September 19th, 2008
10:39 AM ET
6 years ago

Economy takes center stage in bruising ads

New campaign ads are out on the economy.
New campaign ads are out on the economy.

(CNN) - As the nation’s financial crisis continues to top headlines and dominate campaign trail discussion, John McCain and Barack Obama released a flurry of television ads within a few hours that play off a rising sense of economic anxiety.

The McCain campaign released an ad linking Obama to former Fannie Mae head Franklin Raines. "Who advises him?" the female announcer says. "The Post says it's Franklin Raines, for 'advice on mortgage and housing policy.'"

The Washington Post quote cited in the McCain campaign's release says that Raines has "taken calls from Barack Obama's presidential campaign seeking his advice on mortgage and housing policy matters."

The Obama campaign sent out a statement from Franklin Raines denying the claims in the McCain ad. "I am not an advisor to Barack Obama, nor have I provided his campaign with advice on housing or economic matters." Obama spokesman Bill Burton called the charge “another flat-out lie.”

The Obama campaign responded with a spot taking aim at McCain’s economic advisors. "Carly Fiorina, the fired CEO who got a $42 million golden parachute," the announcer says. "Phil Gramm, the ex-Senator who pushed through deregulation, and called Americans hurt by this economy 'whiners’… Then there's George Bush, whose disastrous policies McCain wants to continue."

Carly Fiorina is McCain’s Victory chair. Former Senator Phil Gramm officially left the campaign after his headline-grabbing comments earlier this year.

Early Friday, McCain’s team returned fire with a commercial about Obama’s relationship with former Fannie Mae chair Jim Johnson, who resigned earlier this year as head of the Democrat’s vice presidential vetting team after allegations he had received preferential terms on a mortgage from Countrywide Financial.

“What Obama says... is not what he does,” begins the announcer, as a clip plays of Obama denouncing windfall profits for executives of financially troubled institutions. “Meet Jim Johnson, former Fannie Mae CEO. Fannie cooked the books and Johnson made millions. Then Obama asked him to pick his VP. And raise thousands for his campaign. Barack Obama. More empty words.”

But the air wars aren’t limited to economic advisors: another McCain spot that picks up on the Republican nominee’s criticism this week of a "big spending, greedy, do nothing, me first, country second crowd in Washington."

“When our economy's in crisis, a big government casts a big shadow on us all. Obama and his liberal Congressional allies want a massive government, billions in spending increases, wasteful pork,” says the narrator. “And, we would pay - painful income taxes, skyrocketing taxes on life savings, electricity and home heating oil. Can your family afford that?”

Independent fact checkers have determined that the vast majority of taxpayers – all except the wealthiest Americans - would get a larger break under Obama's plan than McCain's. The Republican nominee says that his is focused on easing the tax burden on small businesses to promote economic growth.

Obama aides argue that the cost estimates assumed by the McCain team make no allowance for savings most Americans would see as a result of reduced health care and energy expenses, and jobs created by investments in new environmentally-friendly industries.

Earlier this week, Obama released a spot about the closing of a Pennsylvania factory, the latest in a series of ads blaming John McCain for the loss of Rust Belt jobs by pointing to the disappearing manufacturing base in that state, in Ohio, and in Michigan. McCain’s campaign has responded with two positive spots – on aimed at Ohio, the other at Michigan - that tout GOP job creation proposals.

“Michigan families depend on the auto industry. John McCain and his Congressional allies know it,” says the announcer. “Loans to upgrade assembly lines. Tax credits to boost sales of clean vehicles. Offshore drilling to reduce the cost of gas and spur truck sales. And financial reforms to protect your retirement. Change is coming.”

Independent fact checkers have said that offshore drilling will have no short-term, and little long-term, impact on gas prices, but McCain says it would be useful as a symbolic gesture to signal U.S. resolve not to be dependent on foreign oil.

The campaigns have said that most of these 30-second ads will be televised nationally, or on national cable, but have not released the extent of the buys. Both candidates have already released half a dozen economy-themed spots this week, following the collapse of Lehman brothers, the buyout of Merrill Lynch and the government bailout of insurance giant AIG.

soundoff (338 Responses)
  1. NO TAX $$$$ for neo-con MILLIONAIRES!!!!

    WRITE AND CALL YOUR CONGRESSMEN AND SANATORS,

    and MAKE THEM AWARE YOU DO NOT WANT THEM TO COMMIT YOUR AND YOUR CHILDREN'S TAX DOLLARS TO ENSURE THE NEO-CON THIEVERY ON WALL STREET!!!

    THEY ARE TRYING TO HOLD YOU HOSTAGE,

    lying "everyone's interest is served by this bailout"

    NOT UNTIL THE PROFIT AND PROPERTY IS ALSO SOCIALIZED,

    NOT UNTIL THE SAME GROUP WHO OWN AND RUN WALL STREET AND WASHINGTON GET THROWN OUT OF POWER AND INTO PRISON!

