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. Ray Ito

    What new thing does America think she can get from McCain?

    Donald Rumsfeld will likely be McCain's Secretary of the Treasury.

    Karl Rove is his Chief of Staff.

    Same old old folks.

    August 21, 2008 05:30 am at 5:30 am |
  2. Confused Voter in Alaska

    All I can say is both of these men are questionable. They both have skeletons in the closets. Both parties smear. I am a registered Democrat but I have been know to swing the other (Republican) way. Obama should pick Clinton and McCain should pick Mitt...God help us all...

    August 21, 2008 05:37 am at 5:37 am |
  3. Dan, TX

    First – this is the politics of change?? They are running so scared right now. Second, ever heard of TONY REZKO, BILL AYERS, please Obama, catch a clue. The glitter has worn off and the people are seeing you for what you are...another ultra-liberal socialist.

    August 21, 2008 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
  4. Truth Squad..?


    Every pound per square inch of tire under-inflation wastes 4 million gallons of gas daily in the U.S." Survey information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that 27% of the cars on the road have a significantly under-inflated tire.

    Proper tire inflation and engine maintenance would save1.7 million barrels of oil per day

    The Bush administration estimates that expanded offshore drilling could increase oil production by 200,000 barrels per day by 2030

    America would not see an effect on oil prices until that time.

    America could have as much as 89.9 billion barrels of oil off shore.

    America uses 7.5 billion barrels of oil a year.

    That adds up to around 11 year’s worth of oil.

    89.9 billion barrels would equal to 1% of our demand by that time.

    Much of that oil may be non recoverable, or unfeasible to recover.

    A moderate estimate of recoverable oil shale in the United States is 800 billion barrels.

    Per pound, oil shale contains one-tenth the energy of crude oil.

    40% of the energy gained from oil shale is consumed in the production.

    Production of oil shale would require staggering amounts of water and electricity

    2,400 megawatts of power for commercial production of 200,000 barrels of shale oil per day, America uses 200,000 barrels of oil every 7 minutes.

    Oil shale produces between 37.5 and 40.8 grams of carbon equivalent per unit of delivered energy, compared to an average of 25 grams of carbon equivalent for conventional fuels.

    If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.
    Just some things John McCain and his big energy supporters doesn’t want you to know.

    August 21, 2008 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
  5. theflyonthewall

    it'll be fun watching all the skeletons fall out of Obama's closet, not that his loyal Obamatons will notice, they all seem to think that the sun hsines of his patoot.

    August 21, 2008 06:01 am at 6:01 am |
  6. Jerre

    Now Obama has opened the door with his Abramoff comments.
    Did he forget about Rezco?

    August 21, 2008 06:01 am at 6:01 am |
  7. Desperate

    This is a desperate and feeble attempt. Also politics as usual. McCain SMOKED him at saddleback. Funny how the pools don't matter to any Obamabots now, either. It's called buyers remorse.

    August 21, 2008 06:03 am at 6:03 am |
  8. Mack

    Obama was supposed tp better than this...the attacks...he not change..So we dems get an unexperianced typical politician..what a way to screw it up.

    August 21, 2008 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  9. Fred

    Another thing – the headline is ludicrous. It would be much more accurate if it read:

    McCain links McCain to Abramoff scandal

    August 21, 2008 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  10. Susan

    Obama was 8 years old when this man Ayers did what he did.

    August 21, 2008 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  11. Truth Squad..?

    I happen to live and work in an area that will be instantly vaporized, so I’m not too worried… I just feel sorry for the sad souls that will vote for McCain that live in outlying area’s that will die a painful and suffering death when he gets us in a war with Russia. We can’t strong arm everyone into our will. All you John Waynes out there need to wake up.

    August 21, 2008 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  12. Alex

    Obama is a latent communist. Deep inside he is radical.

