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. treborjant1975

    Let's set Alex straight on what Hillary's credentials REALLY are:

    FACTS taken from her website:

    As a law student, Hillary represented foster children and parents in family court and worked on some of the earliest studies creating legal standards for identifying and protecting abused children.

    Following graduation, she became a staff attorney for the Children's Defense Fund.

    After serving as only one of two women lawyers on the staff of the House Judiciary Committee considering the impeachment of Richard Nixon, Hillary chose not to pursue offers from major law firms.

    Hillary ran a legal aid clinic for the poor when she first got to Arkansas and handled cases of foster care and child abuse.

    Years later, she organized a group called Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families.

    When she was just 30, President Carter appointed her to the board of the United States Legal Services Corporation, a federal nonprofit program that funds legal assistance for the poor.

    When Bill was elected Governor of Arkansas, She served on national boards for the Children's Defense Fund, the Child Care Action Campaign, and the Children's Television Workshop. She also continued her legal career as a partner in a law firm.

    She led the American Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession, which played a pioneering role in raising awareness of issues like sexual harassment and equal pay.

    Hillary was twice named one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America.

    As First Lady, Hillary led efforts to make adoption easier, to expand early learning and child care, to increase funding for breast cancer research, and to help veterans suffering from Gulf War syndrome. She helped create the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997.

    She was instrumental in designing and championing the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which has provided millions of children with health insurance.

    Hillary's 1995 book It Takes A Village, about the responsibility we all have to help children succeed, became an international best seller and she donated more than a million dollars to children's causes across the country.

    Hillary's autobiography, Living History, was also a best seller.

    In 2000, Hillary was elected to the United States Senate from New York. As Senator, she has been a national leader on homeland security and national security issues.

    She is the first New Yorker ever to serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee, working to see that America's military has the necessary resources to protect our national security.

    Her credentials go on and on and on and on…


    January 17, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  2. TE Roswell Georgia

    Nando, Obama had a problem when John Edwards did it in IOWA. That is hypocritical.

    The big question is, what has Obama done apart from talk and move your soul but at the end of the day your house is still in foreclosure and your son is still in Iraq. Please check his record before you vote otherwise we are getting ready to hand this election to the Republicans again.

    He went to Kenya a couple of years ago to a hero's welcome but now his people are dying there and where is he? Yes he made a couple of calls but no action. Please remember there are story tellers and there are doers.

    Here is a chance for him to show his foreign policy savvy especially since it is so close to home, it is home.

    January 17, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  3. Paul

    Shame on you Barack Obama! I thought your campaign was about "HOPE" and "CHANGE"! It seems to me its politics as usual, he just says things that sound good. VOTE HILLARY 08!!

    January 17, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  4. Christine NJ

    My opinion is that, the media backing the Culinary Union ad paying in favor of Barack Obama, but when puting Hillary's ads or news, they cut the whole sentence of meaning,and try to knock down her.

    January 17, 2008 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  5. Chaunda,IN

    I find it interesting that Obama supporter tear Hillary up for the same behavior they find refreshing in Obama. I had hoped when the candidates had a great and civil debate that the posts would follow suit. I guess that was too much to ask of such an angry crowd.

    Obama is not MLK or a savior or a demigod. He is just a man. A man riding on a crest of good favor that could crash at any time. Hillary is not the devil or the devil's wife. She is a woman who has had to take an unbelievable amount of crap off the the republicans and now off her own party members who seem to be taking their notes from republican playbooks.

    I heard a woman on the russ parr show call Hillary a scank today. A scank? This is how low our people and country have sunk when women parrot the same misogynistic degrading talk we abhor from men. At least that woman was a comedian doing it for the money. To the people in these posts, particularly the women, who say the hateful and angry things and out of the other side of their mouth talk about the hope, change and unity I ask is this what the "Yes we can" slogan means?

    January 17, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  6. Rob

    Only people who blog on political sites like this care about this. Yawn...next story please. This is stupid.

