(AP) The liberal group MoveOn.org began airing ads Wednesday against Republican presidential candidate John McCain, citing his claim that the American military presence in Iraq could extend to 100 years or more.
Echoing a commercial from the national Democratic Party, the MoveOn ad represented an expanded attack on the GOP’s all-but-nominated candidate.
MoveOn, which has endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, said it is spending $160,000 on the new ad in Iowa and New Mexico. It said it plans a monthlong, $1 million ad campaign against the Arizona senator.
The ad comes five years after President Bush appeared on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln under a banner stating “Mission Accomplished.” The ad shows a cake with the same words written in icing. Five candles on the cake multiply to 100.
“One hundred years in Iraq? And you thought no one could be worse than George Bush,” the ad says.
The ad quotes McCain, during an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” stating, “and then I don’t think Americans are concerned if we’re there for 100 years, or 1,000 years, or 10,000 years.”
McCain at the time was discussing the conditions under which troops would remain in Iraq. His full answer to CBS’s Bob Schieffer: “The point is it’s American casualties. We’ve got to get Americans off the front lines, have the Iraqis, as a part of the strategy, take over more and more of the responsibilities, and then I don’t think Americans are concerned if we’re there for 100 years, or 1,000 years, or 10,000 years.”
The Democratic National Committee this week began airing an anti-McCain ad on national cable networks. The ad uses quotes from a campaign appearance in New Hampshire when McCain speculated troops could remain in Iraq for 100 years.
Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan called the MoveOn ad an “assault from the extreme-left playbook” and compared it to MoveOn’s newspaper ads last year criticizing Gen. David Petraeus. The RNC also called on Obama to denounce the ad.
“Obama cries foul when independent groups attack him, but when his supporters launch distorted attacks on John McCain, his silence is deafening,” RNC spokesman Alex Conant said.
(with wire reports)
This video is from MoveOn.org, broadcast May 1, 2008.