August 21st, 2008
09:50 AM ET
14 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. FilmMD

    Going negative against John McCain is fair play. Republicans need to stop their whining about it.

    August 21, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  2. Timber (ex dem)

    LOL, so much for Obama's new "positive" politics! Same old Washington campaign tactics. I knew he was a phony from the start. This is change we can believe in? What a joke.

    August 21, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  3. Tony

    *LOL* The Obama campaign is already running out of ideas! They already tried this attack ad and McCain GAINED in the polls and continues to do so. I guess six degrees of Kevin Bacon isn't enough to sway independent voters, Obama.

    Just WAIT till McCain busts out the Tony Rezko and Jeremiah Wright attack ads... you know, people who Obama actually KNEW and trusted with his family.

    August 21, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  4. James

    Huh, I thought Obama was all about a new kinda of politics, all about change ? Guess I was wrong, or else perhaps he is just flip-flopping again. Hillary is starting to look really good about now.

    August 21, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  5. Sherry

    To all of you who will refuse to vote for Obama in this election, we will not forget that if and when Hilary decides to run! Remember, that knife cuts both ways.

    You are blaming the wrong person for Clinton's defeat - how about pointing to Penn and the rest of her team. They had no strategy after Super Tuesday, not even enough money! How is that Obama's fault?

    August 21, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  6. Pat F

    "Freddy Bartholomew August 21st, 2008 3:00 am ET

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

    You're right, Freddy – the Republicans are really dumb. But they have met their match with you! The Democrats are FULL of slime!

    This has GOT to be a joke posting! Even Democrats aren't this stupid!

    August 21, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  7. Charlie in Maine

    The truth has a well known liberal bias so by all means Obama should tell the truth about McCain's behavior and policies. It is to Obama's advantage that given McCain's long checkered past he doesn't have to make anything up, and given Obama's gift for words he won't have to "sound negative" to be effective.

    August 21, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  8. Lee

    There is a poster (VLK) that says if Obama is elected this will no longer be "our" country. I would like to know what is meant by "our". The last time I checked Obama is just as American as John McCain, why the catastrophic prediction if Obama is elected? Is this just racial for you? That mentality is exactly how we wound up with George Bush who is the worst president in the history of the US.

    August 21, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  9. Justin

    McCain has a BIG Catholic problem. His alliances with openly anti-catholic groups has tainted his entire campaign. Catholics should not vote for this man!

    August 21, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  10. Phil-Little Rock

    By the way, isn't it interesting that they're talking about Obama's judgment when they lack much of the same? There's always semantics and hair-splitting when it comes to Republicans. That's why all your kids are being shot to death in this phony war on terror. Only an idiot like Bush could tell us bin Laden did this and then go after a man who's name is pronounced 'Sad-dam Hus-sein'.

    August 21, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  11. Obamalism

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

    Yes, but Ayers is 'unprepentent' about what he did and wished he had done more.

    Obama went to his home on the eve of launching his political career to garner support from Ayers, who has some swing with radical liberal politics in Chicago. He also served on a community committee with him for years and called him a 'friend'.

    BUT...Obama says we can't ask him questions about that. How friggin convenient! NICE PICK DEMS!!!!!

    August 21, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  12. Nina

    I am simply not voting for President this year, for the first time in the 31 yrs I have been eligible to vote. I'll be at the polls to vote for a democratic Senator for my state, but will be skipping the Presidential part of the ballot.
    It's become apparent to me in the last few months that we are all fooling ourselves if we think what an individual feels in this country re: the presidential election means a stinking thing. The media decides who becomes president. I'm not playing anymore. This has become the United States of ABC<NBC<CBS<FOX&CNN.

    This comment won't run anyway. I've posted over 40, and none ever has... again, the media runs it all.

    August 21, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  13. what change

    Well what a surprise, the big O going negative again.

    In his previous elections that he won, rather than discussing issues he got rid of signatures that weren't in cursive writing, and then in another he made sure private divorce papers were opened.

    I really feel sorry for you who believe that he is actually different. He is not. This is good old fashioned Chicago politics.

    August 21, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  14. Pat F

    Nya "Like the pot calling the kettle black"??????

    This is an Obama supporter who doesn't know that this figure of speech has a racist history?

    How dumb ARE the Obamatons?

