September 9th, 2008
10:30 AM ET
12 years ago

Obama education ad: 'John McCain doesn’t understand'

New Obama ad hits McCain on education.

New Obama ad hits McCain on education.

(CNN) - The Obama campaign released a new ad Tuesday linking education policy to economics and painting John McCain as “out of touch and behind the learning curve,” according to the campaign.

The ad, the second negative spot of the week from the Democratic presidential campaign, comes as Barack Obama starts the day with a stop at an Ohio high school and delivers a major education policy address.

Earlier: Obama ad: McCain-Palin team "No Maverick"

“When they grow up, will the economy be strong enough?” asks the announcer in the 30-second spot, titled ‘What Kind.’

“Barack Obama understands what it takes to make America No. 1 in education again. John McCain doesn’t understand.

“John McCain voted to cut education funding. Against accountability standards. He even proposed abolishing the Department of Education. And John McCain’s economic plan gives two hundred billion more to special interests while taking money away from public schools.

“We can’t afford more of the same,” the announcer continues, as the screen fades to the traditional closing image of McCain and President Bush together.

The campaign did not say where the ad buy was airing, or how significant it might be.

UPDATE: The McCain campaign accused the Obama team of making misleading claims in the new ad. “Without a single achievement on education reform, Barack Obama has resorted to a desperate attack with absolutely no basis in fact. John McCain has proposed new education reforms to empower parents and students while reducing the influence of the unions and government bureaucrats that support Barack Obama’s candidacy," said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds.

"Nothing that John McCain has proposed would reduce funding for public schools, but in fact he has pledged additional funds to improve education - and Barack Obama knows it.”

soundoff (87 Responses)
  1. J from DC

    Education is a serious issue, and even more, John McCain is switching his colors and talk to match Obama's. In fact they are trying to pull the wool over our eyes. By being typical Conservative Republicans, who are running as Democrats.

    But, be not fooled. This is not the reason for his recent poll bumps. The fact is that women identify with her because she looks and feels familiar to them. The problem is that they really can’t see how different she is from them, like us men can.

    When Palin and McCain switch the Supreme Court next year, pro-choice goes out the window with it. But not for 4 years, but for the next 20 years. That is the wool being pulled over womens eyes.

    September 9, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  2. Jimmy in NJ

    The only party in this election who can intelligently have an opinion on education is the self made Harvard Law guy.
    Barack Obama is one of the smartest students to ever attend Harvard and I will listen to his ideas first. If I had to pick a candidate to sit next to during an exam it would hands down be Barack!
    He knows what it takes to make american schools succeed.

    For my kids!
    Obama/Biden in 08!

    September 9, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  3. Lisa M

    The problem with the education system to day is it doesn't teach children to learn.

    They learn facts and memorize crap, but not to think for themselves, to question authority, to look outside what they already know for answers.

    September 9, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  4. Shari, NY

    There are some startling statistics as regards DC students educational performance, right under Bush's nose.

    September 9, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  5. Theresa Jones, Mesa, Arizona

    Mr. Obama is out of touch with the Constitution of the United States which clearly prohibits the federal government from interfering with education.

    Obama 2008 "Preaching change and promising more of the same"

    September 9, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  6. ET from OMAHA

    How can you understand education when you gradute almost last from a navy academy.
    How can you understand education when you don't know how to use a computer in the 21st century.
    How can you understand education when you 72 years old with ideas dating from the Vietnam War.
    Something is wrong with some people in this country. Vote McSame and come back whining on TV about Healthcare, Forclosure, Gas prize.

    September 9, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  7. RJ, CA

    What it takes to make America No. 1 in education - or anything else, for that matter - just as it always has - is individuals taking responsibility for themselves and their families.

    All the wealth distribution Obama seeks won't do it!

    September 9, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  8. Bruce

    McCain has to be against education. If you educate people they won't believe his LIES any more

    September 9, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  9. Em

    If I hear education being used as a campaign issue for one more election I am going to throw up. Every four years, it's always, education, health-care, welfare, better jobs, everyone working, a chicken in every pot. Oh, I forgot, these issues are "traditional" .

    September 9, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  10. Lorna, NY

    Of course they are cutting educational funding. The whole premise of this political party is to keep people dumb. The Republicans get all the dummies, unfortunately, there are a lot of them.

