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. farid shakur

    look , alot of people are noticing that cnn tries not to cover Barack Obama as much as the other candidates especially the coverage the GOP gets; Oh it's ridiculous what the tv stations and commentary analysts are doing to phase Barack Obama from the view of the people. But, that's the exact reason why people want to vote for him; because, whom ever we see is most viewed and pushed by the media and analysts we know we are being misled from who we should vote for. Hillary Clinton and John McClain are being shoved down our mind and everyone has been noticing this but works just the opposite, because we the people can see how phony the candidates being shown all the time are. I tell you African Americans have no other intentions with respect of this nation but to help it. Most European Americans have hidden agendas, that most of the time don't help the American People would you like to check all the Presidents before this. Barack Obama would have to show America that he will do all he can to help all that he can because he is the bottom coming up not the top coming down. All people need to awaken and vote for the one who has no hidden agenda because he's not able too !!

    January 18, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  2. Tony, Tulsa, OK

    You Obama cultists would be foaming at the mouth if Hillary had run this ad against him. Your hatred for Senator Clinton is childish and uninformed. You're destroying the Democratic party. I don't care if you support Obama, but don't take her down just because you are incapable of seeing a positive future without your savior at the helm.

    January 18, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  3. andrew k

    for anyone bashing obama for this , you are wrong. this is a third party group , in which candidates have no say in what is said or displayed. i have worked on many campaigns, and this is true, the same rules apply to all candidates.

    and by the way, not allowing working people their right to vote, is not only illegal , (and i will never be suade by voter intimidation), but it is also a lot lower than having a third party group attack another candidates policies.

    if clinton and edwards were really for a democracy they would do everything in their power to let everyone vote

    January 18, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  4. Royce

    Shame on Obama how? Nothing wrong with presenting facts regardless of good or bad. People need to know the positive and negative aspects of each candidate and what their true agenda is.

    When those issues are misconstrued its fair that the challenged candidate get a chance to defend themselves.

    I will tell you right now, the only Democrats that really want to vote for Hillary Clinton are the following...

    1) Democratic "Good Ol' Boy & Girls" club individuals that want to continue with the same type of politics that plagues America for PERSONAL monetary or political reasons.

    2) Women that would vote for a women just because she is a women and want to see a first female present.

    3) Ignorant Blacks that seem to think "Clinton was the first black president," and have no clue what Clinton actually did in office but just like him as a person.

    Bottom Line...

    Hillary is just popular and has no solid political (or even professional) background.

    Edwards needs to quit the race as he is not even a factor in this race besides spliting votes between Obama and Hillary.

    The Republican candidates are all Reagan wannabees that only want to shift the money going to Iraqi war contractors, to companies they want kick backs from. The Clintons are no exceptions.

    The only true politician currently in this race that has a history of fighting for a noble cause is Barack Obama. Sorry to break the truth to you.

    January 18, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  5. Sue McAdams

    The thing to look at in each of the controversies lately-WHO GAVE THE FIRST BLOW? In each, it was Clinton or someone connected to her. All Obama and his supporters have done is to ANSWER BACK TO THE FIRST PUNCH and then they get put down by some for it. Try to think if you can remember any time he has initiated a fight? Can you remember his lying about her? And don't get me started about the Muslim thing. Anyone who still believes that hasn't researched or done their homework at all.

    January 18, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  6. jp/michigan

    Mr.Obama smooth talking and the lack of real experience will not get you into the White House. You are drawing us back to the 60's.by your community organizing ways. Using young African-American and Latino adults to get you in the White House. The young lack experiences needed to make wise choices. You are mesmerizing the young with your speeches of change and hope's at the same time your campaign uses underhanded means of dividing the democratic party.

    January 18, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  7. Kim, Sacramento, CA

    How is this ad something that Obama did? Doesn't the article say that an independent union took out the ad? Yep, I think it did! CNN gets more and more like the National Enquirer every day.

    January 18, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  8. Juan Markos Ganzalas de Mexico en Las Vegas

    No necesita hablo english par la VOTA. GO DEMOCRATOES!!

