McCain and Obama Clash Over M-Word
Sen. John McCain’s new ad plays up an old theme. It’s all about his "maverick" credentials, as TWI’s Matt DeLong notes, from fighting corruption in "both parties" to "battling Big Tobacco." The Obama campaign is contesting those maverick claims, circulating a Boston Globe article that reports McCain is actually backing off the tobacco industry:
McCain’s longtime effort to crack down on tobacco is being put to a new test. Within weeks, the Senate is expected to vote on legislation to allow the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco. McCain agreed months ago to cosponsor the current bill with Senator Edward M. Kennedy, but McCain’s policy adviser said the senator won’t commit to voting for it until he sees the final legislation. McCain has also dropped his support for increasing cigarette taxes. Last year, McCain voted against legislation that would have used a 61-cents-per-pack tax to expand a children’s health program.
Yet in key battleground states, McCain remains popular among independents, partly because of his maverick reputation. A whopping 59 percent of independents view him favorably in Michigan, for example, far above approval for President George W. Bush. (Only 23 percent of independents approve of Bush in national polls this year.) And in swing states, of course, the independent swing voters are often decisive. A new Michigan survey from the Public Policy Polling firm explains: