Saturday, April 12, 2008

Obama Won't Back Down

"Just like her last tall tale about dodging sniper fire in Bosnia, Senator Clinton has misfired with her latest negative ad," Obama spokesman Hari Sevugan said. "The fact is, Barack Obama takes no money from Washington lobbyists or PACs, while Senator Clinton has taken more than any Democrat or Republican in this race, and that includes oil companies."

Meanwhile, Obama released yet another TV spot in Pennsylvania, his 10th in the run-up to the April 22 primary. "Billy" addresses the entwined relationship between legislators and big industry in Washington and presents the Illinois senator as an outsider who would change the broken system.

The ad features footage of Obama talking to a small crowd, offering what he calls "an example of the same old game playing in Washington." He tells the story of former Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La., who headed the House Energy and Commerce Committee from 2001 to 2004, and is now president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

While the ad itself doesn't directly answer Clinton's charge, it pushes largely the same message as the previous Obama spot now under attack from Clinton: that Obama is an outsider candidate, uninfluenced by lobbyists. More broadly, it attempts to rebut the argument that Obama does not have enough Washington experience. "You know I don't want to learn how to play the game better," Obama says of D.C. politics. "I want to put an end to the game playing."

NBC News/National Journal reporter Aswini Anburajan reports that the spot comes directly from Obama's stump speech and that Tauzin's story is Obama's favorite example of how lobbyists interfere with policymaking in Washington.

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