DNC launches ‘Exxon-McCain '08'

Stung by Republican taunts about tire gauges, Democrats are pumping up a stunt of their own.

The Democratic National Committee on Wednesday is launching an “Exxon-McCain ’08” campaign, complete with a gas-pump logo and garish red buttons, bumper stickers and yard signs.

The party is opening a Web site where campaign “chum” will be available for download, and the goodies will be distributed to state parties and organizers nationwide.

The fantasy presidential campaign is a rebuke to the Republican National Committee for tire gauges labeled “Obama’s Energy Plan” that were distributed to campaign reporters this week.

And it reinforces a new ad by Barack Obama in which the announcer says: “Oil's filling John McCain's campaign with 2 million dollars in contributions.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley will announce the campaign at DNC headquarters in Washington.

“The oil industry was so generous with its campaign largesse,” a party official says, “John McCain has not only put Exxon on the ticket — but he has graciously stepped aside and is allowing Exxon ... to run at the top of the ticket."

If the governor needs to check his tires, he can stop off at the RNC, a couple of blocks away.

RNC spokesman Alex Conant replied: “The $2.8 billion that Obama gave the oil companies in the '05 energy bill would have bought a lot of tire gauges.”

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