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. scott

    what about the year and a half that the DEMOCRATS have controlled Congress...why haven't they tried to do something..Because their pockets are too getting lined just as the Republicans....

    June 30, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  2. Marge Hibbing Mn

    They ought to hire an obama impersonator. He might know more about what to do for this country than the real one.

    June 30, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  3. Scott

    As I recall it, the Democrats are in charge of Congress and the Senate and they refuse to drill in this country for oil. Guess they prefer bank rolling the Arab oil Shieks to drilling for American oil.

    June 30, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  4. Lori-Michigan1st

    And when did everything go downhill – gas, economy, etc., etc....when dems took over house/senate!!! Seems they want everything to fail to get their democratic prez elected (qualified or NOT)....(whatever we want to do to help our country-dems turn it down and put a bad spin on it)...now that's watching out for the people...NOT.

    This ad...what a joke!

    June 30, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  5. Ed North Carolina

    Just when I was thinking about voting Democratic they go stupid again. What idiots, don't they have better things to do than play silly games. It is really talking down to the public.

    June 30, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  6. H-ROD

    Bush let the oil companies write the energy policy for america and this is the result high gas prices thats a fact wall st is setting the price 60% of today's oil price is pure speculation close the enron loophole and gas prices will drop overnight and Obama will close them (yes obama can)!!!!

    June 30, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  7. Jane

    So, the DNC's answer to high oil prices is to put an anti-white racist in office? Gee, that will fix things. MCCAIN '08

    June 30, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  8. ImportedPatriot

    I see a lot of Republicans here. Good for you. Thought you guys went underground. Need you.

    How can you even say McCain is going to fix all this. Of course, he is going to take all the oil execs, throw them a party, and say, "boy's please lower your oil prices. People are suffering!" Sure.....

    So, far the Republicans in congress have stymied every effort to remove the oil giveway to the oil companies.

    So, far the Republicans have stymied every effort to fund alternative fuel research and development.

    Folks, 100 billion dollars over 10 years, is 10 billion dollars per year. This is peanuts compared to what is being thrown at the corn subsidy, given away to Iraq, given away to the oil companies (approximately 40 billion a year).

    And there are plenty of already available land to explore. Why aren't the oil companies doing it? They need it for ther future profit.

    I don't think one is very smart, when you think that companies will do things to reduce their profit margin in a captive market.

    If you want to pay $7.00 per gallon for gas, no matter what happens to ANWR, vote for a Republican.

    The DNC didn't need this ad. People know. All my neighbors know. All my workers know and all my friends already know.

    For the republicans in thesr forums, please read EVERYTHING. I want you to know how much your republican senators have screwed this country up!!

    Vote John McCain for $7.00 a gallon!

    June 30, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  9. joanna

    Our blessed country that I so dearly love is being abused and humiliated and has become a world-wide joke. Yes, let's get the Dems in there so they can finish the job.

    June 30, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  10. Pat Long Island

    The Truth For the High Price of Gas/Oil:

    Oil speculators. Case closed. If you want to lower gas prices, you have to reign in the speculators. Republicans are in bed with them and making huge profits from this, and won't stop it. So, answer – stop buying gas. Stop using gas fueled cars. Demand hydrogen powered fuel cell cars with 0 emissions.

    June 30, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  11. Natasha/Supporter of Democrats/Obama

    This is nothing new, people have been making fun of the president for years now.

    June 30, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  12. Kip, Seattle Washington

    None of this conversation is leading anywhere. I'm tired of corrupt politics. By the way, if the F.B.I. is reading this, they can screw off. I love this country.



    June 30, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  13. Jason

    This is something that the Republicans will never grow enough balls to do. And I don't blame 'em. If they were to hire an Obama impersonator, the media would fry them up like an egg. It's unfortunate.

    And let it be known that Frank Caliendo is the best Bush impersonator alive today.

    June 30, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  14. Voter in ATL

    I don't know what this "impersonator" is supposed to accomplish. I know that we are a society of sound bites, but what is needed is substantiated proof or a place where we, as concerned Americans and gas users, can find out the information.

    If I, personally, could see verifiable documentation as to who is in bed with whom and which Congress member backed what, then I'll base my vote on that.

    As far as democrats pushing hybrid technology and earth-friendly energy, what is so wrong with that? Did we, as a nation, change our habits of using CFC's because of a whole in ozone, stop using lead based paints, ended our prevalent use of asbestos in buildings, limit companies from polluting lakes and steams so that we and our children wouldn't be prone to mercury poisoning in our fish and ground water?

    We can change because we have changed in the past. People who want to drive their SUVs and trucks can covert them to burn Biodiesel fuel like...here we go, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow and Melissa Etheridge did to their cars and tour buses. It's sort of a "have your cake and eat it too" analogy.

    Let's be mature and reasonable about this. There are more obese children than when I was growing up, more type2 diabetes, more lung related maladies and we need to step up to make that change instead of relying on government.

    June 30, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  15. DMAC in ID

    Both parties are responsible for the prices. The Dems have been in the ecologists pockets for 50 yrs. Also the NIMBY's. If they had kept the drilling in this country in the early 80's instead of stacking drill rigs and running to the mid east for the majority of our oil we wouldn't be in this mess. Now the Repub's have had all this time to get this straitened out but have gone along with that agenda.
    Everyone know that if we flood the market prices will come down and we would be out from under the thumbs of foreigners controlling our economy. But they don't want that. They are looking to be a one world org. an make us a #rd world country. We are about there and if Obama gets in we might just get there faster.
    I heard a report about a refinery to be built in S. DK but it will be 2 yrs before they can start. Now how stupid. They should have been building and rebuilding ones that are out dated and have burned down.
    Right now for all you nay sayers stop and think that if we have more oil the price my not drop right now but it can keep it from this run away rising and liing the pockets of non Americans.

    June 30, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  16. MLG

    Down right pathetic.

    McCain 08

    June 30, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  17. Universal Citizen

    Beating the 'Publicans at their own game ! eh eh eh ...

    June 30, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  18. S Callahan

    heh heh heh This is what they call..telling it like it is! heh heh heh

    June 30, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  19. rupa

    I hope john mcain has all the republicans drafted to war. All the people who support him. Bush is the one who got us in this mess.

    June 30, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  20. If Bush is so powerful, why aren't people more afraid of him?

    One thing I don't understand is why, if Bush is so darn powerful, why are Democrats not more afraid of him?

    I mean, you guys throw so much stuff at his feet, i.e. high gas prices, crappy economy, Hurricane Katrina, global warming...if he really has that much power, don't you think that perhaps you should be fearful of his supernatural powers??

    Think about it. There are economic reasons for oil prices going up. We are not the only country suffering. Look to the oil cartel run by TERRORISTS in Middle Eastern countries. Running the oil prices way up and causing all the social unrest is a form of economic terrorism.

    This ad is typical Democratic-smokescreen tactics. Divert attention from the facts to focus on a situation that doesn't matter at the present time. Where has the Congress (which is Democrat-controlled) been on the energy issue? The type of government we have doesn't allow any one branch to have absolute power, meaning that if Bush really was manipulating the oil prices the Legislative branch, which includes Congress, would have been able to stop it.

    Open up your eyes and realize that Bush is not the enemy. Obama will be our next president and when the economy tanks, and it definitely will, all of you that voted for him will get exactly what you deserve.

    June 30, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  21. Tammy - KCMO

    I don't know that these types of ads will help the Democratic cause. I find them a big turnoff. Hopefully they are at least humorous.

    My bigger concern right now is reading that Bush and his cronies are ready for war in Iran.

    June 30, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  22. Pat Long Island

    jmh June 29th, 2008 11:11 pm ET

    Gas prices are up in every country in the world.

    It's amazing what people will blame W. for… the same people that think he is stupid give him credit for causing every bad thing in the world just to make money for his friends.

    I guess the strategy of the left is – if you just say it enough times, it appears true. And 70% of us are buying it.

    If you want to pay less for gas, stop moving further into the suburbs and start taking public transportation.

    We can blame "W" because "W"'s failed economic policies, his spend and borrower budgets with record defecits, have all resulted in a complete devaluation of the dollar; oil is traded in dollars and the cost of oil rises with the devaluation of the dollar. Ergo, because the dollar fell because of W's policies, we can blame him for the rise in oil, even though it has risen around the world...because it rose around the world because of the devaulation of the dollar caused by W. See,...simple logic!

    June 30, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  23. Slim Pickin's

    These forums are just ridiculous. CNN should remove them so I'm not distracted by everyone's ranting partisanship. If you think the Washington GOP is doing a good job, you are beyond saving at this point. If you don't already think politics in our country is a carnival, then you're also blind...

    June 30, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  24. Obama = Carter's 2nd term

    Chuck, Livermore June 29th, 2008 11:06 pm ET

    Wahhh Wahhhh Wahhhhh…. get over it Republicans!! You are a party tied to big oil interests, huge tax cuts and single issue politics that constantly divide this country. I think that just putting Bush on television or having John McCain bumbling in front of a green background is a reminder that we need people who don't have vacuous responses to serious problems.


    Obama says “I do not take money from oil companies” but forgot to say that McCain does not either. Look up the Facts!!! Obama also forgot to say that 2 of his bundlers are top executives at oil companies that give $50,000 and $100,000 to him. That is a fact and you can even see that listed on his own website.
    Two of Obama's fundraisers are Robert Cavnar, the chairman and chief executive of Houston-based Mission Resources Corp., and George Kaiser, the president and CEO of Tulsa-based Kaiser-Francis Oil Co.

    June 30, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  25. saga for Obama

    GA Republican June 29th, 2008 11:11 pm ET

    The DNC gets the award for an all time low, stupid and BS lies

    no i recall a little ditty about WMDs...but i guess you Repubs don't consider that a bold face LIE. may be you think that that was just away to send our troops to a tropical new location so they could work on their tans...idiots.

    i dont agree with this tactic but Obama has nothing to do with this campaign.
    truth be told, Bush screwed up our country so bad he's an easy target.

    for all of you so called DEMS FOR MCCAIN...do you remember a little campaign waged by your Republican friends...TO IMPEACH BILL CLINTON?
    why has no one returned the favor to W, GOD knows if any President should have been impeached it should be Bush/Chaney.

    fools who voted for him in 04...GREAT JOB!
    now you want McCain to finish Bushs war on Iran?
    and yes Iraq does seem to be about OIL when these big oil companies now have no bid contracts in Iraq...

    Dems do not stoop down to the level of the GOP.

    June 30, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
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