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. David from Texas

    That old ugy word "truth" always comes out. It appears that is what is happening with Obama. After the master of disaster, George W Bush, we know when we are being fed a bunch of crap like Obama is feeding us. I've tasted it once and don't want to taste it again.

    January 17, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  2. gina

    How ironic, the candidate who prides himself for being above race continues to polarize the white, Latino and African American communities. I hope the Latino community recognizes that Hillary Clinton and John Edwards have the talent, skills and commitment to do more for the Latino community than Obama. Obama is dividing the races and quickly.

    January 17, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  3. Kellie

    All of you Billary supporters....GET A LIFE!

    Everybody knows who was behind that lawsuit. Everybody agreed to the caucus sites LAST March. If they didnt agree with it, why not say something then.

    When Billary didnt get the Culinary endorsement, they got mad and put those people up to filing the lawsuit, but it didnt work. GOD is good! Obama '08!

    January 17, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  4. pete

    remember folks. the clinton camp is SETTING UP ANOTHER VICTIM PLOY. if they lose Nevada, they will blame it on the UNFAIR casino workers court decision. Get votes by making americans feel sorry for you!!!

    January 17, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  5. zizou

    Did Kevin, Nevada say dirty tricks by Obama? Not only has Obama run a clean, positive and inspiring campaign, But Hillary is the queen of disingenuous, dirty campaigning. Most people know that the ultimate political players – Billary – are willing to do anything for power.

    January 17, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  6. John, IA

    Shame on Obama for playing dirty politics. He is another politician.

    Sighs I was fell for his hope, unity and change message in Iowa.

    January 17, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  7. veronica

    Told ya Obama was no different than any other politician, willing to play dirty to get what he wants.
    He talks a good game, very smooth, manages to pull it over on so many.
    I wonder when they'll wake up from their trance and see he is no different.
    How he must be laughing to himself how he's got so many fooled.
    NO Obama in '08.

    January 17, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  8. alex

    I just wish CNN publishes this

    This message is not by the obama campaign it is by another body read the news well before you Hillary attack Dogs start attacking the man it was by "unite here campaign committee" they are voicing their opinion which i feel is reasonable the caucuses have been decided since last year May and also ratified in August so why the change of heart. They know who represents them well they have their senses working and they sponsored the ads. Obama did not endorse it. Also Obama Has never went negative it is his supporters that are voicing out to the Clinton's negative ads and comments. The Clinton's everyone can bear witness have been all out attack from Bill to Hillary to campaign managers. Even after the truce she started again yesterday stating that obama's comment about files not his business which i believe there is too much work to be done than looking at every file do you know how many files are in the white house? and they go on and on why obama is not ready i feel all these comments are pathetic seriously i never wanted to vote for anyone but i am going to vote for Obama. Hilary believes it is grey hair/Age that means experience ( Lies) and Obama represents the present the larry page, the jerry yangs the present and the future of Us. Obama has more experience than Clinton if experience is sleeping in the white house then i can bet a cook has more experience than obama. Hilary never held any major political position until year 2000. obama has been in the illionois senate since 1996 and his community work cannot be over ridden. He is a uniter but i cant blame the kid for been so well brought up and organized and with his qualities give it to his mama. GO OBAMA 2008 You Are the Man.

    January 17, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  9. Maria

    I am very surprised to read and listening to Obama support for Latinos. I don't think so!
    “The president of the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute criticized U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., Thursday for supporting a bill that calls for the construction of a 700-mile wall along the border of the United States and Mexico.

    Dr. Juan Andrade Jr. called the proposed wall offensive and “an insult to those of us of Mexican ancestry.” He also said Obama owes immigrants, especially Mexicans, an apology.”


    January 17, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  10. Ann

    Everyone says that Hillary shouldn't be blamed for the law suit because her campaign didn't file it so the people of Nevada shouldn't blame her, but in the same blog they say that Obama is at fault for the ads and he should pull them, when infact it was the people that were being threatened to lose their vote that started that ad. So if Hillary's camp isn't to blame for the law suit , why is Obama's camp to blame for the ads?

