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Radio ads hit Hayes, McHenry on gas cost

The national Democratic Party began broadcasting radio commercials this week that use high gas prices to criticize U.S. Reps. Robin Hayes and Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, along with 11 other Republicans nationwide.

The ads, which feature a President Bush impersonator thanking the two lawmakers for oil company tax breaks, effectively place Hayes and McHenry in the top ranks of the Democratic Party's targets this year. Both face challenges from well-funded opponents.

Democrats, though, had difficulty explaining how they were implicitly criticizing the Republicans for their vote on a 2005 energy bill when U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, the presumed Democratic nominee for president, voted for the same legislation.

The 60-second commercials, produced by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, are scheduled to run through Friday in both congressmen's districts. Democratic Party officials would not disclose how frequently the ads were running or how much was spent on them.

Both Hayes and McHenry voted for the 2005 legislation that included tax breaks for fossil fuel production, as well as a variety of incentives to encourage new energy and fuel alternatives. More than 70 House Democrats also supported the bill, including Reps. Bob Etheridge, G.K. Butterfield and Mike McIntyre, all of North Carolina.

The ad begins with a fake telephone call to the respective congressman's office that is answered by voicemail. The faux Bush then leaves a message for “Hayes-y” and “Patty,” thanking them for their support of “big oil.”

“Sure gasoline is over 4 bucks a gallon and the oil companies are making record profits,” the Bush mimic says, “but what's good for big oil is good for America, right? I guess that's why they call us the Grand Oil Party.”

Republicans quickly charged both hypocrisy and confusion, given the Democratic votes for the same energy bill in the House, and Obama's support in the Senate.

“The left hand doesn't know what the extreme-left hand is doing,” said Julie Shutley, spokeswoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Asked about Obama's vote, Democratic congressional committee spokeswoman Kyra Jennings said the ads were focused on the 13 Republicans: “They should have to explain their votes.”

The national Democratic Party began broadcasting radio commercials this week that use high gas prices to criticize U.S. Reps. Robin Hayes and Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, along with 11 other Republicans nationwide.

The ads, which feature a President Bush impersonator thanking the two lawmakers for oil company tax breaks, effectively place Hayes and McHenry in the top ranks of the Democratic Party's targets this year. Both face challenges from well-funded opponents.

Democrats, though, had difficulty explaining how they were implicitly criticizing the Republicans for their vote on a 2005 energy bill when U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, the presumed Democratic nominee for president, voted for the same legislation.

The 60-second commercials, produced by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, are scheduled to run through Friday in both congressmen's districts. Democratic Party officials would not disclose how frequently the ads were running or how much was spent on them.

Both Hayes and McHenry voted for the 2005 legislation that included tax breaks for fossil fuel production, as well as a variety of incentives to encourage new energy and fuel alternatives. More than 70 House Democrats also supported the bill, including Reps. Bob Etheridge, G.K. Butterfield and Mike McIntyre, all of North Carolina.

The ad begins with a fake telephone call to the respective congressman's office that is answered by voicemail. The faux Bush then leaves a message for “Hayes-y” and “Patty,” thanking them for their support of “big oil.”

“Sure gasoline is over 4 bucks a gallon and the oil companies are making record profits,” the Bush mimic says, “but what's good for big oil is good for America, right? I guess that's why they call us the Grand Oil Party.”

Republicans quickly charged both hypocrisy and confusion, given the Democratic votes for the same energy bill in the House, and Obama's support in the Senate.

“The left hand doesn't know what the extreme-left hand is doing,” said Julie Shutley, spokeswoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Asked about Obama's vote, Democratic congressional committee spokeswoman Kyra Jennings said the ads were focused on the 13 Republicans: “They should have to explain their votes.”

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