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. pete dudack

    bush and co. + israel

    yep wer'e screwed

    time to impeach the scummm and deport israel firsters

    June 30, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  2. Effort

    I am astounded by how people have commented on this article without being able to spell (my favorite is "Montan" aka Montana) much less come up with substantive arguments. Can anyone support their views with actual facts (which includes voting records, policies etc.) instead of making statements, without any examples, about how Bush is stupid or Obama is bad for the country.

    June 30, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  3. atypical

    childish and immature. we all have a lot of growing to do, don't we?

    June 30, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |

    Danny Diaz, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, sharply criticized the ad and said Democrats were being disingenuous...........I'm sorry ,SIR..... That shoe fits

    June 30, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  5. Harry Brock

    Oh, and the Republicans can use "Swift Boat" Tactics, but when the Democrats attack some republicans WITH THE TRUTH– who by the way put us in this sitiuation, it's "dirty tricks" .... WAAAAAA WAAAAAAAAAAH !

    June 30, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  6. MoveOn

    Anyone who votes to keep these idiot democrats in office deserves what they get. Who keeps blocking drilling for oil where the oil is??? Who keeps blocking nuclear power??? Who doesn't realize its the world market that sets the price for oil – not the president?

    And there are still people out there dumb enough to believe these people! It only explains how radicals can convince some people to blow themselves up! P.T. Barnum had it right when he said there was a sucker born every day. The democrats prove it over and over.

    June 30, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  7. sharon

    the ad sounds silly, sophomoric, and undignified...unworthy of the dnc. what's become of the promised issue oriented positive campaign? whose shameful idea was this? i may have to register as an independent.

    June 30, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  8. jim

    excellent. it is time we credit the president for being a complete bafoon. he's a big oil tool. he's destroyed our reputation. he's wiped his behind with our constitution and bill of rights. he's thrown our economy into the (gas) tank. he's sent thousands of young boys and girls to their deaths for an illegal, unjustified war. he's spread fear and propoganda into our nation. i guess bringing up all that he has done for our nation would take more than a 30 second radio ad, huh?

    June 30, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  9. Casual observer

    The Democrats obviously think the average American is just stupid, as evidenced by the stupidity and hypocrosy of this story. However, I guess that says a lot of what they think of their own supporters...

    June 30, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  10. libby

    Did you ever catch this guy Van Hollen on T.V. what a certified jerk!
    He is so full of himself, and such a deep hate for President Bush,
    so why am ,I not surprised that he had stupid idea of someone, imitating the President. He Van Hollen ,has as much brains that would fill a pencil eraser. The idea is so juvenile, you wonder how he ever got elected, but then again he is a liberal.

    June 30, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  11. Reality Check Richmond Virginia


    worst president ever.

    June 30, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  12. Awful

    So the Democrats control the House and Senate for the last year and a half. What happens??
    This time last year we start talking about a recession.
    Also, Gas prices go up by almost 2 dollars.

    How is this Bush's fault again?

    June 30, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  13. Lillian Green

    It's so disappointing that a man running for President of the USA is spending his time hiring impersonators and using gimicks to make a point. If his point is legitimate, he shouldn't need immature tactics to relay it. I don't want a leader who sets this type of example, and there's no excuse for such behavior.

    June 30, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  14. Kip, Seattle Washington

    I hate how Bush lied about the war, and he's not being impeached! Abraham Lincoln is probably rolling over in his grave right now.

    June 30, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  15. Go McCain

    So, according to the Obamabots, when (and if) Obama gets into office, gas will magically go down to less than 2 dollars a gallon? If not, will you all agree that it is not Bush's fault for the gas prices and that OPEC controls the prices? If Obama wins, the only consolation is that 20212 will be a major sweep for the Republicans–similar to Reagan in 1980. Jimmy Carter so messed up this country (yes–he was lousy) that it took a Reublican to clean it up.

    June 30, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  16. Frank

    What a childish and misleading prank. And I thought the Republicans were the party of misinformation and sleaze. Looks like the new Democratic party is the old Republican party. Bravo Howard in taking the DNC down to a new low. And hey, why not mislead and spread fear, it worked for the Republicans, why not the democrats. Now I can honestly say, I despise both parties equally as much.

    June 30, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  17. Jessica

    What a lame and pathetic move. If the republicans hired a Obama impersonator, the dems would absolutely freakout. Their chosen one would probably try to take them to court.

    Grow up and actually try to solve some of our problems instead of creating stupid new ones!

    June 30, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  18. JohnBoy

    Tax the rich, pay off Hillarys debt.

    June 30, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  19. Eileen from Maine

    The Republicons hate it when you the Dems use some of their type of tactics. Although I don't know why they had to hire an impersonator. There is plenty on video of our own personal tyrant George W. showing the world that his only concerns are money, power and doing the job he was put there to do, which is to Divert the wealth and resources of this country and the people to the wealthiest top 1% of Americans.

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

    Actually it's the vast majority of congress that's responsible for the high prices. Oil is traded in U.S. dollars, our government's out of control spending leads to inflation, therefore it takes more U.S. dollars to buy a barrel of oil.

    Oil companies are leasing land and purposefully not drilling on it, essentially keeping the supply low and driving the cost up. This is the same thing that Enron was doing.

    June 30, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  21. Justin Thomas

    I think this is stupid idea, and so childish. Bush is already disliked, and America doesn't need more excuses to disapprove him. Sometimes you don't have to kick someone when they are down. You just let them dig their own hole, and you win in two ways. They are down, and you took the high road. Please reconsider running this ad, because as funny as it might be it does appear childish and immature, and there is no need to stoop to that level.

    June 30, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  22. bob dillman

    I am shocked by the Hillary backers. we don't have time to wait until 2012. she lost so move on and support Obama. their policies are similar if not their tactics. he is not as tainted and is a thinker. why the anger? McCain sold out long ago.

    June 30, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  23. Joseph

    The real reason gas prices are so high, is because democrats REFUSED to explore oil reserves within the United States back in the 90's. You can expecially blame president clinton for his Veto back in 1995.

    June 30, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  24. Bryon

    Absolutely ridiculous! We should not have people pretending to be politicians and putting words in their mouths in a serious ad. This is about a serious issue, I bet no one would be saying the same thing if there was an Obama impersonator saying things that would make him look bad! Just because Bush is unpopular doesn’t mean we should all throw out our ethics!

    June 30, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  25. bob dillman

    Oh and by the way Nick, that may be the most uneducated position on the planet. all the pols have greater footprints. does that mean we should wait until our president lives in a cardboard box to make changes?

    June 30, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
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