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. think

    Yes they do G-Man!! Remember Harry & Louise?

    Hillary 08!!

    March 12, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  2. Robert Burns

    McCain is for big $ American or otherwise; note the big military contract that was sent overseas to the chagrin of Bowing. His party has treated America like corporate raiders treat gobbled-up industries. McCain was born along the Panama Canal in the land of bloodsuckers.

    March 12, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  3. Darth Vadik, CA


    These are union hard working people, not DC lobbyists.
    Plus Republicans just love 527's, well nor reap what you have sown.

    March 12, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  4. Patrick

    This should only help McCain. Any organization that would spend $53 million dollars, and all the time and energy to rally against a candidate instead of being FOR someone, should clearly be seen as crazy to ordinary Americans. McCain is known for being bi-partisan and reasonable. So why not sit down with McCain and figure out where he stands on the issues, where you disagree, and try to understand each others positions? Because you are in bed with the democrats and think if you can elect them you can get hand outs and policies tailored to your every whim. How disgusting. How is this real change? Real change would be trying to understand your opponents, why they think that way, and reaching for middle ground. This is nothing more than dirty politics, and dragging an honorable man's name through the mud. Labor used to be about the cause of the working man, now it's beocme a rallying cry for leftist causes and the far-left of the democratic party. I hope everyone who is part of a union will think for themself this November and not try to led the organization you pay your dues to, ruin the good name of labor unions.

    March 12, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  5. joseph

    typical dem. instead of putting that 53million to help the victims of society, they spend it to b!tch about something.

    March 12, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |



    March 12, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  7. Smart Democrat

    I love it!!! Anyone who would allow Bush to endorse them without denouncing and rejecting it gets what they deserve. John W. McCain will bring more of the same: costly, absurd war (with concurrent tax cuts) and NO economic responsibility whatsoever.

    Go AFL-CIO, take this tool to the woodshed where he belongs!!!

    March 12, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  8. aliou salam

    same old same old,
    4 more years of bush wars and dilapidation of our economy and transfer of our treasury to haliburton and the war industry.

    March 12, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  9. aliou salam

    did you say haliburton?
    same old 8 more bush""t

    March 12, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  10. aliou salam

    my sister divorced because of 3 years of iraq. We will never forget or forgive.

    March 12, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  11. aliou salam

    My mom is the one who divorced my dad after 3 tours of iraq. she is the one I am worried about although my father is losing his mind too over the divorce. tell me what i can relie on to survive all this turmoil. Please don't vote for any one who is keeping my mon over sees . I am too young to habe my own account so I am using my aunty's
    if you vote for the republican party, you afe voting to keep my mon at war

    March 12, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  12. Democrat voting Republican in '08

    I'm a black democrat... so I guess that automatically means that I liked Bill Clinton in 92 because he was the nation's "first black president" right? WRONG... I hated the man. And I'm black so that automatically means I'm supposed to vote for Barack Obama right?... WRONG!! Ron Paul is getting my vote. Shocked? You say he's a racist? What politcian isnt... Bush is, McCain is, Billary is, and Obama is too...

    Do you REALLY think Hillary can go 4 years without messing up this country even more....? It's like a younger Barbara Bush running for President in the democrats party!!!

    I heard something from Obama's preacher a couple days ago..... This is what he said:

    "Hillary ain't never been called a n*****. Hillary has never had a people defined as a non-person."

    "Hillary is married to Bill, and Bill has been good to us. No he ain't! Bill did us, just like he did Monica Lewinsky. He was riding dirty."

    Yeah.... this is what I want for four years possiby 8 right?... I'm so SICK of all this crap with the Dems. They're both acting like little children... and even though Ron Paul doesn't have a shot in heck to win... I would much rather he be the president than any of these immature, hyprocrit democrat candidates.

    America... Dont you get no matter who we pick as the nomination, they will LOSE to McCain??? And God help us when he becomes president... And Mitt Romney is the biggest FOLLOWER ever... What a sell-out!!! He hates McCain but wants power SO much, he'd actually go down on the burning ship that is McCain.

    Fact: Ron Paul said on Jay Leno... he would NOT LET HIMSELF accept a VP spot with people he didn't agree with and didn't support.