    August 21, 2008 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  13. Biodun

    This ad is too mild. They should go after McCain's mililary record of successive failures... his cheating on his wife when he came back from the war... his ties to big oil and big businesses... his ties to George Bush... his many homes all over America – at a time Americans are having their homes repossessed... the list is endless. The Obama campaign cannot afford to pull punches because Americans seem to make their decisions based not on serious issues or high principles but on the largest amount of dirt the other party can raise...

    August 21, 2008 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  14. james395

    For a very long long time i have never seen such a dirty political campaign for the American Presidency than that by Barack Obama.therefore i find it questionable is Obama fit to be President?

    August 21, 2008 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  15. Judi Riccardi

    Why is there so little mention of the "Keating 5 " Savings and Loan disaster and McCain's involvement? Also, his affair with Cindy McCain while he was still married with three children?
    The Republicans portray him as a Knight in Shining Armor for his Vietnam imprisonment. He deserves those accolades but he remains a flawed character in many ways in my opinion.

    August 21, 2008 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  16. Bitter in Texas

    The link has been established...for over 26 years...He's A Republican and that should be enough of a link. The Rich getting richer and the poor get used in the porcess.....Republican America, ain't it a wonderful country to live in?

    August 21, 2008 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  17. John Hussein Karsten

    Stick it em BO!!! Ha...Ha...Ha.

    I guess you get what you pay for in washington.

    Obama 2008!!!! I cannot wait.

    August 21, 2008 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  18. Pam

    It is about time the ads started reflecting the issues that Mr. McCain has had. What about this also:
    The affairs that broke up his first marriage and the "Bear DNA" that he voted for.
    Mr. McCain needs to be called out!

    OBAMA 08

    August 21, 2008 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  19. RW

    Anything to win.
    He better not attack McCain for going negative.
    Ya really want this chump in there with this
    thing going on with Russia.
    Wana here the big bang? Ya won't it will be
    too late, the United States will be gone.

    August 21, 2008 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  20. End the madness

    This is some of the last word's of Cpl. Gunnar Zwilling to his dad! "'It's gonna be a bloodbath" as he new they where unprepared to defend the area they had because of a failed Gov. back at home. Lets not forget the issues and whats at stake!

    Obama 08

    Bring them home and give them the tools they need until you do!!!!!!
    Big money only cares about money, stay focused, don't be fooled.

    August 21, 2008 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  21. Jan

    Looks like Obama is playing the same politics as everyone else – more of the same Hussein! Once a politician, always a politician.

    Why did we allow the "parties" to force Hillary's hand?

    August 21, 2008 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  22. Mongo

    Good work Obama campaign. Call McShame out on his dirty history. What about the Keating Five, the ugly divorce from Ms. #1 McWife and shilling for Georgia. Let's get even.

    August 21, 2008 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  23. robert ga

    Let face it America love negative ads. we look for reason why not to vote for a candidate as opposed to reasons to vote for them. Hence Obama can claim new age politician all he wants , but the truth is when it comes down to actually voting, Americans only remember the bad things about a candidate.

    So what other choice do the candidates have but to go negative. lets see what will stick and vote as we normally do.

    For America.

    August 21, 2008 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  24. cant buy representation?

    this is exactly whats wrong w/ washington- lobbyists...

    they bribe the ones in power for your constitutional right of representation.

    both CFR, main stream media darlings Obama & McCain are not working in the best intrests of the people- just themselves and thier special intrest lobbyists.

    Send a message to Washington, vote for and write in the only real Presidential candidate- RON PAUL

    PS- cant wait until St. Paul... hope the media covers the real convention at the Target Center, you think they would since the are in the bag for Obama and would want to point out the GOP's slow death...

    August 21, 2008 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  25. Enlightened Voter

    Bravo!!!! All i can say is about time! You tried to stay positive Barack but mccain and the repugs started this war and now you have to finish it! It's about time someone hit mccain with a dose of his own medicine.

    August 21, 2008 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
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