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. Hillary supporter for McCain

    Obama loves to lie and hide his abysmal record back in the Illinois senate. The guy deserves an academy award for "best actor". Only a fool would buy in to this. This conservative Democrat and former Hillary supporter will be voting for John McCain. Hillary supporters of the country join me in taking this bold step to send a message to the far left wing of the party that we will not tolerate them any longer. Enough is right – ENOUGH

    September 19, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  2. Clinton Supporter

    If anyone is still unclear about Palin, please read the article in the L.A. Times regarding her "Road to no where" She built a road for $26 million dollars for a bridge that does not exist. Please read the article and you will see that even the residents in that area know McCain is being untruthful about Palin's reform.

    Clinton 2016

    September 19, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  3. Apples for sale

    Has anyone else ever thought this entire mess we now have was created on purpose to gain control of the free market and manipulate the political arena?

    September 19, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  4. Jory

    The Geezer and Gidget are circling the drain. ...now flush!

    September 19, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  5. Hillary supporter for McCain

    Obama loves to lie and hide his abysmal record back in the Illinois senate. The guy deserves an academy award for "best actor". Only a fool would buy in to this. This conservative Democrat and former Hillary supporter will be voting for John McCain. Hillary supporters of the country join me in taking this bold step to send a message to the far left wing of the party that we will not tolerate them any longer. Enough is right – ENOUGH of the Daily Kos and Moveon.org. Enought with all of them!

    September 19, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  6. Gregory

    Tom, calling Palin a "Post Turtle" is brilliant. MCcain placed her on that VP pedestal, and she doesn't know where to go from there. She's can't make a straight answer without cue cards. She thinks every attack on her is sexist. She's all GLAM and no BAM.

    Sarah Palin: The Post Turtle with lipstick.

    September 19, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  7. Willy Brown

    The Obama plan: TAX,TAX, TAX Blame republicans, TAX,TAX, TAX, Blame Republicans, TAX, TAX, TAX.

    September 19, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  8. Republican Mama for Obama

    I would not feel comfortable with McCain as President. He is running a sleazy campaign filled with lies and will do anything to win. If that is not obvious to the public, then maybe you should know more about your candidate instead of only typing, "Palin Power". They do not have anything to offer you. They honestly don't.

    September 19, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  9. Mike

    We have all the information we need right now to know what kind of president McCain would be. He is willing to manipulate the facts to achieve any end he wants. Sound familiar?

    Obama '08

    September 19, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  10. SCM DC

    Lies, lies, and more lies. Are these shameless liars what we want in the White House for the next 4 years? NO! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! It's time for change and it's time to save this country! Obama supporters are fired up and ready to go! We won't be defeated by narrow-minded thieves and liars!!!

    Obama/Biden 08/12

    September 19, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  11. jenkins

    Obama is just like all the rest. A dirty politician always with his hand out looking for money.

    September 19, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  12. Rj

    We can't afford another moron for President!
    GO OBAMA!!!!!

    September 19, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  13. Chris from San Antonio

    Another lie from the McCain campaign?
    Are the American people so stupid as to vote for 4 more years of Bush economic policies?

    September 19, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  14. tedlas in hfd

    mccain has resorted to abject lying. any good he did for his country is being drowned in his lies. if he ever was, he certainly is no longer honorable.

    MCCAIN EQUALS DISHONOR

    September 19, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  15. Addison

    First off let me say that MCcain does not like George Bush...at all. I am a republican and I am voting for Obama. Not because I feel Mccain will continue the Bush policies but because Mccain will make bad decisions that will further ruin this country. He made a bad decision to make Palin his VP (he only did it to gain those white female women who were Clinton supporters) he made a bad decision when he said the economy was fine, he made a terrible choice of words when he said Palin has foreign policy experience just because Alaska and Russia are next door to each other?!?!?

