Britney Spears? Paris Hilton? Moses?
The McCain campaign’s ads comparing Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., to those figures may have prompted a chuckle, but Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer he’s dead serious about the issues in the ads.
“We’ll continue to have humor in our campaigns,” McCain said. “Those ads really were focused on two things. They were focused on the fact that Sen. Obama wants to raise taxes, and I’m opposed of it. And he opposes an energy policy which would work, including offshore drilling. So the message there is there’re stark differences between myself and Sen. Obama.”
But McCain wasn’t done joking, either.
“I kind of enjoy ‘em,” McCain said of the ads. “You gotta have a sense of humor in this.
“You know, a few days ago, Sen. Obama said he challenged me to a duel," McCain said. “I’m for the light sabers as weapons of choice.”
Speaking of a much more serious tiff this week about whether or not Obama played the race card in the campaign, McCain seemed to defend his team’s strong response.
“We’re not gonna allow racism to come into this campaign in any form,” McCain said. “And so I’m gonna respond if it comes up again.”
On another hot campaign issue, McCain said "the American people will make a judgment" on whether his campaign's pressure prompted Obama’s apparent shift this week toward allowing drilling for oil in U.S. coastal waters as part of a comprehensive energy plan.
But McCain claimed his opponent’s position remains much different from his.
“Well, the fact is he still opposes offshore drilling,” McCain said. “He opposes nuclear power. He opposes most every measure, incentives to build a battery-driven car. So, I’m not surprised that he’s hedging on this issue. But the fact is he still opposes offshore drilling. We need to drill now and drill immediately, and it’s disgraceful that the Democrat-controlled Congress goes on a month-long recess without acting on energy.
“I would hope that he would urge the speaker of the House to at least have a vote on it,” McCain added.
“Sen. Obama is still opposed to a comprehensive energy plan,” McCain claimed. “It seems to me the only thing he wants us to do is inflate tires” to improve gas mileage.