McCain's Latest Exercise In Dishonest Fearmongering

A Jewish friend of mine alerted me to a new ad from John McCain, which aired just before Bill Clinton's speech last night in the Baltimore market. The McCain campaign describes the ad buy as "in key states" but my friend suspects it might better be described as "in Jewish markets."

Try to contain your disbelief but the ad takes comments Barack made about Iran completely out of contexst to portray him as soft on Israel.

Watch it:

Newsweek does some fact-checking:

McCain's new ad...quotes Obama saying that Iran is a "tiny" country that "doesn't pose a serious threat." It implies that he fails to see Iran's threat to Israel.

The picture changes dramatically when Obama's full quotes are considered:

Obama actually said of Iran, Cuba and Venezuela: "These countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union" (emphasis ours).

Likewise, he said those countries don't pose a serious threat to the United States "the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us." Obama has also said in speeches that Iran is Israel's greatest threat, and a serious threat to the region, and he has discussed its sponsorship of terrorism.

Does the timing of this line of attack on Barack portend a Lieberman VP selection? It's all the buzz here in the tent. The argument for: it will completely obliterate the "more of the same" narrative against McCain and it will dilute Obama's post-partisan message. For me, the argument against is more compelling: it would completely alienate the far right. We suspect McCain's choice will be leaked tonight in order to undermine the impact of Barack's speech. What do you think?

Tags: ad, Barack Obama, John McCain (all tags)



Re: McCain's Latest Exercise In Dishonest Fearmong

McCain's announcement of his VP pick (and I pity the fool), rather than undermining the impact of Obama's speech will bury the impact of the his selection under the buzz about Barack's sure to be momentous occasion.

Bad choice for the McCain boys.

by mjshep 2008-08-28 11:36AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's Latest Exercise In Dishonest Fearmong

I sort of hope that he does it, because I want to see the media shame him over it.   this is something that I don't think that even McCain is going to get away with.     If he waits until the morning to announce it, the press will be fine because the convention is over.  But, I do think they may call him out by trying to step on Obama's night.

Additionally, has anything more been heard about this new ad that McCain is supposed to air?  What is this with speaking to Obama directly?  Is he going to challange Obama to a fist fight?

by gavoter 2008-08-28 12:47PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's Latest Exercise In Dishonest Fearmong

Is he going to challange Obama to a fist fight?

I hope so! Harry Reid can referee.

by antiHyde 2008-08-28 03:01PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's Latest Exercise In Dishonest Fearmong

I thought pretty much the same thing.

If McCain announces Romney tonight after Obama's speech it would be around 11:00 P.M. in New York. That's rather late.  

Perhaps he'd try and interrupt Obama's speech for some "breaking news" -- McCain's announcement?

That would be incredibly in bad taste but I could see him doing it.

Otherwise he pretty much has to announce tomorrow or face the fact that most Americans who turn off their TVs after Obama's speech at 10:00-11:00 won't even learn about McCain's pick until tomorrow morning.

He's better doing it tomorrow at around 10:00 AM EDT which would be around 7:00 on the West Coast.

Especially so since the first thing out of every reporter's mouth will be "as expected John McCain has selected former Governor Mitt Romney as his running mate."

The pick is a big yawn anyway that won't generate much excitement even among Republicans.

Why bury it even further just to try and get a slightly lesser TV discussion of Obama's speech?

They're going to have their own convention starting Monday and everything will be focused on them for 4 days anyway.

He might do better to forget about trying to steal Obama's thunder for 3 days and wait till Monday to announce on the first night of the Convention when a lot more people will be paying attention and the pundits will have time to talk about the Romney pick a lot more.

(Unless he thinks the reaction will be negative and wants to bury it).

by Cugel 2008-08-28 03:27PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's Latest Exercise In Dishonest Fearmong

Perhaps he'd try and interrupt Obama's speech for some "breaking news" -- McCain's announcement?

If he tries that, the best he will get is a "BREAKING: McCain selects [blank]" on the news ticker at the bottom of the screen.  They're not going to break away from Obama's speech, because Obama glues people to their television sets.  McCain does not.

by BishopRook 2008-08-28 03:56PM | 0 recs
Romney Has Secret Service Protection

Done deal.

by Davidsfr 2008-08-28 11:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Romney Has Secret Service Protection

No, he just had a secret service screen of his venue. Not  the same thing.


by kristoph 2008-08-28 04:12PM | 0 recs

McCain is supposed to air some "groundbreaking" ad where he speaks to the camera.
I think it's safe to assume this is it:
Image Hosted by
It was described as McCain filming a new ad. And it was filmed on the 22nd. So not really related to anything that is actually happening right now. What else is new?

FYI, that's one of John McCain's many residences. His beautiful ranch with full servants quarters. Well, I guess technically it's Cindy's.

by vcalzone 2008-08-28 11:49AM | 0 recs

When did it become bad to have a big house or two.

I have a couple of nice homes these days. However, when I was young (like 12) I remember scrounging around for empty bottles and giving the money to my mom for groceries.

