It didn't even take a full day for John McCain to respond to Mitt Romney's TV ad attacking him on taxes and immigration.
McCain's campaign said it will start airing a reply ad (watch it here) in New Hampshire tonight that cites two newspaper editorials this week disparaging Romney.
"As you hear Mitt Romney attack John McCain, consider these words from New Hampshire newspapers," the announcer says. "The Union Leader says John McCain has 'conviction' and 'Granite Staters want a candidate who will look them in the eye and tell them the truth.'
John McCain has done that.... Mitt Romney has not."
The ad then quotes The Concord Monitor calling Romney a "phony" and the Boston Herald's endorsement of McCain, which said the "choice is clear."
Romney defended his ad and blasted McCain's.
"We worked very hard to make sure it was accurate and honest and looks at contrasting issues," Romney told reporters on his campaign bus in Iowa. "I begin the ad by indicating he's an honorable man. I believe he is and a good person. I make no attacks on his character. I make no attacks of a personal nature whatsoever. I've just seen the text of his ad. Its obviously of a very different nature. Its an attack ad. It attacks me personally. It's nasty. It's mean-spirited. Frankly, it tells you more about Senator McCain than it does about me -- that he'd run ad like that."
The McCain campaign shot back with its own missive.
"If voters didn’t already know Mitt Romney, the crocodile tears might have been convincing," it said. "He's spent $20 million of his own money serially misrepresenting his positions and those of every other candidate. We just decided to share New Hampshire newspapers’ assessment of him."