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. DJ in Colorado

    what do i gotta do to get off the moderating list, CNN? i'm gettin' a lil' disenfranchised, if you know what i mean...

    September 9, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  2. JB

    Why does cnn chose to allow posts that perpetuate this lie? Does anyone think its a bad idea to teach kids how to handle sexual predators? This is such a load of S***... CNN DO YOUR JOB! REPORT THE TRUTH!

    September 9, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  3. McCain is too old

    Palin's approval rating among Republican men are, pregnant, and dressing a moose is what appeals to these rednecks. But do the rednecks REALLY want Palin to be POTUS if anything happens to McCain?

    September 9, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  4. TW

    Here's the deal –

    We really messed up in '04 – collectively it was a very childish decision to re-elect George W Bush. As a result, being the big child that we are, we are now in 'time-out' – losing our jobs, losing our homes, can't afford gas, etc....

    This year we once again have to decide between voting like adults or voting like children – the same spoiled, ignorant children that have gone completely against our best interests in route to serving this country up on a plate to the wealthy (oh, yes, they are gdoing very well). Right now, the GOP thinks we are still children, this is obvious in the way they have rolled out the bald-faced lie campaign.

    Fool us thrice?

    September 9, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  5. Obama 08: White, 60 yr old female

    This McCain ad is disgusting. Both my daughter and granddaughter were involved with a program of appropriate and inappropriate touching. With all the children involved, they were all aware of the fact that the child has done nothing wrong and that they needed to say NO and to tell an adult.

    I know of two cases where children told their friends, they went together to their teacher and a pedophile was taken off the streets.

    If McCain/Palin don't believe in trying to protect young vulnerable children from pedophiles or older chilren from the possiblity of life threatening AIDS and STDs they should just come out and say it.

    All these two do is attack: what is their alternative????

    September 9, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  6. McCain/Palin

    Obama supporters acting like cry-babies... Obama/Biden campaign is soooo desperate...

    Obama, are you not tired of flip flopping by now? Is this the example you will leave to you daughters?

    September 9, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  7. Debby

    So let me get this straight CNN you delete my comment because I said I wonder if Sen. Obama's younger daughter knows about the birds and bee's, but yet you allow horrible comments about Bristol Palin and her pregnancy. I think this is called bias moderating.

    September 9, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  8. Independentandlovingit

    Back to reality. Of the 50 states, Alaska ranks No. 1 in taxes per resident and No. 1 in spending per resident. Its tax burden per resident is 2 1/2 times the national average; its spending, more than double. The trick is that Alaska's government spends money on its own citizens and taxes the rest of us to pay for it. Although Palin, like McCain, talks about liberating ourselves from dependence on foreign oil, there is no evidence that being dependent on Alaskan oil would be any more pleasant to the pocketbook.

    Alaska is, in essence, an adjunct member of OPEC. It has four different taxes on oil, which produce more than 89% of the state's unrestricted revenue. On average, three-quarters of the value of a barrel of oil is taken by the state government before that oil is permitted to leave the state. Alaska residents each get a yearly check for about $2,000 from oil revenues, plus an additional $1,200 pushed through by Palin last year to take advantage of rising oil prices. Any sympathy the governor of Alaska expresses for folks in the lower 48 who are suffering from high gas prices or can't afford to heat their homes is strictly crocodile tears.

    As if it couldn't support itself, Alaska also ranks No. 1, year after year, in money it sucks in from Washington. In 2005 (the most recent figures), according to the Tax Foundation, Alaska ranked 18th in federal taxes paid per resident ($5,434) but first in federal spending received per resident ($13,950). Its ratio of federal spending received to federal taxes paid ranks third among the 50 states, and in the absolute amount it receives from Washington over and above the amount it sends to Washington, Alaska ranks No. 1.

    September 9, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  9. Kansas


    J O H N M C C A I N

    Y O U M A K E M E S I C K

    T O M Y S T O M A C H


    September 9, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  10. Jawinka Smith

    i have come to the conclusion that Obama will not win.


    Because all of his supporters write the trashiest, most slanderous comments I have ever seen on the Internet. All talk. Just like their candidate.

