As NH Blitz Begins, So Do Attack Ads

Outside groups rev up negative flyers, phone calls
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2008 7:36 PM CST
Republican presidential hopeful, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks to reporters in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Wednesday Dec. 26, 2007. (AP Photo/LM Otero)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Round two looks nastier already. As the presidential candidates swarm New Hampshire, a more aggressive wave of attack ads—from outside groups and the candidates themselves—is evident, the Washington Post reports. Labor and teacher unions, along with anti-tax and pro-life groups, have spent $4 million in recent months on mailings and phone calls, taking advantage of a change in campaign finance law.

McCain is pilloried for his refusal to take a tax pledge, Obama on his health care plan, and Clinton for her abortion record. With candidates' time crunched in the shortened primary schedule, such ads may play a big role in shaping images, the Post notes. "Our members have as much a right as Oprah Winfrey does to participate in the process," said a rep of one Edwards-backing union.