October 16th, 2008
07:02 PM ET
6 years ago

Republicans launch wave of calls attacking Obama

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republicans launched an enormous wave of phone calls Thursday blasting Barack Obama for "having worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers," party sources said.

The calls are part of a $70 million last Republican push to get out the vote for John McCain on November 4, using calls, mailings and door-knocking in battleground states.

"Hundreds of thousands" of calls are being made in at least half a dozen hard-fought states including Virginia, North Carolina and Ohio, the sources said.

Some are recorded "robocalls," while others are live to comply with relevant state laws. The calls are being paid for jointly by the Republican party and the McCain campaign, according to a script provided by the Republican party.

The "robocalls" criticize Obama national security, his opposition to an Illinois measure that called for doctors to provide medical care to babies who survive botched abortions, his connection with former '60s radical William Ayers and his response to the financial crisis.

An Obama spokesman said the "dishonorable, dishonest" calls were a desperate move.

"John McCain's campaign has admitted that the economy is a losing issue for them, so he's chosen to launch dishonorable and dishonest attacks like this," Obama national spokesman Bill Burton said.

The calls come a day after McCain and Obama accused each other of running negative campaigns.

Republicans have been hammering Obama for weeks for his association with Ayers, a key figure in the Weather Underground of the Vietnam War era. The radical group took credit for a number of bombings, including of the Pentagon. A case against Ayers was thrown out of court because of misconduct by investigators. He is now an education professor in Chicago and has served on a board with Obama.

McCain said he did not care about "an old washed-up terrorist" like Ayers Wednesday night at his debate with Obama.

Obama condemned Ayers' actions of 40 years ago, and said the former radical was not involved in his campaign and would not advise him as president.

(Script of the call after the jump)

Here is the text of the call referring to Ayers:

"Hello. I'm calling for John McCain and the RNC (Republican National Committee) because you need to know that Barack Obama has worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayres, whose organization bombed the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, a judge's home and killed Americans. And Democrats will enact an extreme leftist agenda if they take control of Washington. Barack Obama and his Democratic allies lack the judgment to lead our country. This call was paid for by McCain-Palin 2008 and the Republican National Committee at 202-863-8500."

The only deaths positively attributed to Weathermen bombs were three members of the group itself who were killed when a bomb they were working on exploded prematurely. The Weathermen, along with the Black Panther organization, were investigated for another bombing that killed a San Francisco police officer, but that bombing remains unsolved.

The son of a New York State supreme court justice says that the Weathermen were also responsible for a bomb at his father's home in February 1970, basing his claim on a letter from Weather Underground member Bernadine Dohrn (Ayers' wife) sent to the Associated Press in November promising more bombings. Investigators, however, believe that letter was referring to the bombing of a New York courthouse in October.

The Weathermen claimed responsibility for the courthouse bombing, as they did other bombings attributed to them. No one claimed responsibility for the bombing of the judge's home, and the the case was never solved.

–CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley contributed to this report.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (583 Responses)
  1. Nancy

    When Johnny comes marching home again hurah, hurah
    When Johnny comes marching home again hurah, hurah..

    October 16, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  2. salem

    I truly despise mccain and palin now. They bring out the worst in everyone......great news is that I seem to be on a polling list-boy will I tell it....

    GOP= GOONS ON PARADE

    Their arrogance, hatred and sheer meaness should make the whole country upset.

    MCCAIN = EGO FIRST, COUNTRY LAST.

    October 16, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  3. A Well Educated Woman

    It appears to be the same mud, different day. I think McCain and Barbie have said this mantra so many times that now they actually believe it. On another point, if any more remarks are coming from the rally supporters, like "Terrorist" or "Lets Kill Him", all of those people should be hauled away and thrown in jail. I guess these rebub morons don't realize he has small children, and these are awful threats. I wonder how these idiots would feel if they were walking down the street by themselves and someone started these chants.
    They would probably need to change their underwear.

