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. Larry

    I think Republicans forget that they had control of congress for 12 years and did nothing. Bush backers are getting screwed like everyone else, but is loving every minute of it. OBAMA 08.

    June 30, 2008 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  2. Lynn in NM

    They say the greatest show of respect is imitation. Didn't know the Dems liked Bush so much.

    June 30, 2008 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  3. Bill Gamelson

    It's ironic that the Democrats are ones who want those gas prices to stay sky high by preventing us from drilling in ANWR and off the coast of Florida, California and the Gulf of Mexico where we know oil exists. Then they blame Bush for high gas prices when the President does not control gas prices.

    What jerks.

    June 30, 2008 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  4. Brian

    The disgusting way which the Democrats have conducted themselves the past eight years towards the nations President has put another stain on their already soiled reputation as a party. When your only hope to get elected is forming a coalition of the ignorant, the easily manipulated and the uninformed it speaks volumes about your party. BO is a prime example of why the young and the ignorant are not relied upon to make major decisions. They simply have no idea what they are doing!

    June 30, 2008 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  5. BARACK THE VOTE 08!!!

    The Rupublicans are mad. They love to attack the Democrats, but if the Dems fight back , the Republicans get mad!! hee,hee, hee

    June 30, 2008 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  6. Pel

    It is about time the DNC and their related organizations go on the attack against the republican congress people. They need to continue to point out the ills of the Bush Administration and the blinding support. the republican congress people have given to this effort.

    Further, the DNC organizations need to start focusing in on the Republican votes in congress which clearly shows they have sided with BIG BUSINESS over the people.


    June 30, 2008 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  7. Julia

    I've always considered myself a democrat, always. I guess I bought into the "party for the people" description. I'm not sure if it is that I am getting older and wiser, or if the party is changing (I think the latter) but I feel the democrats no longer represent me. This kind of nonsense certainly does not represent me. I was thrilled when the dems took control of congress two years ago........flash forward to now; how can they have the audacity to blame Bush for everything? The dems are certainly walking a fine line right now. I never voted for Bush and I can find many things he did wrong, on the other hand, I also can point to many things the dems have done wrong.

    June 30, 2008 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  8. Joe

    Yep...here we go again...blaming George Bush for everything! Yep, the whole Katrina fiasco was his fault too!! Don't you dare blame the incompetent former Govenor and current mayor!! Yep, my guess is that George went into Iraq for oil...that's why it's so cheap. You spoiled Americans, you have to blame somone...and you Dem's are the best of the best for that!! Just look at Billy Clinton!

    PS: Don't forget...you dem's control congress...opps!! Sorry...you forgot!

    June 30, 2008 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  9. Maggie

    This action is ridiculous and I am not a republican. The democrats are running a foolish campaign now. The first thing they did was to select a candidate rather than chose who the voters elected the candidate. I am still very upset with the DNC and the superdelegates after they selected Obama over Clinton rather than listen to the voters who had voted in favor of Clinton. That's why I would rather see McCain win in November over Obama and show the DNC that you cannot play around with democracy. It is suppose to be fair but this time it was not because the democrats have a selected candidate rather than an elected one.

    June 30, 2008 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  10. Ann

    All the jokes should be leveled at Obama who is the national JOKE. And McCain will get the last laugh...sorry DNC..ya'll messed up 'giving' Obama the nomination. I'm no longer voting Democrat along with 18 million other good people of this country.

    June 30, 2008 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  11. FayeinCT


    I agree with you 100%. You are right!! Who can the democrats blame when things get worse? They won't admit they are also to blame for the mess we are in right now.

    June 30, 2008 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  12. Quick

    Democrats make us all sick. Howard Dean and Obama are about as low as this country can go. I'm not sure there is even a word that can describe what they are. This whole process is pathetic. If you people don't wake up and see what this man or whatever he calls himself is, this whole country is going to be in bad trouble or worse.

    June 30, 2008 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  13. Chris in VT

    Come on, we all know the Republicans are the smear campaign masters. I applaud the Dems for hitting first for a change, and this is NOT swiftboating, it an attempt at using humor to drive home the point we all know already – Big Oil and the Republicans sleep in the same bed. It is not in any way far-fetched or out of line to link the oil crises with Bush and the "Grand Oil Party".

    June 30, 2008 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  14. Disppointed Democrat

    I am deeply annoyed and disappointed in my Democratic party and its leaders. My party has been in power in both houses of Congress for several years now and we are about to take the White House, and if comedic impersonation sof the President is the best my party can do about the energy crisis, then we are in deep doo doo. C-mon Barack, Kennedy, Kerry, Clinton, Biden, Clarke, Reid, Pelosi - DO SOMETHING! DO ANYTHING! Please do not stoop to politics as usual and sit on your hands. End the War in Iraq like you promised and come up with a gas – energy policy. If you are not going to do those two fundamental things, then I may as well vote Republican and save my money on taxes with McCain so I can continue to fund the war and the high gas prices

    June 30, 2008 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  15. Pat

    It is moves like this one that will keep Democrats out of the White House! It only belittles the Dems to adopt and initiate a stance and use the same tactics that has turned the majority against Republicans. The only thing missing from this advertisement is Karl Rove to give it the Republican seal of approval is Karl Rove!

