October 1, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  10. David

    Here comes the HATE machine, also known as the radical right-wing fanatical conservatives.

    October 1, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  11. CL Relf Deltona Florida

    Is this the October surprise?

    October 1, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  12. TJ

    Now, this is sad. When Obama is leading in the polls, the poor, pathetic conservatives try to find any way to stop the momentum. They will even resort to lying. What Jeremiah Wright said has nothing to do with Obama's personal beleifs. To try to link the two is akin to linking McBush with the words of the not-so Rev. John Hagee. That is absurd, and the conservatives ought to be ashamed of themselves. Wait-they aren't ashamed of how Bush stole two presidential elections, they're not ashamed of how unbridled greed on Wall St has caused this financial meltdown, they aren't ashamed of all the blood that has been spilled in Iraq needlessly, etc. So I guess the conservatives have no shame.

    October 1, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  13. Stephy

    An ailling economy at the verge of a depression (according to the most pessimist), and the most that the republicans can do is actually what they do best: "swiftboating" which got us all in this mess in the first place. I can only pray that America has learned from the mistake of the past...
    This is just the republicans at their best

    October 1, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  14. chelle

    You do realize that the Reverend Wright has been highly respected for many years? That on the basis of one overly scandalized speech, people have decided he is a horrible person? The man also makes beautiful speeches. The Weatherman did his time, grew up out of the 60's and is now a respected professor at a university. Rezko will pay for his mistakes as well. As for the reduced price.....so?????? Was it illegal? Oh wait – no it wasn't.... so who cares?

    October 1, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  15. Dr. Proctor, PHD

    This speech is no match for Sara Palin's pastor's sermon about
    Alaska being a refuge in the last days, and witch hunting. This woman is far more scarier than Rev. Wright. And besides, when I go to fill my
    gas tank up at $4.00 a gallon, Rev. Wright is not standing at the pump,
    but the republican ghost is. They are the one's we should fear.
    Palin is anti-woman, bans books, no foreign policy credentials, and
    a threat to our national security. This is what can REALLY hurt Americans
    and for this they should be fearful.

    October 1, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  16. MLD

    OK Let"s bring on the Witch Chasing Pastor in Alaska.

    Why don't you ask McCain when is the last time you've even been in a church?

    October 1, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  17. Mike

    Obama/Biden supporters: Let's answer this garbage with our votes! And I mean voting now. Over 30 states have established an early voting process, and some of them have begun already. I know that here in Ohio, you can vote now by going to your county Board of Elections office.

    Answer the smears by going out and voting for Obama/Biden today! Take a friend, neighbor, or family member with you. Let's make sure that our votes get counted, and let's take back our country!

    October 1, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  18. Morgan

    I'd take Rev Wright over the witch chasing pastor of Palin's.

    October 1, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  19. ha ha

    oh man! is this all they have left?


    i normally only give the enemy a kiss of death, but i might have a little heart in me to spare you republicans a wish for good luck...cuz you're gonna need it!


    October 1, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  20. Sweetie

    This is the reason Obama is not a viable candidate!

    McCain/Palin-08-In a Landslide!

    October 1, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  21. dennisec

    HA ha the organization must be a secret cover up Cindy and John Mccain's personal pocket.

    October 1, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |


    October 1, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  23. jim hawkins

    I wish someone would really check McCains record as a POW...

    October 1, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  24. Rob

    We want a Veteran;and a true AmericanObama's wife said-for once I am proud of America.The rest of her life she sounded like Obama's Minister.Save us from these anti-americans.

    October 1, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  25. John, FL

    This is sooooo primary season. *snoooze*

    October 1, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
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