    September 19, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  2. Howard

    If McCain is elected, I'll stuff my money in an old sock and bury it in the backyard.

    September 19, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  3. Pride - win or lose

    Republicans are very proud of our country, and whether we win or lose in Nov… America will always come first.

    Democrats are also very proud of our country, but some have promised that if Obama loses, there will be hell to pay… riots looting.

    Admit or deny it but that is the difference between us. Hope I'm wrong.

    September 19, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  4. J from DC

    McCain has nothing on the Economy. We already know that Palin has nothing to offer. We watched that sad ABC and even sadder Fox interview this week.
    Obama made a real quality pick, when he selected Biden and everyone has forgotten that. Biden may not have gotten a lot of primary votes, but Palin didn’t ever run. She knew she wasn’t ready then. Biden may very well be the most qualified of all the candidates.
    The story that is missing in this whole news cycle is: Why Biden makes McCain so uncomfortable? I am in DC, and I still have not figured it out. I know there is something there, but I can’t put my finger on it. Even still, if you watch McCain closely, the signs are there.

    September 19, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  5. Obama is REAL Change

    "Palin claims foreign policy experience because Alaska’s proximity to Russia, an argument offered up by McCain", he also bragged about she played basketball in high school. I don't know if McCain 26 years of experience is an indication of how he will JOKE about the important issues if he is elected into the White House, but he and Palin thinks this is such a FUN and FULL of LIES Campaign. To those of us who struggle day after day, we Can’t find the reason for our economy to be in such a shamble to be such a JOYFUL occasion.

    This may be the WAY it's done in the small town of Wasilla, Alaska, but her in the BIG important states we take this as a VERY serious matter.

    September 19, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. Barney

    I don't know about everyone else, but I'm sick of hearing her and McCain DELIBERATELY repeat lies over and over after they have been proven to be liars.

    We need transparency – not suboena-dodgers – not more of the Cheney/Rove type.

    I'm disappointed that the possibility for our first female in a high position has only given us more of the lies and deceit that we've had in politics for generations. Aren't christian women supposed to be above that kind of stuff? shame shame shame

    September 19, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  7. Tom in CA

    …from a storyteller…

    While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75 year old rancher, who's hand was caught in the gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Palin and her bid.

    The old rancher said, "Well, ya know, Palin is a 'Post Turtle'."

    Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a 'Post Turtle' was.

    The old rancher said, "When you're driving down a country road you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a 'Post Turtle'."

    The old rancher saw the puzzled look on the doctor's face so he continued to explain. "You know she didn't get up there by herself, she don't belong up there, she don't know what to do while she's up there, and you just wonder what kind of dummy put her up there to begin with."

    September 19, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  8. Mike, FL

    After what we been through for the last eight years of Republican administration, I can't understand why people want 4more years of the same old policy by voting for McCain.

    September 19, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. Annie

    Hey John McCain ~ I can see a gas station from my kitchen window, can I be your Energy Advisor?

    September 19, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  10. SAY NO to Mcshameless's thieving buddies on wall street!

    wall street thieves and their buddies in washington are trying to screw little guys again!

    WRITE AND CALL YOUR CONGRESSMEN AND SANATORS,

    and MAKE THEM AWARE YOU DO NOT WANT THEM TO COMMIT YOUR AND YOUR CHILDREN'S TAX DOLLARS TO ENSURE THE NEO-CON THIEVERY ON WALL STREET!!!

    THEY ARE TRYING TO HOLD YOU HOSTAGE,

    lying "everyone's interest is served by this bailout"

    NOT UNTIL THE PROFIT AND PROPERTY IS ALSO SOCIALIZED,

    NOT UNTIL THE SAME GROUP WHO OWN AND RUN WALL STREET AND WASHINGTON GET THROWN OUT OF POWER AND INTO PRISON!

    September 19, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. ZANE

    It looks like Ohio, Florida, Virginia and possibly Missouri will decide this election. It will be interesting to see if the people suffering in those states stick with what got them there or will they step out and go a new direction. . . .

    OBAMA.BIDEN!

    September 19, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  12. SAY NO to Mcshameless's thieving buddies on wall street!

    WRITE AND CALL YOUR CONGRESSMEN AND SANATORS,

    and MAKE THEM AWARE YOU DO NOT WANT THEM TO COMMIT YOUR AND YOUR CHILDREN'S TAX DOLLARS TO ENSURE THE NEO-CON THIEVERY ON WALL STREET!!!

    THEY ARE TRYING TO HOLD YOU HOSTAGE,

    lying "everyone's interest is served by this bailout"

    NOT UNTIL THE PROFIT AND PROPERTY IS ALSO SOCIALIZED,

    NOT UNTIL THE SAME GROUP WHO OWN AND RUN WALL STREET AND WASHINGTON GET THROWN OUT OF POWER AND INTO PRISON!

