by Mark Silva
Sometimes, the pursuit of political partisanship carries a sheer entertainment value.
Such is the case with this political committee that is none too happy about Sen. John McCain supporting a military contract that takes a lucrative flying fuel-tanker contract away from Boeing and hands it to a French consortium that includes the Airbus aircraft.
McCain maintained that competition was necessary for this massive contract, and that subsidies for Boeing would unfairly advantage one competitor and drive up the cost.
"Merci, McCain,'' says this faux video-love letter from the French.
On the occasion of McCain's meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris today, Campaign for America’s Future released a Web-site video attacking McCain over the $40-billion Defense Department contract. The video, in French, bears English subtitles.
"Un message de gratitude à Jean McCain du people français [A message of thanks to John McCain from the French people.]
"Merci pour tous les emplois! (Thank you for all the jobs.) Merci d'aider les militaires Américains pour choisir une compagnie française Airbus! (Thanks for helping the U.S. military choose a French company, Airbus!) Les dizaines de milliers d'emplois pour les Français. Et des milliers moins pour les Américains, ha ha ha!! Tens of thousands of jobs for the French. And thousands fewer for Americans, ha ha ha!''
"Vive John McCain! et Vive La France!'' the ad closes. "Long live John McCain! And long live France!''
It closes with a joyously mustachioed McCain.
The McCain campaign replied that the Arizona senator had led an anti-corruption investigation that helped rein in a multi-billion-dollar defense procurement scandal involving Boeing and the Pentagon, action which had nothing to do with Airbus.
"All he was looking for was a fair and open process. He didn't care who won," McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers told Agence France Presse. "Sen. McCain only wanted a fair competition that got the best weapons system at the best price for the taxpayers."