Campaigns Go Into Attack Mode For Election’s Final Days

With less than a month until election day, both presidential campaigns are gearing up for a tough, ugly fight and plenty of mudslinging.

Hoping to take the heat of their candidate’s shortcoming on the economy, John McCain’s campaign announced this weekend that they’re going to take a decidedly dirty road and focus their energies on undercutting rival Barack Obama‘s moral standing.

Said one anonymous staffer: “We’re going to get a little tougher. We’ve got to question this guy’s associations. Very soon. There’s no question that we have to change the subject here.” And McCain running mate Sarah Palin certainly took the lead in that game this weekend.

Speaking to a crowd in Colorado, Palin attempted to link Obama to William Ayers, a former member of radical group Weather Underground. Said the Alaska Governor:

Our opponent … is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country. This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America. We see America as a force of good in this world. We see an America of exceptionalism.

The Obama campaign balked at the comparison and said McCain and his camp are simply looking for a distraction. The Associated Press took a harder line against Palin and described her remarks as “unsubstantiated and carried a racially tinged subtext that John McCain himself may come to regret.”

Regret or no, McCain’s camp seems intent on attacking Obama. Just this morning the Republican’s camp released this commercial, called “Dangerous,” which takes aim at Obama’s “dishonorable” disregard to troops in Afghanistan. The commercial also takes on the “liberal” Congressional Democrats, who, the narrator claims, are putting our troops at risk by voting to cut funding for the wars.

Hoping not to be seen as weak in the election’s waning days, Obama has also taken to attacking his opponent. He and his campaign will today release a 13-minute documentary about McCain’s involvement with the so-called Keating Five savings and loan scandal. That scandal, they claim, helpe set the stage for the current financial crisis.

Pushing back against what it calls McCain’s “guilt-by-association” tactics, the Obama campaign overnight began e-mailing millions of supporters a link to a website,, which will have a 13-minute documentary on the scandal beginning at noon Eastern time on Monday. The e-mails urge recipients to pass the link on to friends.

The Obama campaign, including its surrogates appearing on radio and television, will argue that the deregulatory fervor that caused massive, cascading savings-and-loan collapses in the late ‘80s was pursued by McCain throughout his career, and helped cause the current credit crisis.

Obama-Biden communications director Dan Pfeiffer said: “While John McCain may want to turn the page on his erratic response to the current economic crisis, we think voters will find his involvement in a similar crisis to be particularly interesting. His involvement with Keating is a window into McCain’s economic past, present, and future.”

The Democratic National Committee also got in on the action this weekend, when they released an ad highlighting McCain’s past calls against negative campaigning. From the press release:

The new ad, called “Negative Attack Ads,” follows reports that McCain’s campaign is preparing a last ditch barrage of desperate negative attack ads aimed at “turning the page” from the economic crisis facing working families. Recent reports show that McCain has already shifted virtually 100 percent of its ads to negative attack ads.

The video pits a montage of some of McCain’s most vile attack ads against his own comments during the 2000 campaign, in which he told reporters on the Straight Talk Express that “if all you run is negative attack ads you don’t have much of a vision for the future.”

Prepare yourselves, Americans, for things are about to get really ugly.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #politics #advertising #barackobama stories and more


  • marco channing

    The Obama camp is releasing a documentary today on McCain’s role in the Keating Five S&L scandal. McCain is toast.

    And the Alaska Supreme Court is not letting Troopergate die. Palin is toast.

    McCain’s attempt to seriously link Obama to someone who was a radical when Obama was in elementary school is just sad and desperate.

  • M Shane

    not only are the “facts'” sad and desperate, but people like Palin, who can’t even speak English well needs to be careful whenever she speaks; e.g. what the hell is “exceptionalism” in the context of nationalism. She is no James Joyce to be inventing words in a political campaign. On top of that, after Bush’s fiasco in Ira, how many people believe that self righteous line anymore especially given it’s stupid subtext.

  • fredo777

    The McCain camp is desperate + trying to change the subject? Shocking.


    McCain has to start kicking the crap out of Obama if he wants to save America from the National nightmare that would be an Obama Presidency.
    No question about that, Barack Hussein Obama has had no fear of negative and dirty campaigning all throughout his political career. In fact negative campaigning has been his trademark. He continually tries to tie McCain to bush, most recently on the economy when in fact McCain was one of the most vociferous opponents of subprime lending to blacks which has proven to be the downfall of this Nation’s economy in more than one way.
    Palin has decided to take her heels off, McCain needs to do away with his neck tie and take Obama and the new DNC at task on the economy by letting people know who has really brought us where we are at. That combined with all the endless skeletons Obama has in his closet should be more than sufficient to open peoples eyes into the hateful America-third world vision Obama has planned for the future of our great democracy.

  • marco channing

    John McCain: The Make Believe Maverick.

    Rolling Stone’s new and career ending cover story/expose on the real John McCain.

    Be afraid, be very afraid. McCain is Bush with an irrational temper that scares his fellow Republicans.

Comments are closed.