June 30th, 2008
09:10 AM ET
15 years ago

Congressional Democrats hire Bush impersonator

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/08/art.vanhollen.gi.jpg caption="Van Hollen said Bush's policies were responsible for high gas prices."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - House Democrats will use a President Bush impersonator in a new radio advertising campaign that seeks to link 13 incumbent Republicans to rising gas prices as the country heads into the Fourth of July holiday.

The ad will run Monday through Friday in radio markets throughout the country, according to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, with a total buy of more than $100,000.

After an opening tailor-made for each targeted Republican, the impersonator then reads this boilerplate script:

"'W' here, wanted to thank you for your support of the big oil energy agenda. 'Preciate you voting to keep giving billions in tax breaks to the big oil companies. Sure, gasoline is over four bucks a gallon and the oil companies are making record profits, but what's good for big oil is good for America, right? I guess that's why they call us the Grand Oil Party. Heh, heh, heh."

CLICK PLAY to HEAR the DCCC's Bush impersonator

Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, chairman of the DCCC, told CNN that Democrats chose to use a Bush impersonator because the president's "big oil energy policies delivered high gas prices to the American people, so who better to deliver our message than someone who sounds like him? Every time Americans fill up their tanks or buy groceries high gas prices grab their attention, so it's important to give credit where credit is due."

Danny Diaz, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, sharply criticized the ad and said Democrats were being disingenuous.

"It is an outrageous attack," Diaz said. "It seems like it would be more appropriate leveled against Barack Obama who voted for the '05 energy bill, yet Democrats rail against subsidies to energy companies. The hypocrisy is stunning."

(List of targeted Republicans after the jump)

The cost of oil and gasoline has become a lightning rod on the campaign trail as Democrats and Republicans trade charges of inaction on the issue, and between presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama spar over how best to address the nation's energy needs.

Last week, McCain began airing a television ad on national cable and in battleground states touting his vision to help the country overcome what many people describe as an energy crisis.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said it will start running radio ads this week against the following incumbent House Republicans.

* California Rep. Brian Bilbray

* Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent

* Virginia Rep. Thelma Drake

* West Virginia Rep. Shelly Moore Capito

* Ohio Rep. Steve Chabot

* Pennsylvania Rep. Phil English

* New Jersey Rep. Scott Garrett

* Pennsylvania Rep. Jim Gerlach

* Virginia Rep. Virgil Goode

* North Carolina Rep. Robin Hayes

* North Carolina Rep. Patrick McHenry

* Illinois Rep. Peter Roskam

* Ohio Rep. Jean Schmidt

Filed under: DCCC • President Bush
soundoff (444 Responses)
  1. NPA

    When it comes to John McCain, I am with Gen. Wesley Clark:

    “I don’t think getting in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to become president.”

    "[McCain] hasn't held executive responsibility. That large squadron in the Navy that he commanded — that wasn't a wartime squadron.”

    June 30, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  2. Tony C.

    Why not! Bush has been impersonating a president for the last 8 years.

    June 30, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  3. Liberals for High Gas Prices

    If you people want $10 plus gas prices vote Obama!
    The prices you see in Europe that are over $10/gal are becuaase of the taxes which pay for the universal health care obama and the deragned public wants.
    So in conclusion in 4 years you will pay more double digits for gas but you'll get less than average health care for that!

    Obama/Marx '08!!

    June 30, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  4. Martin

    This is hilarious. Also, a dead-on impersonation.

    Anybody that says otherwise is taking themselves too seriously.

    June 30, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  5. CNN = Jerry Springer of news

    I can't believe it, but I am actually going to miss George W a bit when he leaves office. The laughs I have gained at his expense have been many. What is Jon Stewart going to use as his 'moment of zen' each night once we are free of George W? I am enjoying W's silly dance moves and Bushisms more and more each day as it gets closer to the time of his exit from the national stage. I'll be doing a Bush dance in January – no more crazy Republicans!