    January 17, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  11. James

    lol CNN it helps if you actually had credible TRANSLATORS to translate the brunt of the message. The part where they seemingly said "Hillary Clinton is Shamless" was actually saying "Shame on Hillary Clinton" which is justified seeing as she did not condemn the teachers union for filing the lawsuit. We cannot have a president who acts by not acting and clearly shows that she wants things both ways.

    January 17, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  12. keith

    Everybody knew the rules months ago so why should Clinton supporters wait until the Culinary union endorses Obama to raise this issue. The ad is totally fair because the Clintons only want to change to rules when they think it's to their advantage. I'm glad the courts threw out the bogus lawsuit. If the Clintons don't like the heat, then get out of the kitchen!

    January 17, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  13. Ron, TX

    Clinton gets a taste of her own medicine and gets ticked off? Hillary, go home!

    The difference between this Culinary Union ad and Hillary's ads: the Culinary Union ad is arguably true. Hillary's ads and fliers are blatantly false.

    January 17, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  14. Mary, Las Vegas

    Don't be so sure about an Obama win because that might make Hillary might cry...again.

    "GO OBAMA GO!!!" – that's the sound of teachers, administrators, and support staff at my CCSD (Clark County Sch. Dist., Las Vegas) school.

    January 17, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  15. Marvin, Dallas, TX

    TO Selective outrage, anyone? (comments)

    Thanks for pointing out all the pro’s and cons’s to the Strip caucus sites. Let me add one small point. ALL PARTIES INVOLVED AGREED to it almost a YEAR ago. But since Obama go their endorsement last week.
    Two days after that the Clintons supporters sued saying the Strip Caucus’s are unfair. IF Hillary had gotten this endorsement they would have never had the law suite PERIOD!

    January 17, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  16. Robert Schuetz

    Before all get carried away. Take time an go http://www.tucc.org web page of Barrack Obama .Read what his Church inspires., an rules are. No whites.
    ? Do you know what his middle name is ? ( Mohammed )
    ? What is his ties with Farrikan ? Check an see the state he is suppose to be coming from . ( ILL. ) Look at there infra stucture . Years now not one dime allotted.
    I am an independant . An I have always voted. In all my life I never ever heard of, making last minute rules, to bring the Ballot box to entry where ever I was employed.
    An yes the Media does not work Equaily.
    First an fore most, we are at war. An we sure do not need This man for a leader at this time. Learn him , when the Pledge is recited , you slaute our Flag. Not hold your hands over your FLY> Then before agree with others when they made head lines call one of our top Generals Betray Us .
    Some one wake this lad up. This is AMERICA . Don't like what I say try dialing
    1 800 leave the USA.

    January 17, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  17. BC

    I think many of these comments are naked endorsements of their candidate of choice. Hey, this is politics. Do you really think that the sharp elbows would not appear. I find it ludicrious that folks are crying foul with the ads when after the deal was struck - more than a year ago I might add, all of a sudden there is a lawsuit... they ( clintons) play innocent bystander. GIVE ME A BREAK. The clintons a wolves. Keep watching, listening .. You'll see the attacks.. far enough away that when a surrogate throws a elbow, they'll cry innocent.

    Don't be fooled.. This is american politics .. We need a change .. OBAMA in 08

    January 17, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  18. Elizabeth

    ASSOCIATED PRESS 1/15/08: "The plaintiffs are the Nevada State Education Association, its president, Lynn Warne, and five others. Debbie Cahill, the deputy executive director of the teachers' union, is a Clinton supporter and a member of the campaign's Nevada Women's Leadership Council.

    Two senior partners of the law firm handling the suit, Kummer, Kaempfer, Bonner, Renshaw and Ferrario, have donated to Clinton in the past. Also, Clinton ally and former Rep. Jim Bilbray is an attorney at the firm.

    The state Democratic Party unanimously approved the caucus rules last March, and the Democratic National Committee signed on in August. Four of the six plaintiffs are members of the committee that approved the rules."


