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. Hate is a 4 Letter Word...

    Dr Bob:
    "If you vote for B. Hussein Obama you will certainly end Hillary's chances of ever becoming president. We have to vote McCain. Hillary will win in 2012 I guarantee it!!!"

    Okay Cleo here's a gurantee she will not win 2008 that's because Hussein already beat her. How funny that you're willing to sacrafice the nation for 4 years becuase of your hate for Obama. It can't be Hussein's issues because they are very similar to Hillary so it must be something else.

    June 30, 2008 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  2. Nick

    News flash Dems: McCain wants to lower your gas prices, Obama doesn't. Dems couldn't care less if gas goes to $10 a gallon because they want to push their "everybody should drive hybrids, you shouldn't use AC, ride the metro!" agenda down our throats. Kinda funny that the person leading that charge, AL GORE, has a bigger carbon footprint than 99.9% of the rest of us.

    McCain '08!

    June 30, 2008 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  3. Wow

    Democrats won in 2006 running on getting gas prices down. they are up $2 since then and now in the next election cycle they decide to make it an issue again. reminds me of the 8 years of health care Clinton /Gore promised us. BTW here in Illinois then state Senator Barack Obama was all over the state telling us the we needed a tax holiday for high fuel prices and now he says it is a gimmick when Senators Clinton and McCain bring it up. Don't be fooled by this guy. He is running to the center now because he knows he can not be elected on his record. Ask him about guns and he is all over the place to try and please everyone. Also, his tax hikes? He and the rest of congress will not pay them as they have their own tax rules which are nothing like ours. If a politician wants to impress me, tax your pension (they don't here in Illinois) and take the tax away from the unemployment checks. those are the people who really need a tax break!

    June 30, 2008 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  4. Richard, FL

    It's entertaining to hear the 24%ers blaming Democrats for not fixing the prior 6 years of disaster from Bush. MOST people know that Democrats cannot override Bush vetoes. MOST people know that as bad as Congress rates, it is the REPUBLICANS that bring it down the most.

    June 30, 2008 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  5. Iam4thiscountry

    John G: If you are not going to vote for any party that uses "School Yard Bullying" then you must be voting for Bob Barr. Because, you definately cannot vote republican becaue they are masters at the "School yard Bullying' There republican motto is "Do nasties to the Dems, but scream foul when the Dems do it to us"

    June 30, 2008 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  6. nyle

    Why didn't they just use real bush quotes?

    June 30, 2008 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  7. Archaeopteryx

    Well, these ads seem fairly stupid. They certainly don't make the Democratic party look smart, just pathetic. You can't blame the oil crisis on only one person. After all, who is it that drives gas-guzzling SUVs, and uses tons of excess electricity? That's right-us, the public. I can gurantee you that most of the democrats supporting these ads have taken at least one airplane trip for their jobs, and airplane trips (plus ship travel) make a far larger carbon footprint than cars do. You can't pin the rising price of oil only on Bush-the big oil companies wouldn't be quite so big if it wasn't for the fact that we the public use so much oil, and have been using a lot of oil long before Bush became president!

    June 30, 2008 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  8. Rise America Rise

    Wow, I am a staunch Obama supporter but this turns my stomach. I really hope Barack puts the kabosh on this kind of advertising, I am offended by it.

    June 30, 2008 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  9. ps

    Mocking the President of the US who is about to retire?

    This is Obama's new unifying politics?

    June 30, 2008 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  10. Alex

    They should have Frank Caliendo do the Bush voice lol

    June 30, 2008 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  11. David from Whittier CA

    Yeah, the republicans would try to attack the democrats on this... if they had the money. LOL.

    But that impersonator speaks to clearly to be convincing. Maybe he should talk about "detaxification" for the oil companies.

    Obama-Richardson '08

    June 30, 2008 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  12. Ross in MD

    That George Bush impersonation is dead on. If he made up a few words it would have been perfect!

    June 30, 2008 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  13. Don't be haters

    Oil subsidies, turmoil in the middle east, weak dollar all of these are caused from Bush and the Republican lead legislature. It's funny how the GOP after years of bulldog, corrupt, immoral and borderline illegal practices now call foul on everything. They sound like a bunch of winers. Lead by the king of whining and flip flopping John McAin. Really what has he not flip flopped on to try and win this election. Used to be a big fan of his but it's McCain's words we can't trust. The war, tax breaks for the wealthy, offshore drilling. It's silly season in politics and the silly part is McCain's policies.

