John McCain emphasized his independent streak and reformer credentials in a new TV commercial Tuesday as he sought to counter Democratic charges that he’s the same as President Bush.
“Washington’s broken. John McCain knows it. We’re worse off than we were four years ago,” says the ad. “He’s the original maverick.”
Although the commercial, set to run in battleground states, does not mention Democratic rival Barack Obama, it suggests the first-term Illinois senator is unprepared to be president by saying McCain is the one “ready to lead.
It also tries to seize Obama’s message of change and cast McCain, a four-term Arizona senator, as a change agent at a time the public is craving a direction different from the status quo.
“Only McCain has taken on big tobacco, drug companies, fought corruption in both parties,” the ad says. “He’ll reform Wall Street, battle big oil, make America prosper again.”
The McCain attack ads, however, may have put Obama on the offensive. As mentioned, he released an ad jabbing at McCain’s oil policy yesterday, and now his campaign’s circulating another taking on McCain’s stagnant energy plans. Says the narrator:
John McCain. He’s been in Washington for 26 years. And as gas prices soared and dependence on oil exploded, McCain was voting against alternative energy, against higher mileage standards. Barack Obama. He’ll make energy independence an urgent national priority, raise mileage standards, fast-track technology for alternative fuels. A thousand dollar tax cut to help families as we break the grip of foreign oil. A real plan, and new energy.
Democratic insiders tell journalist Sam Stein that Obama’s camp wants to appear a bit more tough after rolling over to McCain’s celebrity attacks last week.
Here’s Obama’s vide, “National Priority.”