    September 19, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  13. Jim in NYC

    Five Reasons To Vote For McCain/Palin:
    1. You feel that our country is better off today than eight years ago

    2. You think that Bill Clinton's/Obama's policies are(were) bad ideas

    3. You think that the Iraq war was(is) a brilliant idea

    4. You think that Karl Rove and Dick Cheney did wonders for America

    5. You believe that the next four years will be different than the last 8 using the same minds, ideas, and people!

    God Bless our Country!

    I'm tired of the Obama-Will-Tax-Me-To-Death-Tax-Hike stories, all Barack will do is bring tax levels for the people making 250k and over back to what they were during the Bill Clinton years. I remember those years fondly and my 401k does too!

    Elect the brains this time
    Obama/Biden in 08!

    September 19, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  14. Jim

    I like how McCain is ridiculing Obama for trying to use the economic crisis for political gain. As though the Republicans have never tried to use 9/11 for political gain.

    Uh, oh. Someone's going to say I'm unpatriotic. I better put on my American Flag lapel pin to prove them wrong.

    September 19, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  15. David, Silver Spring, MD

    Just a few months ago, John McCain was singing "Bomb, Bomb Iran" and promising us, "There will be more wars."

    He never cared about the economy then, and doesn't know how to fix it now. For decades the Republicans have been all about abdicating government's role and responsibilities in fostering a sound economy.

    Obama has dedicated his life to helping people trying to get a leg up in tough economic times. He and Joe Biden are clearly the people we need to help us right this ship.

    September 19, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  16. Ron from Baltimore

    McCain, GET A GRIP. What has happened to you???

    Stop this nonsense of a campaign. Get back on track. NOT OUR FAULT THAT YOU PICKED PALIN, stop taking it out on the rest of both parties.

    McCain, Find some other way to cope than running these attacks which are discounted later that day, sometimes by your own surrogates.

    September 19, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  17. Tony

    Notice how John McCain looks more and more confused.

    September 19, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Game ON!

    It's late in the 3rd quarter folks. The debates will begin the 4th quarter. After the debates, it gonna the 2 minute drill until Election Day. I miss Tim Russert.

    September 19, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  19. Jayden

    McCain is circling the drain.

    September 19, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  20. ANGIE

    A COUPLE QUESTIONS TO PALIN/MCCAIN SUPPORTERS

    1 Why do you support a man and woman who constantly LIE to the american people? HAVENT YOU HAD ENOUGH OF THE BUSH LIES FOR 7 YEARS
    2 Why do you support a woman and her first dude who REFUSE to testify if that were you and I wouldnt we be in jail for ignoring judges orders! HAVENT YOU HAD ENOUGH OF POLITICANS (BUSH ADMIN) thinking their above the law?

    so in conclusions you support telling lies and being dishonest(DO YOU TEACH YOUR CHILDREN THAT?
    YOU SUPPORT SAYING SCREW THE LAW I WILL DO WHAT I WANT IM ABOVE THE UNITED STATES LAW ( do you teach your children that?)

    September 19, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  21. Carl from va

    Wow, McCain's lying again. I'm shocked...

    September 19, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  22. Peggy

    This is the kind of WAR I approve of.....keep fighting Obama...you are fighting for our lives, right here in America.

    September 19, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  23. WOMEN IN NEED OF NEW LEADERSHIP

    Repubs please stop with all the spin................

    lies–MCCAIN

    fabrications-MCCAIN

    untruths-MCCAIN

    falsehoods-MCCAIN

    if you put lipstick on a pig its still a freakin pig ......GET IT

    TELL YOUR BOY MCCAIN WE THE PEOPLE REMEMBER EVERY LIE THAT HE TELLS (WEREN'T OLD) GET IT

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    September 19, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  24. stephanie

    Obama needs to emphasize McCain's record in these commercials and then emphasize the willingness to practice corporate welfare, but not a dollar towards our healthcare.

    September 19, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  25. PoliticoPundit

    Obama is supporting the BAILOUT. Great. Now after Paulson's report that it would cost nearly $1 Trillion for the bail out od financial intitutions, where that money would come from? Tax payers ?? but he doesn't want to raise taxes( as he has claimed) then who is paying for the bailout?? Such a contradiction ... End of the day he has to RAISE the TAXES to raise those kind of money.. So now he will change his statement. Voters are being LIED about all these bailouts.

    We will see taxes increasing as soon as OBAMA gets elected ( if). so instead of working on bailout the rot of the issue should be looked at. DON"T JUST TRY TO WIN THE ELECTION AT THE COST OF AMERICAN PEOPLE.

    September 19, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
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