May 18th, 2009
08:59 AM ET
5 years ago

McAuliffe blasted by rival for supporting Hillary Clinton

McAuliffe supported Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary campaign.
McAuliffe supported Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary campaign.

(CNN) - Virginia gubernatorial candidate Brian Moran is hammering his Democratic primary rival Terry McAuliffe for backing Hillary Clinton instead of Barack Obama throughout much of the presidential race.

The Moran campaign is hoping a new 60-second radio ad running on black radio stations in Virginia will remind African-American voters - likely to be a crucial voting block in the June 9 Democratic primary - of McAuliffe's full-throated support for Clinton and his past criticisms of Obama.

"Terry McAuliffe may have a lot of big money for his campaign, but don't let that hide the truth," the ad's narrator says. "The truth is, Terry McAuliffe led the campaign that ran the '3 a.m.' attack ad against Barack Obama. McAuliffe worked to put up the ads that questioned Obama's ability to be president."

The new attack is especially pointed because McAuliffe has gone to great lengths to model elements of his gubernatorial campaign after Obama's, which won Virginia in both the Democratic primary and the general election. In March, McAuliffe's campaign ran an ad on black radio stations proclaiming: "In 2008, our voices were heard when we elected our president, Barack Obama."

But Moran's new ad claims that, "if Terry McAuliffe had his way, Barack Obama wouldn't be our president today." Referring to a light-hearted appearance by McAuliffe on The Daily Show last June, the ad says that "McAuliffe even went on national TV and joked Barack Obama could, quote, 'kiss my ass.'"

The McAuliffe campaign called the ad "false and misleading" and accused Moran of "trying to divide Democrats again, especially at a time when we all need to come together to help President Obama get the economy back on track." The campaign said McAuliffe "fought tirelessly" for Obama after the primaries ended.

Moran and McAuliffe are competing against Creigh Deeds for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. The winner of that contest will face Republican Bob McDonnell in the general election.

UPDATE: The McAuliffe campaign responded again Monday by rolling out the endorsement of Tom Daschle, who co-chaired Obama's campaign.

"From the day Hillary Clinton ended her historic bid for president, Terry worked tirelessly to unify our party around Barack Obama and get him elected President," Daschle said in a statement. "His energy and enthusiasm were tremendous assets on the campaign trail and we were grateful to have him on our side."


Filed under: Terry McAuliffe
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. leon0146

    This is another example of how the die for Obama people kep dividing the Democratic Party and trashing Hillary Clinton and her supporters. One day the real and clear history will be reveal and we all know the dirty tactics fo the Obama campaign and the Democratic Party lead by Kennedy, Kerry, Pelosi and Reid to oppose the Clinton's followers and move the country instead of from the Right to the Center from the Right to the extreme left.

    May 18, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  2. Carl Spackler

    I don't think the real heavy stuff is going to come down for a while yet, I'd keep playing.

    May 18, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  3. tiff of lithia springs

    We do have choices in this country!

    May 18, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  4. Josh

    Even though the press seems biased towards McAuliffe, I'm sure Moran will win. Virginia's Democratic primary appeals to a more liberal base, and Moran is by far the furtherest left. Deeds has no chance though, he is way to conservative to win in Northern Virginia which is one of the most powerful voting blocs in the state.

    May 18, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  5. Davis

    Thanks for the reminder. He doesn't deserve to win.

    May 18, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  6. Todd Smyth

    Terry has been running ads in the same areas of Richmond and Hampton Roads claiming he was the one who healed the party and got Obama elected, which is bull. Brian's radio spots are addressing those wild exaggerations. McAulliffe has also claimed that he has never attacked another Democrat and that he was the one who picked Obama as the keynote speaker in 2004, when it is widely known that McAuliffe was the chairman of the campaign that relentlessly attacked Obama for over a year and that John Kerry picked Obama for the 2004 keynote. It's hard keeping up with all the exaggerations McAuliffe is churning out but you can't let them all go unanswered.

