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McCain and Obama's New Economic Ads

Barack Obama and John McCain start airing direct-to-camera appeals today addressing the nation's economic troubles. Obama's two-minute message, to air nationally on cable and on broadcast stations in some battleground states, provides some specifics of his economic plans. McCain's ad speaks more to voter emotions and sneaks in an attack at Obama.

Here's the Obama ad (full script after the jump):

Here's the McCain ad (full script after the jump):

These new ads are the latest in a series of messages from both candidates that speak to the nation's economic troubles. The most recent McCain ad states "enough is enough" while Obama's latest message attacks McCain for stating that the "fundamentals of our economy are strong."

Here's the full script of the new Obama ad:

In the past few weeks, Wall Street's been rocked as banks closed and markets tumbled. But for many of you -- the people I've met in town halls, backyards and diners across America -- our troubled economy isn't news.
Six hundred thousand Americans have lost their jobs since January. Paychecks are flat and home values are falling. It's hard to pay for gas and groceries and if you put it on a credit card they've probably raised your rates. You're paying more than ever for health insurance that covers less and less. This isn't just a string of bad luck. The truth is that while you've been living up to your responsibilities Washington has not. That's why we need change. Real change.
This is no ordinary time and it shouldn't be an ordinary election. But much of this campaign has been consumed by petty attacks and distractions that have nothing to do with you or how we get America back on track.
Here's what I believe we need to do. Reform our tax system to give a $1,000 tax break to the middle class instead of showering more on oil companies and corporations that outsource our jobs. End the "anything goes" culture on Wall Street with real regulation that protects your investments and pensions. Fast track a plan for energy 'made-in-America' that will free us from our dependence on mid-east oil in 10 years and put millions of Americans to work. Crack down on lobbyists -- once and for all -- so their back-room deal-making no longer drowns out the voices of the middle class and undermines our common interests as Americans. And yes, bring a responsible end to this war in Iraq so we stop spending billions each month rebuilding their country when we should be rebuilding ours.
Doing these things won't be easy. But we're Americans. We've met tough challenges before. And we can again. I'm Barack Obama. I hope you'll read my economic plan. I approved this message because bitter, partisan fights and outworn ideas of the left and the right won't solve the problems we face today. But a new spirit of unity and shared responsibility will.

Here's the full script of the new McCain ad:

John McCain: You, the American workers, are the best in the world. But your economic security has been put at risk by the greed of Wall Street.
That's unacceptable. My opponent's only solutions are talk and taxes. I'll reform Wall Street and fix Washington. I've taken on tougher guys than this before.
Announcer: Change is coming. John McCain.
McCain: I'm John McCain and I approve this message.

By Ed O'Keefe |  September 17, 2008; 10:20 AM ET Ad Watch , Barack Obama , John McCain
Previous: Democrats Slam Coleman On Iraq | Next: Obama Invokes Rush Limbaugh in New Spanish-Language Ads

Comments

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American's agreeing to tap our resources sends a chill down the spine of OPEC energy price manipulators.

Drilling for oil and transitioning to natural gas vehicles is (as Boone Pickin's rightly says) a bridge, to hydrogen for cars, nuclear for urban, and wind for rural energy.

You know, the democrats have not spared any American institution --have spent millions of hours and dollars in an 8 year long destructive tantrum, perpetrating unnecessary collateral damage to our country -- in their efforts to throw GW out of the White House. They (and the northeast media cabal) seem to forget, that we, the voting public, will change leaders when "we're" ready. Labeling rural sensibilities, folkways, mores, and traditional family values moral direction, as parochial, or not "hip" in the urban sense, is insulting, and not constructive. So much for the "we" in the DNC's advertising copy.

Posted by: rural americans | September 17, 2008 11:31 AM

It is an interesting exercise to lay Obama next to McCain on the issue of the collapse/bailout of Fannie/Freddie...
From Barack Obama:

We're told that the current financial crisis and the collapse/bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the result of "Bush/McCain Policies."

Seems like all he has to run on is painting McCain as Bush 44... and exploiting Bush Derangement Syndrome!

(Interesting to note that behind Sen Dodd - the chairman of the powerful banking committee - Barack Obama received more money from Fannie/Freddie than any other lawmaker of the over 300 who received contributions between 1989 and 2008... and Obama was only in the Senate for 3 of those years!)

-------------------------------------------------------------

On the other hand...

John McCain, who has never taken an earmark and has campaigned actively against them, sought to reign in the abuses of Fanny/Freddie in 2005 by co-sponsoring the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 1 90 - which was shot down by Democrat resistance! Note his statement from the Congressional Record, quoted below, in support of the Bill. Seems he had a crystal ball!! This from a guy who stated self-effacingly that he doesn't understand the economy as well as he'd like! If only more people understood it as well as he does!

The United States Senate

May 25, 2006

Statement by John McCain (R-AZ)


Mr. President, this week Fannie Mae's regulator reported that the company's quarterly reports of profit growth over the past few years were "illusions deliberately and systematically created" by the company's senior management, which resulted in a $10.6 billion accounting scandal.
The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight's report goes on to say that Fannie Mae employees deliberately and intentionally manipulated financial reports to hit earnings targets in order to trigger bonuses for senior executives. In the case of Franklin Raines, Fannie Mae's former chief executive officer, OFHEO's report shows that over half of Mr. Raines' compensation for the 6 years through 2003 was directly tied to meeting earnings targets. The report of financial misconduct at Fannie Mae echoes the deeply troubling $5 billion profit restatement at Freddie Mac.
The OFHEO report also states that Fannie Mae used its political power to lobby Congress in an effort to interfere with the regulator's examination of the company's accounting problems. This report comes some weeks after Freddie Mac paid a record $3.8 million fine in a settlement with the Federal Election Commission and restated lobbying disclosure reports from 2004 to 2005. These are entities that have demonstrated over and over again that they are deeply in need of reform.
For years I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac--known as Government-sponsored entities or GSEs--and the sheer magnitude of these companies and the role they play in the housing market. OFHEO's report this week does nothing to ease these concerns. In fact, the report does quite the contrary. OFHEO's report solidifies my view that the GSEs need to be reformed without delay.
I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 1 90, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.
I urge my colleagues to support swift action on this GSE reform legislation.

Posted by: Doug Edelman | September 17, 2008 11:35 AM

"Drilling for oil"

Drilling for oil, no matter in Alaska or offshore, is completely pointless right now. Our refineries are at capacity as it is. Drilling for more oil when we can't refine it is just dumb. They need to invest in more refineries before thinking about more oil.

Posted by: Xander | September 17, 2008 11:38 AM

So one sees a problem, has a plan for it, and outlines steps to fix it, and the other one sees a problem and talks about unspecified "change."

And Barack Obama is being called the empty talker? Come on, people, watch those again.

Posted by: sharky | September 17, 2008 11:40 AM

LOL McCain Mr Slogan: "My opponent's only solutions are talk and taxes. I'll reform Wall Street and fix Washington. I've taken on tougher guys than this before."
While Obama actually comes up with SHOCK HORROR! An ECONOMIC plan! (barackobama.com/plan)
I think this one is a no brainer guys. McCain is clueless on the economy, not to mention that it was his policies that got us here in the first place.
Game. Set. Match.

Posted by: Steph | September 17, 2008 11:41 AM

"John McCain, who has never taken an earmark"

In 2006, the senator teamed up with fellow Arizona senator Jon Kyl (R) to funnel $10 million toward the University of Arizona for an academic center named after the late Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist. Even Arizona lawmaker, Rep. Jeff Flake (R), said he was planning to “lean against the measure.” The National Taxpayers Union, another traditional McCain ally, questioned why the senator was making federal taxpayers foot the bill for the center.

In 2003, McCain also slipped $14.3 million into a defense appropriations bill to
create a buffer zone around Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.


Yes, McCain has never requested earmarks. Right...

Posted by: Xander | September 17, 2008 11:41 AM

The contrast could not be clearer.

Obama lays out specific approaches to curing our economy's ills - long term and permanently.

John McCain promises to do something, but won't say what. Because he doesn't know; he hasn't a clue. All he can say is trust me: change is coming.

Indeed it is, John, but as always, you won't be part of it.

