On Monday, The Huffington Post reported:
Just twelve years ago, when [Sen. John] McCain was politically recuperating from his involvement in the Keating Five scandal, he introduced legislation that would, if implemented today, cripple his presidential campaign.
In March 1996 and again the following year, McCain offered a bill that, in his own words, "would ban a candidate or a candidate's authorized committee from paying registered lobbyists."
During a rally today in Tampa, Florida, Sen. Barack Obama hammered McCain over the report. Check it out:
"Now, we need a president who sees the government not as a tool to enrich friends and high-priced lobbyists, but as the defender of fairness and opportunity for every American. And let me be fair about this. Now, John McCain has agreed with me on some of the steps we need to make our government more ethical and accountable. Almost a decade ago, he offered a bill that, in his words, would ban a candidate from paying registered lobbyists. Let me repeat that. This -- ten years ago, John McCain offered a bill that said he would ban a candidate from paying registered lobbyists. And he did this because he said that having lobbyists on your campaign was a conflict of interest. This is what he said ten years ago.
"Well, I'll tell you that John McCain then would be pretty disappointed with John McCain now, because he hired some of the biggest lobbyists in Washington to run his campaign. And when he was called on it, his top lobbyists actually had the nerve to say, 'The American people won't care about this.' Well, I think the American people do care about it and I know they have a clear choice in this election: we can either have a election in which we are taking on the root causes of special interests dominated politics in Washington or we can ignore the problem and we can wake up four years from now and still be talking about an energy crisis and still be talking about a health care crisis and still be talking about a tax code that's not fair to you. I don't want to wake up that way, neither do you. That's a choice we've got in this election. We're going to change how politics is done in Washington."