11/09/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

McCain Ayers Ad Says "Terrorist Ayers Isn't The Issue"

Greg Sargent noted on Wednesday how the McCain campaign seems to want it both ways when it comes to using William Ayers as a campaign issue. After suggesting that it was "off the table" and that it couldn't compete with economic issues, the campaign has dispatched Sarah Palin to make repeated references to Ayers.

Now it appears, however, that the campaign is coming down firmly on the "pro" side of whether or not to use Ayers as an issue -- with the release of a 90-second ad titled, simply, "Ayers." Produced exclusively for the web, it appears designed to fight with the economic crisis for cable news coverage.

Somewhat humorously, the new web ad tries to make the case that "Ayers isn't the issue," but rather Obama's honesty in describing Ayers as someone from his neighborhood.

"When their relationship became an issue, Obama just responded, "This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood.'," the ad notes, before asking, incredulously: "That's it?"

At the spot's close, it repeats the charge that Obama has somehow only ever described Ayers as someone from his neighborhood. "When Obama just says, 'This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood.' Americans say, 'Where's the truth, Barack?'"

Well, as it happens, the "neighborhood" line was not all Obama said about Ayers at the time of the quote used in McCain's new ad. In response to a question from ABC News' George Stephanopolous, Obama described Ayers's past acts as "detestable" in almost the same breath.