Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) has floundered this week. His lack of understanding of the economy has
every which way -- both bashing bailouts and blessing them on consecutive days. He's come up with a tack to resolve his image problem -- go on the attack.
McCain is now stretching the truth about Sen. Barack Obama's (D., Ill.) ties to former executives at
. But the offensive move is ironic, considering McCain is the only one of the two candidates implicated in a scandal involving impropriety in bad banking deals. Anyone remember the
? McCain was one of them. Worse still, he has lobbyists on his campaign staff with ties to the Fannie and Freddie.
On Thursday, the McCain campaign released an attack ad suggesting Obama had a connection with
, offering advice on housing matters to his campaign. Raines served as the CEO of Fannie Mae until implicated in an accounting scandal in 2006. After leaving, he received a significant severance package -- a "golden parachute," which is standard for executives. There's only one problem: The ad was completely false. Raines has no role with Obama's campaign. Worse,
The Associated Press
on Friday reported an email sent by Raines to McCain adviser Carly Fiorina that succintly stated the truth.
On Friday, the McCain campaign released a new ad titled "
." Jim Johnson headed Fannie Mae prior to Raines. He didn't have an advisory role to the campaign aside from helping Obama pick a running mate. Johnson stepped down after a controversy erupted about him getting loans from Angelo Mozilo's firm
. The ties exist, but Johnson had nothing to do with the present housing crisis.
The same cannot be said of McCain's campaign. McCain's campaign adviser, Rick Davis, worked as a lobbyist for both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to help ensure the government-sponsored enterprises wouldn't face greater regulation from the federal government. According to a July
, 20 other McCain campaign advisers collected $12.3 million lobbying for the GSEs.
Obama has never stood accused of any wrongdoing. McCain, however, has had ties to a scandal. He was closely involved with Charles Keating in the 1980s. Keating helped create the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s, and he gave substantial sums of money to five senators in an effort to lobby them to fend off federal regulators. McCain was one of those senators. Although he didn't commit a crime, the Senate Ethics Committee admonished him for bad judgment. He subsequently rehabilitated his reputation.
McCain continues to demonstrate bad judgment by making spurious attacks, and he may again place his reputation in harm's way. In fact, he has been making disingenuous attacks on Obama for more than a month.
, a nonpartisan organization, investigates the claims of the candidates. McCain's facts prove so far from the truth that FactCheck has starting using Ronald Reagan's line: "
There he goes again
While McCain's campaign has mostly mischaracterized Obama's tax plans, it recently made a
that Obama had favored comprehensive sex education for kindergartners in the Illinois State Senate. Factcheck.org wrote: "It's true that the phrase 'comprehensive sex education' appeared in the bill, but little else in McCain's claim is accurate." The legislation actually mandated age-appropriate sex education and educated children about inappropriate physical contact, typical of what a sexual predator might attempt.
McCain's attacks have gotten out of control recently. Considering his own misjudgments in the past, McCain should reconsider this aggressive campaign of ad attacks.