( The Washington Post ) - With so much attention focused on the presidential race, vulnerable Senate Republicans facing reelection in November have largely escaped the spotlight. But Democrats aim to change that by launching an Iraq attack, starring Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., his party's presumptive presidential nominee, as whipping boy.
Although exit polls from the presidential race show the economy as the No. 1 issue on the minds of voters, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Web ad hits Senate Republicans for their positions on the Iraq war and ties them to McCain.
Titled "Swear," the new DSCC ad features McCain, President Bush, and GOP Sens. John Sununu, N.H., Susan Collins, Maine, Norm Coleman, Minn., and Mitch McConnell, Ky., who are considered four of the most endangered Senate Republicans this year. It plays clips of all four senators either expressing their support for staying the course in Iraq or saying that U.S. troops aren't coming home any time soon.
"I think to basically begin to withdraw before the job is finished is a mistake," the ad quotes McConnell as saying. It uses McCain's memorable "I don't think Americans are concerned if we're there for 100 years, or 1,000 years, or 10,000 years" quote. Collins is on the video saying, "It's important that we hold the line in Iraq and that we stay the course." Coleman says, "We will be in Iraq a long time."
A narrator adds: "For a new beginning, enough of Bush. Enough of status quo Republicans in the Senate. Enough." The narrator doesn't mention McCain by name. But DSCC spokesman Matthew Miller contends that "John McCain may be fine with continuing Bush's failed policies for the next 100 years, and Senate Republicans may agree with him, but most Americans couldn't disagree more."
A Republican leadership aide said the GOP figured it was only a matter of time before DSCC Chairman Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., attacked. ""That leopard hasn't changed a single spot."