Does the fact that I am now a little more successful mean I am out of touch?

by kristoph 2008-08-28 04:16PM | 0 recs

You're out of touch when you don't know how many houses you have, you think it takes 5 million per year to be rich, and the economy has been just peachy over the last 8 years.

by slynch 2008-08-28 05:33PM | 0 recs

No, because I presume you worked for your money. Furthermore, you control your budget, yes? By most of his own accounts, Cindy McCain does the finance3s, and John McCain's mom did the finances in her home. My GOD, do we want someone who doesn't even pay their own BILLS?!

by vcalzone 2008-08-28 10:10PM | 0 recs

I don't begrudge Obama his house. I don't begrudge Edwards his success (no matter what anyone thinks of him). That is the American dream. That is Gatsby.

McCain is Tom. A brutish gentleman who has everything and deserves nothing.

by vcalzone 2008-08-28 10:12PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's Latest Exercise In Dishonest Fearmong

When McCain's surrogate Eric Cantor twisted Obama's words to claim he had referred to Israel as a "constant sore," it became clear that they are more than willing to go all the way to the bottom of the barrel with these attacks.

I happen to think I come from a pretty savvy tribe.  We've rejected warmonger candidates in the past and we'll reject them again.  And Joe Biden has excellent pro-Israel credentials.  Just keep getting the truth out.

by Steve M 2008-08-28 11:53AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's Latest Exercise In Dishonest Fearmong

I've always tried to pay attention of any hints of political stuff at my synagogue (granted, it's in LA, but...) and I've never noticed that McCain has serious support.  To my knowledge (I'm fairly new) they're involved in a lot of anti-Prop 8 stuff (read: we support gay marriage) and the like.

Florida is where this kind of thing becomes an issue and I think we know that the probable path to victory includes Florida only as icing on the cake.

by auronrenouille 2008-08-28 12:15PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's Latest Exercise In Fearmongering

Whether picking Lieberman drives a wedge between McCain and the Republican evangelical base over abortion depends on how much white evangelical's allegiance is based on race. Democrats win about 20% of white evangelicals and used to win far more. The Republican party was able to drive them away from the Democratic party by exploiting anger over government enforced desegregation. Since the 70s the Republicans have nurtured racism among evangelicals, and it may be that despite pressure over abortion the deeper unease about race will prevail. For the rest of the Republican base Lieberman is probably a plus.

The other wrinkle is Catholics, once part of the Democratic base now something of a swing group the parties split roughly equally. But I have the sense that Lieberman is more a plus for observant Catholics than a minus for his soft pro-choice stand.

by souvarine 2008-08-28 11:53AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's Latest Exercise In Fearmongering

You fail to mention another group that evangelical conservative christians are not always the biggest fan of: people of Jewish faith.

You can bet that conservatives are not going to be happy about someone like Lieberman who is described by Republicans as someone who votes down the line as a liberal with the exception of his pro-war stance.

They are going to be even less happy about it when you consider the increased likelihood of McCain's VP ascending the Presidency. Heck, I don't even think they are going to be all that happy with Mitt Romney... I will be personally happy with either pick.

If he picks Lieberman he alienates his base and if he picks Romney we get to run against a pair of flip-flops.  

by JDF 2008-08-28 12:02PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's Latest Exercise In Fearmongering

The only thing that worries me about Romney (other than the fact that I really dislike the guy, having lived under his rule in Massachusetts) is that my Mom in Michigan says putting him on the ticket might give Michigan to McCain, since Mitt's Dad George Romney was governor there and is still highly regarded.

So at this point I hope it's Lieberman or Pawlenty. Obama's ahead in MI and I'd like it to stay that way.

by SuGeAtARC 2008-08-28 12:26PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's Latest Exercise In Fearmongering

Romney won't be enough, by himself, to move Michigan. He isn't his father and he isn't on the top of the ticket. If he were on the top of the ticket I would be worried about Michigan but I think we are going to be just fine (although I would have liked to have seen more shout outs to Michigan over the course of the last few days. Florida got their fair share and then some; it would have been nice to see Michigan get the same love.

by JDF 2008-08-28 12:53PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's Latest Exercise In Fearmongering

The Romney name does still count for something in Michigan, make no mistake.  But it's not like, you know, Brett Favre in Wisconsin or something.  It would just make our job harder.

by Steve M 2008-08-28 01:19PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's Latest Exercise In Fearmongering

Maybe Lieberman will promise that he will make sure Armageddon will happen in his watch.

by gavoter 2008-08-28 12:54PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's Latest Exercise In Fearmongering

That was my first reaction. It's so weird how they've converted anti-Semitism into support for Israel.

by souvarine 2008-08-28 01:24PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's Latest Exercise In Fearmongering

vs the ACTUAL Catholic Biden?  Not too worried.

by yitbos96bb 2008-08-28 02:54PM | 0 recs
Its desperately pathetic, really

by dcrolg 2008-08-28 12:01PM | 0 recs
Personally I think its time for us to run

an equally disgusting ad.

Lets just run the footage of McCain saying "General Petraus, Osama Bin Laden, and myself are in agreement..."

and then have the scary voice over guy say "John McCain agrees with Osama Bin Laden. John McCain is unfit to lead."

