John McCain launched a new TV ad today that directly divorces himself from the Bush administration and fellow Republicans in Washington.
The spot says that the presumptive GOP presidential nominee knows that Washington is broken, and it plays up McCain's record of taking on special interests in some cases.
"We're worse off than we were four years ago," the announcer says. "Only McCain has taken on big tobacco, drug companies, fought corruption in both parties. He'll reform Wall Street, battle Big Oil, make America prosper again.
"He's the original maverick," the announcer concludes. "One is ready to lead -- McCain."
The ad, which is to air in key states, is aimed at independents fed up with Congress and is an acknowledgment that President Bush has record-low approval ratings.
Democrat Barack Obama, however, is promising to bring change to Washington and is trying to tie McCain to the "same old" politics and policies and to Bush. Obama is aided in that he has only been in the US Senate since 2005, while McCain has been in Congress for 26 years.
Obama's campaign quickly hit McCain's ad as not completely truthful.
“Senator McCain wants Americans to forget that during the Republican primary, he said that Americans were better off than we were eight years ago, and that he thinks we’ve made ‘great progress economically.’ He wants us to forget that he’s fully embraced the Bush policies he once opposed, and bragged about supporting those policies ‘more than 90 percent of time.’ The truth is, being a maverick isn’t practicing the same kind of politics we have seen from Washington for decades, it isn’t having a campaign run by Washington lobbyists, and it’s certainly not promoting the same policies that have led America down the wrong path these past eight years,” Obama spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement.
Obama's campaign also issued a point-by-point rebuttal of the ad, highlighting the Washington lobbyists in McCain's campaign and a tally that showed McCain voting with Republicans and Bush more than 90 percent of the time last year.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.