April 30th, 2008
12:05 PM ET
15 years ago

MoveOn announces launch date for anti-McCain ad buy

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/30/art.moveonad.cnn.jpg caption="MoveOn is launching a massive anti-McCain ad campaign."] (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)

Filed under: John McCain • moveon.org
soundoff (234 Responses)
  1. independant

    HEY !!!! The Republicans changed the rules during the last two elections. The Demos are forced to fight like them or just roll over as they did the last time. -– Get after them guys and take NO prisoners !!!!!!!

    April 30, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  2. John, Marietta, GA

    "Americans are stupid" Quote from Hillary at her campaign event in Southbend Indiana this mourning......If this was Obama, he would be called Anti-Americans. Where is the fairness America?

    April 30, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  3. Apollyon

    Did anyone notice that the RNC statement didn't even mention Hillary Clinton????? They made sure they put Barack in their gun sights! What does it take to prove (1), if not (2) things???

    (1)The RNC does NOT want to run against Barack Obama. That is why they are also running that ad against Barack in North Carolina. You know, the one that McBush supposedly asked for the NC RNC to stop running? The one that the head of the NC RNC stated that McBush never contacted them about??? So why should Barack be obligated to call for moveon.org to not run the ad??? OH THE HYPOCRISY IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!
    (2)I still believe that McBush and Billary are in cahoots together to get Obama off the ticket. McCain knows he doesn't have a chance against him; and Billary is willing to take the chance she can beat McBush.

    Oh what a tangled web we weave....

    April 30, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  4. BL-NYC

    I am a Democrat but I hate MoveOn (the spam-junkmail scum).org!!!

    April 30, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  5. Nom Deplume, J.D., LL.M.


    Lenin's crowd was also bloodthirsty. So was Mao's. Can't have a socialist revolution without a fight.

    April 30, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  6. Bob

    Anyone remember those "Flush the Johns" bumper stickers from 2004? Well, let's recycle them – just cross out the 's' at the end of 'Johns'.

    April 30, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. Chriss

    McCain and the right want Hillary.

    HRC is being supported by the right – Insanity Hannity and Karl Turdblossom Rove were talking about how well she was doing while they proceeded to slam Obama. It is obvious they want Hillary because they can beat her.

    Just what we need, another Clinton in court [paul v. clinton] and possibly impeached [again]!

    Obama '08

    April 30, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  8. Geri

    I'm really getting tired of all the nasty Obama supporters running all the other candidates down and calling them names. Obama does not walk on water and after this past week he needs to talk to his supporters about what negativity and nastiness can do to a person. I am also tired of every article being about Obama whether it actually is or not. CNN also needs to let the comments stay open for a longer time on other articles. They closed one yesterday with one comment, another with 14, and let one on Obama get over 600. There are 3 people in this campaign and I think its about time the official Obama News Network put their favoritism for their fair haired boy behind them and put positive articles on about all 3. They just keep fueling the fire. You usually don't print mine but be fair and let bloggers have their say also.

    April 30, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  9. Dave

    Anybody with a sense of fairness should go to youtube.com and play McCain's answer to a person at a townhall meeting from which the "100 year" line came from. He was comparing the US's long term presence in Korea, Germany, Japan, etc as a model for a hypethetical long term presence in Iraq.
    Obama, MoveOn.org, and Howard Dean have shown themselves to be the typical loud-mouth liars that comprise most of the left-wing of the Democratic party. They use a tiny snipet of a paragraph, twist it, and rearrange it to serve their current propoganda interest. Its sickening.

    April 30, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  10. 2 More Super Delegates for Obama on 4/29

    Bring it on! This is great! Finally, we will have payback for those horrible Kerry/Swiftboat ads. This is just the beginning.

    April 30, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  11. Tim in Canada

    Hillary is more republican than John McCain.

    April 30, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  12. Priscilla

    You Hillary and McCain supporters are really funny. You had no problem when McCain and Hillary twisted and manipulated Obama's words, and when MSM ran those twisted and manipulated words over and over again to the general public. Now that you are getting a taste of the same thing, you complain. As your leader Hillary said in her tv ad, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."

    April 30, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  13. mitch from ark.

    mccain did say he would be willing to keep a presence in iraq for a hundred years.i heard it with my own ears.i saw it on the news.those who are crying 'negative',need to understand, that he said it himself,so it is not a smear.go 'move- on'!mccain will follow-up,with the same policies,that the current president promotes,and should be impeached for.4050+ dead american soldiers,for a war,based on lies,and greed?4050+[and rising,daily] lives,that this administration is responsible for,along with the congress that authorized it.bush/cheney/clinton/mccain,all have the blood of our troops ,on their hands.and some of you idiots want to put hillary or mccain at the helm?how sad ,that people are so blind.

