RNC radio ad: Obama’s war-funding vote

posted at 9:25 am on July 24, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

The RNC will air radio ads in Paris today while Barack Obama travels through Europe, much as they bought ads yesterday in Berlin.  However, in both cases the Parises and Berlins are in the US, a perhaps overly cute tweak at Obama’s campaigning outside of the US. However, the ad itself hits Obama on a vote that has received only a small amount of attention in this campaign:

As the Associated Press has reported, to commemorate Barack Obama’s visit to Berlin, Germany today the Republican National Committee is running a new ad in all three U.S. cities named Berlin — in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and New Hampshire.

Now, first thing this morning, the RNC will announce that to continue the fun it’s expanded these misiscule buys to all the U.S. cities named Paris — in Maine, Michigan and Missouri. Because, you might guess, Obama will also visit another Paris, the one in France.

Here’s the ad:

There are few votes as important as funding our men and women in uniform. But when our military needed necessary resources, Barack Obama failed to stand up.

Obama said that nobody wanted to play chicken with our troops on the ground. But when it came time to act, he voted against critical resources: no to individual body armor, no to helicopters, no to ammunition, no to aircraft. The bill Obama opposed even had funding for veterans’ medical facilities and rehabilitation programs.

And why did he say no? Obama chose Washington politics over the needs of our military.

And Senator McCain? As a veteran and someone who has always put the public interest first, John McCain stood by our troops.

If Obama can’t rise above politics to support our soldiers in a time of war, then how can he claim to have the strength to change the way Washington works?

John McCain is ready to lead. Barack Obama is not.

People will remember this as the first big game of chicken between the new Democratic-controlled Congress and the Bush administration. The White House had asked for a new funding bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from the first of the year. However, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid wanted to commit Bush to a firm timetable for withdrawal as a prerequisite for his funding, which Bush insisted he would veto. Pelosi and Reid passed that version anyway, attaching a number of poison pills that they thought Bush couldn’t veto — but Bush did anyway. By the time Congress got serious about funding the troops, the Pentagon was at risk of running out of money for the effort and threatened to start shutting down stateside operations to keep the troops in the war zone paid, and Reid and Pelosi had to finally acquiesce.

In the end, the most notable votes against the funding package came from Democratic presidential candidates.  Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, and Barack Obama all voted against it, although Joe Biden supported it.  The reason?  They wanted to maintain credibility with the anti-war Left and continue to argue against the surge in Iraq.  As the ad states, they basically politicized the funding for the troops in order to gain electoral advantage.  That certainly makes criticism of the vote germane as well.

However, some have tried to telescope this into a “vote against funding for Afghanistan,” which isn’t entirely accurate.  The Bush administration insists — for very good reasons — on funding both fronts simultaneously, and Congress has complied.  Under those circumstances, members cannot vote against Iraq funding while voting for Afghanistan, or the reverse.  The bill funded both, and the vote against HR 2206 has to be seen in that context.

Of course, that should be good enough.  Obama voted against funding operations that succeeded in reversing the wave of sectarian violence and put Iraq on the path to stability.  Even now, he struggles to explain his continued opposition to success in Iraq, and the RNC ad rightly avoids the notion that Obama specifically voted against operations in Afghanistan in favor of the larger point of political expediency.  It’s a good ad — and perhaps the RNC should consider running it as a TV ad in a larger area.


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“All’s we’s can says is…”

carbon_footprint on July 24, 2008 at 9:32 AM

McCain better take off the gloves and keep them off if he wants to expose the Marxist Obama for what he is.

The media surely will not. They are too far in the tank to challenge anything BHO says or does.

roninacreage on July 24, 2008 at 9:35 AM

Looks like Barry might be stepping on some toes in Berlin today.

