In its stepped-up assault on Barack Obama, John McCain's campaign is trying to use a remark Obama made about Afghanistan to paint the Democrat as not supporting US troops.
In a new TV ad, unveiled today and which is to air nationally, the announcer says, "Who is Barack Obama? He says our troops in Afghanistan are," then the ad shows Obama saying, "just air-raiding villages and killing civilians."
"How dishonorable," the announcer says. "Congressional liberals voted repeatedly to cut off funding to our active troops. Increasing the risk on their lives. How dangerous.
"Obama and Congressional liberals," the announcer concludes. "Too risky for America."
"Whether it is making reckless statements about our military or trying to prevent them from having the equipment they need, it is clear that Barack Obama is dangerous for our country," McCain's campaign said today.
The ad only quotes part of what Obama said as he talked to New Hampshire voters in August 2007 about his plans to send more troops to Afghanistan, which he calls more important in the war on terror than Iraq.
"We've got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there," Obama said.
The ad also doesn't tell the whole story about Obama's votes on troop funding. While he voted against a 2007 spending bill because it did not include a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq, he subsequently voted for a version that did include a timetable. He has voted in favor at least 10 other war funding bills.
Obama's campaign responded with a statement from retired admiral John B. Natham: "As a recently retired Admiral, I know who has the strongest record of supporting the men and women currently serving in our military. Senator Obama has consistently voted to fund our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and, just as importantly, a proven record of support when they return home. That's why independent veterans organizations give Senator Obama higher marks than Senator McCain. Despite consistent distortions of his record, thousands of veterans like myself support Senator Obama because he has the judgment, character and integrity to be a great president. We will need a great president to lead us in these very challenging times."
About Political Intelligence
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 email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.