McCain Puts Up Ads in NH, Aide Snarks About Romney

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The McCain campaign is having a conference call to announce a state-wide ad buy in New Hampshire for two tv spots and one radio ad. I have no idea where they got the money to do this. They probably hope the buy does two things: Makes us reporters get temporary amnesia about how badly their fundraising is going, and shores up the mini-surge of support McCain got in the most recent WMUR poll. Wait, it does three things. One of the ads (“One Man”) includes some seldom-seen (outside of “bio reels”) footage of McCain being interviewed as a POW. The images of the young pilot choking up as he’s asked to describe his crash and his injuries — they take up fully half of the ad — stand in stark contrast to, say, other candidates’ spots. This is not unintentional.

I asked about the decision to use the unusually harrowing clip — reportedly, McCain himself is uncomfortable with it — and senior aide Mark Salter took an unusually direct swipe at Mitt Romney, “I don’t know, I guess we could have gone with the first time he waterskiied past the sandbar but we thought this might say a little more about his character and love of country.”

Romney used his experience as teenager skiing beyond the sandbar on the Great Lakes to illustrate how one overcomes ones’ fears in a speech at Regent University.

The spots are here.