Edwards' campaign says their new TV ad transcends racial issues.
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - As Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama compete to win over black voters in South Carolina, members of John Edwards' campaign staff said Wednesday that their new TV ad manages to transcend racial issues.
The competition for black voters has become somewhat of a focal point of the Democratic race here, with the campaigns of both Obama and Clinton both running radio ads targeted specifically at African-American voters.
In Edwards' new TV spot, the first for any Democrat in South Carolina, the former senator walks alongside the North Carolina mill where his father worked and says he will stand up for "American jobs and America's workers."
Edwards' state director John Moylan said on a conference call with reporters that the message in the ad is not "a racial issue."
"The loss of jobs affects everybody," Moylan said. "We think the loss of jobs affects all communities."
State Rep. Leon Howard, an Edwards adviser who is African-American, said the TV ad will be able reach rural communities where radio ads might not.
Edwards' deputy campaign manager Jonathan Prince said Edwards has the best message for working Americans, regardless of their color.
"Part of what this ad does is tell every person in South Carolina, whatever their background, that John Edwards understands what you're going through," Prince said, saying that Edwards was born in South Carolina and knows the men and women in working class cities and towns.
"No one understands what is going on in South Carolina better than John Edwards in this race."
– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby