Jake Tapper On John McCain’s Dishonest Ad Strategy

With John Kerry attacking John McCain for using Rove-style smears, John McCain has again displayed his dishonesty in yet another dishonest attack ad. Jake Tapper reveals that there are two layers to McCain’s dishonesty. McCain has been releasing several ads which are being covered by the media as news while not actually running the ads. If this wasn’t dishonest enough, the ads he runs frequently contain untrue statements, as in the example discussed here:

We, in the media, have given a lot of airtime to the TV ads of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., this week, starring, as they do, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.

There’s been evidence emerging that McCain’s campaign isn’t really running these ads anywhere, according to the Campaign Media Analysis Group.

“These were basically video press releases,” CMAG’s Evan Tracey tells the Wall Street Journal.

OK, so that’s kind of dishonest of the McCain campaign.

Today’s new McCain ad — “Tiny,” which you can watch HERE — crosses a new line into dishonesty, however, beyond whether or not it’s actually airing anywhere.

The script reads: “Iran. Radical Islamic government. Known sponsors of terrorism. Developing nuclear capabilities to ‘generate power’ but threatening to eliminate Israel.

“Obama says Iran is a ‘tiny’ country, ‘doesn’t pose a serious threat,'” the ad continues. “Terrorism, destroying Israel, those aren’t ‘serious threats’? Obama — dangerously unprepared to be president.”

This is a dishonest representation of Obama’s words.

On May 18, in Pendelton, Ore., Obama said that “strong countries and strong presidents talk to their adversaries. That’s what Kennedy did with Khrushchev. That’s what Reagan did with Gorbachev. That’s what Nixon did with Mao. I mean, think about it. Iran, Cuba, Venezuela — these countries are tiny, compared to the Soviet Union. They don’t pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us. And yet, we were willing to talk to the Soviet Union at the time when they were saying, ‘We’re going to wipe you off the planet.’

“And ultimately, that direct engagement led to a series of measures that helped prevent nuclear war, and over time, allowed the kind of opening that brought down the Berlin Wall,” Obama continued. “Now, that has to be the kind of approach that we take. You know, Iran, they spend one-one hundredth of what we spend on the military. If Iran ever tried to pose a serious threat to us, they wouldn’t stand a chance. And we should use that position of strength that we have, to be bold enough to go ahead and listen. That doesn’t mean we agree with them on everything. We might not compromise on any issues, but at least we should find out other areas of potential common interest, and we can reduce some of the tensions that has caused us so many problems around the world.”

Watch HERE.

That is not even close to Obama saying Iran is a “tiny” country that “doesn’t pose a serious threat.”

Not even close

In an update Tapper does ad that the McCain campaign is saying that they are running the ads. I wonder if they might be airing some of the ads in limited markets so they can continue to have the media cover them now that their tactics have been exposed.

John Kerry Exposes The Flip-Flops of Candidate McCain

One of the better speeches at the convention took place when many of the networks where covering their talking heads as opposed to the convention floor. John Kerry gave one of the strongest speeches of the convention, with the video available at Huffington Post, and the transcript posted under the fold.

Kerry gave an excellent speech, doing the opposite of what he had others do at his convention. While Kerry’s many excellent speeches attacking the policies of George Bush are often forgotten, he did make a mistake in not attacking Bush when he had national attention at his convention. This time Kerry went after the opposing candidate saying, “To those who still believe in the myth of a maverick instead of the reality of a politician, I say, let’s compare Senator McCain to candidate McCain.” Kerry proceeded to show how candidate McCain is taking a number of positions different from those held by Senator McCain. One might even say that John Kerry showed the degree to which John McCain is the true flip-flopper. Another listing of McCain’s flip-flops can be seen here.

Kerry responded to the dishonest smears against himself as a flip-flopper, and then addressed the manner in which McCain has adopted the same smear tactics as practiced by Karl Rove:

Candidate McCain now supports the wartime tax cuts that Senator McCain once denounced as immoral. Candidate McCain criticizes Senator McCain’s own climate change bill. Candidate McCain says he would now vote against the immigration bill that Senator McCain wrote. Are you kidding? Talk about being for it before you’re against it.

Let me tell you, before he ever debates Barack Obama, John McCain should finish the debate with himself. And what’s more, Senator McCain, who once railed against the smears of Karl Rove when he was the target, has morphed into candidate McCain who is using the same “Rove” tactics and the same “Rove” staff to repeat the same old politics of fear and smear. Well, not this year, not this time. The Rove-McCain tactics are old and outworn, and America will reject them in 2008.

After establishing that candidate McCain is no maverick and no moderate, John Kerry repeatedly asked the question, “So who can we trust to keep America safe?” He gave many reasons why the policies of Barack Obama, not John McCain and George Bush, are the policies which will keep America safe.

Four years ago John Kerry stressed the period in which he served in the military but tried to ignore another important part of his history–his patriotic protest of an unjust war. By failing to discuss the facts of this period he made it easier for the Republicans to practice their usual tactics of distortion. This time Kerry had an answer for those who questioned why he protested against the Vietnam war, providing an answer which might resonate better in 2008 than 2004 as more understand the follies of engaging in a policy which is wrong:

Years ago when we protested a war, people would weigh in against us saying, “My country right or wrong.” Our answer? Absolutely, my country right or wrong. When right, keep it right. When wrong, make it right. Sometimes loving your country demands you must tell the truth to power.


Barack Obama Wins Democratic Nomination

Barack Obama has been declared the Democratic nomination for President of the United States by acclimation following a motion by Senator Hillary Clinton in a show of party unity. Congratulations to Barack Obama, the next President of the United States.

Jazz Time

As has been the case each year at this time since before the birth of Liberal Values, this is time to head up to our northern Michigan offices. Liberal Values will once again be coming from the Jazz Weekend at Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. (OK, so I’m heading up a couple days early. They will still be playing jazz in some of the bars). Unfortunately I’m a couple days too late for the Mackinac Island for Obama fund raiser at The Gate House. I will make sure to work in Obama’s acceptance speech Thursday night, and Michigan’s opening game on Saturday. (We won’t talk about what happened the last time Michigan opened the season while I was at Grand Hotel).

This means that for the next several days posting might be down from usual. I’m certain to be on line from time to time. Our suite has a desk along a circular stretch of windows which gives a panoramic view of Mackinac Island and the Straits of Mackinac. Sitting there and blogging from time to time is certainly not a hardship. To appreciate the atmosphere in which the blog will be written, I do recommend that readers put on a jazz CD while reading the blog–and sipping a glass of wine might not be a bad idea.

And yes, this is elitist. If any PUMA members object while I’m drinking wine or cocktails at the nightly receptions on Grand Hotel’s porch with everything from cheese and crackers to shrimp, you are welcome to sit on your porch with a can of beer and some Cheese Whiz. Do you think that is how Bill and Hillary will be spending their weekend?