***UPDATE*** 12:34am August 1 The McCain campaign has denied the report from Business Week that the campaign had an ad script ready to go if Obama had visited the troops in Germany. The Business Week reporter is backing away a bit from his original report since he cannot find a secondary source:
Given the McCain campaign's vehement denials about ever discussing an ad/messaging strategy that would have bashed Sen. Barack Obama for visiting wounded troops in Germany this month [The New Normal: McCain's Desperate Ad Hours], I thought it fair to hear in detail the McCain campaign's explanation, and to go back to my original source for elaboration. I also sought, unsuccessfully, to find secondary sources to back up my original source.
I spent quite a while on the phone with Taylor Griffin, a spokesman for the McCain campaign.
The McCain campaign insists that no conversations took place about ads or campaign communication that would have cast Senator Obama in a bad light for visiting the troops while on a campaign trip about which the McCain campaign has been highly critical...
...I went back to my original source with whom I spoke last weekend to make sure I had understood what he was saying. He clarified that he'd heard about discussions of a possible ad, not literally that a script was in place. It may be worth noting that I originally called this source, an experienced GOP lobbyist and strategist, to ask him his viewpoint about the sharp turn the McCain campaign had taken in much more negative attacks on Obama. The information was not fed to me deliberately or proactively. However, I have not been able to find a secondary source to back up the original source. Subsequent calls to a couple of other sources today were greeted with a much greater sense of nervousness because of the intense scrutiny around this issue inside the McCain campaign.
This leaves me with little ammunition to buttress the original assertion, especially in the face of the fierce denials by the McCain campaign.
Read the updated Business Week post in full here.
Earlier Post: Straight talk in action: a Republican strategist tells BusinessWeek that John McCain was planning an attack ad against Barack Obama whether or not the Democrat visited wounded troops in Germany:
What the McCain campaign doesn't want people to know, according to one GOP strategist I spoke with over the weekend, is that they had an ad script ready to go if Obama had visited the wounded troops saying that Obama was...wait for it...using wounded troops as campaign props. So, no matter which way Obama turned, McCain had an Obama bashing ad ready to launch. I guess that's political hardball. But another word for it is the one word that most politicians are loathe to use about their opponents--a lie.