From NBC's Lauren Appelbaum
Unlike last night, speakers at the Democratic convention this evening took off their gloves, attacking McCain and linking him to President Bush.
Pennsylvania on the attack
Although Clinton won Pennsylvania during the primaries and Gov. Ed Rendell enthusiastically supported the New York senator, both Rendell and Sen. Bob Casey took a lead in attacks with forceful language. Rendell went after the lobbyists working for McCain's campaign.
you look past the speeches of John McCain, here's what you see: Many of
John McCain's top advisers top advisers worked as lobbyists for the oil
and gas companies. I guess that explains why he wants to give another
$4 billion-dollar tax break to oil companies. And if you look past his
speeches to his record, one thing is absolutely clear. John McCain has
never believed in renewable energy and he won't make it part of
He also linked McCain to Bush on his energy
policy. "It's clear, the only thing green in John McCain's energy plans
are the billions of dollars he's promising in more tax cuts to oil
companies. And the only thing that he'll recycle is the same failed
George Bush approach to energy policy."
Casey, as mentioned earlier,
called McCain Bush's sidekick. "The people of Pennsylvania can't afford
four more years of Bush-Cheney economics, and you know what -- with
John McCain, that's exactly what we'd get. John McCain calls himself a
maverick, but he votes with George Bush over 90 percent of the time.
That's not a maverick. That's a sidekick."
Using McCain's words against him
Meanwhile, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano used McCain's words against him. On the stump, McCain often jokes about former Arizonans who failed in their attempts to become president, saying mothers in the state have almost given up on telling their children they can do anything, even become president. Napolitano said not so fast, McCain.
"Arizonans are also proud of their political tradition. From Barry Goldwater to Mo Udall to Bruce Babbitt. Now, there's a pattern here. There's a pattern here. Barry Goldwater ran for president and he lost. Mo Udall ran for president and he lost. Bruce Babbitt ran for president and he lost. Now speaking for myself and for at least this next election, this is one Arizona tradition I'd like to see continue."
Napolitano continued, attacking McCain once again using his own words. "Just as I am proud of Arizona, I like to be positive about my fellow Arizonans. So I wanted to say something positive tonight about Senator McCain. When I heard him say that the economy is not issue he understands as well as he should, my problem was solved because I can say to you tonight positively that John McCain is right. He doesn't understand the economy as well as he should."
Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm went after McCain specifically about her state. "Senator McCain came to Michigan, and he told those who had been laid off, he said well, 'Your jobs are gone and they are not coming back.' Well, I tell you what, if he's president, he's probably right. If Senator Obama and Joe Biden are president and vice president, we will create manufacturing jobs in this country."
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland also hit McCain on the economy. "John McCain has no problem hitting the snooze button on the economy because he's never been a part of the middle class. And I would say to him, Sen. McCain it's time for your wakeup call because we just can't afford more of the same."
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer took a jab at McCain's houses: "We want an economy that works for all of us, for people who are struggling to own just one home, let alone seven homes."
Said New York Gov. David Peterson: "The question in this race is which of the candidates will make the change that will restore the promise of America. Is it John McCain?," Peterson asked, enticing loud no's from the audience. "No? I'm shocked. Maybe that's because John McCain continues to claim that President Bush's policies have been great for the economy. In 2007, John McCain voted with the administration 95% of the time. So if he is the answer, the question must be ridiculous.
Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius not only linked McCain to Bush, but also said he is resorting to Karl Rove politics. "Even though John McCain has spent 26 years in Washington voting over and over again against investing in renewable energy, John McCain does support some renewables. He wants to renew the failed Bush agenda for another four years. John McCain has also renewed the Bush Rove style of politics, focus on bringing down your opponent instead of lifting America up. But as a governor who works with the Republican legislature everyday, I can tell you we can't bring about positive change unless we fix our divisive politics."
New York Rep. Nydia Velazquez passionately expressed her frustration with McCain on equal pay. "John McCain has already proven to be more of the same. He has constantly opposed opportunities for women in the workforce, saying they just need training and education. Senator McCain should know that women already earn more advanced degrees than men. Senator McCain should know that we deserve and we will demand a level playing field. John McCain will not just hold back female entrepreneurs; he will hurt all small businesses."