The Mitt Romney ad war with John McCain continues apace in New Hampshire's Republican primary.
Romney today began running a new ad attacking McCain on illegal immigration, declaring that there's "a big difference" on the issue.
McCain retaliated with another ad, titled "Endorsed," (watch it here) that details endorsements for him from 20 New Hampshire newspapers.
Romney has been going hard at McCain over his high-profile support for a sweeping reform bill that included a path to citizenship for many of the 12 million illegal immigrants already in the country, provided that they returned to their home country, went to the back of the line, paid fines and back taxes, and met other requirements. The bill, despite President Bush's backing, failed to get through Congress earlier this year after vehement opposition from conservative Republicans and others. McCain now says that the borders have to be secured before any broader reforms can be attempted.
Besides criticizing McCain for that bill, Romney's ad also boasts that as Massachusetts governor, he opposed driver's licenses and in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants and authorized State Police to enforce federal immigration law. The ad leaves out, however, that that proposal never went into effect because it was repealed by Romney's successor, Democrat Deval Patrick.
On Friday, Romney aired his first negative TV ad against McCain, slapping him on his record on taxes as well as illegal immigration. McCain responded with one of his own that quoted "anti-endorsements" of Romney this week from the Concord Monitor and New Hampshire Union Leader.
And both Romney and McCain, who are neck-and-neck in most polls for the Jan. 8 primary, criticized each other for going negative.