    October 16, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  4. rita

    OK MCCAIN, FIRST, THANK YOU FOR SERVING OUR COUNTRY. THAT IS COMMENDABLE. 2ND. BOY ARE YOU A LOOSE CANNON BECAUSE OF IT.. 3RD. YOU PICKED ANOTHER LOOSE CANNON IN SARAH PALIN SHE IS AFTER YOUR JOB SHE DOESNT CARE ABOUT YOU DEAR. YOU WALK UP TO HER AND HUG HER DURING THE CAMPAIGNS AND SHE LAUGHS TO HERSELF. 4TH YOUR CAMPAIGN MANAGER AND THE REST OF THE CREW ARE REALLY FOR OBAMA .. CANT YOU TELL BY NOW.. LOL
    YOU HAVE TO STOP LOSING IT MCCAIN. YOU ACT LIKE A CRAZY PERSON IN A FREAK SHOW. WHY WOULD YOU THINK ANYONE WOULD WANT SOMEONE LIKE THAT TO BE PRESIDENT OF THE U.S. ACTUALLY IT'S KINDA SAD YOUR ENTIRE CAMPAIGN, BUT WAIT HONESTLY SINCE YOU HIRED SARAH PALIN I HAVE HAD GREAT COMIC RELIEF. HEY JOHN CHECK THIS OUT... DO YOU KNOW WHY PEOPLE COME TO STHISEE SARAH PALIN?/ COMIC RELIEF DUH...SILLY I SUPPORT HER ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL BUT THE VOTING BOOTH IS ANOTHER STORY, SHE DOES GREAT INTERVIEWS...LOL I MEAN REALLY SHE IS THE FUNNIES THING SINCE EDDIE MURPHY RAW.. I LOVE HER LIKE THE REST OF THE WORLD DOES FOR HER BLOOPERS...LOL WHAT A CAMPAGIN. THIS IS AN OLD TIME LOW FOR REPUBLICANS. ACTUALLY IT SHOULD GO TO THE HALL OF FAME FOR COMEDY.. ONE THING FOR SURE YOU CANT TOUCH OBAMA . BECAUSE THE FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCE IS THAT YOU ARE CRAZY AND HE IS NOT..HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    October 16, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  5. April

    I bet they scanned the list and is only calling Republiican memebers that support his and Palin anger behavior, because no self-respecting, intelligent person will believe a pack of lies that have been proven and researched as not factual as closely as Obama/Ayers relationship.

    Too late for lies!!!!

    VOTE OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    October 16, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  6. WesHall

    So craven, so desperate .... John McCain is playing dirty virulent politics, dividing this country. Thanks for spreading this hate McCain the last thing I would call you is a leader.

    October 16, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  7. Carolyn from Colorado

    I received one of those calls today around 3:30 MT and it was a disgusting phone call that made me so angry I called the local Republican Headquarters to complain. I wonder if McCain will apologize to me for terrorizing my family with a distorted creepy phone call.

    October 16, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  8. Tim

    If they don't put it in context and call out Wright and Rezko, they shouldn't bother, it will do no good.

    October 16, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  9. proud army navy mom

    I heard the disgusting call and I just hope the stupid people who actually believes it grows a brain before Nov 4th.

    Mcstupid is a lying jerk and so are his followers.

    October 16, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  10. BillieJo Florida

    Truly desperate. You know I disagree with your fact checkers as to the % of negative ads from each. Obama was referring to McCains threatening style ads about Ayers etc and his negative ads are about policies not personal threatening attacks. He is spending more as he apparently has more support but his ads tho negative are against McCains policies not against McCain the American male.

    October 16, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  11. A, Los Angeles

    Incredible, despicable, and repugnant; I am thoroughly appalled.

    October 16, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  12. Ihaventdrankthekoolaid

    Such cockyness that will hurt obama in the next 19 days and counting. Get ready for a fall out. Alot of ppl's minds haven't been made up just yet. I just wish most of these major news networks would be fair and stop the bia's.

