September 15th, 2008
11:30 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama camp hits McCain over lobbyist ties in two new ads

The Obama campaign is making a concerted effort to highlight Sen. McCain's ties to individuals who have lobbied Congress.

The Obama campaign is making a concerted effort to highlight Sen. McCain's ties to individuals who have lobbied Congress.

(CNN) – Barack Obama’s campaign continued its push to stress John McCain’s ties to federal lobbyists and to President Bush, releasing two ads over the weekend that hit the Republican nominee on both relationships.

It’s Over,” a 30-second spot that is airing on national cable and in battleground states, highlights high-ranking McCain advisers who have been employed as lobbyists. “If seven of McCain’s top advisors are lobbyists, who do you think will run his White House?,” an announcer asks in the ad.

A second ad, “His Administration,” focuses on William E. Timmons Sr., who has been tapped by the McCain-Palin ticket to begin to plan their transition to the White House should they prevail in the general election. “McCain just picked a Washington super-lobbyist to plan his administration,” the announcer says.

Both ads end with images of McCain smiling and waving alongside President Bush as the announcer says “we just can’t afford more of the same.”

In response, the McCain camp called Obama a hypocrite. “Suffering at the hands of his own underperforming, deeply partisan, do-nothing record – Barack Obama has hastily resorted to blatant hypocrisy or simple ignorance to his own lobby-driven campaign,” said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds. “The truth is, Barack Obama’s campaign is saddled with former lobbyists, and John McCain is the only candidate who has led the fight to root out the influence of corporate money in politics, attacked Jack Abramoff’s circle of Washington corruption and implemented the most extensive conflict of interest policy in this election – no registered lobbyists allowed.”

That prohibition does not include former or recent lobbyists; several senior McCain advisers, including campaign manager Rick Davis and senior foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann, have lobbied in recent years for major corporations, industries, and foreign governments. But, consistent with the McCain campaign’s policy, neither Davis, Scheunemann, nor any of the other five McCain advisers featured in “It’s Over” is currently registered to lobby Congress.

The ads are part of a larger campaign by the Obama team, which unveiled a related Web video and Web site Friday. The Obama-Biden campaign also released a television ad, “No Maverick,” striking similar themes early last week.

Over the weekend, they disclosed that Sen. Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, had resigned from his position as a federal lobbyist.

Filed under: John McCain • Political ads
soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. Brian

    McCain is wrong for America. We need real change in Washington for once ... not more of the same McBush policies from the past 8 years that have gotten us into this mess!

    Obama/Biden '08!!!

    Integrity. Dignity. Plus, they know what the heck is going on.

    September 15, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |

    N A M E S---P L E A S E ! ! !

    September 15, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  3. G W B

    O B A M A--F O R G O T --–$ 10 M I L L I ON---F R O M--–

    W A L L --–S T R E E T--–A N D---E X X O N---–


    G E NE R O U S---T O--–H I M

    September 15, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  4. Jeff Brown

    He's a MAVERICK!!! LOL!!!!!

    September 15, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  5. Tim

    Oh yeah!!! Hit him hard and often!!!!

    Obama/Biden 08!!!!

    September 15, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  6. Lone Star Wolf


    September 15, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  7. Ian

    Don't forget to vote for a third party candidate this year.

    September 15, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. Lannie

    The people are suffering. It will be interesting to see if the voters stick with what got them here or will they step out and go for a new direction. . .
    Vote Obama!

    September 15, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  9. Joe Deitering Anoka, Minn.

    Desperate times call for desperate measures. I love the last sentence.

    September 15, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  10. Tony

    McCain is getting more scarier by the day.

    September 15, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. Jeff

    Until recently the largest donors to Obama's political life have been lobbyists. The same guys are dontaing in a different manner to be sure but Obama is still sucking up their cash.

    Obama has no integrity or dignity. He is an egotistical empty suit that the Democratic leadership foisted on us. This election cycle will be a disaster no matter who wins.

    September 15, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. Tony

    You won't find more of a Washington Insider than John McCain. The vast majority of Americans are so easily fooled and even more easily led.

    September 15, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  13. Frank

    I can't believe McCain, he lies too much.

    September 15, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  14. Jerry Ohio

    Look what McCain said today that the economy is stronger under Bush policy...McCain what planet you on

    September 15, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  15. Bill

    I agree we cannot trust Senator McCain to be the nest President of the United States. I also agree we cannot trust Senator Obama to be the next President of the United States either.

    September 15, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  16. Tony

    This is no longer funny, McCain has offically become dangerous!

    September 15, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  17. Lee-- Dallas, TX

    McCain you are so foolish. US economic fundamentals are not 'strong'. Where have you been for the past year? Oh– In one of your seven-ten houses; depending on what the definition of house is. You sir are a moronic, incompetent republican puppet, a dwindling shadow of your former self.

    September 15, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  18. Barbara - NC

    GWB – that was employees – NOT CONTROLLED BY THEIR EMPLOYERS

    September 15, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  19. ella

    Obama under pressure of voters moving to McCain, result:
    dirty Chicago-style politics!
    Bush-Obama, same of the dirt throwing politics! Do we need 4 more years of this?

    September 15, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  20. Lisa M

    Love those ads

    September 15, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  21. Barbara - NC

    Mavericks ? Unpredictable, reckless. Oh yes – just what we need – more unpredictable, reckless people in charge. NOT

    September 15, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  22. Go Sarah!

    Obama has taken more money from Lehman than anyone.

    September 15, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  23. Nancy

    They look like identical twins in that picture. They both can smirk even when people are losing their home (one and only home), hurricanes hit, Wall Street is collapsing and millions of people don't have health care never mind a roof over their head. Doesn't this make you even a little bit angry McSame supporters. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!! Show some common sense.


    September 15, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  24. lynette

    What happened? Last week it was "Rock on McCain". Now that Obama is hitting back, you can't hurl anything but insults. Keep talking Obama. Rock on!

    September 15, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  25. JusLaugh

    John McCain is planning on a big shot OIL COMPANY lobbyist handling his transition if elected.

    That's what this country needs...more lobbyists calling the shots.

    Our congress can't get anything done because Bush vetos everhthing

    wake up people! This is not the time to be bias or prejudice and call it something else. Our country is going down the tubes under Bush and McCain will finish the job.

    It's time we voted for a smart person rather than a dumb person with an interesting story.

    September 15, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
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