RNC asks networks to yank anti-McCain ads

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Republicans are claiming that a Democratic ad attacking Republican presidential candidate John McCain is “maliciously false and misleading” and should be kept from the airwaves.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) today faxed letters to CNN and MSNBC urging them to avoid airing the ad, which is critical of a statement McCain made during a campaign stop about the U.S. occupation in Iraq possibly lasting 100 years.

The ad is paid for by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and shows McCain making the statement in New Hampshire while showing images of combat troops and the costs and death toll of the war in Iraq.

“It’s unquestionable that the DNC is misleading the American people,” said RNC Chairman Mike Duncan during a phone call today with reporters. Duncan cited the nonpartisan Web site FactCheck.org, which called attacks by the DNC on McCain’s 100-year statement a “rank falsehood.”

RNC general counsel Sean Cairncross said the ad is misleading and praised a Federal Election Commission complaint filed Friday by the Virginia Republican Party charging that the DNC illegally coordinated with the campaigns of Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Cairncross said this constituted an in-kind campaign contribution over the federal limit of $5,000.

“We belive that the DNC is operating wholly unconstrained by law,” Cairncross said.

The ad is slated to begin running tomorrow and is part of a three-week national ad buy. DNC Chairman Howard Dean dismissed criticism of the ad and of the FEC complaint.

“That is nonsense. There’s no proof of that whatsoever,” Dean told reporters today. “John McCain is completly out of touch with what the American people understand about the war in Iraq … I’m astonished that a veteran like John McCain would think that we could occupy Iraq for 100 years without any consequences.”

You can watch the ad in question below: \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ Carrie Sheffield, Web editor, The Washington Times

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