VoteVets targets McCain with new ad

In the spot, a veteran of the Iraq war says, "'freedom' means when the Iraqi people and their Prime Minister ask us to make a plan to leave, we do."

Published July 23, 2008 11:00PM (EDT)

VoteVets, an independent group that leans Democratic and supports Barack Obama's plan for Iraq, has just released its newest ad. This one uses Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's recent comments to criticize John McCain's position on Iraq.

In the spot, Brandon Woods, a veteran of the war, says:

What did we fight for in Iraq? I have some idea. I fought in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and "freedom" means when the Iraqi people -- and their prime minister -- ask us to make a plan to leave, we do. But Sen. McCain would occupy Iraq indefinitely, against their wishes. That's not what freedom means, that's not what we fought for. Senator -- I thought you would know better.

The ad -- which seems to me a pretty effective way of countering the McCain camp's spin on Maliki's words, and on the issue of who voters should listen to, American politicians and generals, or Iraqi politicians -- will be running on CNN and MSNBC starting on Friday. The group spent $100,000 on the buy, the New York Times' Caucus blog reports.

The Caucus also has a response from Alex Conant, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee. In his statement, Conant stuck to the standard message coming from the right these days regarding Obama and Iraq, saying:

Barack Obama voted against funding for the very troops this ad claims to represent. By continuing to oppose the surge strategy and rejecting the advice of General David Petraeus, Obama is putting political expedience ahead of victory. Rather than attacking John McCain for listening to General Petraeus, this group should ask why Obama lacked the strength to stand up for our troops during a time of war.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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2008 Elections Iraq John Mccain R-ariz. Middle East