Posted by: Dennis Berry | September 17, 2008 11:45 AM

All it comes to show is that Obama is not a great speaker like people say but a good and fast reader. Take the teleprompter away and he will not know what to say.
You can see how his eyes are not even looking at the camera but the script his reading carefully prepared by some democratic team or writers and proofers.
That shows the character of not even been able to look at america staight in the eye to say things and make them believe like it is comming out of the heart.
To Obama: Yeah right!!! Put $1000.00 in people's pockets is going to solve the problems? that buys them a TV and then what?

Posted by: GEM | September 17, 2008 11:45 AM

B. Hussein Obama likes to go on and on and on and on.

McCain is simple and to the point.

B. Hussein Obama needs to stop going to Beverly Hills fundraisers and actually go to some of these companies and tell employees that he is going to raise their taxes....if B. Hussein Obama did this, they would run him out of town.

McCain 51%
B Hussein Obama 49%

Posted by: George | September 17, 2008 11:46 AM

re: "rural americans" post:

Perhaps, you need to be following the situation closer. The Bems are trying to help our energy situation ( again ) by moving to allow off-shore drilling ---

Bush has already promised to veto it, should the bill get that far.

Meanwhile, we see the effects of random deregulations, as lending institutions tore the heart out of the industry, and bush's only response has been to nationalize various institutions. [ That's referred to as 'socialism', not free trade. ]

--- an Independent for Obama

Posted by: wolf | September 17, 2008 11:46 AM

John McCain looks like a used car salesman.

Posted by: John in Montana | September 17, 2008 11:47 AM

"B. Hussein Obama needs to stop going to Beverly Hills fundraisers and actually go to some of these companies and tell employees that he is going to raise their taxes....if B. Hussein Obama did this, they would run him out of town."

Actually you do realize that Obama's plan would give tax breaks to 95% of all Americans right? Of course not, because you just spout random untruths that you read from other people. Try reading things on your own, it will increase your intelligence and make you seem less like a sheep.

Posted by: Xander | September 17, 2008 11:49 AM

Neither McCain nor Obama seem to comprehend the full impact of what is going on with the economy, though McCain seem more clueless than Obama. I have read warnings about this financial storm for years. The candidates only mention it now that it makes landfall. A powerful senator like McCain could have worked to regulate the financial sector years ago. He either didn't get it or didn't care. Obama was less powerful but deserves the same criticism. The people who forecast the current situation say now that it will get much, much worse. This is seen as doom and gloom as both the Treasury and the Fed keep saying that the latest bailout will contain the damage. But who is one to believe, the people who are only reacting now or people who predicted our current situation years ago? Bottom line: Vote third party, any third party.

Posted by: dark_matter | September 17, 2008 11:49 AM

Obama: We need to reform our tax system, give a $1,000 tax break to the middle class, stop the inequitable distribution of wealth, improve regulations, crack down on lobbyists, and bring our Iraq involvement to a responsible end.

McCain: I'll reform Wall Street and fix Washington.

Can someone please tell McCain that he's not actually saying anything?

Posted by: KD | September 17, 2008 11:49 AM

Btw, I think Dennis Berry summed up these ads the best.

What exactly did McCain promise? Goodness or something? Obama gave specifics over what we should do and why we should do it.

Posted by: wolf | September 17, 2008 11:51 AM

Who's all talk and no taxes? Who is going to lower taxes? Look at the ads. Read Obama's plan. (McCain doesn't have one, he just thinks that by giving false compliments and then talking tough maybe you won't notice) I'm tired of McCain's condescending attitude, talking to us like he thinks we're stupid. You can't bluff your way though this one John, either give us a plan that makes sense- and doesn't give all the tax breaks to the rich, or stop lying to us.

Posted by: Katharine | September 17, 2008 11:51 AM

at this point i can't for the life of me believe anyone is voting mccain except because they like his skin and middle name better.

this is insane. mccain's completely empty.

Posted by: mm | September 17, 2008 11:51 AM

Do anything you can to stop McCain!

McCain's actions speak the loudest that he is completely clueless and will appoint people like Phil Gramm "nation of whiners" and Sarah Palin - energy hawk bent on stealing the texpayers money even more so that Bush.

This guy has taken public financing, 527's and any coporate contribution he could fit into his pocket.

His campaign is worse than Rove's if you can believe it.

McCain is good for the senate, but bad for the oval office. Send him back to his 7 homes in Arizona and Palin back to Alaska.

Obama is our only hope right now. I say this as a registered Republican who is fed up with distractions and lies.

Posted by: Ben Sona | September 17, 2008 11:53 AM

The Republican party is largely to blame for the economic meltdown.
Republicans have always championed a hands off approach to business...relying on the "free market" to reward and punish.
Wall Street and the mortgage industry should have been heavily regulated and policed years ago...but everyone looked the other way.
For a peek into what an unregulated free market looks like you only have to look at China.
Tainted milk, toothpaste, dog food, toys with lead, substandard tires.

Posted by: Norris Hall | September 17, 2008 11:55 AM

More came out about Palins affair today.
http://www.theveep.com

Trooper gate is unravelling http://www.hotpres.com

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 11:55 AM

About a month ago McCain brought out his "plan" which was underwritten by some 300 self-styled experts. Nowhere in his plan was there talk about reforms on short selling or undercapitalized leveraging. The experts included Phil Graham one of the very DC insiders that McCain supposedly rejects. Doesn't this sound familiar at all to the people reading the Post?

I have to blink twice when I see such quark spread by "Rural American" as he likes to call himself. Who does he think has been in charge of the White House the last 8 years and been getting a free ride from a Republican controlled Congress for 6 of them. He can fool himself as much as he likes but it would be common courtesy to check up on such basic facts as who has been running DC.

The economic down turn began as soon as Bush came into office. Need I say Enron? The only way the Bush party has been keeping the balls in the air is by running a massive National Debt.

It's going to take a lot of hard work to get America back to work, and only Obama has the skills and the determination to do it. Pitbullying and war-mongering will not help.

Keep the faith, Chris Brown in Hamburg

Posted by: chris.brown | September 17, 2008 12:05 PM

i'm not an american, but i know that america rules the world. so the outcome of this election has a major impact on more than just america itself. i am seriously worried what might happen if john mccain is elected. i cannot believe that his ad was just that. somebody wrote that for him 30 seconds before they shot it? how do they think that ad will comfort anyone? posing no sollution or even awareness of what's going on. asking people to trust him .. all very strange. people having a fondness for a certain type of candidate and then electing them is the mistake that has been made in the past. i hope you don't do it again. listen to obama, i think the world needs him.

Posted by: the girl | September 17, 2008 12:12 PM

"Neither McCain nor Obama seem to comprehend the full impact of what is going on with the economy, though McCain seem more clueless than Obama. I have read warnings about this financial storm for years. The candidates only mention it now that it makes landfall. A powerful senator like McCain could have worked to regulate the financial sector years ago. He either didn't get it or didn't care. Obama was less powerful but deserves the same criticism. The people who forecast the current situation say now that it will get much, much worse. This is seen as doom and gloom as both the Treasury and the Fed keep saying that the latest bailout will contain the damage. But who is one to believe, the people who are only reacting now or people who predicted our current situation years ago? Bottom line: Vote third party, any third party."

I do agree with your concern about how the problems should have been addressed when they were first brought up, but you're not taking into account the true ideology of the American politics system: not a single person is going to act until the problem unfolds before them.

For example: The United States government had YEARS of warnings about the attacks which took place on the World Trade Center on September 11th. But, like I previously stated, they did NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING, until the towers came crashing down.

I can go on and on, just rambling about the stupid mistakes of previous governments and current politics, but that won't get us anywhere.

I'm going to leave on the note that if you even think of voting for John McCain, you're a complete and utter dumbass who doesn't care, let alone know ANYTHING, about America.

We need to stop worrying about passed issues and actually look towards the future. We need to fix the wrongs, and then take the rights and make them "righter." The only candidate in this entire election who can pull this off is Obama. So if you actually care about where your country is going to end up in the near future, I suggest you step out of the shadows of ignorance and into the light of truth: vote for REAL change; vote for Obama.

