March 12th, 2008
03:02 PM ET
12 years ago

AFL-CIO launches $53 million effort against McCain

The AFL-CIO is launching a major effort against John McCain.

The AFL-CIO is launching a major effort against John McCain.

(CNN) - John McCain better get used to seeing AFL-CIO members at his campaign events.

The major labor organization launched a $53 million campaign Wednesday that takes direct aim at presumptive Republican presidential nominee and includes union protesters following him every step of the way as he campaigns for the White House.

"Everywhere John McCain goes in the coming months, union activists will be there to confront him on his economic positions and plans and demand that he speaks to working families' concerns," Karen Ackerman, the AFL-CIO's political director, said during a conference call.

The protests are part of a wide-ranging and unprecedented grassroots effort that will include mobilization efforts, direct mailings, e-mail, and a just-launched anti-McCain Web site.

The effort, called "McCain Revealed," aims to educate voters on the Arizona Republican senator's record, which the labor group says has been consistently anti-working families. It will consist of activity in 23 states and reach 13 million voters, Ackerman said.

“It’s clear that John McCain hopes to conduct his campaign without ever having to explain his economic priorities to working people,” Ackerman also said. “Public opinion polls show the economy is the top concern of voters, yet Sen. McCain has said very little about his economic positions and, as a result, working families know very little about where he stands on pocketbook concerns. That all changes today.”

A Republican National Committee spokesman called on both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to denounce the AFL-CIO's efforts, saying it would be consistent with both senators' denunciations of special interest groubs.

“The AFL-CIO’s campaign against John McCain clearly demonstrates their priorities lie in attack politics as opposed to focusing on American families," RNC spokesman Alex Conant said. "Voters looking for something new will find it in John McCain’s campaign to help working families – not the AFL-CIO’s partisan attacks"

The labor organization - consisting of 56 member unions - could not agree on a presidential candidate to endorse this cycle and has allowed each of its members to make individual endorsements. So far, Clinton edges out Obama among endorsements from AFL-CIO members.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: AFL-CIO • John McCain
soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. Joe

    Its not the 1950's anymore. You can't just graduate high school and expect a cushy factory job where you can do basically nothing for 30 years and collect a pension. Go to college and get an education. Unions are the reasons that millions of Americans are out of work. They expect unrealistic benefits and when they do, companies move to different countires to avoid the terrible corruption of the unions. Maybe unions were needed in the 20s and 30s, but they now do more harm than good.

    March 12, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  2. Chris-Seattle

    McCain doesn't stand an ice cubes chance in hell come general election, the poor boy is going to look like an idiot! Unless of course he's running against Clinton, in which case we get another idiot in the White House! This should be interesting!


    Wake up people, do you remember Bob Marley???

    March 12, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  3. Carl

    It's not like the democrats are any better than McCain on issues. Wow, it's great you want free health care for all, but you can't mention how all taxes will double and how the number of hospitals built must triple to meet the demands of all this.

    The biggest problem is Republican is now seen as Religious Right and Democrat is now being seen as "socialist"... their two extremes instead of what they were founded on originally.

    March 12, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  4. Steve

    Personally, the AFL/CIO being against him is reason enough for me to be for him.

    March 12, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  5. DaCoach

    Hey RNC. You can expect the Democrat candidates to denounce the anti-McCain ads as soon as you guys denounce the swiftboat ads.

    March 12, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  6. Mark Anthony

    All I have to say is if you like the past 8 years of the Bush administration then by all means vote for McCain.

    March 12, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  7. joyce

    Send McCain to his room to study economics. "No field trips before finals!" (That's what my Mom used to say).

    (Note: Johnny wants to go to Iraq)

    March 12, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  8. MyMy

    As Senator Obama is against support from PAC and lobbyists, is he willing to reject and denounce this?

    March 12, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  9. Brad

    Ummm, I for one was unaware that working people are considered a "special interest" by any candidate. Seems to me we should be measuring our societal health from the base of the pyramid rather than at its apex.

    March 12, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  10. Herman

    Some of you folks need to get a real job...

    March 12, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  11. PCS / North Carolina

    DaCoach wrote March 12th, 2008 5:09 pm ET

    "Hey RNC. You can expect the Democrat candidates to denounce the anti-McCain ads as soon as you guys denounce the swiftboat ads."

    You are right. Also Hillarybots race card must be giving clues to McCain's campaign. We are expecting a full blown "Black" swiftboating on Obama in November. This is America, where everybody is so polarized and segregated.

    March 12, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  12. Conservative

    This is a very good website, very informative

    March 12, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  13. Seeking Hope

    The Republican National Committee is the expert at attack politics – it's nice to have the shoe on the other foot. How does it feel, RNC? Expect a lot more of the same, as you RICHLY deserve it!

    March 12, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  14. Tim, Boston MA

    Insane Mccain is the best friend to the corpocons, neocons and theocons. thant makes him the worst enemy for the working people who have been overworked, underpaid, killed, humiliated, and so on.

    March 12, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  15. KF

    OMG – working americans are considered a "special interest group" – only the republicans would believe and argue that non-sense.

    I guess if you thought 8 years of Bush economics and policies worked really well for the american workers – than you are going to LOVE John McCain.

    March 12, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  16. Sonja in az

    Okay, but the wont attack the fact that obama and hillary have been given more money from pharmacutical companies then mccain right? Whats wrong with this country!!!! Go look it up for yourselves... if i'm correct CNN posted a article about it on the ticker.

    53 million is sure alot to waste... idiots.

    March 12, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  17. Bruno

    Is McCain anti-union? Then sign me up! You want socialism? Move to Cuba.

    March 12, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  18. Sonja in az

    Also... doesnt anyone see why pharmacutical companies have invested so much money into the democratic candidates.... think about this: They are both pushing for universal healthcare, reason is if everyone is covered then everyone will have access to pharmacuticals. no one wonder they have been paid so much. but oh no.. it's john mccain who is evil.

    March 12, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  19. C

    .....Remember Jesus was black,Ronald Regan was the devil and the government lied to us about 911

    March 12, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  20. smith03

    I see the "huked on fonix werked fer me" program is alive and well in Amerika..

    Canadian Bacon

    March 12, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  21. C

    Also CNN doesnt post Obama only comments or Pro Hillary comments...they sift thru and post those comments that will draw more fire from us viewers

    March 12, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  22. Scott

    I noticed the "Huked on fonix werked fer me progrum " is alive and well in Amerika...

    March 12, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  23. mj

    If McCain get to be pez this country will go down faster than what bush has taken it He has no idea about the economy he is crooked just like they all are, worst yet he is a hot head you really want that kind of person in office ?

    March 12, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |

    Anthing the AFL-CIO gets involved with just makes me go against those idiot hacks! If McCain were to chose Romney for his runnung mate which I hope he does, then the AFL-CIO can be sure that the republicans will win again and the lib hacks like the AFL-CIO can shove it!

    March 12, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  25. to elenor wallance

    Ok no!! what mrs. Farrcoracist said was so false and would hilbiliary still be in the race without the clinton last name??? and she is losing all across the board...
    Now back to what i was saying I'm glad that they are calling McBush out!!
    NOw they need to endorse Obama and lets get this show on the road!

    March 12, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
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