McCain Embraces Newt’s Big Oil Lie, Chants ‘Drill More, Drill Now, Pay Less’

This is the third post in our investigative series on American Solutions for Winning the Future (ASWF).

McCain in Bakersfield, CA (AP)Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has completed his journey from “maverick” to the heart of the right-wing/Big Oil movement. His travels began last month when he abandoned his longheld opposition to offshore drilling. With increasing ease, McCain is shilling for the oil industry’s agenda. In today’s appearance before the Urban League, McCain said:

Last month, the President finally lifted the executive ban on offshore oil and gas exploration, and called on Congress to lift its ban as well. Lifting that ban could seriously lower the price of oil — and Congress should get it done immediately. We need to “drill more, drill now, and pay less at the pump.”

McCain is being “cruelly misleading” when he pretends ending the moratorium on Outer Continental Shelf drilling “could seriously lower the price of oil.” Only a month ago, McCain was honest about how useless it would be, saying “I don’t see an immediate relief,” just “a psychological impact that I think is beneficial.”

The old, straight-talking McCain has hopped a ride on the low-road express. McCain is raking in the Big Oil millions, and oil-industry lobbyists such as Nancy Pfotenhauer have taken control of the campaign. He’s using the “Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less” slogan of Newt Gingrich’s 527 corporation American Solutions for Winning the Future — the type of organization McCain once tried to ban — while Gingrich is in closed-door meetings with right-wing representatives and attacking Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) on Fox News. Rush Limbaugh counseled McCain to embrace the AWSF campaign on June 13, four days before McCain announced his support for offshore drilling:

It’s that simple. Drill here. Drill now. Pay less. We’re the United States of America. We can do it.

The day after McCain flipped, Rush gave his approval:

All right, all right, all right, drill here, drill now, pay less. Drill here. Drill now. Pay less. Folks, this is the issue.

Behind this common agenda is the same network of right-wing financiers that propelled Bush into office. There are 14 Bush Pioneers — the top fundraisers who bundled over $100,000 in contributions for George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004 — backing Newt Gingrich’s ASWF:

Bush Pioneers ASWF Chart

Fourteen Bush Pioneers, who funneled over $2 million to Bush’s election, have contributed over $4 million to Newt’s ASWF. Eight of those same right-wing money men are top McCain fundraisers, channelling $2 million into his coffers. Four — including top ASWF contributor Sheldon Adelson — are billionaires. Their agenda is all about “Winning the Future” for themselves.

UPDATE: In the question-and-answer period at the Urban League, John McCain dismissed the truth that lifting the offshore drilling moratorium couldn’t “seriously lower the price,” appealing to his talks with “the actual people that do the work, that are in the business”:

So I disagree with those experts and I’ve talked to the actual people that do the work, that are in the business that say within months and certainly within a very short time, we could have additional oil supply for this nation. So we ought to drill now.

Watch it:

Friends of the Earth: “By all appearances McCain has lost touch with reality.” The Sierra Club: “Senator McCain may ‘disagree with the experts,’ but that doesn’t make the facts go away.”

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