    January 17, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  7. Nancy

    This may be the first year I vote republican. I just feel that O'Bama says one thing then does another. He supposedly is against old Washington yet who are the Senators that keep giving there support to him but the old senators. The only policies he comes up with are what another campaign states first. If he is such a great, honorable person he would not stand for favorable sites set up to benefit his election in Nevada.

    January 17, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  8. josh

    I only hope they repair themselves for the nomination, its funny because the democrats have clearly shown they could blow this, in any case the suit against the culinary union was inevitable if hillary would have won it an edwards union would have filed the suit etc... its expected. Im still suprised however how cicvil iowa forces one to be lol, this is how the elections are going to be times 100%, Its no fluex the clinton's are persistant politicians that never seem to die which is why i strongly believe she can pull the election despite her negatives. If she wins Nevada and i think she's got it, despite her probable loss in south carolina. Polls in nevada project her show her ahead by about 2-9 points but polls have lost all their credability atleast untill the nomination is rapped up.

    January 17, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  9. rj

    Clinton supporters sound afraid!!! what is it your afraid of?

    January 17, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  10. aisha naeem

    now people will see what kinda guy obama is.if somebody else sued its hillary fault but he will claim ads not his fault.his people talking about clinton,his preacher saying stupid stuffabout clinton,his staff flashed hillary statements evrywhere .i dont see any reason for anybody to vote for him go hillaryyyyyyyyyyyyyy

    January 17, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  11. agron

    I hop Latinos are smart,Wake up Latinos...only Hillary help Latinos....Obama its Fake...[OPRAH]

    Go Hillary

    Latinos For Hillary...

    January 17, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  12. Cybil

    I'm a Republican, and this coming November, I'm voting for Hillary Clinton.

    HILLARY '08!

    January 17, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  13. jef wallace

    Hi everyone ! Thanks for taking an interest in this pointless back-and-forth between Hillary and Barack ! I am entertained by everyone's conspiracy theories ! I am very amused, you guys are all amazing 🙂

    EDWARDS/BIDEN 2008 !!!!!




    January 17, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  14. LisaMpls

    AJ for IL (at 11:14 p.m.): don't you see you are falling for Obama's hair-splitting tactics again?? Who cares whether it is a 527 or a union putting out the commercials? Obama is only making that distinction so he can benefit from the nasty ads. Please explain to me why Edwards' supporters' 527 ads are any worse. You say the union can say whatever it wants as a means of getting info to its members...so you support telling their members how to vote, and in such a nasty tone? Since when does where you work mean you have to be subjected to your bosses controlling the hand with which you vote??

    Hillary, I am with you all the way!!

    January 17, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  15. Carlos

    Those who think what has happened in the Nevada campaign over the last few days is dirty and shameful and think it might turn off people around the world are not students of political campaigns. This campaign nowhere nears the nastiness of campains in England and many other countrys (like Russia, where death or imprisonment may be the price you pay). Even Kennedy would not have become president had his father not delivered thousands of dollars and pulled strings to buy votes. Kennedy knew what was happening but said nothing.

    Strong willed and politically savvy people like the Clintons will do what is necessary to win. During Bill's two campaigns, he and Hillary learned how to fight hard and mean. Bill is going to use all the arrows in his political quiver to get a win for Hillary. He owes her that in light of her support for him during his beleaguered presidency brought on by numerous acts of disrespect and deceipt. Although he puts on a good act to appear a nice guy, I think he is very wiley and hasn't fully changed his ways.

    Obama has undoubtedly read some of the many books about the Clintons and how they operate. He knows he is in for the fight of his life, and, being a winner, he is not about to back down and allow the Clintons run over him. One can tell by the nature of his relationship with his wife, Michelle, that Obama is a good man. Michelle would not have him if he was any other way. Obama is also studied enough in politics to know that you sometimes have to use fire to fight fire. He knows the Clinton Machine (which goes beyond Bill and Hillary) and he knows he will have to be excedingly tough and determined to be successful.

    I haven't seen many hard fought political campaigns where TV and radio ads don't purposely mislead the voters about the opponent or his/her position on issues. Carl Rove and the RNC were great for that. What is happening in Nevada is a far cry from how the RNC operates, so I think we should cut the candidates a little slack and support whomever we favor.

