THE RNC VS. THE MCCAIN CAMPAIGN…. John McCain not only supported the bailout package rejected by the House, he bragged about his role in getting the bill to the floor yesterday. His running mate suggested the bill was necessary to avert a depression. His campaign credited McCain personally for the bill’s very existence.

So it was a little odd to see the Republican National Committee come out with a new ad this morning blasting Barack Obama for the bailout package.

The Republican Party’s independent expenditure arm is up with an ad that hints at opposing the bailout, and links Obama’s spending plans, in a vague but ominous way, to it.

The ad was expected to air in Indiana and Virginia, along with more traditional battlegrounds of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Let me get this straight. The Republican president supported the bill. The Republican Senate leadership supported the bill. The Republican House leadership supported the bill. The Republican presidential nominee supported the bill. And the Republican National Committee runs an ad insisting that Obama’s bailout package “will make the problem worse.”

Indeed, the RNC unveiled its breathtaking ad literally within minutes of John McCain telling Fox News that in order to get increased support for the bill, “We’re going to have to change enough Republican and Democrats’ minds.””

So, simultaneously, the Republican Party is campaigning against the bill, and Republican presidential candidate is campaigning in support of the bill. Brilliant.

The Obama campaign responded, “For John McCain’s party to demagogue a rescue plan that he supports in order to score cheap political points is not only dishonest and dishonorable, it is the height of irresponsibility on a day when we urgently need to pass that plan to prevent an economic catastrophe. So much for country first.”

Here’s a question for reporters to ask McCain today: should the RNC pull its ad and apologize?

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.