January 18th, 2008
12:39 PM ET
15 years ago

Edwards hits Obama on independent ads

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/18/art.edwards0118.ap.jpg caption="Edwards is criticizing Obama for ads run on his behalf."]
(CNN) - John Edwards
said Friday that Barack Obama needs to “speak up, if he really means what he says” about ending divisive politics and denounce a Nevada ad funded by an independent group that supports the Illinois senator’s presidential bid.

The spot, running on Spanish-language radio in the state, criticizes Hillary Clinton for a lawsuit filed by some of her Nevada supporters that had sought new restrictions workplace caucus sites this Saturday. The buy is funded by the Unite Here Campaign Committee on behalf of the Culinary Workers Union, which has endorsed Obama.

"Everyone pledged that this kind of divisive politics that divides the Democratic Party, and could divide America, would come to an end. Sen. Obama made that pledge, I was sitting five feet from him when he made it," Edwards told the crowd at a Nevada campaign event.

“And now it turns out that in the last 24 hours there's a radio ad, a malicious radio ad, attacking Sen. Clinton. That is exactly the kind of divisive politics. It's being run right here, in Las Vegas. I denounce it. This kind of ad, I don't care who's doing it - in this case it's Sen. Obama's supporters - but this sort of thing needs to stop.

“And from what I've seen, Sen. Obama has not said a single word about this. Nothing. When two days ago, three days ago, he said on a stage in front of America and said, 'This kind of politics has no place in America,’” said Edwards.

“He should speak up, if he really means what he says, and this is not just talk, he should speak up and denounce this type of divisive politics.”

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.

The Obama campaign has not yet responded to Friday’s remarks from Edwards.

On Thursday, the Clinton and Edwards campaigns both took aim at Obama over the ad, which refers to the recent lawsuit over casino caucus sites by supporters of the New York senator’s presidential bid, saying it shows that “Hillary Clinton does not respect our people. …Hillary Clinton is shameless. Hillary Clinton should not allow her friends to attack our people’s right to vote this Saturday.”

The spot also praises Obama, saying that “Sen. Obama is defending our right to vote. … He respects our votes, our community, and our people.”

The Clinton campaign has expressed frustration with the fact that the spots are continuing to run, even though a judge ruled against the suit.

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John Edwards • Nevada
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. Jon, Pittsburgh, PA

    I am beginning to feel as though I would not be able to vote for Barrack. As a registered Democrat, I have been thinking that I will vote for our nominee, regardless of which candidate it is. I could accept any of the 3 top three.

    However, Barrack is coming across as very arrogant to me lately. I'm not sure that I want this type of arrogance in my president. I've lived with the same arrogance coming from GW all these years. I prefer someone that is tough and intelligent and not so full of themselves.

    January 18, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  2. Sandra

    is why I don't like Obama.... he contradicts everything that he
    says... (here is the true flip flopper)...

    Throughout the speech he bashes the Clintons, he bashes them in
    respect to Regan... He says he wants to unite the parties... but
    bashing one of the favorite democrats and praising republicans.....
    ummm ok?

    Then after bashing them he says I hate negative campaigns... yeah.... ok....

    He is no different than all of the other candidates... though he
    believes that he is above them...

    Change...what change has he been recorded on.. where is the evidence
    of this change...I would really like to actually hear his ideas... not
    who he thinks that he resembles... he has almost exactly the same
    platforms as the other democrats.. I don't see the change..?

    candidate in the democratic party wants CHANGE. I want a candidate
    that is for action...not beliefs...dreams.... DREAMS will not help us
    out of the crises in the economy, Iraq, terrorism, education, taxes,
    energy, environment and other major topics. It is actually looking
    over bills, discussing, being organized and strong about your
    opinions... not having an aid have to "keep track of you".... or give
    you papers "two seconds before you need them"....

    Obama is a candidate of fashion, more like the iPhone, than he is like
    those men. He is a candidate for affluent and trendy dilettantes
    rather than for those who are suffering and ignored by those in power.
    Hilary actually bridges the gap between the powerful and those who are
    struggling. Her life has been a movement. She has shown courage. That
    is why she won in New Hampshire.

    If you look at the legislation that was voted on while he has been in
    office.... he rarely votes yes/ or no... what are his opinions? I have
    no idea.. I understand that he does not want to look controversial in
    the public eye... "God's gift to the American people" but do something
    for the American People. Who cares if you are controversial.. vote
    first before others in the party do.... Popularity is a joke.. this
    isn't high school.. you don't have to be at the cool table... haha. I
    hate people who jump on the band wagon... and that is what he is. Too
    Green to have opinions of his own... or even know what they are. Sure
    he is smart... law is a great thing to have under your belt.. but it
    can't be the only thing.

    January 18, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  3. Leah DiMarco, TX

    I am no longer for an Obama/Edwards ticket.
    I think it would be better to have a man and a woman in the white house......

    Obama/Pelosi '08

    Anyone But Clinton!

    January 18, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  4. proud florida democrat

    I dont really like Edwards but hes 100% correct

    Obama speaks out against alot of wrongs in politics, BUT WHAT DOES HE DO?

    He claims not to negative campaign, yet you see the ads

    He claims not to take money from Pacs and special interest, He Does, youtube it

    He claims to be a "champion" of voters rights. He is ignoring Floridas vote and took his name off the Michigan ballot (Truth, he tried in Florida, its against the law).

    I know everybody thinks Hillary was pulling some political manuever by leaving her name on the ballot in MI. Actually its the other 2, Hillary took bad press in Iowa and NH by leaving her name on the ballot. Obama decided to take his name off his neighboring state, denying them the opportunity to voice their opinion. After failing to do the same in Florida his campaign has said Floridas Vote is of NO IMPORTANCE TO THEM.

    Obama took 18 months to reach the floor of the Senate to protest the war (the crux of his 2004 speech)

    Edwards has moved up to my number 2 choice behind Hillary, He takes stands on the issues important to him

    January 18, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  5. State of Virginia

    Edwards shows his leadership on this subject.Because right is right and wrong is wrong.It shows just how much Washington is out of touch with the American people,and reminds us of why Mr. Edwards is the only one in the Dem. party that can win in the general election come Nov.The Republicans would eat Clinton and Obama alive for this on the national stage,and people need to start thinking about this before they vote.

    January 18, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. Not being fooled

    Edwards is completley right. Obama will never say word one against this ad because he will reap the benefit of it and the damage it does.

    Of course if this ad were smearing him he would be screaming loudly and crying dirty politics over it.

    Obama doesn't care about doing the right thing, he only cares about doing what is right for himself.

    January 18, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
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