    Come on people WAKE UP!!!! Thats why men say we women are simple minded and should stay out of politics, because he chose a woman as his VP all the women said: awwww he is not sexist or he does not feel threatened by a woman of power. Oh please the man is playing you for votes, he gets in office he is going to completely ignore her. Obama picked Biden because he (Biden) criticized him more than anyone. Think about it for a second: If you were a basketball player and Michael Jordan and Bill Cartwright both said you were not good enough to play but Jordan was able to tell you why he specifically thought you were not good enough, who would you rather have in your corner coaching you?

    So I say yes to the OB connection to clean up the economy and restore the US of A!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 19, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  16. ejgood

    It's all unraveling fast now. What a complete scam this whole economy has been. They took my downpayment, paid the republican brokers and real estate agents thier commissions, they took all the interest I've been paying on an oversized loan and a few years later my house is worthless. Now my tax dollars have to go to bailout the republicans at the bank and the republicans at the insurance agency. And they already ruined my credit when I got a $6000 bill for one night in the hospital. I got robbed at gun point once, and it felt just like this...
    Please send McSame/Failin to the ditch with all the other corrupt liars and thieves in the republican party. At this point the only thing left to save capitalism, is a heavy dose of democracy.
    Vote for the revolution – OBAMA/BIDEN 08!

    September 19, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  17. jaye

    And that the republicans are brainwashing people tino believe their lies is astounding!
    McCain and Palin are nothing but wolves in sheeps clothing. Period.
    Don't be misled by their glorified talks and dishonest speeches...our country is at stake!!!
    Vote Democratic!!
    Also, be glad that social security is not privitized (the way the republicans have been fighting for it for years).

    September 19, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  18. Shane

    This election has been a hoot.! A comedy of errors! You just couldn't have made these things up. We've had many a chuckle. But, seriously, the Republican ticket is becoming more and more dangerous. It's time the laughter stops.

    September 19, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  19. sarahinfla

    why doesn't McCain suggest taking some of the millions of tax payer dollars thats going into McCains quiet little group the International Repuplican Institute, so called non-profit.

    Its time to build this nation take care of home first, then go nation build another time.

    John McCain the wrong priorities, unfit to lead. When is McCain going to fire Gramm...

    September 19, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  20. Clark Gable

    LOL, did anyone see the Palin interview with Fox. Countdown with Keith Oberlman condensed it to 52 seconds. It was so funny how she kept saying the word "reform", so much so that Sean mentioned it. That was a first.

    This woman is dumb as dirt and unless she comes off the script, I'm not listening any more.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 19, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  21. O8bamaWins

    4000 dead American soldiers: 1 Trillion Dollars
    100,000 dead Iraqi civilians: 1 Trillion Dollars

    Paying $4.50 for a gallon of gas: Disgusting.

    Some things republicans can't buy. Like credibility.

    September 19, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  22. Uncle Sam

    What ? Obama said that McCain wants to continue the Bush policies?
    That's a new one.
    :-)

    September 19, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  23. Tanya

    The Republicans have made a total mess out of this campaign. A true comedy of errors!

    September 19, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  24. dinottia

    The reason there will be (and have been, remember the RNC?) riots if McCain wins the election is the people know they are being ripped off. Simply because you singularly listen to Rush Limbaugh-esq talkshows and watch Fox News doesn't mean you have the information to make an informed decision.
    I challenge you to take a day and listen to NPR. Listen to news that uses facts instead of opinions. Listen to news that really does show BOTH sides to an issue. Even CNN has fallen into line with the Rupert Murdoch style of news casting. Present the opinion first. Then show a sound bite of news.
    It is very sad to see how the Republican party has duped the people that care so much.
    If you're poor and republican, you will only get poorer. They don't care about you.

    September 19, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  25. Kpawlak

    I am finding it harder and harder to take either one of these candidates serious. This election has become a circus of liars. The media, candidates and their supporters. I guess it will all come down to who is the best liar. Wonder what this does to this country's image internationally?

    September 19, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14