John McCain's campaign cease-fire apparently doesn't extend to some surrogates and the Republican National Committee.
Democrat Barack Obama's campaign eagerly pointed out that two of McCain's surrogates said not-so-nice things about Obama on morning news shows today.
Adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer, responding to the Obama camp taking credit for the bailout deal adopting some of his suggestions, said on Fox News Channel, "This is maybe perhaps part of the pattern that we've seen before where Senator Obama would claim that the housing bill came out of his committee -- and he didn't even sit on the committee. or that the stimulus package was his package and even his Democratic leader said that it wasn't."
The Democratic National Committee sent out a plethora of reports of what appeared to be campaigning by McCain's supporters and activities of his campaign.
Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement: "John McCain hasn't suspended his campaign, he only wants us to suspend disbelief."
Tonight, the Obama campaign unleashed an entire memo seeking to debunk that McCain had actually suspended his campaign.
"In fact, he’s been in full campaign mode the entire time," Burton wrote.
"Instead of heading to Washington right away, Senator McCain stuck around in New York to do TV interviews, spend the night, and give a scheduled speech. Though the McCain campaign announced yesterday that they were also 'suspending' their attack ads, they continued to run Thursday.
"When McCain finally arrived in Washington, almost twenty-four hours after his announcement – and after Congressional leadership announced a deal in principle – he huddled with his lobbyist campaign advisors while his running mate held a political rally and his political spokesmen and surrogates were out in full force, continuing to attack Barack Obama.
"So make no mistake: John McCain did not 'suspend' his campaign. He just turned a national crisis into an occasion to promote his campaign. It’s become just another political stunt, aimed more at shoring up the Senator’s aimed more at shoring up the Senator’s political fortunes than the nation’s economy. And it does nothing to help advance this critical legislation to protect the American people during this time of economic crisis."
The RNC went after Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden after he said in Greensburg, Pa., today that McCain is "proposing the largest tax increase on middle-class taxpayers in American history."
Biden asserted that McCain's proposal to eliminate the provision that allows workers to exclude from their taxable income the value of health insurance paid by employers would mean $1 trillion in additional taxes.
Biden, however, did not mention that that proposal is designed to offset a new tax credit of $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for families to make health insurance more affordable.
Blair Latoff, a RNC spokeswoman, issued this missive: “In times of crisis, Americans have always been able to bridge our divides and solve our problems but apparently Barack Obama’s running mate sees it as an opportunity for unfiltered partisanship and political opportunism. John McCain suspended his campaign and is working with the nation’s leaders to address this serious economic crisis and believes that it is more important to put his country before his political campaign.”
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 email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.