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. Kathy

    Good Grief – it's about time the Democratic Party showed some back bone. We have taken it for years from the Republicans hoping against hope that they would play nice. But nooooo – so I'm glad we're going after them. Pay no attention to the whining you'll hear from the Republicans – they're good at it. But what goes around comes around – snark!

    June 30, 2008 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  2. sophia nyc

    Where's the real one? On vacation?

    June 30, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  3. Philip Van Acker

    As an add on to my earlier comment, forget about gas prices ever getting lower again. Maybe now and then a few cents, but the trend will only be upwards and not down. Demand is ever increasing and production capacity is almost at it's limit, so there is no reason whatsoever that prices will go down. On the contrary, with the ever declining value of the US$ the oil price will probably be listed in Euro making double digit gas prices possible. Time to get our economy back in shape I think and lead a bit more frugal lives.

    June 30, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  4. GaVoter

    I hear Republicans are hiring Curious George..

    June 30, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  5. Mike

    Republicans appear aligned with Oil (like a majority of Democrats who won't tell you), and the Democrats are in bed with the Commodity Market Managers (the buyers and sellers of oil – they determine the price on the world market). Now I ask you: who good lord is running this U.S? – The people who give money to the political parties. Were all screwed.

    June 30, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  6. Chris

    right or not... it's funny! This is something we all need right now, at least a little laugh to lighten our moods.

    June 30, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  7. proud army and navy mom

    kinda funny. repugs hate it because it's a taste of their own medicine.

    John G. "won't vote for anyone who resorts to school yard bullying to garner votes" is a flaming idiot.

    what do you think the repugs has been doing since Clinton was president, running a clean and honorable campaign? If you believe that, no wonder this country voted for that spoon-fed idiot bush and cronies two consecutive terms.

    June 30, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  8. World Sick of Bush!

    Democrats don't have to make bush look or sound stupid. He's been doing it since he was born! The GOP = Gray Old Pharts!

    June 30, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  9. John Austin

    The W impersonation is a bit funny and bush certainly deserves all the smears that the democratic party can pin on him but there are many more pressing issues that the democrats can use their time on. Obama does not need to use these tactics to win the election.

    June 30, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  10. Common Sense

    Speaking about the democrats trying to use high gas prices against the republicans, I came across the following comment by Obama in regards to high fuel prices: "I think that I would have preferred a gradual adjustment." So, is he saying he doesn't have a problem with high gas prices, but rather just the rate it increased? Sounds like the republicans can easily reply to the democrats radio campaign with an actual soundbite from Obama himself, effectively neutralizing the radio campaign (which I highly doubt would sway anyone to begin with).

    June 30, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  11. Vote Nader

    So these candidates can't win on their own merits and accomplishments. Guess that makes sense, since the top of the ticket won't be able to either.


    ** Nader/Gonzalez 2008 **

    June 30, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  12. Juliard

    Bush and the Grand Oil Party have so screwed up this nation very badly. Jobs are disappearing as fast as gas prices are rising and as fast as people are losing their homes and as fast as company executives are raking in millions in pay and as fast as our climate is changing for the worse.
    Remember Enron? Remember your homes forclosed and sold at public auction? Remember your jobs being outsourced to other nations? Remember Katrina mess? Remember the difficulty in making ends meet? The choice in November is clear. The Grand Oil Party of Bush, Chenney, Rush Limbaugh and their fat colleagues will suffer the biggest election defeat come November.

    June 30, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  13. deroy


    Bush is not running.
    IQ check for howard dean.
    is this why dean is no longer Dr. Dean?

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

    Ah so we see how Obama and his campaign cronies plan to use the money to campaign with, slander attacks, slinging mud, and anything low down to try to knock their opponent down. This style versus running a real campaign where he talks about the hard boiled facts of what he has done before and what he will do in the future. And he represents change how?

    June 30, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  15. Steve

    And the politicians fiddled while Rome burned.
    This I am sure is going to help the" serious debate".

    June 30, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  16. Brian

    Does anyone else think the $100,000.00 could be spent in much better ways? How about actually doing something, build some wind turbines, instead of wasting on a political radio advertisement that will do nothing.

    June 30, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  17. Terry Morgan

    It's obvious that this election will be devoid of serious discussion of our energy policies. We've avoided those discussions for nearly 40 years. Why start now? We had the wakeup call in 1973 but pissed those 35 years away.

    June 30, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  18. Obama = Carter's 2nd term

    They should be one of Al Gore.

    “In the year since Al Gore took steps to make his home more energy-efficient, the former Vice President’s home energy use surged more than 10%, according to the Tennessee Center for Policy Research.
    The Tennessee Center for Policy Research, a Nashville-based free market think tank and watchdog organization, obtained information about Gore’s home energy use through a public records request to the Nashville Electric Service.”

    June 30, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  19. Sam

    Bush is not only a hypocrite, Joe. How can you excuse his policies for the past seven years?

    He is a torturer and murderer and should be held accountable for his actions. If he were any other third-world leader he would have already been hanged, like Saddam. IMO, Bush is worse than Saddam.

    June 30, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  20. T GUY


    June 30, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  21. Obama = Carter's 2nd term

    They can play the gas issue but people will remember also that Obama did not even want to lift the gas tax.

    June 30, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  22. Chipster

    Nick: McCain wants to give you a fish. Obama wants to teach you how to fish. Do you understand the difference? McCain wants to hand a gift of drilling rights. They currently have drilling rights to millions of acres that they don't plan to drill. They previously capped oil wells that they said they won't uncap until oil reaches higher per barrel prices.

    Can I say it clearer: Oil companies are not going to increase production because they are raking in 50% profits! They just want guarantees that they can continue to jerk you around for at least another decade.

    Obama wants to invest in renewable energy so that we will not be dependent on fossil fuels that are rapidly being depleted by the U.S., China, and India. China has a 30-year agreement with Iran for oil and liquid natural gas. Surely you remember CNN covering the 2004 agreement, right? It was right between breaking news on Britney Spears and Brad Pitt.

    June 30, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  23. JDC // Ohio

    It is the DEMS who constantly oppose oil drilling. Can you run your car on a windmill you dumb liberals???

    June 30, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  24. I'm from NC

    Maybe we could convert to a communist country. Would this help gas prices go down or would they go up?

    June 30, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  25. Nicholas

    Have you all reported on McCain defaulting on his taxes yet?

    June 30, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
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