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AdWatch: Anti-Obama group raises pastor in ads



By KATHLEEN HENNESSEY, AP
17 October 2008 @ 12:19 pm AEST

TITLE: "Obama's Wrong Values"; "Obama's Awful High Tax Policies"; "Hillary Clinton Rips Barack Obama" and "Obama's Patriotism Problem."

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LENGTH: Clinton and patriotism ads are 60 seconds, others are 30 seconds.

PAID FOR BY: Our Country Deserves Better PAC, a Sacramento, Calif.-based group formed to campaign against Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

AIRING: PAC claims ads are airing in Nevada, Colorado and Michigan, with a total ad buy of more than $100,000.

ANALYSIS: The ads are the work of an independent group and are not produced by Republican candidate John McCain's campaign. The exact size of the ad buy is uncertain because it has not yet been reported to federal election officials.

The group's goal is to use provocative images to "question the leadership, character and judgment of Barack Obama," according to PAC spokesman Joe Wierzbicki.

Wierzbicki said the group does not believe McCain's campaign has been strong enough in its attacks against Obama.

The images and allegations are provocative and, in some cases, unfounded. Many have been circulating in e-mails and on blogs, but have not yet been raised by McCain.

Clips from a controversial sermon delivered by Obama's former pastor Jeremiah Wright are used in two ads to charge that Obama doesn't share average Americans' values.

Another ad questions Obama's patriotism with a video clip in which he does not hold his hand to his heart during the national anthem. A third accuses Obama of sympathizing with Islamic militants. The ad does not support the statement.

The PAC was formed in August by California political consultant Sal Russo and former California Assemblyman Howard Kaloogian.

SCRIPT EXCERPTS: "Obama's Wrong Values": Announcer: "Barack Obama seems to have different values than most Americans. ... Obama's campaign received $33,000 in illegal donations from Palestinians living in the Middle East. A top official of the terrorist group Hamas endorsed Obama's campaign. And how can we forget these hateful sermons from Obama's pastor for over 20 years."

"Obama Awful Tax Policies": Announcer: "In 2007, Barack Obama was ranked by National Journal magazine as the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate. ... He says he'll raise Social Security taxes. And Obama even opposed a temporary repeal of the taxes you pay on gasoline."

"Hillary Clinton Rips Barack Obama": Deborah Johns, conservative activist: "We must oppose Obama. He's says he'll play nicey-nice with Islamic militants who want to kill Americans both here at home and abroad."

"Obama's Patriotism Problem": Kaloogian: "If America isn't good enough for Barack Obama then surely Barack Obama isn't good enough for America."

KEY IMAGES: Clips of Wright declaring "God damn America!" in a sermon; Obama standing with his hands folded in front of him during what appears to the singing of the national anthem; Clinton declaring "Shame on you, Barack Obama!" at a news conference.

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Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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