UPDATE: The RNC is threatening legal action over the DNC's Iraq ad:
Saying that the Democratic National Committee's latest TV ad is "maliciously false" and "deliberately misleading," Republican National Committee Chairman Robert "Mike" Duncan just told reporters that the GOP is asking networks not to run the ad and reserves the right to take legal action, if necessary, to try to keep it off the air.
The RNC's complaint is that the ad, called 100, takes comments made by Sen. John McCain out of context to make voters think that he wants to keep U.S. troops in Iraq for up to 100 more years.
The DNC responded on a conference call of its own:
DNC chairman Howard Dean flatly denied the charge of coordination with the campaigns. In a conference call a few moments ago with reporters, he said he hasn't spoken with either candidate or their teams about the ad. He also said the party "deliberately used John McCain's words" in the spot so there would be no question about the spot's veracity.
"We simply don't believe the American people want to stay in Iraq for 100 years whether it's as a peacekeeping force or at war," he said. "... Sen. McCain said what he said he said -- we should be in Iraq for 100 years. I think that was a very foolish position to take."
As for the RNC's threats to sue, Dean said, "Let them do it. I understand the RNC thinks it's illegal to criticize John McCain."
DNC General Counsel Joe Sandler said the spot was offered to FNC, too, and that he's gotten "no indication at all from the networks that they have any intention at all of pulling down this ad."
Here's a first look at the Democratic Party's new ad hitting Sen. John McCain -- the first DNC spot to take on McCain over his support for the Iraq war.
The 30-second ad manages to squeeze in not one but two clips of McCain's infamous exchange at a town hall meeting declaring that he'd be "fine" staying in Iraq for 100 years. In between, we see edgy shots of chaos in Iraq, including a bomb going off behind a startled U.S. soldier, and Iraqis scrambling around an exploded car.
The McCain campaign is sure to go apoplectic over the spot. In the past few months, they've sent out no less than 13 emails decrying the use of the "100 years" line by his political opponents. But the DNC plays it smart by not characterizing McCain's words, and it's hard to argue with the tape.
The ad is part of a $500,000 buy on national cable networks. Take a look:
"What John McCain doesn't understand is that the American people aren't fine with being in Iraq for 100 years in any capacity," said Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean. "The American people want a President who will responsibly end the war, not more of the same failed policy in Iraq that continues to cost $12 billion a month. They want a President who will invest that money here at home to create jobs and ensure our kids have health care. The more voters learn about John McCain, we're confident they will recognize that he is the wrong choice for America's future."