Obama congratulates McCain for Cheney endorsement, releases ad

Hours after Vice President Dick Cheney said he was “delighted to support John McCain” while campaigning in Wyoming on Saturday, Barack Obama congratulated McCain for the endorsement at a rally in Pueblo, “because he really earned it.” The Obama campaign released an ad Sunday morning mocking the endorsement, comparing the vice president’s backing of McCain to Warren Buffett and Colin Powell’s support for Obama.

The McCain campaign fired back with a response distancing McCain from the Republican vice president: “It was John McCain who fought Vice President Cheney on Big Oil’s energy bill, the administration’s wasteful spending and argued for a different, successful course in Iraq — not Barack Obama.”

Cheney rivals President George W. Bush for the lowest approval rating of any national political figure.

On the stump in Laramie, Wyo., for his home state’s GOP ticket, Cheney reminisced about his early campaigns and said, “I believe the right leader for this moment in history is Sen. John McCain.” Let’s watch:

Appearing at a rally in Pueblo’s Union Avenue Historic District with his wife, Michelle, Obama pounced on Cheney’s endorsement Saturday afternoon. From his prepared remarks:

President Bush is sitting out the last few days before the election. But earlier today, Dick Cheney came out of his undisclosed location and hit the campaign trail. He said that he is, and I quote, “delighted to support John McCain.”

I’d like to congratulate Senator McCain on this endorsement because he really earned it. That endorsement didn’t come easy. Senator McCain had to vote 90 percent of the time with George Bush and Dick Cheney to get it. He served as Washington’s biggest cheerleader for going to war in Iraq, and supports economic policies that are no different from the last eight years. So Senator McCain worked hard to get Dick Cheney’s support. …

So George Bush may be in an undisclosed location, but Dick Cheney’s out there on the campaign trail because he’d be delighted to pass the baton to John McCain. He knows that with John McCain you get a twofer: George Bush’s economic policy and Dick Cheney’s foreign policy — but that’s a risk we cannot afford to take.

Before the dust had settled, the Obama campaign released an ad slamming McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin, for the endorsement. It began airing on Colorado televisions Sunday morning and will also air on national cable stations before the election, according to the Obama campaign.

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Ernest Luning

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