How unpopular does Barack Obama's campaign believe President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are?
Just after Cheney made one of his first appearances on the trail today in Wyoming in support of Republican candidates, Obama's camp sent out a video of him offering "his unequivocal support for John McCain and Sarah Palin."
"And in three days we'll choose a new steward for the presidency and begin a new chapter in our history. It’s the biggest decision that we make together as Americans. A lot turns on the outcome. I believe the right leader for this moment in history is Senator John McCain. John is a man who understands the danger facing America. He’s a man who has looked into the face of evil and not flinched. He’s a man who’s comfortable with responsibility and has been since he joined the armed forces at the age of 17. He’s earned our support and confidence, and the time is now to make him commander-in-chief. I’m delighted to support John McCain and I’m pleased that he's chosen a running mate with executive talent, toughness and common sense, our next vice president in Sarah Palin," Cheney said.
With Bush's popularity at record lows, and Cheney even less popular, McCain has not asked them to appear with him at any rallies this campaign.
At a rally this afternoon in Pueblo, Colo., Obama weighed in on the Cheney endorsement, mentioning what quickly became a joke about Cheney not being in public very often.
"President Bush is sitting out the last few days before the election. But earlier today, Dick Cheney (boos) came out of his undisclosed location (laughter) and hit the campaign trail. He said that he is, and I quote, 'delighted to support John McCain,' " Obama said.
"I’d like to congratulate Senator McCain on this endorsement (more laughter) because he really earned it. That endorsement didn’t come easy. Senator McCain had to vote 90 percent of the time with George Bush and agree with Dick Cheney to get it. He served as Washington’s biggest cheerleader for going to war in Iraq, and supports economic policies that are no different from the last eight years. So Senator McCain worked hard to get Dick Cheney’s support.
"But here’s my question for you, Colorado: do you think Dick Cheney is delighted to support John McCain because he thinks John McCain is going to bring change? Do you think John McCain and Dick Cheney have been talking about how to shake things up in Washington, get rid of the lobbyists, put Halliburton on the sidelines, and the old boys club in Washington?
"Come on. Colorado, we know better. After all, it was just a few days ago that Senator McCain said that he and President Bush share a 'common philosophy.' And we know that when it comes to foreign policy, John McCain and Dick Cheney share a common philosophy that thinks that empty bluster from Washington will fix all of our problems, and a war without end in Iraq is the way to defeat Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda terrorists who are in Afghanistan and Pakistan and who killed 3,000 Americans.
"So George Bush may be in an undisclosed location, but Dick Cheney’s out there on the campaign trail because he’d be delighted to pass the baton to John McCain. He knows that with John McCain you get a twofer: George Bush’s economic policies and Dick Cheney’s foreign policy – but that’s a risk that the American people cannot afford to take."
UPDATE: Tucker Bounds, a McCain spokesman, responded by referencing the reports that Obama and Cheney are distant cousins -- something Obama has joked about.
“Barack Obama and Dick Cheney aren't just cousins, they’ve shared support for the Bush energy policy and the out-of-control spending that John McCain has fought to oppose,” Bounds said in a statement.
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.