September 9th, 2008
06:35 PM ET
14 years ago

McCain camp responds to Obama's education ad

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="The McCain campaign is out with a new ad."] (CNN) - John McCain’s campaign responded to Barack Obama’s new education ad Tuesday with a tough new spot that said the Democratic nominee’s only achievement on the issue was backing bills to bring sex education to children – marking a rare campaign ad foray into culture war territory.

“Education Week says Obama ‘hasn't made a significant mark on education.’ That he's ‘elusive’ on accountability,” says the announcer in the 30-second spot. “A ‘staunch defender of the existing public school monopoly.’

“Obama's one accomplishment? Legislation to teach ‘comprehensive sex education’ to kindergartners.

“Learning about sex before learning to read?

“Barack Obama. Wrong on education. Wrong for your family.”

The campaign said the ad will air in ‘key states.’

Within minutes, the Obama camp battled back. “It is shameful and downright perverse for the McCain campaign to use a bill that was written to protect young children from sexual predators as a recycled and discredited political attack against a father of two young girls – a position that his friend Mitt Romney also holds,” said campaign spokesman Bill Burton. “Last week, John McCain told Time magazine he couldn’t define what honor was. Now we know why.”

The ad marks a reprise of a primary season attack on Obama by a former McCain rival.
More than a year ago, then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney attacked Obama over his assurance to Planned Parenthood that he believed some sex education should begin in kindergarten - prompting a response from the Democrat's campaign team that during his tenure as Massachusetts governor, the state had allowed those lessons to begin as early as pre-kindergarten.

Earlier Tuesday, the Obama campaign released a new ad linking education policy to economics, accusing the Republican nominee of voting to cut education funding and telling voters “John McCain doesn’t understand.”

The McCain campaign accused the Obama team of making misleading claims in the spot.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (244 Responses)
  1. Carl

    Republicans seem to enjoy stripping away nuance and dealing in ridiculously simplified absolutes. It's not a hard game to play. Here's an example: John McCain supports sexual predators.

    September 9, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  2. RyanD.

    And the McCain LIES keep spewing forth.

    That angry old man will do and say ANYTHING to get elected. Shame.

    September 9, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  3. Lauren

    wow and to think that I once respected Senator McCain. Absolutely shameless – he has really hit rock bottom.
    I was undecided but now I am sure I could never vote such a venomous person. This 47 year old white woman will be voting for Senator Obama

    September 9, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  4. Robert V. Simpson

    Senator McCain never really meant it when he and his wife promised to run a clean campaign.

    He has become downright disingenuous with his attempt to steal the change mantra and talking about the democrats stance on sex education. If Republicans were not so naive as to just talk about abstinence and pander to the religious right maybe teen pregnancies would be reduced.

    The straight talker has turned into the forked tongue maverick and he should be ashamed. I guess to his campaign; winning is everything.

    September 9, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |

    The American people are finally seeing Obana for what he is........and for what he is not......................not worthy of being President of this great country.
    He's getting dessperate now. He will promise you anything to get elected. I know he and the democrates are looking for a way to cheat and steal this election.
    John McCain AND Sarah Palin have something Obama does not.......CHARACTER and INTEGRITY. They will win because the American people are smarter than you obama.

    September 9, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  6. concern

    mccain is a joke!

    September 9, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  7. McCains food taster

    That's it, I'm giving up the food tasting gig... If and when she makes her move to the top of the ticket I'll rejoice that at least Methuselah is out of the picture. What a tool...

    September 9, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  8. Zaylee

    Palin has sure taken the pressure off McCain. He doesn't have to answer to anything...not with the "Barracuda" and "Pitbull" guarding him.........everyday we hear about another drama in her family. Another day another drama...wonder what tomarrow will bring.?

    September 9, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  9. Breck

    I see the McCain camp once again fails to actually address the issue.

    September 9, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  10. Jason, OH


    Just utterly unbelievable.

    Can't fathom, even in current in American politics, how an ad like this isn't outkasted as over the line and irreprehensible.


