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New Obama Ad: "Original Maverick," Huh?

The Obama campaign has released a new ad, "Original," responding to the McCain campaign's spot labeling the presumptive GOP nominee "the original maverick."

It opens with an excerpt from McCain's commercial asserting McCain's "original maverick" status. The word "Really?" then appears onscreen, followed by video of McCain saying in 2003, "The president and I agree on most issues. There was a recent study that showed that I voted with the president over ninety percent of the time…"

Then an announcer chimes in: "John McCain supports Bush's tax cuts for millionaires, but nothing for a hundred million households. He's for billions in new oil company giveaways, while gas prices soar. And for tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. The original maverick? Or just more of the same?"

In keeping with its recent behavior, the Obama campaign did not announce the ad to the media, and there is no word on where or how often it is running.

Obama's team did announce, however, that it will be running its ad "National Priority" on "a network of gas-pump top televisions throughout Florida, called Gas Station TV." In addition, Obama volunteers will go to gas stations in 24 states this week to talk to voters, distribute Obama's energy plan, and "highlight Senator John McCain's failure to do anything to address the energy crisis during his 26 years in Washington."

UPDATE: It appears that the Obama campaign's release on Gas Station TV was inaccurate – at least according to an email from Gas Station TV CEO David Leider. In an email, he says, "Gas Station TV does not have any orders placed for political advertising on its network...Reports that any Gas Station TV gas station partners are currently running political ads are inaccurate... Gas Station TV will not be running political advertising at any of its stations."

"At a time when presidential campaign ads monopolize prime-time, we believe it is important to be able to provide traditional advertisers with a clutter-free environment to showcase their brands and target marketing messages to a captive audience," Leider adds.

The original information about Gas Station TV came from an Obama campaign release this morning saying that "the Obama campaign announced it will broadcast an advertisement on a network of gas-pump top televisions throughout Florida, called Gas Station TV." The Obama campaign has not yet responded to a request for clarification.

UPDATE 2: The Gas Station TV plot thickens.

The Obama campaign sent out a release this afternoon alleging that Gas Station TV is seeking to "shut down" the Obama ad.

"...no motorist saw the ad because, as Gas Station TV informed the campaign this afternoon, the company will not run ads that are damaging to oil companies," the campaign writes.

The release goes on to state that Gas Station TV approved the ad on Friday, providing email documentation between the Obama campaign's media buyer and a representative for the ad company to back up the claim. (The emails from the rep include the line, "Please note that GSTV has approved the spot.")

The Obama campaign called any statement by the company that it does not run political ads false.

"Once again, the oil companies and their friends are standing with Senator McCain, the candidate for president who is proposing to offer them a $4 billion tax cut," Obama's Florida Communications Director Mark Bubriski said in the release. "It looks like Gas Station TV doesn't want the American people to know about Senator Obama's plan to offer working families a $1,000 energy rebate that would be funded by a tax on oil company profits. The oil companies have taken sides in this race, and they are standing with John McCain, because they know he's been in Washington for 26 years and can be counted on to pursue for another four years of the Bush energy policy that's made them billions of dollars."

Leider told the Associated Press the decision not to run the ad was unrelated to its message.

"We avoid politics in general," he said.