The New McCain Ad Against Obama Is Staggeringly Dishonest On So Many Levels

Ken AshfordElection 2008, Energy and Conservation, Environment & Global Warming & EnergyLeave a Comment

McCain’s new TV ad, "Pump", blames Obama for rising gas prices.

On its face, it is silly.  Obama has been a one-term senator.  How can one man be responsible for rising gas prices?

Here are some very worthwhile critisicms of the ad:

  • Daily KosBarbinMD:   "John McCain has often said that he would run a respectful campaign, but he never said anything about running an honest one. […] Did he forget that his own campaign said: ‘…allowing new offshore drilling would have no immediate impact on supplies or gas prices.’ Did he forget all that or is he just lying?
  • Drum: "Is the McCain campaign losing it? In an ad today about spiraling gasoline prices, the narrator asks portentously: ‘Who can you thank for rising prices at the pump?’ This is accompanied by [Obama’s picture] and background noise of a crowd chanting ‘Obama! Obama!’ Are they serious? They’re going to try to convince the American public that Barack Obama is responsible for $4 gasoline? Or is this one of those pseudo-ads that never really gets aired anywhere and is released just to see if it can get some press attention from suckers like me? Regardless, this is really lame."
  • Benen: "For McCain, it appears the equation is simple. If abandoning honor and honesty will give him the presidency, then so be it. The truth, McCain has concluded, is for losers. To anyone who cares about reality, the ad doesn’t make a lick of sense. McCain has to hope, desperately, that we’re all idiots. For example, the ad says gas prices are high ‘because some in Washington are still saying no to drilling in America.’ How’s that, exactly? No one is saying no to ‘drilling in America.’ There’s all kinds of drilling in America. There’s drilling in U.S. waters, and on U.S. land. I don’t know of a single U.S. policy maker who wants ‘drilling in America’ to stop. Worse, the ad wants Americans to believe that prices would be lower if there was more ‘drilling in America.’ McCain knows that’s not true, but hopes to fool just enough people, playing them for suckers. It’s shameful."
  • Yglesias: "John McCain’s new ad says that Barack Obama’s refusal to open America’s coastline to drilling is to blame for high gas prices. […] They say nobody ever went wrong underestimating the intelligence of the voting public, but it is staggering that you can’t find any credible people anywhere prepared to argue that McCain’s drilling schemes will bring any short-term relief from high gas prices or that the long-run price reductions would be anything other than tiny. Meanwhile, it’s McCain who has no plan to help bolster alternative fuels and no plan to bolster alternatives to driving."

Lack of honesty aside, the ad simply doesn’t work

Open Left‘s Matt Stoller: "I don’t think McCain’s attack will work on Obama, since it is saying something that Americans fundamentally don’t believe. The ad suggests that prices are rising because of insufficient drilling, and that more drilling will lower prices. That isn’t true, and polling suggests people know it isn’t true. An ad that says something along the lines of ‘this isn’t a total solution, but it’s a start’ would be much more credible as an attack on Obama. […] If you drilled everything there is in the US tomorrow and oil started coming out of the ground tomorrow, gas prices would drop by about three cents."