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. former gop

    If I were Obama, I would sue these scumbags for slander.

    October 16, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  2. Curt

    Jeezus, John! Stop making yourself look like an idiot and, like the other comment said, take a vacation in ALASKA with your newfound friend, Palin......

    October 16, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  3. Amy

    We deserve to know this, I have read exerpts from both of Obama's books and they are disturbing he states he feels animosity towards his mother's race, isn't she white? He says "I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction" He made the 'mistake' during an interview and said he would campaign in all '57 states'? There are 57 Islamic states. If Obama applied for a job with the FBI or the secret service he would be disqualified, & he can be our President????

    October 16, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  4. OIF VET

    I got one and called them back to tell them to never call me again. The GOP is in the mud and they have no way of getting out. Old honest Abe is looking down on his own party and wondering what ever happen to the idea of apealling to our "better angels." The Republican party has lost its soul. Esp. when McCain made the remark about the so called "health" of a mother. He just doesn't get it.

    October 16, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  5. Susan

    I'm sure these calls will tell the intellecutally lazy exactly what they want to hear.

    October 16, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  6. NANCY FROM MONTANA

    The Democrats should launch calls asking about Todd Palin's membership in the Alaska Independence Party, a terrorist group that seeks separation of Alaska from the US- Sarah Palin spoke at their convention in 2006-

    Montanan for Obama

    October 16, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  7. Jeanette

    Totally and completely disgusting.
    Why would anyone support the McCain campaign after all the dishonorable campaign tactics he and Palin are doing?
    All the lies, hate, terrorist filled rallies they are holding are the worst of the worst.

    October 16, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  8. Thomas from Missouri

    "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"

    Well, I guess that makes everything OK then. Dang! I'm glad I found out about this mess, I'm changing my vote from Obama to McCain.

    October 16, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  9. the other jd

    So will McCain repudiate these calls?

    October 16, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  10. Kim

    That's just sick.

    October 16, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  11. Phil Newton from Murphy, Oregon

    Unbelievable liars.

    The BS Express rolls on.

    October 16, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  12. Veteran in Michigan

    Save the scare tactics for Halloween...what a sad, sad testament of Republican politics. Who would have predicted that a man who returned from a dreadful war as an American hero would stoop to such depths. Shame on you Senator McCain!

    October 16, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  13. St. Louis WOW

    man I would HATE to have to pay THAT phone bill!!

    October 16, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  14. bill for barack

    Robocalls indeed. I would love to talk one-on-one with one of their campaign people but, obviously, none of them has the guts to face a real live voter who will gladly tell them what a morally obtuse person their candidate is.

    October 16, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  15. Rob indetroit

    These stupid calls is the reason MCsenile is loseing,that and palin opening her big mouth.

    October 16, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  16. Listen Up...

    Gee The GOP has no honor. They don't care how the win, just as long as they do. Obviously this won't be won on the merits of McCain, so lets just muck up Obama as much as possible!

    October 16, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  17. Dadedi

    I just hope they do not call me.

    October 16, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  18. voter

    well, it is about time that McCain's slime of a campaign is being exposed. McCain said he was hurt by John Lewis' statements yet McCain does robo calls that are untruth. McCain why don't you repudiate the nasty comments from your campaign.

    October 16, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  19. Cynthia - Arkansas

    I listened to this crap on the Huffington post. Shocking and disgusting. McShame and Palin have no honor and no character. What a disgrace for people who want to run for the highest office in the land. There is no way on earth that Obama would ever stoop that low, no matter how far behind in the polls he ever was. That is the difference in these two men. Obama puts forth leadership that we can be proud of, McCain is just down right scary!

    October 16, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  20. Stuart

    Fear and smear...

    Not like Obama didn't call what these last three weeks would look like back in June.

    October 16, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  21. The Lady

    They have nothing else to do. Can I get some of that money to pay my mortgage.

    October 16, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  22. Undecided voter..

    so let me get this straight...
    Obama wants to tax only the wealthiest 5% of Americans, and not us...
    and Mccain wants to keep taxing us, so the rich could get richer.......

    Hmmmm...

    mulling it over..... gosh this is difficult...

    October 16, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  23. Chris

    I used to respect John McCain. He is not only a shell of his former self but he has become utterly dishonorable and potentially dangerous to our Country. So much for Country first.

    October 16, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  24. gwg

    And Obam will be on prime time instead of the World Series. Im sure he will sell his bull.

    October 16, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  25. Jamie

    Boy i'm glad that the Mummy isn't going negative, as he claimed during last night's debate.

    October 16, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
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