McCain launches first television ad

McCain launches first television ad of general election hoping to get a jump on Democrats
April 29, 2008 12:54:33 PM PDT
Republican John McCain launched his first television ad of the general election Friday, a spot that shows him imprisoned in Vietnam and calls him "the American president Americans have been waiting for." As Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton continue to battle for their's party's nomination, the Republican Party's presidential pick hopes to set the tone for the campaign and start defining himself before Democrats have a chance to do it.

In that vein, the commercial coincides with a biographical tour next week intended to introduce McCain to the nation through a series of speeches and visits to places that shaped his life.

The commercial highlights the former Vietnam prisoner of war's experience and character, and calls him someone who has walked the walk when the country's safety has been on the line. It shows footage of him as a young Navy pilot imprisoned in Vietnam.

"Keep that faith. Keep your courage. Stick together. Stay strong. Do not yield. Stand up. We're Americans. And we'll never surrender," the Arizona senator says in the ad.

For now, the ad will air only in New Mexico - a signal that McCain plans to compete in that swing state come the fall - in what aides call a strong statewide buy. Aides say they expect to expand their advertising - and this commercial in particular - to other battleground states as the campaign continues.