(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.