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RNC (for McCain) plays offense on energy fears against Obama

July 7, 2008 | 10:04 pm

The Republican National Committee is spending $3.4 million on television ads in four swing states blasting Barack Obama’s energy policy, according to a campaign finance report filed Monday.

The 30-second ad is part of an independent campaign on behalf of Sen. John McCain. It says McCain is “pushing his own party to face climate change,” and contrasts the presumptive GOP nominee’s energy stand against Obama’s.

McCain supports “alternative energy, conservation, suspending the gas tax, and more production here at home.” The reference to more production presumably is a reference at least in part to McCain’s recent call for offshore oil drilling, made shortly before he went to a fundraiser in Santa Barbara.

Obama, the spot says, opposes lower gasoline taxes, nuclear power and more drilling. “Just the party line,” says the ad.

The ad -- view it below -- is airing in at least Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Brad Todd, of the firm, OnMessage Inc., created the spot, and said it was expected to air through next week. In a statement, Todd explained the theme by saying energy security “is emerging as a defining difference in the race for president."

Obama spokesman Hari Sevugan slapped back, telling The Times' Dan Morain that McCain promises to “continue the Bush approach of trying to drill our way out of our energy crisis.” Obama is offering “historic investment in alternative energy development,” he added.

The $3.4-million buy is substantial. But it is likely only the ante for the RNC and the Democratic National Committee. The DNC alone spent more than $100 million in 2004 on behalf of Sen. John Kerry’s presidential run.

--Andrew Malcolm