    September 9, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  11. kristin

    I agree- we can not afford more of the same. The only thing that will change in the white house if McCain wins would be the name on the whitehouse mailbox. Now Palin – yes it would be a change-a change for the worse. And yes it could get worse- she thinks humans are not the cause of global warming, she thinks she can turn gay people straight, she believes in creationism- not science, and she thinks if you get raped that you should have a reminder of that every day of your life by taking away your choice of abortion. To all of McCain -Palin followers it is time for change- time to change your mind on your choice for President.

    September 9, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  12. Larry S

    the government education system is broken. Charter schools have proven to be very successful. Parents should be able to choose and thus competition determines the best schools – there will be money for each student and the schools wil compete for it – the people who lose money are the schools that nobody wants to attend because they are bad. I thought Obama wanted to "change" govenment. Sounds like he is the one who supports more of the same failed policies to me. His kids go to a charter school ...Hmm

    September 9, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  13. JellyFishDude

    from what i understand, obama wants to pour money into teacher labor organizations. i believe money doesn´t make for a better education. competition does. mccain´s policy takes a tough stance by making the situation more competitive for teachers. If they don´t perform, the children and parents get to choose what school they go to. what´s more american than freedom of choice and competition.

    sometimes more of the same is good. same freedom, same capitalistic models, same freedom.

    Competition is Higher Quality!!! (McCain)
    Money festers Corruption!!! (Obama)

    McCain-Pailin 08!!!

    September 9, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  14. Inquiring Mind

    McCain wants to "shake up failed school bureaucracies with competition" That would mean schools unable to compete will continue to loss money (funding) and those kids will be left behind....
    Just Like Bush "Leave no child behind" huh.... More like "Leave No Child A Dime"

    September 9, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  15. Kay

    When Obama makes our education system #1 again, will he stop sending his daughters to a $20,000 (each) a year elementary school and send them to the same schools the rest of us send our kids to? I'm sorry, whose out of touch here?

    September 9, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  16. spaythepitbull

    Considering McCain finished number 895 out of 899 students at his college ,I am hardly surprised he doesn't believe in funding education. WAKE UP PEOPLE the Republicans are NOT looking out for your best interests unless you're a corporation or the top 1%.

    September 9, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  17. Pat Riot

    The Federal Government isn't going to "fix" education Barack. That is left up to the communities, the parents and most importantly the states! What conservatives understand that liberals cannot seem to grasp is that the Department of Education is excessive, inefficient, and counter productive. Honestly, do more standardized tests and quotas really improve education at the local level? NO! So, stop trying to tax people more for it. Not every problem has a tax to solve it.

    September 9, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  18. HoustonIndie

    McCain's education policy is in line with the riches and the most privileged in society. When you are in the top 5% of the income level, of course you don't want to use any money on public education because your kids get to go to private school.

    American's high education level and technological advances owe much to the early GI Bill in the 50s that gave veteran free public education and college education. If a country does not heed the overall education of EVERYONE except for a privileged few, it will be sure to go on a way of decline.

    This is a very important issue.

    September 9, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  19. Democracynow2008

    Obama is about the new generation coming up in our Schools today and its so true how out of touch McCain is with todays generation of young people in Schools.
    If we elect McCain/Palin will be sent back to the Stone Age .
    Lets expand educational programs for everyone and instead of starting wars all over the World spend a billion on our Educational System.

    September 9, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  20. Teresa

    As a parent I don't agree with increasing educational funding, as it is not a quick fix to our lagging economy. Parents need to raise their children in a economically friendly environment and quit coddling them. If parents don't expose their children to adversity how are they to learn to deal with it. The silver spoon generation needs a wakeup call not more money. The government is not the answer YOU ARE!!

    September 9, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  21. Dem for unity

    MCcain does not understand the education part as many other issues. Even some educators and lashed out at what MCcain has been saying.

    September 9, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  22. Maggie VT

    If the "No Child Left Behind" is an indication of John McCain education policy we can forget about our children and their education.

    September 9, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  23. CT from Chi-Town

    The ad should have included a line about the fact that Palin supports Creationism teaching in schools. Oh, and don't forget abstinence-only teaching (yeah that obviously works).

    September 9, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  24. Phil Newton Murphy, Oregon

    McCain's education views ought to fit right in with his anti-education VP.

    Since Alaska has the lowest High School graduation rate in the country, it looks like their education platform will be a smashing success nationally - for Army recruiters, McDonalds and gangstas.

    September 9, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  25. JusLaugh

    From a bumper sticker: Republican health care plan = Don't get sick.
    How about: Republican education plan=Unneccesary expenditure

    If McCain is elected, you young people will be drafted and sent to war, anyways, so why worry about your education?

    You go Barack!

    September 9, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
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