August 21st, 2008
09:50 AM ET
15 years ago

Obama camp links McCain to Abramoff scandal

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Obama's campaign is out with a tough new campaign ad featuring Jack Abramoff."](CNN) - Barack Obama's campaign is linking John McCain to the infamous Jack Abramoff scandal that ended several Republicans' political careers three years ago in a new campaign ad hitting Georgia airwaves Wednesday.

The 30-second spot is the Obama campaign’s second negative ad in the past 24 hours. It attacks the Arizona senator for his association with former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed, one of the Republicans implicated in the scandal.

The ad also seems to suggest McCain didn't call Reed to testify before a Senate panel he chaired in return for political favors.

“When the Senate investigated, the senator in charge never even called Reed to testify….And that senator? John McCain. And who’s now raising money for McCain’s campaign? Ralph Reed," the ad's narrator says. "For 26 years in Washington, John McCain’s played the same old games. We just can’t afford more of the same.”

The TV spot sparked a sharp rebuke from McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers, who called it "ridiculous," and noted Obama's connection to Bill Ayers, the current University of Chicago professor and one-time leader of the militant group "Weather Undeground."

“If Barack Obama wants to have a discussion about truly questionable associations, let’s start with his relationship with the unrepentant terrorist William Ayers, at whose home Obama’s political career was reportedly launched," Rogers said. "Mr. Ayers was a leader of the Weather Underground, a terrorist group responsible for countless bombings against targets including the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon and numerous police stations, courthouses and banks."

Reed, who lost a bid in 2006 for lieutenant governor of Georgia, had promoted a McCain fundraiser last week in the Atlanta area that netted the presumptive Republican nominee $1.75 million in campaign cash. Though Reed did not attend the event (after intense Democratic criticisms), he circulated "special invitations" to several Republicans in the Atlanta area seeking donations.

That prompted several watchdog groups to call on McCain to cancel the event - although his campaign noted the fundraiser was sponsored by the Republican National Committee, not Reed.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (594 Responses)
  1. nan

    ...and? obama's campaign accepts illegal contributions from Palenstine..


    Even I guess

    August 21, 2008 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  2. Mark Billingsley

    Wait until we bring up the Keating 5 scandal and how McPain and Cindi narrowly avoided jail time. Boy, if I make a serious ethical lapse in my job i hope I get judged by my buddies and they are the ones to hand down my "punishment." It was only after McPain was involved with the worst swindle in American history that he became this "maverick" (gag, choke, cough) and went after political corruption as if he was the new sheriff in town. I wonder what he'd be doing if he hadn't been caught red-handed taken bribes from Charles Keating?

    August 21, 2008 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  3. angel in NV


    August 21, 2008 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  4. Jeff O

    Bill Ayers is not a professor at the University of Chicago – he's a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The McCain camp might want to check their facts better before making any statements.

    August 21, 2008 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  5. angel in NV

    MCCAIN/CLINTON 08!!! Yeah BABY!!! The Dream lives on.

    August 21, 2008 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  6. joey d

    obama 08

    August 21, 2008 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  7. Dylan Los Angeles

    Obama campaign can do better than that for an attack ad.

    How about the Keating 5 scandal and McCain's frequent trips to resorts paid for by Keating for starters.

    August 21, 2008 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
  8. Speider

    While no one candidate is the messiah for our sinking nation, perhaps it is time for Senator Obama to take off the gloves when it comes to playing the political game. Certainly the republicans will pull out all stops and the democrats, who have long been ineffectual and gun-shy when it comes to allowing the rape of our country and murder of the constitution, should flair their nostrils and imitate the tiger (with apologies to W. Shakespeare).

    There is precious little time to reverse our present course of self-destruction and little doubt that it will take several terms of care and nurturing to bring about a stable and growing economy. Let the truth be told about Senator McCain's record as a politician without the pity for his war record, which was suffered by a million more men and women who are also no better suited to lead this country and the world.

    In the light of day, without fear-mongering and saber-rattling, Senator McCain will be seen for what he is; a weak leader with the inability to untangle our economy or bring us together as one nation.

    August 21, 2008 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  9. Tony

    So much for taking the highroad, and not going negative.

    Same old politics as usual. I guess change was too much to hope for.

    August 21, 2008 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  10. Freddy Bartholomew

    Good on you, Obama! Time to come out swinging. Show the Republiscum they don't have a monopoly on slime.

    August 21, 2008 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  11. VON BISMARK,Vienna.

