McCain ad features former Clinton delegate

The spot highlights Debra Bartoshevich, a delegate who lost her convention slot after saying she'd vote for John McCain over Barack Obama.

Published August 25, 2008 6:24PM (EDT)

DENVER -- John McCain's campaign is doing its best to make hay out of the dissension remaining in the Democratic Party, or at the very least to try to keep bringing it to the media's attention. An ad the campaign released Monday, and is airing here in the Denver area, features one former convention delegate who is a Hillary Clinton supporter but lost her spot in the Wisconsin delegation after saying publicly that she'd vote for McCain over Barack Obama.

"I'm a proud Hillary Clinton Democrat," Debra Bartoshevich says in the spot. "Now, in a first for me, I'm supporting a Republican, John McCain. I respect his maverick and independent streak, and now he's the one with the experience and judgment. A lot of Democrats will vote McCain. It's OK, really!"

The Obama campaign has responded to the ad with a statement from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz, D-Fla., who was a staunch Clinton backer during the primaries. "This ad does not reflect the sentiment of the thousands of former Clinton supporters from my Congressional District who have embraced Barack Obama's message of uniting Americans and getting the country back on track," Wasserman Shultz says. "Cheap political stunts like this ad show that John McCain is offering more of the same: four more years of failed Bush policies and a record of supporting George Bush 95% of the time and losing track of how many houses he owns. Hillary Clinton supporters are embracing Barack Obama and Joe Biden."

When e-mailing reporters with Wasserman Shultz's statement, Obama spokesman Hari Sevugan added, "There's nothing independent about having voted with George Bush 95% of the time and there is little maverick about promising to continue George Bush's failed economic policies and plan for an indefinite occupation of Iraq."

Meanwhile, at an appearance in Denver Monday, responding to the wave of similar messages emanating from the McCain camp, Clinton herself told New York Democrats, "I'm Hillary Clinton, and I do not approve that message ... We are united and we are together and we are determined."

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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2008 Elections Barack Obama Hillary Rodham Clinton John Mccain R-ariz.