Posted by: Matt Silber | September 17, 2008 12:36 PM

McCain is clueless about the economy. His constant muttering that the fundamentals of our economy are sound coupled with his high speed back-pedaling to explain himself once he was called out for sounding uninformed to the point of derangement just highlights how very out of touch and unqualified he is to lead the country. His economic plan is a bust. Read it and you'll see it is all hype with no substance. Obama, on the other hand, has an actual plan with actual steps and articulated details. If Americans can free themselves of fear, greed, religiosity, moralism, and racism, the choice is obvious. Obama. Half of us have already made the right choice. We hope others will follow.

Posted by: Selena | September 17, 2008 12:37 PM

People like "Rural American" here talk about Bush Derangement Syndrome as though it were some sort of legitimate malady rather than the creation of Rush Limbaugh it actually is. And they're amazed when vast swaths of America haven't bought into the same Republican folklore they've bought into, where this vast metro-sexual urban elite have taken away their front porches, flags and Main Street. Well, I'll tell you, buddy, you and your ilk aren't America by a long-shot. This country needs leaders that lead not through big mouths, gut instincts and fear, but by absorbing information, understanding the problems, and making reasoned decisions based on that information. If the Republicans and their uninformed simplicity represent the "rural" answers to this nation's challenges, I've had enough ruralism to last me a lifetime — and I'm from a Wisconsin town of less than a thousand people!

Posted by: Drew Williams | September 17, 2008 12:37 PM

It doesn't matter how much more we drill. Fossil fuels are killing our economy and the future of our planet. So why not start on a plan to get away from the use of fossil fuels altogether?

Posted by: Chris | September 17, 2008 12:37 PM

Mc Cain can run and distract us but he cannot hide from the fact that George W. Bush is the CEO of our government for the last eight years and currently period! the fundamentals were strong yesterday until you realized that sounded stupid right? Carly Fiorina your economic advisor who damn near destroyed a great company had it right you cannot run a company or our government. You Mc Same are surrounded by lobbyists and your economic plan was written by the same clown that deregulated the banking industry Phil Gramm. Go back to whichever of your nine (9) houses and Keating Five days Mr bucket list leave the government to sane hands OBAMA BIDEN. Vote hope not the fear the Republicans manufacture today. The Republicans took a 300 billion dollar surplus and took it to a 500 billion dollar deficit. Enough take them off the teet. YES WE CAN!

Posted by: Frank Sanchez Esq. | September 17, 2008 12:37 PM

Contrasting resumes

Obama -- Graduated from Harvard with magna cum laude honors and has an economic plan.

McCain -- Graduated at the bottom of the Naval Academy even with the help of his father the Admiral and has no plan.

Whom would you hire?

Posted by: Resume | September 17, 2008 12:38 PM

Yes McCain, having an actual plan to save our economy that can be presented clearly and precisely in a speech is very un-presidential. So is introducing tax CUTS for the middle class.
Doesn't Obama know that the answer to all our financial problems lies in selling government bonds to the whole world and drilling for oil in the United States, which will produce about enough gas to run 3 trucks?
It all makes sense now, all YOU see is a great speech maker and that is because you don't understand a word he says. Not about the economy or about foreign policy or about health care or about anything. Assume for a second that we are all idiots (or are you already doing that?) and explain how you plan to save the economy, because honestly I don't understand how the fact that you've taken on tougher guys or whatever is going to help.

Posted by: UK | September 17, 2008 12:43 PM

Actually, I saw Obama deliver a speech to Wall Street some months ago where he stressed the interdependence of Wall Street and Main Street, warned them that the country's pain would inevitably become their pain, and discussed the need for regulatory modernization and what that would entail - both removing old Depression-era regulations and replacing them with modern regulations that take the current business climate and methodologies into account.

He's been thinking about this, and talking about it in detail, for some time. I think that most people just weren't ready to listen until now.

Posted by: ElBruc | September 17, 2008 12:48 PM

Actually, I saw Obama deliver a speech to Wall Street some months ago where he stressed the interdependence of Wall Street and Main Street, warned them that the country's pain would inevitably become their pain, and discussed the need for regulatory modernization and what that would entail - both removing old Depression-era regulations and replacing them with modern regulations that take the current business climate and methodologies into account.

He's been thinking about this, and talking about it in detail, for some time. I think that most people just weren't ready to listen until now.

Posted by: ElBruc | September 17, 2008 12:48 PM

Personally, I'm voting for the guy with a plan.

http://www.barackobama.com/plan

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Posted by: polikansis | September 17, 2008 12:51 PM

I guess it's okay for some of us to speak collectively and NOT others? (RURAL AMERICA) I have a really hard time understanding the reasoning of supporters For McCain. It seems like they have picked there side for reasons they can't even articulate.

Posted by: Jephte | September 17, 2008 12:51 PM

Obama knows what he is talking about, and he goes on and on to prove it to the American people. McCain begins his speech in the same fashion as Obama, but with no conclusion! I'm sure that the McCain campaign spent a good amount of money on that ad, but for what? McCain says nothing about his plan to turn our economy around, whereas Obama is able to do so simply, completely, and in a few minutes time. McCain is just trying to get his name and face farther out into the public while promising "change", which has been the definition of the Obama campaign since the primaries. All these ads prove is that McCain is full of empty promises while Obama is knowledgeable regarding his plan for the economy and is ready to initiate it for the better of our country.

Posted by: Mike from Massachusetts | September 17, 2008 12:55 PM

To GEM:

Are you kidding me? McCain is reading off a piece of paper and occasionally adds inflections (which are probably drawn for him like the cartoon graphics that they used on the old batman - pow! bam!). I've never heard a speaker as monotone and uninspiring as McCain. The fact that he doesn't include any details to his plans is insulting. Go to his website, it's the same there, lots of words with no specifics.

McCain is not only clueless on the economy, but clueless as to the intelligence level of the American people. And by the way, it's not just "$1000 in people's pockets". Take the time to look at both plans as opposed to condensing a part of it into a quick and incomplete talking point and then make a decision.

Posted by: Bel | September 17, 2008 12:57 PM

It's time to put America first (for a change). The Republican candidate has been part of the Republican Party for several decades. Yet, his operatives are specifically avoiding mentioning the Republican Party in their talking points. They do not want to be associated with the Party that has been largely responsible for our current problems (I've never seen this happen before). However, should McCain/Palin prevail, make no mistake that their administration will be filled with the same Republican ideologues that put us in our current predicament. I'm an Independent Voter, and for my money, McCain/Palin just doesn't deliver the goods. There seems to be a derth of intellectual horsepower. Granted, Mr. McCain has served his country with honor and distinction, but that alone, isn't enough. Ms. Palin may be telegenic, but she lacks depth, and the ability to assimilate other points of view. To her the world is black and white; the color gray doesn't exist. Mr. McCain somehow thinks that saying, "I've taken on tougher guys than this before", is a solution. What's he planning to do,
armwrestle Alan Greenspan? At least Mr. Obama is attempting to provide details and direction. The American people, now more than ever, need details and substance. I await the Presidental debates with great anticipation. In the interest of what is best for all Americans, I hope that both candidates focus on what really matters-the issues.

Posted by: jim | September 17, 2008 12:58 PM

Anyone who uses the name B. Hussein Obama I have a feeling is not aware of the issues and has no real point to make. If you want someone to listen to you and take you seriously don't use that childish, school kid method of delivery. You may have something useful to say but it is immediately overshadowed by the fact that you are against Obama strictly because of his name.

Posted by: Monica | September 17, 2008 12:59 PM

McCain is so pathetic he's stolen Obama's campaign theme right down to the "more of the same" line. John McCain, the unoriginal, unmaverick. Can't even think for himself.

Posted by: Mike | September 17, 2008 1:12 PM

@George: McCain held his own fundraisers in Hollywood on August 25th and raised $4.7 million dollars. I'm having trouble linking within this comment, but do a search for "august 25 mccain fundraiser" on Google to read about it on many of the major news sources.

And while Obama may enjoy going "on and on and on," the "talk" part of his "talk and taxes" included a genuine plan for resolving this crisis, whether you agree with it or not. McCain offered no solutions in his ad.

Posted by: PCS | September 17, 2008 1:14 PM

I will bet anything you won't hear McCain even one more time say we need a "commission" to look into the Wall Street mess. What a stupid idea. McCain's strategy: quickly say whatever knee-jerk thing you think the stupid people will glom onto, then run with it if it looks liked you've fooled them, and abandon it if even the un- and under-educated American dummies can figure out it's a bad idea. McCain/Palin: fighting for the rich and the dumb.

