December 28th, 2007
06:00 PM ET
12 years ago

McCain, Romney heat up New Hampshire airwaves

McCain is out with an attack ad countering Romney's earlier ad.

McCain is out with an attack ad countering Romney's earlier ad.

(CNN) - Just hours after Mitt Romney’s campaign debuted a new New Hampshire television ad criticizing John McCain, the Arizona senator’s campaign shot back with a spot that took aim at Romney – its first ad to mention an opponent by name.

“As you hear Mitt Romney attack John McCain, consider these words from New Hampshire newspapers,” says the announcer. “The Union Leader says John McCain has ‘conviction’ and Granite Staters want a candidate who will look them in the eye and tell them the truth. John McCain has done that. Mitt Romney has not."

“The Concord Monitor writes, ‘If a candidate is a phony ... we'll know it. Mitt Romney is such a candidate.’ That's why Romney's hometown newspaper says the ‘choice is clear’: John McCain.”

The 30-second spot will begin airing this evening in New Hampshire, where McCain is now a close second to the former Massachusetts governor in most recent polls.

A McCain campaign official tells CNN the "counterpunch" has been ready for several days, in anticipation of a Romney TV attack in the Granite State.

UPDATE: Romney spokesman Kevin Madden responded within minutes of the ad's release. "Sen. McCain has a troubling history of neglecting substantive issues and getting personal in his attacks against those who happen to disagree with him. It’s the McCain way," he said.

–CNN’s Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Extra • John McCain • Mitt Romney • New Hampshire
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Dale Davis, Glendora, California

    The Union Leader must have liked McCain's song. Bomb, bomb,bomb, bomb,bomb Iran. Or maybe it was his previous commitment to his amnesty bill. And now he's changing his mind.
    No. The real reason all of these liberal-leaning newspaper rags are attempting to throw a wrench in the Romney campaign is to get revenge against 4 years of conservatism in the bluest state in the nation, Massachusetts. Mitt should consider this a badge of honor. Go Mitt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 28, 2007 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  2. Cat, Costa Mesa, CA

    So, McCain, You got the backing of a small newspaper in Mass. and are using THEIR words to defend YOUR character. When will you stand up for yourself? When will you realize that not ONCE did Romney attack your character, but praised it!! The fact is, McCain is soft on alot of things. He lacks the leadership skills it takes to run our country and has few political credentials to his name.

    Romney's points are completely legitimate. Romney '08

    December 28, 2007 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  3. Jose Card - Independent

    I would choose McCain over Romney, too.
    I favor Romney's immigration policy, but McCain impresses me much more with the right stuff he has got.

    December 28, 2007 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  4. michael, Gladstone, MO

    Poor Slick Willard. His campaign peaked too early and now he has decided to go negative against Huckabee in Iowa and McCain in New Hampshire. As I see it, McCain decided not to lay down like 2000. And he is able to use newspaper editorials words to do his talking for him. It's also telling that Slick Willard uses his spokesman to bash McCain so he can keep some distance and not seem like he's bitter and vicious. I would have hoped that he would at least speak for himself, but that wouldn't be the politically 'correct' way to do it, hmmm.

    December 28, 2007 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  5. Cyril

    McCain is getting too old and tired, his recent debates did not feel he is up to be the next president. i think he is too weak on immigration and not good in managing his compaign. i find him not ready to take charge.
    Mitt on the other hand looks like a good overall package. he has good business experience, we need someone with a knowledge on how to save our country from debt and being more competive in the world.

    December 28, 2007 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  6. Alex

    If that is the McCain way I suppose the Romney way is to begin the mudslinging when you notice your numbers are sagging. Or is it transferring your own trespasses to your opponent? Either way, Romney has been a liar and a denier. Is this really someone you want as president?

    December 28, 2007 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  7. ike

    Who cares what a liberal paper says about a conservative candidate?
    Difference between McCain and Romney: McCain doesn't talk about issues and decides to revert to name calling. Romney actually talks about records and not the person at all.
    I know who I will vote for.

