ABC News has obtained from a former staffer an exclusive copy of an ad produced by the McCain team attacking Obama for his relationship with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. According to Brian Ross, McCain never saw the spot, even though his team had it fully produced and ready to go.
Even as his campaign fell far behind in the polls, Sen. John McCain refused to authorize the use of a fully-produced 30-second television commercial that criticized Barack Obama for his relationship with the controversial pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
A copy of the spot, obtained by ABC News, indicates the campaign spent the time and money necessary to produce a polished final tape, even after McCain publicly said the pastor should not be made a campaign issue and that he wanted to run a "respectful" campaign. His aides told ABC News that McCain simply decided "he did not want to touch" the Rev. Wright issue.
If there's one thing you have to respect McCain for, it would have to be his adherence to the promise of not bringing up Wright. Sure, independent groups ran a barrage of anti-Wright ads in the final days -- and, indeed, McCain crossed a whole slew of lines throughout the campaign -- but McCain promised to stay away from the issue and he did. The ad in question highlights the importance of character. How ironic is it, then, that the one issue on which McCain displayed true character was the one many Republicans think could have made him some real headway?
Exit question: What does it say about the Republican party when many of its adherents think McCain lost because he didn't sling more mud like this? It's almost as if they think McCain would have won despite any real ideas on how to lead the country if only he were able to remind more voters about a fiery pastor. Pathetic.