This is certainly the nastiest line we've heard in the push polls
going out to about a million South Carolinians. Respondents who say that they're supporting John McCain are told "Fact: McCain voted to allow scientific experiments to be done on unborn children." (Thanks to TPM Reader NC
for flagging this for us.)
Patrick Davis, the executive director of Common Sense Issues, the group that's been paying for the automated calls, confirmed to me that such a line is used in the script: "He's in favor of stem cell research. That's the issue."
The medical experiments on unborn babies line is actually an old favorite of the group -- they used it in 2006
against now Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), when he was running against GOPer Michael Steele.Update
: The New York Times reports
on another line in the calls:
The call first asked whom the listener was supporting in the primary. If the listener said Mr. McCain, the automated voice said that not only did Mr. McCain support research on âunborn babies,â but that in writing the McCain-Feingold bill tightening rules on campaign donations, Mr. McCain had created âthe most restrictive assault on free speech ever passed in America.â
The call referred to the bill as the âMcCain-Feingold-Thompson law,â evidently because Mr. Thompson had also backed it.