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. Another Republican for Obama

    Ouch, look at all the touchy fellow Republicans in these forums. Looks like they truly believe the stuff they are shoveling. Doesn;t say much about my fellow party members, desperately clinging to power.

    September 15, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  2. Don

    this is desperate and also negative from the camp that claims they are above attacks.

    September 15, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  3. Beatrice


    First they went after the liberal media, said they couldn’t be trusted, so I didn’t trust the media.

    And then they said you couldn’t trust scientists – it was all theories and opinions – so I didn’t trust science.

    And then they said I shouldn’t trust community organizers, because they don’t really do anything, so I didn’t trust community organizers.

    And then they said I shouldn’t trust eastern elites or those who live in cities, especially if those cities are Washington, so to be safe I didn’t trust anyone east of the Mississippi or west of the Andreas fault.

    And then they said that I shouldn’t trust the people, because 18 million of them cast votes for a guy who has never run anything and has no experience, so I didn’t trust the people.

    And then they said, "... these little facts don’t really matter," so I didn’t trust the little facts.

    And then they said, "You can’t trust the fact-check organizations," so I didn’t trust the fact-check organizations.

    And then ... after awhile ... there was no one left to trust but them.


    September 15, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  4. Darrel from Denver

    It's coming down to whether or not the Republican elite and the power brokers who control them can maintain power and bully, or cheat or lie, the American public into voting for them yet again.

    And, it actually seems to be working. Truly unbelievable how gullible people really are.

    We finally have someone who stands for being outside the system and they wish to throw him away over some bimbo who is both clueless and dangerous and some old man looking for one last bit of glory?

    It sickens me to see what has become of America.

    September 15, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  5. Thomas

    I just can't imagine how anyone can think that Senator McCain will change anything for the better. I know that he will change things for the betterment of large corporations, but his idea of what is good for America is quite different from mine.

    September 15, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  6. Al from Denver

    Hey IAIAIAIAIAIAIAIAIAIAIAI how is it possible that your comments are posted on each and everyone one of these forums. Hmmmm. It is funny that you are asking for proof of an allegation made by Obama, but you take what McCain says to be the gospel. Its about time the Obama camp went on the offensive and release ads attacking McCain even it the ads are a little skeptical. Both of these candidates staffs are full of lobbyist, but McCain shows his hypocrisy by claiming to be a maverick reformer campaigning against the very thing that is fueling his campaign. I find the whole thing amusing jsut like the majority of the garbage you post which you believe to be informative.

    September 15, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  7. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    Did you ever notice all the Obama-haters have to offer is name-calling?

    I can list over 2 dozen blatant lies from the McCain campaign. That doesn't even count the just plain nasty.

    When Karl Rove comments that McCain is telling lies – you know it smells like 4 month old dead moose! Too slimy for Rove?

    Obama-haters can't even post one positive thing McCain has accomplished in nearly 30 years! McCain can scream and lecture: he can not lead and has not changed anything in Washington – even earmarks ....

    Obama/Biden 2008 !!!

    September 15, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  8. Mary

    Why can't we just hear the issues

    September 15, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  9. Cynthia

    I couldn't agree more! We don't need more of the same.

    September 15, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  10. Clueless on the Economy

    The Obama ads are stating the truth, people stop picking the lines you want to believe from the McCain campaign and over your eyes!! McCain knows nothing about the economy and has proven it several times. Alan Greenspan said the McCain tax cuts were not good for American. WHO THE HELL ARE YOU GOING TO BELIEVE, GREENSPAN OR MCCAIN? NO BRAINER!!!

    September 15, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  11. Bridgette-PA

    OMG....why is the Mcsame campaign so angry?? It's Ok, for them to try and distort the truth regarding Barack with their distasteful ads but they are having a hissy fit because the ads Barack puts out are actually true? WTH is going on here!?


    OBAMA/BIDEN -08!

    September 15, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  12. Sara, Ohio

    Note the quote from McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds. Tucker? Why do so many Reublican men have these types of patrician names? I know this is off topic, it just seems like they all come from some fancy country club where the womens is womens and the men all play golf and keep people they don't like out of their club (including women). Yech.