    Hit'em HARD! But always rely on the trurh.Truth is not powerless.

    August 21, 2008 03:25 am at 3:25 am |
  12. dtk

    Oh,please give me a brake. Mr. so called spokesman who are you terrifying? I guess you are running the same old politics, ha?.

    August 21, 2008 03:34 am at 3:34 am |
  13. Kevin

    It's Obama who is playing the same old politics here. He has now opened the floodgates for right wingers to bring up and intensify scrutiny over Ayers,Wright and Obama's shady Chicago political past.

    August 21, 2008 03:49 am at 3:49 am |
  14. jFA

    In the latest jFA Nationwide Poll of Polls John McCain LEADS Barack Obama in the BIGGER DORK competing for the presidency.

    August 21, 2008 03:56 am at 3:56 am |
  15. VLK

    Obama is a very large crook himself. Oh of course he never took favors. There are more sleazy deals between Obama and his cohorts than John McCain could ever find. This guy is a total fraud. If he gets elected, be prepared to see a war in our country, which, by the way, won't be our country much longer.

    August 21, 2008 03:58 am at 3:58 am |
  16. marcus

    Old lizard thought he'd get away with it .

    August 21, 2008 03:58 am at 3:58 am |
  17. alpha

    good for the two.
    The strongest shall win.
    No one can make u feel inferior without ur consent.
    Obama is second to none.
    OBAMA 08!

    August 21, 2008 04:04 am at 4:04 am |
  18. Palin for America

    Barack Obama is more of the same old style Washington politics.


    August 21, 2008 04:09 am at 4:09 am |
  19. aliou FL

    More than the Ebermoff scandals, John McCain is a liar who lied to his new fling about his age and applied to marry her while still married.

    The wife in question is a drug addict and a thief. Stealing from the poor in her own charity? She doesn't deserve to be first lady. Period.

    Resolved QuestionShow me another »
    Is Cindy McCain still a theif and drug addict???
    is she??from nypost:

    In 1989, Cindy McCain became addicted to opioid painkillers such as Percocet and Vicodin, which she initially took to alleviate pain following two spinal surgeries for ruptured discs and to ease emotional stress during the Keating Five scandal, which involved her as a bookkeeper who had difficulty finding receipts.The addiction progressed to where she resorted to stealing drugs from her own AVMT. During 1992, Tom Gosinski, the director of government and international affairs for AVMT, discovered her drug theft

    she is a disgraceful woman for having an affair with a married man. McCain's wife was crippled at the time. Shameful!! I do not want a former thief and drug addict as the first lady. Especially one who didn't have to steal. She is a millionairess..correct?

    If Michelle Obama is fair game so is Cindy.

    Cindy looks as if has had too many operations on her face, too much bleach, too much unsuitable make-up. It all comes off badly.
    How do we know the baby she said Mother Teresa asked her to adopt was not stolen? They are used to breaking all rules and getting what they want however they can get it. The law is not a problem for this pair of crooks.

    She resembles a 70-year old trying desperately to look 40, and the effect is rather grotesque.

    August 21, 2008 04:31 am at 4:31 am |
  20. Foreign observer

    Being in politics the dirt will stick at you. Being a long time in politics a lot of dirt will stick.

    August 21, 2008 05:02 am at 5:02 am |
  21. Lynn

    With Obama's "friends" – Ralph Reed means nothing.

    August 21, 2008 05:03 am at 5:03 am |
  22. joey

    Oh please. You Dem's try as hard as you can. You won't discredit McCain. He is a honest man that will not, nor never take the low road. Obama cares about one thing, and one thing only.... Please...Look at his wife....Need i say more. Be really careful who u vote for. think very hard. Don't just jump on the band wagon. Think of are country..... McCain is in no way perfect. But he's a lot better than some newbie coming on the seen. One November 4, do the right thing. In your hart. vote the right way.......

    August 21, 2008 05:09 am at 5:09 am |
  23. Stephen

    The question now is, will Barack Obama immediately call on the University of Illinois to release all of the records they are currently withholding to shed further light on Senator Obama's relationship with this unrepentant terrorist???????????????

    August 21, 2008 05:13 am at 5:13 am |
  24. Foreign observer

    Finally Obama learns that not every opponent can be handeled via bridge building. That´s not old politics – that´s life.

    August 21, 2008 05:13 am at 5:13 am |
  25. Foreign observer

    He has to do so because Americans are so blind towards Mc Caine.

    August 21, 2008 05:24 am at 5:24 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24