January 18th, 2008
12:39 PM ET
13 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. sairefgm

    Edwards will not win presidency people. He has nothing to offer and is very dull. very dull with his 400.00 haircut.

    January 18, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  2. sairefgm

    Edwards need to w ithdraw just as the democratic party has asked him time and time again.

    January 18, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  3. Gorbashov, Long Beach, Ca.

    John Edwards has the vision and passion to be the leader to fight for middle class America!

    He can unite the party and the nation, and is the most electable of the top three Democratic candidates!

    Edwards/Richardson in 2008!

    January 18, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  4. E. in Dallas, TX

    get over it, edwards.

    January 18, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  5. Joe

    And with that Edwards stops running for Vice President and decides he wants to be President again.

    January 18, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  6. Adam, Los Angeles

    I agree with Edwards. Obama needs to ask his supporters to pull the add and encourage them to vote for him in another more positive way.

    January 18, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  7. A

    Now things are heating up.

    January 18, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. aisha naeem

    obama is a sneaky dirty politician .he played the race card and plyed ads in spanish through 3rd party when he was against it in iowa and he was never 100%against war and he compares himself to ronald reagan so who is he i thought he was gonna bring change but he is also reffering to history .shame on u mr obama

    January 18, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  9. elliott

    This weasel is slicker than Slick Willie.....

    January 18, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  10. chevyk

    Ur not doing well in the race so you attack the nice, likable guy, wow. What a great country

    January 18, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  11. Chi-town

    Hillary tried to take away their ability to vote...I'd be upset too. That was another dumb move by her. First the MLK comment and now this. What is she thinking??
    I guess Obama is twisting the lawsuit now. Come on. I don't remeber Edwards speaking out against the lawsuit to take away folks ability to vote.

    January 18, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. Leah DiMarco, TX

    The ad did not say Hillary was shameless it said 'Shame on you..."

    Obama should not have to apologize since he was not the one that paid for or approved the ad.

    Obama '08

    January 18, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  13. Chuck

    Obama will get hammerd for this and the Reagan comment too.

    January 18, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  14. Wallace

    So a Union buys an ad to back their endorsed candidate and it's divisive?

    AGAIN, this isn't a disguised 527 group, It's a Union. I don't know about this one.

    Should Senator Obama say something? Maybe (strong maybe) he should. BUT, I think Edwards may be reaching on this one a little bit.

    I like Edwards too and still believe an Obama/Edwards or Edwards/Obama ticket would be amazing.

    January 18, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  15. CJ, Richmond, VA

    This is why Edwards doesn't get nor deserve more media attention. What has he been saying of any substance? The past two "newsworthy" moves he's made have been attacking Obama for his ads and criticizing Obama for, heaven forbid, acknowledging something positive in *gasp* a Republican. The truth is Edwards has been the epitomy of Debbie Downer this whole campaign. Obama has been a candidate of hope. Edwards can't find anything nice to say about the country, and his negativity has started to swallow up his whole campaign. Edwards, if you want more coverage, start talking substance instead of lobbing useless attacks.

    January 18, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  16. joe

    well - go edwards! i am liking this guy more and more. i was voting for obama - but i just can't stand the holier than though bull - when "united" basically means he's going to attack and divide the same way any other candidate running does....he is no different and is not looking like much of a change these days.

    especially referring to "reagan" as being an agent of change - wow - i think you just crossed the party lines a bit too far dude. and the misogyny and clinton attacks are out of control. i am taking another look at edwards.....

    January 18, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  17. jyfranca

    Edward is running to be running mate of sen.Hillary Clinton.Congrats in gen.election you and your boss Hillary will be defeated

    January 18, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  18. Julie, Atlanta, GA

    Call him OUT, John Edwards. He's been given a free pass for far too long!!! Regardless of the MEDIA's efforts to try to portray this as a 2-person race, THERE ARE THREE FRONT RUNNERS and they should each be held accountable for the things they say.

    BTW, any candidate who makes a statement like this has full support...all the way to OUR White House!!!

    “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.”

    I'm so proud to support you, John Edwards. Go get 'em!!! Go Johnny GO!!!!!

    January 18, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    This is just another example of Obama's double standards.

    January 18, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  20. manu

    I DO SUPPORT OBAMA, BUT IF HE REALLY STILL NEEDS PEOPLE TRUST There are CERTAIN THINGS IT SHOULD NOT ALLOW. I AM NOT AMERICAN, BUT I LIVE IN US, AS CONSEQUENCE, I FEEL LIKE I HAVE THE MORAL RESPONSABILY TO WISH THE BEST FOR AMERICA, this STARTS BY HOPING FOR THE BEST LEADER THIS COUNTRY CAN GET. For this particular moment, i think this leader is Barack Obama. But the more the time passes, the more John Edwards convinces me, even though i still didn't digest his non opposition to tthis horrible war. May be i just have to convince myself that We, humans we make mistakes resulting from the mediocre judgment of our poor vison of conception. I hope Barack will denounce this ads

    January 18, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Even Edwards finally sees that Obama is a liar!!!!

    January 18, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  22. Lisa from New York

    Just where is Senator "I'm not a divider, I'm a uniter and a changer?" Oddly silent. I would expect so much more leadership from someone who's positioned himself as such a healer and conciliator, someone who will bring together the country. Oh, but that's right, Obama is the guy who voted present more than 120 times while in the State Legislator (now that's leadership) and this is the guy that voted for Dick Cheney's energy bill (now that takes spine) while also taking money from Exelon, which has pushed hard for new subsidies for nuclear power plants and got their wish in the 2005 Energy Bill with 29 new plants planned. And this is the guy that flat out denied that his NH Campaign Chairman was a lobbyist when it was true (now that was honest). And this is the guy that voted against lobbyists by passing a bill that made it illegal to eat sitting down with a lobbyist, but you can still host cocktail parties and receptions with them (now that was bucking the special interests.) Let's really find out what this guy is all about before rushing to the altar.

    January 18, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  23. Scott, Royal Oak, MI

    Edwards is right on this one. I'll be surprised if Obama doesn't ask them to pull the ad. It would be hypocritical not to, and that type of behavior should be reserved for Hillary.

    January 18, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  24. Clinton

    Listen, as long as the Clinton's keep up their political low blows the other two candidates are left to choose between letting it happen or Figting back. Billary is the problem. Remember Edwards getting snappy in the debate with her? I do....he was defending himself to her passive agressive remarks.

    January 18, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  25. wale azeez

    funny when it was edwards turn he didn't denounce the ads in new hampshire...and wait clinton actual sent out negative and false mailers on obama's abortion records....moreover this is not divisive politics....it's a question of free speech...they are not lying about anything, they are merely saying what they think is HRC's evident attitude towards their people. There is nothing for him to speak up for..

    January 18, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
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