Unions Out To Scare Seniors; NRA, To Scare Gun Owners

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Click here to watch the Social Security ad

Unions are working overtime to put Barack Obama over the top in battleground states.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is airing a TV ad accusing John McCain of being "Risky on Social Security." The ad says McCain wants to privatize Social Security, subjecting it to stock-market volatility. One senior says, "We earned that money, now he wants to give it to Wall Street. No way."

Obama's been using this same argument, and calls it a whopper. According to Factcheck, the plan McCain supports wouldn't affect current retirees, since no one born before 1950 would be allowed to put Social Security taxes in private accounts. AFSCME, however, contends that the plan would hurt the entire Social Security system and so would affect all seniors.

This is AFSCME's first return to TV since the Democratic primaries, when it supported Hillary Clinton against Obama. The ad will run in Wisconsin until close to Election Day, with more than $1 million worth of air time, according to the union.

On another front in the issues war, the AFL-CIO, which includes AFSCME, this week dropped a mailer featuring a union member who says Obama will "protect my gun rights." The mailer went to 80,000 gun-loyal swing voters in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Click on the image to read the mailer:

The union mailer is evidently trying to counteract the National Rifle Assocation's message that Obama wants to take away gun rights. The NRA's new ads after the jump...

One of the ads says Obama "wants you to believe that he supports your Second Amendment rights, though he's consistently opposed them." It expands the attack on the Democrat by accusing him of "attacking the First Amendment too," because his campaign lawyers sent letters to stations warning them not to air the NRA's ads. The takeaway? "Don't let Barack Obama trample your constitutional rights."

Another NRA ad (below) dredges up Obama's controversial comments from last winter, that some working-class voters "cling to guns or religion" because they are "bitter." The ad says, "Gun owners have their own word for Barack Obama." The word: "Radical."



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from