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. Tom

    Why do they lie?

    September 19, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  2. onedayatatime

    McCain/Pain lying? Oh yea, I see it now....his lips are moving. Either this man has had people completely bamboozled for most of his career or he has recently suffered a series of strokes leaving him in this foggy cloud of flip-flop, ignorance. It would have been better if the doctors had honored a DNR request.

    I used to have some respect for McCain, now I can't believe that the Republicans actually think they can put him in charge of this nation. Scary isn't the word. Terrified is more like it.

    September 19, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  3. MD

    Check the facts. Raines is not a key adviser! ANOTHER DECEPTIVE AD.

    September 19, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  4. peakarack


    September 19, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  5. Anon

    To : "PoliticoPundit September 19th, 2008 10:46 am ET

    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.

    And how will McCain help if he gets elected and wont raise taxes? Will he donate some of the 100+ million he has?

    September 19, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  6. markarli

    Two African american men scaring an elderly white woman makes good copy? Is McOld so desperate he reverts to the Harold Ford wants white women routine? This ad is racism pure and simple.

    September 19, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  7. Marge Hibbing Mn

    Gee obama - is this another subject you THINK you are an expert on...I haven't seen one thing yet you haven't pretended to know what you are talking about.

    September 19, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  8. Mike in Columbus

    What happened to John McCain!!! I used to love this guy. He has abandoned all of his integrity. Dishonorable doesn't begin to describe it. I expected so much more from him. Guess that's what it takes to be a Republican President. You must abandon morality.

    September 19, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  9. Evan

    How can the media "referee" the truth in political ads if CNN reports on an ad the is clearly a lie? Just stop "reporting" on misleading ads, instead of running the ad for free on the media and then saying "the other side says it is a lie." Do the American public a favor and uphold what little dignity you have left.

    September 19, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  10. Interesting

    Marilyn – you must be rich. That's the only reason why you most be complaining about Obama raising taxes. We all know, despite McCain's lies, that he's only raising taxes on the RICH.

    September 19, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  11. wycliffe, NJ


    September 19, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  12. John

    To Pride – win or lose

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

    You have to be kidding me that you would spout such nonsense.

    pride – win or lose....proud of the country but the truth...not so much.

    September 19, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  13. proud army and navy mom

    Why are we bailing out banks......There are lazy people on wellfare with 20 kids that are counting on that money

    September 19, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  14. peakarack

    Obama voted for bridge to nowhere bill,farm bill,credit card bill,energy bill and every other wasteful bill there is.


    September 19, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  15. Freedom Loving Patriot (God fearing too!)

    "BIG GOVERNMENT" is bailing out "BIG (REPUBLICAN) BUSINESS" under a "REPUBLICAN administration.

    Why? Because Republicans can't control their own greed.

    "Money is the ROOT of all evil" –right?

    September 19, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  16. jim hawkins

    We just had 8 years of lies..Please not 4 more !!!!!!!!
    Wake the hell up America !!!!!!!
    I approve this message..

    September 19, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  17. SKF

    CNN is getting to be very slow on reporting the important news. Where is info regarding the government's plan to bail out the economy?

    September 19, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  18. Lisa

    I don't know about the rest of you, but I am tired of hearing about McCain and "Post Turtle Palin". I want honest answers and truth for a change. Let's move up the debates and vote next Thursday! This is just getting dumber by the day. I am now suffering for voter fatigue. I am an Independent and would like to hear honestly what my choices are.

    September 19, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  19. CD

    Joseph you are an **** telling lies like McCain, who believes the crap that you were just surfing along and mistakenly ended up here. And about hatred? Look at the hatred watered by republicans who are suppose to be evangelicals with Obama on WAFFLES and all the wickedness. I can't wait for Jesus to come down to earth and call you guys what you actually are: Brood of VIPERS, hypocrites and devourers of peace for mankind.

    Get Lost Joseph and stay lost.

    September 19, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  20. beevee

    Don't fall for the side tracking attack ad from McCain's camp. They are meant to distract obama from his message of change and fixing economy into mud slinging. But hit hard with a counter message and don't take the bait of lipstick bull dog Palin.

    September 19, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  21. Jon

    If the Republicans expect to have any chance in this election they need to stop running ads that are so easily proven as all-out lies. Even people who agree with McCain's policies are beginning to worry about the incredible dishonesty of his campaign.

    September 19, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  22. Nando, Florida


    September 19, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  23. Turnabout is Fair Play

    Joseph September 19th, 2008 10:46 am ET

    wow, I stumbled onto this ticker blog while looking for some info on hurricane Ike and I am amazed at how hateful and immature a lot of Obama supporters seem to be based on their posts. Are you people actually adults or is this blog basically set up for junior high school kids?

    CNN – are you guys actually trying to moderate this crap?

    Whatever ya lying tool. The National Hurricane center's website and the political ticker of CNN are MILES apart from each other in terms of Google or any other measure. Who do you think you're fooling Rethugnican idiot. We Obama supporters in here just smack down fools who try to jump up in our candidate's face.

    September 19, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  24. Stacy from Loudoun County, VA

    Seeing Senator Reid’s response to the financial crisis, “I don’t know”, Representative Pelosi’s statement “I wrote a letter”, President Bush’s two-minute talk-and-dash, and the candidate’s blame game, I am beginning to think this country is in real trouble y’all. My kids are going to be paying for this unmitigated disaster and BOTH PARTIES are to blame, greedy CEO’s are to blame and who’s going to pay for it? WE THE PEOPLE! I feel like getting the torches and pitchforks out now at this point.

    September 19, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  25. proud army and navy mom

    Did anybody know that g bush's cousin worked at Lehman Bros before they went under:

    From the Huffingpost:
    Will George Herbert Walker IV be laid off? The President's second cousin is the global head of investment management for now-bankrupt Lehman Brothers, at the managing director level.

    So bush was mad because the Fed let Lehman Bros. go under, so he directs mcsenile too talk tough about firing him. Mccain was only doing bush's bidding by saying that he would fire Cox.

    September 19, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
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