September 19th, 2008
10:39 AM ET
10 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. Christine

    McCain = Flopper
    Palin = Flipper

    September 19, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  2. Nik

    Fact Check is a great! I wish this tool was used effectively in 2000 and 2004.

    September 19, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  3. willowood

    It's time to drag out the Keating 5 Savings and Loan scandal that McShame avoided prosecution with his POW history. Now that's a real story....Talk about whining from the man who values his integrity

    September 19, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  4. Ted:Canada


    WOW – McCAIN was for deregulation and against “too much government” NOW he wants to fire people on Wall Street and take them to criminal court “when he becomes President”

    It is either schizophrenia or political pandering – OK!- it could be both!

    Obama has shown much more intellect and maturity – during this type of this crisis.

    September 19, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  5. Susan

    What a vile liitle man McCain is. No morals, no Integrity. Keating Five anyone?

    September 19, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  6. danel

    All McCain needs to do: If he's unable to use computer to google earth, maybe he can use one of the GPS locator to find where the heck is SPAIN. Those countries that hold a grudge on America will be very worried if McCain gets a hold of the Red Button.

    September 19, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  7. Celeste

    All I have to say (and have been saying) America, don't sit there and swallow the lies by Republicans. That's how they got into the white house for the last two terms. Shame on your America, if you are duped again. What will it take – maybe until you find yourselves standing in line for food rations, just maybe your eyes will open up then.

    September 19, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  8. m dunne

    just listened to obama do his usual stuttering again. this man does not have the knowledge to lead this country unless he told by croneys ( which is nothing but a bunch of crooks0 how to jump.

    September 19, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  9. Floridafish

    Wasn't John Kerry called a flip-flopper by the Republicans for doing the same thing McCain is doing now? My how we have short memories in this Country, or is it now a Republican flip-flop so that's ok? They are all a bunch of hypocrites and LOSERS and the sooner we get these turds out of power the better. They have shown over and over they can't lead this country out of a wet paper bag much less out of this crisis or any other. Incompetence runs wild and eventually it will be our undoing.

    September 19, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  10. milo

    There's simply no evidence that Franklin Raines EVER worked for the Obama ticked or gave any advice.

    It's just rumors with ZERO fact or sources to back it up.

    September 19, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  11. eugene

    oh this is just great,put a black guy in the ad,along with an old white woman to scare voters,this is just the begginng people,the mccain camp is going to play the fear card until nov 4th

    September 19, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  12. Alex

    CNN you are doing a great job with your FACT CHECK. Folks, did you see another lie from Mcsame? He accused Obama taking money from Freddy and Fanny Mae. The fact : not true; another LIE.

    September 19, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  13. George w. McCain

    I'm trying to remember the last time McCain told the truth.

    September 19, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  14. Bayou Joe

    Obama will destroy this country. He has already divided it into groups and brought out the worst in everyone. This is evident from the comments posted by his followers.

    September 19, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  15. Proud Dad of Liberal Sons

    Hey, "Proud Army and Navy Mom", what is it you are trying to say? Are you actually threatening "liberal" flag-burners with death if they excercise the freedom of speech that your sons/daughters are fighting for?

    September 19, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  16. Huh?

    CNN "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."

    Once again CNN must place their opinion at the end of a supposed neutral article. Here is a fact for you. Just after the debate started on opening US oil fields oil has gone from $146 a barrel to less than $100. Imagine where it would go if we actually tapped into those fields.

    September 19, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  17. Fitzpatrick

    "Fact Check" on CNN. Mc cain receive more money from Freddie and Fannie mae than Obama did?


    September 19, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  18. Kelby from Houston, TX

    WoW, another flat out lie from the McCain campaign and he's running in a dead even with Obama. That's not right. John McCain has abandoned everything he ever stood for in order to get the nomination of a party that he has had to fight tooth and nail to even come close to doing the right thing. We can'T afford this man as president.


    September 19, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  19. AA

    Are you RNC people that stupid? For real?

    1) Corporations (Freddie/Fanny) do not make campaign contributions. People who are employed by them do. Do a fact check on that and you will see that McCain actually received more from that body than Obama did.

    2) You really want to open the door to people who contributed to campaigns and claim criminal intent and try and relate it to the people who they contributed it to? McCain is directly tied to the Keeting 5, and his top advisors are oil men.

    September 19, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  20. Lorna, NY

    I cannot believe the way the Republicans are acting! I am ashamed of them.

    September 19, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  21. John, Catholic

    Tom in CA September 19th, 2008 10:42 am ET

    Great story!!!!

    September 19, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  22. Janie Lewis

    Enough is Enough. I hope Obama's people tighten up the ads – put the truth – and McCain – I turn his ads off everytime they appear – Can't stand him – Palin or the whole idea that America may want them in office. What a disaster. C'mon Obama – start Rockin' it UP !!

    September 19, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  23. mike

    I actually feel kind of sorry for McCain. Here's a guy with a distinguished career that has thrown away everything he ever supported for a shot at becoming president. Why was he unable to stand up for his ideals? His campaign has been run at a level significantly below his honorable service to the country.

    September 19, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  24. Eating Buffalo Wings in Heaven with Russert

    Watching the Obamabot Whaaaaaambulance run around sobbing more every day is becoming hysterical. By the way, if you think your Chosen One candidate and Pelosi are fixing anything, you haven't got a clue.

    September 19, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  25. Support the fight to free America

    The New York Times has published a separate list looking at contributions from "directors, officers, and lobbyists for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac" for the 2008 campaign cycle. That list — using figures from the Federal Election Commission — shows McCain receiving $169,000, while Obama received only $16,000

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