    Obama '08

    June 30, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  6. CP

    Unfortunately, a certain segment of the Democrat base will not realize that the ad is a fictionalized script read by an impersonator, and will believe that Bush actually said those words. The DNC is counting on that (they don't respect their own people).

    June 30, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  7. Bob Stephens

    Great, and the truth about the Administration and Big Oil....

    June 30, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  8. Jersey Bob

    FACT: When Bush first entered office (joining a Republican-controlled Congress), gasoline was $1.29 a gallon. That's about a 250% increase in a little over 7 years!

    FACT: There is no shortage of oil drilling space in the US. There are dozens of coastline drilling permits ready to be purchased, but the oil companies haven't purchased them.

    FACT: Even if the oil companies started drilling offshore today, it would sill take 10 years for the oil to enter the market, and the volume wouldn't be enough to impact prices, anyway.

    FACT: Bush has steadfastly rebuffed Democratic efforts to invest in alternative energy.

    Time to impeach!

    June 30, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  9. Marilyn

    I love the ad. It is funny and appropriate and TRUE. However, I will still not be voting for Obama!

    June 30, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  10. RC

    This is all entertainment. It is a fun add. Fun like SNL. I like that they make light of the serious situation.

    June 30, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  11. Liberals for High Gas Prices

    If you want $10/gal gas vote OBama. THe high gas prices in Europe that easily exceed $10/gal are high because they include taxes that fund universla health care. The same health care that Obama and a disillusioned public wants so badly.
    So in conclusion ,the next 4 years will bear double digit gas prices but in that you'll recieve less than average health care wooo!

    Obama/Marx '08!

    June 30, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  12. Concerned Citizen of America 08

    I just looked up the Energy Bill of 2005. Obama voted nay on the original republican bill and voted yea for all Democratic amendments that were submitted. Taxing windfall profits to be turned back into developing other energy sources sounds like the thing to do. Isn't that why the big Oil companies were given tax breaks? To reinvest in upgrading refineries, more exploration? To the sour grapes folks still harping on the primaries, get a life. You aren't going to find it sitting on this blog posting your hysteria.

    June 30, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  13. Ryan

    Maybe somebody should remind Obama and his campaign of the Carter years where we were hit with double digit inflation, double digit interest rate, and double digit unemployment rate, because the truth seems to have escaped from the audacity of hype.

    June 30, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  14. W

    "W" here, that guy doesn't sound like me, he is too articulate and he doesn't pause at inappropriate times like I tend to do. Get it straight you Dems, if you want to impersonate me at least try to do it right.

    June 30, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  15. Ted

    The real Bush is dumb enough! He's a good impersonator tho...

    June 30, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  16. Sujith,NE

    LMAO ! How come they missed on endoresments/support for McShame and how they would continue to live the "G-oil-P" legacy?!
    Maybe next ad?! Cant wait.

    Obama 08.

    June 30, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  17. Chris

    These problems that we are facing are not only the cause of Bush's mistakes but all the past presidents...we were faced with the OPEC crisis in the seventies and we apparently learned nothing from that....

    So stop putting all the blame on Bush...redirect it on all our past presidents who failed us...

    Also Obama and McCain seem no different that all the other Dem/Rep politicians that we have been facing for decades...they are all full of themselves and lie to the public...

    Its time for US citizens to take control of the government back...that is what a democracy is...GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE!!!

    June 30, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  18. Mickie in PA

    LOL, right Dr. Bob, like you aren't a GOP supporter and like you could guarantee who gets voted in anyway. If you could, then why didn't you do it for Hillary this time - (OH RIGHT, YOU REALLY ARE A REPUBLICAN) who thinks we don't realize it.

    June 30, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  19. Joe in NJ

    Yes, and I'm sure Bush and the Republicans are also responsible for high gas prices around the world. Should we now expect an actor to play Obama? Oh wait – we already have Will Smith.

    June 30, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
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