John McCain’s campaign released one of its hardest hitting ads in this election on Monday, aiming to ratchet up the guilt-by-association game by linking Barack Obama to convicted felon Tony Rezko.
The new spot, “Chicago Machine” also connects the Democratic presidential nominee to three prominent Illinois politicians– former U.S. Commerce Secretary Bill Daley, Illinois state Senate President Emil Jones and Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich — all of whom have faced criticism for questionable ties to businessmen and political power brokers.
The ad claims Obama is “born of the corrupt Chicago political machine,” before calling Jones his “political godfather” and Rezko his “money man.”
Jones and Blagojevich are under an “ethics cloud,” says the McCain camp, relating to investigations into nepotism and favors to political donors by the two pols. As for Daley, the ad suggests cronysim is at play for the former Fannie Mae “lobbyist” and brother of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.
The ad is to be released nationally. The Obama campaign responded by saying the Democrat is the true maverick when it comes to ethics reform.
“It’s no coincidence that on the very day newspapers reported that John McCain’s campaign manager was paid $2 million to lobby against tighter regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the McCain campaign would launch this false, gratuitous attack,” said spokesman Bill Burton.
“Barack Obama was elected to the Illinois Senate as an independent Democrat. He took on the Chicago Democratic organization in a primary to win a seat in the U.S. Senate. And in both Illinois and Washington, he has challenged the Old Guard for landmark ethics reforms,” Burton said.
McCain campaign advisers say that they decided to make the ad in response to the association game played by Obama’s campaign, which most recently issued a Spanish language ad linking McCain to Rush Limbaugh on the topic of immigration.