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. irony

    King George and John Mcsame are liars. We can't afford four more years. Eight is enough! Lets run the whole lot of them out of Washington on a rail.

    September 19, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  2. Cindy

    McCain agreed to enter the war!! He is responsible for the billions that this country is spending over in Iraq!

    He has weakened our troops by having supported the war to begin with!- So tell me who really has the judgement in this election?

    Obama of course!

    September 19, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  3. Proud to be American

    McLiar needs to give it up! we all know better ..... the ecconomy is devistated ... heck I am at work and today is pay day Friday... will I get paid? I think not..... there is cash flow issues and we are a small business can I tell my failing bank that? or perhaps get a loan for the company not... open up the soup kithcen as trying to survive under Bush is not working so much.,.

    September 19, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. Janet, Senior W/F

    Seems the McBush & PalCheney Campaign just like to stick in the mud!

    The Truth will set this country free, especially after eight years of total destruction by the Republican Heads!

    Straight Talk, (mostly forked tongue), and really more disgusting lies, distractions, deception, and the group from the top 2% who really don't give a 1cent about the 98% of those without the means to live the American Dream, which has turned into the American Nightmare!

    September 19, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  5. irish

    Raines is one of the reasons for the the tumble. these guys were lying about there budget quota's just so they would receive there gigantic bonus compensation. If anything he should be brought up on crimnal charges for cooking the books.

    Look it up if you don't beleive me.

    September 19, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  6. Hillary 2012

    Why these to candidates struggling to come up with good plan

    Because they care about the election than us

    Hillary 2012

    September 19, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  7. Al, NY NY

    the problem with this is that there are still a lot of dummies out there who will believe this stuff and vote for him anyway. The GOP way....lie, distort, repeat. Lie, distort, repeat. If they say it enough times, people will accept it

    September 19, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  8. Ben

    The further along we proceed, distortions thrown in Obama's way fail to dent Obama's strengthening image. he has this Teflon undercoating.
    I read this somewhere- where it says, how many ads McMad and his campaigns releases and wasts pulic money. they are not going to stick to Obama because McPoo is wrong.

    September 19, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  9. Mike - Texas

    I find it amazing at HOW and WHEN CNN chooses to use CNN seldom uses it show that Obama is wrong on something, but when you got to and check out the facts for yourself you find that Nobama is wrong quite often.

    Come on CNN be balanced and fair to BOTH sides, not just not only when it serves your end.

    September 19, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  10. JB

    In the 1990's CLINTON securitized mortgaged backed investments. Enabling people to invest in these real estate backed investments, often found in 401k's etc. . .

    This is ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS we are in the situation we are in.

    And yet, all you blind liberals continue to blame Bush. It wasn't Bush, it was Clinton.

    And, Clinton was given one of the best economies in our history. That economy had nothing to do with Clinton, and everything to do with the Internet Stock Markey boom. A boom based on double digit increases in the stock market. It's easy to have a surplus when the government is benefitting from those double digit gains!!!

    September 19, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  11. Nancie

    Notice that McCain looks more and more confused.

    September 19, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  12. Michael, watching from Canada




    September 19, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  13. Steve/ Houston,TX

    McCain is UNpresidential! That is an absolute true statement. Nothing about him screams "president". His policies are borrowed Bush policies; his campaign slogans are borrowed Obama slogans. He does not think for himself. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that he has the least amount of education than all the other candidates. The man never even went to college!!! How can he handle our economic crisis, mortgage problems, healthcare and the list goes on?

    No Way, No How, No McCain/Palin

    September 19, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  14. bij

    mccain is seripusly loosing his credibility with the american public

    September 19, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  15. KUKU

    T H E--F O R ME R-–F N M A -–E X E C --A --B I G--–

    C O N T R I B U T O R--O F--–O B A M A S'--–W A L K E D-

    A W A Y---W I TH--$ 2 2---M I L L I O N-–S E V E R A N CE-

    T H A T ' S--–W H A T--M C C A I N--–S A Y S ---I S---

    C R I M I N A L-- AN D--S H O U L D--B E----

    P R O S E C U T E D--–F N M A---C R O O K S

    September 19, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  16. juiceball

    McShame's Plan – Tell a new lie everyday and hope it sticks!

    September 19, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  17. PADem

    I LOVE IT. Keep talking McCain– you're showing that republicans believe that "blatant liar" is the definition of "Maverick."

    September 19, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  18. Typical White Person

    CNN needs to broaden their fact checking to include Obama. Maybe because we don't buy TVs or monitors with TUBES had something to do with the plant closing...

    In 2003, Corning announced about 1,000 jobs would be lost at the plant where Corning Asahi Video Products made gl@ss tubes for television sets and computer monitors. Dan Collins, a Corning spokesman, said Wednesday that production of the gl@ss tubes was stopped because it was not profitable to make them, but that no jobs were moved overseas with the plant's closure.

    Collins said the company hired back the workers to tear down the equipment to sell to another company because, "otherwise we would've hired out-of-state workers. Somebody was going to do it."

    He said as far as he knows, the company that bought the equipment was not successful. Today, Corning has 3,000 more U.S.-based jobs than it did in late 2003, he said.

    September 19, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  19. bill b. from Stratford,Ct

    Can the media please expose Mcsame/Palin for all their lies and the crap that their fooding this nation. Wheres the news reports about her investigation in Alaska, ( Trooper-Gate ), now everyone in the investigation will not testify even when their under suboegn

    September 19, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  20. Gifty



    September 19, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  21. Joyce, nj

    I can only hope that Obama's campaign do not sleep and let flat out lies get away particularly around the battle ground states. Some people who are unfortunately not tuned into news might believe it.

    I can sense that McCain's hope is exactly that. Not enough people from battle ground states would truly tune into news and check facts, enough to believe him and trust him.

    So please Obama campaign, keep at it, be vigilant. Don't let them steal this election once again.

    September 19, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  22. George James

    What the mind doesnot know,the eyes cannot see. Come on ...McCaine,You are talking about something you donot know.

    September 19, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  23. MikeH

    Multiple reputable News media (but not CNN) has made it clear Raines is in no way involved, or ever has been, in Obama's campaign.

    This is another flat-out lie from McCain.

    September 19, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  24. therealist

    If Obama had real experience he wouldn't need all these corrupt Washington insiders advising him!!

    September 19, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  25. jesse

    i think , it is a shame. some people will do anything to gain see some of the ads,and here the lies that't being told to the amer.people is just down right wonder we are in the mess we are in.wall street,cong.oil,fema,fannie mae,freddy mac.all lies can we just start tell people turth,and get this country back on track "PLEASE"

    September 19, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
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