    January 17, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  19. Pfunk

    Y"all (and yes i said y'all, y'all is a contraction of two words – you and all. Learn your english) are ignorant. Hilary has not done anything for black people, neither has Bill. You will believe the words of the Clinton idiots when the use black politicians to discredit him by saying "he started the 'race' war". That is dumb as hell, i was right in front of the tube when she discredited martin luther king jr. and i was there when she used the BET sellout to help her gain black credit. But what do I know, older black ignoramus' will continue to support Clinton for things she never did, while the black community suffered tremendously, as well as the hispanic community. When hurrican katrina went down Obama was there, Clinton wasn't, when the Democratic Republic of Congo needed help, Obama was there, Clinton wasn't. When nobody would pay attention to the black community in Chicago, Obama was there Clinton wasn't. I'll listen to a man/woman that can run a country, but i'll respect a man/woman that can aide a country and ALL of its citizens. The poor minorities, the poor caucasians, the rich republicans, the poor republicans, the rich republicans, immigrants, native americans, and anyone else whose ever had to kiss uncle sam's behind. Hilary's slick, but Obama can roll up his sleeves.

    January 17, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  20. Greg OH


    Please stop spreading spam emails

    January 17, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  21. Annie

    Is she crying tears yet? Watch for that sympathy vote again!

    January 17, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  22. AJ, IL

    All of these negative responses to Obama and most you all don't even know what a 527 group is!

    527 Group – A tax-exempt group organized under section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code to raise money for political activities including voter mobilization efforts, issue advocacy and the like. (per http://www.opensecrets.org/527s/types.asp)

    Obama has already stated in general terms, that groups outside the Presidential campaigns should not be funding in favor of a candidate. Specifically we are talking about 527 groups. Obama has been clear and concise on this issue.

    The UNITE HERE commercial is not paid for by an independent "527 group." It is paid for by the union, which is permitted as a means of communicating to its 60,000 members.

    The problem here is that back in Iowa John Edwards's former campaign manager was running the 527 group that launched ads in Iowa. Obama called Edwards's out on this. Hillary would have love to get the Cuminary Workers' Union endorsement but she didn't and now she and her campaign were supportive of the lawsuit.

    To be clear, so for example, say that Oprah and some of her celebrity friends got together and formed a 527 group and ran commercials in Nevada to support Obama, then Edwards's and Clinton would have a legitimate gripe against Obama, but they don't.

    OBAMA in '08!

    January 17, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  23. Evan

    You guys are killing me. First of all, you cant win a campaign without discrediting your opponent. It's just not possible. Second, all those anti-Obama people upset because he's attacking your precious Hillary, watch the news! Bill is on almost daily attacking, not discrediting, Obama and then apologizing. Third, every presidential canidate promises the moon when trying to get elected, even Hillary. Fourth, no one has even seen Obama try to implement his plan of change, and anti-Obama people are already calling him a liar. Guess what guys, we dont know that, only time will tell.


    and by the way "mess", democrats are big government. If you dont think Hillary would increase the government, you are mistaken!

    January 17, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  24. Anne

    Obama understands the plight of America and the world at large. His background growing up in Indonesia(muslim), ancestry from Africa(black), childhood in Kansas(white- people of european descent), his teenage years in Hawaii( Japanese, Latino), as a community organizer in Chicago( Christian charity organizations), as Harvard trained constitutional lawyer and as a 7-year senator in Il and now in Washington , make him the most experienced, versatile and capable unifying individual this country has ever produced. He is the best person to do damage control after the Bush disaster. The world will certainly work with him to end the war on terror and save the $ and American lives. So fellow democrats, republicans, independents, let's embrace the Obama movement. In the quest to win the the hearts and minds of the friendly people of this world, Obama is our best bet.

    January 17, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  25. Jen Cedar Falls, IA

    The Truth always leaps up and bites the Clinton's on their butts! This ad is true, everyone knows it and I'm glad someone stood up and voiced THE TRUTH on air!

    January 17, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
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