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More on Misleading McCain Ads

A Wall Street Journal profile of Steve Schmidt — who assumed day-to-day control of the McCain campaign at the beginning of this month — gives some insight into the origins of the recent rash of misleading or flat-out false claims featured prominently in Sen. John McCain’s campaign ads. From The Journal:

Mr. Schmidt specializes in the combat that dominates today’s political culture — the minute-by-minute, talking point-vs.-talking point battles that fill a 24-hour news cycle. His formula: a tightly controlled message delivered repeatedly and with almost military-like precision.

This week presents just the latest in a string of challenges. With Sen. Obama on a high-profile trip that includes Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel and Europe, Mr. Schmidt had to devise counter-programming that would at least keep Sen. McCain in the mix.

His answer so far: National-security comments aimed at getting Sen. McCain into the Obama coverage, and *a provocative television ad that directly tries to pin the blame on Sen. Obama for today’s high gas prices on the grounds that he opposes increasing offshore drilling. *[Emphasis added.]

As many have noted, Schmidt is a veteran of the 2004 Bush re-election bid, and a protege of Karl Rove. Could it be that McCain has embraced vicious Rovian tactics — of which he was infamously a victim during the 2000 primaries — over running the honorable, and presumably honest, campaign he promised?

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