Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, on Wednesday urged GOP officials in North Carolina to remove a new television ad that brands Democratic candidate Barack Obama as “too extreme for North Carolina.”
“We asked them not to run it. I’m sending them an e-mail as we speak, asking them to take it down,” the Arizona senator told reporters aboard his campaign bus as he traveled to a town-hall-style meeting in Inez, where President Johnson launched his 1964 campaign on poverty.
“I don’t know why they do it, and obviously I don’t control them. But I’m making it very clear, as I have a couple of times in the past, that there’s no place for that kind of campaigning -- and the American people don’t want it, period,” McCain said.
McCain said he had not seen the North Carolina ad, which states that Obama is too extreme and shows footage of the Illinois senator’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., shouting: “Not God bless America, God damn America.” In a March speech on race, Obama condemned Wright’s controversial remarks, but said the pastor was part of his life and that he could not disown him.
“I hope that I don’t see [it],” McCain said of the ad. “I had enough of a description of it to know that that’s the kind of campaigning that I have told the American people we’re not going to do.”
Aides to McCain said campaign manager Rick Davis called the North Carolina Republican chairman Tuesday and left a long message urging the state party not to run the ad. The campaign also recruited North Carolina Sen. Richard M. Burr, a McCain supporter, to make the same request -- but the effort was apparently unsuccessful.