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Inside Politics

McCain featured in GOP, Democratic ads

Bush campaign rolls out spot after Edwards announcement


THE MORNING GRIND
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John Kerry names John Edwards as his running mate.

CNN's Candy Crowley on John Edwards' selection.
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(CNN) -- Sen. John McCain, a maverick Republican whose appeal crosses party lines, found himself the object of some attention Tuesday as both the Democratic and Republican campaigns featured him in ads.

Shortly after word leaked out that Sen. John Edwards had been named to the Democratic ticket, the Bush-Cheney camp released its newest TV ad featuring McCain.

Republican operatives said the ad was an attempt to remind voters that Sen. John Kerry had made overtures to McCain as he considered his choices for a running mate.

Titled "First Choice," the Bush ad features McCain's introduction of the president last month at a Reno, Nevada, event.

"He has led with great moral clarity and firm resolve," the senator from Arizona says in the ad. "He has not wavered, he has not flinched from the hard choices, he was determined and remains determined to make this world a better, safer, freer place.

"He deserves not only our support but our admiration. That's why I am honored to introduce to you the president of the United States, George W. Bush."

The ad was released Tuesday morning on the Bush campaign Web site and was to be aired later in the day.

Democrats, however, are also featuring McCain in a new Web ad. The ad, on the Web site of the Democratic National Committee, features quotes from McCain questioning Bush's tax cuts and spending priorities.

And the ad pokes fun at the fact that Bush is using McCain in a campaign spot.

In one clip, from a February 20, 2000, speech -- when McCain was running against Bush for the Republican nomination -- McCain says: "Bush wants to give 38 percent of his tax cuts to the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans."

For his part, McCain joked Tuesday about his starring role in Democratic and Republican ads.

"I'm in campaign ads for both candidates. I'm a uniter, not a divider," he told reporters in Washington.

McCain has been complimentary of Edwards in the past. On the back cover of the North Carolinian's 2003 book, "Four Trials," McCain commented that Edwards writes "movingly of people who were terribly wronged, and whom he helped seek some measure of justice with great skill, determination, and genuine compassion."

"He shows a perceptive appreciation in these accounts for the strengths of his clients' character," McCain wrote.

McCain had plaudits for Edwards' account of his eldest child, who died in a car accident in 1996: "And in the loving portrait of his son, Wade, and the deeply touching account of his loss, John reveals the strength of his own character and gives the reader a look beyond a political biography into the heart of a good man."

Kerry also mentioned McCain in an ad the candidate released last month that referenced his work with the senator "to find the truth about POWs and MIAs in Vietnam."


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