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A new Web video from Sen. John McCain's campaign invokes James Bond to portray Sen. Barack Obama as an opponent of McCain's energy initiatives.
With music that sounds like the 007 theme, the ad opens with Obama in silhoutte and the words "Barack Obama Is Dr. No."
The words change to "No To Drilling Offshore Oil" while Obama is heard saying, "Offshore drilling would not lower gas prices today."
The screen says, "No To A Gas Tax Holiday" while Obama says, "I think John McCain's proposal for a three-month tax holiday is a bad idea."
"No To Innovation. No To The Electric Car" appears on the screen while Obama says "In this campaign, John McCain is offering the same old gimmicks."
"No To Clean, Safe, Nuclear Energy" while Obama says "I start off with the premise that nuclear energy is not optimal. I am not a nuclear energy proponent." The ad ends with the message: "Barack Obama Truly Is The Dr. No Of Energy Security."
The ad is part of an effort by the McCain campaign to portray Obama as an obstructionist on energy policy. We were surprised to find the ad had a split personality. The drilling and gas tax claims were accurate, as we'll explain below. But we found McCain was Pants-on-Fire wrong with his claims about Obama's positions on innovation, the car and nuclear power.
The drilling claim refers to Obama's response after McCain suggested on June 16, 2008, that states be given authority to decide whether to permit offshore drilling. Indeed, that day Obama's campaign said he was opposed, and on June 20 the candidate reiterated his opposition during a stop in Jacksonville, Fla.
"I will keep the moratorium in place and prevent oil companies from drilling off Florida's coasts," Obama said in his prepared remarks for that appearance. He also said McCain was misleading voters by suggesting more drilling would lower gas prices, because it would take many years before a significant amount of oil was produced.
The ad's claim about the gas tax holiday refers to Obama's response to another McCain proposal, to eliminate the federal tax on gasoline between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Obama has repeatedly said he opposes the idea because oil companies would not pass along the savings and, even if they did, it would provide relatively little help to consumers. (We checked Obama's claim that it would save a typical motorist about 30 cents a day and found it Mostly True. )
So on these points, McCain's right. Obama is opposed to changing the rules on offshore drilling and suspending the gas tax. McCain gets a True.
St. Petersburg Times, Obama zeros in on offshore drilling, McCain, June 21, 2008
The Buzz, St. Petersburg Times, Obama: no offshore drilling, June 20, 2008
CNN, Interview With Senator Barack Obama on CNN's American Morning, May 5, 2008
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