Oregon’s Republican Senator Cozies Up to Obama

Jun 24, 2008 7:51pm

ABC News’ Tahman Bradley and Teddy Davis Report: Sen. Gordon Smith, an Oregon Republican who finds himself in a tough re-election fight, is airing a new television ad in which he touts his work with Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., on tougher mileage standards.

"Who says Gordon Smith helped lead the fight for better gas mileage and a cleaner environment?" asks the ad’s narrator. "Barack Obama. He joined with Gordon and broke through a 20-year deadlock to pass new laws which increase gas mileage for automobiles."

Watch the ad HERE.

Obama’s campaign seized on the ad Tuesday to burnish its record of working across the aisle. Obama spokesman Bill Burton was quick to add, however, that Obama is backing the Democratic candidate.

"Barack Obama has a long record of bipartisan accomplishment and we appreciate that it is respected by his Democratic and Republican colleagues in the Senate," said Obama spokesman Bill Burton. "But in this race, Oregonians should know that Barack Obama supports Jeff Merkley for Senate."

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (D.S.C.C.), the party committee in charge of helping Democrats build on their Senate majority, used Smith’s ad as an opportunity to circulate some harsh words that Obama had last month for the incumbent senator.

"I think Gordon Smith’s problem is that he rarely breaks away from George Bush and the Republican agenda that I think has done this country great damage," Obama is quoted telling the Willamette Week on May 14.

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