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. Amazing


    January 17, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  2. AtlantaVoter

    Oh, please. The suit was brought because the at-large caucases essentially re-district Nevada and gives the culinary workers on the stip a more powerful caucus voice.

    Is it just me or would anyone else feel a bit better about Mr. Obama if he admitted this? Or if he ever, just once, pointed out that "hey, I totally opposed the war back when Senators Clinton and Edwards voted 'yea' but I didn't vote 'nay' BECAUSE I COULDN'T VOTE! God help us if the United States Senators and Representatives did not have more intell to consider than Joe Blow! And no, I am not referencing your coke use so don't start whining again.

    I am so sick of bogus arguments and moot points being belabored by the Obama campaign. Does he think we are stupid? Or not listening?

    Please, come November...and hurry. But hey, no one is going to lock me up for getting on the soapbox. What a great country. We are fortunate.

    But I agree with Senator Clinton. We have great opportunities but we have to reverse the trends.

    Hillary Clinton all the way!

    January 17, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  3. Mati

    If it was fairness, all working people would have a chance to vote on Saturday not only the casino workers. Obama and his campaign are instigators to hate among Democrats. How can this guy talk about being a uniter and so many idiots can believe him?

    January 17, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  4. D

    How can any of you Hillary supporters be upset that you weren't able to successfully disenfranchise a huge block of voters? Is this what Hillary's campaign has come to? I urge you all to get behind Obama, soon. Hillary is going downhill fast.

    Between Bill fighting with the media O'Reilly style and this BS Hillary tried to pull off, I have lost all respect I once had for the honorable Clintons.

    Stand up for change Nevada! Get out and show Hillary that her attempts to quiet the voices of the Latino population will not go unpunished!

    January 17, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  5. Cassie

    Go HIllary!! Lets face people are voting for Oprah not Obama and since she is GOD Clinton and Edwards will suffer. Obama sucks people.

    January 17, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  6. Collette

    Ok I must be blind, I did not read anywhere that these radio spots were paid by OBAMA. Its the union speaking up for themselves, everyone gets all worried when minorities start to speak up for themselves.


    January 17, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  7. Paul

    Obama is for Hope and Change, Give me a BREAK!! GO HILLARY!!

    January 17, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  8. chris-seattle

    why would anyone vote for hillary clinton? she is as crooked as her husband. who i voted for twice, but felt he should be impeached. look, hillary is as big a liar as her husband-that is why they are still married. i would like a woman to be president as much as anyone, just not her. i would vote for nancy pelosi in a heartbeat. what is up with the Hillary supportes? Why are they so whiney? and stop thinking Bill Clinton is going to be running things while his wife is president.



    January 17, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  9. Obamagirl

    Obama is gaining ground! THANK GOD! 🙂 I am so sick of seeing Hilary Clinton on TV. She is a vindictive and haggard woman. We need someone new, fresh, and one who provides hope for a better economy and better America - the only man who can do this is BARACK OBAMA.

    GO OBAMA/EDWARDS 2008!!!!

    January 17, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  10. mess

    Obama is delusional, is he high or what? He is living in unreal world right now, he really thinks he can do everything? What he will become if he will be president? A dictator? What, who is giving him ideas of this nasty ways? How is he going to treat people if would win (oh, God, please, no)? He really wants to win no matter what, no scruples on his side... this is outrageous. No shame on his side. This country is free, but there must be laws, limitations. Without them anarchy comes, totalitarian regime where is no freedom at all.
    Go Hillary!

    January 17, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  11. Connie

    As an NPA , I will vote Republican. I do not trust Hillary…She wants power her and Bill are obsessed for power. If she is nominated as president of our country. She will divide the country because she will carry the effect of racism obtaining from her campaign. Her strategies for power are cheap and low. She has no class. I am ashamed before the world to have a candidate like Hillary Clinton running for president in my country. She will cause America to continue to collapse before the world. Already, the American dollar is lower than the Canadian dollar. I remembered couple years ago …I went to Canada and the people in Canada were begging for the American dollar. America has became a thrift store.


    January 17, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  12. pete

    look, say what you like, as that is your right. Answer this question. Why was there no court challenge by ANYONE when the rules were put out? it seems very reasonable to say the clintons had a lot to do with the lawsuit, even if its not in their name. The teachers union that is bringing the lawsuit is a hilary supporter. THE TIMING SAYS IT ALL!!!! BRING THE LAWSUIT AFTER THE CULINARY UNION BACKS OBAMA. Do i need a PHD to figure that one out?

    January 17, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  13. localvore

    I'm impressed with the civil tone of Sen Obama, but I'm voting for the candidate who stands with the people and so refuses funding from defense contractors: Kucinich. In my opinion, any other is a betrayal of all those who have given their lives for freedom, many of whom are my frinds and relations. Sure, competing for media attention requires selling out, but that's a lose-lose approach – there's no point in electing another corportate shill. Come on folks, the lesser of two evils is still evil.

    January 17, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  14. ci

    Calling Hillary shameless is certainly not like trying to deny thousands of voters the right to vote. Afterall, how many teachers are working on Saturday night anyway? And why didn't the teacher's union bring this up when the plans were drawn up a year ago. Three of the plaintiffs were on the approval committee - (and Clinton donors). Check on factcheck website. I would hazard a guess that it was because Clinton was assumed to be the favorite by 20+ points.

    Not condeming an ad that is probably rude at best is certainly not the same as not condeming disenfranchisement.

    I sort of wish Obama would be negative on Hillary. She gets away with saying she has all this experience, when in fact she has less elected office experience than he and no executive experience. I don't know why it is so bad to say that being first lady of Arkansa or the US is not a qualification for president (which is a good portion of the famed '35' years remark).