I know it would be disgusting but I am completely fine with getting down in the mud with this guy if thats where he wants to play.

by JDF 2008-08-28 12:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Personally I think its time for us to run

Remember though; IOKIYAR.  We'd get slammed.  They get shrugged at.  The media has come to learn that Democrats have class and Republicans don't, so we get held to the higher standard.

Great, isn't it?

by auronrenouille 2008-08-28 12:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Personally I think its time for us to run

Let them slam us. We have to stop being afraid of winning tactics. If we let them steamroll us with bullshit again we are going to lose.

by JDF 2008-08-28 12:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Personally I think its time for us to run

If it creates a perception that results in lowering support for Democratic candidates, it's not a winning tactic ;p.

by auronrenouille 2008-08-28 01:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Personally I think its time for us to run

This would be better done by a 527 than by the Campaign or the DNC.. kind of Willie Hortonish or Swift boatie.

by yitbos96bb 2008-08-28 02:51PM | 0 recs
Lieberman's not it.

I honestly think that we can rule out Lieberman as the pick - the speech is being held too early for Lieberman, who is shomer shabbat.  I went over to Chabad and calculated that, for nearby Pittsburgh, Shabbat doesn't end until after 8pm, and even after that there's havdalah.  They're not going to wait until, say, 8:30pm to introduce him.

It's a shame, I was hoping for some target practice.  But unless they reschedule the speech, it's not Lieberman.

by auronrenouille 2008-08-28 12:10PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's Latest

Obama was right when he said that this election would be a fundamental choice between fear and hope.  McCain is further setting up Obama to be able to draw a refreshing contrast with McCain's tired rhetoric of perpetual fear.

by proseandpromise 2008-08-28 12:15PM | 0 recs
how will Lieberman alienate far right?

The Right needs to hate and have bogeymen. Arabs and "radical Islam" are the enemy they have to sell to the U.S. public.

Joe Lieberman works for this mindset.

Abortion? What makes you think Lieberman is unwilling to flip-flop on abortion?

by Carl Nyberg 2008-08-28 01:09PM | 0 recs
Re: how will Lieberman alienate far right?

They won't believe his flip flop.   They don't trust McCain to begin with.... its an uneasy alliance.   Its almost the same as if Obama told Clinton to not show up at convention or gave her an early speaking slot instead of primetime... it would have caused a civil war in the party.   This would be the greatest pick for us unless McCain picked Larry Craig or Mark Foley or TOm Delay.

by yitbos96bb 2008-08-28 02:49PM | 0 recs
Theological question

Isn't Lieberman an Orthodox Jew? Didn't Moses ban abortion in Leviticus or Deuteronomy?

My own daughter, who used to be strongly pro-choice, is now anti-abortion since her Orthodox conversion.

by antiHyde 2008-08-28 03:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Theological question

No, there is no explicit biblical prohibition against abortion.

The traditional Jewish interpretation is that a baby becomes human upon receiving the breath of life, meaning, at birth.

by Carl Nyberg 2008-09-01 05:40PM | 0 recs
by Gray 2008-08-28 02:41PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's Latest Exercise In Dishonest Fearmong


Obama's post partisan message has convinced those who will vote for him.   If it goes away, no big deal, you still keep hitting more of the same.  Joe isn't going to pull enough of the jewish vote to make a difference.  Most Dems hate him, most indies think he is a joke.   And the Far Right Walk out will be FANTASTIC!  I'll have to Tivo to watch over and over again.   This would RIP APART the GOP.    It might mean instead of a 2% Obama win and 320 EVs or so to a 10% or more Obama win and a huge electoral landslide.   If McCain goes this route, he must think that Iraq is the main issue which I think is a big misread of the country right now.... 2004 sure, but not 2008.   It will be a massacre and Biden will tear Lieberman apart.  JOEMENTUM!!!!  Wow, second time in my life I have cheered for him.

by yitbos96bb 2008-08-28 02:47PM | 0 recs
In St Paul


by notedgeways 2008-08-28 03:14PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's Latest Exercise In Dishonest Fearmong

What do I think?

If McCain gets elected, we are all in for big trouble because this crazy bastard will get the US into another war in the Middle East, Israel's war. And we will pay and pay and pay, in many more ways than one.

by MainStreet 2008-08-28 04:05PM | 0 recs

I find this add so absurdly over the top it's funny.

I am waiting for the ads where they have ads with Obama in a Keffiyeh, with prayer beads in one hand and a spliff in the other.


by kristoph 2008-08-28 04:25PM | 0 recs
In fairness,

Obama is using McCain's "$5M" comment, obviously a joke (his next statement was "But seriously..."), as an attack. He even used it in the speech tonight. Look it up on dailyhowler from last week if you don't know what I'm talking about.

If you're going to take your opponent out of context and twist their words, I have little sympathy when they do the same to you.

The good news is the media hasn't fallen out of love with Barack Obama. He's got a huge leg up over previous Dems like Gore and Kerry. There's no reason for the Presidential race to be close this year, other than disunity in the Democratic Party. After this week, we should be more comfortably in the lead.

by Makarov 2008-08-28 11:49PM | 0 recs


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