McCain ad ‘lashes out’ at Obama’s ‘disrespect’ toward Palin

That 9/11 Truce didn’t last long.

The McCain campaign began running a TV ad Thursday in Colorado that raises the question: Is John McCain engaged in a high-stakes game of limbo? As his campaign since the Republican National Convention piles outright lies upon scurrilous outrage upon gross distortion, it remains to be seen just how low he can go.

Lashes Out,” the latest 30-second ad from McCain, provides the answer. The ad menacingly accuses the Obama-Biden campaign of being “disrespectful” toward Sarah Palin. You can hear the announcer’s lip curl as she ticks off a litany meant to portray Barack Obama and Joe Biden as patronizing sexists.

Even though the ad cites quotes purportedly from Biden, an Obama aide and a newsmagazine, it’s Obama’s face that appears next to each damning citation — even looking a bit flirtatious, with a rakish smile as the ad says Obama and Biden “Dismissed her as good looking.” See for yourself:

Since we learned this week Republican leaders seem baffled that the word “uppity” has racial connotations, there’s certainly nothing improper about a strapping young African American leering at the “Good Looking” governor of Alaska, now, is there?

According to the nonpartisan FactCheck.org — cited favorably by the McCain campaign in an ad the watchdog group itself blasted as a distortion — the new McCain ad is “particularly egregious” example of distortion and “peddling false quotes.”. Basically every assertion in the ad is misleading, and that’s putting it politely.

Here’s the ad’s script:

Narrator: He was the world’s biggest celebrity, but his star is fading. So they lashed out at Sarah Palin. Dismissed her as good looking. That backfired. So they said she was doing what she was told. Then desperately called Sarah Palin a liar. How disrespectful. And how Governor Sarah Palin proves them wrong every day.

Having worked its way through the race card and the gender card, the McCain campaign is finally playing the human card.

Here’s the FactCheck.org summary, but it’s worth reading the detailed analysis to see just how far the McCain campaign stretches and distorts the ad’s supposed quotes to make its point.

… It takes words out of context to make it sound as though the Democratic ticket is belittling Palin:

• The ad says “they said she was doing ‘what she was told.’ ” But the Obama adviser who’s being quoted didn’t accuse Palin of meekly following orders. What he actually said is that she made a false claim about Obama’s legislative record and added, “maybe that’s what she was told.”

• It says “they lashed out at Sarah Palin; dismissed her as ‘good looking,’ ” But “they” didn’t lash out at all. Obama – who is the one pictured – didn’t say anything like that. The only one the McCain campaign quotes is Obama’s running mate, Biden, and he actually offered the remark as a compliment. Biden said the “obvious” difference between Palin and himself is “she’s good looking.”

• The ad says Obama was “disrespectful” when he accused Palin of “lying” about her record. But the truth is Palin’s claim to have “said no” to the “bridge to nowhere” is indeed a dubious one, as we and many have pointed out.

FactCheck.org says the ad was found Thursday running in Denver by a campaign media tracking firm, but Politico’s Ben Smith reports the McCain campaign has apparently released the ad without notice to reporters.

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Ernest Luning

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