    June 30, 2008 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  14. Luis

    Just Wondering……..

    Where are all of the Hollywood celebrities holding telethons asking for help in restoring Iowa and helping the folks affected by the floods?

    Where is all the media asking the tough questions about why the federal government hasn’t solved the problem? Asking where the FEMA trucks and trailers are?

    Why isn’t the Federal Government relocating Iowa people to free hotels in Chicago ?

    When will Spike Lee say that the Federal Government blew up the levees that failed in Des Moines ?

    Where are Sean Penn and the Dixie Chicks?

    Where are all the looters?

    Where is the hysterical 24/7 media coverage complete with reports of cannibalism and shooting at helicopters? (which never happened in N.O. either, BTW)

    Where are the people declaring that George Bush hates rural people?

    How come in 2 weeks, you will never hear about the Iowa flooding ever again?

    Just wondering…what’s important here?

    June 30, 2008 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  15. Ronton

    If anyone has been reading the news lateley .We are being strangeled by the noose from this current goverment of republicans and democrats alike,They have done nothing but throw us a bone in the form of rebate checks.and told us they will stop 10 percent of payment to doctors who treat medicare patients.The only way to stop the bleeding is to vote these bums out of office before they completely destroy our good people of this country and destroy the future for our children.In order for us to face we must replace.

    June 30, 2008 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  16. Jan from Michigan

    DEMOCRATS-the hypocrites, are the real smear people. the only smearing of Obama being black was done by democrats and Obama himself. I just wish you people blogging CNN would wake up and smell the coffee. The Repubs have not smeared Obama, but you keep waiting and hoping so you can attack. I believe McCain can win on his own merits without smearing–he should be 20 points behind at this time–he is even–what is the problem with the great democrats? If you eke out a win, it will be a miracle–DNC can't "fix" the results in the general.

    June 30, 2008 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  17. Allen from Hartwell, GA

    I'm amazed at all the people who are "HORRIFIED" that the DNC would run such an ad. If the RNC ran this against Obama it would just be another smart move on their part.

    Give it up, GOP freaks – we're on to your lying ways and love of BIG OIL!

    And stop blaming the Democrats in Congress for not doing anything. Everyone knows that any bill which could help the average American gets shot down by the Republicans in Congress, or vetoed by Bush.

    June 30, 2008 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  18. Calvin

    Our oil crisis, does anyone recall the secret meetings the White House and all the BIG oil companies had not too long ago. Remember, the content of those meetings were never revealed to the American public, or even to the Congress. Now we're faced with $4 plus per gallon of gas. Heck, Congress doesn't have to approve everything for it to become law or even reality.

    June 30, 2008 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  19. xddy4u

    Stragety my friends, stragety. Smoke out the culprit.

    Obama '08

    June 30, 2008 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  20. Yogi

    If we're not screwed enough already by this Bush Administration, they prepare for war with Iran. Let's just do whatever Israel tells us to do and drive this country into a depression and fulfill the wishes of Bin Laden. The world laughs at our stupidity.

    June 30, 2008 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  21. David

    As a Democrat, I'm starting to get really discouraged with all the behavior from the Democrat's Obama campaign this year and it's really starting to reflect the lack of moral good judgement needed for the presidency. The more childish and ignorant this campaign gets, the more likely Democrates are going to go in drones to McCain. Hopefully the Democratic party can act like they have a little more sense and get back on track! We need a leader like Bill Clinton, and not a return to the Jimmy Carter 70's.

    June 30, 2008 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  22. Jen, CA

    Another "impersonator"? Thought the Dems already had one with Obama!

    June 30, 2008 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  23. real lib

    Oh yeah. Hired is the key word here. And spend those dollars smearing someone's name while our Congress has the worst ever, in the history of the US, approval rating. Way to show our smarts. Shows the emptiness of our party. And its thought processes. No one in our party deserves anymore time in office. Clean Sweep '08!

    June 30, 2008 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  24. RC

    So this is what Sen. Obama means when he talks about changing the political climate? Good to know.

    June 30, 2008 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  25. rw md

    This guy is a joke.
    He doesn't even sound like Bush.
    Now Frank Caliente does.

    June 30, 2008 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
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