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. Louis

    The only people buying this crap are the Red necks who are the backbone of the GOP.
    McShame has proven that he has no integrity. So much of the fighter pilot, the hero, and "America first". What a demagogue.

    October 16, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  2. J.L.

    I hope the American's who receive these calls remember what they got after they fell for "swiftboat" politics in '04. These tactics are the lowest of the lows and should not be tolerated in our political system. I would love to see a politician, Repub. or Dem, brave enough to sponser legislation outlawing this type of behavior in all elections!!!

    October 16, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  3. Khalif

    It is irreversible, Obama built his lead. Mcain is fighting in vain, the sky has fallen on GOP

    October 16, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  4. Shawn, North Carolina

    Maybe if some of you idiots on here AKA (DEMOCRATS) did your homework and actually researched your (IDIOT) candidate and had all the facts, instead of just voting for him because of his party affiliation, you would truly vote for the best candidate, this time around. you guys wanted change, and in 2006 the democrats got voted in and took over congress, and amazingly enough right after that is when the economy started its decline, and it only got worse since your party took over, so how much more CHANGE do you want us all to go through just because you want to vote a MUSLIM, which he actually still is since the only way out is death, in office.WAKE UP, bunch of BABY KILLING LIBERALS........

    October 16, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  5. Michael

    John McCain described the phone calls by the Bush campaign in the 2000 primaries as despicable. Would the John McCain of 2000 vote for the John McCain of 2008?

    October 16, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  6. Tommy T

    Bottom of the barrel. That's all McCain has left. The guy is going down in flames, and it's a sad spectacle, but if that's what it takes to get us a good president, then so be it. After all, McCain is bringing it on himself with his reprehensible behavior in this campaign, which clearly shows he is unqualified to be president.

    October 16, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  7. MB

    GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT. GET OVER IT.

    October 16, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  8. David W., Florida

    It's amazing to me that the GOP and the McCain camp would spend such resources on such foolishness. I just can't belive how much his supporters continue to ignore the lack of true leadership in McCain.

    October 16, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  9. Dave, WI

    Yeah, I received on of them. This is just the lowest of the low. It is just stopping short of calling a sitting US Senator a terrorist. The man has two young daughters! I would like to see John McCain tell them to their face that he thinks their father hangs out with terrorists. McCain should go join Carl Rove in the dark slimy crevice in the back of the Seven Eleven bathroom where Rove lives. They are clearly both slime.

    October 16, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  10. Jon

    One last thing this is the same people that in 2000 did the phone calling against McCain. I guess everyone has his price and McCains is a place in hell because that's what happens when you sell your soul to the devil.

    October 16, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  11. Aubrey

    At least none of that 70 million was mine :-)

    October 16, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  12. cathy

    Paul you are so right but why dont the news say it like it is palain needs to go home and kill an inacent animal

    October 16, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  13. Jerry in minneapolis

    I still want to know how someone can set bombs and not still be in jail? This is the system letting American's down. I don't know why one would make this Obama's Problem?

    October 16, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  14. Curtis

    John where have your pride gone?

    October 16, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  15. kool

    if we heard the frist time and it didnt work why say it 5000 more times and expect it 2 work what a waste of money

    October 16, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  16. Who is the REAL McCain?

    US COUNCIL FOR WORLD FREEDOM, KEATING 5, US COUNCIL FOR WORLD FREEDOM, KEATING 5, US COUNCIL FOR WORLD FREEDOM, KEATING 5, US COUNCIL FOR WORLKD FREEDOM, KEATING 5, US COUNCIL FOR WORLD FREEDOM, KEATING 5, US COUNCIL FOR WORLD FREEDOM, KEATING 5...

    AI[, AIP, AIP, AIP, AIP, AIP

    WHICH AMERICA IS MCCAIN/PALIN TRYING TO LEAD?

    October 16, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  17. Helena

    Dishonorable, dishonest, disgusting & desperate = McCain Campaign

    At the debate last night Barack Obama-age 47 showed maturity while John McCain age 72 acted like a bratty teenager with his smirks, sneers & rolling of the eyes.

    October 16, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  18. Justin

    Wht dont they start calling out mcsame on the all his lies! He had an affair on his first wife! The guy has flipflopped on nearly everyone of his proposals! People need to research the facts on what Mcsame is really about! You'll find out that Mcsame is exactly like Bush!!!

    October 16, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  19. Jim L.

    A tasteless move by a tasteless campaign. Three more weeks and McGrumpy and Caribou Barbie will be gone. Thank God.

    October 16, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  20. lou

    There must be something to this Ayers issue. Obviously.
    Also
    Acorn..
    Obama gave 250,000 to Acorn

    October 16, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  21. MEP

    The Republicans are not fit to govern. This is ugly and unnecessary. This is one more hate-driven tactic they should answer for.

    October 16, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  22. Jim

    I felt sorry for him. It was so sad seeing John doing his best to look young and vibrant. You did well John.. Now it is time to let a younger fresher Statesman take the stand. ... The Drive of Barack Obama , his sincerity, and his Intelligence, His astonishing grip of the whole American situation, is breathtaking.

    October 16, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  23. TX for Obama

    Maybe we should call the RNC at 202-863-8500 and tell them how John McCain is not the one this country needs!

    October 16, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  24. Va voter/volunteer for O/B

    I guess it all comes full circle. The John McCain America once knew is gone forever. The man who independents and dems could like and relate to for his honesty and likability would have been the Republican nominee in 2000.

    That is until his campaign was torpedoed in South Carolina by the likes of Karl Rove and his cronies using these exact same tactics. The Bush campaign called SC homes suggesting that McCain's adopted daughter, from South Asia, was an african-american love child. They didnt state it outright, but merely planted the idea in the minds of a conservative voting public. And that was enough to derail the straight talk express, and put this GOP JOKE in the white house.

    Now, 8 years later, the same people are doing for McCain what they did TO him in South Carolina. And the man who was wronged by Rove the scumbag is now willing to stoop to that level in the name of going down fighting.

    John McCain, you should be ashamed of yourself. And when you've lost this campaign, please just retire to your seven homes

    October 16, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  25. Teresa

    I cannot believe how low the republicans have gotten. I have never been a republican and after this stunt I can say I would never want to be affiliated with them at any point in my life. It is just disgusting lies. Do they ever listen to what they are saying?

    October 16, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
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