FactCheck.org: Obama’s ad on Ralph Reed smeared McCain

posted at 2:25 pm on August 22, 2008 by Allahpundit

We already knew that, but FC puts some meat on the bone. Remember, the Reed ad was what got Team Maverick first talking about Ayers this week, as a rejoinder to the charge of guilt by association. Viewed in that context, yesterday’s brutal spot from that “independent” group was de facto retaliation (whether it was produced with that aim or not). The difference between the spots: The Ayers ad turns out to be a fairer representation of the Obama/Ayers relationship than the Reed ad is of the McCain/Reed one. One order of “new politics,” garnished liberally with nuance, coming right up:

The ad calls Reed a “power broker” who was “in the middle” of “one of Washington’s biggest scandals,” the Jack Abramoff affair. And it says that McCain, as chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, “never even called Reed to testify” in the Abramoff investigation.

That’s all true, but what’s not said is that McCain’s report caused Reed political embarrassment, making public evidence that contradicted Reed’s claim that he hadn’t known that his lobbying activities among anti-gambling Christian activists had been paid for by casino-owning Indian tribes who wanted to suppress competition…

McCain’s investigation focused primarily on how Abramoff and Scanlon fleeced tribes by charging them millions in lobbying fees for lobbying work they never performed. But as the report details, Reed actually performed the lobbying work he was paid to do. In fact, Abramoff and Scanlon eventually pushed Reed aside, so they could keep for themselves the money they might otherwise have paid Reed…

So what could Reed have told the committee if McCain had called him as a witness? We don’t know, and the Obama ad doesn’t say.

In other words, this is roughly as unfair as the Ayers ad would have been if Obama had actually helped to expose Ayers’s past crimes instead of issuing the obligatory denunciation when pressed and then politely letting the matter drop. Anyway, more at the link, including an assessment of just how joint that recent Reed fundraiser for McCain was.


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