[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/24/art.mccainwordsad0624.jm08.jpg caption="Sen. Obama stars in the latest web ad released by his rival Sen. John McCain."]
(CNN) – Sen. John McCain, the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee, debuted a new Web ad Tuesday that criticizes Sen. Barack Obama over his decision to forgo public financing in the general election campaign.
The 48-second ad “Words” begins with footage of Obama declaring “Don’t tell me words don’t matter.” A video chronology of clips of Obama stating his support for the public financing system and pledging to sit down with McCain to discuss the issue follows.
The ad also uses footage from Obama’s own video announcement sent to supporters last week where the presumptive Democratic nominee explained his decision to opt out of the public financing system. The remainder of the ad intersperses press coverage critical of Obama’s decision with the Obama repeatedly declaring “Don’t tell me words don’t’ matter.”
Obama has been criticized by campaign finance reform advocates and Republicans since he announced his decision not to take public funds to support his general election campaign. “He has completely reversed himself and gone back – not on his word to me, but on the commitment that he made to the American people,” McCain said last week while visiting flood-ravaged Iowa of Obama’s decision. “That’s disturbing,”
Obama’s camp has defended the decision by arguing that his large base of more than a million individual donors achieves the same goal as the public financing system. Surrogates for Obama have also pointed to what they see as a similar reversal on McCain’s part on the issue of public financing for the primary season.
Robert Gibbs, the Obama campaign’s communications director, charged that McCain “gamed” the public financing system in an interview CNN’s John Roberts last week. McCain’s campaign has consistently denied that he ever intended to take public financing for the primary season and the issue will be decided by the Federal Election Commission.