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. Elizabeth D

    McCain Tax Plan.
    Tax Cut of 4.4% for people making above $2.87 Million Dollars a year. which is less then when regan was in office.
    Tax Cut of 3.4% for people making above $603,403 up to $2.87 Million Dollars a year. also less from when regan was in office
    Tax Cut of 3.1% for people making between $226,982 to $603,403 a year.
    Tax Cut of 3% for people making between $160,973 to $226,981 a year.
    Tax Cut of 2.5% for people making between $111,646 to $160,972 a year.
    Tax Cut of 1.4% for people making between $66,355 to $111,645 a year.

    (The Average American salary falls below here of wich constitutes as the largest percentage of tax payers of over 90% of Americas earnings)

    Tax Cut of 0.7% for people making between $37,596 to $66,354 a year.
    Tax Cut of 0.5% for people making between $18,982 to 37,595 a year.
    Tax Cut of 0.2% for people making less then $18,892 a year.

    Thats great that we are giving everyone a Tax break but who is covering the deficit? Who is paying down our Counties debt. Also who benefits most from these tax cuts? Will any of the American people besides the wealthiest ever see a portion of the $269,364 or will this go to Italy, Germany, France and One single construction firm with purchases of large houses, BMW's, Ferrari's and Audi's and Rolls Royces, and above and beyond the cost of Armani Suits and other italian designers?

    Obama Tax Plan:
    Tax Increase of 11.5% for people making above $2.87 million dollars a year.
    Tax Increase of 8.7% for people making between $603,403 to $2.87 million dollars a year
    No Tax Change for people making between $226,982 to $603,403 a year.
    Tax Cut of 1.9% for people making between $160,973 to $226.981 a year.
    Tax Cut of 2.1% for people making between $111,646 to $160.972 a year.
    Tax Cut of 1.8% for people making between $66,355 to $111,645 a year.

    (The Average American salary falls below here of wich constitutes as the largest percentage of tax payers of over 90% of Americas earnings)

    Tax Cut of 2.4% for people making between $37,596 to $66,354 a year.
    Tax Cut of 3.6% for people making between $18,982 to 37,595 a year.
    Tax Cut of 5.5% for people making upto $18,982 a year.

    September 19, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  2. Andrew

    IF MCCAIN LIES ABOUT INCONSEQUENTIAL MATTERS LIKE HIS OPPONENTS CAMPAIGN "ADVISORS"... WILL WE BE ABLE TO BELIEVE HIM IN A TIME OF CRISIS????

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 19, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  3. Walter, Long Beach

    More McCain lies. Why are we surprised?

    When these people get caught in a lie, they just come up with another, bigger lie.

    At least Bill Clinton had the decency to be ashamed after he got caught lying.

    McCain actually seems proud of himself.

    September 19, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  4. Ed, Santa Fe NM

    Isn't McCain a direct supporter of moron Bush and his henchmen? Didn't McCain just say that the economy was swell....

    The old man does not have a CLUE and can do no better than the usual GOP smear campaign

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

    I THINK ITS TIME FOR A KEATING FIVE AD !!!!! so America can find out how MCCAIN is not the HERO the think he is.

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

    My McBlackberry is an Etch-a-Sketch.

    September 19, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  7. Latinos for Obama/Biden

    McCain going around in circles again. He has nothing to offer Americans but LIES. By the way Phil Gramm is till giving McCain advice. I guess his senior moments kicked in again.

    September 19, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  8. Pam

    More lies from the Grandpa Munster/Caribou Barbie campaign.

    September 19, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  9. jr california

    Pride – win or lose September 19th, 2008 10:41 am ET
    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.

    -------------------------–

    YOU CAN'T JUST MAKE STUFF UP BRO!! RIOTS AND LOOTING?? SOUNDS LIKE SOMEBODY IS SCARED OF THE BLACK MAN AND WANTS US TO BELIEVE IF HE LOSES, IT WILL BE 1992 IN LA ALL OVER AGAIN... BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, THAT'S THE ONLY WAY THEY KNOW HOW TO REACT TO BAD NEWS... GIVE ME A BREAK.

    September 19, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. Phil from Indiana

    "Don't know much about the economy..." but McCain will somehow fix your economic hardships.

    "Going to eliminate programs that aren't working for a more efficient Washington, DC," but McCain seems to want to create a new committee or think tank anytime he gets asked a tough question about real issues.

