McCain mocks Obama's ad
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By Ben Feller and David Espo
By Ben Feller and David Espo
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama plunked down $4 million for a campaign-closing television ad yesterday and asked voters to "choose hope over fear and unity over division" in Tuesday's election. Republican John McCain derided the event as a "gauzy, feel-good commercial," paid for with broken promises.
"America, the time for change has come," Obama said in the final moments of the ad, a blend of videotaped moments and a live appearance before thousands in Sunrise, Fla. "In six days we can choose an economy that rewards work and creates jobs and fuels prosperity starting with the middle class," Obama said.
The 30-minute ad, aired on CBS, NBC, Fox and several cable networks, came days from the end of a race in which Obama leads in polls nationally and in most key battleground states.
While it is unusual for candidates to acknowledge the possibility of defeat, Republican running mate Sarah Palin said she intended to remain a national figure even if the ticket loses next week. "I'm not doin' this for naught," she told ABC News in an interview.
Republicans and some Democrats said the race was tightening as it neared the end. Although Obama made no mention of McCain in his paid television ad, both men sharpened their rhetoric during the day.
McCain, in Florida, argued that Obama lacks "what it takes to protect America from terrorists" as he sought to shift attention away from the economy.
"The question is whether this is a man who has what it takes to protect America from Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida and the other great threats in the world," he said. "He has given no reason to answer in the affirmative."
Obama's 30-minute campaign commercial, purchased at a cost that campaign aides put at roughly $4 million, not only marked Obama's attempt to seal his case with the electorate, but also underscored his enormous financial advantage in the race. He has outraised McCain by far after first committing — and then reneging — on a pledge to limit spending to the $84 million available under federal matching funds.
Across 30 minutes, the ad blended views of Obama speaking in a setting that resembled the Oval Office, at the Democratic National Convention and elsewhere as well as scenes of Americans discussing their economic and health care troubles. His wife, Michelle, and his two daughters had cameos, and there were photos of his black father from Kenya and white mother who lived in Hawai'i.
McCain sought to blunt Obama's campaign-closing pitch, lacking the funds to match it.
"He's got a few things he wants to sell you: He's offering government-run healthcare ... an energy plan guaranteed to work without drilling ... and an automatic wealth spreader that folds neatly and fits under any bed," McCain told an audience in Florida.