    May 18, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  7. Cody

    CNN needs to change the title of this article. It is insensitive in using "McAuliffe" and "blasted". This too closely ties to the Space Shuttle Challenger.

    May 18, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  8. Spuddy In New Orleans, LA

    I for one have no problem with McAullife. Hedid what he felt he needed to do, after his pick lost, he worked hard to get President Obama in the White House. Hell, even Hillary is working for the President. Let it go!!

    May 18, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  9. Zion

    Boy, white people keep finding ways to piss off the black vote. If he supported Clinton that was his right, fine. By simply throwing Pres. Obama in front of us does not mean you will get our vote.

    May 18, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  10. elliott

    Now now girls. Play nice.

    May 18, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  11. Indigo

    Republicans never learn. These tactics to divide the Democrats during the Presidential campaign didn't work and they won't work now.
    Blacks are very aware of what the GOP are trying to do, and even though Terry was a Hilliary supporter during the primary. He supported the president when the primary was finished which is a whole lot better then anyone from the party of "NO" So in my opinion and my advise to my friends and relatives in Virginia will be vote democrat without hesitation. Do not be used by the GOP who couldn't care less about you.

    May 18, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  12. Bridgette

    Let it go. Hilary and Barak are now friends please let it go.

    May 18, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  13. M. Cuomo

    This ad shows Brian Moran to be both divisive and more than willing to exploit the African American community for votes at the expense of other Democratic candidates. This man is not worthy of the Democratic party. Shame on Brian Moran.

    May 18, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  14. TCM

    Virginia needs to vote conservative; enough dems are already in place. The state needs to lead the way back to conservatism. I'm not necessarily stating that's republican, but we must return to fiscally responsible representatives.

    May 18, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  15. Ken in NC

    I am a Democrat and hate to say this but my party has one great weakness. After a success, we start to tear down fellow Democrats. At a time when we should be in competition against each other in a primary it is good to compete but not so good to destroy your competition with material that can harm or destroy the party. Democrats do it better than anyone. We put one in office and then we self destruct. So sad.

    May 18, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  16. elisabeth

    How incredibly negative! Moran is a bad democrat!

    May 18, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  17. Nunya

    This article is a mischaracterization of the ad as quoted. The quotes cited in the article about McAuliffe being responsible for the '3 a.m.' attack ad and ads questioning Obama's ability aren't about him 'supporting Hillary'. They're about him trying to tear down Obama. There is a big difference.

    May 18, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  18. Mickie

    Stop trying to pit female voters against black voters within the Democratic party. I don't think I would vote for someone who is still trying to divide the party for his own gain.

    May 18, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  19. texasgreenacres

    I thought McAuliffe was a puma (political unity my ass) he cried long after the primary was lost. I never heard of him getting behind Obama. He may have but I haven't heard anything about it,this is the first time mention that I know of

    May 18, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  20. Baze

    Trying to stoke up old wounds? No good. Dems truly do figure out a way to throw away their influence.

    May 18, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  21. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    these people running for public office its always about throwing crap at each other and nothing about what it is they will do for the people that might vote them into office
    on the other hand our new president is trying to full fill his promisses
    and it looks as if he isdoing a great job
    I hope the president can keep himself away from the petty crap that is going on in Government . or should he have the ability to spank each one of them and get them back to work

    May 18, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  22. Obama Supporter

    Democrats have reunited, Hillary and Obama are a wonderful team– this line of attack is not productive. Moran should take Obama's example and rise above this type of negativity.

    May 18, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  23. Laverne

    I just don't see Terry McAufflie winning. Looks like the things he said and done are coming back to bite him in the butt! Sorry, Terry even Bill Clinton may not be able to help pull this one out of the bag for you.

    May 18, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  24. Melissa

    Bad move by the rival. Hilary Clinton has been doing a great job and is admired by alot of people.

    May 18, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  25. Jayden,FL

    Moran is an idiot!

    May 18, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
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