    September 9, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  11. Dan, Maryland

    Low down dirty politics – same old GOP just a different candidate...

    Time for this country to get out of the gutter and get back to respectability at home and abroad. I am so sick of gutter politics, if only McCain stuck to his word and had a campaign about the issues he might have still had my respect....I had admiration for the McCain of 2000. I didn't agree with him on some issues, but I truly admired him. It's amazing what a difference eight long Bush years can make. Respect and admiration are no longer what McCain seeks. He'll say and do anything to win. He says he won't lose a war for an election....all he's lost his dignity.

    September 9, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  12. robert

    Dear CNN, I appreciate your coverage of the election. It is a truly pivotal and generational election. I have been following the election coverage quite closely and have noted that Obama has a mostly positive, thoughtful, and honest message. McCain has been mostly negative and simplistic with many instances of pandering. I feel that it is unfair that they are usually lumped together as both being negative. I give for evidence this speech I just watched. It is Obama speaking about education.
    I gave the URL in my last comment but apparently the monitor does not allow that. Sufficed to say, if you look for it you will find it. I urge viewers to watch the complete version; things said in speeches are often taken out of context. He does mention McCain unfavorably once, after all it is a campaign, but it is not personal and it is a very small part of his presentation, which focuses mostly on vision and responsibility.
    Thank You

    September 9, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  13. Phil Newton from Murphy, Oregon

    McCain's VP pick might have been wise to take advantage of Obama's program.

    Teen pregnancy - a preventable problem.

    Obama 08

    September 9, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  14. Andrew

    You people are so think McCain is low? Have you seen what Biden has said lately??? Oh but you support someone who voted for three times that if a live baby is born as a result of a botched abortion that the baby is to be left to die.

    What are you folks think? I think you all have it backwards as far as who is disgusting!

    September 9, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  15. Linda K.

    This ad is a lie meant to create fear. Obama is the one who will prevent this society's fall into idiocracy. He has pledged to boost education at the preschool level all the way through to college, making higher education more affordable. Depend on the GOP to take an excellent platform and turn it into something dirty.

    September 9, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  16. NC Dem

    The real question is, why does John McCain think teaching children to protect themselves from pedophiles is a bad thing?

    September 9, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  17. Fraser

    If you feel disgusted and outraged by this ad, please send a donation to Senator Obama. With this display of perversion and lies, McCain has clearly demonstrated why he is not fit to be Commander-in-Chief.

    September 9, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  18. White and Black support for Obama

    It is very funny that many Americans are still ready for another 4 years of more of the same.


    Most Obama work so hard to convience you of what you're facing right now in your lives.
    Obama said several times, the choice is clear. You want more of the same vote Mccain flip flop.
    Don't cry for me after , because you can't learn your lesson.

    September 9, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  19. Evangelical

    What a perverse nation have we become.

    And the call themselves "christians"

    Shame on you McCain for such a disgrace

    September 9, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  20. Gail

    So Palin received a salary of over $125,000, AND was bilking the State of Alaska for 312 days? Wow, that's double dipping.

    September 9, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |

    I lost Hill -So I'll Vote for McCain

    September 9, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  22. Darren

    This is ridiculous. Before we actually get into the campaign, the media is going to have to call out the McCain campaign on their lies. Not to do so before talking actual issues, is about like allowing Sarah Palin to run without dribbling the basketball, and then wondering why Obama's defense isn't up to par.

    Allowing the McCain camp to openly lie can be as damaging to this country as anything al qaeda has done.

    September 9, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  23. David

    The legislation Obama had backed in Illinois went so far as to call for sexually transmitted disease prevention to be taught in kindergarten.

    McCain/Palin 08

    September 9, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  24. Herman Choy

    How about doing a fact finding on the book "THE CASE AGAINST BARACK OBAMA, by Freddoso.
    I'd love to verify those facts on TV since a fact finding is being
    done on Sarah Palin.

    September 9, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  25. milo

    Interesting that McCain doesn't have this ad listed on his website. He wants to run it (in key states), but it seems like he's ashamed of it.

    As he should be.

    September 9, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
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