August 26th, 2008
11:36 AM ET
11 years ago

McCain camp revives 3 a.m. ad

CNN

Watch McCain's new 3 a.m. ad.

(CNN) –The 3 a.m. ad is back.

John McCain's campaign is reviving the most famous political commercial of the Democratic primary cycle, launching a new 30-second spot Tuesday that uses footage from Hillary Clinton's original ad and declares "Hillary's right."

Watch: McCain camp revives 3 a.m. ad

The ad, set to run in key battleground states and specifically in Denver this week, also goes a step further than the New York senator's original ad, explicitly detailing the national security threats America faces.

"Uncertainty. Dangerous aggression. Rogue nations. Radicalism," the ad's narrator states as images of tanks and launching missiles flash on screen.

The ad also includes Clinton's attack on Barack Obama in March 2008 in which she declared "I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And, Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002."

The commercial is the fourth Republican ad in the last week to invoke Hillary Clinton's past criticisms of her party's presumptive presidential nominee, and comes the same night the New York senator is set to make a public urge for unity at the Democratic convention.

Speaking to New York Delegates in Denver Monday, Clinton said she did not support Republicans using her past words against Obama.

"I am Hillary Clinton and I do not approve that message," Clinton said Monday when asked about a McCain ad in which a Clinton backer says she will vote for the Arizona Republican.

Clinton's original 3 a.m. ad ran in Texas in the week ahead of that states critical primary is credited in part for her strong performance there. (She won the Texas primary, but lost its caucus.)

soundoff (451 Responses)
  1. JD, St. Louis, MO

    How are these scare tactics? McCain is pointing out the realities of the world we live in. I guess most of you would rather be the ostrich and ignore everything going on around us. And how is this ad "swift boating" Obama? Using the words of common opponents against the other party has been around for years and years. Hillary spoke the words when she wanted to make Obama look young and inexperienced. There's absolutely no reason why McCain should not do the same thing. Who cares if Hillary approves? Her words are just as correct today as they were when SHE hoped to benefit by them.

    August 26, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  2. J.M. Missouri

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    At least it is not hear say… Clinton said things about Barrack, like it or not… the only common ground I see her and Barrack belong to the same party and that seems to be the only interest of the two. Her hopeful thinking on her part she might get chosen for VP.. that was shot down…now what??? She has a career to protect and a possible future white house career at that, all she is stuck with is so call "OH lets unite the party". I am happy to see ads that are not opinions or hear say… I say show it for what it is..Let the facts speak! Go McCain GO!!!

    August 26, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  3. ANDROLOMA, Commerce City, Colorado

    Fear. Anybody want to buy some? Plenty to go around.

    August 26, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  4. ObamaAllTheWay

    typical republican fear tactic, the old war monger will not be able to deal with to do anything with the treat out there, he wants to stay in Iqaq for 100 years a county that is not treat to our nation instead of fighting the radicals in Afganistan, Obama knows where the treat is and how to handle it with Obama/Biden ticket America has nothing to fear from but feat itself ,the right wing and Bush/Mccain.

    August 26, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  5. Obamalism

    Libs...fighting reality every step of the way.

    August 26, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  6. MikeH

    And like all Republican ads, CNN provides a link to it, something they don't do with Democratic ads.

    Did someone remind CNN that this ad didn't work for Hillary? I know it's McCain's ad, but CNN is obviously intimately involved with McCain, just like Cindy, when McCain was still married to Carol.

    August 26, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  7. MJM

    How dare the Republicans use Sen. Clintons actual words. Don't they know that she really didn't mean it, she was just saying what she had to in order to get elected. Come on, she never actually believed anything Bill every told her.

    August 26, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  8. Jason

    I am a right-wing stallwart, and understand how McCain is using these ads to win in November, however all this attachment is making me worry about someone that I wasn't sure about being a real republican in the first place. I am going to be voting for McCain, or just another HIllary in old man's clothing?

    August 26, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  9. David M. Neal

    The Democrats sure know how to squirm when the truth comes out. Hillary was correct, McCain has years of FP experience and Obama gave a simple speech, in 2002.

    Some times the truth hurts and hurts bad.

    August 26, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  10. TimW

    Hillary has made it clear that anything she says has nothing to do with what she's said in the past. Each day is a new day and she wants history wiped clear of her reality (unless it benefits her).

    Why should this be any different.

    August 26, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  11. B

    John McCain's campaign is looking more and more ridiculous, disorganized and desperate daily. Why won't he spend his money actually articulating a plan for the country rather than pandering to disaffected Clintonites, and jumping on every opportunity to further diminish the standing of American Politics. A campaign of fear, will ultimately not sell with the American public.

    August 26, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  12. al in memphis

    For all the negative talk about how Obama unfairly treated the Clintons, can anyone pull out any Obama footage that the republicans could have used against Hillary. It make a strong statement about how he maintain some integrity towards his fellow Democratic opponents and still won the campaign. He has taken alot of shots and watch alot of people make money off of bashing him - but he has stayed focus!!

