(CNN) – John McCain’s campaign is making its boldest pitch yet for disaffected supporters of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, releasing a new TV ad Sunday that claims Barack Obama’s discomfort with her honesty cost her a spot on the Democratic ticket.
“She won millions of votes. But isn't on his ticket. Why? For speaking the truth,” says the announcer in 'Passed Over.'
The spot uses primary season footage of the New York senator criticizing Obama’s policy proposals ("You never hear the specifics"), his links to convicted Chicago developer Tony Rezko ("We still don't have a lot of answers about Senator Obama"), and his campaign trail attacks ("Senator Obama's campaign has become increasingly negative").
“The truth hurt,” says the announcer. “And Obama didn't like it.”
The spot was officially released at 3 a.m. - the hour that became a campaign catch-phrase after a Clinton ad asked voters who they’d like answering the phone in the Oval Office if a crisis broke in the middle of the night.
In the wake of the announcement of Joe Biden’s selection as Obama’s running mate, some Clinton supporters have expressed outrage at news the New York senator was not vetted for the vice presidency by Obama aides - a report that seems to suggest she was never seriously considered.
The new 30-second spot is part of a major, months-long campaign by the McCain team to reach these voters. Soon after Clinton ended her presidential run, McCain’s campaign launched a special outreach effort, headed by Democratic-turned-independent Senator Joe Lieberman, to woo disgruntled backers of her White House bid.
Clinton’s team immediately dubbed the ad misleading. "Hillary Clinton's support of Barack Obama is pretty clear,” said Clinton spokeswoman Kathleen Strand. “She has said repeatedly that Barack Obama and she share a commitment to changing the direction of the country, getting us out of Iraq, and expanding access to health care. John McCain doesn't. It's interesting how those remarks didn't make it into his ad."
The spot is McCain’s second of the weekend to feature criticism of Obama by his primary season rivals. On Saturday, the McCain camp launched a spot spotlighting comments by former presidential candidate and current Obama running mate Joe Biden, who suggested during the primary season that the Illinois senator was not ready for the presidency.