    December 28, 2007 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  8. Charles in Salt Lake City, UT

    Senator McCain's spot points out a compelling fact: Mitt Romney has probably never looked anyone in the eye and told them the truth - at least not without first carefully parsing that "truth" to fit whatever he felt the person needed or wanted to be told.

    He cannot talk honestly and openly about foreign or domestic policy, he cannot talk honestly and openly about economics or immigration or abortion, he cannot even talk honestly and openly about his own institution of faith. Everything that seems to come from the mouth of that man has to be carefully weighed, considered, and groomed. Like the half-truth words and cloaked omissions of a diplomat, or a salesman.

    I long for a candidate who projects confidence through experience and integrity, not condescending arrogance through self-interest. I long for someone other than Mitt Romney.

    December 28, 2007 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  9. Arron, NYC NY

    America needs to wake up and evaluate Romney based on his past contributions within the political circles of Massachusetts. Failure to do so will have DIRE consequences to this Nation's future.

    If you want an idea of what we will get as a nation if Romney is elected President, then every American must review carefully his past, especially when he was Governor of Massachusetts.

    Please check out:

    December 28, 2007 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    But, if anything, Kevin Madden's response is based on his characterizing McCain in a certain way; therefore his suggestion that Senator McCain makes personal attacks is hypocritical. It also happens to be nonsensical.

    And for those who might say that by running this ad, Senator McCain is personally attacking Mitt Romney anyway: the newspapers wrote those editorials, not his campaign. Not just that, but said editorials have been public record and, especially in the case of Mitt Romney's distinctive anti-endorsement, highly publicized.

    December 28, 2007 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  11. Justin, New York

    Mitt Romney will say anything to get elected. He will even dare to twist the truth and say he is not a liar.

    Romney boasts he if best fit for president because he was a governor and business owner. Well, Mitt, our current president was in the same boat as you, and look at the wonders his experience did for the nation! (yes, that was sarcastic).

    Perhaps your private business owning and money residing in off-shore banks to avoid being taxed could help out on the national debt, since most of the middle-class will never have illegals cleaning their houses and landscaping their yards as you have.

    Just a suggestion.

    McCain for 2008!

    December 28, 2007 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  12. Independent in IA

    McCain is really grasping at straws, here. Of course HE speaks with conviction, since he's Bush's lap dog and follows his master's bidding.

    December 28, 2007 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  13. Tyler in Raleigh, NC

    I just wish it didn't depend on Iowa, NH and a few other states to pick our cadidate. I hear the news about how it lets a few small states properly vet candidates and all the other junk.

    I just wish it was really up to the NATION to pick who wins the primary. If someone doesn't place in the top 2, maybe three... they will be gone before many others get a chance to vote. I think thats a sad geographic inequality.

    Same goes for the electoral college though, as we have seen in the last 2 elections. At least that gives a closer picture of reality than the primary process.

    December 28, 2007 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  14. Steve Blaine Washington

    I am not saying that John McCain is not a citizen of the USA but I am saying
    that in order to become President or Vice President there needs to be a
    Constitutional Amendment defining native born beyond framers intent or
    removing term from Constitution and 12th Amendment to Constitution.
    John McCain supposedly was aware of this informnation listed below because
    his spokeswoman Nancy Ives quotes Act of 26 Mar 1790 and on same page
    of Congressional records Act of 26 mar 1790 is listed as replaced by Act 29
    Jan 1795. John McCain has been aware of information for at least 4 years.