    August 21, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  15. Dennis

    I get so tired of this, they are like two monkeys in a zoo flinging poo at each other... no wonder barack Hussein obama polls are tanking... just get to your pointsand stick with them, I have no idea even by reading what these two stand for... Id would rather vote for Mickey Mouse, he has more going for him

    August 21, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  16. lil

    mccain threw the first stones!!!!!!!

    August 21, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  17. MGJams

    Well Nya, sorry to say but we have to vote for someone. Obama talks the straightest of the two. If you follow politics then you know that the Republican Party has used lies and manipulation and money to control America for nearly 30 years. When it comes to supporting American institutions you can't support John McCain! He thinks Social Security is an outrage, he believes that war is the way of the world and should always be threatened. He believes that tax cuts for altra rich is a worthy cause. So Nya, if we don't compare their faults and positives then what do we do? Just listen to the squak box polititions and corporate heads that tell halftruths all day , over and over on Cable? Do you realize that you pay for cable and because of that, they can lie their heads off, legally, because you pay for it! Want to help our country,, cancelle Cable TV and watch what happens. I have called for a boycot of cable tv for about10 years now. All Cable TV. Since there is little to no regulation of online media news shows. You pay for the lies and that is the way they get away with the propaganda. Think about it!
    Because you pay for it!

    August 21, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  18. Jay

    Yes, Obama should go there, if it going to get some democrats in trouble so be it. Enough of these rich old people in Washington. They should let the younger generation take over the leadership of this nation, after all it's our time lead. These old focks both democrats and republicans should go home a play with their great grand children and leave this nation to us

    August 21, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  19. Troy

    I keep wanting to believe in McCain, but then this stuff comes up and I feel like I'm being duped again by the same jerks who have run this country into the ground for the last eight years.

    And that business about him not knowing how many homes he owns. Come on, who doesn't know how many homes he has? If he really is that out of touch with his own finances, there's no way I can trust him with America's.

    August 21, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  20. Beverly, NYC

    No more Mr. nice guy. Swift boat the Maverick with the truth. You have 26 years of his word and voting to get him on. We have already had 7 years of an underachieving dunce, we don't need another. Even if McCain is trying to pull a fast one by floating the one term idea. One term would make him even more dangerous, once in he has nothing to lose and the cowards in congress won't impeach or sanction him.

    Everytime McCain opens his mouth he puts his foot in. Now he agrees with a draft to follow Osama to the gates of hell. Guess whose children will be first ? So go ahead America play with your children's and grandchildren's future. Canada is returning deserters, so that won't be an option.

    August 21, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  21. Jaxon

    I am so sick of this campaign. I am also tired of the negative ads. I see somebody wrote that Americans love the negative stuff. Thats whats wrong with this country because we elect people who are "negative" and don't care about the needs of the American people. It's like a game show that keeps going onand on. I pray that this country can come together and unite as a strong nation UNDER GOD!

    August 21, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  22. Missmn

    For all of you out there who are throwing whatever you can to see if it sticks regarding Senator Obama – don't you think that if there was anything really devestating to him, we'd have already heard it? I mean really, Hillary Clinton WANTED to be president and would have done anything she could have to make that happen, but she couldn't because there was nothing to find.

    For all of you out there calling Senator Obama a liar, please provide links or citations because just saying something doesn't make it so.

    Senator McCain's record is there and clear. His campaign is being run by paid lobbyists who are being paid as lobbyists even as they run his campaign. This is not just a conflict of interest, it is blatently unethical.

    August 21, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  23. Tammy - KCMO

    August 21st, 2008 8:09 am ET

    What happened to his promise to run a different campaign??? Is the pot calling the kettle black—REZKO!!!! Politics as usual. This 32 year old, college educated Democrat still hopes Hillary's name will be put in nomination at the DNC


    You PUMAs should be really careful on how you throw stones.

    "As Hillary Clinton continues to insist that she has "no relationship" with shady indicted real estate investor Tony Rezko, the facts seem to indicate otherwise.

    According to records, Rezko donated $15,000 to the Democratic National Committee in March 2000. At the time, the committee was helmed by longtime Clinton ally Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who endorsed Hillary Clinton on Wednesday. While it's possible that Rendell and the Clintons discussed neither the donation nor the donor, it's not likely."

    August 21, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  24. Foreign observer

    Mc Cain is too long in politics so he had to lie a lot. Such people don´t remember their lies any more. Give him a retirement in his houses (how many ??) but not in the White House.

    August 21, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  25. Michigan Voter

    Just another filp flop from the LEADER OF CHANGE...NOT.

    August 21, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
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