Muckraker: Grist on Politics

The campaign 2008 energy ad wars continue, delving deeper into negative territory. Today, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama released a new television ad accusing GOP rival John McCain of being in the pocket of Big Oil. The ad highlights the astronomical profits that oil companies have recently reported, and the roughly $2 million in campaign funds McCain has brought in from donors with ties to the oil industry.

“After one president in the pocket of Big Oil, we can’t afford another,” says the ad, panning across a photo of George W. Bush and McCain standing together. It goes on to tout Obama’s plans to instate a windfall profits tax on oil companies and use the proceeds to provide Americans with a $1,000 energy rebate.

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McCain’s not the only one to receive donations from oil executives, however. Obama has received nearly $400,000 in donations from contributors in the oil and gas industries this election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

McCain’s campaign issued a statement on the ad, criticizing Obama for voting for the 2005 energy bill that offered what a “sweetheart deal for oil companies.”

“Barack Obama’s latest negative attack ad shows his celebrity is matched only by his hypocrisy,” said spokesman Tucker Bounds.