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. Eric

    Obama attacked these types of ads in Iowa when Edwards supporters ran them but he stands quiet when a 527 does the same for him in Nevada. Just goes to show he is the same type of political candidate as everyone else and thinks something is bad when it opposes him but good when it supports him. The other problem with the ad is it targets Hispanics with a nasty ad about Clinton which fans the flames of race politics that Obama said he would not do.

    January 18, 2008 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  2. swede

    OBAMA IS JUST ANOTHER POLITCIAN..GET THE POLLS THAT FAVOR HIM THAT IS ONLY A HOP AWAY! I CANNOT STAND HIM> FAKE FAKE FAKE!

    January 18, 2008 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  3. Me

    Ok, I think rational people are able to see why Senator Obama supports Mr. Farrakhan. They speak the same language. Obama is Muslim, and refuses to admit it. If Senator wanted to unite the country, why has he not gone to a white church or a mixed church?

    If he is a Christian man at heart, why does he not confess his faith in the Lord, the true Messiah.

    If he does, he'll offend hi Muslim brothers, including Mr. Farrakhan.

    Don't be deceived, there is something secretive lurking in the shadows of darkness. Somebody turn on the lights, please, it's pretty dark in here. LOL

    January 18, 2008 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  4. Nic

    I am glad Hillary used one union to go after another union in order to suppress the vote – especially for working class workers. Where would we be without Hillary to inform us that Obama is a radical Muslim extremeist who was educated at anextremeist school, and had radical ambitions of being president as a kindergarten student. We don't need a southside crackhead as our president, we need real leadership to have unions fight unions, to suppress voting, and to always remind us that only she has NO weaknesses as a leader... Just like President Bush.

    Go Hillary!

    January 18, 2008 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  5. Angela

    these kinds of caucus's should be outlawed anyway.
    Obama has obviously descended to the reptilian depths of Rove-style campaigning.
    Dirty, Dirty, Dirty.
    Omama is showing his colors and is defending this type of caucus because it will benefit him and him only.
    Just another politician.

    Oh yeah, CNN, please don't delete this just because I'm pro Hillary.

    January 18, 2008 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  6. f

    To the semi-literate idiots on this board who support Obama:

    get a clue

    HRC '08

    January 18, 2008 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  7. John

    Obama is a fraud!

    January 18, 2008 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  8. Ito, Yokosuka Japan

    I couldn't have said it better than that radio add.

    HRC IS a SHAME and an EMBARASSMENT. Nice add...hope they keep up the heat. She deserves it.

    January 18, 2008 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  9. Californian

    Obama gave a sarcastic speech today in Nevada decrying and imitating his opponents, making fun of their answers at the debates, he has not denounced ads against his opponents that he would call dirty politics if anyone else did them. My relatives in Nevada have told me that the real rule breaker in the Casino workers lawsuit was the head of the Culinary union who agreed with Nevada's other unions to stay nuetral to be fair to all the candidates so the dems would agree to the worksite voting arrangements and then popped up before the election with an endorsement of one candidate after all the other unions agreed to stay nuetral. Sneaky and underhanded and probably planned in advance. Not a man of honor, his word, or of any of the qualities that make a good president but very much like Bush and Rove together in one nasty sarcastic package. Nobama

    January 18, 2008 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  10. Mike, Milwaukee, WI

    Shame on Hillary. The Clintons are not above the law though. The court system saw through this BS. Voters are going to show Hillary the door.

    Obama 08

    January 18, 2008 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  11. What really matters

    of course they were in agreement 10 months ago..everything was fair and square..I live in northern Ohio,,and I can tell you...we would have no problem if they wanted to hold a caucus in a United Auto Workers Union building, but if that union gave their support to one of the candidates before the caucus, there would be cars overturned before they would allow such a clear discrimination. The Culinary Union knew 10 months ago the situation when their election was going to take place, that's plenty of time to apply for an absentee ballot, which is what I did, or find a way to get to the poles and cast their vote the same as the rest of Nevada has to. This once again is big money at it's best...theirs no way they were going to rule in favor of that lawsuit and get those big mob bosses mad at them....can you blame them...I think there's a lot more to all of this ..First the thing in Michigan, now this...I have a feeling there's going to be some kind of stir in every state that normally would not support Obama...The press was so sure that they disgraced Hilliary enough with that one tear and all 6 polls that they didn't even have anything writen to respond to Hillarys win. My local new reporter was literally speachless and you could hear the shock in their voices..If the press wants him in so bad, then I want anyone but him,,,but if he is nominated, I will vote democratic anyway.

    January 18, 2008 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  12. Marsha, Portland, OR

    Hillary Clinton has traditionally had a lot of support from the Latino community. I think it is going to be a very sick thing if Obama wins Navada and South Carolina by first playing on the comments of her speech earlier in the week and distorting those and now there is this screwy campaign add. This campaign is becoming all about race. I don't want to vote for a candidate based on race.

    January 18, 2008 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  13. Clintons_destroy_cities

    can somebody explain to me why African-Americans and Latinos would ever support the Clintons anyway? most Blacks and Latinos live in disadvantaged urban areas, which the Clintons helped smash into abject poverty and oblivion in the nineties, by conintuing with the basically the same policies as Reagan and Bush the First in the eighties and nineties. thanks to the Clintons, poor urban areas (ie the main places where Blacks and Latinos live) had BILLIONS of dollars taken away or withheld from them, and the Clintons did nothing to restore the myriad social programs that the Republicans pulverized during their 12-year reign. a vote for Hillary is a vote for our cities to turn even more into third-world garbage dumps that are less inhabitable than many areas in Africa or Latin America. Obama (and his wife) have at least been there and might think about turning around the sad state American's urban areas have slipped into, thanks to the lack of action by the Clintons and their cronies. if we want any hope to turn places like Los Angeles (about 70% of which is simply a no-go zone for white people) from Gaza-style war zones into pleasant places where anyone could live, Hillary Clinton is not the person for the job.