    September 9, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  11. e.j.mohammed

    I haven't heard anything on education from McCain ever! This campaign
    ticket of McCain/Palin is so dishonest and deceitful!
    Obama/Biden true change

    September 9, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  12. Former Hillary Clinton Supporter

    At least Obama is talking about the issues. And we know were he stands.
    So Mcsain when are you going to talk about education??? I haven't heard it yet buddy... Matter of fact I haven't heard you talk about any issues that the americans care about. The housing market, Do you have a plan? How about jobs? I heard you say there not coming back people in MIchigan. Do you have a plan or are you just all about WAR WAR WAR WAR.....
    By the way you and your vp pick matterof fact thats all we've heard. To day Bush isn't drawing down troops. Mummmm makes me wonder did that surge work??WHy can't our troop come home??
    I can't say your swayng me man. Start talking about the issues..
    Your still playing the dirty old politician game..... What a mavrick...

    September 9, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  13. mac attack

    I lost Hill -So I'll Vote for McCain


    September 9, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  14. Hey Look !!

    They'll letting the air out of McCain ! It's over ! Up above to the right of our next president's pic. hehehehehe..haahahahaha...

    September 9, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  15. Another grumpy old white woman for Obama

    What a load of crap. Obama is right in that children are sexually abused by pedophiles as well as family members every day and need to know what "improper touching" is BEFORE it happens not AFTER. So they can report the act or attempted act immediately and not be convinced that it is "okay".
    He is not advocating condoms for babies you idiot.
    We live in a dangerous world. There are predators everywhere.
    Get your filthy mind out of the gutter McCain.

    September 9, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  16. SFguy




    mr. mcain, sir, you have no honor.

    i don't believe in heaven, but, if i did, then i'd also believe that you just sold your soul to the devil.

    shame on you.

    September 9, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  17. Lacy

    Coming from a man who didn't know whether or not birth control pills protect agaisnt aids/HIV, and had to have an aid look up his position on them...

    McCain makes me sick and angry. I will not give control of my country to this man and his "pretty" little puppet.

    September 9, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  18. Dirk, TN

    John had the nerve to tell a reporter that he now knows that he can't have everything he wants. Hey Einstein, you're just figuring that out at 72 years of age?

    Here's one more thing that you can't have–my country, you lying sleezebag.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 9, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  19. Jessica Ferry

    What scares me about Palin is her reigniting the culture wars just when America was starting to at least appear to move beyond that ugly era. There is no place in Washington for someone who is so overtly religious about her politics, particularly when she has such extremist positions. If a politician actually believes that a war is God's will...specifically she said that the war effort in Iraq is "from God"...he/she should not say that out loud. It sounds, for lack of a better way of putting it, what someone in the middle east would say about the war against America. While my personal faith is deep, I DO NOT believe God involves him/herself in wars nor favors one group over another. We are fighting that type of extremism, not trying to emulate it!!!!

    September 9, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  20. Hillary 2012

    Now I am sure Obama miss Hillary in the ticket

    Too late Obama

    September 9, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  21. Brian

    John McCain has no honor. Forget about Sarah Palin – it's not about her. She'll be a distant memory by Christmas, apart from her Oprah interview on her way back to Alaska.

    It's about the top half of the ticket stooping to lies, while counting on the stupidity of the electorate to make the same mistake it did in 2004. By the way, the ad is subliminally racist – anyone else see what I see?

    September 9, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  22. TexasVet

    OMG, I just looked at that ad and it is PERVERSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    John McCain is one sick OLD DOG. He deserved everything Dubya threw at him in 2000, and then some.

    Obama 08!

    September 9, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  23. Ron L

    This is a PERFECT EXAMPLE of what is wrong with our political system, it shows how mean spirited the Republican Party is and how much Senator McCain has devolved. Do you REALLY think the John McCain of 2000 would participate in such trash!!
    ANYBODY who doesn't find this sickening needs to take a second look at themselves!!
    Why is it OK say this about Obama, but it would be wrong to say l Gov. Palins pregnant 17 year old daughter is living proof that her abstainence only policy is a failure?? She could not even convince her own daughter?? I mean really THINK ABOUT IT!!!

    September 9, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  24. milo

    Wow, what a truly disgusting and dishonest ad.

    So I guess McCain opposes helping little kids stay away from child molesters? Unbelievable.

    September 9, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  25. Kris in Denver

    So, John McCain is against teaching children about what good and bad touching are? Sorta makes it sound like he supports child molesters. How much further into the slime pit can he go. For a POW, he's lost any honor he once had.

    September 9, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
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