New York, Sept.20 : A new 30-second advertisement that has been aired by the Republican campaign since Thursday and titled "Advice," blames Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama for the current crisis on Wall Street.
Until the advertisement came out on Thursday evening, the Obama campaign did not question the claim.
According to the New York Times, advertisement begins with a picture of Obama, with his head cocked and a perplexed expression, as the words "No economic background" appear next to him.
Next is a similar shot of Obama, this time next to a quote from The Washington Post reading, "Advice on Mortgage and Housing Policy."
The advertisement goes on to show a darkened background with several pictures of the narrator of the advertisement will say: "Obama has no background in economics. Who advises him? The Post says it's Franklin Raines, for 'advice on mortgage and housing policy.'
Shocking. Under Raines, Fannie Mae committed 'extensive financial fraud.' Raines made millions as much as 25 million dollars. Fannie Mae collapsed. Taxpayers? Stuck with the bill. Barack Obama. Bad advice, bad instincts. Not ready to lead."
Then an elderly woman appears on screen, next to the words, "Taxpayers stuck with bill." The spot concludes with an image of a smiling Obama.
This advertisement forced a series of heated attacks between the McCain and Obama campaigns beginning on Thursday, a debate that was left unresolved by the end of Friday.
What is clear is that the McCain campaign has left the strong impression that Raines, a former chief executive of Fannie Mae who was ousted in 2004 amid an investigation over its accounting practices, is a close adviser to Obama, a suggestion that is totally unsupported by the facts.
Since the advertisement's airing, the Democrats have vigorously denied a relationship between Obama and Raines.
Bill Burton, a spokesman for Obama, called the advertisement "another flat-out lie from a dishonorable campaign that is increasingly incapable of telling the truth," and demanded a correction of the original article from The Post.
The campaign also sent by e-mail a statement from Raines, saying: "I am not an advisor to Barack Obama, nor have I provided his campaign with advice on housing or economic matters."
On Friday, Burton said that Raines and Obama met once on the campaign trail, sometime in 2007 or 2008, and had not talked since then.
He said Raines conducted an "introductory meeting" with a Senate aide to Obama, also sometime in the last two years.
The McCain campaign's goal was to link Obama to Fannie Mae; and indirectly to to the worst economic upheaval in decades.
It is meant to play into voters' fears, as well as anger, as both McCain and Obama jockey to prove their superior ability to lead the nation through the crisis.