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. TH







    September 19, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  2. PoliticoPundit

    Angie Here is the answer:

    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

    McCAIN is not Bush .. they just disgree on COX comment even Yesteerday. and The stuff you call Lie is from both side.. so get the answers from Obama as well, he is doing the same while relating Limbaugh to Mccain.

    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?

    Go talk to Chalie Rangel when he is chairman of Taxing admin and hiding his own Taxes.. so don't blame entierly on Bush Admin. Congress there for last year ( democratic Congress) has done ZERO job to preven this.

    so in conclusions you support telling lies and being dishonest(DO YOU TEACH YOUR CHILDREN THAT?

    In clonclusion : We teach our children to get the best out of what's out there ( practical) not live in ideal world when there is none out there.

    What are you teaching support Dem no matter what..??

    September 19, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  3. Martin

    I think it's pretty clear that McCain is losing his bearing in this race. He will be in for a very rude shock when obama/biden takes over Whitehouse.

    September 19, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  4. V Obama

    We don't need you Evangelists voting for OBAMA we have the momentum now!!

    Go back to your McBush!!!

    September 19, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  5. mayah

    I tell you my friends, "I can fix That" I'll tear all your American dreams down, sad day for us ...


    September 19, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  6. yonimal

    Peggy, your comment made me so emotional. This is just not Obama's fight, it is a fight for America.

    September 19, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. tigerakabj

    Keep trying McCain. I also read you want to create the Mortgage and Financial Institutions (MFI). I bet you won't be able to remember what that is tomorrow. Tell your campaign when they are writing your notes to not put down too much information.

    I also saw that you want to fire the chairman of the FEC. What does the Federal Election Comission have to do with this? Another gaffe which just shows how stupid you are.

    All the more reason why I'll be laughing when Obama wipes the floor with this guy in the debates.

    Obama/Biden 2008/2012.

    September 19, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  8. Bulldog

    "In my administration we're going to hold people on Wall Street responsible and we're going to enact and enforce reforms that make sure that these outrages — and they are outrages — never happen in the first place," McCain said

    But wait, this is completely opposite of what McCain has supported and stood for the last 20 plus years.

    "As far as a need for additional regulations are concerned, I think that depends on the legislative agenda and what the Congress does to some degree, but I am a fundamentally a deregulator." McCain March 2008 Wall Street Journal

    The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 deregulated the financial system by opening up competition among banks, securities and insurance companies and allowed commercial and investment banks to merge.

    John McCain voted for this bill along with the entire Republican Senate. The Senate Democrats objected against it. Phil Gramm introduced this bill and was John McCain’s top economic advisor before he was forced to resign but still gives McCain economic advice to this day.

    John McCain has a direct responsibility in the financial crisis we are in today along with the banking lobbyists he is employing in his campaign. McCain has supported the very philosophy and mentality that has caused the economy we are facing today. Is that what you want? Another 4 years of this? Look it up, McCain has truly supported DEREGULATION throughout his career and now all of a sudden he is FOR regulation.

    "I'm John McCain and I approve this lie"

    September 19, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  9. Don

    And we now propose to fix the economy by electing a member of the "Keating 5"?

    Wake up. McCain is even worse for the economy than George W. Bush, and that ought to scare anyone senseless.

    Anyone who votes for him deserves what they get.

    September 19, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  10. Tony

    If people have not realized by now that McCain and Palin are in no way prepared or capable to be Pres. and VP, then the rest of us are just wasting our breath.

    Some people are just lost causes, go through life with blinders on, and no amount of reality will ever get throguh to them.

    September 19, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  11. Voter

    John McCain is an incompetent man who has now even sacrificed his personal integrity out of a lust for power.

    His irresponsible choice of Palin, coupled with ads full of misrepresentations and total ignorance of economic issues makes him a candidate who is downright DANGEROUS.

    He should be ashamed of himself, especially after all the self-righteous blather he offers in place of facts. "War hero." Who cares? We're here now, in 2008, not 1968. He has ZERO qualifications for the presidency, and "war hero" just doesn't cut it.

    Is that the best you can do?

    September 19, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  12. Kevin from Boston

    OBAMA 08!!!

    I don't care what the polls say, I'm predicting a landslide victory for Obama, and he will take at least half the red states!! Americans are just not that stupid and can see the LIES they purport daily as they have no concrete plans for anything.

    September 19, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  13. Goodson

    Hey Republicans
    I drive past a couple of banks to and from work everyday, guess I'm qualified to be McCain's Economic Adviser

    September 19, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  14. drone

    I hate you McCain... You are a LIAR..

    September 19, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  15. The Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Hey I see obama's dirgible just went down in flames as the stock market surged to high ground today.

    Aren't you tired of Obama dissing America and the American economy? I am. I am ready to get rid of the three stooges as well. Pelosi, Obama and Reid. What a trio.

    Let's get some leadership in the White House not some whiners like Obama.

    Let's Go McCain

    September 19, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  16. David in Illinois

    More horrific dirt, lies, innuendo, mudslinging from McBush.
    His economic solutions and comments are a JOKE, so he goes, once again on a smear campaign. I'm sure the Rev. Wright will be involved somehow.
    McCain should retire. He's not up to this.

    September 19, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  17. Freedom Loving Patriot (God fearing too!)

    McCain is only embarrasing himself with the swill

    If he stretches the facts anymore we'll have to start calling him


    September 19, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  18. Support the fight to free America

    We have heard lies that were late proved during the bush campaign. we have had lies that where later proved during the buch presidency. We have heard lies that as countinously proved about McCain.
    McCain said he never mention nothing about economy(his weakest point.) We have see where lies led this country

    September 19, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  19. proud army and navy mom

    "9 out of 10 doctors agree that flag burning is the number one killer of liberals."

    September 19, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  20. mitchell

    why does mccain always lie? i never vote for liars. that's the first sign of a bad politician. some folks say things they dont mean or slip up, but, constant and consistent lying, is inexcusable. he is not an honorable man. he is someone elses' puppet.

    September 19, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  21. Voter

    Wow! Not only a pack of lies, but do you notice the racial undertones?

    McCain has turned out to be a real snake.

    September 19, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  22. Ryan, Florida

    Johnny Mac, what happened to you man, you used to be cool. It's soooo sad. I weep for you John, I really do. You gave it your best shot, you tried to lie and squirm your way to power, but man you read us wrong. You can't get away with this stuff anymore, John. The American people (mostly) grew up. George Dubya may have been able to pull it off, but John, maybe, just maybe you could have run an open and honest campaign. You know the strait talk express, way back in the year 2000. Back when you used to be one of the good guys. Back when it was all a little simpler. Maybe you should have chosen a competent mate to run with, like Mitt Romney. It’s too bad John, it really is.
    I weep for you Johnny Mac, I really do.

    September 19, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  23. shameless

    There you go again. McCain the Shamelss liar.
    This guy and his gal just can stop lying.

    September 19, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  24. go away mongers-Ventura ca

    People need to do as Burton did and call out mcSAME for what he is- A LIAR!
    This is the time for CHANGE and SOlutions- not more gop lies!!

    September 19, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  25. CB

    RAINES isn't even connected to the Obama Campaign!!! Is anyone keeping track – how many flat out LIES has McCain put out now? Is he even capable of telling the truth anymore – or even knowing the difference between a lie and the truth?

    September 19, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
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