    October 16, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  13. sick n tired

    LOST MY JOB TODAY!! COMPANY FOLDED! THANKS MCCAIN, BUSH, AND THE REST OF THE SLIME IN WASHINGTON!!!! WHERES MY BAILOUT? LOOSERS!!

    October 16, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  14. Larry/TX

    This is truly morphing into a hate campaign on the republicans part. So far, Barrack as weathered the ugly storm. Still, I think the democrats need to do something to counter it. I suggest we do a similar deluge of calls where we remind people that a vote for mccain has a high probablility of being a vote for SP as president. All the polls clearly show that the vast majority of Americans have a negative view of her. Mpreover we have a larger till to make even more calls that them. I would duplicate the same call areas that they target. Targetting the same call areas is pragmatically appealing as well as defensible on the grounds that they started the whole thing

    October 16, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  15. Jason

    For those questioning Obama's experience (but, somehow, not Palin's), keep in mind that President Obama would have more elective experience than Abraham Lincoln.

    Obama will have served 8 years as an Illinois senator and 4 years as a U.S. senator; Lincoln served 8 years as an Illinois house representative and 2 years as U.S. house representative.

    Lincoln, ironically, also had no real military experience. He served in Reynolds' militia during the Black Hawk War, but he never saw action.

    October 16, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  16. SpeechTeach

    Should any violence occur against Barack Obama, John McCain and Sarah Palin will be to blame. They are instilling fear and there are many uneducated Americans out there who would commit violent acts to alleviate their fears. Shame on them for being irresponsible with their words. Not heroic at all...

    October 16, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  17. D.C.

    These folks need a political Viagra. Talk about impotent, limp attempts to undermine Obama's campaign. Take a hint boys, the public is tired of your attacks in lieu of any substance. And you supported George Bush for 8 years. How stupid is that?

    October 16, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  18. Will, NJ

    A 70 million dollar lie, I think we should all be happy that they're willing to spend this much just to please us.

    October 16, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  19. tigerakabj

    Uh huh. This after McCain said he would run on issues last night. I guess McCain decided he would lose in a blaze of dishonor.

    Despicable, all of them.

    Obama/Biden 2008/2012.

    October 16, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  20. mglory

    and the Rep said they want to put the negative coverage to rest...I guess they don't want this that bad...liers

    October 16, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  21. tan

    Call my number, then you will expect a lawsuit.This country does not sound like the First Country anymore. McCain looks like African dictators. He looks like MUGABE,MOBUTU or even like Bokasa. In democatric country, leaders do not spread fear among population. It happens only with olds dictators. Why can't you simply
    tell people that Obama is black and voting for a black may hurts GOP dirty interets.. Better bring some reforms in this old party because the 21 st century is leaving GOP behind.
    Country First means let the majority decide with their freedom. Country first means no matter what, keep your personality high as a leader.
    I give reason to my sister when she noticed that often at the age over 72, human being actes like a baby.

    October 16, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  22. CJ/PA

    I keep waiting for John McCain to stand up like a man and say this dishonorable, nasty campaign of his must stop and he's firing all those Karl Rove imposters, i.e., Rick Davis, Steve Schmidt, et al, in an effort to get away with at least his integrity intact. But that won't happen because he actually seems to believe he's right! Also, I noticed Sarah Palin has no problem delivering the sarcastic and untrue scripts given to her to read, and almost shows joy and glee in delivering this dishonest, evil message. How can they live with themselves?? I guess desperate times call for desperate measures! I do not want either of them near the red button!!
    Obama/Biden – 08

    October 16, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  23. SC BLUE

    well I can tell you, my Republican neighbors are thinking of switching to Obama because they are fed up with it..I live very close to the NC line...

    October 16, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  24. GA

    McCain is losing his mind! He will do anything to win!!!!

    October 16, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  25. Pepou

    This is why I will spend the next 2 weeks calling all over the country for OBAMA.

    October 16, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
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