Gannett News Service reported that McCain's ad "characterized the Democrats as proposing to tax the country out of its economic woes," but not that that is false

››› ››› MATT GERTZ

A Gannett News Service analysis reported on Sen. John McCain's response to television ads by Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign that criticized McCain "for being AWOL on the nation's economic challenges," stating: "McCain immediately fired back in videos ... that characterized the Democrats as proposing to tax the country out of its economic woes." However, the piece did not mention that the key assertion in McCain's ad is false.

In an April 7 Gannett News Service analysis, political editor Chuck Raasch wrote that "[c]ampaigns increasingly have begun posting responses to opponents' paid advertisements online within hours, if not sooner," and asserted that Sen. John McCain "did that twice last week when [Sen. Hillary] Clinton launched TV ads in Pennsylvania criticizing the Arizona senator for being AWOL on the nation's economic challenges." Raasch continued: "McCain immediately fired back in videos sent to supporters, journalists and launched onto viral highways like You Tube that characterized the Democrats as proposing to tax the country out of its economic woes." But Raasch did not note that the "characteriz[ation]" made in McCain's ad is false; neither Clinton nor Sen. Barack Obama has asserted that, as the ad claims, she or he would respond to "home foreclosures mounting" by raising taxes, nor do Clinton's and Obama's economic proposals include tax increases for all Americans, as McCain's ad implies.

According to the ad, in response to "home foreclosures mounting, markets teetering," "Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama just said they'd solve the problem by raising your taxes -- more money out of your pocket":

ANNOUNCER: It's 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep. But there's a phone ringing in the White House, and this time the crisis is economic. Home foreclosures mounting, markets teetering.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama just said they'd solve the problem by raising your taxes -- more money out of your pocket.

John McCain has a better plan. Grow jobs, grow our economy -- not grow Washington.

It's 3 a.m. Time for a president who's ready.

In a "fact-check" of McCain's ad during the April 3 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, media critic Howard Kurtz aired the ad and responded: "Sorry, wrong number. Clinton and Obama have not proposed raising taxes to deal with the mortgage mess, although their rescue plans would obviously use taxpayer dollars. They have proposed rolling back the Bush tax cuts -- cuts that McCain originally opposed -- but only on the most affluent Americans."

From the Gannett News Service analysis:

One of the latest communications trends is a variation of the "rapid response" concept honed by Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign. Campaigns increasingly have begun posting responses to opponents' paid advertisements online within hours, if not sooner. McCain did that twice last week when Clinton launched TV ads in Pennsylvania criticizing the Arizona senator for being AWOL on the nation's economic challenges.

McCain immediately fired back in videos sent to supporters, journalists and launched onto viral highways like You Tube that characterized the Democrats as proposing to tax the country out of its economic woes.

From the April 3 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:

[begin video clip]

KURTZ: The McCain campaign quickly responded to the Clinton ad with a spot that's airing only online.

ANNOUNCER: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama just said they'd solve the problem by raising your taxes -- more money out of your pocket. John McCain has a better plan. Grow jobs, grow our economy -- not grow Washington.

KURTZ: Sorry, wrong number. Clinton and Obama have not proposed raising taxes to deal with the mortgage mess, although their rescue plans would obviously use taxpayer dollars. They have proposed rolling back the Bush tax cuts -- cuts that McCain originally opposed -- but only on the most affluent Americans.

[end video clip]

KURTZ: The former first lady is trying to play the experience card with these red phone ads. That may be less effective against a Senate veteran like McCain -- unless Clinton can convince voters that the economy is not his strong suit.

Show/Publication
Gannett News Service
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
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