    September 15, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  13. Kyle NY

    Shame on Obama. Saying these men are lobbyists is a flat out lie. They may have been at one time, like Biden's son, but are not registered as lobbyists now. Again Obama takes the truth and turns it into old dirty politics. Obama also has former lobbyists on his team. So why is he being such a hypocrite?

    September 15, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  14. Melly

    WOW. This is Awsome ads. I am going to write two more checks for Obama campaign. Every single ad like this that reveals the REAL MCCAIN and Republican's policies is going to get a check from me from now on

    September 15, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  15. Sweetie

    Obama's camp paid Edwards a $250,000.00 bonus for officially supporting Obama as a Super Delegate.

    This money came from Exon!

    Obama and his team are worse then McCain when it comes to taking money from large corporations!

    Biden's son is currently working as a lobbyist!

    McCain/Palin-08-In a Landslide!

    September 15, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  16. Hypocrits for Obama

    Obama is a self-serving pandering Hypocrit-

    The voters know it- although the media won't permit anyone to voice it.

    September 15, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  17. irish

    First of all I wish everyone of you liberal nutjobs would stop blaming everything on the Republicans. Did you forget that Democrates are in washington to? Did you forget that for 2 1/2 yrs that Congress is the majority of Democrates and since that majority has taken hold, that gas has gone up, foreclosures are in hundreds of thousands. Food has gone up and that our ecomony has tanked. All big gun companies are folding all within 2 years. If democrates are so wonderful why have they not addressed any of these problems 2 years ago. And don't tell me they didn't see any of this coming. They seen it, they didn't care. As long as they got to line there pockets off the American back.

    September 15, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  18. Hypocrits for Obama

    Biden claims that his lobbyist son was no influence on him.

    So I guess lobbyists are fine.... for the democrats.

    But sinful for a republican.

    September 15, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  19. doofus Cape Coral FL

    I don't know about anyone else, but I refuse to read any blogs writtten in straight caps or those with large spaces between the words. If your message is truly relevant it will be evident by your clear thinking not by the cutsy-pie way you write it.

    September 15, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  20. Come on CNN

    Obama and his campaign are out of touch:

    Biden's son has been a lobbyist until... like... yesterday.

    Obama is always accusing others of doing the very things he does.

    Sarah= inexperienced- hello, more experienced than Obama himself.

    Sarah = lied about selling the jet on ebay- hello, YOU said that, NOT Sarah.

    McCain wants a 100 yr war in Iraq= YOU twisted his words to MEAN that.

    Obama is the biggest liar- he is just so good at it that people are fooled by the surface and miss the evil beneath the smile.

    September 15, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  21. Susan

    Poor Tucker. he just can't get traction with his twisted words anymore! Between McCain and Palin, I read that there was over 100 lobbyist that work for them and their campaign. How can America trust a man who has no honor, integrity or moral standards to be the President!

    September 15, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  22. Jay Edward

    Those of you with such hate, how do you think that is making your like better? Are you seeing the decline of our money and jobs and home values? After 8 years we are in huge trouble, yet many will still vote against their own best side is perfect, but GOP has made this a mess and the Dems not perfect also...

    The Dem’s have 11 million new registered than GOP, the polls don't poll cell phone users, who are 18 to 35 and they will vote 80% DEM
    I’m not a dem or a gop, I am American.

    September 15, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  23. MLH

    John McCain, I used to admire you as a veteran, and a man who stood by his principles. Now you stand by your principals – who are hoping to cash out during your presidency. Please take a deep breath, look around and think about putting OUR country first.

    September 15, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  24. Bill, MA.

    The republican game hasn't changed since Herbert Hoover other than G.W.Bush replacing Hoover as our worst president. How stupid are you republican voters? Do you enjoy being abused, and lied to? You may want a miserable life, but the rest of us want to be happy. Vote Democrat. Vote Obama.

    September 15, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  25. My Comment is awaiting moderation

    Why isn't CNN running a story on the ticker about Obama's attempt to keep our Troops in Iraq so that he can BE lauded by the anti-war sect during his administration as reported by the NEW YORK POST? Why isn't CNN reporting that his continually changing plans for the withdrawal are completely flawed and that his deadline is a complete farce???


    September 15, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
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