Posted by: Liberal Elitist | September 17, 2008 1:16 PM

What’s the difference between Sarah Palin and George Bush? Lipstick, and an extra set of lips.

Posted by: InsultedPig | September 17, 2008 1:17 PM

What is a Republican's definition of elitist?
A half black, half white man who pulled himself up from from a poor family in Kansas and worked so hard that he got the highest merit honors possible at Harvard, then turned down huge paying Wall Street jobs to do grass roots work in poor neighborhoods.

Do you ever wonder if Republicans believe the garbage that spews forth from their own mouths?

Posted by: Frank | September 17, 2008 1:19 PM

John McCain: Not just the oldest; also the dumbest.

Posted by: Soon-to-be-dumped Cindy | September 17, 2008 1:22 PM

McCain's ad:

30 seconds of promises.

Obama's ad:

2 minutes of plans.
*********************
And you people call Obama the empty suit? He is only an empty suit to the people that refuse to listen to his plans.

Posted by: Tim | September 17, 2008 1:23 PM

Anyone saying "Barack Hussein Obama" is a racist scumbag.

Posted by: Go Obama '08 | September 17, 2008 1:24 PM

McCain's next ad:
"America, open your mouth and close your eyes and I will give you a big surprise!"


"Trust me America, Sign this blank check and you can drive off in this car TODAY!"
(vote for me and I will change things, don't ask me how I will change them, but I will, trust me)...Sounds like a pact with the devil, doesn't it?

Posted by: walrus | September 17, 2008 1:27 PM

McCain: "I know how to fix the banking crisis becaue I am one of the people who created it. And you can trust me. Really."

Posted by: McCain'sADumbassLiar | September 17, 2008 1:30 PM

Obama's ad is outstanding. Obama identifies major problems Americans face; offers solutions to the problems; and speaks in explicit terms.

McCain's ad is empty. McCain doesn't identify the problems; doesn't offer a single solution; and uses meaningless, silly "I'm tougher than the other guys" talk.

McCain still doesn't get it; American workers don't need to be told they are the "best in the world."

Americans don't need a condescending pep talk from an old man who is worth more than $100 million and is so rich he doesn't know how many homes he owes.

American workers need jobs! Tens of thousands as American workers were fired this year alone as our companies moved over-seas and the economy continued to crash.

America's middle class needs jobs.

America's middle class needs affordable healthcare.

America's middle class needs a tax break.

America's middle class needs their retirement savings protected for reckless Wall Street CEOs.

America's middle class needs relief at the gas pump and in the grocery store.

Telling the American workers they "are the best in the world" doesn't create jobs; doesn't make healthcare affordable; doesn't lower the cost of gas and food; doesn't protect our hard-earn savings; doesn't give us tax breaks.

McCain, if you haven't anything substantive to say, don't say anything at all.

Posted by: socalgal59 | September 17, 2008 1:30 PM

Republicans ... the drunken frat boys of American politics.

Posted by: : D | September 17, 2008 1:34 PM

How does a fuuckin' idiot live to be 72? I don't know. Ask John McCain.

Posted by: Older&Dumber | September 17, 2008 1:38 PM

Hey Mr. "rural americans". Don't include me in your biased opinion. I'm from a town in Montana with ten people in it, and I support Obama. McCain was cool once, but has demonstrated to me this year he will get in bed with anybody to win an election. Palin... is almost annoying as she is scary. "Rural americans" are not dumb, and we aren't pawns in the conservative chess game. We will make up our *own* minds based on facts. And here is the penultimate (yes, we can be literate, too!) fact that will determine my vote: Republicans had control of the White House and Senate from 2000 to 2006 before they imploded under the weight of their own hypocritical cronyism. Where is their plan for 2008? It's the same plan! Forget it. Obama 08 in a LANDSLIDE.

Posted by: C in MT | September 17, 2008 1:45 PM

After 8 years of George Bush, voting for John McCain is like changing seats on the Titanic...

Posted by: RtheK | September 17, 2008 1:48 PM

To the people that have said McCain doesn't have a plan and Obama is our only hope, I ask you to atleast go to JohnMccain.com and read what McCain's plan actually is. Have you done that? Have you actually read what his policies are and have you seen the difference between McCain's tax breaks and Obama's?

I understand most if not all of you aren't in the 5% that make 2.9 million+ a year (I only make 30k a year) but honestly when did it become criminal to be successful? By increasing taxes on our successful we are basically telling people to stop trying so hard to succeed and look for government hand outs.

You all understand the "change" that Obama is speaking of is a change in the way America is run. He isn't talking about changing for the better he is talking about the end of democracy, he is talking about pushing his Marxist views on everyone else. He will begin an era of Big Government that could ruin us all.

Posted by: Blake from Ohio | September 17, 2008 1:53 PM

Blake, we need to change the way America is run. Obama will be true to the constitution, unlike Bush (who circumvented it at every turn), and now perhaps McCain, who says he wants to remake it in his image by appointing more extreme right wingers to the Supreme Court to complement the ones already there: Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito. We're only one nut way from humongous cutbacks on most freedoms.

Posted by: Mike in Pennsylvania | September 17, 2008 1:56 PM

Honestly guys/gals, are you truly basing any opinion of either of the candidates off these political advertisements???

If you do garner your opinion from what you watch on TV it makes sense why some of you come up with such horrendous reasons on why to vote for either candidate.

Posted by: Blake in Ohio | September 17, 2008 1:59 PM

Unless one read the details each candidate has released on what they propose and what they'll do, one will not understand whether the candidate knows anything in the first place.

I've read McCain's promises and plans. I can't find any substance where I can say, "hey, there's a good point." Euphemistic generalities are just that, nearly nice sounding words and nothing more.

Obama gave details after excruciating detail, but you know what he has been thinking about and that he understands what he's talking about.

What set the economic system up to take the fall was the Republican deregulation, where everything goes is the law of Wall Street and the financial community, except commercial banks that are relatively tightly regulated.

Unfortunately, after Fannie and Freddie spent the a few years in the hands of unregulated private enterprise it was taken to where it finally landed. So the Fed had no choice but to take it over again, and fund its losses, to cover their buts. We'll eventually end up paying all that in taxes in years to come...

Posted by: Nick Polimeni | September 17, 2008 2:02 PM

Mike from PA,

Although I don't fully trust all of McCain's policies, I do know I want less government and more individual accountability. Obama is for a socialist country. He wants the successful to pay for the less successful. He wants to nationalize health care and increase taxes on the rich to pay for the poor and force people into community service.

I guess I just find that I, at 22 have the ability to become successful and can accomplish anything I put my mind too.

I believe my success or failure is solely weighted on how hard I work and what I put into it. Failure is okay as long as I grow and become a better person and move on. Obama to me, seems to want to allow people to accept failure and let them know that they will be taken care of even if they don't want to succeed.
Which stifles ingenuity and creativeness in my opinion

Posted by: Blake in Ohio | September 17, 2008 2:06 PM

Blake, something you may not have considered. Look at the current banking crisis. Congress, including McCain, in the name of the "free market," actually HELPED those at the tops of those firms to avoid being regulated (remember, McCain was one of the Keating 5 in the S&L crisis). A free market cannot be an unregulated market. It need not entail catering to the instincts of the greediest among us, who, because of the invention of the corporation, and especially the public corporation, have been able to parlay the hard work of OTHER PEOPLE into their own personal financial gain, often to the great detriment of those workers. Capitalism is fine, but it MUST be regulated so that the heads of major corporations cannot continue to run the country (while holding nearly all of congress in their back pocket through campaign contributions, etc.). If I may suggest one book that you should read if you haven't, it's Supercapitalism by Robert Reich. Reich believes in the free market, but he understands that, absent regulation, our government is subject to "ownership" by major corporations. None the messes our economy has been in should be any surprise. It's exactly what you would expect when private greed and power are allowed to benefit from a system of government to the point where they effectively control it.

