Jim Geraghty isn’t sure, but the RNC argues Barack Obama reversed himself yet again, this time on negative advertising. In his “New Energy” spot designed for wide broadcast, Obama hits McCain for his support of George Bush and the Bush energy policy for exactly half of the commercial — the first half. Afterwards, Obama speaks about his own energy policy, but manages to offer everything except a viable kilowatt or gallon of gasoline.
Flip-flop? Looks like it to me:
Now watch his pledge from just three months ago:
I may be one of the few who have no problem with negative ads — unless they distort the truth. Candidates have to have the latitude to contrast their positions and their records with those of their opponents, and advertising is an effective way to do it. As long as the candidates remain honest, there is nothing wrong with negative or contrast ads. The RNC and DNC have launched negative ads already, and anyone who doesn’t count these committees as part of the campaigns is willfully fooling themselves.
However, Obama is the one who made the foolish pledge and treated negative ads like leprosy. Like the flag pin, Obama made this an issue, not McCain or the press. He made it as a way to establish his New Politics credentials, and now he has tossed it under the bus along with public financing and other reform credentials. It’s the hypocrisy, and not the negative ad, that reveals so much about Obama.
But there’s plenty in the ad that also casts Obama in a poor light. First, he criticizes McCain for supporting a bill for which Obama himself voted. He then cites a study to claim that McCain voted with Bush 95% of the time that he earlier rejected for casting him as the most liberal Senator in 2007. And while he complains about McCain’s support for drilling, prices going out of sight, and McCain’s twenty-six year tenure in the Senate, what has Obama done in his three years to bring the kind of change that would have prevented higher fuel prices? After all, Obama’s party controlled Congress during the period of rapid energy-price increases. What did Obama and the Democrats do about it while they had the opportunity?
Oh, that’s right. They held hearings, accused speculators of evil, and did exactly squat to bring more supply to market. And nowhere in this list of Obama’s policies does he mention anything — anything at all — that addresses prices by increasing energy supply any faster than the seven years he assumes it will take to bring new oil to market.
Obama. Hypocrisy like you can’t believe, and energy that we’ll never see. Wait for the wind!