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Campaign Notebook

Democrats say Corsi book full of lies

(Alex Brandon/Associated Press)
August 16, 2008
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Barack Obama's campaign slammed Republican rival John McCain yesterday for not disavowing a new anti-Obama book.

Obama and Democrats have launched a counteroffensive against Jerome Corsi's "Obama Nation," saying the book, which will be atop the new New York Times hardcover nonfiction best-seller list tomorrow, is full of lies and innuendo.

An Associated Press reporter tried yesterday to ask McCain about the book after a brief photo opportunity in Aspen, Colo. McCain smiled and said, "Gotta keep your sense of humor," the AP said.

Obama campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor said, "The old John McCain used to boast about honorable politics, while the new John McCain finds Roveian smears funny. Honor is not a laughing matter."

A McCain campaign spokeswoman said later that McCain did not hear the question, and the campaign had no comment.

FOON RHEE

Both major camps unveil television ads
With both major presidential candidates off the campaign trail yesterday, their camps put up new ads aimed at exploiting possible vulnerabilities in the other contender.

John McCain unveiled a TV ad to air in battleground states that hits Barack Obama on taxes. "Celebrity? Yes. Ready to lead? No," the announcer says. "Obama's new taxes could break your family budget." The ad features newspaper headlines criticizing Obama's tax proposals and images of families. "Higher taxes. Higher gas prices. Economic disaster," the announcer says.

Obama campaign spokesman Hari Sevugan responded, "This ad is just more of the same old false and discredited attacks that Senator McCain knows aren't true." The Obama campaign also released a "fact-check" video that features its deputy director of economic policy doing a point-by-point rebuttal of McCain's ad.

Obama, who was wrapping up a family vacation in Hawaii yesterday, is calling for tax cuts for the middle class and letting the Bush administration tax cuts lapse for those making more than $250,000 a year. McCain wants to make the Bush tax cuts permanent and also wants to cut corporate taxes.

Several independent studies have concluded that Obama's plan would be more beneficial to middle-class families.

Obama's campaign is airing TV ads attacking McCain tailored for each key state. In Ohio, for instance, it is airing an ad questioning the role of McCain and his campaign manager in a merger that could cost a small town more than 8,000 jobs because DHL will close a shipping hub.

The McCain campaign responded by citing a Factcheck.org report that says the ad, and a similar one from the AFL-CIO, "go too far" and make "misleading statements" and unsubstantiated inferences.

McCain also unveiled a rebuttal TV ad in Ohio. "Maybe the applause has gone to his head," the announcer says, as footage appears of Obama speaking to an adoring crowd.

"Saying John McCain cost Ohio jobs, though it's just not true," the announcer says. "It's Obama's taxes that will hurt Ohio families. . . . That's the real Obama. Ready to tax. Not ready to lead."

FOON RHEE

Most free-pass winners from battleground states
Barack Obama's campaign announced yesterday the 10 winners of its contest for a backstage pass to the Democratic National Convention and - shocking! - most of them come from battleground states and hit the key demographics.

The winners include a nominally Republican college student from Ohio, a retired YMCA director from Pennsylvania who is also a Sunday school teacher, a retired schoolteacher who lives in a GOP-friendly retirement community in Florida, a disabled veteran from Virginia, an Iraq war veteran from Colorado, and even a veteran from North Carolina who served in Vietnam with Republican John McCain, but now backs Obama because of McCain's support for the Iraq war.

The 10 supporters, plus one guest each, will get free airfare and hotel and will attend two days of the convention, including a private session with Obama before he accepts the nomination at Invesco Field in Denver on Aug. 28.

FOON RHEE

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