Deutsche Welle

Flip/flop/flip

Limerick on July 24, 2008 at 9:35 AM

By the way, it would appear that a complaint has been filed against Obama with the Illinois Bar. According to the complaint, Obama claimed on the application that he didn’t have a history with drugs, while he actually did.

amerpundit on July 24, 2008 at 9:39 AM

“…Obama failed to stand up.
“…The bill Obama opposed even had funding for veterans’ medical facilities and rehabilitation programs.
“…And Senator McCain? As a veteran and someone who has always put the public interest first, John McCain stood by our troops.

You don’t say…?

Does Senator McCain really want to start rationing health care for millions of vets who have served…?

J_Gocht on July 24, 2008 at 9:40 AM

There is a Paris, Kentucky too…but I don’t think Obama is going to get many votes there.

Very good move by the RNC.

rockmom on July 24, 2008 at 9:41 AM

amerpundit on July 24, 2008 at 9:39 AM

Interesting.

carbon_footprint on July 24, 2008 at 9:42 AM

Paris, Texas of course.

carbon_footprint on July 24, 2008 at 9:43 AM

Mark Levin had two men on last night who are fathers of fallen soldiers. One of the men said (I paraphrase):
My son died 5 years ago this Sunday by a suicide bomber. McCain served five and a half years in Hanoi Hilton, Obama served only five and a half months in the senate if you add up the days. Tell me who is better to serve this country?
I think that man’s analysis and the men’s brave sons and what they have done for this country is emphasis enough on why McCain is better to serve as commander-in-chief.

jencab on July 24, 2008 at 9:47 AM

Barack-
While you’re gathering European and Middle Eastern votes for this American election, don’t forget Uranus.

whitetop on July 24, 2008 at 9:47 AM

“We are the ones we have been waiting for.”

carbon_footprint on July 24, 2008 at 9:51 AM

“Um eh eht um bbut um ehehe hindsight is eh um 20/20″

carbon_footprint on July 24, 2008 at 9:53 AM

I was hoping that the ad would actually mention the American towns of Paris and Berlin. What’s the point of running an ad in, say, Paris, Texas if the people who hear it don’t know that the ad is directed at them for a reason?

Buy Danish on July 24, 2008 at 9:53 AM

Good luck with those ads in Berlin NH and Paris Maine. The New Hampshire Berlin’s AM radio station signal can’t even make it south of the White Mountains, so only a fraction of the state will even hear it. And Paris Maine isn’t exactly a great metropolitain area either.

Del Dolemonte on July 24, 2008 at 9:58 AM

Limerick on July 24, 2008 at 9:35 AM

70 years have passed, and now the Germans are opposed to sending their troops into other countries.

Maybe there’s still hope, and 70 years from now the entire world community will be opposed to terrorism.

And who knows, Bush might even get some credit.

fogw on July 24, 2008 at 9:58 AM

The RNC will air radio ads in Paris today while Barack Obama travels through Europe, much as they bought ads yesterday in Berlin.

WTF?! Since when do WE care what the Euros think? Let the Dhimmis campaign there, they’re the ones who think of the world as ‘global community’ and all of that b.s.!

… the Republican National Committee is running a new ad in all three U.S. cities named Berlin — in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and New Hampshire.

Oh. Hmmm, now how do I get this hook, line and sinker outta my stomach? haha :-)

Tony737 on July 24, 2008 at 10:01 AM

amerpundit on July 24, 2008 at 9:39 AM

That is very very interesting.

becki51758 on July 24, 2008 at 10:02 AM

I was hoping that the ad would actually mention the American towns of Paris and Berlin. What’s the point of running an ad in, say, Paris, Texas if the people who hear it don’t know that the ad is directed at them for a reason?

Buy Danish on July 24, 2008 at 9:53 AM

With all due respect Buy Danish “the point” us fully understood. McCain was also in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania yesterday—-making the point that AMERICAN VOTES in American cities are the only ones that will count in November, while Obama plays the world stage.

