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. Fitzpatrick

    MC CAIN'S ECONOMY PLAN = OBAMA DID THIS, OBAMA DID THAT. THAT'S NOT A PLAN

    LIAR

    September 19, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  2. Bruce

    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.
    Explaining the difference, the Center for Responsive Politics said on its Web site that it does not include members of the board of directors because they could serve on boards of various companies. Their contributions are listed along with other employees of the companies they work for. And the center says lobbyists usually represent multiple clients as well, so their contributions are listed under their lobbying firms — except in-house lobbyists, who are included in the center's list.
    The mortgage giants Fannie and Freddie became symbols of the nation's economic mess — and, to critics, of corporate greed — after the government recently took them over to bail them out, making donations linked to the company in any way potential political fodder.
    VERDICT
    Partially true, but misleading. Donations don't come from companies. A list of employee contributions puts Obama second, but a different list including lobbyists and directors shows McCain getting more

    September 19, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  3. M. Winners

    Typical Palin/McCain (OOPS, McCain/Palin) "fear, smear mock and LIE" shoot from the hip BS.
    Wake up America – These two along with the repug party are destroying our country. Vote Obama/Biden they are the only chance at survival that we have now...

    September 19, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  4. John in Ohio

    McCain lies again. Outright lies, right to your face. If you vote for him, you deserve him.

    September 19, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. Mikey

    McCain's comment yesterday about Christopher Cox struck me as particularly ridiculous. With all the sins that led up us to this point committed by a list of people that would stretch pages, McCain singles out Cox and tries to turn him into a scapegoat?

    Of course, this is the same John McCain who just this week announced that Sarah Palin is THE leading energy expert in the entire country. I suspect that there are literally thousands of people in the United States who know more about the science behind energy, the industries involved, and/or public energy policy than Sarah Palin. So I guess the Cox comment is not the most ridiculous one made by McCain even just this week.

    September 19, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  6. n jean

    McCain seems at a lost when it comes to our economic crisis. His first and only reaction to make a fist and point at others for the blame. He has NO IDEA on how to fix it. Today, this morning, it was clear that he was reading from notes and not from his mind. McSenile

    September 19, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  7. darko

    "I am not an advisor to Barack Obama, nor have I provided his campaign with advice on housing or economic matters."

    Yeah, we TOTALLY BELIEVE YOU...

    Obama's campaign is nother but 2 slogans.

    1. Hope and Change
    2. That's a lie, move along please.

    Neither has ANY meat too it.

    September 19, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  8. Ted

    McSame' comment about the SEC chairman is a definite sign that McSame's untreated PTSD is starting to spin out of control.

    September 19, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  9. B.Brown

    Is that Franklin "Willie Horton" Raines. Looks like GOP slash and burn time, the telltale sign that John McCain realizes that is in trouble.

    September 19, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  10. Rick Power

    FACTCHECK.ORG

    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 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. OBAMA ALL THE WAY-NJGIRL

    If I hear this man talk about having a Town Hall Meeting again, I will explode. How idiotic? Arent the debates starting soon? We dont need Town Hall Meetings–you will only get heckled anyway McCain. You always do...

    September 19, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  12. will

    Fight, Fight, Fight, and Obama Fight for your rights, don't let those devils (Republicans) push you around. They call it negative, but I call it a man who is fighting for what is right and prosperity is the right of every American. Without a job who can prosper and how will America ever start growing. Without growth ever American will and shell suffer. The rich gets richer but crime gets wider spread and we all lose as an American.

    McCain = no change

    Obama/Biden 2008

    September 19, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  13. dr.mimi de la cruz for OBAMA

    THE RICH GET RICHER & THE POOR GET POORER.

    THE ECONOMY HAS BEEN DEPLETED OF IT'S FUEL

    BY THE IRAQ WAR. NOW THE DUPLICITOUS SCUM BAG

    THAT VOTED NOT ONLY FOR THAT BUT ALL THE BUSH

    POLICIES THAT LANDED US IN THIS CRAPPER & OUT TO

    GET THEM. MCSLEAZO NEEDS TO ADD HIS SLIMY NAME TO

    THAT LIST. WE HAVE THE CREEPY SLUG'S VOTING RECORD.

