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13 Days Out: Giving McCain's Attacks the Contempt They Deserve

Then there's McCain's "hate calls." The pushback there isn't just coming from us...
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Jesse Lee is the Online Rapid Response Manager for the DNC, this is a daily update on the day's messaging.

Emerging from a meeting with Joe Biden and the Retired Generals, Ambassadors and others who constitute their Senior Working Group on National Security this morning, Senator Obama spoke to the press. With just brief remarks, he laid to rest any questions of who has the better judgment on national security, saying "We cannot afford four more years of policies that have failed to adjust to our new century. We're not going to defeat a terrorist network that operates in eighty countries through an occupation of Iraq. We're not going to deny the nuclear ambitions of Iran by refusing to pursue direct diplomacy alongside our allies. We're not going to secure the American people and promote American values with empty bluster. It's time for a fundamental change, and that's why I'm running for President."

He then took questions, in which he quickly dispatched with McCain's latest "nutty" socialism attacks:

Obama: "The irony is, is that when George Bush proposed the original tax cuts that lowered tax rates for the wealthiest Americans, who objected? John McCain. Who said these were irresponsible and said that they would prevent middle-class tax relief? That they weren't properly targeted? Now was John McCain a socialist back in 2000 when he opposed the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans? Because all I'm trying to do is reverse those so that we can give relief to people who really need help. It's not a very plausible argument that he's making right now. And I think it's an indication that they have run out of ideas."

Those days of yore to which Obama referred were also captured very nicely in this clip from 2000 when McCain was on Hardball and could just as easily have been shooting down his own attacks today:

John McCain: "We feel, obviously, that wealthy people can afford more... I believe that when you really look at the tax code today, the very wealthy, because they can afford tax lawyers and all kinds of loopholes, really don't pay nearly as much as you think they do when you just look at the percentages. And I think middle-income Americans, working Americans, when the account and payroll taxes, sales taxes, mortgage pay -- all of the taxes that working Americans pay, I think they -- you would think that they also deserve significant relief, in my view... here's what I really believe, that when you are -- reach a certain level of comfort, there's nothing wrong with paying somewhat more." [MSNBC's Hardball, 10/12/00]

And then there's McCain's "hate calls." The pushback there isn't just coming from us...

WKOW (WI): "A local man made dozens of calls bashing Barack Obama, but when the campaign got ugly, he quit his job. Ted Zoromski of Middleton took a job this month at telemarketing firm Sitel, on Madison's west side... Zoromski said, 'This was different than I was told I was going to be saying, and [Sitel] said the script changes on a daily basis.' So Zoromski quit, fed up with what he perceived as scare tactics. The Wisconsin GOP says it had nothing to do with the calls, but says negative ads go both ways. 'This is not really different from any of the other messages we've had out there,' said Marc Jefferson, of the Wisconsin GOP. 'We've seen Barack Obama attack John McCain over his staff people and who they've been associated with.' Meantime, Ted Zoromski is unemployed, but says his conscience is clear. 'Even though I was being paid to do it, I didn't feel comfortable, he said.'"

Charleston Gazette (WV): "Chaylee Cole, a student at Fairmont State University, lost her part-time job in Weston last Friday after refusing to make telephone calls attacking Barack Obama... Cole said, 'We were just supposed to read that message and hang up. One of my other issues working there was that someone told me it didn't matter who picked up the phone, whether it was a 5-year-old or a 95-year-old. We should read the message.'"

But to be clear, the response is not just being left to "Ted the call center operator." Joe Biden hit back hard, "hammering away at John McCain over robo-slime-gate and demanding that McCain 'bring down those robocalls!'"

TPM also reports that "The Obama campaign plans to unleash a robocall in Wisconsin tomorrow that hits back hard against John McCain's robocalls in the state -- it features a small business owner from Green Bay, Wisconsin, that says she's been turned against McCain by his 'sleazy' roboslime campaign against Obama." Click through for the script and audio.

And finally, if you've got a Republican representing you in Congress, you can chip in by helping HuffPo find out what they think of the calls. Any questions?