- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama released a new ad hitting Sen. John McCain on the economy Wednesday in 16 of the 18 states that the campaign has deemed battlegrounds.

The Obama team, which is organizing and has offices in all 50 states, stressed that it is still running ads in both Georgia and Indiana, even though those red states were not treated to the new economy ad.

Mr. McCain holds a seven-point average lead in polls for Georgia, considered a Republican stronghold in previous cycles. The Obama campaign has targeted Georgia, which the Democrat captured during the primary, as competitive.

Mr. McCain is not advertising in Georgia.

In Indiana, Mr. Obama holds a slim lead of less than 1 percent, according to an average tallied by RealClearPolitics. He was narrowly defeated there during the Democratic primary.

Team Obama released an Indiana-specific ad featuring two McCain quotes about the economy with voters from Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky disagreeing and stressing they are facing hard times.

“I don’t believe we’re headed into a recession,” Mr. McCain said in January. In April, he said there has been “great progress economically.”

Contrasting his statements are voters who say that the nation is “absolutely in a recession” and that “the economy is in a rut.”

The ad closes with “How can John McCain fix the economy, when he doesn’t think it’s broken?”

The 16-state economic ad attempts to tie the presumptive Republican nominee to President Bush.

It shows Mr. McCain smiling and notes that he supported Mr. Bush “95 percent in 2007,” and links his support for the Iraq war to the $10 billion spent there per month.

The narrator promises that Mr. Obama will “end the war responsibly” and would end “tax breaks for oil companies.”

But Team McCain pointed out in a statement that Mr. Obama voted for the Bush energy bill in 2005, which gave tax breaks to Big Oil.

“In the Senate, Barack Obama has voted in lockstep with President George W. Bush nearly half the time, including the Bush-Cheney Energy bill which gave close to $3 billion in new giveaways to Big Oil - a terrible policy that John McCain opposed,” said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds. “The truth is Barack Obama’s plan is a job-killing machine that ignores the struggling economy and raises taxes on family savings, Social Security and small businesses.”

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