    April 30, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. John, FL


    April 30, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  15. Monica

    McCain didn't do anything about the Wright ad in NC.So they will denounce it and it will continue to play.

    April 30, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. Terry, Dallas Texas

    I agree with Joe about McCain's defense of Kerry in 2004 but the hard truth is that by not firing back the swifboat ad campain helped Bush defeat him. Playing nice is what has cost the Democrats too many chances and people are just now beginning to understand that if they want to play dirty you had better be prepared to get in as well.

    April 30, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  17. Changing to Independent PA

    I really can't over the fools who keep saying if their candidate does not win they will support McCain! That is the dumbest thing that you can say, the man has already said that he knows nothing about the economy. He is all about the war. What will it take for you to see that we don't have the resources to fight all of these wars he is suggesting. What will be next, a draft? For those of you pathetic enough not to vote for your own well-being, remember once you are homeless, your vote won't count, because you will need ID with your home address. Also both Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton will be fine (Sen Clinton especially, she has $109 million, and 10 million of that she gave to her own charity). Please stop the madness, I will vote for whoever the Dem Nominee is, even the won who was tricked into voting for the war. Do you really want to be spending $8.00 for gas after the next 2 McCain Terms (remember gas rates doubled since Bush).

    April 30, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  18. John McCain is a Fossil

    'nuff said!

    April 30, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  19. Haley Rodman Clemson

    It's pretty sad that the best attack Democrats can come up with is a snippet from a townhall meeting that is taken out of context. And when I say taken out of context, I mean the snippet omits the fact that McCain wants us to have a similar presense in Iraq as we currently do in Gernamy and Japan. His qualifying remarks take place between the "100 years" and "that's fine with me" remarks but who cares? It's not what he said, it's what people can be made to believe he said. BIG difference between what he said and what Moveon/DNC wants you to think he said. I saw an ad on tv where a lady said he plans on keeping troops in Iraq for 1,000 years! At first I thought heard wrong but, nope, it was repeated a couple of times. Get real people.

    No one is surprised that liberal Democrats are lying (we are more surprised when they don't). Just another hit job from liberal elites trying to play Americans for suckers.

    Lies and deceit from the left are all they have to use against McCain while their own candidates rip each other apart. The Democrats look pretty pathetic right now and I admit, it is very satisfying to see.

    April 30, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  20. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    We don't have state run propaganda in America–we rely on 527's to doe it for the government.

    What melarchy are they trying to peddle.
    Clearly this is a down and very dirty attempt to gain some liberal high ground with moderates and fiscal conservatives who may be swayed by their attack ads.

    I hope the American people will see clearly that there is an alternative to the big tax bail outs and big ticket social/environmental schemes that make up the entire Democratic Party agenda.

    While I don't particularly care for McCain–he's not as conservative as he should be, and there are no viable Libertarian or other 3rd party options–I'll probably be voting for McCain–as and Independent.

    Why? Because as a person who makes $60K or more (even though $250000 is a military retired pension that I have to pay taxes on by the way) I've got a great big bulls-eye painted on my back. And can only look forward to having the government steal and waste even more of the money I risked my life for in support of my country.l

    April 30, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  21. M.S. Indiana

    RNC, so what about your peoples adds in nc ???
    Like you guys don't have your own attack dogs... but maybe no money to run the adds ??

    But please stay on course, for the 100 years of war in Iraq, can't go wrong there

    April 30, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  22. AJ

    I used to be a supporter of Move-On but changed my mind when the group decided to endorse Obama. I will not support Obama. I will either sit this election out or cross party lines and vote McCain. I urge all Clinton supporters to do the same.

    I'd rather spend money for ad buys that are anti Move On.

    If not Clinton, McCain in '08

    April 30, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  23. Kyle Indianapolis, Indiana

    I like how the RNC talks about Obama but not Hillary. When will the people realize that McClinton is the same person!!??!?!

    April 30, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  24. John McCain is a Fossil

    Veterans don't even support this guy.

    April 30, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  25. Debbie

    IT IS TIME FOR SOMEBODY TO STAND UP FOR OBAMA BECAUSE THE MEDIA SURE ISN'T. The media is Obama's worse enemy. They have treated him unfairly and it is time for moveon.org to move. If I were Obama, I would let them go RIGHT AHEAD.

    April 30, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
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