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. rsh

    The phone calls do NOT tell us what John McC will do in a positive vein for Americans. Instead of selling himself as a leader, the GOP is denigrating a good American. They know Obama is not anti-American. If he were it would have prevented him getting to DC in the first place. After all, Illinois likes to dig into those kinds of things! So, what we have is a potential great leader crawling in the mud, acting like a high scholl boy who missed out being prom king and looking for excuses.

    Please, John, tell me what you will do for me, not what Obama did TO someone else! Be a leader. Be mature! It's long overdue! Tell you what, John. Look at IKE's record as a GOP hero. Emulate him...but do it fast. The clocking is ticking...and the voters are walking the other way. It is now or never.

    Get some mature leadership in the GOP offices NOW! Otherwise, John, you will go down in history as a mud-slinging loser who could not muster his own positive program, using garbage to try to get into the White House. Why soil the paint on our White House, John with childishness? BE mature; be strong; be a leader. PLEASE!!!!!!

    rsh

    October 16, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  2. Jody Monroe

    Why doesn't McCain try something Presidential - like calling voters to inform them of his own policies??? Or doesn't he have any policies? Is this all he has - attacks on the other candidate?

    If he was elected president, would he sit in office complaining all day about someone else, rather than implementing his own policies? Oh wait, he doesn't have any policies.... other than those he copied!

    October 16, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  3. Steve in Louisville

    Doesn't give me much faith McCain is capable of being any more honest than Bush. I guess the motto is tell a lie loud enough and often enough ... and that's good enough. Not good enough for me.

    October 16, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  4. peg

    Sounds like Mcain is screwing up again! American people don't want to hear the negative any more. We want to know what "YOU" can do for America and why we should elect YOU, not for YOU to belittle the other guy. It just makes you look smaller.

    October 16, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  5. Cheri

    I received this disgraceful call today in Va. I guess McCain doesn't think that we heard enough about Ayers last night during the debate.The call also says that people were killed in these bombings and I am pretty sure that noone was ever killed or even injured in these attacks.He is really stretching the truth here with this ad.

    October 16, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  6. s.positive

    Best way to spend your $70 m, when there are hungry folks on our streets. So called Country first...

    October 16, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  7. Denise

    Pathetic! They do not get it

    October 16, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  8. John the Electrician

    Just like 2008 Nobel Price Winner in Economics, Professor Krugman said, "Republicans are becoming the party of the stupid".

    October 16, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  9. McWho??

    So Joe the Plumber is part of the Keating connection planted in an attempt to derail Sen. Obama.. Everything is backfiring..John it's time to eject...

    October 16, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  10. Junior

    McShame-Palin around AIP terrorsits and Lobbylist for Saddam Hussein in first Gulf War are very desperate, guess desperate times call for desperate measures.

    October 16, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  11. Diane

    I got that call today from the RNC and McCain campaign. It was a robocall and it was full of lies about Obama and it felt underhanded. It discussed Ayers and hinted that we the public just don't know Obama and it felt like the gist was that he was not to be trusted.

    I'm a Missouri citizen and we're right on the edge here. So far the candidates are running nearly neck and neck... so McCain has something to worry about here.

    There are offices for Obama in the 4 small towns closest to me as well as in the larger cities next to me. This kind of organization is unprecedented here. They are also working closely with local Democrats encouraging folks to elect them. We had a rally at our local high school. The friendliness and hope was palpable.

    If I had even once thought that McCain deserved my vote- the addition of Palin to his ticket plus this underhanded lying would change my mind.
    I used to respect McCain... no longer.

    October 16, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  12. Hankers

    Should hell freeze over and McCain take this election, I don't know what kind of human being can look themselves in the mirror and say "job well done!" Where I come from, the end does not justify the means.

    October 16, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  13. Walt

    McCain and his campaign managers are simply disgusting. Shame on him and them all. McCain has forever tarnished in the most heinous way his name, his reputation and his legacy.

    October 16, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  14. jen

    One word-DESPERATION!!! They are scared as hell!!- McCain is lying about Obama's record just like the Bush campaign did to him in 2000-Sadly McCain will be remembered for his horrific campaign.

    October 16, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  15. rsh

    The phone calls do NOT tell us what John McC will do in a positive vein for Americans. Instead of selling himself as a leader, the GOP is denigrating a good American. They know Obama is not anti-American. If he were it would have prevented him getting to DC in the first place. After all, Illinois likes to dig into those kinds of things! So, what we have is a potential great leader crawling in the mud, acting like a high school boy who missed out being prom king and looking for excuses.

    Please, John, tell me what you will do for me, not what Obama did TO someone else! Be a leader. Be mature! It's long overdue! Tell you what, John. Look at IKE's record as a GOP hero. Emulate him…but do it fast. The clock is ticking…and the voters are walking the other way. It is now or never.

    Get some mature leadership in the GOP offices NOW! Otherwise, John, you will go down in history as a mud-slinging loser who could not muster his own positive program, using garbage to try to get into the White House. Why soil the paint on our White House, John with childishness? BE mature; be strong; be a leader. PLEASE!!!!!!

    October 16, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  16. Jean2

    Are these people sane????????????????????????????????

    October 16, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  17. UMMMM...

    CNN why don't you cover the FAKE calles the GOP is doing? They are calling people at 3 am pretending to be BO, to piss them off so they won't vote for BO. They are stooping to new lows.

    October 16, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  18. DPerry

    Who wouldn't just hang up??

    October 16, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  19. soulstar

    this is the whole kitchen, not just the kitchen sink. mccain WANTS this election NO MATTER WHAT IT COSTS him!!! his honour, reputation, likeability, character, or morals. i hope people are hanging up on these calls!

    October 16, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  20. Miley

    Perhaps the clear loser in this race who claims he loves his country so much should give his $70,000,000.00 to needy Americans (you know, 'share the wealth') rather than waste it away on another silly panic attack ad.

    If these freaks only had the capabilities to rouse their crowds with intellect rather than instilling fear, the U.S. wouldn't be so darn polarized. Divided we fall, you ghoulish, corpse-eating freak.

    October 16, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  21. Yak Yak Yak

    I'll talk to them all day long, but I'm still voting for Barack Obama.

    Any ticket with Sarah "you betcha" Palin is a joke.

    Obama/Biden

    October 16, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  22. BC

    At this point McCain knows he is going to lose. Now he is just trying not to lose by a huge landslide – how very pathetic. Hold on to what is left of your dignity, McCain. Is this how you want history to remember you? What a sad old man...

    October 16, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  23. Melissa

    John McCain and Sarah Palin disgust me. How can the "conservative right" operate with so little integrity. I think the parallel that was drawn linking the McCain/Palin actions to the same type of actions undertaken by George Wallace in the 60's was dead on. He is breading hate because he can't win on merit. It's a good thing American's are smarter than that. Looking forward to November 4. I hope I never hear Palin's shrill, hateful words over my airwaves again.

    October 16, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  24. Jody Monroe

    John, what is your purpose? You know that Obama will win, and what about when he does? You're destroying our great country with your hateful attacks. It will come back to haunt us when Obama is elected and people won't cooperate... because of the HATE you instilled.

    You're no Christian. I think I'll vote for the American Independence party or the Constitution party. True Christian values.

    October 16, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  25. John, Columbus

    The real problem is that Obama's payment to ACORN of
    $ 800,000 helped ACORN register fraudulent voters that helped Obama beat Hillary Clinton. Hillary supporters should be outraged over this.

    October 16, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
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