THE BLOG

With New Ads, Obama Pushes Back Against Ugly McCain Campaign

10/13/2008 05:12 am 05:12:01 | Updated May 25, 2011

What ever happened to John McCain's promise to run a "clean and respectable campaign?"

Desperate to win the White House in his second attempt, Sen. McCain is undermining this election by unleashing lies and smears against Barack Obama during the GOP party convention, on the stump with his running mate, Sarah Palin, and in a series of television commercials that are so blatantly false, it's hard to even recall the John McCain of 2000.

The piggish campaign that McCain is running has rolled this presidential race straight into the gutter. Stunningly, McCain defended his 'kill-baby seal tactics' by blaming Obama -- clearly, the victim though hardly a baby seal -- during the National Service presidential forum in New York City Thursday night.

Still insisting that he is running a campaign based on issues, McCain got a little hot under the collar when he was questioned about the "tone" of the campaign, saying:

"First of all this is a tough business...Second of all, I think the tone of this whole campaign would've been very different if Sen. Obama had accepted my request for us to appear at town hall meetings all over America."

This is the same kind of reasoning abusive men use to justify administering the bruises and broken bones that land their wives in emergency rooms. "It was her fault. She made me do it!"

What a bully! What a whiner!

Naturally, the courtly moderators let him off the hook. McCain is a war hero, you know.

Factcheck.org has analyzed the McCain ad, "Lipstick," among others that are charging sexism by the Obama campaign and using quotes out of context.

The Obama press office blasted an email to journalists early this morning with a review of "Lashing Out," the latest McCain ad:

The new McCain-Palin ad ... begins like an earlier ad we criticized, with its reference to Barack Obama's celebrity, but then goes down new paths of deception. It takes quotes from news organizations and uses them out of context in an effort to portray Obama and his running mate, Joe Biden, as unfairly attacking Sarah Palin and making sexist remarks. We've long been a critic of candidates (Obama included) usurping the credibility of independent news organizations and peddling false quotes, and this ad is particularly egregious. We found it airing in Denver, as recorded by the Campaign Media Analysis Group, a unit of TNS Media Intelligence.

Sen. Obama is hitting back with two new ads released today -- "Real Change" and "Still" -- hoping to get back on message and to wrestle back the 'change' theme that has been hijacked by McCain and Palin.

In "Real Change" Sen. Obama speaks directly into the camera:

We've heard a lot of talk about change this year. The question is, change to what?
To me, change is a government that doesn't let banks and oil companies rip off the American people. Change is when we finally fix health care instead of just talking about it. Change is giving tax breaks to middle class families instead of companies that send jobs overseas. Change is a president who brings people together. I'm Barack Obama and I approve this message because this year, change has to be more than a slogan.

The second ad, "Still," shows various unflattering visuals of McCain, a 1980s cell phone the size of the toaster, with facts sourced from the New York Times, Boston Globe and the Tax Policy Center with a professional announcer's voice:

1982. John McCain goes to Washington. Things have changed in the last 26 years. But McCain hasn't. He admits he still doesn't know how to use a computer, can't send emails. Still doesn't understand the economy. And favors two hundred billion in new tax cuts for corporations, but almost nothing for the middle class. After one President who was out of touch. We just can't afford more of the same. I'm Barack Obama and I approved this message.

It's doubtful whether these latest Obama ads will successfully blunt the Team McCain rise in the polls of late, mostly due to their deceptive ads and dishonest stump speeches, so I'll offer some unsolicited advice to the Obama campaign.

Here's your new tag line that should end every speech and every ad:

"Electing John McCain and Sarah Palin for four more years of Bush is no change at all. Now that's a pig in lipstick the American people can't afford."