Obama’s Ignorant Ad – *Updated

Chelsea2008 Election, Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Stem Cell ResearchLeave a Comment

Apparently Barack doesn’t have very good researchers working on his ad campaign. Not that it takes a lot of research to get this one right. His latest ad accuses John McCain of “standing in the way” and “opposing stem cell research” (again, “stem cell research” here really only means research that involves human embryos.) This after McCain just released an ad and a statement from his campaign reiterating his support for this research. From the ad (listen to it here):

SEN. BARACK OBAMA: I’m Barack Obama, candidate for president, and I approve this message.

JODY MONTGOMERY: My name is Jody Montgomery and my daughter Maddy was diagnosed with Type I Juvenile Diabetes at age three. Six times a day, I take her blood. Six times a day, I pray for a cure. Researchers are working hard to do just that. Our best hope is stem cell research, and that’s why we support Barack Obama.

ANNOUNCER: Stem cell research could unlock cures for diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s too. But John McCain has stood in the way…he’s opposed stem cell research. Picked a running mate who’s against it… And he’s running on a platform even more extreme than George Bush’s on this vital research. John McCain doesn’t understand that medical research benefiting millions shouldn’t be held hostage by the political views of a few.

MONTGOMERY: For Maddy and millions of others, stem cell research can unlock cures. Barack Obama understands that. But John McCain just doesn’t.

ANNOUNCER: Paid for by Obama for America

I’ve pointed this out before, but just so we’re clear here:

For years John McCain has been in favor of ESC research on so-called “surplus” embryos created for IVF. In 2004 he signed a letter to the president urging him to expand funding for ESC research. He voted twice in favor of the embryonic stem cell research enhancement act (so did Obama), even once taking time on the floor to speak in favor of the funding. In April of 2007 he told Christian talk show host Bob Dutko that he, and those who oppose ESC research “just have an open and honest disagreement”:

Earlier this year he defended his support for research using embryos that would be, “either discarded or kept in permanent frozen status.” And at the Saddleback Presidential Forum, when asked if he would favor or oppose funding for ESC research McCain, using the vaguest wording possible (notice, he uses the blanket term “stem cell research”), essentially reiterated his position:

For those of us in the pro-life community this has been a great struggle and a terrible dilemma because we’re also taught other obligations that we have as well. I’ve come down on the side of stem cell research. But I am wildly optimistic that skin cell research, which is coming more and more into focus and practicability, will make this debate an academic one.

And then there was his recent ad supporting all stem cell research with a subsequent statement from his campaign spokesman that “clearly he supports [embryonic stem cell research].”

Obama’s ad is correct about Palin and the Republican Party platform, but quite off the mark when it comes to John McCain. His ad is also incorrect about the bright future of “[embryonic] stem cell research” in “unlocking cures” and treating disease and disability. See: Disability Advocates Need NOT Support ESC Research!

**Regarding Gov. Palin’s possible impact on a McCain administration’s stem cell research policy: PoliFact reports that:

when asked about the issue directly, Palin made clear that while her “personal opinion” would be in disagreement with a policy supporting embryonic stem cell research, she would respect a McCain-led administration’s right to set such a policy.

While I do hope that McCain will have a change of heart on this as many ESC research advocates fear he will, I don’t see any evidence to be confident that such a change will happen. From PoliFact:

We get that it may make some stem cell proponents nervous when McCain tells hard-line opponents to embryonic stem cell research that he is open to listening to their arguments; or that he chose a running mate who opposes embryonic stem cell research; or that the GOP platform calls for a ban on experimentation on human embryos for research purposes.

But McCain has not backed away from his position.

Asked in a Republican debate in California on May 3, 2007, what he thought about federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, McCain was unequivocal.

“I believe that we need to fund this,” McCain said. “This is a tough issue for those of us in the prolife community. I would remind you that these stem cells are either going to be discarded or perpetually frozen.

“We need to do what we can to relieve human suffering. It’s a tough issue. I support federal funding.”

And McCain has backed up his words with his vote twice in recent years, even when it meant challenging President Bush and a majority of his fellow Senate Republicans.

So, whether you’re voting for McCain or not, let’s not kid ourselves here: McCain favors using and destroying nascent human life for scientific research and if he is president he will sign the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act that he voted for twice in the Senate – regardless of what Sarah Palin believes or his Party’s platform dictates. See: McCain-Palin: “Change is Coming” on Stem Cell Research Policy.

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