    I'd like to see the Dems take the high road vs. the Republican Road and show Americans they are above not equal to the Republican brand of dirty politics.

    My view after reading the script of the six digit figure radio advertisement, it is very childish, unprofessional, and pointless. Their opponent in this election is John McCain and although the majority around the world believe he is a Bush Clone, to use the Bush colloquial version of english jargon in my mind is tasteless and just brings the Dems down to the Republican Level. Surely for $1000,000. they can do a better job of spending people's hard earned tax dollars!

    June 30, 2008 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  16. carolflowery

    This reminds me of something the obama campaigne pulled during Memorial Day

    In World War Two we didn't have the concept of post traumatic stress syndrome. People had to basically handle it on their own," he said. Referring to an uncle who had been one of the first U.S. troops into Auschwitz, the concentration camp, Obama said: "The story in the family is he came home and just went up in the attic."

    Historians would have told him Auschwitz was not liberated by U.S. troops but by those of the Soviet Union.

    Seems like more than his uncle belongs in the family attic.

    So he and his campaigne have decided to ruin our 4th of July holiday as well, is there no decency left in this country at all. We celebrate freedom because of the lives and blood has been the cost.

    June 30, 2008 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  17. JK Ashburn, VA

    Perhaps the Lefty Congresscreatures should hire two more impersonators: One for Pelosi and one for Reid. Their job would be to come up with an actual plan to solve some of these problems rather than just constantly pointing the finger of blame. Then, the impersonators can debate each other and maybe there will finally be an intelligent dialogue.

    Dems are in control of Congress. Where is YOUR plan? Oh that's right, it's the one written by the Sierra Club.

    Grow up, people.

    June 30, 2008 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  18. R-C from NC

    Democrats two years in control of the House and Congress and GAS PRICES HAVE DOUBLED!!!! This Nation will beg for "W" after 4-8 years of the Democrats in control of The House -Congress and the White House!!!
    By then it will be to late for all of us-we will be "SLAVES" to the Democratic Party!!! Hope you like SOCIALISM!!!! If Obama wins I hope that the Republicans can at least take over Congress or the House to keep balance of power!! Obama has some good points,but will not be allowed to do them,because Reid and Pelosi will stop those!!

    June 30, 2008 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  19. @HusseinIsAmerican2

    Bush attacked Iraq for OIL, sqandering billions of taxpayers dollars and killing innocent americans and Iraqis.OIL-4-BLOOD.

    Where is the oil now? they are with the oil companies and with the added tax breaks, oil companies are making record profits and smiling to the bank.

    all actions taken by one dictator – George Bush.

    McShame want's to carry on the Bush legacy of 100yrs war. Not This Time...

    June 30, 2008 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  20. Jeff

    Sure, Travis from Spokane, I suppose it could be a government conspiracy to keep gas prices high...... or it could be the fact that every day there is less oil in the world and more people who want it. That might be at least part of the problem....

    June 30, 2008 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  21. Robin

    Wonder what else the democrats are using an impersonator for?

    June 30, 2008 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  22. Ulysses Carter Jr

    Another example of why the Bush administration and his merry band of crooks need to be investigated by an impartial justice department. I say it again, Hillary Clinton for the next Attorney General of the United States. Then maybe, we will get to the bottom of all the law breakings and coverups that have prevailed during the Bush administration. Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Carl Rove read this and weep. Go Obama.

    June 30, 2008 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  23. Frank Ferina


    Pro Life
    Pro Military
    Love of Country

    June 30, 2008 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  24. John, Virginia

    The high gas prices are the direct responsibility of the Democratic leadership. New oil from coastal areas can be in the system in less than 10 years – 5 years where the infrastructure is in place, like California. The "20-year" scenario offered by the Democrats is another in a long list of big lies. I plan to be alive in 10 years and hope to be alive in 20. It is the Democrats that destroyed all of the good paying blue-collar jobs. Oil, gas, coal, chemicals, autos, steel – growth and security in these industries were crippled or tanked by the central planners of the Democratic Leadership and their anti-American environmental buddies. All you former steel workers in Pittsburgh – the air is clean now, I hope you enjoy driving a taxi of flipping burgers for a living.

    Obama offers us poverty and hopelessness, a nation of limited opportunity. McCain, as frustrating as I find him, at least offers a real approach to the energy situation. Obama is an empty suit that offers us nothing.

    June 30, 2008 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  25. Tim

    Once again, I am ashamed of the party I have been a lifelong member of. An Obama presidency would be a disaster for this country.

    June 30, 2008 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
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