July 1st, 2008
07:40 AM ET
15 years ago

Obama takes swipe at MoveOn

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/30/art.obamamove.ap.jpg caption="Obama criticized MoveOn.org over its controversial ad."](CNN) - Barack Obama on Monday seemed to take a direct swipe at MoveOn.org, the powerful liberal group which endorsed the Illinois senator's candidacy earlier this year and was at times instrumental to his organization in several key battleground states.

In a speech designed to combat charges he lacks patriotism, Obama sharply condemned organizations that use "these old, threadbare arguments" to level criticisms and specifically pointed to MoveOn.org's controversial newspaper ad last fall that attacked the top U.S. general in Iraq, David Petraeus.

Watch: Obama talks patriotism

"All too often our politics still seems trapped in these old, threadbare arguments – a fact most evident during our recent debates about the war in Iraq, when those who opposed administration policy were tagged by some as unpatriotic, and a general providing his best counsel on how to move forward in Iraq was accused of betrayal," Obama said.

MoveOn has not responded to Obama's comments.

The full page ad was published in the New York Times to coincide with Petraeus' appearance on the Hill last September to brief Congress on the progress in Iraq. Under a picture of Petraeus, a banner read, "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?"

Watch: New York Times takes heat for ad

The ad went on to allege the general was "cooking the books for the White House," and intentionally painting a rosy picture of the conditions on the ground.

Despite pressure from Republicans, neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama formally repudiated the group for the ad, though both expressed criticisms. Clinton voted against a Senate resolution to formally condemn the group, while Obama specifically avoided voting either way on the resolution.

"The notion that we're wasting time debating about a newspaper ad, makes no sense," he said then. "So I didn't even vote on that vote, I just said I'm not going to vote on this. This is the kind of game playing that the American people are tired of."

MoveOn.org, which endorsed Obama shortly before the crucial Febuary 5 round of primaries, boasts more than 3 million members and has since conducted large-scale get-out-the-vote efforts and fundraising on the Illinois senator's behalf.

soundoff (465 Responses)
  1. twes

    You want to vote for a man who voted against MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY in his state a vote against that day is a vote against civil rights it is not a black thing it is a people is thing everyone has civil rights gay,white,hispanic and black. So PLEASE PEOPLE LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE McCAIN HAS BEEN RUNNING FOR OFFICE SINCE 2000.

    July 1, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  2. Dusacre

    Now, this will be the first for me. I don't agree with Barack on this one. We need MOVEON.ORG!!!!

    July 1, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  3. benvictor

    As a Hillary Democrat, I absolutely love the ticket of John McCain and Mitt Romney. I strongly urge John to ask Mitt to be his running mate. Hillary Democrats will support this ticket enthusiastically in November.

    July 1, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  4. Becky

    Lavallette, NJ July 1st, 2008 9:15 am ET

    I am scared of Barack Hussein Obama.


    And I'm scared of you for spreading hate.

    July 1, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  5. Jeanine G

    If Obama is willing to as you say LJ and "smack the hand that feeds him" then how can you argue "he will say anything to anyone" to get elected?

    Obama doesn't do or say anything to anyone, he is willing to disagree strongly, even with those close to him and risk their anger if he feels strongly about something. Moveon is a big organization, but I'm banking that the majority will respect that kind of honesty and keep backing him. I know I will.

    July 1, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  6. Sue

    Can't you see the plan? Obama's people go out and say horrible things about other people and then Obama comes in and shoots them down to make himself look like such a fine fellow. It is the Obama strategy to make BO look good, you fools.

    July 1, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  7. Patrick

    While I am pleasantly surprised that he has come out against moveon, he could have done this with a vote in the senate but failed to show any leadership by sitting out the vote, just like all the times he voted "present" in Illinois. Moveon is a hate group and should be formally listed as so. No member or supporter of Moveon should ever be allowed to criticize any far right hate group b/c they are the same thing, and the fact that they can't see this shows me how ignorant they are.

    July 1, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  8. ladymary

    Roger....I admire your intentions to stand for what you believe is right, but I think you have been swollowing the falsehoods put out by the Clinton campaign. Yes, she was the presumptive nominee for a long time, but she lost. Obama got the most votes, delegates, states, etc. Clinton played the race card, the gender card, the tears, etc. No one selected Obama..he won fair and square. I'm sorry your candidate did not win and you are so upset about it, but honestly, I think you are going overboard. You are thinking of Bill's administration and thinking Hill could recreate that time. Look at it logically...Bill was not that great. Our economy was already recovering when he took office and it was fired by the dot com boom not by anything Bill did. Why not help this country out by starting a movement to aleviate this country's debt....set up a donation page specifically for the national debt repayment and ask every citizen to contribute. If we each gave $10.00 it would make a substantial dent.

    July 1, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  9. Rick FL

    The desperation from many Republicans here is almost palatable. Que paso a su fiesta?

    It seems conservatives are using the same ole fear & smear campaigning ploys, since they are not offering much in the ways of ideas. Their divisive attempts are simply sad, yet transparently amusing at the same time (i.e. "PUMA"). No wonder I left the Republican Party.

    Obama '08
    Si se puede!

    July 1, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  10. PCC

    He's just now doing this.......What was he waiting on.....????...Obama see no change in Obama then i see in Bush....

    July 1, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  11. Bulldog

    All of you Obama haters posting here sound like complete idiots repeating false rumors and showing how stupid you really are. All it takes it few minutes to do some simple research and yet you continue to repeat false rumors and lies. You haters are either lazy or immoral depending on your motives here.

    July 1, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  12. Danny in Ohio

    See? There you go? He's slamming people who are supporting them for doing politics the old and sleazy way. Another example out of many others.

    July 1, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  13. MLG

    I don't trust Obama and NEVER WILL. I will not vote for him either.

    July 1, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  14. JB

    Hey Delta 9-

    Are you such a simpleton that this is how you would explain a liberal?

    Clearly you are a right wing nut. Obama is going to increase taxes for those making over $250,000. The truth is that the majority of people making that much are just fine. They have little to no debt, they are making ends meet. They are driving heir suv's whereever they want, with no concern of making mortgage payments.

    And for the average American (those maing less than $250,000 (family) or $200,000 (single)) A TAX REDUCTION!!!

    Those are the facts. The wealthy should be paying more in taxes. The elite are the ones who make policy and spend our tax money (and vote for wars).

    Your simplistic views are inaccurate at best!

    July 1, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  15. Anne in Seattle

    Obama is true to his words in that he wants to be president of ALL Americans.. not just blacks, or the left, or any particular group of people. A true leader doesn't run w/ the pack; he's able to constructively criticize what he feels is not good or beneficial to the WHOLE. This country has such a diverse group of people each w/ their respective strong feelings and beliefs.. he can't please every single one.. the best he can do is look at what is fair and good for the entire country in the bigger picture.. and not just for today or tommorow but in the long run.

    July 1, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
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