September 17th, 2008
01:40 PM ET
15 years ago

McCain camp accuses Obama of pressuring Clinton

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Hillary Clinton spoke during the Roll Call at the Democratic National Convention."]
(CNN) - John McCain’s campaign seemed to accuse Barack Obama of pressuring Hillary Clinton to withdraw from appearing at a rally with Sarah Palin, and pushing the group to disinvite the Alaska governor – but did not provide reporters any evidence to back up the claim.

Late Tuesday, an organizer of the September 22 “Stop Iran. Now!” rally announced that Clinton, Palin and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel would be appearing at the event. Hours later, Clinton’s office announced that had changed her decision, and would not attend.

“Earlier this week Governor Palin accepted an invitation to join Hillary Clinton in speaking to a nonpartisan rally organized by groups dedicated to halting Iran's nuclear program,” said McCain-Palin spokesman Michael Goldfarb said in a statement. “Senator Clinton has since withdrawn from the engagement, presumably at the behest of the Obama campaign, and according to news reports, Senator Obama's campaign may be leaning on organizers to disinvite Governor Palin as well lest the rally appear partisan.”

But the Politico story cited by Goldfarb in an e-mail sent to reporters does not include any sources making that charge. One anonymous source – who is identified only as someone “familiar with the talks” – seems to reference debate among organizers over whether or not an Obama-Biden representative was needed if Palin attended the rally in New York over Iran’s nuclear program, to avoid the appearance of partisan politics. It does not mention any request of this kind coming from anyone connected to the Obama-Biden campaign, including Senator Obama himself.

“This issue is too important to fall victim to partisan politics,” Goldfarb also wrote. “Instead of pressuring Senator Clinton to withdraw and pressuring the event's organizers to disinvite Governor Palin, we hope Senator Obama will consider lending his own voice to this cause….”

There has been no mainstream media report or public claim by anyone in Clinton’s camp that she received any pressure from the Obama campaign not to appear at the rally, as Goldfarb implies. Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines said early Wednesday that Palin’s presence at the event and the appearance of partisan politics was the reason for Clinton’s withdrawal.

"Her attendance was news to us, and this was never billed to us as a partisan political event,” said Reines. “Senator Clinton will therefore not be attending."

The McCain campaign has not yet responded to a CNN request for the source of the apparent allegations.

soundoff (400 Responses)
  1. Eleanor

    they are just trying to get Palin back in the NEWS to get Obama off the economy hope they dont fall for this BS... Actually it was a real treat not having her around for a few days and listening to her whining repetitive voice!!!
    the woman is clueless
    Hillary beats her on every level!!!!

    September 17, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  2. Timus, Powder Springs, GA

    More of the endless lies and mudslinging from the McCain campaign. If that is not "more of the same" then I don't know what else is!!!

    September 17, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  3. Nik

    The McCain campaign ruined their chances for gaining the political edge on this issue by spewing premature political talking points (and lies). Had they kept their mouths shut after Hillary withdrew and allowed Palin to attend, they would have bragging rights. Gosh, these people can't even run a dishonorable campaign. Karl Rove must be rolling his eyes. Lies and deceit never prevail.

    September 17, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  4. Dani

    To all the genuises voting for making with hopes that HRC will be POTUS in 2012 dream on, I would have gladly voted for her in 2008 if Obama would have lost but she has helped devide the democrats. If she runs in 2012 if O loses she will lose again big time.

    September 17, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. Never John McCain

    So, this is what happens to corrupt politicians when they get so close to power. John McCain isn't the John McCain we were led to believe. I now realize he was a maverick because he was pouting and didn't get his way. When he turned on the Republicans, it was out of spite, nothing else.

    After watching the interview that he had with Mika on "Morning Joe", I'm convinced this man is mean-spirited, and has an anger problem.

    He shouldn't be anywhere near the White House. He used his wife to further his career, and now he wants to use us. It won't work.

    September 17, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  6. Danny G. Boca Raton, FL

    Sen. Clinton is trying to make sure the spotlight is not on her; Gov. Palin would love for the spotlight to be soly on her... that is the difference; the McCain Campaign could have sent someone else; how about Romney or even Lieberman, why the Governor?

    September 17, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  7. I guess McCain is regretting picking Palin!!!

    CNN Poll of Polls!!!!

    Obama 46%
    McLoser 45%

    Obama/Biden 08/12!!!!

