From NBC's Mark Murray and Louis Burgdorf
The McCain campaign yesterday unveiled its latest TV ad, which hits Obama for -- among other things -- cancelling a visit to meet with wounded US soldiers at Landstuhl. "He made time to go to the gym, but cancelled a visit with wounded troops," the ad goes. "Seems the Pentagon wouldn't allow him to bring cameras. John McCain is always there for our troops
(While Obama didn't visit with those US soldiers at Landstuhl, he did talk to some of them by phone.)
Politico wrote that the ad ran on Saturday Night Live in Denver, CO last night. And today, it will run in the DC market, as well as in Harrisburg, PA.
In response to the TV ad, the Obama campaign released a statement from Sen. Jack Reed (D), who accompanied Obama on his swing through Afghanistan and Iraq. "I was with Sen. Obama last week as we met privately with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sen. Obama listened to their concerns and expressed his gratitude for their service without press or fanfare. He cares for our troops deeply and has worked hard to give them not only the resources they need, but also honor their service with a clearly defined mission and by providing them with the support they have earned when they come home."
Chuck Hagel (R), who also was on the overseas trip, said on CBS this morning that the McCain ad "was inappropriate." He said, "I think it would be totally inappropriate for [Obama], on a campaign trip, to go to a military hospital and use those soldiers as props... We saw troops everywhere we went on the congressional delegation. We went out of our way to see those troops. We wanted to see those troops."
And as one Obama aide points out to First Read, the footage the McCain TV ad uses when saying Obama went "to the gym but cancelled a visit with wounded troops" is when Obama was playing basketball with US troops in Kuwait. "It undermines the credibility of the ad" and proves that the ad is "nothing more than a political attack," the aide says.