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. Montana is Obama Country

    McLAME over Clinton..



    Yes.. We... Can... in 2008

    April 30, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  2. Farren Ballanst


    Taxes have to be high if we're going to continue paying you such a ridiculously high pension. Of course, those are GOOD taxes, right?

    April 30, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  3. Eric

    I've said this before though i've never seen is actually get posted for all you who say that if Obama is the nom you'd vote for McCain or those who say if Clinton gets the nom you'd vote for McCain. That's just plain stupid. That's like if you have no choice but to either lose a finger or lose your whole hand and you choice to lose your whole hand.

    April 30, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. tanner, ca

    McCain had the integrity to call for the removal of a negative ad in North Carolina. Now Mr. Obama, who is "against" negative campaigning should do the same and rebuke MoveOn and call for the removal of that ad. Otherwise the man has zero integrity.

    Who even listens to MoveOn anyway other than far left koolaid drinkers? Answer: noone really.

    April 30, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  5. Dylan

    I'm gonna say this again to supporters of Hillary Clinton... if you insist on voting for a warmonger-best-friend-of-lobbyists instead of a progressive capable of bringing about real bottom-up change in this country, you are NOT a Democrat. You are threating mutiny simply because your candidate is losing and treating this race more like a sporting event than a Presidential campaign. This is short-sighted and childish. Whether or not you support him, stop with the sophomoric attacks on Obama and do what's best for the Democratic Party or declare yourself a Republican... please!

    April 30, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  6. Debra, MO

    I said it last week; Republicans get ready for the Obamanation. LMAO

    April 30, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  7. Sharon Minnesota

    After this attack and the 100 yr ad, It's going to get VERY ugly out there soon. If Barack Obama gets the nomination we can expect the republicans to ramp up their campaign ads with a whole lot more of J. Wright and all the other Obama negatives.

    With Hillary they only have the regular old democrat tax and spend drum beat. Nothing new here.

    Hear this Delegates and be wise in your choice.

    Hillary 08, 08 and beyond

    April 30, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  8. Jamaal

    Keep going moveon.org I am sending 100 dollars to help there movement because we can no longer sit while are fellow American are Killed day by day

    April 30, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  9. Jamaal

    Keep going moveon am sending 100 dollars to help there movement because we can no longer sit while are fellow American are Killed day by day

    April 30, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  10. perplexed

    I thought the McCain-Finegold bill was supposed to stop these kinds of ads. If not, I have a couple billion bucks that say "No to Clinton/Obama"

    April 30, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  11. Cynthia

    Thank goodness someone is starting to seriously concentrate on pointing out some of the things that need to be told about him. If I had children of draft age I would really be worried about Senator McCain getting in office. I've had relatives who have done 3 and 4 tours in Iraq – thank God they came back okay.

    April 30, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  12. LeafMan

    Dave wrote: "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."

    Dave, US troops are in SOUTH Korea, Japan and Germany AT THE REQUEST AND BY TREATY AGREEMENTS with those countries. The presence in Germany was in WEST Germany until reunification.

    Notice anything different with the situation in Iraq? Like it was and illegal INVASION & OCCUPATION and not even the current (fragile) government of Iraq wants US presence long term?

    Before you start appealing history, learn it. The truth is, McCain is as clueless about foreign relations as he is about the economy. Howdy Doody would make a better president. Oh wait, that's the CURRENT president ... my bad!

    April 30, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  13. Jamaal

    Why stop them when The republicans going to Attack Obama they just said that they Have 500 Million to swiftboat him so why would he stop moveon they should keep going and get all the Republicans they can get

    April 30, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  14. vahe

    i think its a good idea. mccain should get lost and never return back. his the secon bush people think his better than obama or clinton but his not because this guy is an war addict. he should not run for president. Democrats 08!!!!!!

    April 30, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. Ilona Proud Canadian

    David Goldman,

    There is something very strange about Sen. McCain. I just can't figure it out. Every time I see him or hear him talk, it just seems that something is not right! You may be right, it may very well be his smile (or lack there of) but I really think it is more than that.

    By the way folks, do you think that Sen. McCain will get away with not making public his wife's tax returns, when it is time for him to go up against one of the Dems. for the Presidency? I think not! No one knows what is buried in his wife's tax returns. I don't understand why no one is addressing this issue.

    April 30, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  16. J.R.

    Moveon.org is just the Democrat's version of the Republican playbook. Nothing more, nothing less.

    April 30, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  17. Doug R.

    Is it me or is this Mr. McCain looking older and older and older each time we see him. McCain has been given a free ride all along. He has lots of skeletons in his closet nobody is talking about. Lets put everything on the table regarding this whiny false patriot.

    April 30, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  18. Pro-Democracy

    Hmm..let's see.
    McCain is attacking Obama,
    Clinton is attacking Obama,
    Obama is taking on McCain.
    Nobody is attacking Clinton

    Looks like we have our nominee. Let the real contest begin!

    April 30, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  19. Rick

    The sad thing is Obozo's supporters don't realize that the repubs want the General Election to be between McCain and Obozo because they know he's much easier to beat than Hillary Clinton. When Obozo is attacked by the repubs what's he going to stand up and say PRESENT +160 times - just as he's voted in the Senate. The facts are Hillary is ahead in popular vote and the amount she is behind in delegates is negligible. Obozo won't get enough delegates to win the nomination. If he can't get enough why doesn't he drop out? To good to take his own advice?

    April 30, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  20. Veterans for McCain and truth

    Cmon CNN what about my comment

    April 30, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  21. Sam

    Thank you so much MoveOn.org!

    April 30, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  22. Steve

    Let's hear some stories about his days as a prisoner in Hanoi Hilton from McCain. That would sure be a hit with people.

    April 30, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  23. rick

    I just saw the ad, it's fair. This isn't swiftboating at all.

    April 30, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  24. bill in Oklahoma

    They have only 160 grand to do commercials on cable and in those 2 states. perhaps you would have had more if you hadn't chose a side in the democratic nomination process. I know you will never see m money again. What a pathetic amount.

    April 30, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  25. Its ok to be right

    To Haley Rodman Clemson

    Its interesting that you talk about "context" now, though I seriously doubt "context" was being considered when people kept running that snipped of Rev. Wright's sermon (who by the way is not a candidate, though that seems to be the only thing Repubs talk about)!

    April 30, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
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