    I was never against Hillary, but watching this primary has reduced President Clinton to a politician for me and Hillary into a wannabe. So, as a woman, as a daughter of immigrants - Go Obama -

    January 17, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  15. Why not a Clinton-Obama ticket in 2008?

    It is clear to see which blog posts are by Republicans posing as Democrats--–that's always been their stragedy: hate-mongering. Spewing hate towards one Democratic candidate or another. Go blog on your own CNN GOP stories, Republicans-–or don't you have anybody you want to support on the GOP side?

    January 17, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  16. Garth

    It was a matter of time befoer Obama used his race to gain votes, he has lost my vote.

    January 17, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  17. Bryan

    Barack Obama is a hypocrit! The American public is smart enough to see through this. Shame on you Obama....and I almost supported you. Go Hillary!!!

    January 17, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  18. David Florida

    If the Clinton camp or the Edwards camp thought there was a 'truce' from the Obama camp, if they believed there was a shred of integrity, or that ethics and principles mattered, they may have to think again.

    This is turning into a dirty fight and typical of most recent campaigns for the top job.

    Given that Obama tries to run under the impression he is the coalition builder, it seems odd that his campaign has a sharp focus on division.

    I don't think it is as deliberate as some would have us believe. Obama is lacking in experience and does not seem to realize that the rifts his campaign promotes could be deep wounds that the party will find difficult to heal. His inexperience could also allow others to get in a position to manipulate the campaign to suit their own interests.

    January 17, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  19. Geri

    Obama should have to follow the rules just like the other candidates. If he was told not to run the ads then they should be taken off the air. Also the judge allowing all the polling places in the casinos is just plain wrong. The rest of us had to caucus at the appointed place in our precinct. What makes him so special??? I really do believe everyone is afraid of him because he is black and they'll have Sharpton, Jackson, and the rest of that rowdy, mouthy bunch on their tails. This campaign has gotten so out of hand and when Clinton or Edwards say anything they get crucified but when Obama gets derogatory its o.k. Double standards in this election. The Republicans can just sit back and know that they will win because of the crap thats going on and even a 2 year old could beat Obama.

    January 17, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  20. Paul

    Hillary needs to step down period!!! That woman is soo weak and sensitive to be a President. She gets easily moved by Obama's political mind games. why does she feel It's OK for her to let Bob Johnson talk about Obama's past 30 yrs ago while any political attack on her she's ready to wipe tears and has her husband ready to fight reportters!!! No one would have known about Obama's teenage life if he wouldn't have mentioned in his book. The Clintons are very petty with their kitchen politics.

    Forget the Clintons and the Bushs families switching White House as if they're the only ones can save American people. we need some young energetic blood with fresh breath and more informed with current politics especially foreign policies to tackle the International tests the country is facing now. we're paying almost $4/gallon for gas coz our relationship with Middle East sucks!

    Obama is a very well informed candidate with new ideas that will bring CHANGE. Not Clintons who got African Americans brainwashed with stupid moves they made in their White House days. Hiring a black personal secretary in White house, building offices in Harlem and attending NAACP awards doesnt mean anything to smart black people. No wonder they're stuck with old uneducated voters still supporting them while young or educated, learned and informed African Americans are for Obama thus CHANGE

    January 17, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  21. Me

    Barack Obama is nothing more than a cheerleader, hoping to get elected on words wihout substance.

    The media can do whatever it is they do to elevate Senator Obama as the favorite among african americans.

    I'm african american, and I will in no way vote for someone just because that person is also african american.

    My vote goes to the best qualified person who is able to lead this country.

    January 17, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  22. Gonzalo, Austin, TX

    To the comment stating that Hilary didn't understand Latinos. I have to ask how does Obama or any of the other Democratic candidates at all? If you want to call immigration the Latino issue for this election year, than Obama's stance is not all that supportive or new(McCain actually seems the most liberal on the issue). The Culinary Union does not represent all Latinos, and its sad that apparently union members can't vote on their own or make political decisions by themselves apparently. The thing that bothers me about this situation is that the candidates have done little to address Latino voters directly, not until recently when Nevada became a battle state. However, regarding this article in particular, what really irritates me is that Obama and his supporters call him the politician of change. However, so far I've just observed politics as usual from him and his supporters. This adds to the current schism of Democrats, which will suck come November, thanks a lot Obama and Hilary.

    January 17, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  23. Robert, Gastonia, North Carolina

    I hope people can see what is becoming ever clear to me. First Hillary's comments about MLK was twisted and spread like wild fire among the black community to discredit her. Even though she has fought all her life for equality a little mud slinging by Obama and his supporters and the black vote is slipping from her. Now a law suit which was not brought by her and a negative latino radio ad is turning the latino community against her when she has clearly worked overtime to include and support the latino community. Obama and his supporters should be ashamed. Someone or something is trying to turn all of the major voting blocks against Hillary Clinton with negative and false information. I can only hope that people wake up and see the smear campaign for what it is, a desperate attempt by Obamas campaign to cripple Clinton with the minority vote.

    January 17, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  24. Ms. C Johnson

    Why don;t you adults grow up, I've never read so much back and forth lip service from grown people in my life, and I am 70 yrs. old, each of you need to get on your knees and pray for piece the rest of the way.

    January 17, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  25. Jen, Gainesville, FL

    I am puzzled. Obama was not involved in the ad. It is a fact that Hillary's backers started the lawsuit to present the culinary workers from voting. What is problem of this ad voiced by the culinary workers' union to complain? If I were these workers, I would do the same thing.

    January 17, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
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