McCain meets with voters in Racine, Wis.

July 31, 2008 3:53:52 PM PDT
The political ad comparing Senator Barack Obama to Britney Spears has become the talk of the presidential campaign. Senator John McCain is defending his commercial while Obama asked if the ad was the best McCain could come up with. McCain was in Racine, Wisconsin, on Thursday where he held a town hall meeting. McCain is visiting Wisconsin for the fourth time since the end of the primary season. And his supporters are already pumping millions of dollars into TV ads in the Badger State because Barack Obama has a double-digit lead in all of the polls and Wisconsin is considered a key battleground state.

The presidential election, by the way, is just over three months away, and it is heating up right along with the summer weather. Local activists welcomed McCain to Racine Thursday by dancing around in masks of him and President Bush to imply that they're political clones.

The street theater comes, ironically, on a day dominated by another comparison.

"He's the biggest celebrity in the world," the McCain ad says.

McCain's campaign is airing TV ads suggesting that Obama's a celebrity, like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, who are shown in the ad, not a substantive candidate for president.

Obama responded at a town hall meeting in Iowa Thursday.

"I do have to ask my opponent, is that the best you can come up with?" Obama said.

"All I can say is that we're proud of that commercial," said McCain.

McCain defended the ad at Thursday afternoon's town hall meeting in Racine. He said that, even though he admires Obama's style and eloquence, his judgment and his stance on the key issues are simply wrong.

"Senator Obama's words, for all their eloquence and passion, don't mean all that much. We don't need another politician in Washington who puts self-interest and political expediency ahead of problem solving," said McCain.

The reaction to the ad flap in Racine depends on which side you're on.

"I think that Obama is a fallacy that's been created, and I don't believe he's qualified to be president," said Donna Poelman, McCain supporter.

"To me it's just the same G.O.P. spin factory that they always seem to rev up at election time, a whole lot of spin and not a lot of substance," said Paulette Gavin, Obama supporter.

The Obama campaign is determined not to be "swift boated" like John Kerry was in 2004. They are launching a new website, called the "Low Ride Express," aimed at correcting the alleged misstatements by the McCain campaign.


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