August 19th, 2008
02:50 PM ET
10 years ago

MoveOn ad ties Dole, McCain to big oil

MoveOn released a new ad, 'Pocket,' Tuesday.

MoveOn released a new ad, 'Pocket,' Tuesday.

(CNN)— has their sights set on Sen. Elizabeth Dole’s unexpectedly competitive contest for re-election in North Carolina, spending nearly half a million dollars on an ad accusing the North Carolina senator and fellow Republican John McCain of being “in the pocket of Big Oil.”

“We could have provided clean energy for a million homes…or reduced our dependence on foreign oil,” the announcer says. “Instead, John McCain and Elizabeth Dole allowed big oil companies to keep $13.5 billion dollars in tax breaks.”

Dole, who currently has $2.7 million in her campaign war chest to State Senator Kay Hagan’s $1.6 million, was thought to be a safe bet for re-election, but finds herself in an unexpectedly tough fight.

The 30-second spot, “Pocket,” is MoveOn’s first Senate race ad this cycle, according to Communications Director Ilyse Hogue. She added that MoveOn currently has no set plans to use similar versions of the ad in other states, but has not ruled out the possibility, as the nation’s energy woes continue to dominate headlines this campaign season.

Dole campaign spokesman Dan McLagan downplayed the potential statewide impact of the MoveOn buy, saying Dole had already been hit with a million dollars in outside spending, “and they are welcome to spend more. That dog ain't gonna hunt down here. These are the same surrender monkeys that called for a peaceful response to the 9/11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans. Their credibility in North Carolina is pretty low."

Dole, who was the first female senator to be elected in North Carolina, was also the first female chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, serving from 2005-2007. Dole was replaced by Sen. John Ensign after the Republicans lost control of the Senate in 2006.

MoveOn isn’t the only outside group targeting Dole this cycle. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has sunk $6 million into an ad buy targeting the North Carolina senator.

On the presidential level, North Carolina — which hasn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Southerner Jimmy Carter in 1976 - is leaning toward presumed Republican nominee John McCain in CNN’s latest analysis of the Electoral Map.

CNN Electoral Map: Who's ahead?

But Barack Obama’s campaign has made it clear that it considers North Carolina a battleground state, and has launched an ambitious effort to bring Democrats, particularly newly-registered black voters, to the polls in November. The resources being lavished on the presidential race are expected to translate into gains for Democrats further down the ticket, including Hagan. “North Carolina is a state that is a hotly contested Senate race, and also within striking distance of becoming a presidential battleground state,” said Hogue.

“There is certainly a buzz on the ground,” said Hagan’s campaign press secretary, Dave Hoffman, who also said Hagan would hit the campaign trial with Obama this fall.

The MoveOn ad, airing in Raleigh, Charlotte and Asheville will coincide with 130 events across the country to “show the local economic impact of John McCain’s tax give-away to Big Oil,” according to a press release from the group.

soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. Eleanor

    give them back a little of their own medicine
    it doesnt matter who he picks for VP the republicans are a pack of negative attackers
    they are like a bunch of annoying hungry mosquitoes at a barbeque
    It will likely be a war monger just like him
    and one who will also help McWar exploit his captivity in vietnam for political points like it was so apparent the other night with Rick Warren!
    hopefully whoever it is doesnt start every second sentence with *My friends* it gets annoying after while and sounds phony ...period!
    Strange isnt it
    Americans are crying out for change but yet when there is a slight problem in the world they follow the republicans like blind mice
    When you get in the voting booth think of what a MESS they have made of your country the last 8 years and that should *inspire* you to vote for change
    Obama 08

    August 19, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  2. Gorbashov - Long Beach, Ca.

    The Repugnant Party is in the pocket of Big Oil......................nothing new here!

    Question: When the Republicans controlled all of Washington for 6 years what did they do to wean us from our addiction to oil?

    Answer: NOTHING!

    Suddenly they are proponents of alternative fuels................oh yeah it's an election year. Puh-lease.

    August 19, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |

    McWrinkle: Russia, GET OUT OF GEORGIA!

    Russia : McWrinkle, STOP stealing stories from our writers ! ! !