    "Sarah Palin is a breath of fresh air..." even though she spouts all the Bush rhetoric over and over (as long as it's on a teleprompter)

    a reformer....and this 'reformer' killed the bridge to nowhere (sure, after the feds told her it wasn't going to happen anyway.)

    "not mixed up in the Washington culture," which is obvious, given that she doesn't know some basic flaws in the policies of the current administration whose mess her ticket is supposedly going to 'clean up.'

    Anyone else getting sick of the played out Maverick references? That's just code for being out of touch with not one, but BOTH major parties.

    Besides, how much tackier could you get than to give yourself your own nickname........Memories of George Castanza on Seinfeld come to mind; "T-BONE!!"

    This 'straight talk express' is so crooked and disjointed that I don't know what straight is, anymore.

    September 19, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  11. Jean

    Do the McCain add makers even listen to the news outlets? This accusation was found to be false last night on both CNN and MSNBC.

    At least they could listen.

    SHAME SHAME ON THE CONTINUATION OF MISINFORMATION.!!!!!!!!

    September 19, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  12. Diane Panama City Fl

    If McCain wants to unleash ads attempting to link Senator Obama to a Fannie Mae executive through his typicaly lying, low-road approach, then I think it's time to remind everyone of the KEATING-FIVE and the amount the bailout of the Savings & Loans by the taxpayers back in 1989. MCain needs to remember that he's facing dejavu all over again. He needs to explain his complicity in these major financial fiascos. It's time for him to own the failures of the Republican brand and its attitude of "I've got mine – screw you. And, if you yell about it, I'll call you a liberal socialist pig".

    September 19, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  13. McWho?

    The more McCain/Palin LIE the more irrelavent they become.

    September 19, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  14. TexicoFrom Mexico

    More and more McCain lies...will they do anything to get elected?? America don't you fall for it! McCain is part of the problem! Reganomics and trickle down will not save this country, never has! Jeez these guys must be desperate...

    Funny that the polling among veterans is like 3-1 Obama....nice to have your soliders backing you there Macsame....

    Veterans for Obama

    September 19, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  15. 8is2much

    If McCain can learn to use "the email", maybe he can fire Mr. Cox by sending an email. (Palin never got the hang of her official email, sends sensitive info through her personal accounts...)
    Perhaps they need to read up on that, as well as what is a regulatory agency, and to whom they report.

    September 19, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  16. Not4MoreYears

    This has nothing to do with Freddie and Fannie – they're trying to make a race point here – Franklin Raines = Willie Horton.

    This is absolutely a new low for McCain/Palin. Where's Karl Rove to disapprove when you need him.

    September 19, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  17. Jack

    People are suffering. Yet they are willing to elect the very Party who got them where they are today. It's time for a change...OBAMA!

    September 19, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  18. Lifelong Democrat Lorna Hanson Forbes

    And we should trust Barack Hussein Obama II on the economy, please give me a break.

    September 19, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  19. Paul

    Palin and Bush have no idea what is going on right now.

    September 19, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  20. John

    You know this whole thing is starting to depress me.
    I am fed up with both camps, and it is both camps, releasing ad after ad that are full of half truths, misrepresentation and event down right lies about what the opponent is doing. Every day they release an ad and the media immediately has fodder to go "you know this isnt true and this isnt true and this has already been done" etc.
    How about, and I know this is radical, they actually start releasing some ads that say what they will do instead of how crappy the other guy is. That actually says I will do this and do this and I will not do this.

    That way we can actually concentrate on who seems to be the best man for the job and not the current state of affairs which seems to be convincing the people to vote for the lesser of two evils.

    September 19, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  21. McCain is a disgraceful liar.

    What do you expect from a man that marries women for money???....

    He will DO anything to get a head.

    September 19, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  22. Lynnette

    Another ad by McCain that is a lie. If he keeps this crap up, he won't be able to tell the truth.

    September 19, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  23. Bill Stevens

    I finally get it, republicans must be the party that has the majority of the uneducated voters. The party sure has a way of influencing the "dumb" crowd that doesn't know any better.

    September 19, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  24. Brina

    McCain is SUCH a liar......

    September 19, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  25. Kim

    Up until the 14th John McCain had talked about how deregulating the markets would spur economic growth. Wonder what happened Mr. "The fundamentals of the economy are strong" McCain?

    September 19, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
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