    Man that bounce lasted a week!!! LOL!!!!

    September 17, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  8. VIRGINIA will be blue

    I wonder if any of the reporters asked impromptu questions such as:

    -Where did the "Bridge To Nowhere" money go?
    -Where are your tax returns?
    -Why are you trying to avert your investigation?

    Those are just a few

    September 17, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  9. Peter E

    Obama bullies a fellow democrat? Gasp! Now that's newsworthy... just like the thousands of times he has already done that this year...

    September 17, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. EMJ

    I have honestly been a republican my whole adult voting life but I can no longer be in a partyy that can only win an election with lies, smears, lies, lies, and lies. Oh yeah, they tell lies. Anyway, I'm a life long Republican voting for Obama. I can't believe a single word out of McCain/Palin. Besides she wouldn't be ready to lead on day 1,000.

    September 17, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. Randy of Cleveland

    For you people who are delusional and say McCain 08/ Clinton12 that makes completely no sense. First of if McCain wins it won't be Clinton in 2012 it will be Palin. By 2012 if McCain gets elected(God let's hope not for our sake) Palin will then have more experience than Clinton, she now would have been VICE PRESIDENT. Not just the WIFE of a President!!!! Also have you head in the clouds people heard of the point of no return??? Things are bad now and if they get worse I don't care who wins the election of 2012 they won't be able to turn things around. So lets get this straight, your ok with the country OUR country declining even more just so you can get your way in 2012. WOW that's the most selfish thing I've ever heard.
    Cnn please post this

    September 17, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. Gail

    Yea, like anyone can 'talk' Hillary into doing anything....

    There are 11,000,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans in the United States. That's 11 million more votes for Obama than for McShame.

    September 17, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. Brian MacDougall

    Oh, that's rich: like anybody could get Hillary to do anything. She does what she pleases; she's showed that time and again.

    September 17, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  14. Toni

    I doubt he asked her to do that

    I think she did it on her own, and i talso think that it was a wise choice. Why feed into controversy when we are getting back to the issues and Obama is up in the polls again and up in Virginia now

    Lets stick to the issues and not this mess

    September 17, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  15. DChief

    Man, you dems should get each others emails to stay in touch after the election. You will have no one else to talk to since you've gaffed on:
    Bible Thumping Gun Owners (majority of population in swing states), Old people who can't send emails (AARP Vote), and now Jewish people against Iran (Keep it up and you will lose NY). At least you have Hollywood?!

    September 17, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  16. Glenn; Bakersville, NC.

    Many people wanted Hillary in the White House in '08, but that's not going to happen. Now what you have to ask yourself as I have is this: Is waiting for 2012 and putting McCain in the White House this election really worth voting McCain? Should all of America suffer another 4 years at the hands of a dillusional former POW and his power hungry sidekick? Just think about it before you answer, and vote with your heart.

    September 17, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  17. Colleen, weddington, nc

    Hillary makes her own decisions. This is a good one.

    Hillary Independent
    now for Obama

    September 17, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  18. Gail

    People are getting so much smarter – I'm so proud of us. We'll not be bamboozled again by the GOP!!!

    September 17, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  19. Sharon in Mi..

    McCain needs to shut it. I'm no huge fan of Hillary Clinton but she doesn't seem like the type of person who can be pressured into doing anything. She's pretty tough.

    September 17, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  20. Abby

    Anything to take the conversation ay from the economy?! WE WILL NOT FALL FOR IT!!!!

    September 17, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  21. Moon Maiden from Lake Michigan


    September 17, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  22. FLewis

    For the people that say "Lets talk about issues......well, this is a issue. A MaSane and Barbie Doll Palin issues and should be discussed. They lied again and we have a right to know.

    September 17, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  23. AVEE capitalcityVA

    The best comment from McCain this week: If Senator Obama had agreed to the town hall meetings with me, the tenor of the campaign would not be like this. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

    This is the guy Republicans want in the White House? The Guy some Democrats are jumping ship for? This one we will truly regret if Obama lose.

    September 17, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  24. pubsdaddy

    Hillary is not trying to be seen in public with this phony! She's an affront to women the way she's allowing herself to be pandered about while mCCain sits back like a pimp that just found a winner..DISGUSTING!!!

    September 17, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  25. The Great One

    McCain is full of lies and deciet.

    September 17, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
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