John McCain urged North Carolina Republicans today not to air a TV ad attacking Democrat Barack Obama over his association with his controversial former pastor.
The N.C. Republican Party plans to air the ad, which features a clip of the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. attacking America, and which hits the two Democratic candidates for governor, who will share the May 6 ballot with the Obama and Hillary Clinton, for endorsing Obama.
"They should know better," the narrator says. "He's just too extreme for North Carolina."
In a letter to state party chairwoman Linda Daves, McCain writes, "From the beginning of this election, I have been committed to running a respectful campaign based upon an honest debate about the great issues confronting America today. I expect all state parties to do so as well. The television advertisement you are planning to air degrades our civics and distracts us from the very real differences we have with the Democrats. In the strongest terms, I implore you to not run this advertisement.
The presumptive Republican nominee adds: "This ad does not live up to the very high standards we should hold ourselves to in this campaign. We need to run a campaign that is worthy of the people we seek to serve. There is no doubt that we will draw sharp contrasts with the Democrats on fundamental issues critical to the future course of our country. But we need not engage in political tactics that only seek to divide the American people. Once again, it is imperative that you withdraw this offensive advertisement."
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.