    A requirement to be President and Vice President is listed in the
    Constitution and requires that both be native born. The issue regarding
    President was in initial Constitution and for the Vice President was in the
    12th Amendment.
    The reason for both cases was to prevent someone not native born from
    gaining control of the military and is the reason given by framers of
    original Constriction for inclusion of term for President which passed
    without debate or discussion.
    McCain was born in the Canal Zone in 1936 and the Canal Zone was leased
    property like Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
    Around 2004 when John McCain was running for either the Presidency or
    Senate a spokesman by name of Nancy Ives claimed McCain was entitled to
    native born status due to Act dated 26 Mar 1790 Section 1 &2 which stated "
    The Children of Citizens of the U.S. that may be born beyond sea or outside
    the limits of the U.S. shall be considered as natural born Citizens of the
    However, this Act was repealed by Act of 29 Jan 1795 Sections 1&2 which
    does not mention the words native born because Congress apparently
    recognized that they could not change the Constitution by itself.
    The 14th Amendment to the Constitution also does not mention the term native
    born either.
    So how does John McCain qualify to run for President without a
    constitutional amendment removing the term native born from the Constitution
    and subsequent ratification by the proper number of States?

    Steve Wittlake

    December 29, 2007 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  15. Brendan

    It actually doesn't say native born. The language of the Constitution says naturally born (which is up to some level of interpretation)

    December 29, 2007 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  16. Steve Blaine Washington

    Section 1 of Article 2 says natural born which is the same thing. Born in the USA

    December 29, 2007 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  17. Kevin

    I get sick of people thinking they are negative ads. He is simply pointing out the facts. The differences between the two.. your pretty naive if you think mcain and huckabee wouldn't do the same exact thing if Romney was the one surging.

    December 29, 2007 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  18. Bill, Albany, NY

    McCain is the perfect Republican to lead this country other than Ron Paul. Romney is nothing but a Republican verison of John Kerry says one thing then changes it the next day. Rudy has this sick love of authority way too much, he isnt the man I respected back when he ran NYC. Huckabee is nothing but the lap dog of the human garbage who call themselves the men of the cloth (Robertson, Dobson, Perkins and Donahue) on the religious right and Hunter is nothing but a right wing piece of scum from the West Coast.

    Go John McCain, slam it to that right wing demogag Romney who cant stick to a position.

    December 29, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  19. Dave

    In the years to come, more costly in the War in Iraq is illegal Immigration. Even now the federal, state and county treasuries are bleeding badly from propping-up the hires of illegal employers.

    Only Duncan Hunter, Fred Thompson and Ron Paul have the right credentials, to stop the disasterous period of red ink. Alas, we cannot trust any Democrats to stop the illegal alien invasion, because their pandering for votes during the occupation of our nation. Even McCain destroyed his chances when he joined up with ultra-liberal Ted Kennedy to pass a mammoth immigration bill. We would have had millions of illegal aliens in our Social Security system, who never paid into it.

    December 29, 2007 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  20. sunsfan

    I would respond to Charles in Salt Lake City. Were living in SLC when Mitt took over the 2002 SLC Winter Olympics? It was scandal-riddent and 200 Million in the hole. Mitt was CEO for the 2002 SLC Olympics and accepted $0 as compensation. The 2002 SLC Winter Olympics concluded successfully, and did you or any of the other citizens of Utah have to pay for any over-runs? You know you didn't. In fact, the 2002 SLC Winter Olympics returned $56Million to the state general fund, to be used for the upkeep of the olympic venues so that the citizens of Utah wouldn't have to.

    December 29, 2007 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  21. Matt

    Just to enlighten the woefully ignorant people who have posted falsities on this wall...the New Hampshire Union Leader is a conservative paper, which has a readership of 72,833 people. It is also the paper for Manchester, New Hampshire which is the largest city in the state. So for those of you who said it was either "small" or "liberal" you are very, very wrong. Additionally, as for "McCain having few political credentials to his name" I would just like to point out that he has been a hard working Conservative Republican for 24 years in Congress (4 as a Congressman and 20 as a Senator.) However, your precious Romney has only ever served 4 years in office as a Governor and he had a lot more liberal views on record then that he has conveniently changed now a days. Maybe it is time that you people realize that McCain is the most qualified and the most consistently conservative candidate we have right now and you should all be supporting him.

    December 29, 2007 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |

    The nice thing about Romney is that if you do not like his positions he will gladly switch them for you !
    How can a person be true to America if they cannot be true to themselves ?

    December 31, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |