Ad Wars Escalate On Connections, Health Care

Both presidential campaigns are out with new ads this morning, with John McCain's camp taking aim at Barack Obama's Chicago roots and the Obama camp hitting McCain for a recent article on health care.

"Barack Obama. Born of the corrupt Chicago political machine," the McCain ad begins. The ad features a clip of Obama saying, "In terms of my toughness, look first of all, I come from Chicago." Narrator: "His economic adviser. William Daley. Lobbyist. Mayor's brother. His money man, Tony Rezko. Client. Patron. Convicted Felon. His 'political godfather.' Emil Jones. Under ethical cloud. His governor, Rod Blagojevich. A legacy of federal and state investigations. With friends like that, Obama is not ready to lead."

Obama spokesman Bill Burton responded to the ad with this statement: "It's no coincidence that on the very day newspapers reported that John McCain's campaign manager was paid $2 million to lobby against tighter regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the McCain campaign would launch this false, gratuitous attack. Barack Obama was elected to the Illinois Senate as an independent Democrat. He took on the Chicago Democratic organization in a primary to win a seat in the US Senate. And in both Illinois and Washington, he has challenged the Old Guard for landmark ethics reforms." Watch the McCain ad:



Obama's new ad hammers at an article published under McCain's name in a relatively obscure trade publication in which he appears to argue for less oversight in the insurance industry. "We've seen what Bush-McCain policies have done to our economy," the ad starts. "Now John McCain wants to do the same to our health care. McCain just published an article praising Wall Street deregulation … said he'd reduce oversight of the health insurance industry too … just 'as we have done over the last decade in banking'… increasing costs and threatening coverage … 'a prescription for disaster' … John McCain. A risk we just can't afford to take."

The McCain campaign said the senator was only advocating changes to allow insurance companies to cross state lines to do business the way banks do. ""If Barack Obama thinks that today's financial troubles were caused by policies which allowed Americans to use an ATM anywhere in this country, then it is better that he continue to be silent about solutions to the crisis on Wall Street," a McCain spokesman told the Washington Post. Watch the ad:

  • Vaughn Ververs

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