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McCain TV ad in N.H. focuses on war record

Gannett News Service

Gannett News Service

As his poll standings rise in New Hampshire, Republican Sen. John McCain begins running the first television ad of his presidential campaign today. The 60-second biographical ad is running only in New Hampshire; McCain is not campaigning in Iowa, which will hold caucuses in January.

AD TEXT:

Announcer: ”He was a young Navy pilot who volunteered for duty in Vietnam, and was shot down over Hanoi. Lieutenant Commander John McCain dragged off by an angry mob. When found to be the son and grandson of admirals, was offered early release. He refused.

”McCain’s commitment to country and fellow prisoners bought him repeated beatings and 5 1/2 years in prison.

”He returned home, spirit unbroken, again devoting himself to his country.

”Navy officer, congressman, senator – taking on the establishment and defying special interests, and never forgetting those heroes with whom he served. Today John McCain is ready to lead America in to the new century, his mission to fundamentally reform government.

”More experience and more courage than anyone. Ready to be president and leader of the free world.”

McCain: ”I swear to you that from my first day in office to the last breath I draw, I will do everything in my power to make you proud of your government.”

Announcer: ”John McCain for President.”

ANALYSIS:

McCain’s biography is a theme the campaign has been sounding in radio ads. This ad, which uses footage of McCain as a downed pilot being attacked by North Vietnamese and as a POW, tells a story of heroism that other candidates can’t match. As McCain’s ad-maker, Greg Stevens, says, ”It’s the story, stupid.”

McCain’s refusal of early release when a POW is consistent with the military’s code of conduct, which requires that prisoners be released in the order in which they were taken.

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