McCain Blasts Mailer Attacking War Record
Confident he'll win SC, dismisses claim he sold out fellow POWs
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2008 9:39 AM CST
Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., greets supporters after conceding the Michigan primary election to Republican presidential hopeful former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, in...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Citing "deceitful smear tactics" by "fringe elements," John McCain's campaign is on the offensive against a flier circulating in South Carolina attacking his war record—an echo of the attacks that derailed his 2000 candidacy. The flier, sent to some 80 newspaper editors, claims McCain betrayed his fellow POWs to get better treatment while a prisoner in Vietnam, reports the AP. "This is ugly even by South Carolina standards," notes Greg Sargent on Talking Points Memo.

McCain flew to South Carolina shortly after conceding the Michigan primary to Mitt Romney last night, predicting that  he will win the primary Saturday. His military record may help him more in South Carolina than in other races to date; the state is home to 413,000 veterans, as well as many current military members. But he'll be running against two southerners, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson.