June 30th, 2008
09:10 AM ET
13 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. Texas Liberal

    First, let me say that I am proud that I voted against George W. Bush four times: twice for governor and twice for president. I think it is critically important for Obama to be elected in November, because the nation is at the point of no return on many issues like the deficit, oil problems, foreign relations, etc.

    That said, this is a sleazy radio ad, and I am disappointed (once again) in the Democratic Party. If the Democrats have a message to communicate, they should simply state it. The use of sleazy marketing techniques is bad enough when all you are doing is selling foot spray or weed killer. Used in a presidential campaign in the oldest and formerly the finest democracy in the world is repugnant.

    A popular cell phone commercial depicts the advertiser's competitors as four jerks who fight like little girls over the market. A computer commercial depicts the cool dude in conversation with a dork who looks like a portly Bill Gates. Both of those commercials are disgusting because they smear their opposition by depicting them as preposterous caricatures. They provide NO information to the consumer at all.

    This is an election that has the potential to be a turning event in our nation's history, but this ad makes it into just another episode of 'Saturday Night Live.' If there is an adult at the DNC, would he or she please take charge?

    June 30, 2008 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  2. Not Bush's Fault

    Higher prices for oil is not Bush's fault. It's the fault of all those Americans who voted for Bush. Yes, I blame them 100%. These same Americans are about to vote for McSame. Say hello to $8.00 a gallon oil.

    June 30, 2008 08:54 am at 8:54 am |

    The Democrats are too late! The Republicans already have their own Bush impersonator..... John McCain!

    June 30, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  4. doofus Cape Coral FL

    Hey Kevin: The Dems may "control" Congress but they don't have a big enough majority to enact any meaningful legislation, thanks to Mitch McConnell and his idiot cohorts. What do you expect when we have two oil men running the country?

    June 30, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  5. Carl

    The 05 energy bill! Oh come on, they are playing off our ignorance. In that bill, more money was put into the research for alternative fuels and on the whole taxes increased for Oil companies even though there were some giveaways. Hypocrisy you say? I say typical BS from republican politicians.

    Don't be fooled by their lyes – Obama '08

    June 30, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  6. Philip Van Acker

    Just a note on the Mccain drilling policy. If America really wants to make a strategic move toward energy independence it would do best to keep all offshore reserves intact and untapped. Why? Simply because in 25, 30 or 50 years oil will be much scarcer than it is now. While all over the world one by one oil fields will fall dry and stop producing at least then we'll still have an ace up our sleeve. No reason to squander the little we have now to only become more dependent on foreign supplies when it will really start to hurt.

    June 30, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  7. Ito

    Uh...let's hope the Democrats can actually be funny when they do it. Lame are ads are exactly that...they are lame, regardless if they are true or not. And if anybody does lame, the Democrats do it best...

    June 30, 2008 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  8. Jeremy H

    I love how the DNC is going to try and blame gas prices on the GOP when gas prices were just $2.32 when the DNC majority took over just two years ago. Nice try guys.

    It just seems to be the same old political crap from both parties, over and over again. This year I'm voting for real change – not Obama style change (raising taxes, etc) but REAL SUBSTANTIVE change. I'm voting Libertarian; I'm voting Bob Barr!

    June 30, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  9. Anna

    Kevin said it well – policies are made by Congress, not the president, and it takes a year or so before the effects of those policies become evident on the consumer level. Congress was run by Democrats when lots of these things were approved (and not vetoed by the president). Why are gas prices 2 to 2.5 times higher throughout the very liberal Europe than they are here? For so many others out there, your bitterness and childishness is appalling. I would be offended by a similar ad against Obama or Clinton or McCain because such things are indeed shallow. People who applaud such things and who only can come up with profanities and insults to get a point across are weak and empty inside. Grow up, become civilized and speak intelligibly.

    June 30, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  10. Patrick

    "they all want us to change our habits and drive a prius"

    No we don't... we figure you'll be begging to drive a Prius when it reaches $6 a gallon but if you've got the money and want to keep sending it to countries which you've said "hate us" then by all means by a hummer dude. Won't bother me at all...

    June 30, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  11. James , Houston, TX.

    Danny Diaz a Republican? Hiho Sir,
    Este Chu No Come Tortillas?

    June 30, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  12. Barbara Campbell

    Coincidentally, in the news today we learn that the Bush administration helped arrange the no-bid contracts for five western oil companies to development Iraqi oil fields. Not only have our taxpayer dollars been spent on securing lucrative contracts for Bush's friends in the oil industry, American dollars are also being spent to guard the oil pipelines. Just the way I want my taxes to be used – guaranteeing oil industry profits.

    The Iraq invasion really was about oil after all, and John McCain has been an enthusiastic participant.

    June 30, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  13. Mike the Independent from Ohio

    I love how some people blame republicans for all this trouble when the democrats have control of the house and the senate. People talk of Bush's failed policies, when it’s the democratic congress that has failed us, and then turn around, lie, and blame the republicans. Open you eyes people, don't be blind sheep and believe something just because someone with a D next to their name said it, you make me sick to my stomach

    Anyone but Obama or McCain 08

    June 30, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  14. ray

    I agree that the companies stink and high gas prices sucks, but come on! At least make the ad funny...

    June 30, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  15. Grizzly

    The funny thing about this whole idea is that with Senator Obama as the titular head of the Democratic party now, all of this type of campaigning is supposed to CHANGE. We aren't going to run these types of campaigns? If Obama is truly an agent for change, and he really is a leader, he will step in and denounce these ads. Sadly, I don't think this is going to happen.

    Nothing changes in politics, we just keep re-hashing the same old tactics...

    June 30, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  16. Endlessly Moderated and Censored for No Good Reason

    Newsflash II: The Democrats in Congress promised to
    bring down energy prices and guess what:

    The Dems went back on their word!

    Blame the Democrats in Congress!

    June 30, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  17. joelt

    Love it!! Bush and Cheney certainly aren't hurting. Their "blind trusts" must be bursting at the seams with their oil profits.

    June 30, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  18. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    Obama supporter,
    But this seems rather unnecessary.
    I would rather them play his own words and use them against them.
    Oh well, no one asked me.

    June 30, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  19. Mod


    June 30, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  20. Jerry

    Environmentalists have long treated Democrats the same way Monica treated Bill. Because they're both far more concerned about the habitat of the yellow-bellied toe-lint picker than they are real people, viable energy alternatives have been thwarted at every opportunity. The easiest way to lower the price of gas is to increase the value of the dollar on international currency markets. One way to strengthen the value of the dollar would be to instill some confidence by balancing the federal budget. The chances of that happending with these two parties in control is practically zero.

    June 30, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  21. Mari

    Oh gee, the Democrats are going to hire a Bush impersonator. I imagine your point will come across just like a Subway sandwich ad. Way to go! Maybe Bubba can make an appearance also?

    June 30, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  22. Larry

    How many of you people complaining about the DNC read the story? The ads were produced by the "Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee" DCCC not the DNC. Let’s not let a little thing like facts get in the way of our complaining.

    June 30, 2008 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  23. Republican for obama

    republicans are crying about fairness lol

    June 30, 2008 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  24. Tony, NYC

    Dems control Congress………18% approlal rating**************

    That is beacuse the Loser Rep's that are in there block everything they are trying to get done. Wait until we win more seats..then things will get done.

    June 30, 2008 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  25. World Sick of Bush!

    It is about time democrats go on the offensive. Right-wingers need to hear that the country will not take their bush___it anymore! The entire world is sick of the neocons!

    June 30, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
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