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. JN

    I was trying to figure out what to write as a reply to this...the only thing I can say is PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOU GET OUT AND VOTE!!!!

    October 16, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  2. Traci M

    john and his crew are about the most pathetic group of politicians ever, Palin,McCain,and Rick Davis all need to be commited do we really need these nut jobs in the White House.As a black woman I am really hurt by the ugly head of hate that is bearing its ugly head even at my job from the most unlikley people. These people are really dangerous!!!!!

    October 16, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  3. see

    You critisize negative ads, then you pull a pathetic stunt like this. Man you are a sorry piece of work. You were so cocky during the debate, and rude, and interruptive. That is why you will never prosper with this election. Lies will get you no where. LOSER!

    October 16, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  4. Bill

    Isn't it ironic that John McCain is using the exact same type of smear that he despised when Bush used it against him in the 2000 primaries. How's that illegitimate child of your's, John?

    If only he would use those calls to talk to people about the economy, but I guess 'country first' was just a silly little slogan and nothing more.

    October 16, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  5. Em

    Wow. They really are desperate. Desperate and dirty. I really, truly hope that the American people don't fall for this again. I don't think they will, but it worked with Bush 4 years ago. Hopefully people will focus on real issues rather than on personal attacks and lies. I no longer have any respect for John McCain.

    October 16, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  6. cyrusk

    DSPERADO !!

    MCcAIN MAY END UP EVEN LOSING IN HIS HOME STATE TOO..

    MCCAIN'S MOST CREDIT COMES FROM HIS CAPTURE AND IMPRISONMENT IN VIETNAM. WELL, THAT IS FINE. HE WAS A SOLDER AND SERVERD HIS CONTRY WELL. BUT SO WHAT? HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS GAVE THEIR LIVES IN VIETNAM THAT TODAY NOBOYD EVEN KNOWS THEIR NAMES.
    THEY GAVE MORE THAN MCCAIN DID AND GOT NOTHING IN RETURN.

    MCCAIN'S NEGATIVE CAMPAIGN MAY SOLIDIFY HIS BASE, BUT IT WILL NOT EARN HIM ANY VOTE FROM THE UNDECIDED INDEPENDANTS WHO WANT TO HEAR ABOUT ECONOMY , HEALTH CARE,, NOT WHAT A PERSON DID 40 YEARS AGO, WHOM OBAMA HAS MET, TALKED TO, AND LIVES IN THE SAME NEIGHBORHOOD,....

    SORRY BIG MAC, YOU LOST. GIVE IT UP OLD MAN!

    October 16, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  7. Lou

    The last Republican Senator to have as little shame or decency as John McCain was Senator Joseph McCarthy. Spewing totally unfounded claims and outright lies, he at least was censured by the US Senate. Senator McCain is a disgrace to this country, the US Senate, The US Navy and the American People. He too should be censured for bringing dishonor on the Senate with his totally despicable campaign.

    October 16, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  8. Robin in NC

    My husband & I received one of these calls earlier today. It was left on our answering machine. It really is pathetic. For someone who claims to be "honorable", he sure does not show it. It seems to me he's stooping to a new level. His new slogan should be "How Low Can I Go?"!!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08

    October 16, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  9. Lisa

    I received this call today in Wisconsin, a state where McCain is going down quickly. Please take your poison to a red state. Wisconsin is for Obama!

    October 16, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  10. Sandy C.

    Sarah can't make those calls... sounds like she is losing her voice! Thank God!

    Is the McCain campaign making these phone calls from the McCain ranch where Verizon and AT&T just installed two new cell towers????
    Let's see – smell like McCain lobbyist got some 'freebies'.

    Oh, let's not forget Joe the Plumber... unlicensed and owes back taxes! Maybe Joe the Plumber should have been more truthful with Obama about tax status. Looks like Joe wouldn't pay as much in taxes under Obama's plan... that is, after he pays his penalties for the back taxes he owes!

    McCain/Palin and the Republicans are in a state of panic! And, after 8 years it looks great on them!

    October 16, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  11. Need Leadership in America

    Where is information about the gallup poll with McCain trailing by 2 points.

    CNN=Liberalism

    Obama=socialism

    October 16, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  12. 1st time voter

    Just finished absentee voting for Obama. McCain hit hard last night but it was too little too late. So was this call. Needed that kind of difference from day one. I am now convinced McCain may be the better man, but Obama is the right man for this time in or country.

    October 16, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  13. Peri

    Isn't this call the type of negativity McCain was disputing last night? This is definitely a last ditch effort. I don't see him repudiating any negativity with these type of phone calls. He sounded so desperate on the debate asking Senator Obama to repudiate remarks that did not come from within his campaign. Now this rhetoric is coming DIRECTLY from him. What a way to flip flop McCain!

    October 16, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  14. Tom, KS

    These guys have Zero scruples.

    October 16, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  15. rover for obama

    Well, let's see how quick this crap hits the fan.

    October 16, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  16. Soon-to-be REALLY Proud American -- NV

    My land-line is connected to a FAX machine. Call me, I'll tell you what I think: BEEEEEEP!!

    October 16, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  17. MB

    Do you only post pro-Obama comments?

    October 16, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  18. Marty, FL

    Where is the repudiation from John McCain pledged in last night's debate? Hmmm.....

    October 16, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  19. michael

    McCain's Dangerous Friends:

    Terrorist supporter – Carl Lindner Jr.
    Watergate criminal – G. Gordon Liddy
    Supplier of arms to Iran – Oliver North
    Lobbyist for Saddam – William Timmons

    Hey CNN: Report it!

    October 16, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  20. Sherry for Obama

    Sounds like they are desperate.
    The issues are important to the American people....not a bunch of lies.

    Bye Bye McCain your political career is on the downslide.

    October 16, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  21. Ryan Troy, MI

    Unfortunately it's necessary for the McCain camp to attack Obama. American's are so caught up in "change" that they are not looking at reality. Obama is lying to the American people, bait and switch. His programs and ideas involve more money and power to the US government. What has the government done right in the last 20 years? Why would we want them involved in more aspects of our life??

    American's need to get out of this depression and look at reality. Obama is for government, he is not for you.

    October 16, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  22. Dee

    I use to like McCain, but this is really crossing the line. He is putting fear in peoples hearts.

    October 16, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  23. RudyNY

    Why does he have to keep lying? I used to love John McCain. So disappointing.

    October 16, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  24. TexasVet

    Seriously? $70 million dollars?

    Pathetic!

    October 16, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  25. Jeannie Baltimore, MD

    Debbie, you are as dillusional as John McCain and his sidekick. In case you haven't heard all of the polls including Fox say that President Obama won. You people are so sad.

    Say it, say it, President Obama.

    October 16, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24