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. ikem

    I think this is not an issue, we need constructive arguments to be discussed concerning the things that the voters want such as Healthcare, immigration, jobs, how to end the iraq war and other things that affect the American people.

    January 17, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  2. Angry Blk Guy from VA

    WOW!!! This is turning out to be a very ugly campaign season!!! Go Hillary!!

    January 17, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  3. Poor

    Nice ad!

    January 17, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  4. Kevin, Nevada

    Its really embarrasing that Obama continue his dirty campaign against Hillary. He is dividing Dems. Please don't vote for him.

    January 17, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  5. Juan

    Latinos understand what Hillary's up to. It's too bad Hillary doesn't understand Latinos. This is why Saturday in Nevada, she shall lose.

    January 17, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  6. Maxi

    There goes the Obama / Edwards ticket...... Oh well......

    January 17, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  7. Brian DeFiore

    Are there any adults running for president?

    This is just a bunch of pre-teens feuding over the last of the cookies and milk. Give me a break people, and give me a candidate who is mature enough to stick to the issues without running home to mommy ,daddy or Oprah, every time something happens that they don't like.

    January 17, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  8. Daniel

    Obama and his supporters offer NO hope. Just a bunch of angry folks.

    Hillary all they way!

    January 17, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  9. andy

    I am Latino in California and my brothers and sisters you are being told things that are untrue ! The Clintons have always supported the Latino community and now if these are true things that are being sad by Obama and the people who are saying this are not Latino because the latino community knows how important it is for them to vote for who will do the best thing for them on the issues that will effect the Latino community and if he supports what is being said then he is not saying the truth ! I am Latino and I would not lie to people who are in desperate needs and who truely need help and those who will not but say they will ! La raza would not be standing behind Mrs. Clinton if there was any signs of her not being willing to stand behind us on all issues and that includes Illegal Immigration Reform !! Ask OBAMA what he will do he does not want to discuss it in detail he will not ! its true !!

    January 17, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  10. James

    The sweet smell of union politics

    January 17, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  11. Murry

    Hillary's just jealous. She doesn't have loads of humble people willing to spend their meager wages to passionately speak for her. She has Bob Johnson instead. Oops. I agree with the union. Vote for Obama instead.

    January 17, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  12. Adam, Los Angeles

    I'll be the first to admit, this is wrong–even if the ads are true. If they'd like to encourage others to vote for Obama they can do so in another way.

    clean politics (if its possible)

    January 17, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  13. mary

    Obama campaign is the same oiled machine from Chicago that knows all the tricks in the book. the same machine that have reelected politicians in Illinois for over 40 years. Tats the same machine that Obama hopes to bring to D.C. Obama campaing whines and cry out loud whenever is possible but when they do the tricks is all ok. is part of the change, so they think!
    My question is since when is Obama walking aside the Latino community? He is just t calculated opportunistic politician!

    January 17, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  14. Jake, California

    The workers are speaking for themselves, their right to vote on Saturday. This is not a group sponsoring Obama's campaign so Hillary and Edwards better find something better to talk about.

    January 17, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  15. peter van eetvelde

    I have worked in the states years ago and i see today how bad America is doing.
    the only person who can turn this around is Sen Obama.
    I hope for everybody inside and outside the us that's he gone be the next President!
    Good luck America!
    Peter from Belgium

    January 17, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  16. Why not a Clinton-Obama ticket in 2008?

    In keeping with Obama's pledge during the debate this past Monday night, he should speak out against these ads, as they are not "directly Obama's thoughts" (unless they ARE)-–Obama pledged to speak out about anyone (in his campaign) speaking "for him", when they are actually making his political camp look bad because those aren't his beliefs or values being professed.

    Talk about trying to split the Democratic Party-–minorities are going against each other, and Democrats are going against each other (the Las Vegas Culinary Union verses Las Vegas Teachers' Union). How does this "unify" the Democratic Party?

    It is fair to say that fairness to all voters should be first priority-–if you give some workers caucuses at their workplace, give ALL WORKERS caucuses at work--be fair. If this were issue was happening in my state, I would feel the same way.

    Stop the negative campaigning-–the Democratic candidates don't want it, we shouldn't either. Get on with the REAL ISSUES.

    January 17, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  17. James Martin

    Here we go again. Same old politics by someone who wants "change". Perhaps this may prod the media to ADMIT EDWARDS IS A CANDIDATE. Probably not. Odds are it will be presented as a Clinton v. Obama "WAR". I am glad Nevada voters are smart enough to see their votes should go to Edwards and not MSNBC crowned Clinton or the Uniter Obama. WE will see.

    January 17, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  18. AP

    Here, here!!

    January 17, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  19. Nando, Florida

    GO OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No one had a problem when John Edwards did it in IOWA RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 17, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  20. Druie Cavender

    Can we please bring Joe Biden back, who is much more qualified to be President than either Clinton or Obama?

    January 17, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  21. STAN


    January 17, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  22. JD, WI

    I can’t stand the impotence strategy of Clinton camp allowing Obama to get away with any crap. When there are so many opportunities to keep Obama on the defense, Clinton camp is trying just to stay above the fray. That’s not going to work. I don’t understand why these so-called experts like Mark Penn and Howard Wolfsan don’t get it. They are dumb enough to think that Clinton’s celebrity status will take them through to victories on Feb 5th. Playing safe is not going to work.

    January 17, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  23. Ray

    Obama is a hippocrate. Funny how the Obama CULT was all over Hillary for the Teachers filling a lawsuit, but this is OK? GIVE ME A BREAK!!!

    January 17, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  24. WOW


    January 17, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  25. Jay

    that's really low...and dirty....and childish...shame on yourObama.....shame shame shame...

    January 17, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
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