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Big Labor's Mudslinging Won't Work on John McCain

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

There’s nothing new about the AFL-CIO’s recent attack campaign on Senator John McCain. Instead of focusing on hard-working families, the Big Labor group is practicing the same old attack-and-destroy politics, fighting dirty instead of giving their members the truth.

They picked the wrong candidate to attack. Senator McCain’s positive campaign and optimistic agenda will prevail, no matter how much money they throw into their negative campaign. Just as in 2004, when the AFL-CIO and its affiliates spent a total of $150 million against President Bush and Republicans, so it will be in 2008. The Republican presidential candidate will stand strong long after his attackers’ coffers run dry.

While the union’s leader has repeatedly said the “McCain Revealed” attacks are nonpartisan, one glance at the AFL-CIO’s record of political contributions tells a very different story. The consistently partisan group gave 95 percent of its contributions to Democrat candidates and committees in 2004 and 97 percent to Democrats in 2006. This spending on political activity prompted some leading AFL-CIO affiliates to leave the federation in 2005, claiming the group had “wasted too much time on money and politics.” It is truly appalling how much this organization spends on politics as opposed to services that actually benefit its members.

Though Senators Clinton and Obama have condemned special interest groups, the AFL-CIO is spending millions of dollars on their behalf. In 2004, when asked about eliminating special-interest spending, Senator Clinton responded: “You know, I have no problem with eliminating any group that is misusing their financial position to spread inaccurate falsehoods.” Earlier this year, Obama’s campaign tried to make independent expenditures a campaign issue, with his campaign manager going so far as to write, “… this kind of politics needs to end.” Yet both candidates have benefited from the spending of these groups; according to news reports, unions have spent more than $3.7 million in independent expenditures on Barack Obama’s behalf. Similarly, unions backing Clinton’s campaign have spent at least $3.6 million.

Will the Democrat candidates reject the special interest group’s attacks on McCain? Or will they sit back and let union bosses launch attacks against a man who they recognize is the most prepared to lead America?

The “inaccurate falsehoods” that Clinton denounced special interest groups for using in campaigns are exactly what the AFL-CIO is spreading about McCain. One of the biggest fallacies Big Labor will be using in their literature is to paint Senator McCain as anti-worker. McCain’s focus is on the best interests of America’s hard-working families. As President, he will ensure more of their well-earned paychecks end up in their wallets and not in the hands of the government; funding programs that aren’t working and being spent carelessly by Washington bureaucrats.

The Republican candidates have seen these tactics before and will survive the AFL-CIO’s smear campaign by focusing on communicating a hopeful and optimistic message that speaks to the future. John McCain’s wealth of character, strength, and courage will prevail and he will continue to fight for what is right for America. Just as he valiantly served his country in the military and in the U.S. Senate, McCain will proudly serve the needs of the American people in the Oval Office.

Union families will reject the stale and antiquated attacks coming from Democrat special interest groups in favor of John McCain’s strong leadership and experience.

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