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New McCain Ad Riffs on Summer of Love

John McCain is hip. He's with it. And to prove it, his latest campaign ad starts with a swirling, psychedelic pattern of colors and the song "Light My Fire" by the Doors playing in the background.

The Arizona senator's ad, which begins running tomorrow in New Hampshire, moves quickly to its real point: making fun of New York Sen. Hillary Clinton for seeking $1 million for a Woodstock Concert museum in an appropriations bill on Capitol Hill.

"Now my friends, I wasn't there," McCain says in the ad, which is produced using video from the last Republican debate. As the ad cuts to scenes of hippies at Woodstock, McCain says: "I'm sure it was a cultural and pharmaceutical event. I was, I was tied up at the time."

And that's the real point of the ad: to show what happened at the debate when McCain referenced being a prisoner of war in Hanoi during Woodstock.

The audience jumped to its feet.

"No one can be President of the United States that supports projects such as these," he concludes after showing the standing ovation. "I'm John McCain and I approve this message."

McCain's rival, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, also has a new television ad. In it, he touts his business acumen and his pledge to cut spending when he gets to the presidency.

"As President, I'll audit Washington - top to bottom - and cut spending," Romney promises in the ad. "Because our next President has to be an agent of change."

--Michael D. Shear

By Washington Post editors  |  October 24, 2007; 4:28 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , John McCain  
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Wow, you all really don't get it. Senator McCain isn't attacking Woodstock or defending Vietnam; he's attacking the idea of wasting one million tax-payer dollars on a Woodstock Museum.

Fair enough, when do we get the checks for Iraq, for Star Wars, the B-1 Bomber, the bridge to nowhere, the $ 10 million that McCain porked over to the University of Arizona Law School?

There is noway McCain's remark was about saving taxpayer money.

Posted by: pach12 | October 27, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it a violation of FEC campaign finance rules for Senator John McCain to spend primary money on an ad against a candidate who is not in his primary?

Or has Senator "Campaign Finance Reform," decided that rules should not apply to incumbents running for higher office?

Posted by: pach12 | October 27, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Wow, you all really don't get it. Senator McCain isn't attacking Woodstock or defending Vietnam; he's attacking the idea of wasting one million tax-payer dollars on a Woodstock Museum. I know I can think of better ways for the government to spend my money. If our current politicians can't, I'd just as soon they give it back to me.

Posted by: steve.schwab1 | October 25, 2007 3:03 AM | Report abuse

I am also a Vietnam era vet, and I respect Senator McCain for his service to our country. However, his twisted political rhetoric is dead on arrival. The Vietnam was an unpopular war, and has been over now for 40 years. If McCain learned anything about it, he should know now that it was the wrong war, in the wrong place, for the wrong reasons. Anyone who has visited the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C. recognizes the reality of loss and grief for all of our brothers and sisters who were killed in action. The historical celebration held at Woodstock was an outdoor music festival held in upstate New York. It sounds like McCain has confused the honorable memories of fallen soldiers with a music festival.

Posted by: rmorris391 | October 25, 2007 12:56 AM | Report abuse

This is the sound of the splashing of a drowning man........drowning and deluded..... ( or qualuded ) The values voters loved it so he thinks it will play everywhere . He still wants us to win the Vietnam war . What a potato head .

Posted by: beastofbourbon | October 25, 2007 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Pathetic. Now lets beat-up on those darn pinkos. :P Hippies didn't create the deficit, veto health-care for poor children, or usher in the disaster that is Iraq. Hippies didn't take kickbacks from Abramoff, leave the minorities stranded in New Orleans, or plead guilty in an airport sex sting. McCain needs to... get real, man.

Posted by: ryanmercer | October 24, 2007 8:55 PM | Report abuse

I applaud his ad, but he hasn't learned. Illegal Undeclared Wars are a disaster. They were in Vietnam---they are in Iraq. It is time to Wake Up!

Posted by: eaphilipp | October 24, 2007 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Sorry boys, you miss the point. It was a cool and defining moment. Ms Hillary was busy being a future leader/lawyer who now tells you what you would like to hear had no time for being there. McCain was tied up and so never knew much about it.
His point was that important things are happening and Hillary is distracting you (read pandering) with smoke, mirrors and KEWL promises....awesome dude!

Posted by: stilldiggin | October 24, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Can he possibly do more damage to his campaign? I am amazed at the number of misteps and blunders he has made this time around after running such a good campaign 4 years ago. I have tremendous respect for those who served in Vietnam, but most of America would agree that it was a War we never should have been in - and that was the point of Woodstock.

Posted by: nivragnelg | October 24, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

This is idiotic-- Woodstock is a cultural touchstone, attacking it is like attacking Elvis.

Posted by: bobsil1 | October 24, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

John McCain could use a lesson. First, The Doors were not at Woodstock and I have to wonder if he is violating copyright law by using such a great song for such despicable means. And wouldn't it be politically smart to first see if you could defeat Rudy, Mitt, Fred and others before setting your attack dogs on the Democrats? Woodstock was held in Bethel, NY and it was about peace and great music. The people there understood that Vietnam was wrong. It's a lesson Mr. McCain hasn't yet learned because he continues to support wrongheaded Bush Administration policies in Iraq. We in Bethel are not going to take quote The Who, who did play at Woodstock in August 1969.

Posted by: rich | October 24, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

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