Posted by: Mike in Pennsylvania | September 17, 2008 2:10 PM

Blake, I don't mean this to be a put down to you. You are 22. I am 53. I have succeeded professionally, but I can honestly say it is not because of rampant, unregulated free market capitalism. I think in 21 years you will have a different perspective. By the way, McCain says he wants less government and more accountability. You cannot get more accountablilty with less government. They want less government so there would be NO accountability. That's why these drastic problems are occurring. Did you notice, the first thing McCain said was, "let's appoint a commission to examine this." That's the OPPOSITE of less government. He's talking out of both sides of his mouth. McCain is now saying he's the "reformer" and is going to do the opposite of everything he's stood for for 25 years. Zebras don't change their stripes Blake. If you want to get a step ahead of just about everyone in your age group, I urge you to read Supercapitalism by Robert Reich. (btw, I know something about what I'm talking about. My B.S. in is economics from a respected business school. I have finance traning as a stockbroker, as well as a law degree).

Posted by: Mike in Pennsylvania | September 17, 2008 2:20 PM

I appreciate the advice Mike, and have already read a review of Reich book since you posted your last comment.

I understand everything that your saying, it makes sense, I'm not a super fan of McCain but don't think that taxing the rich and providing government hand outs to the poor is the answer like Obama does.

Mike, maybe you can answer me this. What ever happened to individual accountability where one would take responsibility for ones actions?

Mike are you telling me that government run program's are in any way efficient?

Posted by: Blake in Ohio | September 17, 2008 2:37 PM

McCain: I'll reform Wall Street and fix Washington.

Perhaps to add substance to his talk, McCain can add: and I'll look at Russia from Sarah's house while planning war in Georgia.

The McCain campaign is imploding on over-simplification and mis-information.

Posted by: Bill the C | September 17, 2008 2:57 PM

McCain: I'll reform Wall Street and fix Washington.

Perhaps to add substance to his talk, McCain can add: and I'll look at Russia from Sarah's house while planning war in Georgia.

The McCain campaign is imploding on over-simplification and mis-information.

Posted by: Bill the C | September 17, 2008 3:04 PM

Blake, a government program could be efficient, so long as it is staffed with good people and is sufficiently monitored. Don't get me wrong. I am not in favor of excessive government. Far from it. I hate government waste as much as anyone does. But some societal function can only be carried out by government. If you read Reich's book, you will understand why. Obama's plan would put corporate taxes where they were under Bill Clinton, when the economy was quite good for the most part, and the government had a surplus. Obama is not trying to overtax the wealthy. He knows that doing so would cause problems for the economy. But just because the wealthy and corporations are against higher taxes doesn't mean that Obama's plan is bad for the economy. No one ever wants their taxes to go up. But keep in mind, the people whose taxes will rise CAN AFFORD IT and they NEVER want to pay more taxes, no matter how equitable it is. (Under Obama's plan, only those earning more than 250M will see higher taxes, everyone else's taxes will go down. That's what McCain and Palin are misrepresenting because they know it "plays in Peoria."). There is gross disparity in wealth in this country, and it’s not fair. Obama simply wants to level the playing field a bit for people who work hard but don’t earn big bucks. This is where you might one day learn a lesson. You are thinking, “Why shouldn’t I make a lot of money if I work hard.” That sounds reasonable. But most people work hard. However, it is only the privileged few who get to control most of the wealth (and it’s not just hard work or luck of the draw that determines who those people are. Many are born with huge advantages.) Someone who works hard but isn’t a corporate chairman shouldn’t have to go without health insurance. Do not underestimate greed as a motivating force in human nature (that’s why the bible addresses it as a vice). Anyway, Blake, you asked, “Whatever happened to individual accountability and responsibility for one’s actions?” That consideration does not favor McCain, who has always sided with big business. The people running the banks that are now going under had stacked the deck greatly in their own favor, SHUNNING and fighting AGAINST accountability at every turn. It’s not their own money that they gambled away, yet they now want to be bailed out (in fact, have to be bailed out otherwise ALL the little guys will suffer and the economy will tank). McCain and people like him fought IN FAVOR OF keeping regulation and accountability away from the corporate chieftains. McCain’s newfound contention that has done an about face rings hollow to people who know the past (I know you are too young to remember the S&L crisis and the Keating 5, but THAT shows McCain’s true colors. He is squarely on the side of big business, even when that requires him to make things worse for hard-working working people. You cannot stack the deck against working people (whose work is needed), then say they are not being responsible because they want to be paid fairly, have benefits etc. (still far less than those at the top). It is those who got themselves to the top, then took inordinate risk with the money others entrusted to them, who have been irresponsible. Because the irresponsibility affects everyone, and relates to the need to regulate the economy and stock market, more accountability is needed by regulation, not less. Blake I have gone on long enough. Feel free to email me: mdgottsch@yahoo.com if you would like to have more discussion. It is really critical for someone at your stage of life to get a firm handle on what is fair, and the proper role of government in society.

Posted by: Mike in Pennsylvania | September 17, 2008 3:04 PM

P.S. Blake -- keep in mind that achieving the most "efficient" possible economy should not be the sole goal of a democracy, even a capitalist one.

Posted by: Mike in Pennsylvania | September 17, 2008 3:10 PM

McCain says "I'll reform Wall Street and fix Washington." His nostrum seems to be one of tossing incendiary words at stubborn, deep-rooted problems that have presented agonizing difficulties for folks of modest means during his years embedded inside the Beltway.

Oh yeah: He is also calling for a 9/11-style commission so he can boot the economic can of worms past November 4th.

Posted by: First Mouse | September 17, 2008 5:49 PM

Americans today have the country they have created, and the the country they deserve. None of these politicians have any power on their own - we give it to them. Americans next year will still have the government they deserve.

I'm astonished anyone in these comments buys McCain's speach. He was instrumental in removing the regulations that prevented insurance companies, banks, and investment companies from merging - instrumental in leading to exactly the melt down we are seeing now. And all of a sudden, McCain's going to "fight" these "greedy guys"? Right.

If we blow this, and put McCain in charge, we really, really, deserve the decline of this country. And the ironic thing is, that as McCain and company drive us into the toilet, morons on this board will still be blaming the "liberal elite".

Posted by: John S. | September 17, 2008 5:51 PM

"McCain is not only clueless on the economy, but clueless as to the intelligence level of the American people. And by the way, it's not just "$1000 in people's pockets". Take the time to look at both plans as opposed to condensing a part of it into a quick and incomplete talking point and then make a decision."

I agree with the first portion of this speech, and I also partly agree to the second half, which I C&P'd above.

Personally, the statement about the level of intelligence of the American people is very incorrect. People in general, ESPECIALLY in America today, are incredibly stupid. I'm not trying to say that to be the jerk here, but I'm saying it because it's factual truth. The majority of the people on this planet lack most of the things that anyone can qualify as actual intelligence (and on a side-note, Bush's "No Child Left Behind" act has officially made it several times worse).

The problem is that people will blindly follow anyone if they are told to. With all the lies and propaganda floating around, people are shielded from the actual truths which seem to lie burried deep beneath the horrible practices of modern politics.

Why do you think Bush got elected in the first place (excluding the "Black Box Scandals" which should have been brought up as a major issue after the election occured. The fact alone that they were let to slide is a mere testiment to the stupidity of the average American).

And if you weren't smart enough to derive the true reason from what I stated above, I suggest you go read SOMETHING educational... Maybe you'll get lucky and have a slight IQ boost above that of a chimpanzee...

So, in conclusion, if people were actually smart, Bush wouldn't have been elected in the first place and we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Posted by: Matt Silber | September 17, 2008 6:09 PM

To everyone who thinks "BHO" just came up with the substance of the ad above, read the Newsweek article on this issue. Yes, Obama talks about change and hope. But he also always talked about specifics. What you heard (if you bothered to listen to the ad) is something he's been saying since before he even announced his candidacy for president. Some people just can't hear the substance of his policies over the power of his speeches. And that's a shame, because Obama has FAR more substance than McCain on the issues that matter.

