MSNBC airs "pretty smart" McCain ad congratulating Obama without noting attacks on the same day

››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI & MATT GERTZ

On MSNBC, Tom Brokaw aired an ad by Sen. John McCain in which McCain congratulates Sen. Barack Obama on the day of his acceptance of the Democratic presidential nomination, calling it a "[p]retty smart ad." Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell added: "Well, people who may have been turned off by the negative ads and the negative conversations of late. He may have won them over with ad like that. It's classy. It is a classy ad." But neither Brokaw nor Mitchell noted that, notwithstanding the ad's suggestion that McCain was taking the day off from attacking Obama, the McCain campaign issued numerous attacks against Obama on August 28.

On August 28 on MSNBC, Meet the Press host Tom Brokaw aired an ad by Sen. John McCain in which McCain congratulates Sen. Barack Obama -- who is to accept the Democratic presidential nomination on the 45th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech -- and states: "Too often the achievements of our opponents go unnoticed. So I wanted to stop and say, 'Congratulations.' How perfect that your nomination would come on this historic day. Tomorrow we'll be back at it, but tonight, senator, job well done." Brokaw then said: "Now, the McCain campaign tells us they're going to run this in battleground states. They're also counting on having done what we just did, which is get a lot of free play on cable television as well. Pretty smart ad. " Brokaw added that it may "pull people from the middle into his campaign as well, he hopes." Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell said: "Well, people who may have been turned off by the negative ads and the negative conversations of late. He may have won them over with an ad like that. It's classy. It is a classy ad. You can't argue with that." But neither Brokaw nor Mitchell noted that, notwithstanding the ad's suggestion that McCain was taking the day off from attacking Obama, the McCain campaign did attack Obama on August 28.

For instance, the McCain campaign released a web video that purportedly shows that Obama does not "have the experience and judgment to be president." In an August 28 press release, the McCain campaign stated that the video -- titled "Remote Control" -- "features Democrats, in their own words, questioning Barack Obama's ability to lead in this dangerous world. ... Democrats rightly said Barack Obama did not have the experience and judgment to be president." From the press release:

ARLINGTON, VA -- U.S. Senator John McCain's presidential campaign today released its web video, entitled "Remote Control." The video features Democrats, in their own words, questioning Barack Obama's ability to lead in this dangerous world. With the United States facing incredible challenges from abroad, these Democrats rightly said Barack Obama did not have the experience and judgment to be president.

VIEW THE WEB VIDEO HERE: http://blip.tv/file/1209861

The release itself is featured on McCain's website below McCain's convention night video about Obama. From McCain's website, accessed at 5:30 p.m. ET on August 28:

McCain website

Additionally, August 28 posts on the McCain campaign's website have mocked the stage at Invesco Field in Denver, where Sen. Barack Obama plans to give his acceptance speech for the Democratic nomination for president.

From the 4 p.m. ET edition of MSNBC Live:

BROKAW: Welcome back. In just a few hours, Barack Obama will formally accept the nomination of his party with a big speech here at Invesco Field, the home of the Denver Broncos. It is the culmination, of course, of months and months of travel, rallies and a bruising series of primaries. Joining me now is Mary Mitchell, columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times -- few people know the Obamas better than she does as a journalist -- and Chuck Todd, NBC's political director. There has been a late development, and Mary and Chuck, we want to just share it with our audience. This is an ad that has just been released by the John McCain campaign, and it is an unusual message. Let's all listen to it for a moment.

McCAIN [video clip]: Senator Obama, this is truly a good day for America. You know too often the achievements of our opponents go unnoticed. So I wanted to stop and say congratulations. How perfect that your nomination would come on this historic day. Tomorrow we'll be back at it, but tonight, Senator, job well done. I'm John McCain and I approve this message.

BROKAW: Now, the McCain campaign tells us they're going to run this in battleground states. They are also counting on doing -- having done what we just did, which is get a lot of free play on cable television as well. Pretty smart ad, though, Mary Mitchell, don't you think?

MITCHELL: He's making nice. And he will go into the next phase of the campaign showing that he can be a nice guy. Not a tough guy, not a mean guy, but a really nice guy.

BROKAW: And pull people from the middle into his campaign as well, he hopes.

MITHCELL: Well, people who may have been turned off by the negative ads and the negative conversations of late. He may have won them over with an ad like that. It's classy. It is a classy ad. You can't argue with that.

BROKAW: You told me something earlier this summer -- I first encountered you just as a byline when you were writing about Michelle Obama in a long piece called "Barack Obama: Is He Black Enough?" And it was a sister-to-sister story, as you described it. And she said, memorably for me at least, "Look, if we're not black enough, what do you have to do? I did everything I was asked to do. I went to Princeton, and I went to Harvard, and I came back and served my community, and what does it say to my children?" And then, when you and I talked about Barack Obama last summer, you said you believe that he was more accepted in part because he had a white mother.

Posted In
Elections
Network/Outlet
MSNBC
Person
Tom Brokaw
Show/Publication
MSNBC Live
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, John McCain, 2008 Elections
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