Ads Debate Whether McCain is a Maverick
Michael D. Shear
LIMA, Ohio -- One of the first lessons of politics is to use your adversaries words against them.
So perhaps it is no surprise that Sen. John McCain has launched a new ad on the Internet in which politicians -- Democratic politicians -- praise him for being a maverick.
"He can work with Democrats on key issues whether it's campaign finance reform or tobacco policy. He's worked with us," says former Sen. Tom Daschle.
"He's one of the people we modeled our campaign over because he is very direct, very blunt, and nobody has to guess at what he's thinking."
Who was that? DNC Chairman Howard Dean.
And finally: "Since coming to Washington, I've believed that the right approach begins with the proposal put forward by Senator Lieberman and Senator McCain."
That was Sen. Barack Obama himself.
The ad ends with a quote from Sen. Hillary Clinton, whose primary battle with Obama produced an endless stream of priceless quotes that McCain can now take advantage of.
"I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience he will bring to the White House," Clinton says in the ad. "And Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002."
In response, Dean issued a statement Thursday saying: "John McCain a maverick? The John McCain of 2000 wouldn't even consider voting for the John McCain of 2008. The American people are learning that the John McCain of 2008 represents more of the same failed policies we've gotten from George Bush for the past eight years."
And shortly thereafter, the DNC released its own web video.
Titled "Maverick No More," the Democratic ad quotes the same Democratic politicians saying, well, not so nice things about McCain.
"On Iraq, on the economy, on tax policy, on domestic policy, across the board. He is espousing the Bush policies. He's changed a lot since 2001," Daschle says.
And Clinton: "But in the end, after eight devastating years under President Bush, Senator McCain is simply offering four years more."
The Democrats give the final word to none other than President Bush.
"Its been my honor to welcome my friend John McCain as the nominee of the Republican Party," Bush says in the ad. "I wish you all the best. I'm proud to be your friend."
Posted at 3:28 PM ET on Aug 7, 2008
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