    August 19, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  4. Cant Wait

    I'm big oil – I own stock in oil companies; you are probably big oil, too!
    Big oil pays over $3 in taxes for every #1 in profit! Exxon made $11 billion last quarter, but paid over $32 billion to the government!

    August 19, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  5. Let's ROLL!


    August 19, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  6. ObamaNation

    There should be a law... We've been robbed blind by US Oil companies this past year, and a large amount of what we paid at the pump went directly to McCain's negative campaign.

    We can see straight through you McCain. We are intelligent enough to follow those enormous 'donations' from US Oil directly to you, and the very LEAST we can do is vote in serious numbers for Obama.

    August 19, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  7. dittohead with forty names

    Dumb and dumber own that backward state.

    August 19, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  8. Joe Kiloz


    OBAMA-–? ? ? ? ?

    August 19, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  9. Ardnuas

    "Exxon" John is a WARMONGER...... Of course he HAS sold his sole to the oil companies.....Bush=Big Oil, Cheney=Big Oil,McCain=Big Oil

    August 19, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  10. Cant Wait

    Big Government makes more off of each gallon of gasoline than Big Oil. And they don't do a thing to earn it!

    August 19, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  11. Ovitshio Branco

    Two wrinkly old peoples

    God bless America

    August 19, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  12. This is Dull and Duller

    Thats a good one bring them on / I remember what Dole said after someone mentioning to her concerning health insurance" Dole spoke up that she never knew anyone that never had health insurance"
    When I hear Doles name that is the first thing that comes to mind to think
    that rich Dole had the gall to say
    Go Hagan Go I dont even live in your state

    August 19, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  13. Phil Newton, Murphy OR

    GOP = Grease, Oil and Petroleum.

    And these people are going to lower the price of oil?

    I think not.

    August 19, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  14. Former Dem

    Soros, I just read you are investing big time in refining equipment. Why do you criticize big oil? Your guy signed Bush's energy bill. You demonise Halliburton and invest at the same time. Conflict of interest, unethical or hypocrite, do these mean a thing to you ???

    August 19, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  15. Ndasi Lionel

    Atleast this ad tell the truth!

    Obama 08 / 12

    August 19, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  16. Steve

    Only problem is Kay Hagan is a liar. She is already using an ad that blatanly lies about her credentials while in state government. And its a easy lie for everyday citizens in the state to pick up on if you have just a little political insight. The local paper here already has as well. So Dole is safe since Kay Hagan is nothing more than a liar.

    August 19, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  17. Proud to be American

    I am not apart of the big oil crew – I am just a humble American that tax dollars pay for the rich to get richer as I can barely survive.... terrible I say.... John + McCain = Rich getting Richer plus, reversal of Roe vs Wade & WWIII ..... seriously America.... stop the madness .... Vote Obama 08

    August 19, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  18. Sacto Joe

    It's time for a change! It's time for President Obama!

    The Republicans and Senator McCain have had seven and a half years to do something about energy in this country. Instead, theyve been content to increase our dependence on oil and spend our national blood and treasure on wars in oil-rich regions.

    August 19, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  19. Matthew

    MoveOn is a despicable organization. They proved that with the "General Betray Us" ad they ran. They can spend all they want in NC and Dole will still likely win. If they had any brains they'd concentrate funds on races that really are competitive instead of on a pipe dream. They make normal Democrats like myself look bad.

    August 19, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  20. EDW

    EXXON / MCCAIN bumper stickers, get them at

    August 19, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  21. Sherry, Atlanta


    August 19, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  22. John, Austin, TX

    McCain For Retirement '08

    August 19, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  23. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    John McCain doesn't remember whether he's tied to big oil or not, in fact McCain doesn't remember anything other than being a POW and war. Read Jack Cafferty's commentary on John McCain which will give you nothing but the truth and insight into McCain.

    August 19, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  24. Erika, KS

    What do you expect from Moveon? This isn't even news.

    August 19, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  25. Tim E

    North Carolina was responsible for bringing up John Edwards, right?Sounds like one dog was hunting down there!

    August 19, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
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