January 17th, 2008
06:47 PM ET
15 years ago

Clinton, Edwards campaigns blast radio ads backing Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/17/art.obama0117.ap.jpg
="Unite Here is allegedly running pro-Obama ads on behalf of the Culinary Workers Union."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The campaigns of Hillary Clinton and John Edwards took aim at Barack Obama Thursday over radio ads in Nevada funded by a third-party group that is backing his candidacy.

The spot, running on Spanish-language radio in the state, criticizes Clinton for a lawsuit filed by some of her Nevada supporters that sought new restrictions workplace caucus sites this Saturday. The buy is allegedly being funded by the Unite Here Campaign Committee on behalf of the Culinary Workers Union, which has endorsed Obama.

“Hillary Clinton does not respect our people. Hillary Clinton supporters went to court to prevent working people to vote this Saturday – that is an embarrassment,” says the announcer, according to a translation of the script sent to reporters by the Clinton campaign.

“Hillary Clinton supporters want to prevent people from voting in their workplace on Saturday. This is unforgivable. Hillary Clinton is shameless. Hillary Clinton should not allow her friends to attack our people’s right to vote this Saturday. This is unforgivable, there’s no respect.

“Sen. Obama is defending our right to vote. Sen. Obama wants our votes. He respects our votes, our community, and our people. Sen. Obama’s campaign slogan is “Si Se Puede” (“Yes We Can”). Vote for a president that respects us, and that respects our right to vote. Obama for president.”

On a conference call with reporters late this afternoon, Hispanic supporters of Clinton’s presidential candidacy criticized the union for incorrectly implying that “Si Se Puede” – a slogan associated with the late activist Cesar Chavez – was also the Obama campaign’s official slogan.

The Clinton campaign also expressed frustration with the fact that the spots are continuing to run, even though a judge ruled against the suit today, the ad has continued to air.

John Edwards was criticized by Obama in Iowa for not calling an independent group that supported the former North Carolina senator to demand they pull ads they were running in support of his candidacy. “When Sen. Obama says ‘turn the page,’ he obviously means turn to whatever page is most convenient. He loudly and repeatedly attacked independent ads by unions in Iowa as the product of special interests,” said Edwards Deputy Campaign Manager Jonathan Prince.

“But when a different outside group starts running ads on his behalf in Nevada, there's not a peep from him or his campaign. It must be because he's burning up the phone lines calling the head of Unite Here personally to demand he pulls the ads down right away.”

Late Thursday, the Obama campaign responded to the criticism: “Sen. Obama believes, and has said clearly, that campaigns should fund themselves and discourages supporters from spending outside the campaign,” said campaign spokesman Bill Burton. “But no one should be confused about the effort that was run on behalf of John Edwards in Iowa. In that case, it was not the independent speech of individual union members, each contributing small amounts to amplify their voices. It was a special project of outside donors funding a massive 527 effort run by one of Edwards’ top political lieutenants.

“As for the Clinton campaign's comment, coming from a campaign that is repeatedly launching absolutely false attacks against Sen. Obama, it takes some chutzpah. The fact is their camp clearly would like to have worker's voices silenced and they need to live with that unfortunate position.”

-CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

soundoff (388 Responses)
  1. Willy

    Go Obama. I have heard enough with Clintons and their sarrogates!

    January 18, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  2. Joan

    I will always support Obama no matter what the media want me to think of him.
    My friends can not wait to vote!

    January 18, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  3. Wendy

    Hillary Clinton needs to do more than have her picture taken with folks in a Hispanic neighborhood to get the Latino vote. She can start by explaining why she's taken so much money from lobbyists that are directly responsible for the health care and mortgage crises that is affecting these very Hispanic neighborhoods. The evasiveness and posturing of the Clinton Machine is at times a little too much to bear.

    January 18, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  4. Randolph Monroe, Chicago

    Ole great ad, the latinos realize that Hillary is full of caca.

    January 18, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  5. richie

    If I get a chance, I'll ask Hillary if she's ever done illegal drugs.

    January 18, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Come on!!! The Chief Executive of the Country must be an organized person. If that person is going to allways depend upon aids, the aids will be ruling. Memory, organization, vision, and ability to lead, compromise, etc. are very important. Any manager would tell you that if you are disorganized that will travel down to all personnel and areas under you. It's bad for any office, shame on the person who says that's not important.

    January 18, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  7. Brian

    January 18, 2008

    Texan for Hillary-

    I agree.

    To all others: Why the double standard?

    Teacher's union filed a law suit it was Clinton's fault because the Teacher's union endorsed Clinton.
    The Union that supports Obama put's out this negetive ad, but it's not Obama's fault.
    Again, I ask why the double standard???

    January 18, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  8. Brian

    January 18, 2008 7:06pm

    This might not be posted:

    Tom Davie-

    You said it right. CNN is giving Obama a free ride. My question is: why?? The Nevada debate has been by far the best debate and I think because he was finally asked some tough questions, which he then stuttered to answer or didn't answer at all and/or couldn't answer, but redirected the question. He doesn't do well in these debates and I think it's because he doesn't have anyone but himself to rely on. He fumbles all tough or in depth questions posted to him. Watch the next debate and see this for yourselves.

    Hillary on the other hand, doesn't stutter or fumble for answers. If Hillary had come out with this add the Obama supporters would be bashing her, but because it was Obama that came out with it, it's alright.

    Also, what is this rumor I hear that the culinary union is intimating voters to vote for Obama? I hope the press investigates these rumors..they might be untrue, but they should be investigated just the same in case they are true. As they say where this smoke...there's fire.

    January 18, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  9. keith Pike

    The Teacher Union had a wright to take it to court. This suit was not brought by the Hillary campaine, God Bless the Teachers Union.

    January 18, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  10. Lynette

    I'm an registered Democrat (black) in Charleston, SC and I will remember this in the upcoming Dem. Primary next Saturday. This is the "dirty politics" that Sen. Obama has denounced from day one. I was strongly considering a vote for him, but his lack of fortitude to do the right thing (right is right, wrong is wrong). You just lost my vote, Mr. Obama. I've heard a lot of people in my office today, saying the same thing.

    January 18, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  11. Nevada voter...

    Is it me...or does it just seem that Obama supporters just do not know how to spell.....Obama loves Reagan....Reagan hated unions....enough said....Obama is going to lose tomorrow in Nevada.....and the unions will not help him....there are a LOT more women in Nevada than union members who will be voting tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. PST for Hillary.....Mr. Obama will not get the vote of most of the democrats in Nevada...no way...no how!!!!

    January 18, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  12. Gary W, Roseville California

    Why in the United States are we going to allow a candidate (specifically Barack Obama) to allow his campaign to support segregation. His support and allowance of the Nevada radio againgst Hillary are nothing but poison in our "melting pot." That's unbelievably unAmerican and defeats the Unity of the Democratic party. Hmmm its EXACTLY the sort of thing Dr Martin Luther King would be fighting against.

    And Obama is trying to tout himself as an individual who strongest ability is to bring people together. Well that's a complete contradiction to his own words and action.

    How Disappointing.

    Vote for Hillary, she been fighting for UNITY for 35 years and fighting on behalf of ALL AMERICANS.

    January 19, 2008 05:38 am at 5:38 am |
  13. Georgia voter

    Obama has a lot of the youth support–Democrats remember McGovern?!! Democrats, you are setting the party up for another great defeat in a year when I believe people really want change but it is not Obama or Clinton-Go Edwards!

    January 19, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
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