LRC News

Thursday, October 2, 2008
Spanish-language Ad War Continues with New McCain Spot "Fraudulent"

In a campaign notable for a high number of Spanish-language TV ads, the latest salvo is from the McCain campaign, which released this ad, "Fraudulent," accusing Obama and Biden of being two-faced on the issue of immigration.

McCain Spanish-language ad "Fraudulent:"

Thursday, October 2, 2008
Ad Hits McCain on Equal Pay as Fight for "Wal-Mart Moms" Heats Up

The independent group, sponsored by the United Food and Commercials Workers International Union, has released an ad attacking John McCain for supporting legislation guaranteeing equal pay for women. The ad will air in Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C.

The ad is being released on the day of the vice presidential debate, as the battle over "Wal-Mart Moms" intensifies.

Independent ad "Breadwinners:"

Thursday, October 2, 2008
Obama Ad "Color by Numbers" Links to Attack Website

The elegant new Obama ad "Color by Numbers" uses simple music and a crayon drawing that isn't fully revealed until the end to express the "more of the same" argument in a fresh new way. The ad links to the equally well-designed new website

Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Mccain Ad "Week" Calls for End to Partisan Bickering

After a week in which they blamed Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and other Democrats for the failure of the bailout bill, and in which they attacked the bill itself, the McCain campaign shifts to a bipartisan message and softer tone in their latest ad, released hours before a new vote and the expected passage of the bill. On September 29, after Congress voted against the bill, the McCain campaign released a statement, "Barack Obama failed to lead, phoned it in, attacked John McCain, and refused to even say if he supported the final bill. This bill failed because Barack Obama and the Democrats put politics ahead of country." A few hours later, McCain said "Now is not the time to fix the blame. It's time to fix the problem."

McCain ad "Week:"

Wednesday, October 1, 2008
McCain Attack Ad Uses Palin To Deliver Tax-Increase Charge

In anticipation of the vice-presidential debate, the new McCain ad features Sarah Palin, speaking from a podium, launching one of the campaign's favorite attacks: that Obama will raise taxes.

McCain ad "Better Off:"

A George H. Bush ad from 1992 accusing Clinton of raising taxes:

Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Judicial Confirmation Network Attacks Obama on Ties to Rezko, Wright, and Ayers

In the guise of an ad about judicial appointments, this commercial from the Conservative 527 group Judicial Confirmation Network questions Obama's possible choices by reminding voters of his "choice" to associate with Tony Rezko, William Ayers, and Rev. Jeremiah Wright. The spot will air on TV in Ohio and Michigan.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Spanish-language Obama Florida Ad Features Teen Cancer Victim Carlos Sequeria

The intense Spanish-language ad war continues with this powerful Obama ad airing in Florida, with direct testimony from a teen boy with cancer who says that McCain's health care plans would exclude him from coverage because of his pre-existing condition.

UPDATE: The latest ad from the National Rifle Association's campaign against Obama ( will be released on TV in Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas, in both English and Spanish. Here is the Spanish-language version:

Wednesday, October 1, 2008
New Pro-Obama 527 Ads Attack McCain on VP Pick and Keating Scandal

Two new ads from independent groups supporting Obama were released on September 30. The California Nurses Association ad "One Heartbeat Away" combines an attack on Sarah Palin over various issues with the use of a song reminding voters that she would be one heartbeat away from the presidency. The ad will air in six swing states: Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Colorado, and Missouri. The ad "Keating," from the Public Campaign Action Fund reminds voters of McCain's involvement in the Keating Five Savings & Loan Banking Scandal.

California Nurses Association Ad "One Heartbeat Away:"

Public Campaign Action Fund ad: "Keating:"

Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Obama Ad Reverses Standard GOP Attack By Portraying McCain as Big Spender

Obama's latest ad, "Spending Spree," portrays McCain as a big spender whose plans will greatly increase the national debt. This line of attack is traditionally employed by Republicans against Democrats.

Obama ad: "Spending Spree:"

George Bush's 2000 ad "$2.2 Trillion" claimed that Al Gore's plans would squander the national surplus:

Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Film Critic Roger Ebert Gives Thumbs Down to McCain's Debate Performance

Film critic Roger Ebert reviewed the first presidential debate, panning McCain's performance and the ad his campaign made from the debate. The review is titled "Guess Who's Not Coming to Dinner."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Planned Parenthood Ad Attacks Palin and McCain on Wasilla Rape Kit Policy

Planned Parenthood has released an emotional TV ad attacking Sarah Palin for Wasilla's policy of charging rape victims for their test kits. According to Mark Murray, NBC's deputy political director, the ad will be aired in three markets: St. Louis (MO), Madison (WI), and DC/Northern Virginia (VA).

Planned Parenthood ad "Heart:"

Wednesday, October 1, 2008
McCain Ad "Strong" Calls Obama a Hypocrite

"Strong" is the title of the ad; it may also reflect its intended tone and impact, as the McCain campaign ratchets up its rhetoric in response to flagging poll numbers. This ad uses footage of Obama expressing confidence in the economy in order to argue that his attack on McCain for saying the fundamentals of our economy are strong was hypocritical.

McCain ad "Strong:"

Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Duelling Coal Ads Focus on Jobs and Energy

A fight over whether or not the Obama ticket supports clean coal is at the heart of these duelling ads, which are clearly targeted at Pennsylvania voters. The Obama campaign released a TV ad, "Figured," claiming that he has fought for support of clean coal. The McCain radio ad, "Clean Coal," uses a comment made by Joe Biden to a voter at a rally seeming to say that the Democratic ticket opposes the creation of new coal mining plants.

Obama TV ad "Figured:"

McCain radio ad "Clean Coal:"

Tuesday, September 30, 2008
New Vets for Freedom Ad Will Attack Obama on War Funding

According to a report in Talking Points Memo, the independent group Vets for Freedom will release a new ad attacking Obama on a range of foreign policy issues. This version is described by the group as a preview of an ad that will be released on October 1. A slightly different version may be released.

Greg Sargent writes about the ad in Talking Points Memo.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008
McCain Ad Attacking Obama and Democrats Features Bill Clinton

Continuing their efforts to lay blame for the bailout crisis on Obama and the Democrats, the McCain campaign released an ad accusing the Democrats of inaction, backed up by a video clip of former President Bill Clinton, and also claiming that McCain fought for greater regulation in the past.

UPDATE (10/2): Michael Schaffer in The New Repbulic calls the ad ineffective.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008
RNC Ad Attacks Bailout As "Obama's Plan"

A day after the defeat of the $700 billion bailout plan, the Republican National Committeee released an ad trying to link the plan to Obama, and characterize it as proof of his support of higher taxes and spending. The ad doesn't mention John McCain (or his announced support of the plan). It also appears to politicize the issue despite McCain's claim that he was suspending his campaign to lead a bipartisan effort to work out an agreement on the bailout.

Because McCain has accepted public funding, his campaign is limited to spending $84 million. He can, however, share costs of attacks ads like this one with the RNC.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Two-Minute Obama Ad Offers Direct Address on the Economy

Tough times call for straight talk; that is the underlying message of Obama's new ad, a two-minute spot in which he addresses the economy by recapping some of the main talking points from the first presidential debate. The ad also serves two other functions; to address anticipated attacks characterizing Obama as being in favor of tax increases, and to appear presidential. (In a Washington Post article, McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt said that the campaign will press two arguments as forcefully as possible in the coming days. One is that Obama is not ready to be commander in chief and that, in a time of two wars, 'his policies will make the world more dangerous and America less secure.' Second, he said, McCain will argue that, in a time of economic crisis, Obama will raise taxes and spending and 'will make our economy worse.'")

A similar style ad from Jimmy Carter's 1976 campaign:

Monday, September 29, 2008
Obama Ad "Parachute" Attacks McCain on Ties to Golden-Parachute CEOs

Obama's new ad, "Parachute," continues a theme that has boosted the candidate in the polls in the past two weeks, that Obama is more in touch with working-class voters on his handling of the financial crisis. The ad links McCain to golden parachutes for CEOs, including his economic adviser Carly Fiorina, and ends with the Democratic candidate showing a flash of populist anger.

Monday, September 29, 2008
DNC Ad Hits McCain on Ties to Gambling Lobbyists

The Democratic National Committee released a Web ad, "Betting on McCain," a day after a front-page article in The New York Times detailed McCain's ties to the gambling industry. The audio is made up just of McCain's own words, and ominous music, suggesting that there is a dangerous side to McCain's propensity to taking risks. Many commentators have described his selection of Sarah Palin and his brief "suspension" of his campaign as gambles.

DNC Web ad "Betting on McCain:"

Sunday, September 28, 2008
Obama Web Ad Imagines What a McCain Victory Would Look Like

The specter of yet another election night defeat for Democrats is evoked in this clever Web Ad that looks into the future and shows what an election night victory for McCain might look like, and reminds potential voters "It doesn't have to be that way." Posted on September 27, the ad received 150,000 views in its first day.