Posted by: Jon | September 17, 2008 6:52 PM

Greetings,my fellow know-it-alls.Wall Street tumbles,AIG crumbles,McCain mumbles,Palin stumbles,Bush fumbles,Paulson bumbles,John Q.Public grumbles,Armageddon rumbles,and the whole charade humbles.
This can only be the doings of one entity: the Democrat-led U.S.Congress over the last two years.You crazy republicans(you don't deserve capitalization of your party's name)would love for us on Main Street to believe this,wouldn't you?
I'm sick of it all.Lending credence to,and voting for,the republican brand(for any reason)in American politics this election cycle is tantamount to giving the inmates the keys to the asylum.
Don't be surprised if it happens,people.Only we who care about the truth can make a difference...it's not too late.In the futile words of Sarah Palin,"we need to do some shakin'up and fixin' up." What a Ditz she is,but she's fundamentally right;it's just that she and Scarface can't deliver.
God bless America.

Posted by: sir leary | September 17, 2008 9:05 PM

Interesting to see John McCain, once again, look us in the eyes and, yes, LIE! He says all Obama has is "talk and taxes" -- but Obama will actually cut more taxes for more Americans than McCain. I know I know, for people like McCain -- the richest Senator in the Senate -- he will get a tax hike. But for more than 90% of Americans under Obama's plan, we will get a tax CUT.

Stop lying, John McCain!

Posted by: tibercio | September 17, 2008 9:18 PM

Mc Cain, once again, is the one who is full of hot air - all talk and no plan! Where is his plan? He says he will reform Wall Street and fix Washington. How? Once again - NO PLAN or at least not one he is willing to talk about. Maybe that is because he really doesn't have a clue - after all, he said our economy is fundamentally sound so how could he have even have given any thought as to how to fix something that "ain't broke", Obama has a plan and he is willing to talk about it. I would rather give someone as bright and tuned in to the state of our country the chance to try to get America back on track - and that someone is Obama. I think he will surround himself with the best and the brightest to figure out a way out of this mess, I am also sure it will not be on the backs of middle America. I think Obama will eliminate the tax breaks for the Super Rich just for starters. Vote for the man with the plan!!!! Go OBAMA/BIDEN

Posted by: Kathy | September 18, 2008 10:00 PM

Here we see McCain up close and personal appealing to a CONSTITUENCY he cares nothing about. Here he is lying to OUR FACES AND CALLING US "my friends.." Disgusting ROVELIKE POLTICS AT THE EVILIST PERFECTION

MccAin is a liar in dos' linguas (two languages english and spanish his spanish attack ads against obam FAIL TO MENTION HE DROPPED OUT OF AN IMMGARTION REFORM BILL HE CO-AUTHORED WITH TED KENNEDY to get the republican nod...FOR POLITICAL EXPEDIENCY...

hERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT mCsHAME TODAY...

What we are witnessing, yet again, is that the PTSD sufferer John McCain, Is a SERIAL LIAR, or, if you will, PATHELOGICAL LIAR, and one with out SHAME nor REMORSE.

FROM FACT OF THE MATTER AT http://need4trth.blogspot.com/2008/09/mccain-appears-to-be-having-no-desire.html

Today factcheck.org released a new action wire which reveals John McCain and RNC or at it again.....Here's fact checks take on it.....

There He Goes Again
September 18, 2008
McCain ad misrepresents Obama's tax plan. Again.
Summary
The McCain-Palin campaign has released a new ad that once again distorts Obama's tax plans.

* The ad claims Obama will raise taxes on electricity. He hasn't proposed any such tax. Obama does support a cap-and-trade policy that would raise the costs of electricity, but so does McCain.(...hhhhmmmmmm, can somebody say HYPOCRITE/LIAR?

* It falsely claims he would tax home heating oil. Actually, Obama proposed a rebate of up to $1,000 per family to defray increased heating oil costs, funded by what he calls a windfall profits tax on oil companies. (MCCAIN/PALIN = MORE LIES)

* The ad claims that Obama will tax "life savings." In fact, he would increase capital gains and dividends taxes only for couples earning more than $250,000 per year, or singles making $200,000. For the rest, taxes on investments would remain unchanged.

Um, need4trh here, I just wanted to inject something. Over the last three week these (MCCAIN/PALIN TAX LIE ADS AGAINST OBAMA have been left UNCHALLENGED by the POWERS THAT BE (CORPORATE MEDIA), left as is and not called what they are when referring to McCain/Palin (LIES)

The McCain campaign argues in its documentation for this ad that, whatever Obama says he would do, he will eventually be forced to break his promise and raise taxes more broadly to pay for his promised spending programs. That's an opinion they are certainly entitled to express, and to argue for. But their ad doesn't do that. Instead, it simply presents the McCain camp's opinion as a fact, and it fails to alert viewers that its claims are based on what the campaign thinks might happen in the future.


Analysis
In what has become an ongoing theme, the McCain-Palin campaign has released yet another ad that makes false claims about Barack Obama's tax plan. The ad, which was released on Sept. 18 and which the campaign says will air nationally, claims that Obama will raise income taxes and will tax "life savings, electricity and home heating oil." As we keep saying, Obama says he'll raise income taxes and capital gains taxes only for couples earning more than $250,000 per year or singles making over $200,000. He has proposed no plans to raise taxes on either home heating oil or electricity.

Electric Charges

McCain-Palin 2008 Ad:
"Dome"

Narrator: When our economy's in crisis, a big government casts a big shadow on us all.

Obama and his liberal Congressional allies want a massive government, billions in spending increases, wasteful pork.

And, we would pay -- painful income taxes, skyrocketing taxes on life savings, electricity and home heating oil.

Can your family afford that?

McCain: I'm John McCain and I approve this message.
The ad opens with standard-issue Republican warnings of the economic dangers of big government before proclaiming that Obama and his liberal allies want to bring back "a massive government" complete with billions in spending increases and waste. We are then told that Obama would raise income taxes and would increase taxes on "life savings, electricity and home heating oil."

This isn't the first time the McCain-Palin campaign has claimed that Obama would raise taxes on electricity. The claim is just as false now as it was when it first came up. The campaign bases its charge on a single comment Obama made in an interview with a San Antonio columnist. Obama did in fact say, "What we ought to tax is dirty energy, like coal and, to a lesser extent, natural gas." But, as we said then, the comment is grossly out of context. Obama's remark comes after he was asked whether we ought to tax renewable energy sources. This was not a general call for increasing taxes on coal or natural gas, and Obama certainly does not have any such proposal as part of his public platform.

One could argue that Obama's proposed cap-and-trade program constitutes an indirect tax on electricity. But McCain proposes cap-and-trade, too, and we haven't heard McCain say that he wants to tax your electric bill. These programs are designed to reduce carbon emissions by requiring companies to pay for pollution credits. Since most electricity in the U.S. is generated via coal and natural-gas plants, both carbon-emitting fossil fuels, a cap-and-trade program will result in higher electricity costs.

Overheated Claims

Contrary to the ad's claim, Obama has not proposed raising taxes on home heating oil. In fact, just the opposite. Obama is proposing rebate checks of up to $500 per individual or $1,000 per family for what he calls an "emergency energy rebate." Obama says the rebate would be large enough that a typical family in a northern state could offset the full increase in home heating costs that have resulted from rising oil prices. Obama plans to fund the rebate through a five-year windfall profits tax on oil companies.

The McCain-Palin campaign counters that a windfall profits tax on oil companies will raise the cost of heating oil. The campaign points to a Washington Post editorial which charges that the cost of the five-year tax:

Washington Post (Aug. 6): would be passed along in forgone investment in new production, lower dividends for pension funds and other shareholders, and higher prices at the pump – thus socking it to the consumers whom the plan is supposed to help.

This is a fairly standard view in economics. Corporations don't really pay taxes. Any taxes levied on a corporation are passed along to one of three places: shareholders, in the form of smaller dividends on their investments; employees, in the form of lower wages; and consumers, in the form of higher prices. The McCain-Palin campaign's argument is that increasing taxes on oil companies amounts to increasing the price of heating oil and that that increase really is just a tax being levied on home heating oil. But the tax could also fall mainly on the stockholders of the oil companies, in the form of reduced after-tax profits, dividends and stock prices. That is actually how both the Congressional Budget Office and the independent, nonpartisan Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center allocate the benefits of tax changes on corporations.

We'll leave it to you to decide whether or not a windfall profits tax on oil companies makes economic sense. But it is misleading to describe Obama's view as a tax on home heating oil when Obama is actually proposing a rebate for home heating costs and a tax increase for oil companies.

