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. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    McSame's campaign is lousy with lobbyists and trolls trained by Karl Rove....

    September 15, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  2. atlgal

    mccain is bush in older years!!! This country will burn if hes elected. PEOPLE LOOK AT THE GAS PRICES

    September 15, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  3. Rick

    Hey dems...this whole "He's the same as Bush" thing and all you losers who call him "McSame", I got news for ain't working. The more you try to say that the more people laugh at your ignorance.

    I'm not a huge McCain fan but his whole identity for many years has been his refusal to toe the line with the republican party. You might be able to use the "same as" argument in many elections but whoever thought of using that strategy for this one is a fool.

    September 15, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  4. KenB, MI

    the McCain campaign is out of control...when Rove has made claims that the McCain is over the top you know there's a problem, this guy is the king of slight of hand...

    if what what McCain is showing us is precursor to his possible administration then the American people are in trouble...we need to do something now before its too late...we need real change with real focus we need Obama-Biden

    September 15, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  5. mitchell

    mccain has ,what is it now? 168 lobyists in his camp.?

    September 15, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  6. Dana from the Chi

    For those who said Obama took Lobbyist money too!! Yeah, he did and gave it back to them. Check your facts before you comment. Everybody wants to bring up Resko but Obama gave that money back!! What do Mccain do with his? By the way Mccain got lobbyist all around him including his campaign advisor!!

    September 15, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |

    Not only are McCain's ads blatant lies but he lies about himself and his running mate............



    September 15, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  8. ken

    since this is the only place open that i can send a e-mail , we watched our price for a barrel of oil go up from the $60.. a barrel to a record price of $150.00 a barrel, and watched gas go from $2 .00 a gallon to now over $5.00 , even tho oil has now dropped to $96.00 a barrel but yet the gas prices have only gone up. if you adjusted on how the price of gas went up as the price per barrel , our gas should be only around $ 2.90 mark yet its going up , this country never has had any control over the oil and gas market ,they have done just what the wanted to do ,we have hearings which produce nothing, they make record high proffits no matter which way the price of oil goes, the markets are just as bad for years and years they made home loans to poeple who could not afford the house they where getting, no problem we will take care of that the only thing you have to do is you have to take a adjustable loan instead of a fixed rate , then they sell these bad loan to the bond market, of all the buillions of dollars up on billions of dollars lost only maybe have gone to jail this country is in danger of falling apart ,we can,t save every one, yet it still goes on , and tho the jails should be full, these brokers with millions in there pockets . ken

    September 15, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  9. anon

    cheap political attack ad. If McCain is so heavily tied to lobbyists, why doesn't he ever try to get earmarks or pork for them?

    Obama has asked for more pork in 2 years than McCain has in 20!

    September 15, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  10. robert

    lets seeeeeeeeeeeeeeee mccai/bush that sounds right

    September 15, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  11. Francisco Cardenas


    September 15, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  12. Lori

    McCain, Why is it that neither you nor Palin will talk about the issues???

    September 15, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  13. DJ Los Angeles

    Perfect...keep these ads flowing that expose the truth about McCain's deep ties to big $ lobbyists. Not to mention how his policies are a virtual mirror of Bush agendas.

    September 15, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. Sarah

    McCain thinks that we're stupid. His campaign cronies aren't lobbying this exact moment, but they're still lobbyists. I guess he'll be asking what the definition of "is" is next. What a liar!

    September 15, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  15. Kim J

    What's the difference if Washington lobbyists or unions are calling the shots. Obama's hands will be tied by him being controlled by the unions.

    September 15, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |

    @Lone Star Wolf September 15th, 2008 1:09 pm ET


    Grow a set and stop acting like a child. This isn't 5th grade. This is our country at stake! If you don't care about talking about the issues move to Alaska. Name calling will resolve nothing.

    September 15, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  17. McCain for Pres.

    Joe Biden's son was a lobyist until his father started running for VP. What a double standard the democrats have.

    September 15, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  18. GA for Obama

    Lone Star Wolf- NO! Not a dollar is from lobbyists to Obama!

    September 15, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  19. roger

    Give them hell Obama, the Republicans can't stand the truth & most do not know what it is.....McBush has been negative for weeks so it is about time the Obama campaign tells the truth & wages an all our war on the GOP...they are whiners & we all know very hypocritical...

    September 15, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  20. GA for Obama

    Lone Star Wolf- NO! Not a dollar is from lobbyists to Obama!

    September 15, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  21. M. Winners, Mesa, AZ

    The "fear, smear, mock and lie" Rovian campaign strategy of the McCain/Palin ticket is dishonorable and blatantly hypocritical.
    Along with McCain the GOP kool-aid drinkers that support his ticket also lack any sense of honor when they parrot "Obama started it because he won't do Town Halls". What next, Obama started it because he's a Harvard grad?

    September 15, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  22. Rose

    Isn't it funny that the Obama ad failed to mention that these people are no longer lobbiest, one of them resigned over 8 years ago but they do mention that Joe Biden's son has resigned as a lobbiest. They have nerve calling McCain distorting the facts

    September 15, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  23. Obama/Biden

    CNN for Palin 08-12, Fox News for palin 08-12

    September 15, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  24. ZANE

    McCain can no longer think for himself. Of course, he'll have his lobbyists with him in the White House, he always has had them and always will! Wake up America!

    September 15, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  25. Baze

    Raaaaaaa!!! I'm a G.O.P. blowheart kicking and screaming. Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!! Let's see what the Wicked Witch of Wasilla has to say about it. Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeech!!! Let's go do GOD'S WORK!!!


    September 15, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
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