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On Morning After Debate, New Attack Ads

The McCain and Obama campaigns are out with new ads this morning, as is an outside group called Health Care For America Now, which is promising to spend $4 million running spots asking McCain and other Republican candidates "why they back health care plans and policies that would leave millions of Americans on their own to fight the insurance industry."

The new McCain spot, "Folks," which paints Obama as an "extreme" liar, will air nationally, according to the campaign.

"Who is Barack Obama?" an announcer asks as the spot opens with ominous music playing in the background. "The National Journal says he's the Senate's most liberal. How extreme. But when pressed, how does he defend himself?"

The spot then cuts to Obama saying "They're not telling the truth. I hate to say that people are lying, but here's a situation where folks are lying."

"Mr. Obama, we all know the truth," the announcer then says, as video of Obama saying "folks are lying" is repeated three times.

Says the announcer: "Not presidential." Those words also appear onscreen.

As has pointed out, "the National Journal rated [Obama] the 16th most liberal in his first year and the 10th most liberal in his second. It rated his votes 'most liberal' only in 2007, when he was busy campaigning and missed one-third of the votes on which the rating is based."

And as we noted back in January, McCain missed so many votes in 2007 that he did not receive a composite score from the magazine.

The Obama spot, "Taketh," uses footage from last night's debate to hammer a point the Obama campaign has been making in recent weeks. The campaign says it will air on cable beginning today.

The spot opens with video of McCain saying, "I want to give every American a 5,000 dollar refundable tax credit."

The announcer than suggests that Obama is offering "the truth":

"He says that he's going to give you a 5,000 dollar tax credit," Obama says. "What he doesn't tell you is that he's going to tax your employer based health care benefits, for the first time ever…so what one hand giveth, the other hand taketh away."

Concludes the announcer: "John McCain: Instead of fixing health care, he wants to tax it."

The Health Care For America Now spot takes an emotional approach in criticizing McCain. (The group is running similar ads against Republican Senator John Sununu and other GOP candidates as well.) The 501(c)(4) issue advocacy organization is an umbrella group of 275 organizations that it claims make up millions of people.

"Fighter," the anti-McCain spot, is set to run on national cable and in Ohio.

"I've never faced an enemy like cancer," a woman says in the ad. She is shown walking down the street, perhaps exercising, in what appears to be a middle class neighborhood. "But it's ok. I'm a fighter. Under John McCain's health care plan, 20 million (people) could lose their insurance at work - I could be one of them."

"And with a pre-existing condition like cancer, I couldn't get coverage on my own," she continues, her face looking determined in close up. "He wants me to fight cancer and the insurance companies? Fine. I'll take you both on."

Says an announcer: "Ask Senator McCain which side he's on."

UPDATE: THE RNC's Amber Wilkerson responds: "Barack Obama and his supporters continue to lie about John McCain's proposals, which would actually lower health insurance costs and provide a dramatic increase in coverage for Americans. Instead of attacking John McCain, Barack Obama should explain why his plan would put healthcare under Washington's control – not American patients'."