McCain’s robocall problem isn’t going away

MCCAIN’S ROBOCALL PROBLEM ISN’T GOING AWAY…. How offensive are the McCain campaign’s robocalls? At this point, three Republican senators — Snowe, Coleman, and Collins — have denounced them and called on McCain to drop them. Even Sarah Palin doesn’t seem to care for them.

The calls are so scurrilous, in an area where McCain hired callers to read the script, instead of using an automated system, one woman at a phone-bank quit rather than lie to voters about Obama and Bill Ayers.

For what it’s worth, the Obama campaign is responding with its own robocall, but it includes a very different message.

The Obama campaign plans to release [today] a robocall that hits back hard against John McCain’s robocalls — it features a small business owner from Green Bay, Wisconsin, that says she’s been turned against McCain by his “sleazy” roboslime campaign against Obama.

An Obama adviser sent us the call, which features Jeri Watermolen, a small business owner from Green Bay, who claims that she “used to support McCain but has switched her support to Obama” because of the “sleazy phone calls and mail” attacking Obama that McCain has put out.

The call will tell voters, “Hi, this is Jeri Watermolen, calling for the Campaign for Change. I live in Green Bay and, like you, I’ve been getting sleazy phone calls and mail from John McCain and his supporters viciously — and falsely — attacking Barack Obama. I used to support John McCain because he honorably served our country — but this year he’s running a dishonorable campaign. We know McCain will continue many of Bush’s policies, and now he’s using George Bush’s divisive tactics. In fact, he hired the Bush strategists whose attacks even McCain once called hateful. Barack Obama will turn the page on these negative politics and stand up for the middle class. That’s the change we need, and it’s why I have changed my mind about John McCain.”

For that matter, Biden went on a tear yesterday, blasting McCain on these calls. “If he’s really serious when he said this morning on one of the shows that this election is all about the economy, then I say, ‘John, stop your ads. Bring down those robocalls,'” Biden said. “If it’s about the economy, argue the economy…. John, stop these calls!”

I have a hunch the McCain campaign never expected this much pushback.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation