The McCain camp released a spot this morning called "Jim Johnson," which the campaign says will be "televised nationally." The ad spotlights the former Fannie Mae CEO who had to resign from his position as head of Obama's vice presidential search team after criticism of his favorable mortgage deal from Countrywide Financial.
The spot shows Obama saying "It would be unacceptable for executives of these institutions to earn a windfall," as an announcer argues that Obama's words don't match his deeds.
"Meet Jim Johnson, former Fannie Mae CEO," the announcer says. "Fannie cooked the books and Johnson made millions. Then Obama asked him to pick his VP. And raise thousands for his campaign. Barack Obama. More empty words."
That spot comes on the heels of another, similar McCain spot pushing a (dubious) connection between Obama and former Fannie Mae Chairman Frank Raines. That spot, "Advice," was released Thursday night, and it has prompted questions over whether the McCain camp is playing the race card by pushing a questionable link between Raines, who is black, and Obama.
"Obama has no background in economics," an announcer says in the spot. "Who advises him? The Post says it's Franklin Raines, for 'advice on mortgage and housing policy.' Shocking. Under Raines, Fannie Mae committed 'extensive financial fraud.' Raines made millions. Fannie Mae collapsed.Taxpayers? Stuck with the bill. Barack Obama. Bad advice. Bad instincts. Not ready to lead."
Raines denies being an Obama advisor, and the Obama campaign calls the spot "another flat-out lie from a dishonorable campaign."
The Obama spot takes a somewhat similar route: "Who Advises," which the campaign says will "air on national cable beginning tomorrow," spotlights McCain surrogates and advisers Carly Fiorina and Phil Gramm, both of whom have gotten themselves in hot water with their comments over the course of the campaign.
(There's a connection between this ad and the previous one: The Obama camp has been circulating an old email from Raines to Fiorina telling her he's not an adviser to the Obama campaign. The implication, of course, is that the McCain camp released the Raines ad even though it knew it to be untruthful. The McCain camp points to a Washington Post story from last month to rebut the claim that the link doesn't exist.)
"John McCain admits he doesn't understand the economy," an announcer says as the spot opens. "So who advises him? Carly Fiorina, the fired CEO who got a $42 million golden parachute. Phil Gramm, the ex-Senator who pushed through deregulation, and called Americans hurt by this economy 'whiners.'"
"Then there's George Bush, whose disastrous policies McCain wants to continue," the announcer continues. "They think the economy is fundamentally strong. We know they're fundamentally wrong."