Rovin on July 24, 2008 at 10:05 AM

If it was “paid for by the Republican National Committee”, why did McCain have to approve the message? I think he ought to let the RNC do most of the attacking so that he doesn’t appear too partisan.

jgapinoy on July 24, 2008 at 10:10 AM

Ed, maybe you can run with this. When it comes to national security and crossing over.

http://www.iht.com/articles/1996/01/08/qanda.t.php

yakwill83 on July 24, 2008 at 10:11 AM

American Voter opinion counts in the election.

World opinion from folks that have no right to vote in American elections means absolutely squat. Obama’s media whore tour goes on and I have had a belly full of it already. Ignore the showmanship and rhetoric. Look at Obama’s voting record. He is a Marxist pure and simple.
The BS and smoke and noise can’t change that.

If McCain does not hammer that home we are in for 4 years of tyrany and a decade to repair the damage.

old trooper on July 24, 2008 at 10:14 AM

junkscience.com has a link today, to a Republican youtube ad that plays clips of various media stars gushing over Obama.

MarkTheGreat on July 24, 2008 at 10:19 AM

Rush will be talking about this today and everyone up here in the NH arctic circle can hear him. Anyway, everyone is souring on the libtard traitorcrats.

The price of home heating oil is insane and everyone is pissed off and worried AAaaaand blaming the democrats.

dogsoldier on July 24, 2008 at 10:31 AM

FactCheck looks into the Obama war funding claim.

The McCain campaign is running a TV ad attacking Obama with statements that are literally true but paint an incomplete picture.

It says he “voted against funding our troops.” He did – exactly once. Obama cast at least 10 votes for war-funding bills before voting against one last year, after Bush vetoed a version that contained a date for withdrawal from Iraq.

It says he “hasn’t been to Iraq for years.” He was headed there at the time the ad was released, however, and had been there in 2006.

It says he “never held a single hearing on Afghanistan.” It was the full Senate Foreign Relations Committee, not Obama’s subcommittee, that had the hearings on this global hot spot, and Obama attended one of those. Over the same time period, McCain himself attended none of the Afghanistan hearings held by the Armed Services Committee on which he serves.

Yakko77 on July 24, 2008 at 10:39 AM

And why did he say no? Obama chose Washington politics over the needs of our military.

Would the RNC be so kind as to not intern their primary school kids as advertising gurus during their summer vacation. How idiotic is it to blame Obama’s decisions on some etheral Washington politics that also comprises the RNC political members rather than Obama’s is own judgment and free choice, or at least the policy of the Democratic party which Obama has chosen to be indentured to.

Does the RNC realize their art class consists of slapping paint on pictures of their opponents in front of a hurricane fan?

Dusty on July 24, 2008 at 10:45 AM

A recent poll found that more than 70 percent of Germans would back Obama to be the next Democratic Party president.

Hey, Limerick – I didn’t know the Democrat Party had a President.

Jaibones on July 24, 2008 at 11:24 AM

Maybe that statement means something different than I think it does.

Jaibones on July 24, 2008 at 11:24 AM

With all due respect Buy Danish “the point” us fully understood. McCain was also in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania yesterday—-making the point that AMERICAN VOTES in American cities are the only ones that will count in November, while Obama plays the world stage.

Rovin on July 24, 2008 at 10:05 AM

I understand what McCain is doing, I’m talking about the ad copy for this radio spot. How will the people of Paris, Texas hear this particular radio spot (which makes no mention of Paris or Berlin) and know that it is running in Paris, Texas to make a point about Barry’s visit to Paris, France?

Buy Danish on July 24, 2008 at 12:04 PM

This would make a good TV ad, but they need to change the music when the info about McCain comes on, they left the dark tone when they should have done the normal switch to lighter sounding music.

Rbastid on July 24, 2008 at 12:36 PM

yakwill83 @10:11AM

Wow! That link makes McCain look goooood!

Vince on July 24, 2008 at 1:31 PM

These McCain ads need a wider circulation.
Especially in the swing vote states.

old trooper on July 24, 2008 at 2:53 PM

Obama wants the troops to fight with spitballs!

Chakra Hammer on July 24, 2008 at 4:06 PM