    September 19, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  14. Just Vote

    People please stop and Just Vote. We all are upset with all the things that is goingon in our Country. Stick to the facts and lets vote.

    People already have their minds made up on who they will vote for and that/s it. People think that the african-american will vote Obama because he is black and thats not true.You don't think we have a mind of our own? Why would you try to put them back in a box when they fought for years to get out. Just pay close attention on what has been said.Obama said he fought for this to be fixed a couple of years ago. People just vote for what is right!!!!!

    September 19, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  15. Amazed

    MSNBC said last night this guy was not an advisor to the Obama Campaign. I hope all you good Christians voting for McCain is keeping track of all these lies he's telling.

    September 19, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  16. Annie

    Here we go, lying about Raines. I'm beginning to think that Senator McCain doesn't have a clue. Spain in Latin America, Iraq next to Pakistan, Czechoslovakia, badmouthing Russians, the good/bad economy and a commission/no commission, drill baby drill, lipstick on pigs, and a repetition of proven lies. Is this a joke? Our market isn't the only thing in free fall mode. So is John McCain. I'm placing my vote for the smart guys this time. We won't survive dumb and clueless.

    September 19, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  17. B.Brown

    Is that Franklin "Willie Horton" Raines. Looks like GOP slash and burn time, the telltale sign that John McCain realizes that he is in trouble.

    September 19, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  18. bobby

    Hey Democrats,so Obama is profiting from all the mortgage mess
    What else is new,
    He did a lot of sneaky politics ,for a jr senator
    People wake up and smell the coffee
    VOTE MCCAIN-PALIN

    September 19, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  19. steven

    There is no one to vote for this year. Obama's a disaster waiting to happen as well. The only thing he is successful at is running for office.

    To bad ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC won't challenge him on issues. Let's see Charlie interview Obama the way he interviewed Palin.

    Face it folks – the country is going to hell with BOTH parties. They are not looking out for us – Either one of them. They just take turns raiding the cookie jar and we're left paying the bill!

    I hope someone goes to jail for this nonsense.

    September 19, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  20. Rick

    I'm voting Democrat because English has no place being the official language in America.
    I'm voting Democrat because I'd rather pay $4 for a gallon of gas than allow drilling for oil off the coasts of America.
    I'm voting Democrat because I think the government will do a better job of spending my money than I could.
    I'm voting Democrat because when we pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq, I know the Islamic terrorists will stop trying to kill us because they'll think we're a good and decent country.

    September 19, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  21. W O W WO W

    O B A M A,,,,,,,,,,W AS ,,,,,,,,,,,Q U I E T,,,,,,,,,,O N,,,,,,,,,,F N M A,,,,,,,,,,,,

    F R E D D I E,,,,,,,,B E C A U S E,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,T H EI R,,,,,,,,,,,

    E X E C S ,,,,,,,,,,,,,C O N T R I B U T E D,,,,,,,,,H A N D S O M EL Y,,,,,,,,T O

    ,,,,,,,H I M

    September 19, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  22. vperry

    I am scared that Obama is a fascist.

    September 19, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  23. Mike

    Take your best swing McCain you are losing ground everytime you open up your mouth. All I hear is lies with more lies coming from you and your camp. I am a Republican voting for Obama knowing he is the right guy for the job without having to lie to get my vote.

    Mike in California

    September 19, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  24. Morgan

    Walter in Long Beach has it right I fear. McCain's bluster and grim pride for Vietnam era accomplishments can only get him so far politically. Whenever thinking and reasoning through a complicated problem is presented to him he falters and stammers and blindly pursues whatever ill-fated theory he decides to follow. Like an old bulldog, beat and bruised, and left with nothing but the will to go on at all costs. "Death before dishonor" or something like that. Someone has to say and do something. I know Obama and Biden are the smarter, better choice, but some Americans, the "rednecks" that Rothchild woman mentioned, will vote for this feeble-minded old war horse and his bright-eyed bimbo running mate just so the intelligent black man and his Irish partner wont be calling the shots. I'm scared too Walter in Long Beach.

    September 19, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  25. darko

    now the comments are getting to be 30-1 pro Obama.

    Geez CNN...you can at least TRY to hide your bias

    September 19, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14