    January 18, 2008 03:43 am at 3:43 am |
  14. Krossroads

    She better start crying so she can get that "hidden" vote!!

    YES WE CAN.....

    January 18, 2008 03:52 am at 3:52 am |
  15. James Brown ( Independent )

    MSN and News Week have both looked into Clinton and Obama's experience. It's not even close , Obama has more time in elected office , and a track record of pulling people together..........he has the ability to unite people.

    Clinton has a history of pulverization , and the experience she tries to claim , is the same as the White House pastry chef. She is considered a Washington insider , and that means "NOTHING CHANGES" , because SHE IS PART OF THE PROBLEM.

    OBAMA 08

    January 18, 2008 04:14 am at 4:14 am |
  16. allan

    Obama's balloon will be broken soon.

    January 18, 2008 04:50 am at 4:50 am |
  17. Richard, Mckinney, Texas

    The Klinton's invented dirt....they can't stand it when people don't acknowledge her as queen...

    January 18, 2008 04:53 am at 4:53 am |
  18. REALITY

    EVERYBODY IS BEING MANIPULATED BY THE PRESS. THE ONLY TWO PEOPLE BEING GIVEN ANY COVERAGE ARE HILLARY AND OBAMA. THE REPUBLICANS WOULD LOVE TO RUN AGAINST EITHER OF THESE CANDIDATES AS IT WOULD MOST CERTAINLY GIVE THEM THE WHITE HOUSE AGAIN. HILLARY SAYS SHE'S GOT 35 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE TO DRAW UPON IN THE WHITE HOUSE, THE FIRST QUESTION ANY REPUBLICAN WOULD ASK IS WHAT EXPERIENCE EXACTLY IS IT THAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT. AS FOR OBAMA, THE FIRST QUESTIONS A REPUBLICAN NOMINEE WOULD ASK IS WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU DID DRUGS, HAVE YOU EVER GIVEN ANYONE DRUGS AND HAVE YOU EVER SOLD ANYONE DRUGS. IF HE WAS CAUCASION THE PRESS WOULD BE ASKING A LOT MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS ISSUE. OUR CURRENT PRESIDENT IS A RECOVERING ALCOHOLIC WHO ALSO HAS A HISTORY OF DOING BLOW AND LOOK AT WHERE THAT'S GOTTEN US. I WOULD STRONGLY ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT EDWARDS, AS HE HAS LIVED HIS LIFE TO THIS POINT JUST LIKE HE SAYS HE'LL RUN THE WHITE HOUSE.

    January 18, 2008 05:18 am at 5:18 am |
  19. Wilhemina

    Yeah Latinos unite and vote for Hillary, so she can send you to Iraq, she already voiced during her pushing the war how hard it is to tell the difference between Hispanics and Middle Easterners, ha! ha!, yeah, be kiss butt and vote for her, then send us a postcard from the Middle East, to funny!LOL

    January 18, 2008 05:26 am at 5:26 am |
  20. wavey

    HEADLINE:
    CLINTON MACHINE SUPPORTS COURT ACTION TO STOP LATINO VOTERS FROM CAUCUSING!!

    HEADLINE:
    CLINTON MACHINE LOSES IN COURT- BIG TIME!!

    HEADLINE:
    LATINO VOTERS IN NV HAVE WON A TREMENDOUS VICTORY AGAINST THE CLINTON MACHINE!!

    Yes We Can!!

    Si Se Puede!!

    Yes We Can!!

    Si Se Puede!!

    January 18, 2008 05:32 am at 5:32 am |
  21. Renee

    Everyone need to calm down and stop this!!! Obama had not done anything unfair. Clinton and Edwards had to know how to work thier own campaign they knew the rules. I don't see where Obama is dividing anyone. These worker have the hardest time in getting off from work and you all know that!! and all Obama is doing is making it easy for them to be able to vote and that is a good thing. and if others wanted to vote do what you need to do.. Obama is uniting all those worker who in all honesty can't take off. The problem here is that it was not the Clintons who the endorsment went to and they are not happy about that. When the Clintons cause the lawsuit to come into play those hard working people felt she was trying to stop thier votes and so they express that feeling. Obama is a good candidate to be a President.

    January 18, 2008 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  22. Bob

    Folks, please do not write Hillary off to soon. Look what happen during the New Hampshire event. Several voters will change their mind at the last second. Please do not count Hillary out. She has the "CAN DO" to go all the way.

    January 18, 2008 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  23. Lee, NYC

    Even if Obama had been in the Senate, he would not have shown up to vote against the war, or read anything either. This man is lazy and as dumb as a shoe.
    Plans on following to GW Bush's footsteps, doesn't know anything and plans to have people around him that do, that's okay, if you are there to okay what they are doing, but he won't be like Bush. Therefore we'll have 4 years of bullcrap going on. Obama will be a puppet, is Leahy and Kerry looking for higher position, mmmm, I think so, but Obama will probably pick Karl Rove for his old job.

    January 18, 2008 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  24. shanna

    obama is out for obama! and his radical church and friends! I wouldnt choose him to watch my children,much less 300 million people,He is a fake!

    January 18, 2008 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  25. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    Obama and his sleazy lying political ads again.
    And he's supposed to be the candidate of hope?

    The man is as corrupt as they come.

    January 18, 2008 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
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