PHILADELPHIA (CNN) – Mark Salter, a top adviser to John McCain, gleefully distributed tire pressure gauges to McCain’s traveling press corps on Monday morning, a sight gag meant to mock Barack Obama’s remark last week that “making sure your tires are properly inflated” could help conserve gasoline.
Before departing for Pennsylvania, Salter told the press on board McCain’s plane that campaign staffers had brought along copies of Obama’s energy plan for reporters to study during the trip. After takeoff, Salter re-emerged with his punch line, passing out the pressure gauges reading “Obama’s Energy Plan” to the journalists on the flight.
The Republican National Committee said McCain supporters in Michigan were planning to distribute the same gauges at Obama’s energy speech in Lansing today. McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis also e-mailed supporters, offering a tire pressure gauge in exchange for a donation of $25 or more.
Last month, McCain's campaign also gave reporters covering the presumptive Republican nominee as Barack Obama's traveling press pool traveled overseas with the Illinois Democrat a fake European press pass.
Earlier: McCain press passes go continental
The pass featured a shot of the Statue of Liberty in front of an American flag, and the words: "McCain Press Corps/JV Squad/Left Behind To Report in America." The back had a picture of a man sporting a beret and a neck scarf, standing in front of a silhouette of the Eiffel Tower and pouring a glass of wine.
UPDATE: The Obama campaign points out that McCain backers like Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as NASCAR, have promoted good tire maintenance as a way to manage fuel consumption.