Call me delusional but I think McCain could beat the engaging but insubstantial Obama on his own merits and does not need to rely on distortions as in this ad:
Today's new McCain ad -- "Tiny," which you can watch HERE -- crosses a new line into dishonesty, however, beyond whether or not it's actually airing anywhere.
The script reads; "Iran. Radical Islamic government. Known sponsors of terrorism. Developing nuclear capabilities to 'generate power' but threatening to eliminate Israel.
"Obama says Iran is a 'tiny' country, 'doesn't pose a serious threat,'" the ad continues. "Terrorism, destroying Israel, those aren't 'serious threats'? Obama -- dangerously unprepared to be president."
This is a dishonest representation of Obama's words.
On May 18, on Pendelton, Oregon, Obama said that "strong countries and strong Presidents talk to their adversaries. That's what Kennedy did with Khrushchev. That's what Reagan did with Gorbachev. That's what Nixon did with Mao. I mean think about it. Iran, Cuba, Venezuela -- these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don't pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us. And yet we were willing to talk to the Soviet Union at the time when they were saying, 'We're going to wipe you off the planet.'
"And ultimately that direct engagement led to a series of measures that helped prevent nuclear war, and over time allowed the kind of opening that brought down the Berlin Wall," Obama continued. "Now, that has to be the kind of approach that we take. You know, Iran, they spend one-one hundredth of what we spend on the military. If Iran ever tried to pose a serious threat to us, they wouldn't stand a chance. And we should use that position of strength that we have to be bold enough to go ahead and listen. That doesn't mean we agree with them on everything. We might not compromise on any issues, but at least we should find out other areas of potential common interest, and we can reduce some of the tensions that has caused us so many problems around the world."
On its face Obama's policy towards Iran has been a muddle - he has said will meet without preconditions with the leaders; subsequent "clarifications" taught us that may or may not include Ahmadinejad and that Obama contemplated "preparations" but not preconditions before a meeting.
I quibble with the conclusion at the Political Punch:
That is not even close to Obama saying Iran is a "tiny" country that "doesn't pose a serious threat."
If you look closely (try squinting), the passage I have emphasized - If Iran ever tried to pose a serious threat to us, they wouldn't stand a chance - sorta kinda implies that Iran does not pose a serious threat to us now. I mean, right now Iran seems to be standing pretty good chances of proceeding with their nuclear program, yes?
Well. Obama is murky enough on Iran without McCain stirring more mud into the mix. Distortions, even if defensible, simply gives an eager press the chance to write "McCain Lies" stories, which steps on the message. The truth ought to be effective enough - when this bubbled up in May even the Times was willing to present McCain's side fairly.