    Fact: Ron paul is the ONLY replublican candidate that wants to bring the troops home...

    And you people decided to make McCain your GOP nominee....

    This country is really in for it now..... I think I'm gonna move to Italy or somethin...

    March 12, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  13. bruce patras new york ny

    >>>>>>Gary the G-man March 12th, 2008 4:07 pm ET
    You don't see oil companies and pharmeceutical companies campaigning against Democrats! NOT FAIR!>>>>>>

    yo gary

    best comment this year

    March 12, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  14. aliou salam

    for once in this country, the people know right from wrong.

    geraldine is all wrong. so is her sister cheat and crooked clinton. I will vote for a woman but not just this one.

    The Feminists like myself better get rid her to resign before she spoiles the chances for all women.

    Clinton is too controversial.

    Get rid of her.

    March 12, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  15. aliou salam

    McCain is so stupid and ohhhh sohhhh old with all those old european killing fools in his ad with all those planes and other.

    March 12, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  16. John

    McCain and the repubs (including their super hero Ronald Reagan) have been against Unions since the dawn of time.

    March 12, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  17. Girl in London

    CNN never post what i write as its always pro-mccain. But anyway, why would anybody support a union that is WASTING $53 million on a smear campagn (one which the Dems claim they dont want) when so many people working under them are struggelling to get healthcare, live day to day etc.. it stinks. In England the Unions are the demons of society. they will do anything to cause grief to the whole communtiy, even so bad as having continuous strikes by the firefighters which shutdown the whole london underground, airports etc.. I mean what is the point of that.

    Dont ever support a Union, they are the devils.

    March 12, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  18. John Stevens

    I note the 'Barack Obama' ticker now – really not needed as the "The Political Ticker', the editorials and the Headlines were OBAMA all the time.

    March 12, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  19. Yeswecan

    They just wasterd union dues in this wash. I learnt from long time ago to stay on the otherside of this union.

    March 12, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  20. jd


    March 12, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  21. Beverly

    What a waste of money! Couldn't this money be put into better use?

    March 12, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  22. JOHN


    March 12, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    It doesn,t matter who the AFL-CIO endorses. This election will most likely end up like the Al Gore / George W Bush election. Al Gore won the popular vote by more than 50,000 votes. Al Gore lost because he didn't have the electoral votes. This same scenario can happen again with the Democratic Primary. Barak Obama has 600,000 more votes than Hillary Clinton has. Barak Obama has more delegates than Hillary has. Barak Obama has won more states than Hillary has. I don't believe that Pennsylvania, Michigan or Florida will matter. I believe that the super delegates will make smoke room deals regardless who their constituents voted for. Unfortunately and sadly I believe that this primary will be stolen. It appears to me we do not have a democracy . We have a representative republic. Let's hope that this doesn't happen. Jeff

    March 12, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  24. Mike

    Let the AFL/CIO support who ever they want now. Reminding how they were not concerned with Wal-Mart during the six years Mrs. Clinton sat on the board as they attempted breaking the back of their workers.

    On the flip side of the Democrat coin, has the AFL/CIO talked with the Canadians about Mr. Osama’s real plans for NAFTA?

    Sometimes it is good to have such enemies willing to bring up the issues.

    Mike Jax, Fl.

    March 12, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  25. kim portland, oregon

    go afl-cio!!!!!! i cant believe that ANYONE could possibly even CONSIDER voting for this pathetic man! i didnt relaize so many billionaires were reading the political ticker.

    i've always been a democrat, but i had an immense amount of respect for john mccain b/c of his service to this country. but he lost my respect when he let bush attack his wife and children, then smooching him, standing next to haigey(?) nodding and smiling, he has sold his soul to get into the white house.

    if you want to continue paying $4-plus for gas, getting into further debt with foreign countries, continue squandering money on a failed invasion, start a NEW failed invasion of iran, etc etc etc, then by all means vote for mccain. you've got to be insane to vote mccain. and to say you'll vote for him to spite hilary or obama is kindergarten ridiculousness. you're willing to destroy this country further, for our children and their grandchildren, cuz you hate hilary and/or obama people in this country are more stupid than i thought!

    March 12, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
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