[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/18/art.mccain0718.cnn.jpg caption="New McCain ad hits Obama on foreign policy."] (CNN) - John McCain’s campaign continued to hammer Barack Obama on foreign policy ahead of the presumptive Democratic nominee’s upcoming overseas trip, releasing its first contrast television ad of the general election campaign Friday – a spot that that paints the Illinois senator as a flip-flopping opportunist who opposed fully funding U.S. troops.
The ad is the first negative spot released by the McCain campaign, although the Republican National Committee attacked Obama on energy policy in a $3 million independent expenditure earlier this month.
“Barack Obama never held a single Senate hearing on Afghanistan. He hasn't been to Iraq in years,” says the announcer in the 30-second spot.
“He voted against funding our troops,” he continues, as a picture of Obama appears alongside the words “AGAINST TROOP FUNDING.”
“Positions that helped him win his nomination. Now Obama is changing to help himself become president. John McCain has always supported our troops and the surge that's working. McCain. Country first.”
The new spot follows a week of conference calls, memos and speeches from both campaigns on national security issues in advance of Obama’s first trip to Afghanistan and second trip to Iraq. On Thursday, the McCain team released an eight minute Web video highlighting what it said were Obama’s shifting positions on the war in Iraq. They also released a 16-page memo attacking the Democrat on a host of foreign policy concerns.
The ad will air on national cable and be cycled into McCain’s existing buys in 11 battleground states: Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and northern Virginia.
UPDATE: The Obama campaign responded that the senator voted in favor of every defense spending bill until the supplemental last May.
“While Barack Obama wants to change American foreign policy to wind down the war in Iraq and address the grave threat posed by a resurgent al Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan, John McCain offers this patently misleading negative ad," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement. "Given his calls for a civil campaign, it's disappointing that Senator McCain has slipped so easily into the same, tired campaign tactics that have become so familiar to the American people."