McCain Campaign Now Attacks Michelle Obama Over Ayers
By Greg Sargent and Eric Kleefeld
October 10, 2008
The McCain campaign is now broadening their attack on Obama's past
association with William Ayers to include Michelle Obama -- even
though McCain has repeatedly said spouses should be off limits during
The attack? Bernardine Dohrn, Ayers' wife and fellow former
Weatherman, went to work in 1984 for the major Chicago-based national
law firm of Sidley & Austin, and three years later, Michelle joined
the mega-firm as well.
That's the entire attack. We wish we were joking. But we aren't.
In launching this latest, McCain is ditching yet another
formerly-claimed principle as he faces the growing likelihood of
defeat. In a statement back in June, the McCain campaign said:
"Senator McCain agrees with Senator Obama that spouses should not be
an issue in this campaign, and he has stated that position frequently."
The attack on Michelle came on a McCain conference call with
reporters this afternoon featuring John Murtagh, who has been hitting
Obama over the Weather Underground's attack on his family's home back
in 1970. Murtagh noted that Dohrn and Michelle Obama had both worked
at the firm starting in the late 1980s.
The firm's Chicago office currently employs more than 500 lawyers.
Murtagh didn't even bother alleging that the two even knew each
other, instead suggesting that they might have. If so, he said, the
Obamas have known the two longer than suspected.
"If it is true" that the two women knew each other, Murtagh said,
"the relationship is almost a decade older than Senator Obama has
acknowledged. And that can very easily be resolved by Senator Obama,
by Mrs. Obama, by Mr. Ayers and by Ms. Dohrn."
"And incidentally, I would emphasize that we've all been focusing on
Senator Obama," said Murtagh. "I think we need to speak to his wife."
Keep in mind that this wasn't any surrogate speaking off the cuff. He
was on a call organized by the McCain campaign, and he was apparently
reading from a prepared statement, which would of course have been
vetted by McCain aides. And so another once-cherished McCain
principle gets junked in the service of self-parody.
Here's the audio of the call: [See URL for link.]
Late Update: To clarify, we don't know that the McCain campaign
vetted Murtagh's statement attacking. But it was made on a campaign
conference call, and it constitutes the McCain campaign's official
position until the McCain campaign says otherwise.
McCain campaign brands Michelle Obama as too tight with terrorists
BY RICHARD SISK
DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU
Friday, October 10th 2008
WASHINGTON - Michelle Obama has joined her husband on John McCain's
too-tight-with-terrorists watch list.
A McCain campaign conference call Friday noted that Barack Obama's
wife worked at a Chicago law firm "at the same time as Bernardine
Dohrn," a '60s radical and the wife of ex-terrorist Bill Ayers.
So did 1,800 other people back in 1987. The firm, Sidley Austin, is huge.
"That may be a coincidence," conceded Yonkers City Councilman John
Murtagh after raising the possibility of a connection between the two
women. But, "I think we need to speak to his [Obama's] wife."
Even as his team expanded its effort to cast suspicion on Barack
Obama, McCain himself pulled back yesterday, perhaps alarmed by
supporters who shout "traitor" and worse when the Democrat's name is
mentioned at rallies.
In Minnesota, McCain was booed by his own crowd as he called Obama a
"decent person" whom "you do not have to be scared of as President of
the United States."
New polls suggest that the barrage of attacks featuring Ayers might
be backfiring. A Fox News/Opinion Dynamics survey showed Obama's
approval ratings up from 57% to 60%.
But back at McCain headquarters, the tone was unchanged. The campaign
put up another Web ad hitting Obama: "When convenient, he worked with
terrorist Bill Ayers. When discovered, he lied," it said.
Murtagh went national earlier this week with his claim that Barack
Obama's "friend" Ayers was behind the firebombing of his childhood home.
He had no knowledge that Barack or Michelle Obama supported
terrorism, "nor do I suggest that they themselves condone such
things," said Murtagh, who is running for the state Senate.
Dohrn and Ayers were leaders of the now-defunct radical Weather
Underground group, which claimed responsibility for 14 protest
bombings across the country from 1969 to 1976. They are Chicago-area
Murtagh has charged that Ayers was involved in the February 1970
firebombing of the upper Manhattan home of his father, the late state
Supreme Court Justice John M. Murtagh. No one was hurt in the
incident, and the case was never solved.
Michelle on Reps' 'terror' watch list
11 Oct 2008
WASHINGTON: Michelle Obama has joined her husband Barack on John
McCain's too-tight-with-terrorists watch list.
A McCain campaign conference call on Friday noted that Michelle
worked at a Chicago law firm "at the same time as Bernardine Dohrn",
a "60s radical" and the wife of ex-terrorist Bill Ayers.
According to the New York daily News, so did 1,800 other people back
in 1987. The firm, Sidley Austin, is huge. New polls suggest that the
barrage of attacks featuring Ayers might be backfiring. A survey
showed Obama's approval ratings up from 57% to 60%.
Dohrn and Ayers were leaders of the now-defunct radical group, which
claimed responsibility for 14 bombings from 1969 to 1976.