Obama, Dems go after McCain's honor

With a new ad and a new message, Democrats are trying to push back against John McCain's campaign tactics.

Published September 15, 2008 1:04PM (EDT)

Barack Obama's campaign is taking the gloves off and hitting John McCain where -- Democratic strategists hope -- it hurts. It's using the recent, and lengthy, record of the McCain camp's lies and distortions to go after McCain's reputation as a "straight talker," after his very honor.

The offensive began in earnest Monday morning with the release of a new ad titled "Honor," which asks, "What's happened to John McCain?" The narrator quotes journalists and nonpartisan fact checkers who've criticized McCain's tactics, saying, "He's running 'the sleaziest ads ever.' 'Truly vile.' 'Dishonest smears' that he repeats even after [they've] been 'exposed as a lie ...' After voting with Bush 90 percent of the time, proposing the same disastrous economic policies, it seems 'deception' is all he has left."

Coinciding with the ad's release is the Democratic National Committee's launch of a new feature of its "McCainPedia" Web site, this one dubbed "Count the Lies." The DNC lists 51 checks of claims that have been made by McCain, his running mate, his campaign or his surrogates.

If you have a strange sense of déjà vu seeing all this, you're not alone. Politico's Jonathan Martin dug up an ad from the 1988 presidential campaign, this one featuring then Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis making some eerily familiar arguments. You can watch both ads below.


Dukakis ad

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Alex Koppelman

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2008 Elections Barack Obama John Mccain R-ariz.