    January 18, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  9. RuthieM

    So let me get this straight: Hillary can attack, send out her attack dogs - Bill Clinton, Bob Johnson, Shehan, the 5 people she had to fire because of the mudslinging against Obama, and it doesn't stop there, but Obama is supposed to take her attacks with a smile, which he has? HA! That's the problem. Hillary and her cronies think this is still the shuffling bowing and moving to the side days and they just can't get it through their heads that it isn't as much as they would still love it to be at least with Obama. She has thrown more drit at Obama than anyone can shovel and she's still throwing it, and getting away with it, just by turning to the cameras and having her widdle eyes well up with tears. Oh poor victim lady Hillary, pooh pooh pooh...

    January 18, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. Hope LV,NV

    To Me Check your facts Sen Obama is not a Closet Muslim any real Muslim would ever put politics Before God or denounce being Muslim to "fit in" it is considered a sin. if you are going to hate on the man let it be for a legitimate reason. And he just said in an interview on Fox5 news las vegas ( and there are Muslims here)that he is a christian and there is a story about his pastor on the fox network right now and also his book the audacity of hope is based on a sermon from his pastor/mentor. if you are assuming he is Muslim due to his name his name is a african version of the hebrew name baruch. Maybe if his name were joe smith you'd be more comfy. you just want him to come to your church so you can see him huh?

    January 18, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. Eric in Massachusetts

    Kim, I'm pretty sure that the crux of the article and the Clinton complaints is that Obama is not doing anything to request the ads be pulled. No one said Obama's campaign is running the ads.

    Farid, you are sounding a bit racist. A vote for an African American because of his color is racist. Use your mind and do some thinking about the issues. Then vote your conscience. If you still come up with Obama, then at least you are using your mind and not just your eyes.

    I hope everyone takes a step back and looks at the big picture. Look at all the candidates carefully and assess their strengths and weaknesses. Ask yourself who can really deliver on their promises of hope and get things done in Washington? Obama has not shown any sign that he is able to get things done. He doesn't even do his current job of US Senator. He doesn't cast votes when needed. In the provate sector, he would have been fired.

    Hillary 08

    January 18, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. john L Cerrato, Rockville Centre, NY

    Obama must be desperate for him to go negative so late in the Nevada game. His unite the country message isn't working as he travels across the country. He will not unite the women, the white, or the Hispanics. He can't even unite the Black Caucus.

    Come Feb 5th, the horse race will take on a different look. Obama will be standing still as Hillary goes passed him. Obama will be so far behind, the media will then begin to realize this race was a marathon not a sprint.

    You heard it here first, bye, bye, Obama see you in 8 years.

    Sincerely, JOhn L Cerrato

    January 18, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  13. pam Eugene OR

    I realize that Obama had nothing to do with airing this ad and I do support him. I do however, wish he would ask them to stop the ad.
    This is not how Obama runs his campaign and I am sure the union will pull it the second he asks them to. It is the right thing to do Barack. You are better than the Clintons so please show it right away.

    January 18, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  14. marlene

    Obama's supporters cannot and could never accept the bare fact and truth that Hillary had nothing to do with lawsuit. In desperation over Obama's loss in the last primary and unimpressive national poll ranking, his Nevada supporters now resort to distortions and lies to paint Hillary as the brains behind the lawsuit which she was not. Indeed, "something is happening". And that something is this: Obama's message of HOPE and CHANGE has lost wind and sway. His Nevada supporters who released the ad have lost HOPE and have ceased to believe in CHANGE, as evidenced by their desperate and untruthful ads conveying the impression to readers that Hillary's march to nomination victory is dashing such HOPE and CHANGE in the OBama camp to smithereens. Strange that Obama has not till this minute disowned the lies and prevarications in his Nevada supporters' ads. Is there HOPE that Obama will CHANGE the ill-advised and uncalled for behavior of his Nevada supporters who are behind the unAmerican ads? The only rationale for his having to rein in his undisciplined Nevada supporters is this: the anti-Hillary hatred ad will boomerang on Obama not only in Nevada but also in the other States closely watching the political heat there. It is a shame that the anti-Hillary hatred is becoming the proverbial WOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING. There has been so much howling being heard in the Obama camp, from many wolves in the clothing of HOPE and CHANGE. YES, THEY CAN howl all they want. The voters have been forwarned. Obama will be sorry for howling ads. He will politically live to regret it.

