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. Done with Dems

    To Speider:

    My hat is off to you. Very eloquently said. However I think you left out the other candidates inadequecies of which there are many. I'd like to hear your unbiased view.

    August 21, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  2. Julie

    Personally, I don't care for either McCain or Obama and haven't yet decided which one I'm going to vote for. Seeing Obama's team run ad's like this just shows one more example of how the two parties are the same.

    I could vote for the candidate who would be willing to take some of the money they have been spending on advertising and use a portion of it to help their fellow Americans... Go to a gas station and fill up people's tanks for a day. At least that would be a change in politics.

    There is no difference within the two parties, they are one in the same.

    August 21, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  3. Rache from Bowie

    McKeating played dirty in desperation of eroding poll numbers. So Obama is slingin' some mud and will see where it sticks.

    The media is pushing for this type of discourse and now here it is full force. What a shame!

    August 21, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  4. jt

    Bring him to justice...

    August 21, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  5. The Truth

    Nice...time for Barack to roll up the sleeves, stop playing Mr. Nice Guy and start getting a little dirty. McCain went negative months ago while Barack consistently took the high road.

    Expose McCain for the senile, Bush prototype that he is. This historic race shouldn't even be close but apparently some Americans are too stupid or racist to see the light.

    August 21, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  6. J fromLI

    Yeah, Its on!
    Obama 08.

    August 21, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  7. CS in PA

    Go Joe go (Biden) – one of the few national democrats that will take off the gloves!

    August 21, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  8. RJ, CA

    YES! Let's hear all about the relationship between Obama and the bombers Ayers and Dorn! Let's hear it loud and clear!

    They feted Obama and Michelle in their living rooms and introduced them to the Chicago liberal money bags when Obama was running in Illinois. Then Obama served on a board with Ayers for years and years. To this day, Ayers and Dorn maintain that what they did was the right thing to do, and they state they wish they could have done more damage yet.

    And Rezko is another deep, dirty story of Obama's support for IL legislation to help Rezko, the slum lord! Let's hear about it all — it's about time!

    August 21, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  9. Mr. Steve

    I thought this election was going to be about "change". Where's the change? How is this any different from Clinton/Bush? Obama is clearly tired of trying to change the world, and has decided to play the same game that everyone else plays. He's showing his true colors. He deceived us into thinking he was different, but when push comes to shove, he's just like all the others. That's the big story here.

    I was one of those initial followers who was dumb enough to believe that somebody new could break into presidential politics. I feel like an idiot now. There was such a great opportunity to have a genuine dialogue about how to make America better...and instead Obama has to call Rick Warren names and buy attack ads with all this money he raised (mostly from people donating over $1000...not from the common person).

    Oh well. Four more years

    August 21, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  10. A. Little

    nah, really?

    August 21, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  11. David

    It looks like Obama's campaign is up to dirty tricks again. Time for McCain to revive the Ayers/Rev. Wright in some new ads.

    August 21, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  12. Justme WV

    Absolutely, positively, NOBODY BUT OBAMA!!!!!

    August 21, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  13. Charlotte

    Old news?

    August 21, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  14. JDM

    It is about time! If you listen to the media,
    1. Mcain' s family was in the military
    2. Mcain went to a Navy college
    3. Mcain went to Nam.
    4. Mcain became a POW
    5. Mcain became a War Hero? What did he do that many others didn't do??????? What makes him more of a hero than any other POW!?
    6. Mcain became a Sen.
    &. Mcain wants to be the Pres.

    The story is missing pieces. It's is time to color in the picture!

    August 21, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  15. sherry FUWP

    Yes, I am FUWP (fed up with politics). And to Jeff O – a crook is a crook is a crook – doesn't matter it he is at University of Chicago or University of Illinois. You Obamanots just kill me with your arrognace and stupidity. Obama has more ties to crooks than you can name and it doesn't matter where they are – they are still crooks. And he is taking illegal money from somebody because Americans are having a hard enough time putting a roof over their heads, gas in their autos and food in their bellys – they don't have all those millions to throw away on Obama. Get real folks – do some homework – get Obama to tell you where all his millions in donations are coming from – terrorists, crooks and illegals – probably even Germany and Canada. Face it folks, every other country would pay big money to see America fall on its face – and what better way than to support Obama????

    McCain/Hillary 08 – UNSTOPPABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 21, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  16. Jose Vazquez

    i find it disengenious whenever any politician or any perosn that follows a political party says they want to bring the nation together. This election liek the last 2 will be very close. On Nov. 5th half the country will feel that they lost the other half will be the "winners" and they will gloat about it. There will not be any country unity and the reason is that the majority of Americans choose a canidate on his or her moral beliefs. This will not nor shoudl it change. Those that believe the the Right to Life tumps the economic issues will never accept Senator Obama and those that believe that Roe V. Wade is the right thing will never accept Senator McCain. Therefore there will NEVER be a united country.

    August 21, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  17. R. Tubb

    Obama is getting worried. They are sinking in the polls.

    August 21, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  18. Dexter in Houston TX

    It's unfortunate that many Americans thrive on the Jerry Springer scandalous approach to politics. It's like no one wants to be smarter, no one wants to be enlightened.
    How unfortunate that Barack Obama feels the need to go negative. He hasn't lost my vote, but I am very disappointed.

    August 21, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |

    What goes around comes around and the rethugs have been running negative ads for so long it's about time they get it back at them. Obama wanted to run a positive campaign & McBush said he would, but of course he hasn't and if the regthugs want negative, they'll get it in plenty cause McSame's got a lot to hide while Obama has only lies thrown at him from the rethugs.


    August 21, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  20. Forky Tongue!!!

    To-angel in NV MCCAIN/CLINTON 08!!! Yeah BABY!!! The Dream lives on ++Wake up it's a Bad Dream **
    To-nan …and? obama's campaign accepts illegal contributions from Palenstine..So?Even I guess?**How about I Lied -MY FRIEND**

    Obama /Biden08
    Obama /Biden08
    Obama /Biden08
    Obama /Biden08
    Obama /Biden08
    Obama /Biden08

    August 21, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  21. Atari

    Everyone knows about McCain and the Keating 5 scandal. What Obama needs to worry about is being linked William Ayers. The man’s group was responsible for bombing the Capital and the Pentagon. Do a Google search of the Weatherman. If he gets linked to a group that’s whole purpose was to bring down the US government he'll be radioactive and make John Edwards look like a saint.

    August 21, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  22. Cleo

    Yeah Obama! You caught them off-guard and they were flustered! I don't remember the Capitol or Pentagon being bombed? His spokesman said that Ayres' group was responsible for bombing the Capitol. Does anyone remember that?

    Hit back with the Keating 5 scandal.

    August 21, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  23. Mr Republican

    I hope all the republican delegates get to see this story before the voting starts at the convention...

    August 21, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  24. womanforObama

    Say – Same old politics you say? After it took the Obama campaign

    August 21, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  25. Joe American

    Grandpa Mcbush cant use the internet. Make up lies aboout Obama. Flip Flop for big oil $$$$$$. Has no concept of our Economy. keating 5 need i say more. The crooked republicans have ruined our country!

    August 21, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
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