(CNN) – MoveOn.org announced Wednesday they are launching their massive television ad buy aimed at presumptive Republican nominee John McCain with a new spot tomorrow, the fifth anniversary of President Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” speech.
The 30-second ad, funded by the group’s donors and its political action committee, marks the start of the liberal advocacy group’s million dollar, month-long ad campaign aimed at the Arizona senator.
MoveOn will spend $160,000 to air the new ad - titled “Candles” - on cable as well as on broadcast networks in Iowa and New Mexico, where the McCain campaign is currently on the air without competition from either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.
“MoveOn.org is attempting to smear Senator McCain just like it smeared General Petraeus. MoveOn.org is joining Barack Obama and the DNC in maliciously misquoting John McCain,” said Republican National Committee spokesman Alex Conant. “At nearly every event, Obama bemoans the ‘negative tone’ of politics, even while groups that support him are now running negative ads. Now, Obama should prove his rhetoric is more than ‘just words’ and stand up to MoveOn.org.”
(updated with MoveOn response after the jump)
The ad features five candles on a cake that bears the words “Mission Accomplished.” The candles multiply until they reach 100, as McCain is heard saying the American people would not be concerned if U.S. troops remain in Iraq for 100 years. The RNC threatened its Democratic counterpart with legal action earlier this week because it said that statement had been used in a DNC ad in a misleading fashion.
The MoveOn spot closes with a picture of President Bush and John McCain hugging that has been used often in advertising from Democrats and anti-McCain third-party groups this cycle.
MoveOn Executive Director Eli Pariser said Wednesday afternoon that the RNC's criticism was baseless. "Senator John McCain's position on Iraq has been clear - he intends to keep our troops there for decades," he said in a statement. "This is not a one-time gaffe. It is the truth about John McCain's and George Bush's reckless foreign policy."
(updated Wednesday afternoon with MoveOn response)