    August 26, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  13. Disappointed Female Democrat

    It was bad enough when Hillary did it now it is further backfiring on her. Democrats – Are we really going to take the high road or just pay lip service to it like Hillary did. Can you tell I am not a HC fan? She really let me down with her petty behaviour which continues on ...

    Disappointed female democrat

    August 26, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  14. Henry

    Hillary said these words, she meant what she said, so Democrats, deal with it. I don't understand how any one with common sense can trust Obama. All he is it talk.

    August 26, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  15. Jeffrey Reel

    I am feeling a little disheartened by one aspect of this campaign, and it is the lack of imagination in responding to Republican attach ads. It brings back memories of the Kerry campaign.

    1. I am increasingly convinced American elections are not about who offers the best and brightest policy decisions. The media plays a pivotal role in voters' decisions.

    2. Case in point: the Republicans have just recycled Clinton's "3a.m." attack ad, and I was appalled by the Obama campaign's lack of imagination, and lack of response, then and now. It will have the effect of the "Swift Boat" attacks in 2004. Perhaps I'm naive but it seems obvious to me that the Obama campaign respond to that ad by having McCain pick up that 3a.m. call, and commit our troops to Iraq for the initial invasion. Then the ad reminds folks that that decision by McCain wasn't made in the dead of night but in the light of day. Just imagine how he'd respond to a call at 3am.

    But the ad will go unanswered and as stupid as the ad might seem to us, it is an effective tool. And it will be one of many. It's one thing not to get down in the mud with the McCain campaign, but it's another to allow such ads to go unanswered.

    If you agree with me on this point, PLEASE circulate this e-mail to others actively engaged in the Obama campaign.

    August 26, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  16. ObamaAllTheWay

    CNN is following the foot steps of FoxNews, the only person I love and watch at CNN is the one and the only Larry King Live.

    August 26, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  17. Tim

    First of all I take exception to the headline that veterans take aim at Obama in ad. For the record, it a group calling themselves veterans. This add is crap, Let's just look at the facts. Forget the surge because we had to do it to save face. The more important fact is that the war was wrong from the start. We were lied to and John McCain should admit that the war was wrong. And any veterans that support McCain are idiots. You have to be because you are supporting a person that sent my brothers and sisters into harms way on a lie. Then he refused to give them proper benefits while in the service because he thinks they were too generous. Get real!!! Bottom line is that he has not voted on any legislation to help veterans. In fact he received a F for his support of veterans and Obama got a B.

    Proud Veteran of 20 years of faithful service supporting Obama!!!

    August 26, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  18. Ben

    What if the election was Saddam Hussein vs Barack Obama? Saddam could make every claim that McCain is making. He had 30 years of experience and started a couple of preemptive wars too. We just don't know about that Barack though, we'd better stick with Saddam.

    August 26, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  19. afra

    I'M SOOOOO SCARED OF THE WAR DRUMS. BUT THANK GOODNESS FOR THE MESSAGE OF HOPE AND CHANGE. I'LL NOT BE BULLIED INTO VOTING THE SAME BUSH WAY. GO BARRY/BIDEN '08. MANY THINGS GET SAID DURING PRIMARIES BUT THE MATURE THING IS TO RALLY ROUND THE CHOSEN CANDIDATE AND "SURGE" FORWARD TO WIN. MC CAIN'S OPPONENTS SAID WORSE THINGS DURING THE PRIMARIES. HE CAN RECYCLE AND USE AND RE-USE EVERY DIRT ABOUT OBAMA AND STILL I'LL NOT BE SWAYED, NOT EVEN AS A HILLARY SUPPORTER. I'LL GO WITH THE DEMS, I'LL GO OBAMA. DESPARATE GOPS

    August 26, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  20. peakarach,des moines,IA

    Barack Hussein Obama/Paris Hilton 08!

    August 26, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  21. ANDROLOMA, Commerce City, Colorado

    [b]Bush is the most unqualified leader this nation has had since Nixon![/b]

    August 26, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  22. Dee

    I have heard Mitt Romney will be the VP choice for McCain... The Dems will then be able to use his words against McCain... All is fair in love and war..

    August 26, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  23. Once a Repub

    McCain IS TOO OLD
    McCain IS TOO DESPERATE
    McCain IS TOO NEGATIVE
    McCain IS TOO SHALLOW
    McCain IS TOO MUCH
    McCain IS TOO SICKENING

    ENOUGH OF HIM!

    August 26, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  24. JB

    McCain would be better in a national sercurity crisis than Obama. McCain is more decissive, and McCain can better guide us through a conflicts that may arise. These are dangerous time and we need a strong leader.

    August 26, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  25. Republicans love the fear card

    Play the fear card..... PLAY IT!!!!

    August 26, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19