‘The ultimate bridge to nowhere’

‘THE ULTIMATE BRIDGE TO NOWHERE’…. It was one of Joe Biden’s only pre-scripted “zingers.” And now it’s an ad.

A new spot, which is supposed to air on national cable beginning today, highlights an exchange from last night’s debate on healthcare. It shows Sarah Palin telling the audience, “[McCain’s] proposing a $5,000 tax credit for families so that they can get out there and they can purchase their own health care coverage.”

Then it shows Biden’s (slightly edited) response: “Do you know how John McCain pays for his $5,000 tax credit? He taxes as income every one of you out there, every one of you listening who has a health care plan through your employer…. Taxing your health care benefit. I call that the ‘Ultimate Bridge to Nowhere.'”

On-screen, the text reads: “Taxing health benefits for the first time ever. The McCain health tax: What they can’t explain.”

It’s not a bad spot, and it raises an issue that still doesn’t generate nearly enough attention.

I assume McCain’s debate-related spot will be out soon enough, but nothing yet this morning.

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Steve Benen

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.