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Reality Check: McCain's New Ad Touts Energy Dependence

Published On: Jul 10 2008 03:00:19 AM CDT   Updated On: Jul 11 2008 08:37:52 AM CDT

As gas prices hit record highs, the presidential candidates know that reducing the energy pinch is on the minds of voters.

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Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain has a new ad touting his energy policy.

Energy independence is major issue for presidential candidates and in his latest ad, McCain claims energy independence is on par with space exploration.

"American technology protected the world. We went to the moon, not because it was easy, but because it was hard. John McCain will call America to our next national purpose: Energy Security," the ad says.

McCain is making it clear here that he believes what he's proposing is an ambitious plan.

A WISC-TV analysis found that the candidate is trying to compare his declaration of the need for energy independence to John F. Kennedy's declaration of the nation's intention to put a man on the moon, a move to make him look more presidential.

The ad calls for "A comprehensive bipartisan plan to: lower prices at the pump and reduce dependence on foreign oil through domestic drilling."

WISC-TV found that needs clarification. McCain supports lifting the federal moratorium on drilling on the outer continental shelf. He and other Republicans say trillions of dollars worth of oil are off-shore and exploring it would lessen dependence on foreign interests.

But many Democrats argue it would take years to tap the nation's oil so any claim of lower gas prices would be years or decades away.

The ad continues, "And champion energy alternatives for better choices and lower costs."

WISC-TV found that needs clarification as well. McCain's ad leaves out his call for an increase in nuclear power. He wants 45 new nuclear plants by 2030, with a goal of eventually creating 100 new plants.

Whether that constitutes a "better choice" depends on who one asks. Opponents say McCain hasn't said how he'd dispose of the dangerous waste created by nuclear plants.

One thing you don't see in this ad according to a WISC-TV analysis is any mention of the fact that McCain is a Republican.

Energy independence has traditionally been a democratic issue and this is likely trying to move him more toward the center, a WISC-TV analysis found.

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