    January 18, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  15. Texan for Hillary!

    TO JUAN:

    As a Hispanic, DO NOT speak on my behalf. You don't know me. You know nothing about me so don't put me in your little category as a Hispanic that agrees with your nonintelligent assessment about Hillary. My parents were US citizens and I was born and raised in the US, AND HILLAY HAS MY VOTE! I sure am proud I do not jump on bandwagons. Hillary has a lot of Hispanic support. Did you know that Robert, the brother of the late Ceaser Chavez endorsed Hillary this week? He will join Clinton's National Hispanic Leadership Council. Richard is the Labor Rights' Leader and Activist. Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis of California has also endorsed Hillary as well. Patti Solis Doye is her campaign manager. She is the first Hispanic woman to manage a presidential campaign. You should think with your head instead of your mouth, you would find that Hillary has a lot of Hispanic's working for her and supporting her. So, no, Juan not all Hispanic's think the way you do nor are supporting Obama. Some of us actually have sense and make intillegent decisions when we vote!

    January 18, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. Rodney

    I am from Louisiana. We like a little "hot sauce" with our politics. Let the mudslinging began. I love it.

    January 18, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  17. dan, tx

    It is unfortunate that this ad was placed. They should have just pointed to Obama's strengths rather than the weaknesses of other candidates. I hope they stop those ads.

    January 18, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  18. Jake

    More on Edwards from Feingold at Acropolis Review:


    January 18, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  19. shirley.roybal,surprise,az.


    January 18, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  20. Mario

    Just a black eye for the Clinton's, these people of NV want you to know how they feel Hitlery, you tried to control them, you get "frustrated" when they still run the ads...good, I hope it teaches you a lesson you won't forget anytime soon. It shows that you aren't as popular as you think and will try to come into another state where working people have the right to vote and you want to silence them.

    Good for Obama!

    January 18, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  21. Hispanic TEXAN

    HUGH, TX:

    Your comment is so racist! I’m Hispanic and I take offense to your comments and tone. You honestly think we believe that every single Hispanic in Vegas is illegal? I think you would like to think that and have people believe that. It's people like you that help keep discrimination alive and well in the “US”. Admit it–you don't like people of a different color or people who are different. We are all human beings and that includes illegal immigrants. I'm proud of my upbringing. I was not raised to hate any race, nor to believe that God made this country for just one particular race and gender.

    I can see how you would support Huckabee. You’re from Texas so I'm sure you are familiar with the Texas Minutemen, and know that the founder has endorsed Huckabee. The Minutemen are nothing but a vigilante group! Even President Bush, called them vigilantes. The members are White men and women. They sit by the boarders on their lawn chairs armed with their weapons. Just waiting to “hunt them down” and shoot "them" immigrants. How dare them. People are people and should never be hunt down like some sort of wild animal.

    You go ahead and support Huckabee. You fit right there with the Minutemen of Texas. There’s no doubt in my mind that there’s racism beneath all the attempts to try to stop immigrants from Mexico. How many illegal immigrants from Mexico were 9/11 terrorists? How many others have been traced back to other terrorist crimes? It’s just a national excuse, and I'm so sick of it!! Improve national security but don't limit it to just "Mexicans", and don't treat or talk about them as if there were not a human being!

    January 18, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  22. SS

    As Dick Morris says "who does it help." If you figure out who the tactics help then you figure out who is behind it. The lawsuit helped Hillary...she should have denounced the lawsuit if she wanted to seem fair.

    Look at all issues that way and you will see the true nature of your candidate...dont be fooled. Personally, I think if we nominate Hillary, we lose the independent vote in Nov. This is a lose lose all the way around.

    January 18, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  23. Judy

    Whether you support Edwards or support having this be a three way race decided by the voters, not the media, donate today to John Edwards at his website...there is a grassroots effort today to raise $7 million in one day for John to garner some much deserved media attention and force them to cover this as the three way race it is!

    January 18, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. Geri Sacramento

    It's gonna' backfire on him!

    January 18, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  25. Ken

    Anything that is coming out of Obama is negative. Watch out the media people. Don't be sidetracked.

    January 18, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
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