“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Feel free to copy this and post on your blogs! CNN, Bill Ayers, Barack Obama

CNN Reports That Obama's Relationship With Ayers Is "Much Deeper Than Obama Said"

CNN Report
CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360"
October 6, 2008

CNN's Drew Griffin: "Bill Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, in the 1960s and '70s, were radical, members of the Weather Underground, an anti-Vietnam war group that bombed federal buildings including the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon.

"On the run for years, the case against them was thrown out due to illegal wiretaps and prosecutor misconduct. Ayers has never repented and has said as late as 2001, he wished he had done more to stop the war. Barack Obama confirmed during a primary debate that he knew Ayers and when pressed, said they served on a charitable foundation board together. And Obama condemned Ayers support of violence. But the relationship between Obama and Ayers went much deeper, ran much longer, and was much more political than Obama said."

Obama Senior Adviser Anita Dunn: "What they are arguing is that somehow the fact that these two people who served both educational reformers in Chicago, both of whom did have their paths cross professionally as well as neighbors occasionally. But somehow this association is a problem for Barack Obama because of Bill Ayers past and things that happened in the 1960s when Barack Obama was 7 years old.

"And that's just wrong and, frankly, it's quite unfair."

Griffin: "One place their paths repeatedly crossed, according to a CNN review of board minutes and other records, was Chicago's Annenberg Challenge project where a $50 million grant from the Annenberg Foundation matched locally raised funds to improve schools.

"According to participants and project records, Bill Ayers fought to bring the Annenberg grant to Chicago, Barack Obama was recruited as its chair. For seven years, Bill Ayers and Obama among many others, worked on funding for education projects, including some experiments supported by Ayers.

"Stanley Kurtz, a conservative researcher for the Ethics and Public Policy Center has also been reviewing the recently released records of Chicago's Annenberg's challenge."

National Review Online's Stanley Kurtz: "Instead of giving money directly to schools, they gave money to what they called external partners, and these external partners were often pretty radical community organizer groups."

Griffin: "And the board gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Bill Ayers' small schools project promoting alternative education like 'The Peace School,' where the curriculum centered around a United Nations theme, and another school where the focus was, African- American studies.
"And this was directly funded by Annenberg?"

Kurtz: "Oh, yes."

Griffin: "Under Obama's chairmanship?"

Kurtz: "Oh yes and the specific job of the board of directors was to give out the money."

Griffin: "While continuing work on the Annenberg Challenge, Barack Obama and Bill Ayers also served together on a second charitable foundation, the Woods Fund. Among its recipients, Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church where Obama attended and a Children and Family Justice Center, where Ayers' wife worked. Ayers has strong defenders in Chicago, among them Richard Daly, the mayor, who called Ayers a valued member of the Chicago community. The city gave Ayers its Citizen of the Year award in 1997 for his work on the Annenberg project.

"For Obama, the chairmanship of the $100 million Annenberg board, helped vault him from Southside Chicago lawyer to political player. And that, too, has another connection to Bill Ayers.
"In 1995, months after the little known Barack Obama became Annenberg project chair, State Senator Alice Palmer introduced the young Obama as her political heir apparent.

"Where was that introduction made? At the home of the '60s radicals, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. The Obama campaign again says it is just a coincidence."

Dunn: "A Democratic state senator organizes a meeting of her supporters at the house of another one of her supporters. What is the problem here, Drew? It is the worst kind of inference and the worst kind of politics to say that somehow that says something about Barack Obama."

Griffin: "Anderson, this meeting at Bill Ayers home has been classified in many different ways. What I can tell you from the two people who were actually there, is number one, former Senator Alice Palmer says she, in no way organized this meeting and she was invited and attended it briefly. And Doctor Quentin Young, a retired doctor, told us this indeed was Barack Obama's political coming out party and it was hosted by Bill Ayers."

Cooper: "So Drew, I mean bottom line, if Obama and Ayers worked together with others to -- I guess improve schools, what exactly is the McCain-Palin camp saying is wrong with this relationship or this working relationship? Or however you want to characterize it?"

Griffin: "Well Anderson, I haven't contacted the campaign on this issue. What they're saying on the stump is the same thing that Hillary Clinton brought up during the primary campaign is the issue of trust.

"By raising this issue of Bill Ayers, and whether or not Barack Obama was hanging around him, palling around with him, or just working with him, Bill Ayers in the '60s had a very, very different view of the United States that many Americans did. A lot of Americans were against the Vietnam War but not a lot of Americans formed a group and started bombing things because of it.

"Now, they're trying to say that that raises judgment issues on Barack Obama. Which has been the tag other campaigns and now McCain's have been trying to peg on him ever since he started running for president."

Cooper: "But Barack Obama has publicly stated he does not agree with this guy?"

Griffin: "Correct. Well, he has said that he does -- I forget his exact words but he's certainly deplores the violence in the past."

Cooper: "Right."

Griffin: "I haven't been able to ask him directly about the relationship he has or had with Bill Ayers."

Watch The CNN Report

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