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Obama Camp Escalates Lie Attack on Debate Night

“Ben Porritt is literally lying to you.”

That’s the latest debate-night declaration from Sen. Barack Obama aide Hari Sevugan, as he personally blasted Porritt, a spokesman for the McCain campaign, over Porritt’s claim that there are “no associations with any lobbyists on our campaign.” Porritt made the statement while trying to deflect questions about a Sen. John McCain confidante accused of lobbying for Saddam Hussein.

In reality, McCain’s campaign is top-heavy with lobbyists –including such key players as Rick Davis (Verizon, DHL), Charlie Black (Freddie Mac), John Green (Chevron, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae) and Randy Schuenemann (BP, Amoco, NRA, interests in Ukraine and Georgia) — as TWI’s Spencer Ackerman noted in a post on this “New McCain Lie.”

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The Obama Campaign says this man is lying to you.

It is one thing, however, for journalist Spencer Ackerman to chide Porritt for a “bald-faced lie.” Within presidential campaigns, though, it is unusual for operatives to attack their counterpart’s character by name. That is not only longstanding decorum but a practical necessity. Regular staff-level attacks would make public squabbles even more unpalatable and could further alienate the few voters who even listen to the daily rhetorical combat. That is not in any campaign’s interest.

Yet going into the final debate and campaign homestretch, Obama’s aides are taking names, trying to attack and shame individual GOP operatives to counter a McCain media strategy that, according to Democrats, is built on a daily stream of smears and lies.

Here is Sevugan’s entire statement:

Today, in answering a question about the propriety of John McCain choosing a Washington lobbyist, who helped efforts to lift sanctions against Saddam Hussein in the wake of the Gulf War, to run his transition efforts, campaign spokesman Ben Porritt told a national TV audience that “throughout our campaign, and we’ve talked about this a lot, we’ve had no associations with any lobbyists on our campaign.”

Ladies and gentleman, Ben Porritt is literally lying to you. John McCain has at least 177 current or former lobbyists running his campaign and raising money for him, including seven of his top advisors. In addition to William Timmons, who worked to end sanctions against Saddam Hussein, McCain’s stable of lobbyists include those who have worked for Verizon and AT&T, which provided McCain with cell phone towers for his Arizona ranch.

We urge Ben and you to learn more about McCain’s lobbyists below and at www.McLobbyist.com

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