    I don't think Obama likes or trusts the Clintons, and I don't think the Clintons are about to allow Obama to win a race that they think is destined for Hillary. So, let them go at it. Both would make good presidents. What would be a loss for either would be a win for our country.

    January 17, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  16. Paul


    January 17, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  17. Leo

    The funniest thing about all this negative campaigning is that things were all rosey when Clinton was considered a shoo in for the nomination but as soon as Obama became a legitimate threat to her campaign things got dirty... coincidence ? .. I think not . I had a ton of respect for Hillary up until that point and felt a Clinton-Obama or an Obama-Clinton Ticket would wipe the map with any Republican duo easily ... but with all this unecessary BS going on it will never be a reality and they are giving the republicans hope which thye should have ZERO after the past 8 years of destroying Americas reputation in the worlds eye while burrying the common man for big business.

    January 17, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  18. Sue

    January 17, 2008 7:49 pm ET

    people, use your brains. ALL the candidates knew the rules 10 months ago, and no one complained. NOW THAT THE CULINARY WORKERS UNION BACKS OBAMA, THE CLINTON SUPPORTERS ARE GOING TO COURT TO STOP THE UNION VOTE FOR OBAMA. Is this democratic? is this respect for the working class that hilary is supposed to represent? DONT BE FOOLED BY THE CLINTONS, WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!

    Pete, thanks for saying it for me! Saved me some typing. It's scary how some Folk believe falsities off the bat, and even scarier when a Campaign twists the truth as the Clintons do. Actually, they morph REALITY to suit their purposes. They attack Obama, he defends, then they accuse HIM of attacking or staring the exchange....(interchange "attack" with race-bait, lie about...) There really seems to be a pattern of this. It is disconcerting. I don't blame the Voter. They are only guilty of taking the word of those in power. Of trusting. To print half-truths or partial truths is unethical and should not be rewarded by the Voter. Is honesty and personal accountability an asset for a President? I'd say yes and I struggle to find any in the Clintons.

    January 17, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  19. len, sparks Nv

    Hillary deserves to be taken down a notch for the ruthless way they at least approved of (through Bill Clinton), if not secretly initiated, this shameless lawsuit. It was a voter suppression tactic worthy of a Republican not a Democrat. I cannot vote for a Democrat who acts like a Republican, so that is why I hope Obama wins. I want to have a candidate in November. How could a Democrat try to stop workers from voting? I still can't believe it.

    January 17, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  20. jj, honolulu

    I am not a Nevada resident, but I am trying to understand the issue here. This matter of holding a caucus for casino workers at their place of employment was put in play serveral months ago. Why didn't the good people of Nevada let their objections be known then. Why do you folks wait until a couple of days prior to the planned caucus event to file a law suit to prevent it. I cannot understand the logic behind it. Also, from what I understand teachers work Mon – Fri, I am not aware of children in Nevada attending class on Saturday, so you folks are free to caucus without any conflict. So, could someone please explain the outrage and unfairness in the whole HOT MESS!

    January 17, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |

    Do we all realize that the tiger woods of politics is here and here to stay? Obama is going to make America the most powerful country in the world once more by restoring our credibility and support. All you Obama haters will come to love this great American pretty soon, he might have lost a primary but he will win the majors.

    January 17, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  22. Adam, Sacramento

    Ends justify the means campaigns indicate ends justify the means presidents. That's not change that's status quo.

    January 18, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  23. Jet

    Hilary, we want a president who reads the Intelligence reports before going to war,
    not filing papers and getting angry at incompetent loyal staff who keep sending apologies.
    GO BO

    January 18, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  24. Tony

    Trying to stop democrats from voting just goes too far. I can see why people are ortraged. Go OBAMA!!!

    January 18, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  25. umcanes800@yahoo.com

    To Joeseph Pierre: Before you call Clinton and Edwards hypocrites, perhaps you should refer back to the Iowa debates where Obama was blasting Edwards when interests groups were doing this for him.

    January 18, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
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