WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Republican National Committee said Monday it is asking cable networks not to air what they described as a “maliciously false” ad about John McCain from the Democratic National Committee – and accused Democrats of illegally coordinating efforts with the party’s presidential candidates.
The RNC said the ad was in legal violation because its content was misleading. Asked about the prospect of legal action from Republicans in a conference call late Monday afternoon, DNC Chairman Howard Dean responded: “Let them do it.”
The 30-second spot, slated to run on CNN and on MSNBC, highlights McCain’s comment that it would be acceptable if U.S. troops remained in Iraq for 100 years. McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, was talking about a peace-keeping mission, not active conflict.
"This is a complaint about the facts that are being misrepresented in this ad," said RNC general counsel Sean Cairncross. "Based on this being a deliberate falsehood. We are saying to the stations, 'You have an obligation.'
The complaint did not alter CNN's original plans. “We have received the letter from the RNC. We plan on airing the ad beginning tomorrow,” the network said in a statement released Monday afternoon.
On a conference call this afternoon, RNC officials accused the DNC of working in concert with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, because they met and used many of the same consultants. The GOP officials, though, refused to pledge not to run similar ads against the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.