Life Savings

The ad's claim that Obama will raise taxes on your "life savings" is only true if you're an individual making more than $200,000 (or a couple earning more than $250,000) and paying capital gains and dividend taxes. (We've said this many times now.) The "ad facts" that the McCain campaign released to reporters state very prominently that "Barack Obama would raise capital gains and dividend taxes" and that 26.7 million Americans received capital gains income while 31.5 million received dividend income. That's all true. But the very article that the campaign cites to support its claim also says quite clearly that Obama will raise capital gains and dividend taxes only on couples making more than $250,000 per year. We'd also note that more than 80 percent of all capital gains income in 2006 went to those earning more than $200,000 a year. See our Ask FactCheck on the subject for more.

McCain's Magic 8 Ball

The ad says sweepingly that "we would pay" the increased taxes, even though what Obama has proposed would produce tax cuts, not tax increases, for about 80 percent of all workers and families and about 95 percent of those with children, according to independent analysis by the Tax Policy Center. To justify its claim that "we" would pay, the McCain campaign is making a new argument. In an "ad facts" document, it cites two opinion columns which argue that Obama's new spending proposals would require him to break his pledge, and to raise taxes on couples making less than $250,000 per year. That's a prediction, which the McCain campaign states as fact in its ad. Viewers are given no indication that the ad is based on opinion about what could happen in the future.

It's certainly true that Obama's proposed spending is lower than his projected revenues, and Obama has made no secret of the fact that his plan will not result in balanced budgets for the next four years. According to the Tax Policy Center, without spending cuts elsewhere, Obama's proposals could lead to between $3.6 trillion and $5.9 trillion in new debt over 10 years. The McCain-Palin campaign is certainly entitled to argue that that level of debt is unsustainable and that Obama would therefore have to raise taxes.

That, however, is a dangerous argument. The same Tax Policy Center analysis shows that McCain's proposals would raise the debt by between $5.1 trillion and $7.4 trillion over 10 years. And while McCain has promised to balance the budget by 2013, the Tax Policy Center notes that doing so would require a 25 percent reduction in federal spending. Few economists outside the McCain-Palin campaign think that is a feasible goal. So, by the ad's logic, Obama could just as easily claim that McCain supports a massive tax increase. But if he did he would have no more justification than McCain does for this ad.

In fact, it's impossible to know for certain what either candidate will actually do if elected. Both sides are free to speculate. But unless they possess really good Magic 8 Balls, they are not free to present those speculations as settled facts.

– by Joe Miller
Sources
"Tapping Tired Wells." Washington Post. 6 August 2008.

Herman, Tom, "Your Tax Bill: How McCain, Obama Differ." The Wall Street Journal. 18 June 2008.

"The Lexington Project: Breaking Our Dependence on Foreign Oil." 2008. JohnMcCain.com. 30 July 2008.

S.139: The Climate Stewardship Act of 2003. 9 January 2003. 30 July 2008.

Guerra, Carlos. "Q&A With Sen. Barack Obama." 19 February 2008. The San Antonio News-Express. 30 July 2008.

Burman, Len, et. al. “An Updated Analysis of the 2008 Presidential Candidates’ Tax Plans: Revised August 15, 2008.” Tax Policy Center, 15 Aug. 2008.

WHEN EXACTLY IS ENOUGH ENOUGH????WHEN EXACTLY DOES THE FCC STEP IN AND NATIONALLY CENSOR THE RNC AND JOHN MCCAIN FOR COMMINT PUBLIC DISTORTIONA AND PROPORTIGN ABSOLUTE LIES?

Win, lose or draw, When you say you are going to behave a certain wasy yet in a hearbeat you behave the opposite, I think it's only fare to say as children sometimes say, "HAHA, I FOOLED YA'!!
The RNC AND MCCAIN/PALIN are BOLDLY and UNABASHEDLY committing FRAUD over the national airwaves and being given some unequivocal PASS...WHICH LEADS YET AGAIN TO THIS. Where is the CORPORATE MEDIA AND THE BALANCE OF FULL AND EQUAL SCRUTINY OF JOHN the liar MCCAIN. Why aren't they all over this on every network new show?

THE UNABASHED FREE RIDE FOR CANDIDATE MCCAIN CONTINUES

Over the course of a career, most nationally prominent politicians, particularly those who choose to seek the White House, can expect ups and downs in their treatment by the press. While some are looked on more favorably than others, most of the key figures in national politics will see times when they are hailed as victors and praised for their strengths, and times when they are derided as losers and pilloried for their weaknesses. But in recent years, there has been one exception to this rule: John McCain. While other politicians are examined with a cynical eye, McCain and his admirers in the media have cooperated to construct a shimmering image of the senator from Arizona, one that has propelled him to the heights of American politics. McCain, as he has been presented to the public, is a straight-talking maverick, a war hero standing astride the parties and untroubled by political calculations.

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As our new book, Free Ride: John McCain and the Media shows, no other modern politician has received as much favorable press as John McCain has in the past decade, a period that has seen him go from a relative unknown to the man that The Almanac of American Politics calls "the closest thing our politics has to a national hero." While some politicians might get nearly as much attention, and a few others (such as Chuck Hagel or Richard Lugar) are privileged with steadily laudatory press, McCain stands alone in the combination of his high profile in the media and the overwhelmingly positive tone of the coverage that the press gives him.

But calling McCain's coverage positive does not begin to convey the complexity of his singular status in the media. In a hundred ways, the rules are simply different for McCain. Indeed, when writing about McCain, journalists offer a unique brand of praise. Here are a few of the things hard-bitten reporters said about McCain during his 2000 run for the presidency:

* "A man of unshakable character, willing to stand up for his convictions." (R.W. Apple, New York Times)
* "An original, imaginative, and at times inspiring candidate." ( Jacob Weisberg, Slate)
* "Mr. McCain is running as the blunt anti-politician who won't lie, who won't spin." (Alison Mitchell, New York Times)
* "While most candidates talk up their chances, McCain engages in anti-spin." (Howard Kurtz, Washington Post)
* "He rises above the pack in admitting it's not all the other party's fault. He's eloquent, as only a prisoner of war can be." (David Nyhan, Boston Globe)
* "McCain conveys a great sense of vigor, a sense that anything can happen on his campaign." ( Roger Simon, U.S. News & World Report)
* "There's something authentic about this man." (Mike Wallace, 60 Minutes)
* "Basically just a cool dude." ( Jake Tapper, Salon)

This sampling -- all from the campaign season, when reporters tend to be more cynical -- only skims the surface. In story after story, the media portrayed -- and continue to portray -- John McCain as a larger-than-life anti-politician, unbeholden to special interests and driven not by ambition but by a sense of duty. Such was the rapport that developed between McCain and the media in 2000 that McCain staffers began to call the media their "base." As Michael Lewis, a frequent magazine contributor and bestselling author, wrote about McCain in 1997, "I became used to opening the morning paper and finding McCain's quotes on the front page and his opinions echoed on the editorial page. It was a testament to the growing distrust between the press and the more ordinary politicians. Here was a Republican Senator -- a red meat, pro-life, strong-army kind of guy -- and yet somehow he had become the preferred source of the putatively liberal media."

Lewis may have been one of the first reporters to turn his wordsmithing talents to the elevation of John McCain the politician (R.W. Apple also wrote some of the first tributes to McCain, in the New York Times), but he was hardly the last. David Broder and David Ignatius of the Washington Post, Howard Fineman of Newsweek, Joe Klein of Time (who described McCain's 2000 campaign as containing "hints of what politics might become . . . if we're lucky"), and Chris Matthews of MSNBC would have to be counted among McCain's most enthusiastic current boosters in the major media. Although these men may be more demonstrative in their admiration for McCain, that admiration is evident in nearly all the coverage McCain has received, particularly since his campaign for the 2000 Republican nomination for president. The result has been a virtually indestructible media creation: the Myth of McCain. We call it a "myth" not to assert that all the themes that run through the coverage of McCain are plainly false. Rather, we use the term according to its dictionary definition, meaning the foundational set of precepts on which a belief system is based. Even as his 2008 campaign experienced some early stumbles and he did things that seemed to call into question the foundations of his image, the Myth of McCain remained intact. The myth consists of the following ideas:

* John McCain is a maverick.
* John McCain is a moderate.
* John McCain is a straight talker.
* John McCain is a reformer.
* John McCain doesn't do things just because they're politically expedient.
* Just about all you need to know about John McCain's character is that he showed courage as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
* John McCain has too much integrity to use his war record to his political advantage.

Some of these ideas have a basis in reality but have been wildly exaggerated; others are simply false. What is incontrovertible is that the press has continually foregrounded them at the expense of a more rounded and accurate portrait of McCain. Even when early problems on the 2008 campaign trail (such as lackluster fund-raising in the first quarter of 2007) resulted in some uncharacteristically critical coverage for McCain, the elements of the myth remained intact. What that period of more critical press showed was that even McCain's negative coverage is more positive than that which other candidates receive. Unlike other candidates, McCain finds that momentary controversies (as when he responded to a question about Iran by singing "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran" to the tune of "Barbara Ann") are presented in isolation, unconnected to any alleged character flaws.

The contrast with other candidates is striking. When Mitt Romney makes a seemingly exaggerated claim about his history as a hunter, reporters connect the statement to doubts about whether Romney is genuine and sincere. When John Edwards gets an expensive haircut, reporters question whether he is a true populist and sufficiently substantive. The allegedly revealing incidents are contextualized by other similar incidents from the candidate's past and then brought up again and again in the future. In other words, the negative press of the moment is linked to what we are told are the candidates' significant flaws, the deficiencies in their character that "raise questions" about whether they are fit to be president.

Not so for John McCain. The very idea that McCain might have deficiencies of character that relate to his fitness to be president is never contemplated. The consequence is that a spate of bad coverage, whether over a temporarily struggling campaign or an intemperate remark, does nothing to undermine his prospects for a future comeback. Others find their worst moments replayed over and over, used to indict their character and highlight their flaws. But the John McCain portrayed in the media has no character flaws. He may say something dumb or be down in the polls, but his fundamental virtue is never questioned. If he is down, he is therefore always poised for a revival. If he panders, he will resume his admirable candor any day -- as an April 2007 column by David Broder of the Washington Post was titled, he'll be "Straight Talking Again." In an editorial two days later, Broder's newspaper wrote, "Whatever your position on the war, then or now, Mr. McCain deserves credit for foresight and consistency about how the war should have been waged . . . the 2008 race is better for having Mr. McCain in it." Even a flagging campaign can be presented as evidence of McCain's fundamental goodness; noting that McCain seemed "dispirited" in early 2007, Newsweek offered, "It may be because he is not, at heart, a politician. He is a warrior." When a reporter says someone is "not a politician," it is the highest compliment (and exceedingly odd if the man in question has been a politician for a quarter of a century).

Over his career, McCain has compiled a record that is far more complex than his media image. The fact of the matter is that John McCain is neither a moderate nor a maverick. McCain's voting record, his ideas, his values, and his rhetoric mark him as a stout conservative -- a description that he himself adheres to. And despite occasional acts of seeming apostasy, McCain has actually been a dependably loyal member of the Republican Party. A close examination of the occasions on which he does break with the GOP -- as on campaign finance reform, for instance -- reveals them to be not just carefully calculated, but both less substantively meaningful and less risky than the way they are portrayed in the media.

By reading heroic qualities in every facet of the Arizona senator, the media have failed to give the public an accurate portrait of McCain the politician. For here is a man who, in the end, is not much different from his colleagues in Congress in ambition, calculation, and attraction to power. John McCain has been in politics for twenty-five years now. He is currently in his fourth Senate term. He has been a major contender for the presidency and is one of the most visible legislators in recent history. An antipolitician he is not.

Yet McCain is distinct from his colleagues in some critical ways. More so than any other contemporary political figure, he has cracked the media code. His careful courting of the press has resulted in the very picture of him that most serves his ends, where every statement uttered, every position taken, even every external event seems to be characterized only in the way most complimentary to John McCain. He has obtained what every politician yearns for: a press corps that acts almost as a partner in his political ambitions.

The fawning coverage has barely abated even as McCain has made a very public hard tack to the right in preparing for his second run at the presidency. In an effort to win support among the Republican Party's conservative base, without which it will be nearly impossible for him to win the party's nomination for president, McCain has sought to be more vocal and demonstrative about his genuine conservatism -- a conservatism that, running in 2000 against the establishment candidate, George W. Bush, he was happy to see obscured as he made an effort to attract moderates. Despite such a shift, the media have continued to champion McCain as a moderate among ideologues and the straightest of straight talkers.

And though in late 2006 and early 2007 McCain did receive some unfavorable coverage as his campaign seemed to have trouble getting off the ground, the old affection was evident in a press corps seemingly eager for McCain to reignite the spirit of his 2000 run. "John McCain is back on the bus," proclaimed ABC's Nightline in March 2007. "And everywhere he goes, McCain takes on all comers, all questions. A rolling no-holds-barred political free-for-all, unlike most other American campaigns these days." When McCain said he had no choice but to do what's right, correspondent Terry Moran commented, "No other choice. That's pure John McCain. Blunt, unyielding, deploying his principles... What he does do is what he's always done, play it as straight as possible...The maverick candidate still. John McCain."

If tributes like that one were rarer on the 2008 campaign trail than they had been in the past, their continued presence highlighted the unique relationship between McCain and the media, a phenomenon that simply finds no comparison in modern politics. It is important to understand the phenomenon simply because of who McCain is. As the Republican nominee for president in 2008, John McCain stands as one of the most important figures on the American political landscape. Is the McCain that the media are giving us the McCain we're actually getting? Are the media covering McCain comprehensively, accurately, and thoughtfully -- qualities that we seek in all reportage on our leaders?

But the question of how the media cover McCain has larger implications that go beyond 2008. For the last three or four decades, the media have stood as the single most important institution in American electoral politics. It is the media, more than the parties (or, arguably, even the candidates themselves), that define the pictures that voters carry in their heads as they walk into the voting booth. The media's canonization of John McCain is an object lesson in their failure to serve the American public. Please visit McCainsfreeride.com and also te realmccain2 at bravenewfilms.com.


WHEN IS ENOUGH ENOUGH? Arriana Huffington of the huffingtonpost,com had these commements to say about McCain/palin and the Republican party...

Arianna Huffington: How Obama Can Demonstrate Real Leadership on the Economic Crisis

Wall Street is melting down, and McCain and the GOP have no credible response. Indeed, McCain is so clearly clueless on this issue, the current battle over who is best suited to deal with the financial crisis should be a rout. And, so far, Obama has shown not just an incomparably greater grasp of the situation and substantive policies to deal with it, but a real fire in the belly in going after McCain's vulnerable flank. But for Obama to show the kind of transformational leadership the crisis demands, he needs to do what so many of his critics have chided him for not doing: take a stand that puts him at odds with the establishment of his own party. He did it in 2002 with the war in Iraq. He can do it in 2008 with the economy.

You see, MY FREINDS, as John MccAin SEE'S and understands he has no IDEA ABOUT THE ECONOMY, NOR ANY iDEA ON HOW TO FIX THINGS. He is relying solely on His continued free pass on scrutiny from the CORPORATE MEDIA, SMEAR FEAR AND LIES (HIS NEGATIVE AD CAMPAIGN), and on the STUPID BLINDNESS OF THE cONSERVATIVER RIGHT AND THE 'RELIABLES' WHO'LL VOTE FOR jOHN mCCaIN JUST BECAUSE OF THE FACT HE'LL APPOINT RIGHT WING JUDGES, AND BECAUSE, well they just can't vote for a black guy. It's as simple as that.

SORRY CAMP DECIETFUL AND CRONIES THE INTELLIGENT RACIALLY SOUND CONSTITUENCY JUST ISN;T BUYING THIS OLD IDEOLOGY...

Anybody have any Ideal who is a Republican 'RELIABLE"? Hillary Clinton Laid claim to this constituency when she said and i qoute, "Working class, uh hardworking class, uh rural white working class voters are supporting me. Uneducated rural living white voters....These my friends are the reliable republican constituency. PSSSST....Wake up guys, you're being DECIEVED!!!!

Posted by: need4trth | September 18, 2008 10:21 PM

Posted by: need4trth | September 18, 2008 10:34 PM

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